Ownership Verified: An Inevitable Conclusion - 2012 Mazda MX-5 Kuro Roadster

Gah, you doing all sorts of neat DIY things to yours and documenting it in such glory makes me miss my NC even more :mad:
Yeah but I'm still in the honeymoon period, we'll see what it's like if I own it as long as you had yours. I'm already thinking that I need a third car to abuse. :p

I hadn't noticed the difference in the shape of the cutouts but it's obvious now you mention it. I stumbled across this 3D printable version of the blanking plate randomly while looking for wiring diagrams. I can't decide if I want a 3D printed version though, unless I go through the hassle of getting a foam gasket it could damage the paint that's still OK and cause more rust.

There's also a second part with a camera mount, something I had considered but have decided I don't really need. I initially wanted four cameras like I had in the Tesla but that's just not necessary, most rear dashcams aren't designed to be mounted on the exterior so it's just going to be a hassle and the camera will get dirty in that position above the number plate.

I plan to get a Viofo UHD dashcam for the front and that's it, the reason being that I want the dashcam footage to be good enough to keep alongside/in place of GoPro footage, for example 'Ring laps where I don't have the GoPro fitted. It would be nice if it was 60fps as well but that would chew through SD card space like mad and I can always run footage through my Topaz software if I really want 60fps.

Another thing I found by mistake last night is what I shall call a boot-well organiser. This guy primarily designed it for the ND but created one for the NC, with the templates available for free on Thingiverse. It looks perfect for organising bits in the boot and providing a more flat floor at the same time. Sample pic from his site:

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I got some foam polishing cones from Amazon the other week but it's been miserable and rainy for the last couple of weekends. After working on the Freelander today I still had a bit more time so I polished the exhaust tips.




Just these two cones, the drill and some Autosol metal polish.

That'll do.
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Another project complete! Time to write up the rest of the charging cable project.

If you haven't seen the first part of this project, I started it in January by taking all of the interior panels out of the boot. I then bought the CTEK parts I needed, a fuse/connector block and a reel of twin core cable suitable for 15A, just in case.

First thing was to run the cable through the car to the battery, meaning I had to remove a lot of interior trim. It's amazing how quickly an MX-5 comes apart once you start pulling the trim clips and, to be completely honest, how cheap a lot of the parts feel. I think I'm used to more substantial parts that come in Land Rovers, where weight and cost aren't really big concerns. The Smart did have quite cheaply made parts too but I never got around to tearing the interior apart.

Anyway, the first job was to attach and install the fuse block so I could pull the cable to the front and know I had enough. This is a double fuse block I was using to add a fuse and to join the CTEK cable to the twin core cable I had purchased, rather than try and splice the cables I decided to just put two fuses in and use the block for positive and negative. Not the normal way of doing it but fine as far as I can see. The block is stuck down with VHB tape in the best place I could find, I can just about reach it to change the fuse(s).

I ran the cable behind the roof 'tray', along in front of it and then along the right-hand sill. It then disappears through the same grommet as the bonnet release, snakes around the engine bay before splitting for connection to the battery. The diagram below is a TL:DR of the cable run...

...and here's a sequence of photos of cable ties where I've run the cable. I won't include them all as it would bore you stupid! I looked back through all of my photos and counted 32 cable ties.

I then attached the ring terminals (heat shrink crimp type, got to use my new Ryobi heat gun) and added some more ties to stop the cable from moving.

While the sill trim panels off I also did some Nicjasno-ing to remove the dirt that had built up beneath them.

A week passed, then it was time to do the back. I started by wrapping the CTEK cable in fabric tape to protect it and so it looked OEM.

Cable is fed through the panel, through the panel clip thingies and the larger conduit tube I had to buy. I had to pull out the two cables/connectors for the plate lights and feed those back through, fiddly little shits with relatively big connectors.

This was also wrapped where it exited the conduit and then fed inside.

The larger conduit goes on the outside of the rubber thingies where the tiny original went inside. New conduit is 12mm internal diameter.

Connected up and tied up out of the way.

When fitting the metal shield back in place the cable would've rubbed on the sharp edge, so I used some leftover panel edging from the dashboard in Bob to protect it.

Then I vacuumed out the rubbish and whacked it all back together, didn't take pictures because it's boring. I replaced a number of the trim clips that were either missing or had been damaged somewhere along the line.

Finally a demo of the gauge showing the charge state with the engine running. It was indicating red when I first connected it up but there was still enough charge to start the car, I don't really trust these meters but it's the only panel connector I could get.

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pf67Ol0m0a8
I need to buy the panel now and also add a connector to the Freelander.
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Very cool! Awesome project and very nice detailed report. Again, makes me want a car I can do this sort of stuff with once more :p

Concerning the boot lid conduit: the picture with it assembled makes me a bit worried it might get impinged when the lid is closed. I remember my OEM conduit being a bit longer, more flexible, and most importantly zip-tied to a part of the hinge to make sure it folds away to the side when closed. Might be something to look at, just in case.
Concerning the boot lid conduit: the picture with it assembled makes me a bit worried it might get impinged when the lid is closed. I remember my OEM conduit being a bit longer, more flexible, and most importantly zip-tied to a part of the hinge to make sure it folds away to the side when closed. Might be something to look at, just in case.
I was concerned about that too but it worked out OK. The conduit was cut to the exact same length as the original and was ultimately tied to its original location (just using a cable tie as I had to cut the OEM cable tie clip), it moves a little when the lid is closed but it doesn't get trapped anywhere.

I could make another as I have 5m of the stuff but would have to cut the terminals off to fit the the cables back through the rubber grommet thingy.
One thing he didn't mention is how much the interior of a Miata is a ROYAL PAIN IN THE TUCKAS to get wires through. Everything is so, so tight. I remember many scraped and bloody knuckles when I was wiring up the reverse detection wire for the rear-view camera I added. Bravo, sir. Looks great, and the fabric tape is a lot nicer looking than the electrical tape I used.

I should probably take that crap off and re-wrap it next time I'm up north seeing my family...
That's a damn nice install. Now that you've already done it, I'll just have to mention that the block heater manufacturers have ready made products for this purpose. ;)
There probably are other kits yeah, all I've really done is extend the CTEK connector as I wanted it at the back. :p

There certainly isn't much space to route cables! I found out by trial and error that I could run a cable under the roof tray and just had to be sure it was out of the way of the roof mech. I initially wanted to go down the left side but the fusebox is there and there was no suitable grommet.

With enough trim pieces removed to free the back panel this could be pulled forward and held with a bungee cord so I could work. Honestly, the most difficult thing was feeding the cable ties and grabbing the ends. Somehow I did it without any cuts, compared to my finger leaking after just the initial disassembly. Maybe I've actually picked up some skills from my years of working on shitbox Land Rovers. :LOL:

There's something for knowing the ratings of the cables I chose too, I've now ordered the 20W solar panel with a controller, the 2.5M CTEK extension lead I bought will connect to the controller and then to the car.
I finished something!

I'm calling this project done now, I have the solar panel up, the cables connected and I can actually charge the car when the British weather looks favourably on me. So I'll probably still have a flat battery by next week.

Solar panel bought from Amazon and fitted to the roof of the garage. I bent the included mounting bracket so it would fit like this, it limits how far I can tilt it but this is fine.

The control box that comes with it isn't exactly cutting edge tech, it's a very simple box that weighs nothing and the circuit board just has a couple of MOSFETS on it. I haven't been able to prove its claims yet about voltages but it definitely works. I replaced the battery cable with the long CTEK cable. The panel is only 20W so it's all massively over-rated for the current it will see.

Plenty of cable to plug in to the bumport on the Miata, also reaches Geoff's nose.

In the sun today it was climbing quickly from 12.4V at a decent 0.66A, obviously falling as the battery was charging. The CTEK connector has a very fine line between low and high charge, seems to be from about 12.4V to 12.6V.

Once it was all done, I took advantage of the nice afternoon by going for a drive. Stopped to take this on a very winding road I call the rollercoaster, it has some great swooping bends and big elevation changes. Love this little car.
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The inevitable happened today, I locked the fucking keys in the boot. I bought a bottle of oil for the Land Rovers from Halfrauds and put it in there, taking some time to strap it in so it didn't fall around and open up. Of course, I put the keys down while doing it and didn't pick them up. Fortunately I was close to home and could have the spare key brought to me and it was dry, I had the roof down.

Now I need to think of emergency plans. I'm either going to find a way to use the 12V charging socket I have on the back and a secretly placed contact or plug to hotwire the release solenoid or get a key blade cut so I can keep it in my wallet, maybe with a little T bar or something.

I suppose the yellow emergency service could've picked the boot release lock if I was away from home but that could've taken a very long time. I definitely don't want this kind of dumb to screw me/us over on a roadtrip or at Ringmeet.
I know it's no use but that's the one occasion where I love being able to open my car doors via the car's phone app.
Of course I said "This would never have happened with the Tesla." :p

Remote opening options are available with phone apps but I don't want to poke too many holes in the security of the car.
Back when cars lacked central locking and every person in the car was responsible for their own door, someone I know managed to lock themselves out of their Toyota.

1) Driver gets out, locks door with key and puts key in jacket pocket, closes zipper
2) Driver realizes it's t-shirt weather, hands jacket to passenger for putting back in the car
3) Passenger puts the jacket on the passenger seat, pushes down the door lock knob, slams door

Skärmavbild 2022-04-17 kl. 14.40.26.png
I remember a couple of Japanese cars/trucks I had wouldn't allow you to just push down on the lock plunger to lock the door while it was open. It would require you to pull the door handle first. Only thing I thought it was for was to remind you to have your keys. Always did with me.
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I was going to post this as a private message but I may as well share my thoughts with everyone.

@WDWBen kindly pointed me towards a Metra fitting kit earlier in this thread and reminded me about it when I commented on Dino's installation in the Boxter. While I can't realistically buy that kit in the UK, I have been looking at a kit sold by Dynamic Sounds that looks pretty much identical and includes wiring. Does this look about as good?



The Connects2 box is pre-wired for the steering wheel controls and also includes an attenuator for connecting to the BOSE amplifier, I wish I had known about this before I made my own for Bugsy. Maybe it didn't exist back then and Connects2 stole my idea. 🤔

I was originally looking at the Sony XAV-AX1005DB, then the Sony XAV-AX3005DB. Both have nice big screens but they're resistive, I tried the AX1005DB in Halfrauds and it was nice and responsive, however the Pioneer SPH-DA160DAB Dino used is similarly priced and has the capacitive screen. I really would prefer a proper volume knob or buttons but I still have the steering wheel controls so I suppose they aren't as important.

One thing that irritates me is how they all seem to be geared to LHD with no RHD equivalents, so all the buttons are on the left. I'd be happy to mount mine upside-down but they aren't designed to work like that. The Sony units have an advantage of being single DIN sized units with a double DIN screen, so there will be more space for wiring. Some people mentioned them wobbling but I can easy cure that with some 3D printed parts screwed in behind the lower part of the screen.

I've got some time to think as I don't have the money this month, maybe I will try some units in Halfrauds, I really want to use the app OsmAnd so if that doesn't work well then I probably won't bother. I found this video that shows how to take everything apart, should make it nice and easy to get it installed and run the cables for the parking brake and USB.

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TCLrjMj1qvQ
Kit looks good! I prefer capacitive touch vs. resistive, and TBH, it doesn't matter where the buttons are once you get CarPlay set up. CarPlay will orient itself based on your input, buttons on the right vs. the left, so all you need the Pioneer buttons for are initial setup because you have steering wheel controls. The controller box I used for mine allowed me to custom program things, so I did them as follows:
Phone/talk button - PTT/Siri (I can't remember how it was labeled). Holding it down would activate Siri, and I think I could hang up by pressing it once, but don't quote me on that last piece.
MODE - mute. It was nice to use sometimes, but you can program that button to be pickup/hangup if that makes more sense for you
VOL +/- - Volume up and down
Up/Down - next track and previous track

Having done that, I hardly ever used the buttons on the head unit itself. I think I did it to change the color of the buttons to match the Mazda red interior and that was that. Did I have some space issues with the wires? Sort of... I ended up tucking the steering wheel controller behind the glove box and that really helped. So did wrapping everything in fabric loom tape and zip ties. However, I will say it was easier to put the wiring in when we upgrading the car to single DIN with attached mega-screen now that Dad has the car, haha.

EDIT: One thing to know: the Pioneer unit, at least, has separate call, music, and navigation volume and CarPlay uses all three. If you don't want to dive for cover outside of the car the first time you use the nav, prep everything in your driveway by turning them down before you drive. When I had a Pioneer unit, 10 (out of 100) was enough to make my ears scream for mercy. You can only adjust the volume for the sound that's being played, so set up a route and get ready with the volume-down button for when Siri announces that first direction.
Thanks again, that's all makes sense. I'll see if the Connects2 has any programming options and the Tesla used to have separate volumes for everything so that's not too unusual to me.

It sounds like you didn't have any attenuating before the amplifier, that's pretty much how it was when I fitted the Alpine unit to the Discovery and only volume levels 1-7 were actually useful, once I added my own attenuators it was fine.
I got ahead with the solar panel fitting on the bobtail yesterday so decided to go for a combined drive and wildlife photography session today in the Mazda. Before that though I finished another project.

Quite a while ago I downloaded the plans for a slot-together organiser for the lower boot section of the NC, mentioned at the top of this page. I finally got the 6mm MDF and cut the parts out last weekend, using the circular saw for the long straight cuts and then the portaband with the table for the slot cutouts.

I smothered the parts in black wood dye yesterday and put them in today, I'm really happy with the results. Strangely the 'standard' config is exactly right for my camera and 200-500mm perv lens. Still need to 3D print the top thingies that make it support loads better and then it'll essentially have a flat floor.

While I went to take pictures of wildlife, I collected more on the front of the car. I wasn't even out for very long. Glass cleaner and cloths now added to the organiser in the back.
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The plan to fit a new head unit has been put on hold, mainly because the OsmAnd app I planned to use apparently doesn't work the way I want while moving. I can't prove either way at the minute so it'll have to wait. In the meantime I replaced the old Bluetooth box with many wires that I build for the Smart with another of the FM transmitters I have in the Freelander. It's very reliable and there's only one wire now to the Magsafe charging mount.

I hope this can charge the phone as well as the previous charger I had could, they're both QC 3.0 so it should. I could run the phone as a navigation screen and it would finish with more charge than I started with, despite being a wireless charger. Out of interest I removed the antenna from the back wing while I had this running, it'll quite happily pick up the signal from this device but not any other FM signals. I've been tempted to replace the antenna with a stubby or blanking plug so this was interesting, I don't listen to the radio and could use internet radio if I wanted to.

I also put some more stuff in the organiser, it needs tweaking still and I've now printed the finishing parts. The bottom divided looks more bent than it is due to the lens but I did have to push the bottle of glass cleaner in. Maybe I'll move the factory tool roll.
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