Project Golf. It started with good intentions and a dream of building a Sprint and Hillclimb car that was a replica of James Shead’s Class winning 1988 BTCC Golf GTI.
Having been let down on a few occasions and after 18 months I’d just had enough. The dream had become a nightmare and it was adding to my already pretty high stress levels. It was time to make a decision and that decision was to ditch the project and move on. The funds from breaking up project Golf would go into a pot for upgrades to the MX5, that would the car I would now focus on for trackdays and speed events. The pot turned out to be a reasonable size after selling off many of the bits from the golf, enough it transpired to boost my plans for the 5. I started keeping an eye on the classifieds and eBay for anyone selling a used Supercharger or Turbo kit.
At this point I should mention Nick Bailey of Skuzzle Motorsport. I’d met Nick at an MX5 meet some 18 months before the demise of Project Golf. At that time he was just setting up his business on his own. When I realised I had enough money to look at forced induction I started spamming him with messages relating to kits for sale and should I buy it. Knowing that I competed in AutoSolos Nick recommended I go the Supercharger route for maximum low down boost and torque. A use kit was sourced, purchased and delivered. Time to get fitting.
Now sadly during this period I seem to have not taken very many photographs, not sure why as I’m normally a right pain waving my camera or phone in everyones face. So rather than a picture I’m afraid you’ll have to have a list of what was fitted from the 2nd hand kit I acquired.
- Eaton M45 Supercharger from a MINI Cooper S
- Supercharger Inlet and Outlet
- Supercharger mounting bracket
- Belt tensioner bracket with pulleys
- BIPES piggy back ECU
- Rising rate fuel pressure regulator
I spent a week down at Skuzzles in Winchester and fitted up the kit with his assistance at times (well most of the time), especially when I realised there was no cross over pipe in the kit. Nick was able to fabricate me one from some stainless tubing which looked the part and worked a treat. What didn’t work was the fuelling. No mater what we tried the Piggy Back ECU and Pressure Regulator could not keep up with the boost being generated and Nick felt the car wasn’t safe to use on the road.
I hadn’t budgeted for going with standalone management from the off, but it was something I wanted in the future. Now my hand was forced. Nick sourced a used Megasquirt he knew was available from a car being upgraded. This helped me keep the costs down and it was duly plumbed in. Result, a working car with happy air:fuel ratios through the rev range.
And there we are. I’d never driven a boosted MX5 and my first go was in my own car with a freshly fitted Supercharger. I was surprised. Not only by the increase in performance but by how much smoother the engine felt, the extra torque from so low down almost making it feel like a straight 6. The anti-social and child like side of me was also deeply happy it shot flames out of the exhaust.
Was it worth the best part of £2,000? You betcha! For the next few months I was as happy as MrsHorney when she get’s to meet a new cat. But you know what, power corrupts. I wanted more.