Stripping my Mazda MX-5 Donor: Day 4 – Roller Skate Dismantle

Welcome to Day 4 of Stripping my Mazda MX-5. This post is an overview of what we did and the approach we took with stripping the vehicle. This is not a step-by-step guide on how to go about it. There are already plenty of good resources which provide this detail as I covered in a previous post.

What I do cover here is some of the things to watch out for and areas where the approach we took deviated from the YouTube videos and why. I have included a time-lapse video below to give you an impression of how it went on Day 4. Hopefully, this is a more custom guide for MK Indy RX-5 builders. So here goes.

Work Completed on Day 4

Today was building on the success of Day 3 where we separated the shell from the roller skate. Today we start to take apart the roller skate and we dispose of the shell. However, before we could do that we needed to remove a few final items. Here is the order in that we approached Day 4:

Fuel Pump/ Sender

We used a large syringe to remove the final dregs of fuel from the fuel tank and we removed the fuel pump/ sender from the tank along with the pressure relief valve. These were easy to unbolt. Therefore, just take care as you are dealing with fuel, wear protective clothing, gloves and safety glasses and make sure you have rags and sand handy to mop up any spills. The RX-5 build needs the fuel pump/ sender. So, once it is dry of fuel store it somewhere safe.

ABS Unit

We removed the ABS unit that we had left in place on Day 3. However, this could have been removed yesterday, there was no reason to leave it to today. This is a simple unbolt and remove. But, if there is any hydraulic brake fluid left in there, be careful.

VIN Numbers

Dave went around and removed the VIN Numbers from the vehicle. This is an extremely important thing to remember, as you will need these for the registration of the new vehicle. Also once the VIN is removed from the shell it is technically not a car anymore and can be treated just as scrap metal, so easier to dispose of.

There are 4 locations where we found a VIN number.

  1. On the dashboard right by the window;
  2. A plate in the engine bay just above the brake master cylinder;
  3. Stamped on the shell in the engine bay just above the engine;
  4. A small sticker on the drivers side door opening.
Mazda MX-5 NB VIN Number Locations in Engine Bay (# 2 and 3)
Mazda MX-5 NB VIN Sticker by Drivers Door (#4)

Shell Ready for Scrap

We loaded the shell with any metal we did not want (underbody braces, knackered exhaust etc.) and I called Yate Car Breakers who said they could collect the shell that afternoon for a £40 collection fee. This seemed a pretty good deal really as it got the shell off the drive quickly. Bit of a win-win.

Here are a few pictures of the shell to show how badly rusted it actually was. It was worse than I thought around the front chassis rails in the engine bay. It would have needed a lot of work to get it through an MOT and back on the road.

Separating the Sub-frames

The next task of stripping my Mazda MX-5 was to separate the sub-frames which are joined by an aluminium chassis rail. This rail connects from the gearbox to the differential. We unbolted the gearbox end used a trolley jack under the gearbox for support.

Anti-roll Bar and Steering Rack

We then removed the front anti-roll bar and the steering rack from the front sub-frame and front up-rights. The castle nuts on all the ball joints were pretty rusty, but once the split pins were removed they came off quite easily. This was much easier to do at this stage now the shell was not in the way.

Engine and Gearbox

Removing the engine and gearbox from the front sub-frame was next. This was pretty straight forward as we had done the hard work of disconnecting everything before taking the shell off. The fusebox was last to be removed. For the lift, this was left on top of the engine. This was now easy to get access and to remove now the shell was not in the way.

The engine mount bolts to the sub-frame were undone on both sides and then we were ready to lift the pack.

We used the same chain and shackles from lifting the shell to attach the engine lifting points to the hoist. We also used a strap to help balance out the gearbox. Then it was a simple case of lifting the engine clear of the sub-frame with the hoist.

We then pushed the engine on the hoist into the garage and made up a temporary engine stand out of wood to rest the pack on until I had bought an engine stand.

Tidying Up

The drive and garage were tidied. The removed car parts were organised in the garden shed to make better use of the space.

End of Day 4 Summary

So that is it for Day 4 of stripping my Mazda MX-5. We managed to make a car disappear in 4 days, with nothing left on the drive at the end of the day!


Here is a time-lapse video of us stripping my Mazda MX-5 donor vehicle and separating the sub-frames and removing the engine and gearbox.

Gallery from Day 3

Summary of Build Costs and Hours

Here is a summary of the costs and person hours (total number of hours for every person that has helped) for the build so far. This should hopefully help others with the planning of their builds, by providing cost and time actually incurred for this build. A more detailed breakdown of all the costs and hours worked on the build to date can be viewed here.

Person Hours Worked This Post
Donor Strip Day 4 (3 people) - Prepare Shell for Scrap, Separate Sub-frames, Engine Removal32 hrs
Car Build Costs This Post
Disposal of Mazda MX-5 Shell to Scrap Yard £40
Tool Costs This Post
2x Plus Gas 400ml£12
Hacksaw Blades£10
Totals This Post To Date All Posts
Person Hours Worked 32 hrs 126 hrs 404 hrs
Car Build £40 £805 £13,202
Tools / Consumables £22 £237 £470
Total Cost £62 £1,042 £13,672

2 thoughts on “Stripping my Mazda MX-5 Donor: Day 4 – Roller Skate Dismantle

  1. James Reply

    Did you get scrap value for the shell? Was the £40 a net loss, or just cost for collection?

    • Dave Pilch Reply

      The £40 was the cost of collection. There was no scrap value in the shell. It is not worth anything at the moment.

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