March 8, 2012 6:00 pm - Published by


OBP_MOTORSPORT Today was a day off from work πŸ˜€

So I went shopping… the good kind πŸ˜€ but i’ll get to that in a bit, better go over my weeks research / soul searching.

I want to empty my engine bay as much as possible.
A lot has been done already, with the wire tuck, charcoal canister removal, wiper bottle relocation, overflow bottle move, etc etc.

and there is a lot of work still planned:-

  • the water re-route to clean up the front of the engine. (in the group buy that Burt has set up for the spacers)
  • ECU / Coil pack on the firewall will be replaced by my MS3 in the passenger footwell and COP.
  • Junkyard Dog has filled my head with ways of re-locating the wiper motor.

So what does that leave?
Oh yeah, that big lump of stuff that makes the brakes and the clutch work, otherwise known as the Brake servo and Master cylinder, and the clutch master cylinder. what am i gonna do with them?

Junk yard had some very good ideas for these too πŸ˜€ mostly involving hiding them under the passenger side dash and making up a few linkages, kinda like the MK1 Golfs used to have.
I liked the ideas πŸ˜€ but then i remembered how much time i have got to get this done πŸ™
So I went out searching for alternative solutions, and went over some of my old searches.

I’ve looked into loosing the servo in the past, and just running on a re-located standard master cylinder, alot of the VW boys used to do this. I am not convinced that it is the best solution.
I’ve also looked into using remote servos, but the list of threads of people having issues getting them running properly is kinda prodigious


I started researching Dual master cylinder systems / Balance bars / servo less systems, and asking people who know about these things (Thanks Clive πŸ˜€ )
My feed back from pretty much every source was that:-

  • Yep, the brakes are going to be heavier, no 2 ways about it.
  • The feel and feed back from a servoless system is much more consistent and acurate than in a servo’d system.
  • There is going to be more than enough power to stop my little car,

We are not talking a dangerous system here, Racecars / driftcars / etc run servoless systems for the improvements that they give. the brake system itself will not have any less power, it’s just that the pedal effort in needs to be higher for an equivalent output.

Lets face it, i’m a big boy, I can push a pedal. I have long hated driving the works vans and my girlfriends car as they are "over servo’d" first time i drove my mates Fabia i almost head butted the steering wheel by applying (what would have been in my MX5) a small touch to stop it running away on a hill. hated it much prefer heavy brakes.

and, they are going to be A LOT better than a de-servo’d standard system. we are not talking about just removing the servo from the system.
it will be using twin master cylinders, spec’d for the job of pushing a servoless system, rather than the single standard master cylinder which is designed to be used on a servo.
And it isn’t going to be actuated by the standard pedal, which is again designed to work a powered system, and would flex, and the pedal ratio would be nasty.

Ok, so i convinced myself that this is the way to go….. how do i do it?

Now, I’ve long followed OBPltd on ebay, cos I am going to fit a hydro handbrake, and theirs seem very good value for money.
Their mailouts include a lot of listings for custom pedal boxes using Dual master cylinders and balance bars, as a bonus, they also have clutch master cylinders  mounted on them too.

Will they fit in an MX5 though?

Initially i was interested in these pedals, cos lets face it, they are gorgeous πŸ˜€

After some more measuring, and realising that the section of firewall I was hoping to cut out had box sectioning in it, i changed my mind to  these pedals which mount the master cylinders under your feet, allowing the box to move deeper into the footwell

I contacted OBPltd about fitting to an MX5. They make quite a range of direct fit models that bolt in with minimal pratting around, but unfortunately not yet for the MX5.
The response from OBP was pretty damn good, If i wanted they could work on a proper custom direct fit solution for the MX5 πŸ˜€
but my deadline, location, and the case that they would need bankruptcy for a while to prototype it all up meant that I couldn’t accept that offer  πŸ™
They also offered to post out a set to try, that i could post back if it didn’t fit and try an alternative set, but that would take a while, and postage could have got a bit crazy
Other than that I could go visit them and try a few sets on site πŸ˜€ Sweet, sounds like a plan to me πŸ˜€

Which brings me to today, and shopping πŸ˜€ (took me a while didn’t it πŸ™ sorry )

2 hours driving to Peterborough to see OBP (good weather for it tho, and Bankruptcy needed to stretch her legs)
Got there about 9:30 and met Roy who helped me try a few of the more likely pedal sets in the car. showing me quite a lot of their vast range, and how each may be adaptable to my needs, also pointing out that if i wanted then i could get any of the range made up with the super shiney alloy pedal faces ( i got kinda excited at that point… Shiney πŸ˜€ ) they were very open to doing anything i wanted / needed to get the end product that would fit in best, both asthetically and functionally. i must admit i was very impressed.

while we were fiddling i had chance to talk to quite a few members of Staff, and look around a lot of the workshops, Everyone i met was very friendly and chatty, it would appear that pretty much every thing is made on site at Peterborough, and i saw pedal boxes in all stages of manufacture. I was very impressed by the quality of everything, and the apparent precision of all the items. It is great to see quality manufacturing is still alive in the UK. I even got to talk to Sam (who dealt with my initial query) and Grant the Director.

In the end I decided on a set of these although the design has changed from the one in the pic on the page, it now has the (i think,better looking ) box section pedals. Comparing these to the standard brake pedal, you can see how these are a lot better suited to a servo less system, i don’t think i could get these to flex for love nor money.
I may need to trim the tops of the pedal pads to clear the steering column mount, but will be able to tell for sure when i pull the old ones out.
I also picked up a hydraulic handbrake (45 deg) Bias control knob, Resevoirs, master cylinders etc.

The Pics:-






All in all I had a very fun day πŸ˜€ expensive but fun πŸ˜€ but lets face it, Brakes is one area you don’t wanna scrimp on when you are modifying them

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