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MK1 MX5: Rusty and cheap. What to do?


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#1 OFFLINE   jackytwoshoes

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Posted 09 October 2017 - 10:28 PM

Let's suppose that a good pal of mine is having a baby and needs a more practical car than his MX5. Imagine that he doesn't know much about cars. In fact hypothetically I may have convinced him to get said MK1 MX5 some time ago.

Anyway, say he was to offer you said car for an as yet undisclosed sum, but perhaps towards towards the bargainous end of the scale, you'd jump at it, wouldn't you? Because even though you kind of hate them you also want to know what all the fuss is about.

Then suppose, that after clean MOT's for years it throws up this mad list of advisories at the last one.. Do you run a mile or is it just a grumpy MOT tester? How cheap does it need to be to make this list seem okay? It's otherwise very smart. Hypothetically.

Ready?

Okay..

Here goes...


29 August 2018
Advisory notice item(s)
vehicle has covers fitted unable to see certain testable items
front brake fluctuating, but not excessively (3.7.B.3)
rear brake fluctuating, but not excessively (3.7.B.3)
Handbrake Has Travel
Rear brake disc worn, pitted or scored, but not seriously weakened (3.5.1i)
Front brake disc worn, pitted or scored, but not seriously weakened (3.5.1i)
Oil leak ()
Exhaust System is Corroded
Offside Rear Suspension component mounting prescribed area is corroded but not considered excessive (2.4.A.3)
Nearside Rear Suspension component mounting prescribed area is corroded but not considered excessive (2.4.A.3)
Offside Rear Suspension spring mounting prescribed area is corroded but not considered excessive (2.4.A.3)
Nearside Rear Suspension spring mounting prescribed area is corroded but not considered excessive (2.4.A.3)
Offside Front Subframe mounting prescribed area is corroded but not considered excessive (2.4.A.3)
Nearside Front Subframe mounting prescribed area is corroded but not considered excessive (2.4.A.3)
Brake Pipe Are Corroded
Front Suspension Are Corroded
Offside Front Front suspension ball joint dust cover deteriorated, but preventing the ingress of dirt (2.4.G.2)
Nearside Front Front suspension ball joint dust cover deteriorated, but preventing the ingress of dirt (2.4.G.2)
Offside Front Upper Front suspension ball joint dust cover damaged, but preventing the ingress of dirt (2.4.G.2)
Nearside Front Upper Front suspension ball joint dust cover deteriorated, but preventing the ingress of dirt (2.4.G.2)
Rear Suspension Are Corroded
Offside Front Anti-roll bar linkage rubber mounting deteriorated but not resulting in excessive movement (2.4.G.2)
Nearside Front Anti-roll bar linkage rubber mounting deteriorated but not resulting in excessive movement (2.4.G.2)
Brake hose slightly deteriorated Rear Both Side (3.6.B.4d)
Vehicle structure has slight corrosion (6.1.A.1)
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#2 OFFLINE   SiC

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Posted 09 October 2017 - 10:32 PM

If cheap, buy and rag it until the next MOT and assess then. I was only thinking the other day on how much enjoyment I got driving to work in my MK1 MX5 on a icy cold crisp morning, with the roof down and a thick coat on. Even at sub zero temperatures, the heaters are very effective and comfortable despite crusing at 70mph along a dual carriageway.

Looking at K293EJD MOT history, it seems that the salt weather might have taken its toll a bit though! I owned it in 2007-2008...
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My history: 2003 Clio II 1.2 16v (First car), 2003 Honda Civic 3dr 1.7 CTDi (Isuzu lump), 1992 Mazda MX5 1.6, 2005 Mazda RX8 192bhp, 2005 Saab 9-3 1.9TiD 150bhp, 2007 Honda Civic 2.2 CTDi, 2004 Renault Scenic 1.6 Auto (Now Kiltox FiL), 2004 Saab 9-5 2.3t (Now Hooli), 2004 Smart Roadster 80bhp
Wife history (that she used/owned but I had frequent use of): 2002 Renault Clio II 1.2 16v (Billabong!), 2006 Mazda MX5 1.8, 2004 VW Golf 1.6 FSI, 2005 Renault Scenic II 2.0 (went bad from the drive back when buying it!), 2002 Vauxhall Astra 1.6 16v (now phil_lihp ex-colleague), 2005 Renault Laguna II v6 (Now angle)

#3 OFFLINE   jackytwoshoes

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Posted 09 October 2017 - 10:37 PM

If cheap, buy and rag it until the next MOT and assess then. I was only thinking the other day on how much enjoyment I got driving to work in my MK1 MX5 on a icy cold crisp morning, with the roof down and a thick coat on. Even at sub zero temperatures, the heaters are very effective and comfortable despite crusing at 70mph along a dual carriageway.

Looking at K293EJD MOT history, it seems that the salt weather might have taken its toll a bit though! I owned it in 2007-2008...


Yes! I used to do this in my X1/9. Roof off in all seasons. Even in the pouring rain you'd stay dry if you kept your speed up.
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#4 ONLINE   Ghosty

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Posted 09 October 2017 - 10:40 PM

'handbrake has travel' it's supposed to, isn't it?


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#5 OFFLINE   scaryoldcortina

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Posted 09 October 2017 - 10:40 PM


Here goes...


29 August 2018
Advisory notice item(s)
vehicle has covers fitted unable to see certain testable items
front brake fluctuating, but not excessively (3.7.B.3)
rear brake fluctuating, but not excessively (3.7.B.3)
Handbrake Has Travel
Rear brake disc worn, pitted or scored, but not seriously weakened (3.5.1i)
Front brake disc worn, pitted or scored, but not seriously weakened (3.5.1i)
Oil leak ()
Exhaust System is Corroded
Offside Rear Suspension component mounting prescribed area is corroded but not considered excessive (2.4.A.3)
Nearside Rear Suspension component mounting prescribed area is corroded but not considered excessive (2.4.A.3)
Offside Rear Suspension spring mounting prescribed area is corroded but not considered excessive (2.4.A.3)
Nearside Rear Suspension spring mounting prescribed area is corroded but not considered excessive (2.4.A.3)
Offside Front Subframe mounting prescribed area is corroded but not considered excessive (2.4.A.3)
Nearside Front Subframe mounting prescribed area is corroded but not considered excessive (2.4.A.3)
Brake Pipe Are Corroded
Front Suspension Are Corroded
Offside Front Front suspension ball joint dust cover deteriorated, but preventing the ingress of dirt (2.4.G.2)
Nearside Front Front suspension ball joint dust cover deteriorated, but preventing the ingress of dirt (2.4.G.2)
Offside Front Upper Front suspension ball joint dust cover damaged, but preventing the ingress of dirt (2.4.G.2)
Nearside Front Upper Front suspension ball joint dust cover deteriorated, but preventing the ingress of dirt (2.4.G.2)
Rear Suspension Are Corroded
Offside Front Anti-roll bar linkage rubber mounting deteriorated but not resulting in excessive movement (2.4.G.2)
Nearside Front Anti-roll bar linkage rubber mounting deteriorated but not resulting in excessive movement (2.4.G.2)
Brake hose slightly deteriorated Rear Both Side (3.6.B.4d)
Vehicle structure has slight corrosion (6.1.A.1)

 

Fuck me! New tester fresh from the ABC awards training* course I'd guess, or a main dealer's test station that's never seen the underside of a 20 year old mazda before!


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#6 OFFLINE   JJ0063

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Posted 09 October 2017 - 10:45 PM

If you don't want it, how much?
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#7 OFFLINE   unclecalzone

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Posted 09 October 2017 - 10:57 PM

As said that’s got to be a new tester or they want something out of it?
I never get the one about ball joint covers - they are either doing their job or they are not to me at least

#8 OFFLINE   barefoot

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Posted 09 October 2017 - 11:12 PM

Mk1 & Mk2 MX-5's are both great fun to drive. The gear change is something else. The lever is about three inches long and the engine is only 16/1800 cc so the cogs & dogs aren't massive and just love to be swapped about. The change actually feels like a switch & you find yourself changing gear just for the sake of it. They're quite low geared, not massively powerful and probably not much fun on a long motorway commute, but I've never driven one on a motorway...


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#9 OFFLINE   HarmonicCheeseburger

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Posted 09 October 2017 - 11:57 PM

Are the autoboxes in MX5's any good? 



#10 ONLINE   meowdchina

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Posted 10 October 2017 - 01:07 AM

Are the autoboxes in MX5's any good? 

yes they are...............bulletproof


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Not quite the end of the Earth but
you can just about see it from here.

#11 OFFLINE   eddyramrod

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Posted 10 October 2017 - 04:24 AM

If you don't want it, how much?

What he said.


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#12 OFFLINE   jackytwoshoes

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Posted 10 October 2017 - 05:44 AM

If you don't want it, how much?


That's the bit I don't know yet...
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#13 OFFLINE   Zelandeth

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Posted 10 October 2017 - 06:41 AM

Having faced pretty much the same question with a Cappuccino - get it and run it till it dissolves is my advice, provided it's cheap enough.

...then wind up forever wondering about finding a good one.

The fact I've owned a Cappuccino is the single only mark against the MX-5 for me, as it just makes it feel huge and heavy in comparison.
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#14 OFFLINE   Cavcraft

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Posted 10 October 2017 - 07:23 AM

One of the few cars where all the hype was correct. If it's cheap, buy it, you cannot go wrong. 


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#15 OFFLINE   UltraWomble

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Posted 10 October 2017 - 07:26 AM

Rust you say?

I was recently recommended this stuff for the rusty front cross member on the Almera

Works a treat...

903-Bitumen-Trowel-Mastic-500x500.png


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#16 OFFLINE   95 quid Peugeot

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Posted 10 October 2017 - 07:36 AM

Buy, Buy, Buy.
I got a damp scabby mk2 for 150 quid with 10 months mot 4x crusty arches.
£4 stickerbomb vinyl offcut. And used set of track tyres best 9 months fun before I sold it for partsIMG_0749.JPG

Mind you i did look a bit of a cnut as i'm 59
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The Skoda Labia TDI of son#1 120k miles 138k Miles

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The Sterling of much grey leather and low miles.. 

 

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#17 OFFLINE   purplebargeken

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Posted 10 October 2017 - 07:43 AM

Oh just bloody buy it, stop wussing around man :)

 

You have a Daf, you can deal with anything a Mazda throws at you!!!!


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#18 OFFLINE   purplebargeken

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Posted 10 October 2017 - 10:14 AM

Besides, I've never driven an MX5.



#19 OFFLINE   dollywobbler

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Posted 10 October 2017 - 10:51 AM

I can say they're huge fun for autotesting, even in auto form. But, they really can rot very horribly. Sills most common spot, front cross member also likes to go crispy.

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#20 OFFLINE   The Reverend Bluejeans

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Posted 10 October 2017 - 11:40 AM

They're great, but rot to the point where they're just dangerous. I saw one in Copart once that had been hit up the arse and had just folded in the middle. Without a roof you're relying on properly strong sills, not the undersealed tidemark most have.

 

Decent examples are still cheap enough, no excuse for driving a rotten patched up one.


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#21 OFFLINE   JJ0063

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Posted 10 October 2017 - 03:50 PM

Are the autoboxes in MX5's any good?


They are. I had a 1.8 V-Limited in auto, loved it. Green with tan leather & the Nardi wooden steering wheel. Want another!

#22 OFFLINE   AngusToledo

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Posted 10 October 2017 - 04:01 PM

What TRB said. They're plentiful, and the decent ones are still cheap. Unless you like pain, there's no need* to buy a complete shitter.
Despite what a few enthusiasts suggest, values continue to be at an all time low. We kept our old '92 import for four years as we liked it that much, which is unheard of. Having said all of that, I prefer our current MR2 over most aspects of the old MX5. The MX5 felt a bit like the warm-up act.
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Them yellow cubes from out of a proper old-school urinal are easy to sneak in and a better buzz than any modern chemical shit. Never done me any harm.


#23 OFFLINE   Chris2cv

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Posted 10 October 2017 - 07:29 PM

My Dad has a '96 Mk1 1.8. He has had it about 10 years, and while it doesn't do a lot of miles, it is great fun, I took it down the M2 recently, didn't cane it, but just had great fun, without even breaking the law (much). They are still cheap, there is loads that you can do with them, even kit cars if the body is really rotten, just do it!   Dad's one has only seen a little bit of welding to the end of the sills, lives near the coast and is 21 years old. Didn't look that rusty when it had its MOT!


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#24 OFFLINE   Wack

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Posted 10 October 2017 - 07:32 PM

Are the autoboxes in MX5's any good? 

 

 

Next door neighbour has a J reg auto, it's never given them any trouble but sounds as dull as fuck .



#25 OFFLINE   Wack

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Posted 10 October 2017 - 07:35 PM

If I was absolutely loaded I'd love to have this done to my Mk3

 

 

 

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#26 OFFLINE   purplebargeken

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Posted 10 October 2017 - 10:46 PM

Have you bought it yet Jack?


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#27 OFFLINE   DaveDorson

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Posted 11 October 2017 - 08:06 AM

Buy it, get it on a ramp, get a wire brush to all the suspect looking bits, get a good thick coating of sealant to stop it getting worse, use it.

 

If it's too bad, use it till it's got a mega short MOT then get rid of it, or if you have the means, fix it.

 

MX5's are one of the sweetest drivers cars I've ever had the pleasure of mucking around in.

 

I'd have another in a heartbeat.  Only my Porsche 924 came even close in terms of being a well balanced easy to throw around sports car.



#28 OFFLINE   Cavcraft

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Posted 11 October 2017 - 09:18 AM

That's exactly it, you don't need to (break the) speed (limit) to have fun in them.


"As for actually admitting to liking Corsas on a public forum: you're a bollock-brained, biscuit-eating, faux-northern, bastardy, bollocky, wank-brain"

#29 OFFLINE   xtriple

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Posted 11 October 2017 - 10:45 AM

They are. I had a 1.8 V-Limited in auto, loved it. Green with tan leather & the Nardi wooden steering wheel. Want another!

 

That's what  I currently have, though it's badged as a 'V special'. It has the auto, leather and Nardi wooden wheel and is 'Grace green' which is a bit lighter/nicer than metallic BRG. It is a cracking little car and I love it. Totally useless for a cripple with two big dogs and I really should sell it but having just shelled out for a cambelt, engine and gearbox service (plus diff oil) and with all the other new bits it has (suspension, brakes, plugs leads, exhaust - all standard) I know that I will never find another one so good, so it stays even though it gets little use.


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#30 OFFLINE   PhillipM

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Posted 11 October 2017 - 12:00 PM

Unless it's peanuts there's no point buying a rusty shitter, they're still cheap for a half decent one, and the rear sills rot from the inside out due to the roof drain holes so when you see bubbles on the outside the metal is usually fucked inside. Not great on a car that has scuttle shake to start with.

 If it is peanuts then get the sills sorted, it'll only take you half a day per side to grind it all out and weld it back up, they're pretty easy to work on and there's only two main bits there to weld up. A day to sort it out isn't the end of the world on a shitter.

WRT to the brakes - rear calipers especially are known for the handbrake mechanism seizing up, so the disk warning along with the handbrake one would lead my to believe you're going to need a pair of rear calipers on it - you can get the parts out to repair but usually they're that far gone you end up snapping/stripping the stuck worm adjuster trying to get it out by then.

Oil leak is usually cam cover or rear crank seal, but if it's just a weep, leave it, they all weep again in short order even if you replace the gaskets/seals, it's the spirit of Lotus shining through.






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