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Fat Pirate's tatty MX5 - fix-it-or-sell-it

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I've decided to create a thread for my long-neglected MX5.  It's been unused for the past 3 years and I need to decide if I'm going to keep it or sell it, so this may yet become a
'for sale'  thread if it fails the MOT in spectacular fashion later this week.  REMAIN CALM - I know I'm raising your hopes of owning a rubbish old car that makes you look like a Pound
shop Peter Stringfellow, but you must be patient.


Here it is - doesn't look too bad but the photo flatters.  Note dent in the wing, I did that with the forum-bike Jaguar.  


'Minor' wear after just 250,000 KM. Check out the plastic wood trim, RARE and DESIRABLE, that is.  


Also RARE limited edition 'Autoshite - serious shit banger car business' window sticker.  I trust you're making a mental note of all these unique features, and adjusting your potential valuation to reflect this.


'Immaculate condition for age'.  I've owned this for more than 12 years now, and have added all this patina at no extra cost.


Cobwebs, general decay, etc.


More cobwebs, but behold the SERIOUS TURBO BUSINESS. I enjoy swift progress so made a lot of modifications using parts mostly picked up from eBay, etc.  The turbo was from a BBR (a dealer fitted turbo kit available on the mk1), it needed a rebuild which I did using a kit from the USA.  I can bore you with all the other stuff if you like, PM me if you like hot 320cc fuel injector and wideband o2 sensor chat.  I built the Megasquirt ECU from a kit, that's a reassuring thought when you're in the middle of nowhere in the dead of night.


During a track day.  The mods gave it TVR-level performance, but also TVR-level reliability,  It broke a lot... clutch, differential, turbo studs, headgasket (often).  


Not all mods were successful. 

I got into motorbikes about 8 years ago and the MX5 saw less and less use; I stopped using it altogether when the clutch wouldn't disengage and I couldn't be arsed to fix it.  But now I've finally got my finger out so have been rapidly preparing it for an MOT.  First thing was the leaky hood; I suspected it was the rain rail (a U-shaped gutter that goes around the base of the hood), and when I removed it found lots of holes and splits.  You can still buy replacements from Mazda but at ~£170, so I made one out of PVC damp proof course instead.  It works and cost less than £10.


Clutch was next.  Slave cylinders like to fail on these, and when I squeezed the rubber gaiter on it was rewarded with a load of brake fluid in the mush.  Bought a replacement from Rock Auto for less than £10, delivered,  will probably regret that before long.  Or you will, potential MX5 owner!  Brakes next, these were lovely about 5 years ago...


2019: all new disks/pads fitted now.


You can see I've slapped on some Vactan too, only a decade or so late.  I've looked after the arches and rear sills, but I'm worried there could be rot elsewhere.  It needed a little welding magic on the last MOT in 2015.  This is a potential killer as I can't weld at all (I have tried, I attended a course at the local college where I was supposed to weld a patch into a Ford Orion bonnet.  It looked more like a VW Beetle bonnet once I'd done with it).

I put the battery back on and it fired up immediately, as ever.  Now it waits for the MOT man to collect it on Thursday, who has the privilege of being the test pilot after it's long lay up.

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We know you don't mean that you vulture
Don't know what you mean!

I do hope it gets and MOT. Better to see it on the road.

But obviously mx5s are at rock bottom and a Turbot one that keeps breaking ..
well doing you a favour really...
I guess a swap for a Rover may work ....
Only cause you have a nice smile....

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Failure, but nothing very serious.  The bulb had fallen out of the fog light, and the oil leak is from the hose feeding the turbo (which can be repaired).  Emissions fail should be fixable by tweaking the fuel map on the Megasquirt.  It's staying at the garage for the moment, probably raising my neighbours hopes that it's gone forever.

Still haven't decided whether to keep it or not.  It was satisfying working on it over the weekend, but I've already got a small, noisy car with a dreadful ride that's incapable of transporting the family (the Mini), so it's hard to make a case for it.


This is what happens when you'd don't open the fuel flap for 3 years. I dunno what that stuff is but had to use white spirit to remove it.

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I don’t any car escapes an emissions test now, the cut-off used to be 1975 and anything earlier than that is exempt now anyway. 

An H reg won’t have to be producing pure fragrant oxygen, but if it’s running rich or burning oil it will fail. 

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MX5 is finally back from the garage with 12 months MOT, 







When I started this post I was intending to sell it, but after writing down all the details I've somehow persuaded myself to keep it.  It's a fun thing - much faster than my Cooper S (in a straight line, at least), but handling is now a bit 'interesting', it's quite scruffy and I would strongly advise against buying an old modified car from a strange man like myself.  Here's a vid of it being carefully* driven around Brands Hatch, would you be daft enough to buy this car?



2019-07-25 19.01.45.jpg

2019-07-25 19.00.47.jpg

2019-07-25 19.59.37.jpg

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