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RichardKs ramblings: MX-5 week, ending, tinkering


RichardK
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2 minutes ago, Rod/b said:

Coincidentally I watched this earlier. 

 

Yeah, I reckon any car this age may die for all manner of reasons, so HGF/water pump isn't worrying me. What I didn't like about the BMW 645 (apart from the truly repulsive look of that bootlid) was that the V8 has designed-in flaws that are simple - a leaking water pipe union on the Vee, a bad alternator gasket - but involve HUGE effort to repair and blighted everything from three year old cars onwards.

Whereas Cruisers seem to be neglected a lot - cheap car, pay it no mind attitude - and any car will crap itself treated thus.

FWIW it looks like the club is great for support (even if their forum made me want to go back to 2004 and punch a phpBB developer) and thing that look like 'serious fixes' - such as rebushing the entire front end ahead of an alignment - are not overpriced in terms of parts.

So far the most annoying thing is the radio. US market ones have aux in - can't even find a way of adding it to the UK 2007 unit, and it's not double-DIN so fitting an upgraded radio is expensive and involves chopping the centre dashboard trim up. It's one of the few cars that could happily fit one of those floating-screen, tiny electronic single-DIN units without blocking controls or vents, too.

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The cruiser in the vid had been neglected. Mechanically they are robust - I have seen a few where rot has killed them. Timing belts are a PITA - not completely unusual to find one that has been replaced incorrectly due to the lack of space. Yours looks very nice.

The N62 does have issues - having owned one I can say heat is the main factor. Stat doesn't open until over 100 degrees - lots of rubber and platic that degrades. The valve stem seals are the most common problem - good indy's can do them for a grand but most will pass on the work as it isn't routine servicing or brakes.

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Cruiser day 1:

BMW insurance swapped - Cruiser cheaper. Nice.

Mud caked everywhere under arches:

7FE6D77E-A9C2-4F6F-BF76-57B77A8260D8.thumb.jpeg.76c8b33ae32cecc2f09f2d7da03847dc.jpeg

Washed it all out and found the "this is why a small Derbyshire dealer was flogging a two year old Cruiser to an elderly woman teacher in 2009" filler in the offside rear arch. But all the mud I can find has been chased out, and I can get vatcan or waxoil or whatever everywhere.

Now, with the trader source, etc I was dreading turning the key. It started, it went into gear, and the ABS light went out as I drove off!

So... I reckon it's on par with anything I'd have bought off Facebook etc.

Needs tracking. Bushes, then tracking, otherwise why bother. And the driver's side window is loose and rattles so I'll deal with thst.

But I like it. Looking forward to getting plates on it and some decorations - I think a Puscifer like the BMW's bootlid one on the dash and an outline on the boot, maybe a pentagram on the bonnet, and a few other sigils.

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Farewell 323i

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Was a good day to say goodbye.

I took new pictures of it at lunchtime, deleted the old Facebook ad and uploaded a new one with new pics.

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Scruffy bits aside, it's still a good looking beast.

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Usually FB is terrible. This time the enquiry had best price, and instead of them going quiet with my snarky response of "did you read the ad", they read the ad, asked questions and haggled a bit then came to see and drive the car.

So sold for more than any offers I'd had here six hours after advertising - clearly I need to apply the same image and description tactics in the future.

Happy to resolve the "replaced car/money spent" equations but sad to see it go, tempered by knowing in a month or so I'd just be getting sad about dirt, sunshine and plastic rear windows in UV. And what made it really nice was seeing his kids excited about it - one going in a booster seat in the BMW with the roof down. Sounds like it might get the paint it needs.

So there are good, non-timewasting people out there away from our bubble of car nutters (and to be fair I should know this - I've bought on FB and I don't take the piss with it). But that does balance the 20 or so "best price" "I'll give you half the asking price" "it's scrap m8" people I've had with other cars there.

Very torn on the PT Cruiser. It's a proper conundrum how to approach it - throw money at it, or run into ground. It's an experience I've never had before in a modern convertible - airy, small windscreen (where I sit I can see the whole frame in front of me, header rail below eyeline), smooth ride, way more refined than I expected (much more than the BMW and superior to the Beetle Cabrio). It's really roomy too - I can sit in the back behind my driving position just fine.

But how they made a car so utterly bereft of "handling" is beyond me. Neons are sharp and clever by comparison - this is weirdly devoid of any identifiable traits beyond a turning circle that the Ever Given would mock and understeer for miles.

I've joined the owners' club. I'm googling proper suspension and preventative maintenance tips. And I'm going to replace the factory stereo with a 1-DIN module, 10" screen android/carplay tablet style screen with chrome surround and volume control - the one car I think that solution won't block vents or look weird in.

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On 4/23/2022 at 12:19 PM, Bren said:

The cruiser in the vid had been neglected. Mechanically they are robust - I have seen a few where rot has killed them. Timing belts are a PITA - not completely unusual to find one that has been replaced incorrectly due to the lack of space. Yours looks very nice.

The N62 does have issues - having owned one I can say heat is the main factor. Stat doesn't open until over 100 degrees - lots of rubber and platic that degrades. The valve stem seals are the most common problem - good indy's can do them for a grand but most will pass on the work as it isn't routine servicing or brakes.

Valve stem seals I figured would be spottable if a problem - the seller (and I use the term loosely) of this:

4DE6404A-70CF-4946-A4CC-57262CE0B38D.jpeg.f28fc4d188bf65979401cde7a5a037e2.jpeg

Was like pulling teeth to get a straightforward "I am here and you can come and see it at X time" but asked for pics of the MX-5 even though I wanted to buy 645 and sell MX-5 since that would be better value.

In that time I got to look up water pipe, alternator gasket, water pump, iDrive, bushes, and look at the boot styling more and just go "nope". It was £3250, so scraping the barrel for a 6-series.

Do you know good Cruiser specialists? As I always say - I don't mind paying for competent, expert/trusted work, I just hate/dread paying for "mechanics" and getting bodges, damage and bullshit - and specialists who do the same but charge more. This is the kind of car where the garage will manage to get the belt on but "forget" to tell you they broke the trim, bent a manifold, snapped a cable retainer and didn't actually replace the water pump but it's all on the invoice anyway 😕

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I think I'd have really liked a new one had I been brave enough (the hatch doesn't appeal but the convertible... I'm beginning to see a lot to like about it). The things I don't like are largely cheap build, age and neglect - rather than the concept or look of it.

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Important stage:

The plate holder is better quality than the car it's on...

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That expanse of black is just waiting for stickers. Currently wondering what colour Puscifer to go with and should she have holographic eyes again...

Also I seem to have agreed to buy another car and need to get to Tunbridge Wells. It really is like an addiction, isn't it 😕

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Today's thoughts are Range Rover shaped.

I've discovered it runs on E10, so decided to celebrate by putting some fuel in. It sounds a little blowy when I move it - I am still torn on the noises it makes, as it sometimes sounds like I expect a V8 anything to sound, and sometimes is a bit unfamiliar but also like my 3-series was. With a new car to collect on Friday my brain wandered down the 'cut your losses' route of 'you wanted a 4x4 and the MX-5 before you knew about surgery, you got your 4x4 and sold the BMW, but then found out about surgery so you got a Cruiser, and this RR is quite shabby - get out now before you spend on it'.

With that mindset I hoofed it in a way I don't normally drive around here (Borders, aye. Down here? Gentle on the car, the place is 85% potholes and 15% tractors). It can actually hustle, and the gearbox did not do anything untoward. The air suspension switched to 'handling' mode and bloody hell, even on scrubbed old tyres it can corner. And then it swapped to motorway mode on a straight.

I really don't know what to do with it. The welding is really causing me much anxiety because if it didn't have rusty sills, I wouldn't think twice about tyres or brakes and alignment which would probably make the world of difference to the economy and how it drives. And if it had good tyres and good body and good brakes, if the engine did play up it'd almost be worth it.

Why do Jaguar & Land Rover make such good cars with such irritating and easily-avoided flaws (like sills that rot out on vehicles designed to play in mud)? Is it deliberate?

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It rained, so tried the Cruiser's watertightness.

It rewarded me with all the dash lights flashing on.

So, a quick google suggests ignition switch is usually to blame. Went on PT Company, saw Mk 1 switches are already discontinued, so grabbed a new one and also some iridium plugs, new plug leads, gaskets for the plug installation and a PCV  valve. Fitting the plugs means lifting the inlet manifold because "Chrysler".

Given the Voyager I had had spark plug replacement instructions that start with "first, remove the windscreen wipers" I'm quietly optimistic this won't be too bad. Bet it's never had plugs or PCV and it's on 80,000 miles.

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Friday I'm acquiring another car in Tunbridge Wells and the logistics are stressing me out immensely. 

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1 hour ago, High Jetter said:

Yea, not my favourite town either. What's the stress?

Just distance - but i have solved it; collection thread spoilers 'drive down, see car, if good drive it back to office, work, get evening train back to TW and collect my other car and drive home then swap cars at office on Saturday'. £25 ticket and 6 minutes walk to station at TW end, so I can cope with that and if the car isn't a good idea I only lost £25. Even pre-paid dart charge (for mine).

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  • RichardK changed the title to RichardKs ramblings: I decided I needed a greener car.

Always wanted a 231 RX8, that colour is super 😎

Still quite tempted to get one needing an engine rebuild and put a race ported motor in it, they just rev and rev and rev.

It's weird driving one after a normal car, as they don't wake up until well over 5k,.

Hope it treats you well and isn't too rusty 👍

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1 hour ago, gadgetgricey said:

Fantastic cars. Loved mine (same colour as well)
also pre 06 plate so not ridiculous tax.  192 or 231bhp?
First dibs when you sort everything out :) 

231, one owner, 73,500 miles, full service history. Has a bit of peeling underseal/surface rust but no advisories and it feels solid enough to treat, though there's a sad little jack handle dent on one sill. Has hot started four times for me today without drama...

Very much an impulse buy because of the colour and the fact that I failed to fix the £350 one I had In The Beforetimes because it was too fighty on the calipers and rusty elsewhere. Figured paying more for one with strong history etc. was the right call.

Plus that silver one cost me £100/month in tax and insurance. This is £145/year to insure and "normal" tax.

If my surgery goes badly I may roffle it, but I'm hoping not - the drive back from Tunbridge Wells involved a massive chunk of Dartford Tunnel jam and it was smooth, no issues with clutch, and sounded /amazing/ revving to 9000 with the windows down in the tunnel.

Wheels are the worst part, they need totally refurbishing. Or replacing.

ED203EE1-6495-4340-BEF3-6CCB083F2DAB.thumb.jpeg.5d59738e3c22b7b885453008bbda45fe.jpeg

Now I have to collect my Peugeot.

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That rx8 makes up for the PT Crappy Cruiser. I suspect yours is low on compression as they all are. I really liked mine but didn't want to spend the money on a bad especially. Loved it so much I've been looking at rx7s actually but I think of you take it to rotary revs they will rebuild the engine for like £1500. If its a solid base and you get on with the handling as I did I think it's a fair price to pay for a full compression rotary engine. Things these things need is the the oil injection system removing and running on 2 stroke. Burning mineral engine oil is not good. Also some sort of meth injection to clean the rotar faces is a very good thing to do and finally while it's out "doweling" the engine to stop the rotars flexing is also a good thing to do. Also a better exhaust to remove all the heat it produces and no cat is a very good thing for prolonging it's life. Do that with a rotary and you can expect it to last like a conventional piston engine. They're a great place to sit, great feedback from the steering despite it being electric, very light, striking to look at and an incredibly different engine. I think these are going to rocket in value one day.... one day...

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1 hour ago, RichardK said:

If my surgery goes badly I may roffle it, but I'm hoping not - 

Genuinely hope surgery goes fine, sure it will.
However #28 & #50 if decide to get rid. :)

As you say its the colour combo.. Fantastic cars.

PIc of my old one as below. Purchased from @HMC and sold to @red5. Regret getting rid of it but had to at the time.

rx8.jpg.1ffa530247ed63c41082c22bb161e803.jpg

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49 minutes ago, DirtyDaily said:

That rx8 makes up for the PT Crappy Cruiser. I suspect yours is low on compression 

Honestly, @chaseracersaid I'd got titanium balls, but that's nothing on your crystal ones 🔮🧙‍♂️

I wouldn't take bets on it, for sure, but it pulls well enough and has decent engine braking. We'll see how it beds in before writing up four-figure repairs :)

(This is my third RX8 - I had a new one from 2006-2008 on lease so I'm already shopping for RX8Strakes and oil cooler grilles. Even that four-port one was pretty quick, I could get from Hawick to Carlisle train station in 45 minutes without breaking any 30/40 limits).

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It started from cold - needs wipers though! That'll be tomorrow's job, nice Bosch aeros.

Definitely picking up more with use, almost like the six port has a flap or something that hasn't been activating.

The beauty of one owner cars:

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(No, I bought the AutoArt keyring as I had one for my original RX8, though this is the "Evolution" version and is easier to turn)

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Tomorrow's reading material. I sense a spreadsheet in my future!

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Those keys are amazing. Assuming that the two keys with the sleeves on are factory fresh as such and never been used.

Showing lack of RX8 knowledge here, but certain my keys had the remote buttons on the key itself, was there a facelift, or am I just mixing my previous cars up?

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12 hours ago, RichardK said:

231, one owner, 73,500 miles, full service history. Has a bit of peeling underseal/surface rust but no advisories and it feels solid enough to treat, though there's a sad little jack handle dent on one sill. Has hot started four times for me today without drama...

Very much an impulse buy because of the colour and the fact that I failed to fix the £350 one I had In The Beforetimes because it was too fighty on the calipers and rusty elsewhere. Figured paying more for one with strong history etc. was the right call.

Plus that silver one cost me £100/month in tax and insurance. This is £145/year to insure and "normal" tax.

If my surgery goes badly I may roffle it, but I'm hoping not - the drive back from Tunbridge Wells involved a massive chunk of Dartford Tunnel jam and it was smooth, no issues with clutch, and sounded /amazing/ revving to 9000 with the windows down in the tunnel.

Wheels are the worst part, they need totally refurbishing. Or replacing.

ED203EE1-6495-4340-BEF3-6CCB083F2DAB.thumb.jpeg.5d59738e3c22b7b885453008bbda45fe.jpeg

Now I have to collect my Peugeot.

60986BF2-CE02-4689-92C5-7B7D5D32D816.thumb.jpeg.9fc84dee30870e176e393211968cc858.jpeg

F54E2396-3B7B-4D10-B321-E6C358806FE3.thumb.jpeg.397a2fe02fa9016fade4d03c4c03e917.jpeg

Absolute hard want on the wankel

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  • RichardK changed the title to RichardKs ramblings: MX-5 week, ending, tinkering

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