Hi all! As it has been 2 years since I brought my mx5 and I have lost many, many days of my life to reading other people's thread I thought I'd start my own. This is mainly going to be a dumping ground for service history and the progress of the car. Now about that last bit... as I've said I have had the car 2 years now so I have pretty much got it to where I want it to be cosmetically with not much else left to do. As a result this first post is more of a catch up with all I've done over two years so isn't going to be in order.
The plan for the car is to go for a street tuned OEM+ look. By this I mean the best of the factory options from the various models and special editions, or close to factory parts with a few little extras thrown in to get it as close to 160bhp and maintain driveability. Currently the parts left include:
Mazdaspeed/stage 1 cams LSD
Uprated anti roll bars
4-1 racingbeat header
Current to do list:
Repair hole at base of A pillar Repair hole in boot Repair chassis rails
Clean up front ARB mounts
Remove snapped bolt for power steering reservoir bracket Tiny hole in rear arch
repaint/ new Passenger window A pillar
repair underseal and remove rust
new exhaust heat shield repaint spoiler (professionally done) new brake lines
new brake hoses
repaint engine bay remove rust and paint brackets in engine bay remove rust from metal behind bumper/ baby teeth remove rust from bumper mount remove rust from metal behind rear bumper
remove rust from power steering rack
remove rust and paint behind wings add splitter (stops my lip scraping) Make new number plate bracket, likely to attach to splitter
paint engine block (if can be arsed)
front wishbones (electrolyse and por15)
rear wishbones (electrolyse and por15)
trackrod ends (electrolyse and por15)
Poly bush ARBs only
OEM rubber bushes
New brake dust covers
Remove and shot blast/powder coat:
upper strut brace
under body bracing
Rear bumper support
Doesn't look like much on paper does it...
I don't have a picture of the car when I brought it, mainly out of embarrassment as it was a bit of a shed. Picture your typical rusty mk2 with bubbling arches, rusty sills, broken ARB links, rusty brakes, rotten exhaust, covered in filth and human slime with no brake pads, and I mean no brake pads; a fact that was omitted until after our first roundabout on the test drive. However the engine was mint at 65,000 miles, the cambelt had just been done, the softtop was new and it came with a hardtop. So a fresh pair of underwear and a haggle later I had my first mx5.
First things first I sorted a number of issues out:
Full service (plugs, HT leads, oil filter, fuel filter, air filter, new coolant, engine oil, gear oil, diff oil, brake fluid, clutch fluid)
cleaned up a few marks in the paint
Upper and lower shift boots
Fresh turret oil
rebuilt all 4 calliper with new pins, seals and boots (a few times as the quality of the replacement kits aren't great IMO)
Deep clean including a clay and collinite (buy this stuff its awesome!)
new hoses where needed
new thermostat housing
two new front wings (thanks JYD!)
new abs sensors
I repaired the broken ARB links, put some cheap pads on it which I found in the boot, why they weren't on the car I have no idea but they looked like they had been in the boot a while. As the exhaust was rotten I found a number in the yellow pages and rocked up, it was literally a farm but the guy knew his stuff and built me a single piece 2" straight through catback exhaust with a 3" tip for £200. I asked for something that purr'd along but sounded like a Wookie's battle cry under load and the guy delivered, I'm really happy with it and will try and get a video at some point.
I also had the sills repaired at mx5restorer for peace of mind which involved driving it across country from Plymouth. A year later I took it to a local garage and had the arch done which looks amazing, I also got the front lip and skirts resprayed at the same time for free on the condition I did the prep.
I think this is the closest picture I have to when I brought it. You can still see the rust on the arch. The exhaust had been done and I had painted the wheels with halfords 'bmw sparkling granite' which is still holding up well now. I also painted the callipers on the car.
For added VTEC points and to achieve maximum dampness of the ladies it also came with a honda fuel filler cap, mainly because I spotted it was missing and no others at the dealership would fit.
POR15 and clean up of the underside (a few months later, excuse the dirt)
Once all that was sorted I started the modding. I took the stickers off the windows to give it a cleaner look and added a OEM strut brace I found cheap on ebay, to which I added a sticker (ALL THE BHP!!!!!!). I also started hitting the paint pretty hard and painted the throttle body, radiator retainers with calliper paint and the camcover with VHT paint and polished the scuttle.
To the strut brace I attached a (badly) fabricated MC brace. It is a L shaped piece of metal with a few washers electrically taped onto the end to ensure correct spacing and prevent wear on the MC as I've heard using a bolt can cause.
Fairly recently the battery light came on while driving so I rebuilt the alternator and painted it (yup, red) but it turned out to be a faulty battery. It has lasted 17 years so overall I was ok about it. I went with a mazda provided OEM panasonic unit based off the back of this.
After that I had a leaky calliper so pulled all of them off for a proper rebuild. I took the opportunity take the rust off with a wire wheel, well 13 to be exact and repaint them properly off the car. It took a week and is not a job I want to do again. During this I replaced the pads with mtecs and added some mintex dimpled and grooved discs.
There were then a small number of things I attacked with paint. The reflectors where painted with badly colour matched halfords paint, I got a full refund but it being slightly darker has grown on me and fits the sleek blacked out look I'm going for. I also tinted the indicators using a fine mist of engine enamel then a coat of clear while still wet. The headlights were detango'd and the inserts painted black.
Made a plate relocation bracket after seeing how good it looked from someone on here. Initially I had it a bit lower but I kept grounding it on bumps and multistory car park ramps so moved it. However this does mean I have about 1/2" ground clearance on speed bumps as standard. I also added a bit of plastic to the cup holder to stop cans falling over. I need to paint this black though as I dont like it in the current colour, it doesnt fit the look of the interior. Front and rear tow eyes painted in you guessed it, red.
Excuse the bugs, a lot of leisure drives have occurred recently as the weathers been so good.
Further in keeping with the red theme I added a set of footwell lights. These are wired into the map light with a custom harness using a spare set of map light plugs so it can be removed completely and no wire splicing was needed. Its set to come on and off when the doors open and close but I have two switches so they can be permanently turned off or turned on at will.
Got some mazdaspeed style seatbelt covers to add to the interior styling a little and compensate for just how much the foamectomy has dropped the seating position and consequently belt position. I am actually very impressed with the quality, they were £5 from china on ebay.
Finally I got a cheap spoiler, again off the bay and painted it ready for fitting. I'm not a fan of the 3 point mazda spoilers some of the mk2s came with nor the mazdaspeed one which is well out of my price range and rare as unicorn poop so I went with what I think is a copy of a 2 point mk1 spoiler, just with higher legs and more of a tilt. I was a bit unsure about it tbh as you dont see many 5s with aftermarket spoilers that arent BGW and I didnt want it too look to ricey.
When spray painting safety first kids.
And on the car.
Its not easy to get a picture of it that doesnt make it look a bit odd. It looks great in the flesh though.
Right I think that brings me all up to date at current, only took 3 hours to upload and write it all...
Finally a few pictures of how the car sits currently