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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
After a few years of lurking, during which time I bought a Mk1, sold it, bought a BMW 330, realised I'd made a terrible mistake, sold that, bought a mk1 Classic ('97) and drove it for a year, I thought it was about time I joined the forum and posted something.

So I suppose the best place to start would be some pictures of the car right after I bought it..



I have to say it was an absolute steal when I bought it. I was trawling ebay for an mx5 that appealed to me, I saw this and thought that there was no way it would sell within my budget but as there was a bank holiday that weekend I decided to go and look at it. In my head I was hoping it wouldn't look as good in person as it did in the pictures and then at least I wouldn't be distraught when someone else bought it.

When I saw it though it was just as good as it looked, drove perfectly and the seller was a really nice chap who had clearly looked after it very well. So I went a away gutted that it was perfect for what I wanted but knowing it would sell for more than I could pay.

BUT HURRAH, a few days later the seller phoned me and said he had an offer from someone for a lot less than I expected the auction to end at, but that he could see how much I liked the car and so he wanted to give me first refusal at a price a couple of hundred more than the offer. I bit his hand off and went to pick it up the next day. And so there it is on my drive. I didn't stop smiling for about a week.

Brief details are:


Bilstein with Mk2 top mounts

Safety 21 rear cage

LSD (I'm yet to work out if it is viscous or torsen - the fact it still works suggests its torsen, but the fact it seems to behave differently after a long run makes me think it might be viscous. Any comments welcome)

Larini exhaust

No ABS, no airbag

So having got my new pride and joy home, I was determined that I would look after it and keep on top of maintenance, servicing and cleaning etc. My first mx5 had deteriorated quite badly having spent a winter being parked under a tree and used as my daily driver so I was acutely aware of how upsetting it would be to watch it rot.

But my landlord had kindly left most of his possessions in my garage...


A mornings cleaning and sweeping though and the MX5 had somewhere to sleep...


The best part was that I had recently changed jobs and was working in the city centre so I was getting the train each day meaning it could stay as a weekend toy that stayed tucked up in the dry during the week.

Anyway, enough polishing and parking. First thing on the agenda was blast across Wales with friends...


I'm not going to pretend it was as quick at the Caterham, 180SX or the Cayman which is out of shot, but with some fairly enthusiastic driving it certainly held its own and, with the possible exception of the caterham, I definitely had the most fun. The award for 'least fun of the day' definitely goes to the 180SX which repeatedly blew turbo hoses and eventually ate its gearbox.

And so the good life continued. But alas, in October last year, circumstances changed almost entirely for the better... I moved in with my girlfriend ... but this meant I no longer had a garage! It spent October through to January outside, barely getting driven and I feared history was beginning to repeat itself. The fanbelt went and it was stranded at my house where I didn't have any tools. It was all a bit sad really.

But February arrived and I decided to get on top of things; I towed it back to my parents and have spent the last 3 weekends sorting bits and bobs:

Window switches removed and cleaned as they had stopped working;

Central locking fixed as that had also not coped well with the winter;

Fanbelt replaced

Oil and filter changed

Wheels powdercoated and new boots all round

A bloody good clean


The original centre caps were really yellowed and knackered and the wheel nuts were also in a sorry state so I treated it to a new set of each. I couldn't really find any centre caps I liked so I bought some blanks on ebay and got some 3D gel badges made up as well. I'm quite happy with how that turned out.

The new badges serve a double purpose as I have a, possibly irrational, hatred of the eternal flame front badge. So that got replaced.


In my cleaning spree I also thought I'd go with an offset plate for a while (probably not forever but I fancied a change). Haven't actually bought the plate or made up the mount so currently I am just enjoying the no front number plate look!


Next job on the list leads me on to my summer plans. A few years ago I drove down through Germany, Switzerland, Austria and Italy in a friend's 500 Abarth (trying to get Mrs JimiGT to buy one when the PCP is up on her current polo!) Anyway I'm planning on doing something similar this year in the MX5. I'm sure there will need to be quite a few "convenience modifications" between now and then. But the first that sprung to mind was the need for several, powerful, reliable USB outlets as we will probably want phones and tablets charged at various points along the way.

So I fitted the hub below and hardwired it in (I have another irrational hatred of cigarette lighter adapters - I just never trust they are actually plugged in!). All seems to work. Its got two fast charge outlets for tablets etc and 3 standard ones. Should be more than enough, and frankly I probably wouldn't expect to be able or need to have more two plugged in at once.


Which brings us up to today. I've stuck a vinyl side stripe on (only on one side so far!). Again this probably won't be a long term feature. I figured I would try and get something of a 'road rally' theme going over the next few months in ready for the europe trip.

I'm pretty happy with it.


Plans moving forward are fairly up in the air, I definitely want to get a smaller dished steering wheel as I'm fed up of my knuckles knocking my knees. Trying to decide whether to go with an 'ebay special' on this front.

I'm also looking to stiffen the the ride up a little and remove some body roll. Ultimately I know that a set of decent coilovers is probably the way the to go (MeisterR or Gaz) but that might be a job for later in the year when finances allow. In the meantime I was thinking that frame rails and antiroll bars might be a decent shout. Any tips would be welcome.

I will try and keep this updated as I go...

10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
That is a lovely looking car you have there... :thumb-up:
Thanks, I was a bit hesitant to start adding the side stripes removing the plinth numberplate as it looked pretty smart in standard garb. As long as everything I do is reversible I'm not too worried!

5,726 Posts
Nice read, and a smart looking 5.

10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the compliments!

When I finished yesterday I got thinking whether door roundels would suit so I thought I'd mock something up today. My photoshop skills arent up to much so I did it the old fashioned way with a fe sheets of paper.

Need to decide between 4 options:

1. 15" blank Roundels



2. 15" Roundels with numbers crossed through (using the number I had on a mini I used to compete in)



3. 12" Blank roundels



4. or finally, 12" roundels with numbers crossed through (couldn't be bothered to mock this up!)

I can't decide which I prefer so could somebody please decide for me!

10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
Holy thread revival Batman. Well its 2022 and my promise to "keep this thread updated" in 2015 obviously didn't hold true. However I do still own the car and so I suppose I should bring this up to date. I was surprised to see that the pictures had disappeared from the original post but I managed to dig the originals out and replace them (or at least most of them).

So. what happened since 2015....

Well initially it was all good news for the MX5. Not too long after my posts above, my girlfriend (now wife) and I bought our first house. Most importantly of all, it had a double garage where the MX5 lived a life of luxury!

Sadly I don't seem to have any pictures from this period so I will just have to summarise the work done and changes made in this time:

Sparco Sprint Seats fitted
MeisterR CRD coil overs fitted
Ebay Special Deep Dish wheel fitted (surprisingly good quality and still fitted to the car)
Full service (Cambelt etc)
Rodders Pads fitted (absolutely fantastic pads - can't recommend them enough).

All of this left me with a car which looked and drove fantastically in my view. The only picture I have from this period is from a track day at Oulton Park

Vehicle Wheel Hood Tire Automotive tire

10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
But alas, by 2018 change was afoot. My wife and I were moving and due to the nature of my wife's job we had to live onsite. With no garage.

For a while I was able to keep the MX5 in my parents garage. But then they moved too, but between buying and selling they lived in a static caravan, again with no garage. And so the MX5 moved from pillar to post ending up on my in laws driveway 240 miles away as a temporary measure... in March 2020. What with the pandemic, having my first child and other commitments the car stayed like this until August 2021 when I went to collect it with a trailer. It was looking very sorry for itself.

Sky Cloud Tire Wheel Vehicle

Fortunately, it has a garage to live in once again but I must confess life is a bit busier now than when I bought the MX5 in 2014 as a single man and so progress getting it back ship shape has been a bit slower than it might have been in the past.

First job was to replace the discs and pads all round since 18 months without moving had done them no good at all. Rodders pads fitted once again. Oil and fluids all seem fine despite having been sat so long.

Sadly the sills and arches are starting to show some need for attention and so I will be finding somewhere to have this work done soon hopefully.

There is a reasonably active motor club local to me and, what with having a 1 year old, for the foreseeable future I think the best use for the car will be to compete in it in autotests and potentially in 12 car road rallies (although the suspension will need raising for the latter).

With that in mind I am making some other changes:

Gone are the Sparco Sprint buckets. Sadly the passage of time has been accompanied by an expansion of my waistline and they were no longer that comfortable! They also meant my wife never wanted to get in the car, reducing its usability even further. Going in are some VX220 seats (same as the elise) which I have reupholstered and which I am in the process of making brackets for.
Furniture Comfort Chair Floor Flowerpot

Going in is a hydraulic handbrake and Torsen Type 2 diff to help with autotests and, well, fun

Tire Wheel Automotive tire Saw chain Vehicle

Camera accessory Camera lens Reflex camera Digital camera Cameras & optics

Auto part Circle Metal Transparency Nut

I'm having fun learning to make prototype brackets for the seats and handbrake with a 3D Printer. If anyone is interested in having one of the hydraulic handbrake mounts, please let me know as it will lower the fabrication costs.

In the meantime, I'm making sure the little one gets the bug early.
Wheel Tire Car Vehicle Automotive tire

I will try and keep this updated with the fitting of the diff, hydraulic handbrake and seats etc. But it may be another 7 years until I get round to it.

Lets see.
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