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SiPo13
#1 Posted : 12 September 2018 20:00:03(UTC)
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Hi Guys,

I'm looking at getting my first MX-5 and have been looking at a 2003 1.8 sport. It looks in great shape from the outside (bodywork, roof and interior etc)

The owner has told me that it has some underbody corrosion as all these models seem to have. He said it hasn’t really ever caused him much of a problem - occasionally needing some welding etc. 

He said that it’s mentioned on the recent MOT, front suspension component ball joint dust cover (severe), shock absorber casing (mild) subframe (mild).

The car is up for £2,000 and has 67,000 miles on the clock. As it's going to be my first one I was hoping for some guidance on whether this is a good buy or one I should start clear of?

 

Thanks for the help in advance.

 

Si

rhino666
#2 Posted : 12 September 2018 20:14:13(UTC)
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Hi Si

The MK2.5 1.8 sport is a great car in my opinion, potentially with a lot to offer but for £2000 it has to be a good car.

Obviously has low mileage but you need to get it properly checked over.

Main issue is rust in the front chassis rails and rear sills. For that money I would expect no rust or top quality repair. 

This car has a superfuji limited slip diff that is far less reliable than the Torsen fitted to earlier models.

Check out the brakes carefully - these are often in really poor condition and can cost a lot to recondition.

To be honest for £2k I would expect a car that i could drive away with no worries. From what you have said and intimated this isn't such a car.         

 

1997 black 1.6i MK1 - 4/12/2002
1991 red 1.6i Eunos - 21/9/2008

SiPo13
#3 Posted : 12 September 2018 20:40:32(UTC)
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Thanks for coming back to me. What should I be looking for in a good MX-5 both specs, mileage, age and price.

Really looking forward to getting one and just want to make sure I don't make a mistake in this minefield.

Thanks,

Si
DonT
#4 Posted : 12 September 2018 20:43:07(UTC)
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Welcome to the forum, good luck with your search
1995 Mazda MX-5 1.8 iS in Classic Red
Winner Standard Mk1 Donington Park National Rally 2016
Winner Standard Mk1 Kelmarsh Hall National Rally 2015
Owned since April 2002
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Quinvy
#5 Posted : 12 September 2018 21:16:25(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: SiPo13 Go to Quoted Post
Thanks for coming back to me. What should I be looking for in a good MX-5 both specs, mileage, age and price.

Really looking forward to getting one and just want to make sure I don't make a mistake in this minefield.

Thanks,

Si
 

Unless you are incredibly lucky, you will need to travel to find a good one. Body condition is everything with these cars. Mechanical parts are plentiful and cheap.

Mk1's are prone to rust on the rear sill/arch

Mk2's & 2.5's rot in those areas, plus the front chassis rails.

There have been some belters for sale on this forum. So keep an eye on the for sale section. 

Just because the seller is a member on here, doesn't mean their car will be a good one though, so be careful.

 

 

 

 

Edited by user 12 September 2018 21:17:05(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

SiPo13
#6 Posted : 12 September 2018 21:49:37(UTC)
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Thanks for coming back to me Quinvy. What model / price point etc should i be looking out for?
saz9961
#7 Posted : 12 September 2018 23:00:28(UTC)
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£2-3000 should give you a reasonable short at finding a solid Mk1. With the Mk2, its harder to say, as many owners will be oblivious to the state of the front chassis legs.

If you are lucky, you might come across an import Mk2/2.5, and most of those are post 2005 imports.

Not sure why this car hasn't sold; recent import and a desirable mechanical spec, and being sold by a top specialist:
http://autolink.co.uk/ve...ter-1-8-rs-1999-v-white/
Quinvy
#8 Posted : 13 September 2018 19:44:20(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: saz9961 Go to Quoted Post
£2-3000 should give you a reasonable short at finding a solid Mk1. With the Mk2, its harder to say, as many owners will be oblivious to the state of the front chassis legs.

If you are lucky, you might come across an import Mk2/2.5, and most of those are post 2005 imports.

Not sure why this car hasn't sold; recent import and a desirable mechanical spec, and being sold by a top specialist:
http://autolink.co.uk/vehicle/mazda-roadster-1-8-rs-1999-v-white/
 

 

I agree, that looks a belter. I love a white Mk2 and they are quite rare in this country. I would have been very interested in that if I hadn't just bought a Mk1

SiPo13
#9 Posted : 14 September 2018 17:54:35(UTC)
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Thanks for coming back to me @saz9961.

That does indeed look like a belter. Is there anything i should be wary of on it that you can see from the ad?

I am seriously considering dropping the hammer on that one.

Thanks,

Si
Quinvy
#10 Posted : 16 September 2018 00:40:33(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: SiPo13 Go to Quoted Post
Thanks for coming back to me @saz9961.

That does indeed look like a belter. Is there anything i should be wary of on it that you can see from the ad?

I am seriously considering dropping the hammer on that one.

Thanks,

Si
 

 

Yes, always check the rear sills, rear arches and front chassis rails. If the top of the radiator is yellow/brown it will need replacing. Don't leave it like I did. You should be able to see all the spot welds around the rear arches.

 

 

saz9961
#11 Posted : 16 September 2018 07:42:42(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: SiPo13 Go to Quoted Post
Thanks for coming back to me @saz9961.

That does indeed look like a belter. Is there anything i should be wary of on it that you can see from the ad?

I am seriously considering dropping the hammer on that one.

Thanks,

Si

 

Knowing the seller, I'd have no issues with that car. If I was in the market, if I had a few extra photos, I'd probably buy it unseen. Its white, so any rust will really stand out. The pricing I think reflects the replaced engine and cosmetics; the green hood seems a bit random and might be just a spare hood they had knocking about (the seller breaks MX5s). It will be sold as is; so no valeting etc. The headlamps have turned opaque; they might respond to polishing. His other Mk2s are all around £5k. Ask Andy why its priced as it is. Short MOT. And you need to go to Scotland to collect it. That might not be far for you.

 

As it is non-UK spec, it WILL cost more to insure. How much more, depends on the driver. For me, the difference is trivial. Other drivers might struggle to get cover. There are still a lot of insurers who will not cover an import.

Short Shift
#12 Posted : 16 September 2018 11:21:21(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: saz9961 Go to Quoted Post

Originally Posted by: SiPo13 Go to Quoted Post
Thanks for coming back to me @saz9961.

That does indeed look like a belter. Is there anything i should be wary of on it that you can see from the ad?

I am seriously considering dropping the hammer on that one.

Thanks,

Si

Our regular insurer Admiral  ( on multi car ) have been very competitive in my 2 yrs ownership of Mk1 1.8 Eunos recent import. In fact in the first year insurance with my 18 yr old daughter included on the policy was cheaper than the very basic 11 yr old Fiat Panda 1.2 it replaced on the basis that the roadster was a " classic car " being over 20 yrs old. Unfortunately last time I checked with them the cut off is now 35 yrs so likely to be more expensive but worth asking. She now drives a 3 cylinder 1.0 Corsa to keep costs down - 0-60 more than 18 seconds which is no bad thing now my 17 year old son has passed his test.

Good luck with your search. I probably paid over the odds for my "rust free" example which since developped some minor rust on rear sills but having read alot about rust on the forum I had the sills repaired at the earliest opportunity to avoid more expensive work later and am very pleased with the result. Actually one of the great pleasures has been working on and improving the car since purchase and I have received a huge amount of help from forum members. The jobs haven't cost much and doing them has increased my appreciation of the car massively. Have just completed a 2,500 mile trip to Italy and back with my wife and the Eunos behaved impeccably and I had gained sufficient confidence to have an idea what to do if she had developped problems.

Cheers

Matt

 

Knowing the seller, I'd have no issues with that car. If I was in the market, if I had a few extra photos, I'd probably buy it unseen. Its white, so any rust will really stand out. The pricing I think reflects the replaced engine and cosmetics; the green hood seems a bit random and might be just a spare hood they had knocking about (the seller breaks MX5s). It will be sold as is; so no valeting etc. The headlamps have turned opaque; they might respond to polishing. His other Mk2s are all around £5k. Ask Andy why its priced as it is. Short MOT. And you need to go to Scotland to collect it. That might not be far for you.

 

As it is non-UK spec, it WILL cost more to insure. How much more, depends on the driver. For me, the difference is trivial. Other drivers might struggle to get cover. There are still a lot of insurers who will not cover an import.

Mk1 Eunos 1995 Neo Green manual.LSD. Unmodified. Imported Aug 2016. Hertfordshire
FreddieR
#13 Posted : 16 September 2018 11:29:22(UTC)
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Hi mate,

 

I brought my first 5 back in march after 3 months of looking.

 

I got mine which is a 2001 mk2.5 in British Racing green, its the 1.8vvt sport so really nice engine.

 

It had covered 98k miles and I paid £1500 for it. I checked it over myself in key areas like sills and arches and checked for leaks. And it was all in good condition given mileage and age, once purchased I got it checked by a specialist and the sills and arches had another 4-5 years before anything I should worry about will happen. 

 

My advice to you would be do your research on what goes wrong and know what to look for. Take it for a test drive. Also check the mot history (https://www.gov.uk/check-mot-history) as this can sometimes tell you a bit about how much the car has been used and what it has been failed on in the past.

 

Good luck and don't rush it

 

Freddie

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davo1000 on 18/09/2018(UTC)
SiPo13
#14 Posted : 17 September 2018 16:19:44(UTC)
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Hi @Saz9961, Andrew said that it’s cheaper as it’s not a fresh import, it’s had another owner over here and we bought it back off him at a lower price than we could import another one. Do you think this is worth the cost of a trip to Scotland to look at and potentially buy (im based in Essex)?

 

@FreddieR i have looked it up on the MOT site and it has only ever failed on the rear tail lights / loose wiring and seems to have always been fixed (has an mot till August 2019).

SiPo13
#15 Posted : 17 September 2018 16:46:22(UTC)
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Also, found this one:

https://www.autotrader.c...ode=visc&fromSA=true

What do you think?
Sonue
#16 Posted : 17 September 2018 16:56:30(UTC)
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No disrespect intended to the owner of the car on autotrader but I would trust Andrew and be assured the car is solid.

 

Andrew doesn't sell poor cars.

 

Grant

Eunos Roadster S Limited.
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SiPo13 on 17/09/2018(UTC)
SiPo13
#17 Posted : 17 September 2018 17:06:49(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Sonue Go to Quoted Post

No disrespect intended to the owner of the car on autotrader but I would trust Andrew and be assured the car is solid.

 

Andrew doesn't sell poor cars.

 

Grant

 

Fair enough, ive just got to work out a way of getting to scotland or getting the car to essex.

 

H1S VRB
#18 Posted : 17 September 2018 18:17:50(UTC)
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I am in no way speaking for Andrew - but he does still travel back down to England - and may well be at the National Rally at Ragley Hall.  He might be persuaded... just a thought.

Alternatively, get a shed load more pics for confidence, then fly up.  I did it Southampton to Edinburgh (£110) for my 'family' estate and drove back, within 12 hours.  Good day out.

Talk to Andrew - he's a very decent bloke.

Steve

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1996 NA VR-Limited Combination B. Lightly Modded Mk1: 1st @2015 National, Kelmarsh Hall / 2nd @2017 National, Gaydon / 1st @2018 Spring Rally, Goodwood /'People's Choice Award', 2018 Beaulieu Show'n'Shine
2007 NC 2.0 Convertible Copper Red


saz9961
#19 Posted : 17 September 2018 21:29:12(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: SiPo13 Go to Quoted Post

Hi @Saz9961, Andrew said that it’s cheaper as it’s not a fresh import, it’s had another owner over here and we bought it back off him at a lower price than we could import another one. Do you think this is worth the cost of a trip to Scotland to look at and potentially buy (im based in Essex)?

 

@FreddieR i have looked it up on the MOT site and it has only ever failed on the rear tail lights / loose wiring and seems to have always been fixed (has an mot till August 2019).

 

It's only been here 4 years.

 

If you want a fresh import, you need to stump up at least £5k.

 

If you were importing a car to order, you would be buying it essentially unseen.

saz9961
#20 Posted : 17 September 2018 21:42:11(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: SiPo13 Go to Quoted Post
Also, found this one:

https://www.autotrader.co.uk/classified/advert/201808229757138?logcode=visc&fromSA=true

What do you think?

 

Well its had advisories for 4 years in a row for "heavy rust". The exhaust was rotten, but the owner just let it fall off at a MOT before doing anything about it. Both sides have been "done", but with slabs of underseal. Betting its all filler. Corroding pipes up front, so fully expect the front chassis members to be crusty.

You can see the bulging filler here:

 

https://i.atcdn.co.uk/imgser-uk/servlet/media?id=838431774eda45f8966d4ca87261773a

 

Bags of history, but I bet nothing for the last 5 years. Thats how you turn up to a MOT with a blowing exhaust and expect to pass.

 

https://i.atcdn.co.uk/imgser-uk/servlet/media?id=838431774eda45f8966d4ca87261773a

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