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Tim Y
#1 Posted : 21 January 2017 10:46:29(UTC)
Tim Y

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Hi

This is my first post on the forum, so forgive me if Ive posted in the wrong place or am generally not following accepted protocols. The reason for my post is that I am looking to purchase an mx5, probably mk2 1.8, 03-04 plate. I have looked on this forum and others for buying advice. I keep coming across horror stories about rust and rot, particularly on chassis rails. This has got to the point where I am not sure whether to touch an MX5 at all. I am trying to get a sense of how big the problem is, and the best way of avoiding. I would welcome your comments

Scottishfiver
#2 Posted : 21 January 2017 11:33:57(UTC)
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The issue is widespread and well documented.

There are plenty buying advice threads.

Worthwhile ones are out there.

They just take a more concerted effort to find these days.

Other than that, try to stick to known forum/club example with either proof of remedial work with at least some traceable provenance or a rarer rot-free (ish) original.

 

 

mal jones
#3 Posted : 21 January 2017 13:44:25(UTC)
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Hello and welcome  The cost of doing a repair on the rails is not as high as you might think. Several area's will have body shops that would give discount to club members. Contact your local AC and see if they can help. They might also know the where about's of a good 5 at the right price.

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IanH
#4 Posted : 21 January 2017 13:52:21(UTC)
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Don't be too scared of them, do go in with your eyes open though. 

A 1.8 of that age should be pretty cheap now, if needed a few hundred in repairs factored into your purchase price will bring you a very nice car.

As advised above make the best use of a known example or a spare set of eyes who is familiar with the model and potential issues.

Drumtochty
#5 Posted : 21 January 2017 16:24:48(UTC)
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Put your location on your post then someone near to you can offer assistance.

Please do not believe some nice advice on a forum will stop you having to get down and dirty to look for rust.

People are not making this up.

The cost of a Mk3 with a good few years of service left is say £3k to £4k. It also may need say £600 spent on a mid life fettle around the wheel arches again the cost of running an older car. That is not the price if you go around with a spy glass looking for the slightest of parking dinks or stone chips.

Assume a £1,500 Mk2.5 after purchase and some body work repair will be about the same unless you are very lucky. Now go and try and buy a nice MGB roadster or any nice convertable for that. OK an MGF but you may well have to do the cylinder head and replace the hydrogas suspension on that.

It's just the cost of running an old car.

As I say again you need to get down and dirty that means no light coloured trousers and a light coloured jacket to go and inspect the car you want to buy.

As Ian said get someone local with the knowledge to assist you or pay a garage to put it on a lift maybe £50 to examine the car.

If the existing owner will not allow that walk away.

If you do that you will have a great car for around £3,000 at the end of the day.

Oh the MOT Tester is not allowed to remove the undertray on the Mk2.5 to examine the front chassis rails that cover the rust in a lot of cases, therefore take no comfort from a full years MOT.

 

Edited by user 21 January 2017 16:29:16(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

Eddie Cairns

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Drumtochty Glen, Auchenblae, Laurencekirk,
Aberdeenshire
Toolman
#6 Posted : 21 January 2017 18:12:51(UTC)
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My first 5 what a 2000 mk2, drove great, trackdays etc then sold it for what I brought it for. Too much rust to make it worthwhile keeping. 

Now on my second 5, a 2004 MK2.5 1.8, just had it serviced by DrMX5 and given a clean bill of health with sound chassis rails and sills etc. 

there are good ones out there - you just need to do your homework, check the main rust traps and walk away if it's not right. We looked at over 20 before we brought our current one, but then I am somewhat fussy with the model I wanted...

Once bitten by the 5 bug, there's no going back. 

This forum is great for help and advice, plenty of 5's on fleabay, mx5nutz, piston heads etc. The work is worth it. 

It's just a car - NOT a mid-life crisis !! Mk2.5 1.8 Euphonic 2004. :-)
jimdad
#7 Posted : 21 January 2017 18:22:09(UTC)
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Of all the years/ models to choose from the ones youve chosen seem to be the worst for rust. 

Im mot just saying it because ive got one and its going to be for sale soon but try and and get an early  imported one that's been in the country  as short as time  as possible .

Hawkwind
#8 Posted : 21 January 2017 19:53:22(UTC)
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In my view, the S-VT Sport is the model to go for. It comes with all the goodies (big brakes, sports suspension, six speed box, LSD etc.) as standard, so no insurance issues and no aftermarket spending. That, or an imported RS, which sells for less than a quarter of the price of the inferior Mk1 RS. I cannot understand why these models sell so cheaply.
jimdad
#9 Posted : 21 January 2017 21:03:43(UTC)
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Or a vs like mine. Same as an rs but with leather.

Ive had a vrltd combination b. Which is the same spec as a mk1 rs. The mk2 rs and vs are so much better to drive

The mk2 imports are a lot rarer too.

saz9961
#10 Posted : 22 January 2017 00:56:57(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: jimdad Go to Quoted Post

Or a vs like mine. Same as an rs but with leather.

Ive had a vrltd combination b. Which is the same spec as a mk1 rs.

 

Minus the Kevlar Recaros, deep pile carpet,T1 Torsen (ok, it has a T2 Torsen), power mirrors, 15" BBS, other than that, the same car.

jimdad
#11 Posted : 22 January 2017 09:00:27(UTC)
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Im talking driving wise. I dont think carpets ,different 15 inch wheels and a set of over rated seats would make an rs any better to drive than a vrltd .

saz9961
#12 Posted : 22 January 2017 09:53:37(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: jimdad Go to Quoted Post

Im talking driving wise. I dont think carpets ,different 15 inch wheels and a set of over rated seats would make an rs any better to drive than a vrltd .

 

Thogh in that case, you may as well say any non-M-Package Phase 2 Roadster (the VR-Limited is a Phase 2) are just the same driving wise as a RS. The S-Special II, same colour (mostly) as the RS, same wheels (12lb 15"  BBS versus 14.5lb Enkeis). The differences between the T1 4.300 Torsen fitted to the RS and R-Limited, and the T2 Torsen fitted to all non-M-Package Phase 2 Roadsters are significant to drivers who can differentiate bettween drivers who can actually tell the difference between the different Mk1.18s (most can't).

 

T2 was supposed to be the cheaper, but stronger diff. According to Solomiata:

 

Quote:
The TypeI is designed to put out more bias on acceleration and the Type II is designed to have subdued acceleration bias and a stronger bias on deacceleration. i.e. The TypeII is more forgiving with trailing throttle.

 

So, these diffs do provide different driving experiences. The VR Limited isn't just a RS with a leather interior. If it is the same ,driving wise (for the average ability driver) as the RS, then probably the same driver can't really tell the difference between a UK spec car and the VR Limited. For that driver, the VR has a bit of leather, and that's it. But, ironiocally, MCL used to provide a much higher quality leather option on those UK Mk1s, in a wider variety of colours,musing proper hides, unlike whatever the Mazda factory did.

 

Worth stating the RS Mk2 was never a special edition; it effectively replaced the S-Special trim level, so is relatively easy to find.

saz9961
#13 Posted : 22 January 2017 10:26:02(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Tim Y Go to Quoted Post

Hi

This is my first post on the forum, so forgive me if Ive posted in the wrong place or am generally not following accepted protocols. The reason for my post is that I am looking to purchase an mx5, probably mk2 1.8, 03-04 plate. I have looked on this forum and others for buying advice. I keep coming across horror stories about rust and rot, particularly on chassis rails. This has got to the point where I am not sure whether to touch an MX5 at all. I am trying to get a sense of how big the problem is, and the best way of avoiding. I would welcome your comments

 

It is generally agreed that the Mk1 model does not suffer chassis rail problems, to adopt the American parlance, period. Both models can have rear sill rust, thats a result of design (there is a moisture trap, that was made a little worse in the Mk2 redesign), but also, because the car is a Roadster, there is a complex sill structure, that you need to drain water through in a way not needed with a tintop. Crash worthiness improvements introduced in 1998 brought in a telescoping front chassis rail; multiple layers of metal, which are now rotting. Mazda wasn't alone at that time in using this approach to accomodate new regulations. Other makes of that era have the same problems, but most of these Citroens etc never get to their 12th-13th birthdays, as they were just disposable cars.

1999 Jag XJ, front chassis

 

[img]http://www.jaguarforums.com/forum/attachments/xj-x308-xj8-xjr-27/22348d1344615504-front-chassis-corrosion-welding-dsc_9859-jpg[/img]

 

2003 Focus (ok, rear chassis rot)

 

 

Pug 106

 

 

2003 MG ZS

 

 

It might be people have too high expectations of the condition of 13 year old cars, and need to be looking at newer cars to avoid rust. Fully analysed recent MOT stats have not been released; the only ones (short of the raw data) doesn't really cover the MK2, so its hard to say if the Mk2 was any worse for rust failures than other similarly aged makes. Within every car community, there is a certain amount of naval gazing, which can lead to exagerration. This affects every marque, and is natural.

 

As for avoiding rusty examples. The conventional wisdom is a fresh JDM import; that seems to reduce the chances, but not eliminate the issue. And photographs of exceptionally clean looking undersides are no proof that rot doesn't exist. Japanese owners are now doing the same repairs as us, with the only difference being they are welding up sills on cars with clean undersides, not rust red underside.

http://www.yoshihisa-style.com/arg/s010.html

The exchange rate, and its not going to get better, is killing the JDM import trade.

If you want a fairly guaranteed rust free NB shell, then its a car from the SW US States, but we are not there yet, to start importing US cars.

 

 

 

 

 

The newest Mk2.5 is getting on for 13 years old, and is based on a 28 year old unibody.

jimdad
#14 Posted : 22 January 2017 11:00:00(UTC)
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Im only going by what ive been told .and unfortunately  never having the money to buy a mk1 rs ive no wxperience of one.  But having had 11 mk1s driving wise a mk2 vs/rs  is nicer to drive than any of them . 

I suppose it depends on your disposable income and whether your buying as an investment

 

Edited by user 23 January 2017 11:07:19(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

Hawkwind
#15 Posted : 23 January 2017 06:35:39(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: jimdad Go to Quoted Post

Im talking driving wise. I dont think carpets ,different 15 inch wheels and a set of over rated seats would make an rs any better to drive than a vrltd .

 

I agree.  The Mk2 RS came with a six speed box, BP5A inlet camshaft, different ECU (redline 7500), resulting in 145bhp which does make a difference in the driveability.  Mind you, the NBFL S-VT Sport  has the same attributes, plus 10:1 pistons, big brakes and 16" x 205 wheels as standard.  I've had the pleasure of owning an 88bhp Mk1, a 114bhp S-Special, a standard 130 bhp 1.8 NB, a 145bhp RS and also a 146 bhp S-VT Sport.  Have to say that the latter two are noticeably quicker that the others and remain my preferred choice of all the MX-5 range.  The RS and S-VT Sport are ridiculously cheap for what they offer too.

 

RobbieS
#16 Posted : 08 November 2018 07:49:14(UTC)
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Sorry to bump an old thread but I thought the NB 1.8 non VVT was 140BHP not 130BHP, the MK1 NA 1.8 was 130. Also out of interest a bog standard NB like I have without AC, 6 speed and other gizmos should be lighter.
Scottishfiver
#17 Posted : 08 November 2018 09:25:28(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: RobbieS Go to Quoted Post
Sorry to bump an old thread but I thought the NB 1.8 non VVT was 140BHP not 130BHP, the MK1 NA 1.8 was 130. Also out of interest a bog standard NB like I have without AC, 6 speed and other gizmos should be lighter.
 

Robbie,

TBH, it's pretty academic what the quoted showroom blob chart & brochure figures were back in the day now.

These figures are factory bench-determined sans ancilliaries & tranmission losses etc.

Then dial in age & wear.

I'd be surprised if my claimed 146 BHP (?) 2002 Sport was churning out more than 125/130 odd at the flywheel now...if indeed it ever really did... at 100,000 miles, despite the mill being oil tight & sweet as a nut.

A couple of years back, a mate & I went for a good "Italian Service" thrash, he in his newly mill re-engineered Mk1 1600, and my Sport. He is a mechanical engineer, so new rings, bearings etc was no issue for him. Then he ran it in properly for a couple of thousand..old school.

Suffice to say, that Mk1 is pretty much on par in the straights..with it's, I think,  blob chart 120bhp..perhaps 115..not sure which but you get the point. 

So, there goes a "new" Mk1 1600 vs and "old" 2002 Mk2.5. Certainly, on a motorway I'd perhaps have the advantage whacking it off the limiter....but not by much.     

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