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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all.
I should possibly re-introduce myself as it's been some time since I was on this forum just after I sold my 2006 NC but I'll dive right in instead.

After a good few years without an MX5 I'm considering jumping back in again as I don't use a daily driver and just want a small car as a 'run about', so why not have one which is a bit of fun? Obviously the MX5 fits the bill here but as I've started looking at them I've found that one of the big problems with them is rust, I thought we'd left that behind in the '80s! I've been to see a few and while I've not found any with gaping holes underneath they have all been frighteningly rusty underneath, both on the subframes and where the subframe and suspension components meet the underbody so I'm looking for some advice on what is too bad and what is just 'normal' for these cars and not a problem if cleaned up and looked after?

I'm looking at cars around 10 years old and have a limit on cost (or I may as well keep my current car) but I don't mind doing some (light) remedial work and preventative maintenance.
Any advice on what I should/shouldn't allow gratefully appreciated.
 

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Hi GDCobra....Nice to see you back here!... 馃憢

Yes, you'll have gathered by now the Mx (all of 'em) like to rust, and some Mk3's although they look ok up top are showing some real horrors underneath!
There are some videos by Yorkshire car restorations on Youtube worth watching, although they look scary in the main they fix them without too much issue, but cills, rear tie bars, subframes and wheel arches are becoming an issue!
You'd need to get right under any prospective purchase I'd say just to be sure, and as you say a bit of future preventative work would help to keep it that way....

Good luck in your search and keep us informed how you get on....(y)
 

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Well hello stranger, as Chris has said, nice to see you back.

As Chris says, yes the NC does loke to rust and a car that can look good underneath can be quietly rotting away under the underseal. The usual areas are suspect, in and around the rear arch area and one area that is a particular concern is under the 'carpet' that Mazda put in the rear arch, I assume to provide some sound deadening, it just soaks up and holds water especially against the inner lip of the rear arch.
Don't know if you do Facebook but there is a very good group:


With an extremely knowledgeable guy based in N.London - Anand Viad - realistically what he doesn't know about rust on MX5s is just not worth knowing.

Lovely to see a friendly face back in the fold (we hope)
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hi GDCobra....Nice to see you back here!... 馃憢

Yes, you'll have gathered by now the Mx (all of 'em) like to rust, and some Mk3's although they look ok up top are showing some real horrors underneath!
There are some videos by Yorkshire car restorations on Youtube worth watching, although they look scary in the main they fix them without too much issue, but cills, rear tie bars, subframes and wheel arches are becoming an issue!
You'd need to get right under any prospective purchase I'd say just to be sure, and as you say a bit of future preventative work would help to keep it that way....

Good luck in your search and keep us informed how you get on....(y)

Hi Chris, thanks for the response.

I must admit the more I've looked into the rust issues the more I've been put off. I came across the YCR videos a few days ago and that really shocked me and has kind of put me off.
I'd rather have mechanical issues than rust, obviously that depends on the severity but I'm OK with spanners and so on but not so good with fabrication work.
I'm not completely put off but as you say I'll be having a good look underneath any candidates.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Well hello stranger, as Chris has said, nice to see you back.

As Chris says, yes the NC does loke to rust and a car that can look good underneath can be quietly rotting away under the underseal. The usual areas are suspect, in and around the rear arch area and one area that is a particular concern is under the 'carpet' that Mazda put in the rear arch, I assume to provide some sound deadening, it just soaks up and holds water especially against the inner lip of the rear arch.
Don't know if you do Facebook but there is a very good group:


With an extremely knowledgeable guy based in N.London - Anand Viad - realistically what he doesn't know about rust on MX5s is just not worth knowing.

Lovely to see a friendly face back in the fold (we hope)
Hi Steve, good to hear from you again and thanks for the reply. I'll check out the FB group but must admit I'm getting a bit dissillusioned with FB.
Such a shame Mazda disn't do a better job with these maybe it's the influence Ford ownership had on them, made them copy some Cortina features!
 

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Aedificantium in viridi Apparatus
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I think the lack of rust protection pre-dates Fords involvement with Mazda and is still a problem after Ford is no longer involved. Perhaps it is a deliberate ploy by Mazda as part of their "Gram Strategy" The gram strategy: How saving weight makes Mazdas better to drive | Inside Mazda
That's a very good point Nick. I've seen NDs getting worked on by the afore mentioned Anand Viad and they're pretty much rusting on landing on our shores.
Poor rust treatment and completely untreated areas.
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Hi again all.

Well. I finally managed it. I'm not, yet again a Mazda MX5 owner. Eventually sorted out a 2013 PRHT example. It's fairly tidy but could do with a bit of love, mind you it is getting on for 10 years old so not too bad all things considered. Main thing is the underside is solid enough (as far as I can tell), it could do with a bit of a bruch up and preventative maintenance but that's about the best I was hoping for.

I'm already planning a few jobs on in addition to the underside, I'm going to have to look at getting rid of the clunky TomTom head unit is has and replace with something I can link my phone to and long term I'm planning some power upgrades possibly including a turbo or super charger.
 

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Glad to hear your search was fruitful GD, often worth taking your time to get the right one so, welcome back to '5ing 馃憤
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Glad to hear your search was fruitful GD, often worth taking your time to get the right one so, welcome back to '5ing 馃憤
I must be honest I'd more or less given up on it but this came along when I was least expecting it. Just driven it home today circa 200 miles, not the best trip to be doing in a 5 particularly first time out but needs must and even though it was nearly all m'way it was quite enjoyable. Got a bit caught out a by a couple of things as it's easy to forget how many toys the car doesn't have, no auto lights or wipers (not even a variable intermittent wipe which I did have on my previous one as I fitted an RX8 stalk IIRC). None of that is a problem, it's part of the 5's charm and I was surprised the other way when I realised that the mirros are self dipping. I even forgot at first that this car has cruise, I so wanted that on my earlier model. Also happy to get 42MPG over the trip. I'm not really interested in MPG but nice to know if you have a few miles to do it's not too thirsty.
 

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Being honest GD I believe that so many auto features like lights & wiper just add to the removal of basic driving skills. Since the auto lights & DRLs arrived on the scene I've never seen so many eejits driving in the dark with no lights on, they see dash lights on and assume all is well.
Yes, RX8 stalk for intermittent wipers.
I must be honest I'd more or less given up on it but this came along when I was least expecting it. Just driven it home today circa 200 miles, not the best trip to be doing in a 5 particularly first time out but needs must and even though it was nearly all m'way it was quite enjoyable. Got a bit caught out a by a couple of things as it's easy to forget how many toys the car doesn't have, no auto lights or wipers (not even a variable intermittent wipe which I did have on my previous one as I fitted an RX8 stalk IIRC). None of that is a problem, it's part of the 5's charm and I was surprised the other way when I realised that the mirros are self dipping. I even forgot at first that this car has cruise, I so wanted that on my earlier model. Also happy to get 42MPG over the trip. I'm not really interested in MPG but nice to know if you have a few miles to do it's not too thirsty.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Being honest GD I believe that so many auto features like lights & wiper just add to the removal of basic driving skills.
I agree, I don't mind the auto lights and wipers to be honest but anything which "interferes" with driving controls I don't like. We had a Mazda 6 a few years ago, really nice looking car inside and out but the driving was horrible, may as well have been on Playstation. The steering in particular, it had no feel to the extent that I did wonder if there was any mechanical link between the steering wheel and road wheels. What made it worse was it also had the most pointless gimick ever invented (IMHO); Lane Assist. I really don't think you should be on the road if you can't keep a car in a single ane. If it had worked properly I suppose it wouldn't be too bad but it would 'see' shiney patches of tarmac as lane markings and trigger a pull on the steering wheel. I don't want anything but my hands moving the sterring wheel when I'm driving!



Since the auto lights & DRLs arrived on the scene I've never seen so many eejits driving in the dark with no lights on, they see dash lights on and assume all is well.
That's a good point, as I say I don't mind auto lights too much (although I can live without) but I did get caught out with them once myself.
In my defence I was in a hire car and it did have auto lights but they'd been left off. When I started the trip (where I may have seen lightes reflected off roadside objects) it was daylight but about 1 hour in and on the motorway it went dark. Every now and then I'd see someone flashing but didn't realise i was the target afterall the instruments were lighted so what could be the problem, eventually the penny dropped. Again in my defence the only indicaiton of lights being on is the illumination of the switch down on the lower area of the dashboard (not in my eyeline) but it's not obvious it's indicating the lights are on or if it's just illumination showing where the switch is. This seems to be quite typical as both of our current cars are like this. I think there should have to be an obvious indication of the headlight status in the instrument binicle and particularly if the instrument illumination is independent of the headlights - But I'm not allowed to make the rules!


Yes, RX8 stalk for intermittent wipers.
I'll be on the look out for one of them, IIRC I got the one for my last 5 from the USA along with some other bits and pieces but the world has changed a lot since then so I doubt thats an option these days.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Wiper stalk, here you go:
Cheers Steve. I notice that is based in China, I'll have to look and see if I can get one more local first also need to wait for another pay day, feel like I've been haemorrhaging money just recently.
Mind you I've also been researching FI options and I suspect that is going to make the purchase of the wiper stalk insignificant!
 

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Glad to hear you got sorted GD....And once the underside is sorted you have miles of fun!
And nothing like a short drive home to 'prove' a new vehicle!...;)
Enjoy...and don't be a stranger!...馃憤
 
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