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· Registered
1 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All

I’m looking to buy a used ND1 MX-5 with the 1.5 engine. Given budget it will probably have to be a very early version with fair mileage on it. Obviously I will buy one condition/history and not mileage alone.

I know there are a couple of “common” issues on these issues and wondered if I could pick the wise brains of this forum on what to look for when checking out potential cars.

  1. Gearbox issues. I get the impression the issue is more common on 2.0 cars and the ones that have been tracked. What should I look for when test driving? I think I’ve read somewhere about difficulty changing between 1st and 2nd gear?
  2. Rear Hub carrier. Apologies, I’m not mechanically minded so might have the wrong term here. I think a knocking sound can be heard at the rear when going over bumps? Is there anything visual that would imply an issue? Is there anything in an MoT that might imply an issue? Some of the cars I’ve been looking at have an advisory “Nearside Rear Suspension arm pin or bush worn but not resulting in excessive movement hub support”
  3. Rust. I know not common but I think early models had an issue with rust on the piece of trim in the side window(s). Are there any other common areas that would be worth checking?


· Premium Member
10,869 Posts
Hi there welcome to 'Life'...👋

As an ND1.5 owner you'd be right to say buy on condition and History.
While the ND had issues with the gearbox at the beginning, as you allude to it seemed to be worse with the racers!....Any feeling of notchiness and walk away...
I wouldn't let the Hub bush issues put me off buying one as there are enough specialists around to sort that, but just budget for it if you hear any knocks
( I do hear knocks in mine but it's not mentioned at m.o.t time and has just 24,000 on the clock).
Rust, is no worse than any other Mx-5, and yes mine has the rusty trim on the small door window (so did the Mk3)....If you plan to keep it long term then there are many places that can treat it or if your capable a d.i.y approach is better than nothing.
I went for the SE model on the basis that its a more comfortable ride than the 2.0 sport, and benefits from not having that horrible media/sat nav system!....
'Less is more' when it comes to Mx-5's....
One thing to bear in mind is the ND is a bit of a tight fit cabin wise, so anyone 6 foot and above might struggle.

Try as many as you can before you purchase....the 1.5 is a delight to get 'singing along' in on a country road.
Keep us informed how you get on..... 👍
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