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Mk1 Mazda MX5 (aka Mindy!)

This is the latest addition to our modern classic family! A Mk1 Mazda MX5 1.6 (UK car). I've wanted one of these since the day they were launched back in 1989. Was at the Car show in Glasgow seeing all the new cars, when they pulled the cover off to reveal this gorgeous little red sports car. Was love at first sight, and said there an then I have to have one of these one day! Only taken me nigh on 30 years to realize that dream, but I was a skint teenager back then (now I'm a skint oldie! lol).
As I've been down lately, Gayle my Mrs suggested I needed a new project to help pick me up. She also loves the mx5's, so initial plan was to get a total rust bucket without mot and do a full restoration. After looking at prospective cars, realized that the £1000 budget really did just buy cars that were totally gone. So we upped the budget and came up with plan B! This plan was to buy a decent enough car to start with that just needed TLC, so we spent ages viewing lots of cars that appeared decent but once we arrived to view found they too needed too much work rust wise. Finally found this one which was in Stirling.
So, she's a 1997 UK car (so one of the last mk1's) with 90K on the clock, came with almost a years mot and the chap selling really didn't want to sell her! As everyone knows, all MX5's rot in the rear inner/outer sills and the rear arches. Mindy still has her original arches, but has had the very lower outer sills replaced on both sides. Not the prettiest repair, but look to be a very solid one. Underneath she's solid, and the previous owner has spent a fair bit on her with the welding and also replacing both rear brake calipers. There wasn't a service book which was disappointing, but there are receipts and old MOT's so some history of what she's had done.
Faults we noticed that needed dealing with first were the hood. It was completely shot, and had temp gaffa tape repairs. There was also a really bad vibration when at 65-70mph. These repairs are detailed in later posts.
So here she is the day we arrived home!

We'd literally just arrived home 5 mins before, and I thought I'd get a couple of pics but as I did, Gayle and my step daughter promptly jumped in and off they went for a wee run!! lol
My plan is to restore her to as close to new as I can get, along with some subtle mods. So planning the following:
Replace all suspension including shocks/springs, all wishbones etc then laser 4 wheel alignment Stainless steel exhaust Replace hood fully strip underneath and apply new underseal plus having chassis wax injected. New brakes Rear sills to be replaced by BorderMX5 so done professionally and will be undetactable once done Full respray (in either the original classic red or possibly the new Mazda "Soul red" metallic red.) Custom leather Interior retrim including replacing the seats with tombstone ones New wheels and tyres (Cades Enos with a bit of dish) Fully detailed engine bay Follow her progress in "Members Cars" in the forum.
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Dave last won the day on July 3

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  1. Dave

    Mk1 Mazda MX5 (aka Mindy!)

    New leads and coil pack fitted to Mindy........and shes driving sweet as a nut now! Fault cured!! I did do a wee test on the coil pack by arcing the sockets individually which showed 1 and 4 had a very weak and very intermitent spark. 3 and 4 had a healthy spark. Have to say though, amazing service from autolink, parts ordered Friday afternoon, arrived first thing Saturday morning! All fitted and Mindy running sweet as a nut now, fault cured! Big thanks to Gayle for helping me in the garage today, my hands were too big to get to the bottom bolt on the coil pack even with a ratchet spanner (bought these specially to do the job, only they are pants and won't ratchet when on the bolt!). Real swine to get to, but Gayle saved the day! Pic below showing Gayle with the offending bolt (and Mindy's nice new red HT leads!) It's great having a wife who's such a wee petrol head and loves any chance to work on the car! Can report Mindy is now driving perfect, and a lot smoother than she's ever done.
  2. Dave

    Mk1 Mazda MX5 (aka Mindy!)

    So, new HT leads (in red) & new coil pack ordered today from Andrew at Autolink uk. Have to say what a really helpful guy on the phone! Hoping the bits come tomorrow. He suggested getting a ratchet spanner to make getting the bottom bolt out of the coilpack a bit quicker/easier, so been to Halfords and bought a set. Weather is utterly amazing here just now (better than where we were last week in Gran Canaria!) so want Mindy on the road asap! So with mindy out of action, only one thing for it.........take my other modern classic out for the trip to halfords. DD (my Honda Civic Aerodeck) performed perfectly as always, so we went for a wee run. Forgot just how nice this car is to drive, and love the looks she gets when we're out and about.
  3. Dave

    Mk1 Mazda MX5 (aka Mindy!)

    Indeed! Would be more fun if it wasn't so damn nice outside today......really want to go for a blast! 😀
  4. Dave

    Mk1 Mazda MX5 (aka Mindy!)

    Managed to make a hook using an old CB ariel whip & got the bugger out! Rubber was all perished so I'm thinking the leads deffo need to go. Final new plug now in. Test drove........still doing it! Going to get the new leads ordered from Autolink (was intending to change all this anyways then pop her in for an oil/filters change to keep the service book stamped) so not too bothered about the cost of changing the plugs and leads. The diagnostic thingy from here >> http://www.mx5tech.co.uk/diagnostic.aspx?fbclid=IwAR16-p8pkCFLQKlspmB7mRn_IWQBNxEH2qbKNBGepUDDfg38kxVjlZdZeFE will hopefully arrive soon so I can get to the bottom of the problem. I'm thinking coil pack/MAF sensor/or maybe o2 sensor? She's ok if your giving it large on the right pedal, only suffers coming out of tight twisties in low rpmlower speeds and driving through towns etc. Getting nice sun here too and can't get her out to enjoy it.
  5. Dave

    Mk1 Mazda MX5 (aka Mindy!)

    Hi Gerry! Seems the slight missfire under load at around 2000rpm and below continues! Have ordered an OBD (1) reader to see if that can trace the fault but in the meantime thought I'd check then replace her spark plugs. Got nice new ones as I couldn't see any mention of them being changed in her history. Got the first three fitted without any issues (old ones looked really discoloured although only one seemed to be burning wrong.) but the last one (typically the one against the bulkhead so hardest to get at) when taking the plug lead off, the rubber end came off and is stuck to the plug away down inside the hole. meaning I can't get the socket onto the plug to get it out! Was going to be replacing the leads too, so with this one doing that seems a good idea to bin the old ones. I've added some photos below of the problem rubber. How the lead should look: The big rubber bit on the end that seals around the plug is the bit that's came off and is stuck onto the plug away down in the hole. How the problem lead looks (shows rubber bit is missing) And the rubber down in the hole stuck to the plug I need a pair of really long nosed pliers, but the kind that work in the opposite way to normal pliers (like the ones that you use to remove circlips so the ends open when you squeeze the handles) as I think that might be able to pull the rubber bit out.
  6. Dave

    Mk1 Mazda MX5 (aka Mindy!)

    lol meant to update this! Yes, was so glad! The MOT guy at my local garage said she is in good shape, only thing to note was a very slight oil leak which I already knew about but haven't been able to trace yet. Very happy bunny! In other news though, since her MOT she has developed a little fault! Had her out for a quick spin a week ago and noticed that anything below 2000rpm and try to accelerate and there's a slight kinda hicup, like she's missing a bit? Tried giving her an "Itallian tune up" incase it was maybe just blocked jets or something which didn't initially clear the fault but I was out in her just before going on hols last week ans she drove fine. Going to take her for a spin tomorrow to see if the fault is gone or not. If still there, will check the plugs, see if any are looking dirty compared to others as I'm thinking possibly coil packs starting to go? Will try new plugs/leads and then take it from there. She's fine higher up the revs so just seems to be low revs under load. Also on arriving back from hols posty has deleivered a new bit I ordered for her to kinda custom her interior a bit......all will be received soon!
  7. Dave

    Mk1 Mazda MX5 (aka Mindy!)

    So, just a wee job done today! In the boot on the left side there is a metal panel that protects the fuel filler pipe. This is an unpainted panel, and as such has no paint to protect it so they rust. It's covered by carpet so nobody really bothers about it but you know me, it was bugging me where you could see it through the carpet. Off it came to get prepped. Sanded it done and treated any rusty bits. Sanded down rust treated and then 3 coats of primer Then 3 coats of red and refitted to the car. This was before I put the carpet back in place. Just think it looks neater. Oh, and a wee photo of Mindy and my Aerodeck (DD) MOT is now out so she will be getting booked in for this Wednesday.....fingers crossed!
  8. Dave

    Mike Brewer Stateside

    Would love to see Ed do another similar show. As you say, he's a great all rounder, plus some of his tips are great. Same with Fuzz Townsend, who is imo the best out of all the mechanics in these type of shows.
  9. Dave

    Mike Brewer Stateside

    Jeese! He actually sounds more self centred than ever before! Listening to him he kinda contradicts himself all the time.......says he has no beef with Ed and Ed didnt leave because of anything between him and Ed, then starts slagging Ed off and blaming him for everything! I like watching the old wheeler dealers, and have only watched two episodes of the "new" series where Ant takes over and haven't watched it since. Most of the tricky repairs arent actually done by Ant! Same as the last show he was in (for the love of cars), theres a whole team who actually do most of the work. So for me the new show is a bit of a farce. Used to like Mike Brewer but "as a consequence" kinda think he's just a bit of a tosser now! Lol He does love using his new catchphrase a lot eh!
  10. Dave

    Mike Brewer Stateside

    Page cant be displayed Gerry?
  11. Dave

    Gel's Honda Civic MB2 auto

    Deffo go for it Gerry, all the details make such a difference to the car. Those Avons are great tyres! Had a set on my TypeS at one point and also on the minis original alloys and the grip in both wet and dry is really impressive. Especially for the price. Never understood how the Avons are so much cheaper than say continental or pirelli or the other big name tyres. Id say they're pretty much a higher end medium tyre, possibly breaking into the premium bracket. Deffo great value for money! She should feel really nice and planted through the corners now mate with the tyres and new suspension.
  12. Dave

    Mk1 Mazda MX5 (aka Mindy!)

    That'll be a special uplift from the council! No way are we gonna try and squeeze that into the cars! Lol too many nails/crumbly messy rotten wood to risk putting it in the cars Gerry😀
  13. Dave

    Gel's Honda Civic MB2 auto

    Lol Carly is my daily driver! Gayle did have her Ford Focus (Stella) but she traded her in about 3 weeks ago so now has a 2013 Nissan Juke (effie, cos she looks like a wee elephant!) Cracking car considering I hate SUV's! I like the look of it, the interior is sweet, lots of toys and drives nice, smooth and very quiet) Carlys latest mod was.......a pair of "L plates"! My stepdaughter found an insurance where learners can buy learners insurance add on for your car which lasts a month for £60 so decided to let her have a go in Carly. Shes been getting proper driving lessons since November last year so this is just to give her extra practice before she applies to do her driving test. Trouble is, even before driving Carly she loved her and aid she wanted Carly as her car. Deffo not happening! Lol (she couldnt afford the insurance anyways and doesn't have the cash to buy her!) Though youd notice the difference with the new springs/shocks, good aint it! That along with your new brakes and car mats she'll feel like a different car! Nice to see your MB getting treated well, they really are great wee cars.
  14. Dave

    Mk1 Mazda MX5 (aka Mindy!)

    Lol yes, London cruising is a bit different!! Weather kinda held up for the weekend ( slight rain along with sunshine) but we had another job to do.......dismantle our old wooden shed and build our new plastic one! Old shed was rotten beyond belief, but still took a hella load of work to actually bring down. Plus we had to empty it first and remove all the metal shelving! Tons of junk! Building the new one took a lot longer than expected.......holes not drilled in right places from factory, too many of one screw type and not enough of the other and the most difficult to fit roof we've ever come across. Started at 10:30am, we finally finished at 8:30pm. Both aching from head to toe, totally knackered. We both admitted we'd done too much, so much heavy lifting etc which we're paying for today! Still, Gayle had some genius ideas about taking down the old shed which were amazing, and she said I'd done really well too considering my current health. Now got a load of junk to take to tip so no run this weekend for Mindy. Oh, and I'm starting back to work on Thursday! Well chuffed finally getting back to normal!

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