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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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  • Gel
    Gel

    Gel's Honda Civic MB2 auto

      Make: Honda
      Model: Civic MB2

    I bought my X Reg Honda Civic quite cheaply over 3 yrs. ago.  it needed lots of TLC initially e.g. ball joints, drop links, rear exhaust box, lambda sensor and 2 tyres.

    3 years down the line it managed to pass the MOT but had advisories for........  rear brake disc's/pads and handbrake pads........worst of all my MOT stated that there was slight corrosion on the rear structure.....when the surface rust was ground down....... the appearance of solid steel meant there was no need for welding :)

     

    Once I knew the car was structurally sound....I decided to have all the brake disc's/pads renewed and had the underside cleaned and undersealed.......also had the a/c recharged.

     

    The engine and auto box behave perfectly so I may have this reliable budget car for another few years.

     

    Did I mention .....that I've fallen in love with my wee MB2

    Civic MB2 auto.jpg

    Follow her in the Members Cars area of the forum.


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    Yippee !  my MB2 has just passed it's MOT.....cost me £270 but what the heck tis cheap dependable motoring for another 13 months.

     

    My insurance is due in a few days time so I now know I have a car worth insuring......party.gif1

    I'm now entering year five with a 19 year old car bought as a stop gap.....The Honda God must be looking down on me.ecstatic.gif1

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    Shes been an ultra reliable wee car Gerry eh! 5 year stop gap car lmao 😀

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    The MOT flagged up "misting shocks" so I decider to replace them regardless of them behaving perfectly.

    I suppose I'll notice a little difference once the newbies are fitted but I'm not expecting a black and white difference.

     

    My rear brake caliper has been sticking ever since I got the car so I expect a noticeable difference once the new caliper is fitted....yes, I could of freed the caliper but I'm fed up pratting about.

     

    I'm no longer agile enough to climb under cars so I'll be having the work carried out by my local mechanic........I never stay and watch the work being done because I'd be inclined to tell the mechanic how to do the job properly........I expect most of you understand where I'm coming from....lol

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    Oh indeed Gerry! Some garages ive been too in the past all thats missing from the mechanics atire is a cowboy hat! I think you will however notice a difference with the new shocks even though the old ones aren't totally gubbed. 

    I did the same with the mini rear calipers, got fed up having to remove them yo try and free them up but last time they were siezed solid so just bit the bullet and got new ones. Trouble free since ( although bleeding the rear brakes after it then putting her back together again did cause my heart attack!). Mini has those stupid screw type pistons so prone to seizing. 

     

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    The shocks arrived Dave and no doubt there will be a noticeable difference once fitted (I was peeved about the MOT advisory mentioning I may need new shocks and actually convinced myself that there wouldn't be any difference....lol)

    When I took the shocks out of the box for testing it reminded me of fitting Monroe shocks to Cortina's and Sierra's.....Monroe was always my affordable choice back then.  I also got the strut mounting kit but struggled to get new dust covers.....didn't get them in the end because I couldn't figure out which ones to get.....hopefully my dust covers are useable.

     

    The Mini did you a favour Mate  i.e. your weakness presented when help was close to hand......oh ! the Mini uses those pesky type calipers....what a pig they can be.

    A cynic might say all Garages will take you on given the opportunity.....lol...lol...lol

     

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    Lol Yeah, given a chance i think most would try their luck! Lol

    Ah, the good old Monroe shocks (or dampers as they seem to be called nowadays, think its Americanisim myself!). Those were the daddies back in the day eh! Mind you, even with new shocks the Tinas were still like a boat to drive although still loved driving them! On saying that, that's when comparing them to the handling modern family cars now give us. 

    Got a classic car show near me this weekend (well a foodie thingy with a classic show thrown in so will probs be small!). Hoping to see a Tina or two! And Mindy will be putting in an appearance, sadly DD is still sitting in the garage with no mot. I need to sort that asap, but got both the mx5 and the mini to mot early next month within days of each other!

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    A friend of mine used to reckon post 70's Cortina's were on swivels.....indeed, that is how they drove with worn void bushes and or weak shocks.....if you could master Cortina's back then ......the skills were for life.....then along came front wheel drive cars so we had to learn new skills in order to drive 'em fast.

     A good friend of mine used to drive a 1.6 GXL      I drove it on numerous occasions and found it to be the best handling Cortina I ever drove....all thanks to lowered stiffer springs and Koni's all round.

    A local Show is the perfect start to Mindy's Show life......DD will have to wait for her turn ....lol

    Oops,  two cars to get through an MOT.....tis twice the stress and an irate Bank Manager......😢.......fingers crossed they'll both sail through.

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    Did you manage to take in the local Show ?

    Fingers crossed the MOT's go well without further expense 😊

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    Yes we went down. The classic cars were nice, but the show a disappointment. The cars were all old American Muscle apart from a Ford Pop Hotrod and an E Type Jag. Only around 6 cars in total! But really sweet cars! Will post up the pics later. Two I wanted to take home were a 67' Mustang done up Bullit style, absolutely immaculate and a 1970 Mustang Mach 1 (real deal, fully restored). And if we had a spare 35K, we could have driven the Mach 1 Home!! It was for sale and we both said the same thing......I want! 

    The rest of the event was pretty cool, with music playing (bit of a mix of salsa, Salsa with a kind of disco beat and some other stuff. Loads of food stalls catering from Cuban food to New Orleans food, and everything inbetween! There was a little bit where there were vintage stuff (including old vinyl LP's which we both spent ages in and Gayle bought some). Items on sale ranged from old vintage suitcases, furniture, clothes and misc stuff.

    The grounds of the place are amazing (it's main business is as a garden centre but it also has a huge cafe, and the grounds have a stunning walk through "woods enchanted with Fairies!". Had a good long walk (although got tired out a bit but nowhere near as tired as before) and enjoyed sitting back and enjoying the music, the atmosphere, the food and generally just people watching! lol

    Mindy had the top spot in the visitors car park next to where the classics were on show, so she was the first car you saw when arriving! She had another quick polish in the morning, tyres etc all done so looked sweet. We went for a nice long run through the East lothian country roads, top down all the way. Ended up behind another red MX5 (a mk3 though) and both Mindy and the other mx5 had a "play"! Mega fun!

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    Going to get both booked in for an mot early see what needs doing (hopefully nowt!) then see about getting DD on the road again. B|

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    The shocks I got  were incorrect for my car so I instructed the Garage to source the correct ones......I can't be pratting about  when I actually need the car as a daily.....with a bit of luck .....should have the car back by end of play today ?

    Sending the shocks back to GSF is going to be a costly business......can you suggest a courier ?

    I love the thought of driving a rumbling V8 Mustang......lovely simple mechanics that could be repaired with your eyes shut.

    My best Mate's daughter drives a pink Mustang.....I've never seen it but I might well do this Summer.

    Placing Mindy in pole position was a brilliant idea....means she'll be easy about dancing with the Stars when she's fully ready for showing.

    I like the look of hotrods but it would have been the E-Type that would have got my full attention.

     

     

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    Bummer with the shocks mate. 😟 The courier I always use is Hermes as never had a problem with them. If you go to their site, you can put in the weight/size of what your sending to get an instant quote on how much it'll cost. They've been pretty decent so far. I would imagine the company who sent them should ideally fit the bill for the return postage though? Seeing as they have sent the wrong ones for the car.

    Well, Had wee Carly Cooper in for her MOT today, and she aced it! Not even a single advisory, the mot guy commenting how really clean she is and saying she's in perfect health! Well happy! Mindy's turn next, although with it being the first MOT we have put her through I'm expecting to see some faults we couldnt see being reported! Once she's done, it'll be DD's turn. Gayle has suggested that she might take DD to her work with her now and again so she gets some use and helps keep her parts all moving. It's a private carpark and has cameras so know she'll be safe there (seeing as Gayle is actually the boss at her work!).

    The Etype was stunning mate, but for me if it's an EType it has to be the roadster. Something about them is just sooooo right!

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    You were bang on when you said the new shocks would transform my car Dave...............it now drives way better.......I thought my old shocks were adequate but there's a marked difference....so much so....I thought I was in a different car.

    The new rear caliper means I'll be using less fuel and not wearing out the the new disc and pad .

    To treat me and the car....I fitted new black mats with red piping.......he he .... I have a thing about red and black combined.......I'm tempted to get a proper black leather steering wheel cover with red stitching.....that's the height of my mods 😖

    Passing the MOT without advisories is a testament to how well you maintain your cars.......Gayle must be pleased her Carly sailed through.....taking DD out for regular trots is a good idea........imho.....a car is nothing if it isn't useable on demand.

    Fingers crossed Mindy also gets a clean bill of health.

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    On 5/3/2019 at 12:58 PM, Gel said:

     

    😖Gayle must be pleased her Carly sailed through.....taking DD out for regular trots is a good idea........imho.....a car is nothing if it isn't useable on demand.

    Fingers crossed Mindy also gets a clean bill of health.

    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.

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    By hook or by crook Carly is going to end up with your daughter....lol

    The Three Stoogies from Top Gear hate the looks of the Juke.....I on the other hand quite like the funky look.

    I replaced the ageing rear tyres with decent budget tyres (Avon) so I now have excellent matching tyres all round.

    Now that my trusty old Civic is at her best since I got her.........I think I should paint the corroded wiper arms and maybe have a go at addressing the saggy roof lining...........perfection isn't my aim.....decency and reliability suits me just fine.

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    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. 

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    Planted with the Avon's.........lol.....I never get past 30/40 mph....I have 2 runs to Brighton in the very near future so at last I'll get to judge the car properly.

    2x Avon's only cost me £90.....I too consider 'em premium budget tyres and like you I have a lot of faith in them.

     

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