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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
    Dave

    Mk1 Mazda MX5 (aka Mindy!)

      Make: Mazda
      Model: MX5 Mk1
      Modifications: Only changed the radio so far and modified the centre console! Loads more to come!

    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!

    20180817_135230Mindy-MX5_001.jpgMindy-MX5_ (1).jpg

    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.

    Edited by Dave


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    Been out in garage again tonight (just this minute finished!). Was going to swap the two front wheels back to her originals then see about getting them balanced. Mrs came into garage and reckoned the Mini Cooper wheels looked better than the 5 spoke wheels she came with. After much debate, decided to swap her remaining two wheels for the mini wheels to see how she looked. The 5 spokes are 14 inch, and the mini wheels are 15's so after fitting, have to agree with the mrs that the mini wheels look a bit better. They also have decent tyres (two fronts are almsot brand new Avons, the rears are Continential's but these need changed soon, so will stick another two Avons on there as I've found them to be really decent tyres.) So, Mindy rocking her new temp wheels......

     

    Mindy_mx5_9.jpgMindy_mx5_10.jpg

    Blanked out the "MINI" logo on the centre caps so they look better. Do think these look better being 15's, and kind resemble the early Mk1's daisy wheels. Only a temp measure until we get brand new wheels for her.

    Also, a pic of the new hood Gayle got for her, which we're fitting tomorrow.

    Mindy_mx5_11_newhood.jpg

    Also took a couple of the interior as I didin't have any interior shots before. Shows the Pioneer head unit I've fitted so i can plug my phone into it to play my music. Again, will be getting changed at a later date for either my Pioneer double din touch screen unit (will do the double din dash conversion) or another new Pioneer with bluetooth, usb etc. Oh, and as you can see in the pic, I've removed the ashtray from the centre console so my phone has somewhere to sit. Will probably get one of the replacement ones from MX5 City that has the cup holders.

    Mindy_mx5_12_interior.jpg

    Mindy_mx5_13_interior2.jpg

    Also found a how to guide in the forum for adjusting the pop up headlight covers, so they are now sitting nice and flush with the bonnet. Just my ocd kicking in again! lol Loving all the info on here guys, learning so much about these cars.

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    So, today Gayle and me have been busy! Started with removing the old (and totally gubbed) hood and prepping the car ready to fit the brand new hood. After some time, the old hood was off!

    newest (1)Mindy-MX5_Replacing _hood.jpg

    Generally pretty dirty in there after carpet and hood removed. Next we inspected the drain pots (the containers where the rainwater from the drain channel collects before going out down the drain tubes.

    Drivers side, really grubby, lots of crap and stuff built up there.

    newest (2)Mindy-MX5_Replacing _hood.jpg

    Passenger side not quite as bad, but still dirty

    newest (3)Mindy-MX5_Replacing _hood.jpg

     

    We cleaned out both sides, then the actual drain tubes themselves. Gayle found the perfect tool for cleaning out the drain channel around the bottom of the hood.....and old make up brush and the vaccum cleaner! Pose with the tool dear! That's it, perfect! lol

    newest (5)Mindy-MX5_Replacing _hood.jpg

      The tubes were surprisingly clean and clear! Hardly anything at all in them, and both appear to be perfectly clear. Next we cleaned the whole rear area. Could have left as is seeing as it can't be seen once carpet goes in, but I'm OCD about these things! Plus the black metal can be seen once hood is in place but isn't easily cleaned then so though do it now before fitting and it'll make the whole finished job look so much nicer.

    newest (4)Mindy-MX5_Replacing _hood.jpg

    Yes, I cleaned and polished it! lol We then stopped for a tea brake and to get ready for fitting the hood and putting the car back together again.

    And then, all fitted, the finished result...

    newest (6)Mindy-MX5_Replacing _hood.jpg

    newest (7)Mindy-MX5_Replacing _hood.jpg

    newest (9)Mindy-MX5_Replacing _hood.jpg

    Pics of Gayle and me, suitably proud of our handy work.

    newest (11)Mindy-MX5_Replacing _hood.jpg

    newest (10)Mindy-MX5_Replacing _hood.jpg

    Can't believe the difference this has made to the look and feel of the car. Really smartened her up, and no more drafts/gaffer tape/leaks. Took her for a spin afterwards as a wee reward, and to see what she was like with her 4 Mini alloys. Drove nice, and felt quite cosy inside now with the new hood. Still got some vibration through suspension, but nowehre near as bad now so that's a result. Will be getting her up on a 4 post ramp soon so I can check out the bushes/drop links/shocks/springs and anything else under there and replace whatever's needed. Hope you like!

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    So, got one wee fault fixed thanks to advice from a member on MX% Owners Club and one of their useful forum guides. Noticed that when coming to a stop at roundabouts/junctions etc, the revs would drop right down to almost cutting out point. Initially thought there may be an air leak on the inlet side, but after using the guide to set the base idle, this has cured it. Really happy as it was a very simple fix!

    Spent yesterday cleaning Mindy's Engine bay. It was pretty grubby when we bought her, and it's the one thing I hate.....a dirty engine and engine bay! Went to Halfords and bought my product of choice, Gunk. Been using it for years and have yet to find anything that gets rid of the grime as good as this. Once it was all cleaned and rinsed off, dried the engine bay then used G3 compound to restore the pain on the inner wings etc, then polished with Meguires polish. Did all the black plastics with autoglym plastic and bumper restorer. Quite chuffed with how she looks in there now, much better than before. Got a few wee cuts while trying to get into the tighter areas so will at some point remove various bits around the bay for better access then go in there again with the polish.

    Mindy_MX5_Engine_Bay_cleaned.jpg

    Hope you like my efforts lol

    Dave

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    It's Sunday.....Suns out (still bloody cold though!) time for a run in Mindy (top down of course). Had arranged to meet member oldspice to buy a hood/tonneau cover, so meeting place was Falkirk. Nice we drive for Minday then!

    Took along my mate from work who's been thinking about buying an MX5 (he loves Mindy!) and have to say Mindy ran sweet as a nut! Got a couple of photos with the cover fitted, really does make it look neater with the hood down.

    The Tonneau cover fitted
    Image

    Mindy meets a new playmate!
    Image

    Image

    Robin's mk 2 MX5 (stunning condition!)
    Image

    All in all a nice wee trip, and good to meet a fellow MX5 enthusiast. Robins knowledge and tips on all things mx5 were excellent

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     And the restoration continues! Made a start on Mindy's original 5 spoke alloys last week, getting them fully sanded down, any damage removed as we went along. Finished pff with a wet and dry sand to get them super smooth. Some of the bad bits shown below. The wheels weren't too bad to be honest, considering their age.


    mx5_wheel_refurb

    mx5_wheel_refurb

    mx5_wheel_refurb

    mx5_wheel_refurb

    mx5_wheel_refurb
     

    And sanded down/prepped. Also went over them with tack cloths to ensure nice clean surface for the pain.

    mx5_wheel_refurb

    mx5_wheel_refurb

    Insides of wheels also done (know you can't see this really once on the car, but my OCD makes me a fussy sod!

    Next, got them etch primed then into high build primer (looks like gloss in pics cos took photo just after applying paint!) Gave them 3 coats each.

    mx5_wheel_refurb

    mx5_wheel_refurb

     

    Then once that had dried, on with the colour of choice.......white! They were originally silver, but I love white wheels (when they're clean anyways!) and they seem to be a trade mark of my cars!

    mx5_wheel_refurb

    mx5_wheel_refurb

    Wheels look shiney, but this will dull down overnight. Then tomorrow it will be a case of on with the lacquer.

    The original centre cap badges were well past their best
    mx5_wheel_refurb


    So tracked down some nice new ones.......in red to match her bodywork!

    mx5_wheel_refurb

     

    Also done the centre caps in white as these were originally black.......plastic primed first, then one with the white. Much better! Again, these will be lacquered tomorrow.
    mx5_wheel_refurb

     

    Really enjoying this, although forgot how much hard work it is refurbing wheels....that plus I'm not getting any younger! The fumes had a funny effect too even though I was wearing a mask. Will post pics once they are done and fitted to the car. The tyres are all being replaced with new ones as they are all odd ditch finders that are on them just now, and have signs of cracking.

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    Out for a run in Mindy today seeing as the sun was out!

    20181117_141409.jpg

     

    Came back and decided to get the 3 wheels that were done finally fitted. Still got 1 wheel and 3 centre caps to go into lacquer tomorrow then grt them all fitted. Love they way she looks with these done in white, kinda retro look. Still on the crappy tyres for now (managed to get most of the paint off them), new tyres after the year.

    20181117_165055.jpg

    Hope you like!

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    Another job ticked off the list! Been in garage tonight fixing something that has bugged me since getting the car.........cigar/12v socket didn't work. Thought it might be the fuse, but power getting to the socket so decided it must be gubbed. Removed it (what a fight that was, did not want to come out!) and had a look. Was slightly corroded inside, but read on main club forum that it could also be the built in fuse on the socket itself that had gone. So, seeing as I had a brand new one that I'd bought for a project I was going to do on the MINI, I replaced it with that. All back together, tested and now working fine! Means we can now charge stuff when out in the car. Happy chappy. Took a photo but haven't uploaded it yet (but we all know what a cigar lighter looks like eh!)
    Centre caps for wheels (the three remaining ones) now all had their coats of lacquer. Also tyre dressed the tyres and they don't look too bad now, cleaned up pretty well. Again, took a pic but it's still on my phone! photo of the new Cigar lighter fitted (not very exciting I know but will make such a difference!)
    Image

     

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    And a quick photo of the wheels, now fitted with the new centre cap badges in red to match the bodywork.
    Image
    Image

    Planning a custom dash centre console where the radio (possibly getting a retro DAB one) sits flush with the dash. All radios stick out from dash due to the design of the centre console tombstone so looking to mod that!

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    Small update.

    Got The last alloy fitted so she's now back riding on her original 5 spoke alloys, all nicely returned in white. Really think it changes her look.

    20181228_142639.jpg20181228_142707.jpg20181228_142718.jpg20181228_142728.jpg

    Lucky boy, Gayle got me new things for Mindy as part of my Christmas pressies! OEM stainless will covers! Been wanting these for ages, so got them fitted. Going to give them a good polish as I have a full metal polishing kit, but tbh they're in really nice condition anyways so that can wait for a bit

    20181228_142815.jpg20181228_142824.jpg

    Next up, fixed the driver's door handle which was previously not sitting right (was sticking out at one end) (see previous post) so with a new wee bit of rubber put in place (I had some of those stick on rubber feet for laptops etc lying spare) the handle now sits flush like it should (and my OCD Balance is restored!)

    20181228_142912.jpg

    Can just see Carly Cooper's bum peeking out from the garage! That's the job today (which went tits up!) Fitting new rear brake calipers, pads and sensors.

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    So, a little update! As some of you may already know, when I went to work on Carly (my MINI Cooper, replacing rear calipers then bleeding brakes) on January 3rd 2019 things did not go smoothly! After new calipers were fitted, Gayle and I were in the garage finishing off bleeding the brakes. And that's when it happened!  I had a heart attack! I didn't have a clue what was happening but luckily Gayle spotted the signs and got me into the house then called for an ambulance. Wont go into too much details but they had a team waiting at the door pf the ERI who took me from ambulance straight into theatre. Two stents fitted then up to cardiac care unit. Both the team and the ambulance crew said if Gayle hadn't acted so quickly, I wouldn't be here now.msp_scared.gif

    So obviously restoring Mindy has ground to a halt due to me having to recover and rebuild my strength/repair my old ticker. Well, not entirely ground to a halt! hehehe. I have changed her head unit again, after picking up a Pioneer DAB/USB head unit really cheap (like, £20!). Got it all fitted although it did have a fault with it's own wiring harness which I had to repair but all as good as new now. Had a spare brand new DAB ariel lying about in the garage so fitted that and all working perfectly. Love having the USB, as it means (like my other cars) no more CD's rattling about in the car. Will get photos of the new head unit when I remember, but here's a few of Mindy on a wee run yesterday down the coast road. Decided it was sunny, and I needed cheering up so off we tootled. Actually gave her quite a good blast, and even with the knackered suspension, totally enjoyed it. Flashed at a silver MK2 MX5 going through Port Seton but he blanked me! lol

    jan_2019_2we run down coast.jpgjan_2019_3we run down coast.jpgjan_2019_4we run down coast.jpgjan_2019_5we run down coast.jpg

     

    And my fav photo of her so far..

    jan_2019.jpg

    Hope you like. Will be tackling replacing the suspension once I have my strength back, then engine service/belts along with draining the brake fluid and renewing it (hopefully no dramas this time round!!)

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    Cracking weather today for Feb! I feel a wee run coming on......top down naturally! Went for a spin up through Gifford and into the hills for a change, first time up there with Mindy. No other MX5's seen, but did get a thumbs up from another convertible (that didnt have the hood down).......a Porsche convertible! lol Dunno if he was thumbs up to Mindy or thumbs up to me for braving the cold with the hood down.

    Here's the pics, this time done with my Nikon 35mm DSLR (not had the camera our for ages, just been using my phone) Hope you like the results.

    DSC_0002Feb-2019-Mindy-Gifford.jpgDSC_0008Feb-2019-Mindy-Gifford.jpgDSC_0018Feb-2019-Mindy-Gifford.jpgDSC_0003Feb-2019-Mindy-Gifford.jpgDSC_0012Feb-2019-Mindy-Gifford.jpgDSC_0020Feb-2019-Mindy-Gifford.jpgDSC_0004Feb-2019-Mindy-Gifford.jpgDSC_0016Feb-2019-Mindy-Gifford.jpgDSC_0023Feb-2019-Mindy-Gifford.jpgDSC_0006Feb-2019-Mindy-Gifford.jpgDSC_0017Feb-2019-Mindy-Gifford.jpgDSC_0024Feb-2019-Mindy-Gifford.jpgDSC_0025Feb-2019-Mindy-Gifford.jpgDSC_0026Feb-2019-Mindy-Gifford.jpgDSC_0027Feb-2019-Mindy-Gifford.jpgDSC_0028Feb-2019-Mindy-Gifford.jpg

    Can see East Lothian and the Firth of Forth in this last pic.

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    Ordered up Mindy's new springs, shocks and bump stops from MX5Heaven and all arrived. Decided as my recovery is on a go slow and I have no patience to switch to plan B! Getting my wee local garage to fit it all! They have asked me to take her down for an inspection first so they can see what's what rust wise so they have a good idea how the job will go.

     

    Well, back from garage after Mindy's initial check. Looks like the shocks,/bolts will come off ok after some heat. On inspection, osr shock is completely gone, no damping at all. OSF shock is leaking like crazy, and not much damping going on. They also suspect that's where the knocking noise is coming from, although will know for sure once they get stuck in. NSF shock is a bit weak, NSR shock and spring have both been replaced. No wonder her handling is all over the place!

    They had me in the garage to have a good nosey underneath as you can't really tell much when viewing the car in the streets when buying it. Guys at garage even agree she is surprisingly very solid underneath. The wishbones look crap with all the underseal that's been slapped on them flaking off, but these will also be getting replaced as we go along. Underseal on floor etc looks untidy/old and needs wire brushed off and redone, but she looks really solid! Very happy and very relieved, as checking the underneath on any car is tricky, but on these it's even harder and also more crucial as they do rot like hell. Glad to see wee do appear to have bought a really good one on that front!

    So, she's booked in for Monday to get all her new suspension fitted! So looking forward to it! Martyn my friend at the garage also recommended a place not too far away from here to get the geometry set up done so will get that booked asap too. Next month, funds allowing, will get new tyres all round and new brake pads front and rear. Getting her booked into there to get all her fluids changed too, along with all filters and spark plugs/leads. 

    Took her for a wee celebration run seeing as the sun was out! Love this wee car!

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    So, got her back, new suspension fitted and they didn't have any probs with the fitting. Just had her out for a proper wee blast as didn't have time yesterday............and bloody hell, what a difference!

    The massive vibration through the car when going over even the slightest bump is gone. There is still a little vibration, also noticed this at high speed on the motorway, so assuming the wheels deffo need balanced plus a 4 wheel alignment still need done.

    But cornering, my god she's so much better! Could feel myself trusting her more and more with every corner. She's just so much more controlled. Now she doesn't bounce on the osr, which used to throw her out in corners. So much more fun to drive, but also so much nicer to drive normally.

    Ordered up 4 new Goodyear efficient grip tyres for her (got a bargain on blackcircles, 4 fully fitted for £214 as they had a discount sale on) so these getting fitted on Thursday. Will then get her booked in for the geometry set up. 

    Got a pic of underneath with new shock/spring fitted but it's on my phone so will upload it later. Not much to see really, just a nice shiney shock bump stop and spring. Lol

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    Well, everyone knows how I love miniatures so after seeing the 1:18 scale models from Gates posted by another member, I decided to go looking for one! Had been told that these were expensive, and cheapest ones I could find were over the £100 mark. Then this one popped up, but had no box (not an issue for me as all my models come out of the box and go on display shelves) but in mint condition. Looked at the price, it had just been listed minutes before.........at £40! Jumped on it there and then!

    So it arrived today, and have to say description was bang on, not a single mark or scratch on it. Had to make up some of Mindy's plates in 1:18 scale (would be rude not to! lol)

    Hope you like!

    20190227_130133Mindy-Mini-Me118-scale.jpg20190227_130153Mindy-Mini-Me118-scale.jpg20190227_130218Mindy-Mini-Me118-scale.jpg20190227_130233Mindy-Mini-Me118-scale.jpg20190227_130248Mindy-Mini-Me118-scale.jpg20190227_130311Mindy-Mini-Me118-scale.jpg

     

    Oh, and the only pic I have of the new suspension so far! lol. Unfortunately, it also shows how untidy she is underneath, but everything is solid, only surface rust. Will be tackling this as soon as I'm well enough!

    20190226_144631Mindy-Mini-Me118-scale.jpg

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    Well. She's got her full new set of Goodyear's fitted..........along with the suspension omg! So much more planted through the corners!! Still to get the geometry done but already transformed!
    Now I'm not sure if this is because of the geometry still needing done, but she is still a bit crashy on roads that aren't Uber smooth. Feel the vibrations got through the car, which I think on a long trip, would be very tiring. Did they have a crashy (and I mean really crashy) ride from new? This feels like every single thing on the car is trying to rattle free, such are the vibrations/crashes. The vibration from the steering isn't that noticeable now (although again, going over rough/ holes roads it sends shocks through the wrists) so assuming the wheels now being balanced have sorted that. Just the vibrations/shocks through the chassis that but me. I don't remember the mk1's I drove all this years ago being like this?

    Anyhoo, seems Mindy is on a mission to have my account constantly overdrawn! Went to pick Gayle up from work yesterday, and on way home, bloody brake pads went! So ordered up a new brake disc/brake pad package from MX5Parts today. My bank manager must be having me right now, but hey ho, it's only money! Lol 

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    Another box arrived for Mindy today, again from MX5Parts!

    New brakes

    20190304_144506Mindy-new-brakes.jpg

    20190304_144627Mindy-new-brakes.jpg

    Looking at her current discs, the fronts look to be quite new, so will still change them but keep the old ones as spare. The rears are also in pretty decent shape, no lips on the discs, so once I get em off will decide if these too can maybe be kept as spares. Could probably have got away with just ordering the pads front and rear, but thought I was always going to replace all thius for new stuff during the resto so might aswell just get them and fit them now. Least I know then it's been done, and also will feel better knowing that if Gayle's out in Mindy on her own, the brakes are all safe. Expecting the pads to be utterly gubbed going by the noise they were making! Once these are all fitted, going to put her in to get the brake fluid flushed and renewed, plus a service including all fluids changed.

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    So..........I have been busy! I know I'm not supposed to be working on cars or doing anything strenuous at the moment due to the heart attack, but I've been bored rigid and finally thought to hell with it, I'm doing this!

    So I've replaced Mindys brake discs and pads! Took a lot lot longer than it normally would (usually about an hour, took me 6 hours all in as had to keep stopping to get my breath back/have a wee break.

    The old discs weren't actually too bad, but better to replace them anyways. Pads weren't worn as much as expected, but the material felt weird, like it had maybe been cooked by heavy breaking or they had been contaminated, deffo felt odd. Plus they were el' cheapo pads! Old brakes below.

    20190309_123243.jpg

    Oh, and don't worry, that surface rust has now been checked, buffed and treated with rust treatment, and painted over for now to protect it until i redo all the underseal/dinitrol it.

    On with the new!

    20190309_150445.jpg

    Can also see the new springs, dampers and bump stops. Pass side completed below.

    20190309_161959.jpg

    so fronts now done, just got the rears to do now, although felt really tired today for some reason so will see how I feel tomorrow. Hopefully will be able to do them!

    Took her for a nice run on Monday seeing as Gayle was on a day off, brakes nicely bedded in now. Gave her a bit more stick, and by god does she handle a lot better than when we bought her. Even as a passenger, Gayle said Mindy felt really solid now, and planted through the twisties.

    I had her out for another blast today, and went even quicker than I have ever went with her before and can report she actually encourages you to go even quicker through the bends. Took her into town, and so much comfier than she ever was before, more relaxed to drive. Still a bit to be gained by loosening/redoing those bolts and of course the geo set up. But at least now she feels like an MX5 should, and how I remembered those mk1's feeling that i drove years ago. All is good in Mindy's world!

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    Oh, meant to add, was really surprised how easy everything came apart, no siezed bolts or discs that won't come off, even the caliper pistons pushed in nice and easy. Really enjoyed working on her, and if I get told off by cardio nurse I'll just say "but hey, its therapeutic!"

    Gayle was fine as she knew where i was and what i was doing, was under orders to take it easy. Think she got that i needed to do this, needed to feel like.......well, like me again! Said on the day i had the heart attack that i would not let it redefine who i am or what i can do. So this really did make me feel good again, even if it did take way longer than it should and drained me of energy. Was worth it!

     

    Ps: you guys will back me up if i get Tokyo from the cardio nurse, eh chaps!? Lol

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    Just back from cardio clinic and my cardio nurse gave me a wee ticking off regarding working on the car! To do no more than a half hour stint a day working on car, and to avoid using arms as much as i can. Guess ill need to learn how to use a spanner with my feet! Lol xD

    To be fair, when she explained things I totally get it, so will be taking it easy where Mindy is concerned. Still, least im getting to drive her a lot just now with the sunny mornings we're having just now has deffo lifted my spirits.

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    Been working away in the garage again! We had bought really rough tombstone seats a while back. They were filthy, had rips in the vinyl and looked awful, but we were going to get them retrimmed so didn't matter. Problem is, the seat bases need swapped over as the UK spec mx5 has the seat belts bolted to the seat base (so to9mbstone seats have nowhere for the seat belt to bolt on to). We decided to strip the seats down and also take the covers off to see if they would maybe clean up a bit in the washing machine. If we could get the bases swapped over, we could use the seats until we were ready for them going to the trimmers to be covered in leather.

    So, started removing seats..

    20190320_235317mx5_Tombstone_seats_nardi)wooden_steeringwheel.jpg

     

    Then stripped the covers off the seats. Hats off to Gayle, who removed all the little metal clips holding covers on (bloody hundreds of the pesky buggers!) while I held the seat firm/held cover out of the way.

    20190318_133607mx5_Tombstone_seats_nardi)wooden_steeringwheel.jpg

     

    Cover off

    20190318_134729mx5_Tombstone_seats_nardi)wooden_steeringwheel.jpg

     

    The seat base covers were horrible, all stained (including oil stains) and smelt of cat pee! They has been stored in a barn so anyones guess what the actual smell was! Back rest hanging up in conservatory to dry after a long time in the washing machine!! Came out really nice!

    20190318_135559mx5_Tombstone_seats_nardi)wooden_steeringwheel.jpg

     

    Now the refitting of the covers could begin. Rather than use the clips (which were mostly corroded and busted anyways) we chose to use cable ties. Cable ties all put in place first before offering up cover.

    20190320_133534mx5_Tombstone_seats_nardi)wooden_steeringwheel.jpg

     

    And then fitting the cover. Horrible job, and fingers are still sore!

    20190320_123941mx5_Tombstone_seats_nardi)wooden_steeringwheel.jpg

     

    Before fitting the tombstone base cusion to the uk spec metal seat base, I rust treated them then primered followed by spraying them in satin black. Know you won't see this once fitted, but I like wee details like this done properly.

    20190321_103157mx5_Tombstone_seats_nardi)wooden_steeringwheel.jpg

     

    Seat finally built. Note the split that I also repaired by using vinyl repair section cut from the old seats.

    20190321_003244mx5_Tombstone_seats_nardi)wooden_steeringwheel.jpg

     

    Fitted to car........splits now repaired on both seats.

    20190321_154052mx5_Tombstone_seats_nardi)wooden_steeringwheel.jpg

    20190321_154121mx5_Tombstone_seats_nardi)wooden_steeringwheel.jpg

     

    This spending money has to stop! Another box arrived addressed to Mindy.......what has the wee minx been buying now??

    Something very nice, that's what!!

    20190320_235117mx5_Tombstone_seats_nardi)wooden_steeringwheel.jpg

    I've always loved the Nardi wooden steering wheels, but being 360mm they were too big if you were tall like me. Problem being that in order to drive the mx5, my left leg had to be at a very uncomfortable angle to work the clutch, as it couldn't fit under the steering wheel. So the wheel I bought is only 330mm. Took me ages to hunt down a wheel that has the same styling as the Nardi (spokes etc all look similar) but smaller. This one came all the way from Germany and wasn't cheap! Still, love the way it looks. Also got a Nardi horn push badge coming which will finish it off nicely.

    20190321_154137mx5_Tombstone_seats_nardi)wooden_steeringwheel.jpg20190321_154148mx5_Tombstone_seats_nardi)wooden_steeringwheel.jpg         

     

    Had her out for a wee test drive, and felt weird at first with the wheel being smaller (and wood) but also because my leg wasnt trapped against the wheel anymore. There is another mod to remove a wee spacer from the column to gain another wee bit room so will be doing that too. New seats feel so much better! More supportive due to the side bolsters, but seem to have more padding too. Plus as Gayle pointed out, no more cold draft on your neck due to the space between the old seat and the headrest! Next job will be to get new speakers for the seats as the originals have disintegrated, then get it all wired up. Well happy, and again, find it theraputic to be working on Mindy again, albeit at a much slower pace.

     

    Oh, old seats and bases etc, which will be on their way to the tip tomorrow! Manky!

    20190321_154036mx5_Tombstone_seats_nardi)wooden_steeringwheel.jpg

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    You and Gayle make a good team Dave..........I'd end up in the "Funny Farm" if I attempted any form of upholstering .....Geez you guys did well taking on such a difficult task.

    Speakers in the seats....brilliant.

    Have you treated the steering wheel for woodworm ?......I jest....it's an excellent addition and best of all it gives you a bit more room for those long paws of yours.

     

    • Haha 1

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    Lol yeah, always wondered why my feet were so far away from my body, its them bloody long legs! 

    I retrimmed the whole interior on my first Civic M mate, both front seats and also the rear. Think the photos of that are still on civic5.com. So we knew before starting what a sod of a job it is, but thought we might as well get stuck in! 

    Im so lucky Gayles a petrol head, and even luckier that she loves working on cars too! We work so well together its amazing! 

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    Experience is King when it comes to difficult specialist tasks....Bless your work :)

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    Sourced a brand new Nardi horn badge for the steering wheel. Think it finishes it off nicely.

    20190330_093655.jpg

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    some recent photos.

    Decided that it was time to source and replace the osr tail light on Mindy. It's had a scuff mark on it since we bought her, and try as I might I couldn't get it off. So found a replacement set of tail lights on Facebook from a Guy called Ric. Went through to pick them up and turns out he also has a red UK MK1 just like Mindy! Had to take a photo of Mindy and her new playmate!

    rics-mx5.jpg

    Better pic of Rics MX5

    rics-mx5 2.jpg

    Interior has everything I want to do to Mindy (and some of the stuff I've already done! Even the same stainless kick plates.!

    rics-mx5-3.jpg

     

    So got the new light fitted and decided that even though I'd been told not to do too much manual work by my cardio nurse, it was time to give Mindy a proper detailing!. Washed, dried and then the following

    • Meguires Clay barred
    • G£ paint restorer (machine buffed)
    • Autoglym super resin polish (machine buff)
    • Autoglym extra High gloss finisher (machine buff)
    • Meguires wax (hand buffed)
    • Wheels cleaned then polished, followed by Autoglym silicon wheel sealer.
    • Tyres dressed with Autoglym tyre dressing
    • Glass cleaned with Autoglym glass cleaner.
    • Windscreen treated with RainX

    Really pleased with the results, although took me the whole day due to my current health status!! Her paint really pops when the sun hits it now, and looks really deep. Still going to give her a full respray though as the paint still isn't as perfect as I'd like it to be. Also need to repaint the sills soon as they are letting the look down. Hoping to get done before I return to work.

    1detailed-polished-waxed-mx5.jpg2detailed-polished-waxed-mx5.jpg3detailed-polished-waxed-mx5.jpg4detailed-polished-waxed-mx5.jpg

     

    Next, something arrived that I had ordered ages ago! Wood dash trim kit. Had issues as the first one that arrived was way to dark and would have looked wrong so that had to be sent back to supplier then had to wait on a replacement. This matched better, so got to work and got it fitted. Really happy now! Lifts the drab black interior I think and also makes the steering wheel blend in instead of sticking out like a sore thumb. Still to get the chrome surrounds for the heater vents but will add them later. Also still planning a custom radio install.

    1wood-dash-trim-mx5.jpg2wood-dash-trim-mx5.jpg

     

    Hope you like!

    Another thing that has bugged me about the mx5 is more of a technical one. The amount of times I've parked her somewhere and returned to find I'd left the sidelights on was getting beyond a joke! Only a matter of time before I returned to a flat battery, so decided to retro fit a lights on warning buzzer! Got a little video below of it working. The buzzer is an annoying tone, but it does it's job as you want to turn the lights off as quickly as possible to shut it up! Works when you open the door if you've left the lights on.

     

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