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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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  1. Last week
  2. Gel

    Mk1 Mazda MX5 (aka Mindy!)

    Looking forward to the finished repair.
  3. Dave

    Mk1 Mazda MX5 (aka Mindy!)

    And its sunny today! Just about to have lunch then we're both out to the garage to get the seats done. Rest of the cleaning kit turned up today so we're good to go.
  4. Earlier
  5. Gel

    Mk1 Mazda MX5 (aka Mindy!)

    The 2 tone tombstones look ace Dave ....selling your seats should ensure you're not out of pocket. Are you taking on the bolster repair yourself ?......if anyone can do it you can. IMHO leather seats are a must in an open top car Looks like you're going to have a nice enjoyable weekend fitting the seats and road testing 'em.....all ya need is some Sunny weather.
  6. Dave

    Mk1 Mazda MX5 (aka Mindy!)

    So, after much thought we decided we didn't like the tombstone seats we fitted. Only one thing for it then......... Buy these for Mindy! Nice 2 tone black/red leather seats from another MX5. Apart from some very slight wear on the drivers bolster which we're going to have repaired locally, and needing a clean, these seats are pretty mint! Well chuffed with them and even the undersides (unlike the original bases on the tombstones which we had to swap which were rusty as hell) on these look like brand new. Got them for the bargain price of £70. Apart from afore mentioned slight bolster wear which appears to be just the colour that's worn off, there is no damage/tears or rips anywhere on them.The guy even threw in the matching red leather gear gator and handbrake gator. Really chuffed with these. Going to get them properly clean and then conditioned, then get the restorer to repaint the bolster. A very happy chappy! Can't wait for them to be ready to fit! Suppose the good thing is from an originality point of view, they are the same as the original seats we took out, only in leather, so kinda more in keeping with the car.
  7. Gel

    Mobile phone loophole

    I think it's pandemic
  8. Dave

    Mobile phone loophole

    That loophole needs to be closed asap . Really bugs me the amount of people using the phone/texting while driving.
  9. Gel

    Mobile phone loophole

    https://www.fleetnews.co.uk/news/company-car-tax-and-legislation/2019/08/01/driving-phone-law-loophole-high-court You can bet your bottom dollar the loophole will soon be addressed.
  10. Gel

    Mk1 Mazda MX5 (aka Mindy!)

    Brilliant news Dave 😃 it was a tricky problem but you nailed the problem from the off. Nothing would have changed without Gayle's magic touch 😇 Right.....it's time to start enjoying your topless redzer.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. Gel

    Mk1 Mazda MX5 (aka Mindy!)

    Tomorrow is promised to be a scorcher so fingers crossed you'll have the HT leads anon.....not forgetting the OBD 1 gadget.
  14. 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! 😀
  15. Gel

    Mk1 Mazda MX5 (aka Mindy!)

    Number 4 lead could well be the cause of the misfire/hesitation ? Once you have the code reader you can then decide how to proceed if replacing the HT leads doesn't cure your hesitation. Older cars are always fun and games 😖
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. Gel

    Mk1 Mazda MX5 (aka Mindy!)

    Have a look at this threard : https://www.mx5oc.co.uk/forum/yaf_postst43580_Calibrating-the-AFM---adjusting-mixture---Mk1--old-style-gate-AFM.aspx I had similar issues on the Motorway....resetting the fuel rims cured mine but I'm guessing it's a little trickier with an MX-5. Fingers crosssed you cure the fault without massive expense.
  19. 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!
  20. Gel

    Mk1 Mazda MX5 (aka Mindy!)

    Good preventable work that 😎......I see from our sister Site that Mindy sailed through her MOT.....was there ever any doubt....lol
  21. 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!
  22. Gel

    Mike Brewer Stateside

    Upon checking I see Ed has made the first Show for "Ed China's Garage Revival" and it looks like he'll also be involved with another Show called "Built by many" He's restoring an E-Type in episode1......it's not been released quite yet but you can view a trailer here : https://www.motorauthority.com/news/1116975_trailer-released-for-edd-chinas-2nd-new-car-show-built-by-many Every cloud has a silver lining
  23. Gel

    Mike Brewer Stateside

    Ed has already done a Pilot Show so we might be seeing him back on our screens ? Yeah, I too love Fuzz.....excepting when he goes off on one about buses....lol
  24. 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.
  25. Gel

    Mike Brewer Stateside

    People that keep telling us what a good egg they are ain't for me.....IMO Mike is a self centered salesman that has made good off the back of others. Ant is a nice guy that's gifted at bodywork but weak mechanically whereas Ed was/is a gifted all rounder. fingers crossed we'll soon be seeing more of Ed on our TV screens 😊
  26. 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!
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