2003 Nevada 1.8

I’m buying a Nevada 1.8 in silver at the weekend (stupidly excited to own my own MX5 after an ex-girlfriend used to own a MK3 MX5) - top tips for keeping a 19 year old car in top condition?

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Depends how much you drive it but putting it in a garage will help preserve it along with regular servicing. If you only use it sporadically then get it rust proofed, serviced, detailed and then put it in a carcoon, that should preserve it just fine.

It will be rusting from the inside out somewhere.
Just a question of where ( usual culprits eg inside chassis legs, bottoms of front wings, and sills/rear arch cavities)…and to what degree. Check PAS metal tubes for rot.
Check the cambelt & water pump have been done.
In fact, check every tube going everywhere.
Additionally, drop every single fluid out and replace over a shortish period as funds permit.
Especially, drop the LSD oil on that model and check for metal shards. If abused at MOT’s, they can shed “tabs”. Made of cheese in some peoples’ views.
There’s lots more…like rotting battery bin…just basically go from nose to tail fingertipping it.
Lots on Google about it.
OH…and do enjoy!


Firstly, well done on purchasing a great car. The mk2’s really are brilliant cars.

Have a really good look at the service history to see if cambelt and water pump (@Scottishfiver) have been done. You will slowly get a understanding of what you may want to do straight away (i.e HT leads) and jobs for the future.

When you give it a good wash you will pick up a some understand of the condition. Is there rust on the arches, sills or any other panels. Look at the drain holes and make sure they are unblocked.

When purchasing a new car (usually a winter job) if not already done I like to take all the inner wing panels off and assess the inner wings and all the underbody including chassis rails. As @Scottishfiver mentions these and the rear sills are the weak spots. The chassis rails tend to rust out at the front. If you turn the front wheels to full lock you can see the side of them with the bolts for the ARB bracket if memory serves me correct.

If the car is kept outside I would protect the hood with a half cover.


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Just be super careful. I looked round a Nevada out of curiosity that’s for sale on a lot in the Tyne Valley (I see you are in the south so presume it isn’t the same one). Chassis rails, sills, rear arches suspension all had it. That said I saw an early 1999 dark green NB the other day and it was glorious. There is a very broad spectrum of condition.

Blimey… :thinking:

If any NAs or NBs come up in the area I’ve started to go and look at them to see if I can pick up a fabled 2k - 3k bargain and because having done so much to my old knacker I feel I know all the problems, what’s involved in fixing them and how much it costs. Every one, without exception, has serious to terminal issues as if grease and oil were like myrrh round here. One day….

Been there.



Sorry this is way off thread. Judging by that boot floor I concede you’ve been to a darker place.

Interesting though I’ve got thick rubber chassis coating and that light grey epoxy where my heat shield had been (I now have a new heat shield as there was just the bolts when I got it). Yours looks like it was just painted.

Well I seem to have picked one in good condition and that’s been well looked after. The leather seats are as good as new, the soft-top is in excellent condition (he provided me with a half-cover too, and the hard-top roof - that came off the moment I got it home) and I have a stack of paperwork showing the work that’s been done to it. Best of all it drives beautifully, smells like a car should and the guy had the exhaust replaced with a Cobra so it sounds good too.

Sounds like a happy beginning👍

An ex-girlfriend had a 2ltr Mk3 which I drove a lot during lockdown - that car was great, this one just feels even better. Very happy beginning to owning my own one at last.

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Well done Mark…i had your car on my short list on Autotrader, really need to sell mine first. All the MX-5’s have slightly different characters. I was surprised how willing the engine was on my previous NB. Main thing is you are happy.

You were right to have short-listed it. Have now put in around 500 miles this weekend in the car (all with the roof down) - Saturday to Holland-on-Sea (Essex) and Sunday to Reculver (Kent) - it’s an absolute joy to drive and it even handled the totally clogged up Dartford crossing this evening without any issues. Mind you, at around £120 in fuel this is not something I’ll be repeating every weekend (even though fuel at the Tesco in Faversham was “only” 174.9p)

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On a ramp once every year or so. And paint the exposed parts of the underneath with Black Hammerite About £9 quid a can ( spray it on )
Leave it job done…

(Keep away from the Exhaust system or it will smell for weeks ) , This spray paint Kills rust on contact. You can actually spray over any surface rust,

It appears to change the monocular structure of Rust’ ! A bit like the other excellent product KURUST …. Just trying to help, Always good too To wire brush any lose rust areas, Regards Ray from Epping Essex

The Mk 3 sport is a nice model too, Funny thing is. The Earlier ones 2006/7 Are put together quite well because they were new model and need to attract the next lot of buyers etc, They tend to put their heart into a new model as it arrives in the showroom, Just my thoughts, Best regards from Ray in Epping Essex Ps. If you are in the Essex area. We have a Retyred meeting at the Woodman Wednesday 15 th June near Ongar, All are welcome huge car parks etc. dozens of tables in the Garden too… best regards .Ray…

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What sort of time are you meeting?

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All the rust converters are tannic acid plus a polymer. The tannic acid reacts to the rust to make iron tannate which when combined with a polymer creates an undercoat of sorts - it’s not very good undercoat and will last months untreated. Black hammerite is better than nothing and I use kurust and the direct to rust stuff on the garden bench.

Kurust, rust busters fe, jenolite and hydrate 80 are all variations on a theme with the different polymers added to them - making the product difference.

If the rust is surface only converters are not so bad, if the metal is pitted the converter won’t penetrate the pit and even specs of rust start seeding the next batch as the electrolysis effect takes hold. This can sit buried under gloop rusting through.

Ultimately all steel is destined to turn back to rust - that’s the natural state of its principal component - it’s how much you can slow it down.


We are getting there quite early. For very good reason, We Need to get our little beauties. all. Parked together in the bottom overspill area So we need to arrive at 12 o’clock ( where possible
This is the best time. ( many have intimated that they will be arriving at 12,
This will also give us the opportunity to commandeer the Garden Portico So that we are all gathered together too… we can then drink eat and chat in a group… … I look forward to you coming to our little gathering. There seems to be about 28 + arriving to date, This could be a hot ( hoods down event ). So the Shelter of the Garden portico might be a good idea… Best regards from Ray Hill please try to come ….

Bless you And thanks for your enquiry, :heart::man::woman_white_haired:

Crikey … By the sounds of some of what I have read over the past years. I’m going to purchase a bucket and shovel To sweep my car up as it deteriorates …. However , On a more serious note….
The thing is this, The MX5 from a point of view of the Manufacturer 15 years is probably more than Mazda had hoped for in the life of its product,

Mazda probably never gave a thought to the MX5 becoming a cherished little item. Loved by over a million owners, ! But the little MX5 has grown into a much loved little beauty … I deeply admire those who have kept the little MK’1 and MK 2,s on the road … Best regards. From ‘Ray from Epping Essex …. God bless all of you :man::woman_white_haired::pray::heart: