Calling out all ND experts! [Hopefully back into MX5 ownership soon!]

Hi everyone, and thank you very much for reading.

I have sadly been without an MX5 since 2021 - I had a 2018 RF 1.5 which I picked up around April 2021, unfortunately due to covid restrictions at the time, it was bought sight unseen, and when I finally picked it up it was clear to me it had a very nasty respray job on the front bumper which always played on my mind. I then decided to take advantage of the silly used car prices in August 2021 and sold the RF for a nice chunk of profit, always with the intention to go back to MX5 ownership as soon as the prices were reasonable again.
That time seems to have arrived! I have been looking at RFs and they seem to be getting close to what I paid for mine a few years ago (£12.5k to £13.5k seems to get a decent one).
Now, I find the base soft top 1.5 very tempting indeed due to the lower prices but mostly due to the slightly lower weight, however I am really not a soft top person and I find the looks of the RF intoxicatingly beautiful, so I know that if I buy a soft top I will regret it.
With this in mind, I have settled on an RF 1.5 - I am probably going to look at white, black or red as the other colours are a bit not me. Spec wise I am actually not that bothered, I think only thing I absolutely require is heated seats (I love a bit of roof down action during frosty/cold weather).
At this point I need to mention why I’m going back to an MX5 - absolutely joyful thing to drive, simples. I’ve driven thousands of cars (I used to work in the motor trade) and there is no other car I find more entertaining or desirable, and considering the current state of the automotive industry I decided to grab a nice well cared for low mileage example while I can with the intentions of, for lack of a better term, never sell it.

And finally (sorry for such a long post) - the reason for this post is I want to make sure I don’t end up with another MX5 which has had questionable work done which will cause me to fall out of love with it.

I am intending to do my own maintenance (probably change oil and filter every 6 months), I would also like to do a rust protection treatment as soon as I get it, ideally would also like to do a ceramic coat and full PPF, and slightly later I’ll probably look at some decent tyres (personally had some really good experience with Uniroyal Rainsports) and a decent alignment (it is my understanding no one can beat Paul Roddison at this)

I am aware the MX5 is just an amazingly reliable car, but nothing is perfect, so this is what I am aware of/plan doing about it:

Rear hub carriers - I’ll replace with the polybush kit when they go, but how can I check if they’re OK?

Drains - I used to run water through my RF drains every month to ensure they were free of debris, anything else I need to check here?

RF top - it is my understanding these are still looking pretty much bullet proof, is that right?

Window regulators - these now seem to be a common failure point, is there a permanent solution to do once and not have to do again? Seems like a really fiddly job! Again, how can I tell if they’re on the way out?

LED headlights - these look to be very reliable, but I am slightly concerned with the high repair cost if they were to fail, are they known to fail/wear out?

And of course, I would like to hear from anyone who has advice to give regarding buying a used MX5 and what I should be looking for specifically on the ND (I am not very experienced with this platform)

Thank you very much

As far as the rear hubs are concerned replace the spherical bearings (not bushes) with kits you can obtain from 2 suppliers.

Thank you very much - that is what I meant :sweat_smile:

Window regulators are an issue yes! my car is a 65 plate 2015 and the drivers side completely packed up… when opening the doorcard etc the cable had frayed and wrapped around the top pulley… I had no choice but to cut the cable as the window was locked up… what a mess!

So I replaced that one and the passenger at the same time as a “just in case” kind of thing… Both windows work like new now :slight_smile:

Next on my list is the rear hubs, I’ve had a slight knock on small ruts and drains etc since I bought it nearly 2 years ago, so when the MOT is due I’ll get the hubs looked at then…

Still love my mk4 though

Ok couple of things I want to ask/confirm…

It’s a shame the windows are a bit of an issue because looks like a right pain to get them changed, I’m guessing no permanent solution yet from the aftermarket or Mazda revised part?

The rear hubs thing, so they don’t stop you from the driving the car right? It’s not like a catastrophic failure or something?

As far as the windows go, my local garage told me to stick with Genuine Mazda parts as the cheaper aftermarket ones tend to fail, luckily MX5Parts do these regulators pretty nicely priced. A bit of a fiddle but I managed to change mine myself with a little youtube help haha

Yeh the rear hub thing is just a gentle tapping sound as far as I can tell… over bigger bumps and in corners its fine. Its just mild ruts and little bumps I hear a slight knock in the back. I’ve been driving it now nearly 2 years now and it passed its last MOT no problem so I don’t think its super urgent. I do intend on changing those bushings soon though

Mild wear on the rear hub bushes will hardly be detectable, but when you hear them start knocking you can check them by using a pry bar between the hub and the link arm connection at the hub. Detectable play should be an MOT failure at MOT test, so if you find play or the car is knocking at the rear it is advisable to replace them asap.
If you need further advice on which replacements offer which advantages then don’t hesitate to message me.
Initial free play develops rapidly into major clearance in the bush, which allows the hub to be “loose”, you will hear and feel this. Ultimately if left, the corrosion responsible for the clearance in the bush could lead to failure of the inner shaft.

1 Like

Worth a read

Thank you very much - good to know the rear hub thing isn’t like a huge terrible issue, but a bad of a shame no permanent fix for the window thing. Oh well, still getting an ND :joy:

Thank you very much for clarifying - doesn’t sound like a horrible thing, which is very much what I expected being Mazda

Ordered these earlier this morning and already been dispatched! (according to ebay haha)… I’ll let you know how I get on with fitting and the difference once completed. I’m looking forward to the results, will the tapping finally go away after nearly 2 years? :slight_smile:

Oh dear!

1 Like

Def let us know how you get on!

Hi Pikeg123, how are you fitting these bushes, have you a tool to fit them with, are you going to take the hubs off and use a hydraulic press?
The Mazda OEM bushes will come out with the right tools, but to fit these Whiteline bushes will be tough at 0.1mm oversize. You can leave them in the freezer for 24 hours, which will make them easier to fit for sure. It’s just a worry that once temperatures stabilise, your hub will be under a lot of strain. I’m certain that these bushes will immediately cure the problem, it’s a matter of how long they last and what you’ll have to do to get them out if they do eventually fail.
Best of luck, initially they will be fine.

1 Like

Hi there, I have been down to my usual local garage but they only work on fully assembled arms etc so no good…
However I have found another local garage who are willing to do the job, I’m not 100% on what methods they use, if its hand tools or a press but they seemed to be happy to take a look at them.

I’m booked in for 7th Feb so we’ll see how it goes… they have 5 star google reviews so fingercrossed all goes well… As I say I’ll update on how things go :slight_smile:

You mention Whiteline but the ones I have here are made by SuperPro, appearance wise they look very similar I will say :thinking: luckily I don’t drive the MX5 hard its mainly motorway and the odd pootle around town so never anything extreme.

Hi pikeg123, those are exactly the same as the Whiteline in every detail even the foam packaging and box size, except it says Superpro. So I expect either a third party is producing these or perhaps whiteline are supplying Superpro. What is funny is that if you buy them as Superpro they are more expensive than whiteline by about £30, hence my guess whiteline are using Superpro as a franchise seller under the Superpro name. Perhaps Superpro have a better market reach than whiteline.
Let us know how you get on, in particular if the garage have to remove the hubs. Pretty much 100% reckon the bushes will solve your problem, it’s just how long they last and if they need replacing they’ll be a nightmare to get out.

there is no other car I find more entertaining or desirable,

Well you have never driven a 1960s Lotus Elan then!!

I have certainly never driven a Lotus Elan, you are correct - however I certainly don’t find them at all desirable.

I just want to clarify what I mean by ‘desirability’ - I mean that extra something that you cant quite put your finger on that just makes you want a certain car - I’ve got the perfect example, I find the 2014 BMW M cars extremely desirable, yet I really really don’t actually want to own any of them. I also find the Yaris GR incredibly desirable, but wouldn’t actually own one.

So the Mazda RF for me strikes the perfect balance between desirability, reliability, usability and overall happiness. Doesn’t mean it’s objectively the best car in the world, but subjectively it certainly is the best car in world for me and my needs and my wants.

I hope that makes sense

Makes perfect sense, but if you ever have the chance to have a go in a well sorted Elan S3/4 take it. You will have fun! I have had them since 1966 and did over 200k miles in the last one! I now have an MX 5 3.75 and it is quite fun but such a small boot and limited legroom and a hard ride compared to the Elan.

Oh I absolutely will!! I love trying out different cars and feeling the differences between them. They are super rare now, or are they not? I am not even sure if I’ve ever seen one on the road now that I think about it. I like the MX 5 3.75 a lot too! I may even get one at some stage to be quite honest…