Engine has eaten itself

NB ‘98, 1.6

Acquired the NB in December and it has been garaged since. Took it into my local garage due an oil leak from the gasket and misfiring. Compression test showed issues with cylinders 2 and 3 so the head came off and we found that it is eating itself. Head, block and pistons damaged. Looks like a previous owner had a bodged job resulting in the damage seen today.

Appears the engine is toast (think that’s the technical term). So the question is, do I get another engine? Thoughts?

The rest of the car is in good nick, and I am reluctant to let it go so soon. However, don’t want to throw good money after bad.

Do you recommend any reputable second hand engine sellers? Anything I should be looking out for? Don’t want to shell out and have a second duff engine on my hands.

Thanks in anticipation

Can’t comment on where you may obtain a sound replacement engine, others will probably be better informed.
You should really check over the undersides for the dreaded rot if you haven’t already done that. Many of these Mk2’s get thrown away because of rot rather than engine failure.:-1:

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Maybe a long shot, but these guys (Great British Sports Cars) https://www.greatbritishsportscars.com/ sell a Lotus 7 like Kit car that can be based on an MX-5. If I remember rightly they also will sell all the MX-5 running gear to the kit purchaser as an option. Meaning they may have a stock of broken MX-5s ? Worth a call, they’re a nice bunch, I’ve met them at several shows. Cheers… Rich


As previously said, most end up scrapped because of tin worm making them beyond economic repair. Probably moreso now in these days of silly CAT scrap values.

For you, that means there should be plenty second hand engines available fairly cheaply. So, get an assessment of the general condition and then make the decision to replace the engine (it is very unlikely to be economically viable to rebuild the original engine).

Bear in mind if you do have an engine swap, ideal opportunity to get welding done and clutch replaced, setting the car up for the next 100k nicely.

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Might Rocketeer have engines they’ve taken out or perhaps they know of s/h engines that might be available from customers’ conversions.
Maybe even do your own Rocketeer conversion???

Agree with @MickAP, give it a thorough inspection for rot. If all is good then I think getting a replacement engine shouldn’t be too much of an ordeal. Autolink might have one in stock. https://www.autolinkmx5.com/

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Have you tried giving these guys a call https://www.pmsportscars.com/ They sell and break MX5’s

I have no connections to the business other than as a satisfied customer, and they are only 10 miles away from me.

They had tons of MX5’s and s/h spare parts in stock, worth a call at least.

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I’ve contacted Autolink and Andrew has given me a couple of options.


He’s brilliant. Trustworthy to a fault.

I have used Autolink for a couple of sensors no problem, Wayne of Mazda Menders recommends them.

Did it make a Nom Nom noise as it was doing this?