Is this rust serious?

I have recently been looking at getting my first mx5, and noticed that despite good chassis legs and sills, there is an advisory popping up on the mot saying Nearside Front Lower Suspension arm corroded but not seriously weakened.(Photos attached)
Is this serious and worth avoiding a well looked after car with 2 owners?

That’s the rear.
Looks like a Roadster with the 3 piece brace bar.
It’s not been well looked after at all to get there.
It’s going to need to be very cheap…but it’s all fixable with suitable cash injections.
Mine was worse…and yes it cost a lot.

Much of that is surface corrosion which could be tapped off gently using a hammer. Alot of cars will look like that if they’ve been used during the winter. The suspension components remain structurally ok but look horrible.
It’s not a deal breaker but would be several hundred pounds to replace. (The OEM . bushes alone will be a couple of £ hundred)

The car is 2 grand, all the sills and arches have been replaced. Would I be better of looking elsewhere?

Agree with TOGS.
The way prices are creeping 2k is common these days for a decent “fixer” not too far gone.
You’ll pay 4k up really for a plug n play one well sorted or actually has been well looked after eg…Waxoiled etc.
Mk1 chassis rails are far less an issue than the double skin Mk2s…so that’s one thing out the way.

Pattern front lower suspension arms are under £70, and come with the bushes prefitted, less than £100 to fit.

Mk1 suspension arms are generally problem free; the rust looks worse than it is, UNLESS some aftermarket bushes have been fitted, and have seized (can snap arms, I’m not sure if ths is happenng in 100% of arms or only in rust weakened arms). Mk2 arms are a slightly different pressing, and whether its because of “value engineering” or more rust traps, some of these have been rusting through. If the arches have been replaced, £2k is a very fair price.

All Mk1 1.8s have “3 piece” subframe braces.

If the suspension is that bad, what is the body like.
Not sure I’d say its been well looked after, it’s been used all year around and never washed underneath and left to rot.

So is the advisory for the Front or Rear of the car ?

If front whats that like also .

This is the front.


It doesn’t seem anywhere near as bad as the back nearside. Strangely enough the rear offside doesn’t seem as bad as the other either.

All in all, it’s not bad at all, and better than I suspected.

Doesn’t look too scary to me, pretty average really. Couple of hours on each corner with a wire brush some rust eater and decent underseal and it would all look a whole lot tidier. If I was happy with the quality of work to the chassis rails, sills and arches then £2k would sound OK to me, assuming reasonable mileage and service history, decent hood etc.

If the sills and arches are good, and a good hood, the car is worth £3-3.5k at least.

Might I add it is a nb. I should have clarified earlier.

I would not be worried about the front leg, it will brush and paint.
I would definitely want to check the quality of the sill and arch repairs thoroughly.
My NB sills had been done by the previous owner complete with £850 bill, one of them I discovered later had been knocked in, filled with epoxy, then filled over, stone chipped and painted. It looked great and was solid but I discovered it whilst doing the inner arch and had to cut it all out and start again.
Suggest as a minimum you tap everything firmly with screwdriver handle to see what is solid and what yields. Also unclip the boot carpet liner and have a good look at how the arch has been repaired, a new panel let in will be obvious. As should any bodging.

Very true; reach past the inner wheel arches (easier on the drivers side) and you should be able to feel the repair. Check the wheel arch lip. If its all new metal, it should be thin, not thickened.

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