Mazda mk2.5 rust repairs

  1. My model of MX-5 is: a 2002 mx5 1.6
  2. I’m based near: Middlesborough

I inherited a mx5 from my mother who didn’t care for it in any way and let it rot away into infinity so it currently has 28k on the clock and drives and feels and inside looks immaculate

Unfortunately the body work isn’t the same it is suffering from severe rot in the sills and arches

I am looking for recommendations of anyone close to myself who can assist me in getting the old girl back to her best

Before anyone says to scrap it I don’t want to and I am aware it will be worth more than the car I just want recommendations from fellow enthusiasts about this issue


Expect to pay a fair bit of money for sills abs chassis rail repairs. Luckily its common and there are many professionals out there.

I got my Mk2.5 fixed too, happily spending more than the car’s value. Mine was in the south though, so can’t recommend anyone in your area.

How much did you pay I had one quote which was a worse case scenario quote of 5k which is at the very limit I want to spend

I not after a show car I want legal and fixed properly but got to be careful not to get a cowboy

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The chassis rails were £800. The rest of the work was sills, arches, every single rust spot and bubble removed and repaired (metal, no filler), a few mechanical repairs and a full strip and respray. Over 3 grand.
I’d suggest 2 grand should get a decent-enough repair.

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I will be honest I expected 2 grand but when they said 5 I was a little taken aback

I would be happy with 2 grand as it does need a lot of suspension work but I can do most of that myself

Welding and spraying is something I can’t

I was going to suggest about 2k as well.
However, you simply must have the Devil Spawn double skinned engine bay chassis rails vigorously inspected. This may mean dropping out the front bumper, but if you drop the plastic tray and get it hoisted, you should see any impending rot issues like “swelling” especially around the ARB mounts. If you see rippling or whatever, they are going back to oxide inside…ready to erupt any old day.
Exact same car, been there, done it.
I’m dreadfully biased, but given it’s silly low miles, I’d agree it’s a goer.

Anyhow, speak to Andrew at Autolink in Dumfries come the day, and tell him Robin in Falkirk referred you. He’s one of our best “trustees”. I don’t kno0w if he does repair panels, but even chassis rail sections are now available, and sills/ rear arch sections always have been.
I definately drop out every single fluid from brakes to coolant ( unless it looks fresh)…and have the calipers & discs inspected.
While you are at it, I’d get all the wishbones cleaned up, Hammerited, and inject Dinitrol or similar inside them. They rot form the inside out. Also clean up the PAS metal piping & treat. They can perforate and trust me, a used rack is a pain in the arrissimo to find at a decent wedge.

In the end, SWMBO having owned it 14 years as a daily, now enjoys it as a retirement companion. To her, like you, it seemed worth it.
105,000 miles, and just loosening up nicely. :wink:

In the end, you’ll have one of ( in my opinion) finest 5’s ever made blessed with what I regard as the best interior in terms of durability, quality and design they ever did.
I do love my Mk1, but it’s an Airfix kit inside by comparison!


This was the extent of my repairs, it became more of a minor restoration instead. But you can get the work done to a lesser extent than this and still have similar results.

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Also, check the boot-light area for crumblebum.
Back in the day, that was a dealer warranty call.
If they look dodgy, eventually the bottom of the boot panel will erupt below the badge.
There you go, that ought to keep you out of mischief for a bit!

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I have had both the front and back brakes stripped so new lines new callipers and discs and pads

Suspension wise i got a break deal on a brand new front set from Germany so both uppers and lowers for the front just the anti roll to strip and possibly a new sub frame
Putting koni shocks on after the repair and possibly strip the back out and get sandblasted and coated ready to be installed

Boot is actually in really good condition hasn’t showed much rot

Engine bay is quite rough so I will have to see what I can do about that

My mother didn’t use the car so or only a few hundred miles a year so it seems just lack of maintenance has caused it to rot away


Looking forward to progress reports!
We do like photos! If you have time…

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To add as well… I know you said you don’t want comments about scrapping, uneconomical repairs etc…

And I completely agree!

I’m assuming that if you’ve inherited it then it hasn’t cost you anything… Therefore, even if you are going to spend more than its actually worth right now, with that low mileage and otherwise good condition it sounds like you may end up with a he11 of a lot of car for not a lot of money, in the grand scheme of things.

Good luck, and keep us posted! :ok_hand::ok_hand:

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P.s to anyone reading this…

Apparently he(ll) is a profanity :man_facepalming:


Mazda Dudes in Darlington are highly rated.

I didn’t know they undertook this type of repair but I had seen them and thought they looked professional I shall try contact them and see if they can help

The forum is equipped with a default filter list acquired from somewhere, personally I don’t have an issue with hell as a mild expletive however the software says (or said) no… if there are any objections it can be reinstated :zipper_mouth_face:

Origin: Old English hel , hell , of Germanic origin; related to Dutch hel and German Hölle , from an Indo-European root meaning “to cover or hide.”

Most swear words have to do with three things: bodily functions, God, or sex. We covered the bodily functions with the first two, and now we’re onto blasphemy. It’s interesting to think of how the meaning of hell has evolved over time. Though the details are highly debated by theologians and internet trolls alike, the basic meaning of Hell in the Christian faith is a place or state of eternal suffering and separation from God. As a swear word, however, hell has many more meanings. For some reason, it’s a relatively mild expletive, so you’re likely to hear it crop up fairly often.

  • Who in the hell do you think you are?
  • Go to Hell!
  • What the hell is going on here?
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I must admit, it actually made me laugh!

I love being dictated to by machines, and I for one welcome our new electronic overlords!!


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I would recommend you have a word with the guys in Autospray, based in Weir Street, Darlington.
They applied a full Dinitrol treatment to mine a couple of years ago. When I first approached them, they wanted to see my car before they would do the work, as they were very familiar with the MX5 rear sill rust issues. When I quizzed them, it was very clear they were very knowledgeable about how these need to be repaired and said they had done it before.
They actually do a lot of Mercedes restoration work for that owners’ club, and have a very good reputation. Not far from you so I would definitely recommend you ahve a chat with them.


Was that part of our home schooling sir :blush: things you learn on this forum.

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Thanks they sound perfect I want someone who is committed and knows the struggles I have spoke to a few people and I have been told you don’t know the extent until you cut it all away but they seemed to be almost trying to persuade me to not do it which to me isn’t right

I understand it’s hard to quote but experience gives you an indication but these guys sound perfect I also want it under sealed so two birds I guess with them

Hope you get sorted - let us know how you get on!

Here’s their website, if it helps -

I have no connection with them other than being a customer a couple of years ago