Mk2.5 buying advice needed

Hi folks

I’m looking to buy a mk2.5 mx5 for track use.
I intend to keep it long term so I want the best car I can find. My budget for the car is max £3k ( but for this amount I want a rust free car which runs almost like new) The options as I see them:

1)Find a rust free car with no history of rust and which has been rust proofed (not sure such cars exist)
Is rust inevitable? Is it possible to find well maintained examples which have been rust proofed? 

2) Buy a car which has had rust repairs done already…
Ive come across cars which have had the main rust repairs done already (ie) chassis rails, sills and arches. 

3) Find a car with minimal rust and carry out repairs. 

A few more questions, if properly done how long do rust repairs last? 
Do chassis rail repairs adversely affect the stiffness of the chassis as the replacement metal plating is thinner and only one layer thick?


Firstly, buy mine. A Sport, with slightly wider wheels, LSD, big brakes & 6 speed box.


And to answer Q4. 

SOME replacement chassis parts may be thinner, and SOME may have m6 weak rivnuts replacing proper nuts.

However, I folded mine from 2mm plate and welded in m8 flange nuts for the anti roll bar mounts.

Better and stronger than new.


Paul G


If it is for track use there is probably only one logical choice - SVT Sport 1.8 like Pauls with limited slip diff, 6 speed box, big brakes, etc as standard.

Unfortunately because of the rear sill structure and stupid double skin front chassis rails, rust on these is inevitable. Getting any protective product into those areas as a preventative measure is probably impossible. There are rare examples of rust free MK2.5 cars but would have to have been used in dry conditions and dry garaged. Anything in general use will very likely have repairs or need repairs by now.

As Paul points out single skin repairs to rails should be of more adequate single skin metal as per MK1 spec, single skin front rails which were a better design and do not rot out…generally.

Proper repairs to rear sills will have no effect on handling. Badly corroded or poorly repaired front chassis rails probably will on track. 

You are likely to spend all your budget on the best car with no rust, clean brakes and suspension, etc and it will be hard to find an SVT particularly in such condition. If it is for track use I would say such a car is not necessary. I would also avoid a car that needs work as will quickly cost you more than one purchased that does not need work. Realistically in your position I would budget up to £2k for a clean car, good brakes, suspension, etc with repaired front chassis rails but very clean rear sills with no repair. Perhaps Paul’s car is the one for you?    


Whoops! nearly forgot. Plus fitted roll bar, and comes with hard top.




£3k budget means more likely to be chasing a rust free unicorn. Cars might be claimed to be “rust free” as far as the seller knows, and most won’t know (it will be a lottery. Repaired cars might be repaired fine, but some might not. Cheap cars with no history of rust repairs (not the same as a non-rusty car). Within the trae, there are genuine difference of opinion about the nature of the repairs undertaken. Some will be perfectly happy with patch panels, and repairing as visually needed. Others are critical of patch panels, and have procured more substantive complete chassis leg sections. Other traders will question the wisdom of just repairing one chassis leg at a time, when most of the bill, doing the job properly, is stripping down the front end. At least one owner has used genuine Mazda parts, which I believe are effectively single skin MK1 parts.

Fresh imports, most of which, but not all, will be rust free-ish; £4k and up.

That truly rust free, orifice inspected example; its not £3k. Someone taking that much care of a car will know its true value. fail on

The owner-believes-its rust free; Well, a visual inspection might give a clean bill of health, but it would be still wise to bank £1000 of a budget for unplanned repairs. £1000 will cover front end repairs (2 legs) or proper rear end repairs (2 sills/arches and paint). It’ll be a 50-50 coin toss which is needed during a 3 year ownership. Indicates you should be setting your purchase price to no more than £2000.

The never repaired car heading to a MOT failure. Sellers will just want these cars away as fast as possible. Pay £500, plenty left for repairs, and much less chance for disappointment.

Car for track use; except for avoiding an automatic, its not going to make any practical difference. Brakes are a cheap upgrade, and you’ll be changing those anyhow. Diffs; the Fuji diff spits out lumps of metal. 6-speed Mk2s (and genuine early MK2 Sports, but these are rare) have the bullet proof Hitachi-built Torsen T2.
Y404XBT, a Mk2.5 1.8. 2017 repairs on scruffy nearside arch/sill, no rust other repairs. £795, bet they take £500 for it.

Thanks for the replies. 

Given that rust free / solid mx5s are pretty rare. What would you think of buying a special edition if in good condition & price and then swapping the 5 speed box for a 6 speed and also switching out the fuji lsd for a torsen lsd? 

You could swap the diff, gearbox, big brakes, wheels, etc but why bother?

The SVT sport had the Torsen diff as standard until 2003 when it was replaced with the Fuji.

The fitment is the same although ratio different.   


There seem to be more low mileage better maintained euphonics then there are sports.


I want the mk2.5 so has to be either 2001/2002 sports to get the torsen lsd I want. This narrows things down a lot.


So if 6 speed boxes and torsen lsds are readily available I would consider getting these installed in a euphonic 

Torsen diffs aren’t that readily available, and there are several ratios available. New Kaaz 1.5 way LSDs are available in Europe/UK, for around £700.

@IshR, where are you based?

I’m based in Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham


i went to test drive a euphonic yesterday. I found my left thigh was right up against the steering wheel. I’m 6ft. 


I would have to get a bucket seat and bolt it directly to the floor to get lower. Could someone direct me to a video or pictures of this being done. Is it difficult to do? 

You can remove some foam from the seat base. If not then seats are just 4 bolts so probably just need adapter rails.


As you can see on my discription my car is imported, 400 copies limited edition 1.8 sport model with 160bhp (based on Nevada Edition). It’s totally rust free with 40.180 miles when I bought him.

I paid only 2000£ and it came with full service, waxed oil treatment underneath, water pump/timing belt changed and 6 months warranty. Then I paid 800£ for painting, as the paint condition was poor!

Am I the “luckiest” person? Probably yes.

What I want to say is that you never know what you can find.

I definitely had to spend some more money on him like new tyres wheel alignment, but the condition of the car and it’s milage can’t be found for 2000, or even 2800£ with fresh paint.

All the best to your search!



With this sort of statement, its probably worth getting along to a MX5 trackday, even as a spectator, to try out some cars for fit, rather than hoping that seating issues can be sorted by a seat change. People are of all sorts of different shapes, with long legs, long trunk etc.


Don’t discount a Mk1. Mk2.5s have a spacer on the steering column, because of the airbag. This is off set by an eccentric boss on the steering wheel, creating some space between the thighs and steering wheel. No spacer on pre-1996 Mk1s, so you might find a bit more clearance. Plus its more straightforward to fit a smaller steering wheel without sacrificing your spine.


Of course, a non-airbag wheel can be fitted to the Mk2.5, but only for non-road use.


This Laguna Blue Eunos Roadster has tons of potential. Still got a few months MOT, both sills and arches have gone, has had welding over the years. Arches, sills easy to budget for (1500), price is ok (£800, probably get it for less). They look terrible, but a straightforward fix. Leaks into the footwell; needs a new roof. But the Laguna Blue S-Special is a pretty rare model, only made for one year, sought after colour, , so very much worth keeping on the road. Will have the T1 Torsen, might still have Bilsteins on. A total outlay of £3000 will see you have a pretty decent Mk1 that will only go up in value.


The MK2.5 seats sit you higher if fitted to a MK2, so with that in mind would trying to find a Mk2 to sit in help, a I little more room?