I’ve just treated myself to a beautiful 04 plate 1.8 Sport NBFL. After blasting it around the country lanes to get a feel for its handling I thought I’d better get help and advice in getting the best out of it.
I’m thinking of adding a supercharger, improving the brakes and a few other mods but I’m a mechanical novice with a Halfords knock-off socket set, am I mad??
Great your enjoying it and you’ve certainly got the weather!
The “sensible” order for developing MX5s is:
- make sure the body and components are all sound including vitally the chassis rails - particularly ahead of the bulkhead on an nb, suspension arms, sills, subframes. MX5s rust but hide it well until it’s too late.
Fixing any structural monocoque issues is a big (but rewarding) project in itself for a novice and may need a fair bit of professional help (with attendant cost) if welding is needed. To put it into context I’ve replaced nearly every fitting under my NA as they were all rotten and I had to drill half of them out as they sheared.
- The suspension on an mx5 is all adjustable as is so first up be happy the standard is optimised - this may mean a trip to an mx.5 specialist with proper alignment kit if it hasn’t recently been done. Only then if your still not happ adapt the suspension to what your happy with bearing in mind everything is a compromise. You can lower it and make it really stiff and after spending 2k on gaz coil overs, racing anti sway bars, rose jointed links and adjustable wishbones then find you’ve turned something lovely, sweet and a joy to drive on a sunny day into harsh rubbish as you’ve screwed up the geometry, it’s rough as hell on your fav road and bump steering all over the place. Suspension tuning is an art you learn - over years - but an mx5 is a great place to start.
They tend to benefit from refreshing the bushes but there is a whole book on poly or uprated rubber in mx5 land. I’ve got IL motorsport uprated rubber in mine as I think poly bushes can ruin a road car (cue massive mx 5 handbags at dawn argument). A full bush refresh is 250 to 700 for the bushes, no tools or labour if farming out.
look at the brakes as it’s as well to know it can stop before hiking the power. Multi pot alloy callipers are all fine but I know plenty people who swear the standard brakes in good order (!!) are great and while a set of (say) Ferrodo DS2500 pads don’t come cheap and aren’t sexy or glossy red they are the best brake upgrade I’ve ever had on any car.
hike the power. This can cost thousands.
Folks properly learn about cars working on their MX5s which is a all consuming passion for many and everyone has to start somewhere so you are not mad at all but neither can you run before you can walk. Also remember you can quickly spend 3 times the value of the car on shiny bolt on components which you may not get back when it’s time to sell and if you don’t get those components working in harmony you’ll never get the best out of them. Also if your car is in bits all the time you are not driving it but you’ve got a big metal jigsaw on the drive.
Wow, thanks Andrew!!
There’s definitely a lot of passion with MX-5s so I can understand the handbags
One part that will be changed first is the bracket that the bonnet support pivots on, for some reason it’s rusty but nothing else around it is. What’s the name of this part?
Does anyone know if there’s a workshop manual for my type of MX-5?
Haynes manual covers NA and NB as they are very similar mechanically.
Also do search on here, mazda menders, MX5 nuts (which isn’t what it was) and the miata us forums as their guides are often better than Haynes too for specific common jobs.
Also some you tube guides are really helpful whether U.K., US or Aussie. Just check a few as there are a few numpties show you how they “fix” their cars as well as some really good folk.
And if all else fails ask on here . Saz, Scottish Fiver, Mazda Mender and Roadster Robbie in particular know these cars inside out but there is plenty of other experience too.
Fantastic!! Thanks so much for your help, I know those contacts will be valuable to me.
I’m so looking forward to playing around with my MX-5 both driving and mechanical. I hope this good weather lasts!!
Take a trip over to Carl CBS Autos Ecroyd Street Nelson BB9 7BJ 01282 697413
Get Carl to check over your car before you think of forced induction or whatever.
Thanks very much Keith!! I’ll definitely pay Carl a visit and Nelson isnt too far away.
Just on your bonnet clip - do you mean the stay pivot clip. On my NA I thought they were plastic (although I have not looked). It could be the NB is different or you’ve non standard replacement part (in which case if it’s a problem for you get rid of it and put the proper part in).
A picture tells 1000 words. If you want to entice the forum to respond add a pic to your post of the thing you are struggling with. Also fill in the little bit at the beginning and put it in the correct technical help section - I’ve got a….etc etc.
This sites forum rules are very sensible and the mods kind relative to some forums (otherwise it just turns into a mess like pistonheads).
The late great Guy Croft who was a renown Lancia engine specialist with a forum dedicated to Lancia Twin Cams would throw people off the forum for spelling mistakes as his view was if posters couldn’t be bothered with a good quality post the contents of the post and posters car wouldn’t be much better. His forum was a Mecca for very serious engine builders.
Many thanks again Andrew, I’ll repost