Rusty front wing repairs

  1. My model of MX-5 is: __MK1
  2. I’m based near: __
  3. I’m looking for technical help or recommendations on: __Bodge front wing repairs

While poking around, fruitlessly, to track a front rattling issue, I saw that the bottom of my front wings are basically rotten. The rear part of the wings, towards the door and around the rear most fixing bolt, looks like it will mostly disappear if I take a wire wheel to it. In truth, I knew it was a bit crusty a year ago, now things have moved on.

But the rest of the wings are perfect,

The wings were last removed in 2012. There was surface rusting on the sill, which felt solid. Rust was ground back, the surface treated and then hammerited.

Hopefully, if I am not starting at rot armageddon behind the wing 9 years on, I’d like to patch the wings “cheaply”. Any reasonable success? I know there are repair panels for front wings, but I can fathom how these are fitted without distortion.

I am quite shocked at the scrap metal masquerading as used wings on an auction website, and how much even pattern wings are these days.

I’m think remove the wings, make good the metal underneath. Then very carefully conserve the remaining metal, treat with a rust converter, then try mesh, fiberglass it to build it back up. The front wongs are not structural, and the affected area isn’t obvious, so even my hamfisted rattle can painting will be ok.

The car could do with another resparay some time, but even after that, it will still be a nearly 280k km NA that’s not particularly original anymore.

If it is the bottom section of the wings from the molding line, there are repair sections available now, which i prefer to use and save a OE wing when ever possible, if it as gone at the nose cone to wing/bumper section , then it is toast as there is nothing out there for that section to be cut and fresh added.
I prefer if possible to always try and save the OE wings, but on that odd occasion i can not and i have run out of OE spares ,I have used a aftermarket one from Autolinkmx5, I would need to check the make , but the fit is a lovely fit not much in the way of huffing and puffing with a swear box to tease it into the correct shape , deeply impressed with them for aftermarket items, and I am really fussy on the builds i do, the painters hate dealing with me because of my attention to detail.
I personally had a stock pile of OE front wings for the MK 1’s which is now very low , and its now the same for good MK 2/2.5 wings and boot lids to find OE good ones, as most were not treated and are rotten now.
Luckily i did invest at the time to grab and store some, which makes things easier when building one for those good hard bits to find now.
Yours is in pretty good nick, the seam sealer is drying out and needs removing, metal treating and re sealing , but thats common now as they get older, also check the wheel arch seam sealer as that also drys out and pulls away opening up the panels for water to be able to get into the box section( not the sill) that then blows.

This will give you more of a idea of what i am seeing, scroll down to about half way down the page , and i think the next one shows the sections finished…The little red roadster build, Renovation/revamp, 09 - Page 5 - Mazda-Menders

And about half way down this thread on Andrews which is also wearing one of the aftermarket wings…Sspec…Build 14 Andrews S/spec 1.8 import - Page 2 - Mazda-Menders

I have seen those repair sections. I’ve also seen techniques where you cut out the rusty bit, and use that as a template, typically using a sacrificed repair panel. And then using panel adhesive (3M etc) to set in the new metal without welding.

The bit affected on both wings is the area around the rearmost fixing hole. So its a curved section with a bit of a lip. The wing isn’t structural. If I can just repair a small bit, that’s less painting needed, and the wings are otherwise perfect. Any if I am just doing the very lowest bit, then any paint would hadly be noticeable (I have M8 paint thats a good match). I have am replacing all the metal from the swage line down, then there is a lot more paint, and I have to get the stone chip matched.

But while I have seen approaches to set in place glued patches on 4 sides, I am not sure about 2 sides only (ie. the corner of the wing)

The patches are only £31 from MX5city, cheaper than elsewhere.

The bonding is not for me, i would rather cut out and re add fresh, treat and seal, but i get biig time why it is a option to use, is the bonding option for you because its easier or that its the confidence to weld putting you off?
There are some great Mig welders on the market now geared around none welding people that are not that expensive and virtually do all the working out for you to just be able wear the dark Vader mask and hit the trigger to make very good repairs.

Don’t want to spend hundreds of pounds on welding equipment that I am only ever going to use once in my life on an old worn out MX5. Waste of money for me and I lack storage space anyhow. I last welded something (Mk1 Escort) 38 years ago. Back then such adhesives did not exist.

Bonding is cheaper, and might last as long as I need it to last. Replacing the entire wing is better than trying to weld an old one. Paint is expensive in this country.

Have you experience of these adhesives? I see the Japanese are using these glues to bond in and glue Mk2 cockpit gussetts into MK1s, stiffening the transmission tunnel.

I get welding for structural parts, but the front wings are merely cosmetic. The Americans seem to be much more inventive and brave in this respect.

I guess I try it for giggles.