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Friday 9th December 2011

PH Fleet update: Mazda Eunos Roadster

Winter's here but Dan's Eunos isn't quite ready to hibernate yet



I've been very lucky in finding a garage in which the Eunos can stay out of harm's way and keep tucked up, warm and dry when the weather is less conducive to ragging around in a roadster. Interesting to compare here with my brother's UK Mk1, which has no such pampered life and gets used every day. He has had nibbles of rust sorted out on the sills and rear arches and invested in a heavy duty (and expensive) underseal application earlier in the year at Rustmaster to help protect it.

Cold weather 'exciting' on rubbish Tigar tyres
Cold weather 'exciting' on rubbish Tigar tyres
When I bought the car at the start of the year the lack of rust was a big factor in my purchase and my first reaction was to do the same to keep it that way. But the guys at my local garage were less convinced of the benefits, patching up a section under the boot but of the opinion that a wholesale application could mask any onset of corrosion.

As I say, I'm lucky enough that my car can be selective about when it gets driven and won't have to be out in the salt like my brother's. So I'll leave it for now and would welcome any feedback from other MX-5/Eunos owners on the subject.

Over the limit
Another reason for having to be selective is the fact I keep running into the self-imposed mileage limits I volunteered for on the insurance. Based on previous experience with my Clio 172 Cup I initially went for 3,000 miles but sailed through that in a few months. So I went up to 5,000. And went through that too. And I've now got just a few hundred left so, much as I'd like to be out in it more, I have to choose my journeys carefully for maximum enjoyment.

Sam from Mazda explains Snetterton to Dan
Sam from Mazda explains Snetterton to Dan
I pretty much had to use it for the trip to Snetterton for my race in the Mazda UK Mk3 production race car in the MaZda 12-hour Winter Endurance. There were loads of Mk1s in the race too and plenty of hungry-looking mechanics prowling the pitlane with socket sets so I was a little worried the appearance of a nice Eunos in the pitlane might see it being cannibalised. Thankfully that didn't happen and, though the motorway trip there and back wasn't real Mazda driving, it was good to show willing.

Much more appropriate was the drive up to the Porsche Experience Centre at Silverstone for a lesson in winter tyres and a chance to skid around on the facility's low-grip surfaces.

PHers in not especially on-brand visit to Porsche
PHers in not especially on-brand visit to Porsche
Much skiddiness
Thing is, an early morning drive on slimy late autumn roads with the mighty Tigars meant I was already very familiar with sliding around, so after that the Porsche track was easy! I'm still debating what to do with the wheels/tyres too. One of my 14s has a ding and is losing air and one of the Tigars is definitely worse for wear.

The Toyos on my OZ 15s are definitely not legal after being ragged on track on the Clio so, really, I need a couple of sets of tyres. I'm minded to use the 15s as my 'posh' set with proper tyres and get some fun budget rubber (for 'budget' read 'skiddy') and continue to prevaricate about which I prefer.

Whatever I do I'll have to get at least one decent set before the new year when I face the triple-whammy of having to tax, insure and MOT the Mazda. Ouch. That'll be my post-Christmas impulse purchase coming back to bite me then. A six-month disc will mean I can break that cycle later in the year but, post-Christmas, that's going to hurt. Other than the tyres I'm not too fearful about the MOT, though there are a few niggles like an inoperative foglight that I'll need to sort out over the Christmas break.

Freshly painted nose picked up from Dent Wizard
Freshly painted nose picked up from Dent Wizard
Stop, spannertime
Indeed, I'm actually hoping for some lousy weather so I'm not distracted into going out and driving it! As you'll see from the pictures, I've been doing a bit more of the latter recently and having a lot of fun into the bargain but I've got a few other things to look at too.

One of the more pleasurable ones will be fitting my freshly painted nose cone. When I took the car up to the boys at Dent Wizard they took one look at the one on the car and said it was beyond the scope of their smart repair techniques. As you may recall, this was a cheap replacement for the original one that lost a load of paint when the stick-on plate came off. So I stuck that in the post and Flying Colours (Dent Wizard's paint subsidiary) man Adam stripped it back and repainted it properly, having matched the colour when the Eunos was at the workshop. It looks great and, with the freshly dent- and scratch-free body after the previous trip there, I'm expecting the Eunos to look a lot better once I've got round to fitting it.

As much of this as possible over festive period
As much of this as possible over festive period
Other than that it's a case of making those last few miles on my insurance allowance really count. Suffice to say, any half-decent day is an excuse to give the Eunos a bit of a run, so I'll be looking forward to some wintry blasts over the coming weeks. I also need to get it booked in with Performance5 to get the damper eyelet bushings changed over to the updated ones Phil now uses to cure a small amount of play noticeable over small bumps at low speed.

 

 


FACT SHEET
Car:
1993 Eunos Roadster (JDM import model)
Run by: Dan Trent
Bought: January 2010
Purchase price: £1,250
Last month at a glance: Still deliberating on tyres, picked up repainted bumper, can't resist going out for winter blasts when I should be working on it instead


Previous reports:
Myleene Klass wasn't available, but the guys from Dent Wizard have done a sterling job making the Mazda look 10 Years Younger
Slammed ride height, loud exhaust. Oh dear - has Dan's inner chav finally been let loose on the Eunos?
Plans for new springs and dampers have finally borne fruit, but not before Dan's driving comes under scrutiny to see if he's worthy...
Dan Trent's impulse purchase 'bargain' is sucking up an awful lot of money, but he still seems happy...
Open Season heralds rare 'money where mouth is' moment...

Dan Trent
2
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Author Discussion

thewheelman

Original Poster:

2,194 posts

53 months

[news] 
Friday 9th December 2011 quote quote all
"I'm actually hoping for some lousy weather so I'm not distracted into going out and driving it!"

Wimp! It's even more fun in the wet! You have no excuses!

The perfect winter car.....


Edited by thewheelman on Friday 9th December 10:47

oO Trouble Oo

163 posts

29 months

[news] 
Friday 9th December 2011 quote quote all
What's all this gayness about putting roadsters away for the winter? pah!

Enjoying the write ups though, thanks.

John Boy 616

127 posts

45 months

[news] 
Friday 9th December 2011 quote quote all
Like the colour combo on yours. Black and silver works.

HorneyMX5

1,593 posts

30 months

[news] 
Friday 9th December 2011 quote quote all
Brillaint day down here in Hants/Berks for top down winter motoring. Got some odd looks on the A34 with the hood down though. ha ha.

I'm debating on whether to underseal mine or not at the moment. Mines driven daily in all weathers but it does get a wash every weekend and I will be hosing down the underside and the arches to blast away any salt.

Nick

Baked_bean

1,018 posts

72 months

[news] 
Friday 9th December 2011 quote quote all
Im currently debating selling my mk2 golf at the moment in favour of an mx5 and this isnt helping!


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TristPerrin

39 posts

58 months

[news] 
Friday 9th December 2011 quote quote all
Mine's just starting to show signs of the dreaded sill rot, but I still wouldnt wrap it up for the winter! Half the fun with MX-5s is the low(ish) speed slides in the winter!

Munter

24,852 posts

121 months

[news] 
Friday 9th December 2011 quote quote all
In terms of rust for UK cars used all year round. All I can say is mine is a UK 1997. And the sills had had it a few years ago. It really has been used every day though. Snow, rain, salt, bit of mud plugging on camp sites. You name it it's taken it.

If you want to keep it in good nick. Do something other than what I have done! The last 7 years have been fun though.

GFWilliams

4,456 posts

87 months

[news] 
Friday 9th December 2011 quote quote all
Love the powersliding photo thumbup

iantek

197 posts

63 months

[news] 
Friday 9th December 2011 quote quote all
HorneyMX5 said:
Brillaint day down here in Hants/Berks for top down winter motoring. Got some odd looks on the A34 with the hood down though. ha ha.

I'm debating on whether to underseal mine or not at the moment. Mines driven daily in all weathers but it does get a wash every weekend and I will be hosing down the underside and the arches to blast away any salt.

Nick
I'm having the same thoughts with my Eunos. I drive it daily and I'm fretting about the salt and the effect it'll have on my (as far as I can tell) rust free car. I don't have access to a hose so I'm having to improvise cleaning the arches!

Stew2000

2,730 posts

58 months

[news] 
Friday 9th December 2011 quote quote all


thumbup

lord summerisle

7,763 posts

105 months

[news] 
Friday 9th December 2011 quote quote all
For what it costs to repair rusting sills - it isnt worth the hassle of laying the car up everytime its sligthly inclemant.

Get out and drive it!

Zircon

269 posts

61 months

[news] 
Friday 9th December 2011 quote quote all
Don't take it for granted that your '90s J-tin is 'virtually rust free'. If it has been used in winter with salty wet roads or sat outside (or both) for 19 years like my MR2 then you will most likely have a nasty surprise on the sills like I found last year.

Mine looks like this....



No visible rust at all, and a magazine featured car but a test with a flat blade screwdriver on the inner arch revealled the metal had gone porous. With the end of the sill covers trimmed away, rust was eating the structural shelves under the jacking points from inside the sill courtesy of some sound deadening foam that had slumped into the lower sill area - a common Japanese car manufacturers trick.

With the sill cover trimmed back....



But thanks to an awesome company called Paul Baker Custom Metalwork that restore all sorts of luxury and classic cars in Eastleigh, she is all solid again ready to be sat outside my house during winter once more!





They were rebuilding the sills of a Mk1 MX5 when I first visited them and I would thoroughly recommend them to all you MK5 and J-tin owners.

Itsallicanafford

690 posts

39 months

[news] 
Friday 9th December 2011 quote quote all
Baked_bean said:
Im currently debating selling my mk2 golf at the moment in favour of an mx5 and this isnt helping!
Mr. Bean, would definetly advise this, but just make sure you get one without rot unless this is something you can deal with, mechanicals are cheap, bodywork can be pricey...

thewheelman

Original Poster:

2,194 posts

53 months

[news] 
Friday 9th December 2011 quote quote all
Itsallicanafford said:
Baked_bean said:
Im currently debating selling my mk2 golf at the moment in favour of an mx5 and this isnt helping!
Mr. Bean, would definetly advise this, but just make sure you get one without rot unless this is something you can deal with, mechanicals are cheap, bodywork can be pricey...
I've even heard of mk3 MX5's with the dreaded rot.

J4CKO

10,056 posts

80 months

[news] 
Friday 9th December 2011 quote quote all
I am going to buy one in January, I dont understand the need to put it away, surely some of the best driving is in Winter, cold crisp days, hood down ?

Our Fiat 500 is going away tomorrow but that is a 45 year old Italian tin can that is decomposing before my eyes, not worried really, will just crack the mig out in the spring.


Zircon

269 posts

61 months

[news] 
Friday 9th December 2011 quote quote all
J4CKO said:
I am going to buy one in January, I dont understand the need to put it away, surely some of the best driving is in Winter, cold crisp days, hood down ?
For people who can't weld then rust is an inhibitively expensive problem generally accelerated by winter!

lahtiain

1 posts

28 months

[news] 
Friday 9th December 2011 quote quote all


My '93 originally from Switzerland and driven unknown number of winters. It's not actually that bad yet. While there's lots of visibile rust, everything is just on the surface (excluding the sills). I'll spend couple of days during the christmas removing every single rust spot from the chassis before painting and putting some underseal. Subframe and wishbones will receive sandblasting during the next week. I wouldn't want to imagine what would have happened had I driven this car over the next winter.

So if you've got rustfree roadster, at least apply good rust protection before driving in the winter. The OEM underseal is a joke.

RobMorgan

11 posts

76 months

[news] 
Saturday 10th December 2011 quote quote all
Like some people on here, i'm lucky to have 2 cars.
I have my mx5 to drive march(ish) to October(ish), and then my Audi A4 Quattro to run during the cold/wet/snowy months.

Both are insured on limited miles, and only 1 is ever taxed, to keep my costs down. This forces me to do various jobs on the car i'm not using, and reduces the cash i have to pay in tax! I just love claiming unused car tax back. I know it was mine in the first place, but i like to think of Mr Cameron personally writting that cheque out for me. If both cars were taxed all year, then i might ignore the jobs in favour of driving them. I'd then also have the hard choice of 115bhp fun with the roof down or 200bhp with 155mph on tap!



Itsallicanafford

690 posts

39 months

[news] 
Monday 12th December 2011 quote quote all
..only 18 replies on a feature about MX-5's?? Where are all the post saying how crap and overated they are??

Reed Hitchcock

32 posts

29 months

[news] 
Monday 12th December 2011 quote quote all
I maintain (having owned 3 of these and dozens of other cars) that the MX-5 is still some of the best bang for your automotive buck out there. Looks like you're setting it up right, but tyre choice will be critical. How is the slammed suspension working out? I am considering whether to monkey with the suspension at this point..

Still thinking about 15x7 alloys as well..

And a supercharger.

I love the upgrade possibilities of these cars...!

-Reed
'93 Miata
www.totallythatstupid.com
2
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