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Friday 13th April 2012

PH Fleet: Mazda Eunos Roadster

The numberplate is on straight but Dan's facing the possibility he may actually have killed the Eunos ... properly



You'd have thought what with having benefited from a nice nose job and looking better than it ever has in my tenure I'd have proudly been out and about in the Eunos. Er, no. No excuses, I just haven't driven it much lately. Which'll explain why the battery has gone flat leading to ... well, we'll come to that in due course.

Bit too much time in here of late
Bit too much time in here of late
I guess part of it is the luxury of having a pretty much rust-free car, a garage in which to store it and no need of using it while the roads are salty. Strike me down, for I have become a fair weather roadster driver. The shame of it!

I did make a rare sortie to head down to Bedford Autodrome for my rendezvous with PHer Julian Perry to take him up on his kind offer of having a go with his 964 RS. I somehow found myself in the lane for the noise test, even though I wasn't actually heading out, and got a sticker and 89db reading for my troubles. Which is good to know and means I shouldn't have any bother with tracking the car, even with its noisy exhaust.

Making a right royal hash of driving the RS in the rain, I did at times hanker for the simple charms of my Mazda, but on track the Porsche was mighty. Not so much fun on the road, admittedly, and the drive back was a reminder of how enjoyable the Eunos is. And how slow.

Naughty plate-less run to Bedford
Naughty plate-less run to Bedford
Kicking the habit
Proof of how these things get under your skin comes with news that former colleague and PH contributor CJ Hubbard has, having sold his Mariner Blue Eunos to my brother, now come full circle in his car buying and, unsurprisingly, realised the answer to the question was MX-5/Eunos all along. So he's gone out and bought another. I await to see it with interest.

My other brother has, meanwhile, been reporting very favourable things about the Yokohama tyres he's just fitted to his UK 1.6. Running standard 14-inch 'Daisy' wheels he reports a pleasing compromise between sensible stuff like being able to stop when the road is wet and indulging in the odd wee skid when the mood takes him. The Tigars/Triangles/ditchfinders of your choosing are all very good for the latter but there are times when proper rubber has its uses. And the Yokos sound like a good bet so I may try and source a set for my 14s. As it stands the car is looking great on its 15s and fresh Michelins.

Daily Mash piece takes aim at MX-5 drivers
Daily Mash piece takes aim at MX-5 drivers
And if all this Mazda love is getting a bit much for you I present the perfect intermission from it all, courtesy of The Daily Mash, titled 'MX-5 drivers convinced they look cool'. If you can't laugh at yourself and all that...

Golf balls, cricket balls and NVH
The Bedford trip was also a chance to meet up with PHer James Marson off the back of an email from him asking about the Performance5 dampers. "Come and have a ride!" I offered. What followed was one of those superb drives that has you pinching yourself and chuckling at just how much fun you can have for so little money in these things. James's route was superb - fast, flowing and well sighted - and the cars evenly matched. He seemed to like the increased poise offered by the P5 dampers too, a subsequent chat with Phil there illuminating a little on the slight chatter in the secondary ride that's been there from the start.

PHer James Marson and his UK 1.8
PHer James Marson and his UK 1.8
Phil points out it's primarily an NVH issue and has tracked it down to the eyelet bushing on the dampers. Mine have an earlier, harder type, he's since experimented with spherical bearings but he's now coming round to Superpro ones. And, as promised, he's going to take the car in and update them in the coming weeks which should, hopefully, calm some of the chuntering over square-edged bumps.

He offered a most elegant analogy, comparing the effect of hitting a golf ball with that of smacking a cricket ball. The former deflects more, absorbing sound, while the latter doesn't deflect at all. That resounding thwack of leather on willow? That's your NVH from over-hard bushings right there! All of which tallies with the experience of fellow Mazda-owning hack John Simister, who went to the considerable effort of polybushing his first MX-5 and then instantly regretted it.

James showed us some great roads
James showed us some great roads
It's an example of Phil's borderline obsessional nature that he's getting so hot under the collar about NVH - car companies have whole teams working 24-7 on exactly this and, to be fair, most owners of 20-year old Mazdas probably expect the odd rattle and squeak. Not on a car with P5 dampers though, at least not if Phil's got anything to do with it! Next on the agenda after this will be to possibly Superpro the wishbone bushings, the end links and anti-roll bar ones already replaced when the dampers were fitted.

Scotland bound ... hopefully
This is to come though. But the aim is to get the eyelet bushings done before the planned May Bank holiday trip to Scotland, reprising the fabulous little roadtrip I had last year.

"You might have been lucky"
"You might have been lucky"
This assumes, of course, I haven't totally killed the Eunos's wiring loom. Confession time: I've done something spectacularly stupid. It involves an attempted jump start and the absolute certainty I knew which terminal was which on the Mazda's battery. In (slight) mitigation, the Mazda's battery leads aren't colour coded. In which case I really, really should have checked. But I didn't and it's now completely dead. I've spoken to various people, including an RAC man, and the typical response has been a lot of teeth sucking and a "well, you might be lucky..." I have on my desk a new 80A main fuse and will summon up the courage to charge the battery and fit it over the weekend. I'm already dreading that first turn of the key.

At least the numberplate is on straight and bubble free - the tip from Watchman and others in the comments thread after my last report advising spraying warm soapy water onto the bumper to position the stick-on plate working a treat. Small comfort after the battery episode but a hearty thanks for the advice!


Fact sheet:
Car:
1993 Eunos Roadster (JDM import model)
Run by: Dan Trent
Bought: January 2011
Purchase price: £1,250
Last month at a glance: Dead battery, jump start SNAFU, car now dead ... damn


Previous reports:
Snowed-in Eunos gets a mini facelift
Taxed, insured, MOT'd, re-tyred - it's been an expensive month
Eunos gets a loud exhaust and new suspension
New suspension offered but am I worthy?
Purchase price only half the story...
Open Season heralds rare 'money where mouth is' moment...

 

 

Dan Trent
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Author Discussion

sinbaddio

Original Poster:

399 posts

60 months

[news] 
Friday 13th April 2012 quote quote all
Fingers crossed for the old girl frown

BrightonEd

53 posts

45 months

[news] 
Friday 13th April 2012 quote quote all
Regards your battery woes - I did exactly the same thing to my e30 325i sport last year. The only damage was to the ignition switch (£30 to replace). The terrible smell of melting plastic dissipated after a few drives with the windows down...
So, fingers crossed!

mattyc69

76 posts

36 months

[news] 
Friday 13th April 2012 quote quote all
Fingers crossed for you mate hopefully just the fuse! Although two weeks ago i had to fit a new ECU to a civic type r that had suffered the same fate as your mazda!

Contigo

2,667 posts

93 months

[news] 
Friday 13th April 2012 quote quote all
Had a Eunos (H863 NJM) back in 96 and it was one of the best specced of Japanese cars (V Spec). It had lovely Tan leather seats and interior with speakers in the headrests! Nardi Torini steering wheel and gearknob and other nice touches including a higher powered engine than the UK poverty spec MX-5 with cloth interior.


Bloitus

57 posts

47 months

[news] 
Friday 13th April 2012 quote quote all
Dan, at least this didn't happen...



...not that i know exactly how this happened!

Fingers crossed you've not got an expensive month coming up wink
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essexgt4

142 posts

91 months

[news] 
Friday 13th April 2012 quote quote all
Apparently it's common for the main fuse to blow when attempting to jump start my friends eunos did so i wouldn't panic just yet.

Dale Lomas

150 posts

39 months

[news] 
Friday 13th April 2012 quote quote all
This story, and the reply above... priceless.

He added: "When I'm not using it I keep the Mx-5 zipped up in a special bag, like a car-shaped musical instrument."

cjhubbard

1 posts

61 months

[news] 
Friday 13th April 2012 quote quote all
Count me as slightly gobsmacked that your exhaust only registers 89dB, Dan...

If you're seeing Phil, btw, can you ask him on my behalf about the Superpro diff void fillers. He'll know what I mean!

loudlashadjuster

1,142 posts

68 months

[news] 
Friday 13th April 2012 quote quote all
Been there, done that, although I do blame the donor Cavalier which had the, erm "novel" approach of having a dull red cable for the negative terminal and a black one on the positive!


The bright red cable on the + terminal in this photo has been added for an ICE install - without it you can see why it might be a bit confusing!

Result was a blown fuse and knackered alternator on the Mitsi. Could've been worse...hope yours is a simple fix.

throttlebodies

19 posts

44 months

[news] 
Friday 13th April 2012 quote quote all
Couldn't let this article pass without posting this.

http://www.thedailymash.co.uk/news/society/mx%115-...

"The Mx-5 is a bit of a semantic minefield. It says of the driver, 'I am a maverick who plays by his own rules' and also, 'I am sensible enough to appreciate a vehicle with low running costs and reasonably-priced insurance".

abbotsmike

901 posts

29 months

[news] 
Friday 13th April 2012 quote quote all
loudlashadjuster said:
Been there, done that, although I do blame the donor Cavalier which had the, erm "novel" approach of having a dull red cable for the negative terminal and a black one on the positive!
It's a Vauxhall thing, and fairly stupid! The dull red was more brown on my Corsa, at which point it makes more sense as the 'ground' but the black cable for the positive is just strange...

herebebeasties

294 posts

103 months

[news] 
Friday 13th April 2012 quote quote all
I somehow managed to blow up the immobiliser on an Elise jump-starting it.

Very inaccessible and of course you can't fit a new one yourself as then your insurance isn't valid. Cue highly inconvenient low-loader ride to a dealer and £600-odd quid I'll never get back. :-(

Here's hoping yours is just a fuse.

frogy6

16 posts

29 months

[news] 
Friday 13th April 2012 quote quote all
I'll never forget my mother jump starting wrong and there was a massive load of sparks. I donno what she done cos I was young at the time. But no damage after

hyperblue

2,385 posts

64 months

[news] 
Friday 13th April 2012 quote quote all
throttlebodies said:
Couldn't let this article pass without posting this.

http://www.thedailymash.co.uk/news/society/mx%115-...

"The Mx-5 is a bit of a semantic minefield. It says of the driver, 'I am a maverick who plays by his own rules' and also, 'I am sensible enough to appreciate a vehicle with low running costs and reasonably-priced insurance".
rofl Just clicked this thread to post that article. Good timing from the Mash!

frogy6

16 posts

29 months

[news] 
Friday 13th April 2012 quote quote all
I'll never forget my mother jump starting wrong and there was a massive load of sparks. I donno what she done cos I was young at the time. But no damage after

frogy6

16 posts

29 months

[news] 
Friday 13th April 2012 quote quote all
I'll never forget my mother jump starting wrong and there was a massive load of sparks. I donno what she done cos I was young at the time. But no damage after

frogy6

16 posts

29 months

[news] 
Friday 13th April 2012 quote quote all
I'll never forget my mother jump starting wrong and there was a massive load of sparks. I donno what she done cos I was young at the time. But no damage after

firman

1,395 posts

77 months

[news] 
Friday 13th April 2012 quote quote all
frogy6 said:
I'll never forget my mother jump starting wrong and there was a massive load of sparks. I donno what she done cos I was young at the time. But no damage after
You can say that again, and again and again laugh

Bobdenero

182 posts

79 months

[news] 
Friday 13th April 2012 quote quote all
Have just bought a 96 UK spec 1.6 as an impulse buy, and am now having to decide whether to keep it, or the E30 325 convertible I already have.
Every time I make the decision (current one is to keep the MX5) I instantly start to doubt if it the correct one!

Odie

4,187 posts

66 months

[news] 
Friday 13th April 2012 quote quote all
Bobdenero said:
Have just bought a 96 UK spec 1.6 as an impulse buy, and am now having to decide whether to keep it, or the E30 325 convertible I already have.
Every time I make the decision (current one is to keep the MX5) I instantly start to doubt if it the correct one!
keep them both
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