Front chassis rust

Author
Discussion

buggalugs

Original Poster:

8,440 posts

175 months

Thursday 5th July 2012
quotequote all
Hiya,

Our '99 1.8 S has just failed it's MOT on rust to the front chassis rails around where the ARB mounts are. Is this a common thing? Has anyone repaired anything like this before?

Thanks
N

Eta, same as this guy - http://forum.miata.net/vb/showthread.php?t=397790

Edited by buggalugs on Thursday 5th July 15:08

wildoliver

8,039 posts

154 months

Thursday 5th July 2012
quotequote all
Were you in Yorks I'd say bring it round I'll weld it up. I think I'm well versed in welding rusty 5s up now.

The good news is this isn't news. MX5s rust like chavs wear tracksuits.

The bad news is you will find more when you start probing. Lots more.

The good news again is that it is all mendable and not really an issue. A lot of MX5s get scrapped that don't need to be, you just need to be brave.

buggalugs

Original Poster:

8,440 posts

175 months

Thursday 5th July 2012
quotequote all
Cheers Wildoliver. The MOT man was very doom-y about it, said the whole front of the car has to come off & engine out to repair. I'm trying to talk myself out of banging it on ebay with the fail sheet at the moment. Snapped a few pics though -






seany87

613 posts

108 months

Thursday 5th July 2012
quotequote all
Jesus. H. Christ!

Hope mine doesnt end up the same way!!

wildoliver

8,039 posts

154 months

Friday 6th July 2012
quotequote all
Get the mig out!
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rovermorris999

4,537 posts

127 months

Friday 6th July 2012
quotequote all
Terminal IMHO as it's not cost effective to fix unless you can do it yourself. Break it, sell the bits and buy another.

buggalugs

Original Poster:

8,440 posts

175 months

Friday 6th July 2012
quotequote all
Yeah I would be doing it myself. The MOT man said something about it having layers; if I just cut out the brown bits and weld say 2mm plates in will he have a problem with that?

It's a '99 1.8-S. Pretty shocking for a '99 car to get into this state. Sills need doing too... and a caliper... and a brake hardline... and tyres rolleyes

But I know what a ball ache it is breaking a car for parts!

madmover

1,706 posts

122 months

Friday 6th July 2012
quotequote all
Shame, how much would you expect to get for it in its current state? It looks as though you are best breaking it and getting a new one. They can be had for pennies these days.

buggalugs

Original Poster:

8,440 posts

175 months

Sunday 8th July 2012
quotequote all
Not sure, it was bought as a track-y project and owes us about £900 as it stands. I foolishly didn't pay much attention to rust when we bought it cause I wasn't too bothered about cosmetics and thought how bad can it be on a '99?? <<< ERROR.

Just been round it with a hammer and think I'm going to weld it, I think we could 'cash out' without too much pain if we put it on ebay with the fail sheet but then another one we buy is going to be on the same road to this state anyway by the sounds of it.

I will post pics of my ugly welding when it's done!


NiceCupOfTea

24,770 posts

189 months

Sunday 8th July 2012
quotequote all
Chatting to an MX-5 repairer recently, he was telling me that the Mk.2/2.5 is much worse with respect to rust. The Mk.1s don't go at the front, he reckons it's due to more complex crumple zones introduced in the Mk.2

MX-5 Lazza

7,943 posts

157 months

Sunday 8th July 2012
quotequote all
buggalugs said:
I foolishly didn't pay much attention to rust when we bought it cause I wasn't too bothered about cosmetics and thought how bad can it be on a '99?? <<< ERROR.
Even if you had paid attention to rust, what are the chances you'd have thought to look there for corrosion? It's not somewhere I've ever heard anyone talk about as a potential area for killer rust.

NeoVR

385 posts

109 months

Sunday 8th July 2012
quotequote all
Wow!

And heres me thinking its just the sills that go!

skinny

4,497 posts

173 months

Sunday 8th July 2012
quotequote all
oof that looks pretty bad to me. i'd strip and sell and try to get as much money back as i could on that...

LukeBird

17,148 posts

147 months

Monday 9th July 2012
quotequote all
MX-5 Lazza said:
buggalugs said:
I foolishly didn't pay much attention to rust when we bought it cause I wasn't too bothered about cosmetics and thought how bad can it be on a '99?? <<< ERROR.
Even if you had paid attention to rust, what are the chances you'd have thought to look there for corrosion? It's not somewhere I've ever heard anyone talk about as a potential area for killer rust.
When the guys at Autolink had a poke around my car, they mentioned it as somewhere that's problematic for rust. I've never seen it mentioned elsewhere; but they did show me on a few of the Mk2/2.5 shells where it had rusted badly (although not as badly as the OP's car!).

CaptainCrash

11 posts

97 months

Monday 9th July 2012
quotequote all
yep they all go like that mine has started and i hope to put a stop to it this year.

if you do ebay it send me a pm i might come and buy it off you if the price is rite.

buggalugs

Original Poster:

8,440 posts

175 months

Monday 8th October 2012
quotequote all
Well the project is progressing at breakneck speed...

Been cutting chunks out of it now it's in the garage -





What you're looking at here is a cross section of the base of the left front chassis rail, I've cut half of it out.

Before I started cutting it looked like I was cutting all the rust out, i.e. I was cutting into clean steel. But you can see there that the sandwich construction is rusting from the inside out, in places there is almost just a tissue of clean steel over a good few mm's of rust. If you scratch it or hit it with a hammer even it would seem fine but there would be no real strength there whatsoever, and in another year or so the rust would be breaking through in more and more places.

Where the metal is good and close together is where the spot welds where, inbetween them the good metal has been swelled apart over time.

From the outside the only slight giveaway that this is happening is a slight swelling on the surface of the metal, it should be flat not have any bumps in it. It doesn't come out well in the pic but looking at the back wall there of the box there's a slight raising of the metal between the spot welds, I feel confident that if I cross sectioned that it would look exactly the same as this cry

From what I can see the whole area with this sandwich construction is like that so the whole front leg of the car would have to be removed and replaced to fix it properly. It's even going to be difficult just to patch the bits that have holed naturally since the metal is so stty to weld to frown

I can see a lot of Mk2 and 2.5's being parted out in the next few years!!

Edited by buggalugs on Monday 8th October 09:38

roddo

475 posts

133 months

Monday 8th October 2012
quotequote all
That is a common problem with late mk2's I have a 03 reg sport at work now just like that.......

buggalugs

Original Poster:

8,440 posts

175 months

Tuesday 9th October 2012
quotequote all
Do you mind if I ask what you're planning to do to fix? I was hoping to patch it but looking at it closer now I'm not sure how effective that will be frown

Deerfoot

3,957 posts

122 months

Tuesday 9th October 2012
quotequote all
There is a thread on www.mx5oc.co.uk on this.

New box sections can be bought I think.

buggalugs

Original Poster:

8,440 posts

175 months

Tuesday 9th October 2012
quotequote all
I read a thread there by a guy with a light blue one, £314+VAT a side for the part wasn't it. That's going to write this car off and then some... this car needs sills too.

It's weird, when I first googled this issue in July there was very little on the web about it, just a couple of chaps in the US. Seems to be becoming a bigger issue over time though.