PH Fleet: Mazda Eunos Roadster

Last time I wrote about the Mazda - on Friday 13th no less - I was hoping beyond hope that a simple fuse swap was all that I needed having idiotically cross wired the battery when attempting to jump start it. Somewhat nervously, I clicked 'buy' for a main 80A fuse from MX5parts and prayed £6.53 and a very red face would be all the mistake would cost me.

Further damping tweaks from P5's Phil
Further damping tweaks from P5's Phil
With a bank holiday trip to Scotland looming and, at last, a window in which Phil at Performance5 could update the suspension to his latest configuration I really, really needed it to be as simple as that.

The fuse bolted into place (I found this out after destroying the old one trying to lever it out - I do these things so you don't have to) and, once replaced and with a freshly charged battery ... it fired first time. Thank for that.

The aftershocks
A few lingering gremlins remained, including the brake light fuse going again. Which was OK, it only took me two days of commuting in stop-start traffic on the M25 to notice. Shudder.

Gingerly I limped to Phil's and left the car with him, hoping he was as good with electrics as he is with suspension. He is and when I popped back a few days later the car had been fully updated with his latest eyelet bushings - more compliant SuperPros - and a touch more high-speed rebound damping.

What it's all about!
What it's all about!
It was all cutting it a bit fine for the Scotland roadtrip but, thankfully, Phil got everything done and I picked the car up from him on Friday afternoon, packed it full of camping gear and headed straight up the M6 to glamorous late-night Travelodge rendevous with Elise-driving mate Ben and Racing Pete with his S2000.

Playing catch-up
You can read the full story of the trip here. But suffice to say both Scotland and the Eunos proved, once again, they're a match made in heaven. And, yes, I've got the T-shirt.

Pete's S2000 had twice the power, Ben's Lotus a couple of hundred fewer kilos. Keeping tabs meant, basically, not slowing down. A goal aided further by Phil's tweaks to the damping. In the first few yards the improvement in the NVH was noticeable, the increase in the damping meaning it felt a little 'harsher' at low speeds but came into its own at, cough, higher ones. Getting it there meant making a lot of noise - by heck is it loud now - and lots of revs but the engine remains as sweet as ever and, better still, apparently spits the occasional flame. This last revelation has caused me no little satisfaction!

Scottish bridges made like the soft drinks
Scottish bridges made like the soft drinks
It's all about the sensations in this car. Because of the noise it feels like you're going quickly, when in fact you're not at all. This was highlighted when I tried to overtake a Citroen C4 as it accelerated out of some roadworks near Loch Ness. They must have wondered what the cacophony coming from beside them was all about - there I was, hanging it out to the redline, flames spitting from the exhaust (I hope), teeth clenched as I tried to-out drag a 1.6 diesel family hatch. Up to this point I'd managed to delude myself the Eunos was actually going quite quickly. This rather underlined the point that it wasn't.

Boom box
No matter! With a North Face duffel (yes, like that one, no 'jokes' please) stashed behind the harness bar and a boot stuffed with camping gear it makes a useable tourer and on the boring motorway schleps the stupid exhaust fades away to an entirely acceptable background drone.

The intrepid trio in typically epic surroundings
The intrepid trio in typically epic surroundings
Frankly I wonder if it's a little bit unyielding over bumpy sections of road (in other words, Hertfordshire) and while the damping is sublime it can get a bit wobbly in the body if you hit a nasty pothole. Like a stuck record I'm again wondering about switching back to the 14s and benefiting from a bit more sidewall.

I've also got a spoilerless bootlid, donated by fellow Mazda owner James Page from Classic & Sports Car. I'll be giving that a go over the weekend to see if I prefer it with or without. Clearly less downforce at the back has to be good for skids, so I look forward to putting that theory to the test...

Fact sheet:
1993 Eunos Roadster (JDM import model)
Run by: Dan Trent
Bought: January 2011
Purchase price: £1,250
Last month at a glance: Car killed in idiotic cross polarisation jump start situation, Dan hopeful a fuse is all that was needed to fix it...

Previous reports:
Has Dan killed his Eunos?
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...

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Comments (19) Join the discussion on the forum

  • suffolk009 25 May 2012

    I wouldn't change the standard wheel setup on mine. I especially enjoy the non-sticky never-wear-out tyres that the car came with. I put them on when I bought the car three years and 40,000 miles ago. Okay so I don't often hang the back out, if at all, and I've never taken it to a track, but it goes get a little bit slidy when I want it to. Just enough.

    More grip plus more money equals less fun.

  • thewheelman 25 May 2012

    "I've also got a spoilerless bootlid, donated by fellow Mazda owner James Page from Classic & Sports Car. I'll be giving that a go over the weekend to see if I prefer it with or without. Clearly less downforce at the back has to be good for skids, so I look forward to putting that theory to the test..."

    Does the spoiler really create that much down force on MX5s? None of the MX5s that i've driven have had spoilers, & until now the subject never crossed my mind. I know the little spoiler made a big difference on the TT back end when they were released, so obviously the difference isn't as severe.

  • ceebmoj 25 May 2012

    Have driven a number of MX5 with and with out the spoiler, the spoiler made no difference I noticed. However the spoiler was useful for trying large picture frames to on the way back for Ikea.

    also I see perfomance5 are getting good value out of there advertising spend hear on PH

  • b3robo 25 May 2012

    Your making all us non-Eunos owning lot very jealous, roll on June! (and next paycheck)

  • GBB 25 May 2012

    Good timing. I bought a Eunos earlier this week having done the man maths that a cheap MX5 as a second car would be far cheaper in reality than upgrading my E39 to an M5.

    Having never driven one before I now see why so many people rave about them. What was bought for summer brief summer fun may end up being a keeper.

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