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MrCat

Mazda Mx-5 (Jdm Eunos Roadster)

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Hello All,

So I`ve been wanting to build a car for track use and to have some fun driving around over the weekend. Always had the idea in mind, but my ‘itch’ got worse after selling the Subaru BRZ I had before..!

The eligibility criteria were:

· Since this is purely for entertainment purposes, the car had to be cheap to buy and maintain.

· I am a big fan of well-balanced light weight cars. They are great fun to drive within legal speed limits, and cheap to maintain after been thrashed around in a race track.

· Manual transmission and RWD is a must.

Other choices/contenders were:

· BMW e30, preferably a 325i

· Toyota Ae86/85/Sprinter Trueno

· Westfied clubman/Lotus 7/Caterham 7

For various reasons, the MX-5 came up top in my list and picked this car up a couple of weeks ago.

I hope to document my journey with the car here, as the little MX-5 evolves over time..!

The following pics were taken on the day I bought her home :)

Rear view - with soft-top on:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BzuOqeXrghn8YWxEX0g4N1hZTWc/view

mx_5_1_zpschp1gj2b.jpg

Rear view - with hard-top on:

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BzuOqeXrghn8cGliX1JHaGE4Mjg

mx_5_2_zpsgko3ooyu.jpg

Front view - look at those eyes, happy as F#*k..! :D

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BzuOqeXrghn8SnlqdHJWTVBMSFk

mx5_3_zps0faccxtp.jpg

Edited by MrCat
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Oh very, very nice! Can't beat the Miata for pure rwd fun on a budget, congrats! Keep us posted on the progress man, been a while since you've posted here.

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That's one sick car MrCat. Congrats!

Thanks Mate..

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Oh very, very nice! Can't beat the Miata for pure rwd fun on a budget, congrats! Keep us posted on the progress man, been a while since you've posted here.

Thanks Mate..!

Yeah I know, my Disco is not getting much love these days, so nothing much to update on my "Discovery 1" thread. Not necessarily my fault, the Landy has been reliable and haven't had much dramas with it. :sleeping-smiley-008:

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Just continuing with the story on the purchase…

I had specific requirements on the Mx-5 I wanted.

  • First of all, it needed to be a 1st generation car (“NA” series). The second generation (NB) is a bit more heavier, more refined, and is essentially not as ‘analog’ in terms of driving feel when compared to the NA.
  • The very first Mx-5 debuted in 1989 (code named NA6) had a 1.6 liter DOHC motor (code named B6ZE). From 1993 to early 1997, Mazda dropped the 1.8 liter BP engine in and code named the series as NA8. I preferred a first generation which was manufactured towards the end of the life cycle, because this is when manufacturers tend to load up cars with better features and components (to keep the sales going before new product version comes out).
  • I quite like the hard-top on an Mx-5, because it tend to make things a bit quieter inside and also aids (although very minor) with structural rigidity.
  • It is to be used as a project car, so a pristine low mileage example was not a necessity. I dont mind getting minor things fixed/worked on, but didn’t really want a modified/hacked piece of junk either. Something in-between with just enough Km`s on the clock and average condition to keep the costs down would be fine.

So when this particular car came up for sale (in a local classifieds site) on a Saturday evening, it pretty much ticked all the boxes. I jumped on it straight away and bought is Sunday morning.

The car is made in 1996 and it had 154,371 km`s on the clock. The previous owner hasn’t really thrashed it, but it wasn’t a pampered show piece either.

We`ve got strict import rules in here in Australia, so JDM cars are quite rare. To my surprise, this car was a JDM import, bought in to the country in year 2000..!

I knew that it was a JDM when I bought it home, but nothing much. A couple of days later noticed a sticker on the driver side door jamb, which read ‘VR Ltd Com B’. Did some further research and realized that I’ve picked up a bit of a Unicorn..! It is a JDM Limited Edition made in 1996. Specifically, named “VR-Limited Combination B” and limited to 800 examples..!

From what I gather, this limited run came out with the following:

· British Racing Green color with color matched genuine hard-top

· Lightweight Aluminum Alloys – 15 X 6

· Koni shocks and springs all round – adjustable dampening in front

· Front strut bar from factory. Brace bar behind seats

· Black interior with leather seats

· Some JDM bling inside – aluminum shift knob, aluminum parking brake leaver cover, brushed aluminum speaker surrounds, polished aluminum ‘Roadster’ scuff plates, etc..

· MOMO 3 spoke steering wheel

· JDM yellow fog lights

· Color-coded ‘Eunos’ and ‘Roadster’ badging here and there

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Hello All,

Finally found some time to update the thread.

Car was quite dirty, inside and out. Also, the engine had a leak or two from somewhere. The previous owner said that it`s the crank shaft (front) oil seal, but I had to make sure. So we decided to take the fenders and front bumper off to inspect. Inside, the seats and center console were taken off.

We started off by de-greasing the engine and undercarriage. The undercarriage suspension components were pressure washed and scrubbed.

 

Here are some pics taken during the process.

Front, with the bumper off:

before_1_zpsvoktlnjc.jpg

 

Sump and steering rack:

before_2_zpspvxus2lq.jpg

 

Front, driver`s side:

before_3_zpsrybzkwqp.jpg

 

Front passenger side:

before_4_zpsnglpvjea.jpg

 

Interior, passenger side:

before_5_zpsfcpsmmki.jpg

 

Bumper components and front lip spoiler getting pressure washed:

before_6_zpsjtomphgu.jpg

 

Edited by MrCat

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The brakes are quite good in an MX-5, even in standard form. Being the 1.8 litre “NA” series, this car had larger brakes from factory, which were installed in the second generation (“NB” series).

I am still in two minds about what to do with the brakes.

  1. Going all the way and getting a ‘Big Brake’ kit (larger callipers, possibly dual piston, larger rotors, etc…)

  2. Improving the standard brakes with: better drilled/slotted rotors, better pads and braided brake lines

With the car being so light, option 1 might require an additional adjustable brake proportional valve as well, to achieve proper brake bias between front and back.

Option two would work well, unless the car gets turbo charged producing an additional 100-150HP. With good quality components, I am quite sure that the standard brakes will hold up well during light to moderate track work. I still haven’t tracked the car, so will decide later on.

But for the moment, we decided to check, clean and re-install existing calipers and rotors. The front pads got replaced. Brake lines and clutch line were bled, and fed with new fluid.

 

Front pads ready to go in:

brakes_1_zps3s9fcdxx.jpg

 

A big thank you to my father who did most of the hard work:

IMG_1611_zpshr6x4asf.jpg

 

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Any updates on this project @MrCat? Please do keep us posted. Also, your photo links are broken. I'm also looking around for a Mark 1 Miata over here, but they are on the rare side. 

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Hello @Supra_Natural

Yeah, the photos are broken because potobucket decided to screw us over in style and got rid of free accounts.  :mellow:

Unfortunately my MX-5 project was abandoned prematurely due to two reasons  :unsure: :

1.)    The closet most accessible race track got closed down over here. There are only 2 more tracks in the city I live, one about 200kms away and other about 70kms away. At this point in life I just don’t have the time or the energy to do those tracks, whilst risking the long expensive tow back home if/when I break things. So a track oriented build wouldn’t make much sense.

2.)    Even if I restore it to be a weekend car, I still can’t take my 2 year old daughter AND wife for a drive. Figured it`ll be easier to avoid that conflict and drop the cash in to something fun that the three of us can all jump in and go for a drive.

Wish I kept the car, especially since it was a limited edition JDM spec, but I just don’t have the space to store/park.  1st gen NA Mx-5s still makes me giggle when I see one, for me they are the best mechanical fun per dollar hands down.!

Wish you luck in finding one in SL, it`ll be a ripper to carve some remote mountain roads with the top down! Even Mark2 (NB series) is OK if you can find one.

 

Edited by MrCat

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In other news, the MX5s void was filled with this. A 1990 BMW E30 318is.  Similar platform to the little Mazda (front engine – rear drive, 4 cylinder motor, light and agile, etc….), but completely different in character..!  The Mx5 wins as a purpose designed proper sports car, but for me the E30 turned out to be a better package overall.

 

forum_1.jpg

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Going OT here... But a quick note about the E30…

The E30 is all original which I “hope” to keep that way (give it year or two and we all know how it goes…)   :D

Some minor mods/improvements so far….

    ** quicker steering rack from a BMW Z3. Complete power steering mechanism rebuilt from hoses to steering link to tie rods

    ** shifter rebuilt with a Z3 short shifter

    ** Ligtweight flywheel, bigger clutch

    ** upgraded engine mounts (poly),  upgraded gearbox mounts  and various other rubber mounts and bits

    ** Suspension rebuild – Bilstein B8 shocks and H&R lowering springs. Other bits like strut mounts, wheel bearings, etc… all replaced

    ** Ultra Racing front and rear strut bars

    ** Recaro SR3 front seats from an Integra Type R

    ** Brake upgrade with ATE slotted rotors, braided brake lines, new pads etc….

    ** a number of little interior bits, rubbers, engine belts, coolant hoses,  gaskets, bolts, reservoirs, caps, etc…

 

 

 

 

 

forum_2.jpg

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On 3/28/2018 at 12:51 PM, MrCat said:

Hello @Supra_Natural

Yeah, the photos are broken because potobucket decided to screw us over in style and got rid of free accounts.  :mellow:

Unfortunately my MX-5 project was abandoned prematurely due to two reasons  :unsure: :

1.)    The closet most accessible race track got closed down over here. There are only 2 more tracks in the city I live, one about 200kms away and other about 70kms away. At this point in life I just don’t have the time or the energy to do those tracks, whilst risking the long expensive tow back home if/when I break things. So a track oriented build wouldn’t make much sense.

2.)    Even if I restore it to be a weekend car, I still can’t take my 2 year old daughter AND wife for a drive. Figured it`ll be easier to avoid that conflict and drop the cash in to something fun that the three of us can all jump in and go for a drive.

Wish I kept the car, especially since it was a limited edition JDM spec, but I just don’t have the space to store/park.  1st gen NA Mx-5s still makes me giggle when I see one, for me they are the best mechanical fun per dollar hands down.!

Wish you luck in finding one in SL, it`ll be a ripper to carve some remote mountain roads with the top down! Even Mark2 (NB series) is OK if you can find one.

 

Aiyo that's really unfortunate, wish you could have kept it around. I guess family does change priorities, though maybe you could have kept it as your excuse for "Me time" haha.

They are basically hen's teeth in SL, there are quite a few "Non Original" cars (similar story to the tons of Minis around) but I don't want to go that road so will keep looking for a legit one. NBs are even fewer, I think 2 cars total.

Till I find one though, I have a mountain road corner carver in the garage because I replaced the Jag with a 2015 ND, which is a brilliant car. Mostly looking for the NA to keep it company lol. 

the E30 looks great too!

Edited by Supra_Natural

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23 hours ago, Supra_Natural said:

Aiyo that's really unfortunate, wish you could have kept it around. I guess family does change priorities, though maybe you could have kept it as your excuse for "Me time" haha.

They are basically hen's teeth in SL, there are quite a few "Non Original" cars (similar story to the tons of Minis around) but I don't want to go that road so will keep looking for a legit one. NBs are even fewer, I think 2 cars total.

Till I find one though, I have a mountain road corner carver in the garage because I replaced the Jag with a 2015 ND, which is a brilliant car. Mostly looking for the NA to keep it company lol. 

the E30 looks great too!

 

One day, if i have more storage space I might get another :( 

The chassis is quite weak on these cars, especially with no roof to aid with rigidity. So if the ‘non original’ cars are half cuts with are later joined together, could be extremely risky to drive around at speed.  As you said, would be wise to stay away from those.

Congrats on the ND.!! My god, I dream about doing the ‘18 wanguwa’ road on one of those..! I am sure I’ve seen it on VVTi`s FB photos, didn’t know it was yours.!

 

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On 4/3/2018 at 10:02 AM, MrCat said:

 

One day, if i have more storage space I might get another :( 

The chassis is quite weak on these cars, especially with no roof to aid with rigidity. So if the ‘non original’ cars are half cuts with are later joined together, could be extremely risky to drive around at speed.  As you said, would be wise to stay away from those.

Congrats on the ND.!! My god, I dream about doing the ‘18 wanguwa’ road on one of those..! I am sure I’ve seen it on VVTi`s FB photos, didn’t know it was yours.!

 

Thanks man, 18 wanguwa run is still pending but I've done some other good roads already and it is amazing, the perfect sports car for Sri Lanka to be honest, just enough power to have fun in our conditions. Yup VVti and I have done some runs together, so you must have seen it in his pics. 

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