Ownership Verified: Oh no, they've got another one - leviathan's MX-5 NC

leviathan

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It doesn't actually have any extra wiring, the second (and hidden third) sockets are wired via splices from the original socket using hardware that comes with the storage box (from I.L. Motorsport).

There are two more cupholders in the doors, so I'm fine on that front :)
 

WDWBen

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Ugh, I wish that the I.L. center bucket came with a USB port! I'd buy one in a heartbeat... I want to really clean up the wiring from my CarPlay install and just use a short 6" or 10" USB to Lightning cable coming out of that center box to plug into my phone. I tried it on the original compartment, but didn't measure the transmission tunnel properly and botched the heck out of it.

I guess I'll just have to buy another console-bucket thing (I think they're sold separately) and try again. If might fit better if I put the USB port where the 12v is in your car, and not at the back where I tried it in mine.
 

thevictor390

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My RX-8 is the same way with the cupholders.... better than nothing, but it really feels like no one actually tested the design with a stick shift.
 

leviathan

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WDWBen;n3550445 said:
Ugh, I wish that the I.L. center bucket came with a USB port! I'd buy one in a heartbeat... I want to really clean up the wiring from my CarPlay install and just use a short 6" or 10" USB to Lightning cable coming out of that center box to plug into my phone. I tried it on the original compartment, but didn't measure the transmission tunnel properly and botched the heck out of it.

I guess I'll just have to buy another console-bucket thing (I think they're sold separately) and try again. If might fit better if I put the USB port where the 12v is in your car, and not at the back where I tried it in mine.
I was actually thinking of drilling another hole into the side of the box and installing a USB adapter, something like this:



Might still do it at a later point. For now, two free sockets are enough.
 

WDWBen

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Matt2000

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leviathan;n3550447 said:
I was actually thinking of drilling another hole into the side of the box and installing a USB adapter, something like this:



Might still do it at a later point. For now, two free sockets are enough.
I don't like these, and the simple reason is that USB charging keeps advancing. Put something like that in and you'll quite likely be getting sub-optimal charge speeds in a year or so. At least 12V to USB chargers are reasonably cheap and easy to upgrade.

On the other hand hiding a wireless charging coil behind the bottom of the tray is totally something that I would go to the trouble of doing despite the chance of it becoming obsolete even sooner, I'm really sold on it with my X as it's so bloody convenient.
 

leviathan

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This needs an update badly, because things have happened.


Main thing that has happened is, of course, the FinalGear Roadtrip 2018 Balkan Edition. The photothread for that is still not up and I haven't sorted my own material yet so no pictures for now, but it was absolutely amazing.

I had a few worries going on it, mainly:
- Not being able to fit all my stuff for over 2 weeks.
- Being extremely uncomfortable on the two >750km highway blasts.
- Mechanical issues from not having a proper service history or MX-5 experience to catch potential issues myself.

Happy to say, none of that has come to pass. In fact, I am astonished at how well the car has handled 5013 km of frankly very hard driving over 16 days with no issues whatsoever. It was fine and actually efficient (-ish, 7-7.5l/100km) on the highway runs, huge fun on the actual Roadtrip roads, and fit everything I wanted in the back even keeping the passenger seat free for, well, passengers.

Pictures and videos will be coming in over the next few days and weeks.


Also, at the Ringmeet I took it for another Nordschleife lap. BTG 10:12 with a huge yellow at the start and basically not knowing most of the track is imho very decent. I wanted to do one or two more, but the right moment didn't come - traffic, heat and occasional track closures happened, so I decided the one good lap would do.
 

Redliner

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Glad to hear the car performed as it should. :D
 

leviathan

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And here come the pictures:


Morning at the Rama lake in Bosnia and Herzegovina.


On the ferry in the bay of Kotor, Montenegro.


On a beach near Shköder, Albania.


On the same beach in Albania, randomly joined by an awesome firetruck-converted-to-camper on historical license plates from Germany.


Camping near Dubrovnik, Croatia. The tent fits behind the driver's seat :)


At the entrance of the abandoned (and still heavily mined...) Zeljava Air Base near the Bosnian border. Had some drag races there, not exactly MX-5's kind of stuff but it was still a lot of fun.


Short break at a friend's house in Slovenia, fixing one of the group's cars. MX-5 taking a rest.


On top of the Mangart pass in Slovenia.


On the northern side of the Großglockner Hochalpenstraße in Austria.


Bonus pic: 2 weeks of stuff in the trunk. Perfect fit!
 

leviathan

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And another nice one from Lastsoul:



Showcasing both the natural habitat of the MX-5, and the Balkan way of cornering.
 

leviathan

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Short summary of things that happened with the car since the Roadtrip/Ringmeet and the current state of things:

- It's now over a year in my possession! And still amazing, I'm pretty certain at this point that when the Tesla comes around I'm keeping this and making it a project car. Because why the hell not... it'll be fully paid off by then, insurance and tax are not really expensive (and insurance will decrease when I have another car, too). Parking can be arranged, there's enough room out in the streets around here, or maybe I'll actually rent a second spot in the underground parking of my apartment complex - those are underfilled and always advertised, might get one for cheap-ish.

- Wind deflector broke. I disliked Mazda's OEM plastic solution from the start, pulling it up and down always felt quite violent - and now some plastic finally decided to let go in one of the hinges, the other one is already white-ish and on the way out as well. Not sure what I want to do here... on one hand, the OEM solution is shit and if I put one in it'll just break at some point again. On the other hand, it's apparently the only folding one available, and I really like being able to fold it down and pull the soft top up from inside the car - with a permanently up deflector that won't be possible, I think. Almost got a really cheap used one off eBay, but the seller removed the auction one hour before ending with no bids, and told me it's sold when I inquired (I wanted to eBay properly and only bid in the last minute... well that worked out nicely).

- Front brakes started squealing a bit in the last couple weeks. Not too surprised since they've been untouched since purchase, and the roadtrip driving certainly took its toll on them :) From what I can judge visually, both pads and discs still look OK. Gotta have my mechanic look it over when the winter wheels are going on next month, maybe earlier if the squeal gets worse.

- Rear parking sensors are acting up. There's gotta be a loose wire connection in there somewhere - sometimes they work perfectly and sometimes there's just a permanent beep. Once it actually switched between the two modes while backing up into a spot now, as the car moved. I don't even know if it's a factory option system or an aftermarket addon, and where the controller box sits... gotta research it and see about checking and fixing the wiring at some point, it's rather annoying.

Otherwise, it's all perfectly fine. Dashcam still needs to be perma-wired in, wanted to do that this week when the eBay wind deflector got here, but now that's off the table, so who knows when I'm going to get around to it. Oil will be changed some time in the next month or two, when 20'000km since last change roll around.
 

leviathan

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Swapped to winter tires and had the mechanic check it over before winter, as usual. Findings:

- New summer tires are down to 7mm tread on the front, 5mm (!) on the rear after one season. I didn't drift it that much, really :) Though the roadtrip sure was hard on the tires. Wondering if I can rotate them to even the wear a little, for some reason tire rotations are not typically done in Germany.

- Front brake pads have 2000-3000km left in them. Squeal seems to coming from there, too, though nothing particular was found in that regard. This is expected, since the pads were on the car when I bought it, and who knows how long before that. Rears were swapped when the caliper stuck and overheated early this year, so they are fine for a while still. Discs are fine all around.

- Brake fluid needs to be changed, >2% water content. Same story as front pads, last changed by the previous owner, unknown when, so not unexpected.

Will see if I want to do the pads and brake fluid myself, or just let the mechanic do it.
Dashcam is finally perma-wired in. There's now a 4-port Amazon Basics USB charger sitting inside the center console, powering the dashcam, Bluetooth puck and charging the phone:



4th port is extended into the glovebox for even more charging options. Dashcam wire is hidden behind interior trim all the way to the camera, was easier than expected.

Also, while putting the cable in I removed the glovebox... and found an unexpected insight into the musical tastes of one of the previous owners:



Wind deflector and parking sensors are still broken. OEM wind deflector is >150€ -.- I don't drive open top much in the winter, and kinda used to not having the deflector by now. Will probably leave it as is until spring.
 

leviathan

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More mildly uninteresting updates :)

Just picked the car up from it's bi-yearly TÜV. Was worried they'd find something I don't know about, but nope - came back completely clean, not a single issue. Quite happy.

Some time before that (actually back in December I think) had the brake fluid and front brake pads changed. Weirdly enough this didn't fix all of the squeal - there's less, but still some squealing when under very specific brake pressure. I think it's coming from the rear right. Given that the TÜV guys measured brake performance and it's all fine, it seems to be nothing to really worry about.

Also, parking sensors are no longer broken. I had to swap a brake light bulb, and during the disassembly required to get to it I found the nest of wires that represents the now obviously aftermarket parking sensor setup. Spent five minutes checking it out and replugged a couple dodgy connectors. Constant beeping issue hasn't happened since - looks like my assumption of a loose connector was correct. Ideally I should take it apart again at some point and redo those wires properly, to make sure it doesn't come back, but it's been working fine for a couple months now.
 

leviathan

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Went out for another tour with the local MX-5 club. Some 20-ish cars, nice roads, and radios - roadtrip feeling was slightly re-awakened, only missing the driving style :p

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How do you take an elevated picture of a large group when no-one has a drone? That's right, get a tractor.

3555412


So yeah, this was the first outing with the NC since I got the Tesla. The original idea for this car was to be an intermediate solution, something untypical I could do in between "proper" cars, and then sell. Keeping it was never a plan...

But now I'm really thinking about it. The Tesla is awesome, and better than the NC for me in many objective ways. It's more spacious, comfortable, refined, filled with tech, stupidly fast, and surprisingly competent on fun roads as well. However, the top doesn't open :) and there's still this feel to cornering in the MX-5 that no other car I've driven offers. The ability to go to the car's limits and beyond, and still have full control and be able to just push it without much fear. So a part of me really doesn't want to let the little Japanese roadster go.

Main issue at the moment is parking space. I have one space in the apartment underground parking, and there's the street. For now, the NC lives outside - I wanted to keep it in the garage, but since I daily the Tesla, having to look for a spot every time I come home got tedious quickly. Renting a second space would run a somewhat noticeable amount monthly. Plus there'd always be a running cost if I keep the NC - insurance, tax, occasional maintenance all add up, even if I reduce the actual driving to nice weather weekends only.

Ultimately I'll have to run the numbers, and decide whether keeping the NC as a toy is worth the cost. Right now, I'm undecided.
 

DanRoM

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Fuck the numbers! Keep it!
I second that motion. :D

In all seriousness, I can understand your dilemma, especially when the daily driver is already so bloody fast. But as you said, the roof doesn't open and the trademark MX-5 playfulness is something special.
 
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leviathan

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No-one probably remembers this from a while back:
So... has anyone removed a driver's seat from their NC? Because I might need to do that to retrieve a certain garage key that went under the carpet earlier tonight -.-

(...)

Update Just found a second garage key in the apartment, didn't even know I had two. So the urgency has actually been reduced to "very low, unless it starts rattling down there or something". Still need to get it out some time...
I used the spare key for over a year now and have almost forgotten about the original :) But since I am now planning to possibly move apartments, I finally needed to get the damn thing out of there. Luckily another one of the local MX-5 club's "Schraubsonntag" events came up, so I dusted off the NC that hasn't been moved in 4 weeks (started after half a turn like it was parked yesterday...) and went to do some tinkering.

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The key has been retrieved! Didn't even need to pull out the carpet, the key has lodged itself in the floor right at the edge of the cutout for the cables. Removing the seat was easier than expected - disconnect battery, wait 10 minutes, remove 4 bolts (whoever tightened those had no chill at all), unplug a single huge connector, lift seat out. Assembly in reverse, + turn engine on and turn wheels to both end stops to recalibrate the steering angle sensor (restores DSC function), + spend 5 minutes pushing all the buttons on the radio trying to set the time correctly.
 
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