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

leviathan

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Many here already know what's up, but to summarize:

- My Tesla preorder is at least another year out
- My previous car was a large diesel in Germany, and needed to go for multiple reasons
- I decided I wanted something small, cheap-ish, fun and preferrably convertible, to last at least until the Model 3 rolls around, and possibly after as well.

An MX-5 fit the bill perfectly. After some research, I decided I wanted an early-ish NC - seemed to be the healthiest combination of not too old, affordable, well enough equipped to be a daily driver, and still small and fun, because MX-5. Having searched around Frankfurt and seen a few cars, I found this one, and promptly bought it:

2017-09-13 18.19.42.jpg

2017-09-13 18.19.52.jpg

Less shitty pictures coming in a few days (including proof pic), once the weather clears up. It's been sunny today, right until I went to actually pick it up. Driving out of the dealer lot, I suddenly found out that the softtop can actually be raised from the inside, when required immediately :rolleyes:

Some numbers:

2008 Mazda MX-5 2.0 MZR (NC1, 5MT)
1999 cc, petrol, I4, N/A
160 hp (118 kW) @ 6700 rpm
188 Nm @ 5000 rpm*
1155 kg "Leergewicht" (wet, including a DIN-standard 75kg driver, which incidentally fits quite well)
215 km/h top speed*
8.3 s 0-100km/h*
7.7 l/100km*

* Numbers sourced from Wikipedia.

Optional stuff present and accounted for:
- Bose audio (actually sounds way better than I expected)
- Full A/C (climate control)
- Heated leather seats
- Parking sensors in the rear (why one would ever need them on a car this size, I don't know, but it has them and they work, quite loudly)
- LSD (I think it was stock on all German NCs, not sure)

The car has 105'000km on it. Condition is very nice, no mechanical issues of any sort (car had a T?V in March and was only driven ~5k since, stood in the lot for a while), paint and interior is good, soft top is very good after some thorough cleaning by the dealership (and definitely watertight, as today has proved already). Tires were absolutely gone when I test-drove it (almost looked like they were factory tires, age fit as well... yeah), so I had them put on new winter rubber for me, and will get a set of good summers next year.

So far very happy with it. Drives great, not slow by any means and quite nimble - though the soft winter tires do reduce the responsiveness quite a bit, it was much more direct on the test drive on old summer tires. That'll be rectified next summer season.

List of things to do (eventually):
- Install AUX cable for the audio system (I don't have any CDs left, and radio gets boring after a while) done
- Get a fitting phone holder (the one I have doesn't fit the tiny air vents, and I'll be using my phone for music and navigation) done
- Replace side indicators with clear ones, the yellow dots on the side do annoy me a little. done
- Have the underbody thouroughly checked and rust-proofed before winter (car has apparently never been driven in winter before) - I looked everywhere I could during the test drive and failed to find any rust, but better to be certain. checked, all is well, still possibly planning on rust-proofing to be really certain

So, yeah - the Miata camp has grown again :) Genuinely excited to see how I'll get along with it - it'll be my daily driver for at least a year.
 
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gt1750

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Congrats, although the lack of color and sixth gear (were 6-speeds FL only?) is a little of a letdown... But seems well-equipped otherwise. Many happy kms together :)
 

WDWBen

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Welcome to the NC club! One of us, one of us!

I've got the NC2 Bose system and there's an Aux for it. You may be able to get an OEM setup. It's down by the 12v plug.
 

leviathan

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Congrats, although the lack of color and sixth gear (were 6-speeds FL only?) is a little of a letdown...
Thanks! I've test-driven one with a 6-gear MT, and actually like the 5MT better, it seems smoother and more precise on the shifts. True, a 6th gear would be nice for Autobahn cruising, but that's not the point of this car anyway.

Agreed on color - there was a really nice blue one, but it was sold before I got the test drive scheduled, and almost all the ones available were either gray or black. Though I kinda like the "Mephisto" gray, it reflects surrounding colors very nicely, so most of the times it doesn't look plain gray but almost always has a hint of something else in it.

I've got the NC2 Bose system and there's an Aux for it. You may be able to get an OEM setup. It's down by the 12v plug.
Haven't seen an OEM solution for the pre-FL NC. For now, I just bought a 5? cable that'll be coming out of the dash somewhere. Later I'll work out a solution with integrated charging and audio over one Lightning cable for my iPhone - that'll become necessary some time in November when I'll get my 6S upgraded to either an 8 or an X, and lose the headphones jack. Something like the Griffin iTrip AUX lightning, but preferrably hidden within the dash with only the cable showing.
 

MXM

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Congrats! The only downside of this purchase that I can see, is that you'll be disappointed driving the Model 3 when you get it ;)
 

Matt2000

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This place is becoming over-run with MX-5s! Looks nice though and I don't doubt it'll be good fun.

When people mention AUX audio I always check the GROM website as that's what I have in mine and they do seem to have a compatible unit.

https://gromaudio.com/store/ipd4_adapters/mazda_02-08android_iphone_adapter_direct_digital_interface.html

It isn't cheap but it depends what kind of integration you want. I like the fact that I can use the steering wheel controls on mine if I want to but the Android app for that isn't very good. YMMV. :)
 

Mitchi

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Congratulations not only on the purchase, but also on the decision to have it protected from rust. :) Since the NC is now more than ten years old, some owners have definitely already found out that the car will rust as much as an NA or NB.
 

MWF

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Thanks! I've test-driven one with a 6-gear MT, and actually like the 5MT better, it seems smoother and more precise on the shifts. True, a 6th gear would be nice for Autobahn cruising, but that's not the point of this car anyway.

Agreed on color - there was a really nice blue one, but it was sold before I got the test drive scheduled, and almost all the ones available were either gray or black. Though I kinda like the "Mephisto" gray, it reflects surrounding colors very nicely, so most of the times it doesn't look plain gray but almost always has a hint of something else in it.



Haven't seen an OEM solution for the pre-FL NC. For now, I just bought a 5? cable that'll be coming out of the dash somewhere. Later I'll work out a solution with integrated charging and audio over one Lightning cable for my iPhone - that'll become necessary some time in November when I'll get my 6S upgraded to either an 8 or an X, and lose the headphones jack. Something like the Griffin iTrip AUX lightning, but preferrably hidden within the dash with only the cable showing.
I've driven both 5 and 6 speed MT NC's - as far as I was able to make out the final drive ratio is the same on both, but the ratios are closer together on the 6 speed. In both cases the engine was pulling about 1000 revs per 20pmh so 3500 revs at a UK motorway cruising speed.
 

WDWBen

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Haven't seen an OEM solution for the pre-FL NC. For now, I just bought a 5? cable that'll be coming out of the dash somewhere. Later I'll work out a solution with integrated charging and audio over one Lightning cable for my iPhone - that'll become necessary some time in November when I'll get my 6S upgraded to either an 8 or an X, and lose the headphones jack. Something like the Griffin iTrip AUX lightning, but preferrably hidden within the dash with only the cable showing.
If you're looking to do a head-unit replacement, ping me. I'll be happy to answer any questions you've got. I did an AppRadio 4 upgrade with steering wheel controls in mine and I'm really happy with how it turned out. CarPlay is the bees-knees.
 

leviathan

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If you're looking to do a head-unit replacement, ping me. I'll be happy to answer any questions you've got. I did an AppRadio 4 upgrade with steering wheel controls in mine and I'm really happy with how it turned out. CarPlay is the bees-knees.
Thanks, I might actually get back to you on this one. Tried to install the AUX cable earlier, failed: the rear of the Bose head unit doesn't have a slot for a cable that's supposed to fit all 2005-08 Mazdas, in fact, it doesn't have any free slots at all. Will resume googling for a simple-ish solution, but might ultimately have to swap out the head unit, and if I do that, a CarPlay-compatible device will probably be the way to go.

Update Apparently I'm blind or something. While deleting the photos from the phone that I took with it stuck behind the head unit to see what's what there (can't pull it out all the way without disconnecting power, and don't want to deal with a full reset), I found the connector on a different corner of the back plate from where I was looking -.- Went back, installed AUX cable, works perfectly as advertised. Still thinking of putting in a CarPlay unit further down the road, but for now, problem solved.
 
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leviathan

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Today the sun finally decided to come out, and I got some nicer pictures of the car:

2017-09-16 13.41.29.jpg

2017-09-16 13.41.41.jpg

2017-09-16 13.42.16.jpg

2017-09-16 13.44.01 HDR.jpg

2017-09-16 13.45.55.jpg

Also, proofpic:

2017-09-16 13.42.30 HDR.jpg

And the phone mount (from I.L. Motorsport) also came in the mail today, and was promptly installed. Fits perfectly, seems very solid, doesn't look out of place and doesn't eat up any notable passenger side space:

2017-09-16 15.37.04.jpg

2017-09-16 15.37.14.jpg

So far happy with the overall setup. Small things left to do - need a ferrite core on the Lightning cable to stop the EM noise in AUX audio when driving, and pack the wires away in a cleaner fashion somehow.
 

Posambique

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Really nice car and I for one think the grey suits it rather nicely.
Only thing I?g get rid of are those Lexus-style tail lights by replacing them with NA- or NC2-style versions.
Easiest solution is to put a red tint over them. I guess the German T?V doesn?t really agree with any of these though?
 

leviathan

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Took the car to a local shop that I trust (and that incidentally specializes in Mazdas) for a general checkover.

The good: underside looks neat, no rust worth mentioning to be found anywhere, it seems it really didn't see much winter driving over the years, if at all. Mechanically, all seems ok. Very minor signs of aging identified on the soft top, but nothing to worry about.

The not-so-good: service history is quite sketchy. Paper trail is nearly non-existent, and last entry in the digital service record is from way back in 2013. Car was obviously serviced since then - belts, coolant, brakes and suspension all look in great shape; no certainty about spark plugs and engine and transmission oil though, and possibly clutch. Seller said he could source original invoices from recent services from the previous owner and/or the shop they were done at, haven't heard from them since though. Since the car was sold as "Scheckheftgepflegt" and I was told the digital service record should be complete, I will definitely be asking some questions. A proper service will be done (and documented) at my trusted shop some time soon, and with any luck the seller will pay for at least a part of it. Then all should be in order.

Only thing I?g get rid of are those Lexus-style tail lights by replacing them with NA- or NC2-style versions.
Easiest solution is to put a red tint over them. I guess the German T?V doesn?t really agree with any of these though?
Yeah, I'm not a very big fan of them either. Will research my options. Replacement is probably out of question for now, and tint will most likely be T?V-incompatible as you mention, but I'll look into it just in case.
 

leviathan

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Went out for some drone flying with a friend today. Two people's worth of FPV equipment (several drones + two large-ish backpacks of batteries, remotes and other stuff + toolbox + folding chair) fills up the luggage capacity completely:

2017-09-24 16.40.18 HDR.jpg

In other words, the capacity is perfect for my typical needs :p Also, most fun I've had on the way to the field in a long time - ~20km of twisty roads through Taunus "mountains" with the top down. Loving this thing so far.
 
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MWF

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Smile per mile/cost there is nothing else that will put a bigger grin on your face than an MX-5. Glad you're loving it as much as I loved mine and love HWF3.0's.

MX-5 that is. Don't get any ideas. We aren't married yet so are limited to holding hands.

:evil:
 

leviathan

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Still clearing up the service history thing, but now that I've got an offer for the "proper" service that would get the car back on track, I don't like the numbers at all. Even if I can get the seller dealership to pay up for a part of it (which is questionable, but the effort is ongoing), it got me thinking. All the car really needs done as of now are spark plugs and oil changes (engine, gearbox, possibly diff)... I googled a bit, and those seem rather easy to do on the NC. Spark plugs I could do anytime in my garage, oil changes will need access to a minimally equipped shop (need something to raise the car far enough off the ground, a drain bucket, filter wrench, etc.), but that I can probably organize with some asking around.

Since the car already has a very patchy service history, is it worth the money paid to a shop to get it "back on track"? I doubt it'll change much for future resale value, as long as I document what's been done and keep the parts receipts. And being able to work on the car myself was kind of part of the reason I went for an MX-5 in the first place :) So yeah, thinking about taking at least the basic maintenance into my own hands. Haven't done this before ever, but how hard can it be.
 
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