Got my hands on this 1997 1.6 MX-5 NA some weeks ago. Car was owned by someone I know for like three years, he wanted to get rid of it due to backpain in summer, a friend bought it and now sold it to me. It's named Tammy from the previous-previous owner, so that name is gonna stick. Have an upper picture of it with 15 inch BBS summer wheels on Toyo T1R's and some blurry DSLR pics with stock 14 inch winter wheels down below. Queue the jibber-jabber without any clear structure:
Car has got 240.000 kms, and ignition timing was set from 10 to 14 degrees, so apparently 110-ish hp, basically the 1.6 from the NB. Not sure if that's really true, as it just feels like another slow MX-5, so all is good.
There are some modifications to the car, as it sits on KW V1 coilovers, which I absolutely adore. Stock MX-5 springs and dampers are horseshit compared to how subtle the car sits with the KW. They consolidate my big love KW as a brand and manufacturer. Best possible upgrade for an NA/NB MX-5.
The car also has 3D-printed side light-removal-insert-thingies, so that's good. And a 3D-printed sun visor delete kit. Oh yeah, and a small lip at the back that's not (yet) in the car's papers, and was wrapped by the previous-previous owner when he was drunk.
I haven't actually done anything to the car so far - except de-stickering it a little and basically fucking up the wiring loom for the radio, which now doesn't work anymore. So I have to play music via a bluetooth box. Anyway, doesn't matter too much, it's not good looking without a radio in it, and the antenna has been removed when re-painting the car in Audis Venezioviolett anyway. Though I think this is actually quite a bit more purple than Audis colour, which might be because the car was Montego blue underneath, and actually still is at the left side mirror (which was once replaced because of a mishap) and at the hardtop.
Things to do (if I had power, money and motivation):
- adjust car's height so it doesn't bottom out anymore anywhere...
- exhaust is blowing somewhere at the middle silencer aswell as the headers. Car is quite loud, especially sitting in it. Doesn't sound good, and you can't really hear the engine note itself, just exhaust gasses.
- suspension - I don't think bushings have been done when swapping to coilovers because JDM yo. Car also feels to light and clunky at the front axle, quite grueling to be honest. I feel less and less safe with the front axle as-is right now.
- in the same manner - steering. Steering is lose/not tight enough, something's up with it.
- fix wiring loom for radio.. somehow. I'm super bad when it comes to electrics
- water pump (I think) makes noises. Might be on the way out and is probably 15+ years old.
- yes, the car has rust, of course. Let's see how well it goes over the winter, if I can get myself up to drive it on salty roads.
- the trunk is not water-tight, apparently. There's no standing water in it, but the trunk floor mat is always wet, and I haven't quite figured out yet from where it comes into the trunk.
- gearbox feels like it barely has any oil in it. It hesitates to go into first gear quite often, and feels really clunky. It should be much more slick.
- there's no lock for the passenger door, have to open it from inside.
- facelifted NAs don't have an internal trunk release, god damn it, Mazda! This should be retrofitted ...
- Opening the fuel filler cap takes between three and thirty attempts. I'm not quite sure what's wrong, as the spring seems to work. This is really embarassing at petrol stations.
- driver's side door needs mirror housing fixed, as that's lose, aswell as the window barely working at all. Also, there's something lose in both doors rattling around
- the softtop has got a glass window, which is good, but it's slightly torn off, so I can't really use the soft top.
- probably more, but I forgot, and don't want to think about it
So, any plans? Well, not sure. At the moment I drive this car once every fortnight or so, I haven't even done 500 kms in it so far. I do treat it as a beater right now, I am honest. It shouldn't be one, but I bought the car for the wrong reasons.
Firstly, I thought I could take this car as a base to finally have an NA again; a car that I'd like to keep for a long time and start modifying it. But I'm not sure the base car is right, aswell as the time now. This seems more gone that I thought it would be, as stated per the things-to-do-list above. I'm already annoyed by small things like the radio not working because the cables are fucked, or the driving position - which I thought would be fine, but having driven it a little on my own behalf now I think the steering wheel is too big and the seats too high. A pre-facelift NA has a much better driving position.
The second reason being the same reason as for selling the Sierra to beni: Not being able to work on the car myself space-wise. If for example I have to go to a shop to have a 50 euro brake caliper swapped out for 300 euro, that annoys me a lot and digs a hole in my pocket that's just too deep. Having an old car means replacing stuff frequently, and not being able to do that myself, but having to pay someone do it for a multiple amount of money just isn't something I can and want to do right now. I thought I could drive the car longer as-is right now, but I fear I can't because so much needs to be done. Now I've bought a car that brings me into the exact same fucking spot again.
I also have to admit that it somehow doesn't feel like my car. It's modified by someone else and everytime I get in it, it feels like I'm borrowing someone else's car.
Lastly, I will probably have to undergo some major changes in my life next year, as I want to change jobs and move town. This car just doesn't help at all. It just slows down what I try to call 'progress'.
I really should just go out and lease a brand new Pug 208 via Sixt for 99 euros a month or so. I'm quite done with old cars.
Well, this was depressing to write. Car's TÜV is running out in april, might aswell ditch it over the winter in snow...