Neela the MX5 - Track/Weekend toy/project

So, as some of you may be aware I've been hankering after something Japanese and RWD for quite a while, and the MX5 seemed to fit the spec (and budget) fairly well.

After MONTHS of umm-ing and ahhh-ing, not to mention a 3+ month hiatus while the banks proceeded to f*ck up all my records and leave me high and dry on a mortgage application, I FINALLY got around to picking up a car to play with!

She's a '98 JDM imported 'RS' edition car so she has as standard the 1.8l 145bhp engine, with '6 O'clock' Dials, Bilstein suspension (replaced with Coilovers) and most importantly a LSD for some drifty action! She was imported in 2008, so she's (as far as I can see) rust free as far as chassis and bodywork goes, which is a big plus for me as I didn't want to buy a rust bucket and spend a fortune in the bodyshop. It also has the 'sport' bodykit and fog lights, which are fairly rare on UK cars (limited to a couple of hundred ever sold ASAIK), and has had a recent wheel refurb and some new pads and discs. Also I have a soft spot for the square JDM style plates :smile:

The plans are:

1. Clean her up - She's not too bad, but nowhere near the standard I would like.
2. Make it safe - Roll cage, seats, harnesses
2a - TRACK IT!
3. Make it look good - wheels, trim, etc
4. Make it fast (turbo conversion?) - This will take a WHILE so you'll have to really bare with me on that.

I was hoping to dive straight in with the goodies, but had a mess around with the insurance which involved me emptying an additional £1200 out the savings for new policies all round, and with an upcoming trip to Monaco for the GP, funds are a little tight. The first step is going to be just a quick mechanical check over with a local 5 specialist to give me a 'to do' list, and also pick up some 5 specific cleaning goodies and tools (I'm going to need a VERY low jack, and some roof material cleaner).

So, enough with the words. On to some 'before' pics to get the project started :smile:

13850744723_31638d421e_b.jpg[url=]untitled-2 by Rob Owen!, on Flickruntitled-2[/URL] by Rob Owen!, on Flickr

13851074894_ef72ee7d39_b.jpguntitled-6 by Rob Owen!, on Flickr

13850684205_7e931e82f6_b.jpguntitled-10 by Rob Owen!, on Flickr

13850691513_1efe252d2a_b.jpguntitled-20 by Rob Owen!, on Flickr

13850997384_cf22ddeda0_b.jpguntitled-26 by Rob Owen!, on Flickr

13850980854_8f4d118f1a_b.jpgJap Tax? by Rob Owen!, on Flickr

13850589913_6d6a986830_b.jpgWarning: safdsakfjsdfkm? by Rob Owen!, on Flickr

13850901644_98ea76d03c_b.jpgJDM Flare by Rob Owen!, on Flickr

13850603013_48ffd54867_b.jpguntitled-32 by Rob Owen!, on Flickr


"the troll hunter" with added boost!
I'll..... restrain myself from the obvious comments :wink:

She looks in good nick though! DDDOORRRIFFTTOOOOOOOOOOOOOoooooooooo :innocent:
Haha, yeah I know I'm in for a lot of 'those' jokes! Still I like it, and tbh most petrol heads get the whole 'cheap RWD' thing.

The car is in pretty good nick for a sixteen year old motor, but there's no shortage of things to do/clean/fix on it for someone who's a bit OCD. But that's the whole point is to keep me amused, and since it's going to live in the workshop it'll give me something to do on my lunch without having to worry about putting it all back together to drive home in! Also the last owner was massive petrol head (classic mini on the drive, Caterham in the garage and M135i for the daily) so he threw in some braided lines, new fuel filter, a spare set of winter wheels and tyres, a wiring schematic and workshop manual in with it that he had in the garage - win.

The car is also ridiculously well documented, it has all the original import papers, every receipt for everything that's been done (even down to post-it notes with the ride height and damper settings when he fitted the coilovers) and the original KM speedo.

I'm almost glad it's only been in the country for 6years otherwise I'd need a book cabinet to keep it all in lol!
Must admit I bought my Clio as a track toy , as running evo and scoobs it was just getting too expensive , I looked at these quite a few times and yes would deffo buy one , just that the ph1 came up at the right price right time , I think there cracking little cars mate , you won't go far wrong , and yes arse end fun to boot !! Top buy mate
Cheers guys! I'm pretty happy with it so far, just looking forwards to getting some cash together to starts the mods! Think I might have a little tinker this weekend and clean some things up. I really need to get the DA on that headlight! Poor thing looks like she's got cataracts! :'(
Thanks guys. [MENTION=3782]Chris197F1[/MENTION] I was never really in to them either tbh. I always had them classed with the 'hairdresser' steriotype, but a couple of years back I started seeing some nicely modified ones, and quite a few handy ones on track too. The more I looked, the more I liked, and eventually I couldn't resist buying one haha! With the kit and wheels and lowering it does help change it's image a little too, hopefully once I've got a few more things on there it'll look a bit better again.
OK, I'll copy/paste some old posts from my project thread over on Nutz to here to try and catch up with this thread because its been AGES!!

So first off I've started with the clean up. Although this will be an ongoing project here's some pics. I can't get over how hard the mazda paint is compared to the fords and renault's I've machine polished in the past!

De-rusting the front bumper where my tow hooks had stained it...
14558142514_5559bf5ae9_b.jpguntitled-70 by Rob Owen!, on Flickr

14559770755_08b5640354_b.jpguntitled-71 by Rob Owen!, on Flickr

14558926542_4bc7c7eb54_b.jpguntitled-72 by Rob Owen!, on Flickr

14559762655_c45425f49a_b.jpguntitled-73 by Rob Owen!, on Flickr

14579857183_e9db9c0ab9_b.jpguntitled-74 by Rob Owen!, on Flickr

14579856213_a3f8271a0c_b.jpguntitled-75 by Rob Owen!, on Flickr

Then I decided to give the wiper arms a freshen up as the paint on them had started to peel and also some aero wipers to neaten things up...

14579930573_383628d8b1_b.jpguntitled-93 by Rob Owen!, on Flickr

14536756496_368ce6ce6d_b.jpguntitled-94 by Rob Owen!, on Flickr

prep work:
14373147090_f03b637004_b.jpguntitled-96 by Rob Owen!, on Flickr

14373222479_633f11ce80_b.jpguntitled-97 by Rob Owen!, on Flickr

On to black:
14536748686_e3e3b14275_b.jpguntitled-98 by Rob Owen!, on Flickr

14373221518_163ebbf388_b.jpguntitled-99 by Rob Owen!, on Flickr

14373380067_b8a9d4f819_b.jpguntitled-100 by Rob Owen!, on Flickr

Fitted on the car:
14373209379_ab6597d1ae_b.jpguntitled-101 by Rob Owen!, on Flickr

14558175264_f979aa6f53_b.jpguntitled-103 by Rob Owen!, on Flickr
The horrible yellow front headlight was starting to annoy me, so out cam the DA to clear it up:

14520666389_5dda0a6d12_b.jpgIMG_2029 by Rob Owen!, on Flickr

Fitted some LED number plate lights my mate gave me:
14684326036_112744bc0f_b.jpgIMG_2034 by Rob Owen!, on Flickr

Then I decided to get some clear reflectors. So I popped on to MX5parts, and spotted that they also had some light up USDM style ones. So stuck some of them in the basket.

14727183143_8f4bcf4132_b.jpgIMG_2273 by Rob Owen!, on Flickr

14704920124_bfa7bb401b_b.jpgIMG_2274 by Rob Owen!, on Flickr

Never one to miss an opportunity to clean something out can ABD Citrus cleaner
14704139931_8ccf1b685e_b.jpgIMG_2275 by Rob Owen!, on Flickr

I then discovered that Mx5Parts/IL don't give you anywhere near enough cable on the lights for them to fit!!
14520860727_7517cfb719_b.jpgIMG_2367 by Rob Owen!, on Flickr

So out came the soldering iron and heat gun
14520640769_759ed1bbff_b.jpgIMG_2376 by Rob Owen!, on Flickr

This happened:
14704118841_e864e2e547_b.jpgIMG_2378 by Rob Owen!, on Flickr

Trying to make the installation as OEM as possible the cables were wrapped in cable tidy and insulating tape
14707003602_279312ca5f_b.jpgIMG_2384 by Rob Owen!, on Flickr

Much better!
14707025102_51e87fc7ed_b.jpgIMG_2276 by Rob Owen!, on Flickr

14520874557_847189f461_b.jpgIMG_2278 by Rob Owen!, on Flickr

14707309575_73798c7634_b.jpgIMG_2280 by Rob Owen!, on Flickr

14707040132_370f6fbcbe_b.jpgIMG_2282 by Rob Owen!, on Flickr

14704131351_440314d3c7_b.jpgIMG_2283 by Rob Owen!, on Flickr

Then I decided that after years of "borrowing" my In-Laws trolley jack, it was time to get my own. So out came the Costco card and I proceeded to MASSIVELY over compensate for not having my own one for so long haha!
14520867797_9fc635f2cc_b.jpgIMG_2284 by Rob Owen!, on Flickr
14520646409_7533334ac2_b.jpgIMG_2287 by Rob Owen!, on Flickr
14704903574_7ea87c6b2f_b.jpgIMG_2290 by Rob Owen!, on Flickr
So another update here.

The roll cage is in and so is some padding from the guys at JJC. Really happy with how it looks, I want to re-do the carpet as it's not as neat as I'd like but other than that I'm chuffed with how much it changes the overall look of the car.


+ some epic tie wraps..

= this...


Gotta love that rear view:
Wow, been ages since I got around to updating this! Well, there hasn't been too much progress on the car, between house hold jobs, moving out of my industrial unit, having to store the car in my mums tiny garage and some ****ty weather I haven't had the time or motivation to get much done. I've bought a pair of bucket seats which have proved to be a total pain in the arse to fit in the car (Corbau Clubsports) at the moment the car is running with the drivers side fitted and I've got a set of custom made brackets for the passenger side sat looking at me.

The car now has a complete set of Nankang NS2R on the standard Enkei 5 spokes which have made a HUGE difference to the feel of the car! It now has so much more grip! She'll be in at Roddisons next week for a full alignment which I'm hoping will improve things further.

Next up on the mod list was some customised dials from RevLimiter - pics to follow. They are the usual 'FC' ones but with additional 'RS' logos thrown in there, and I've converted the dash to run with LED's.

On to some pics from last week for a bit of a blast with RSUK around Curborough. Time wasn't all that impressive at 1:33:05 but I beat a lot of faster cars and the hot hatch lads seemed to like a bit of opposite lock fun from the little mazda so it was all good.



"the troll hunter" with added boost!
This looks good fun, wish I'd got you to take me out in it again the other weekend :smile:

Personally I'd need two though, one for each foot :smiley:
This looks good fun, wish I'd got you to take me out in it again the other weekend :smile:
Personally I'd need two though, one for each foot :smiley:
Funny you should say that I was telling Wayne (930tech) that you had your knees by your ears when I took you for a ride haha! Always welcome to jump in mate, hopefully see you at a track day some time this year and we'll go for a proper run in it.

Bet it was not as fast with that fat bloke in the passenger side :smile:
Haha, the fastest times I set all day always had a passenger, I seem to f**k up when left on my own :smiley:.