Soon to be MX 5 Mk 2 Owner - Advice Please?

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Soon to be MX 5 Mk 2 Owner - Advice Please?

Postby mysmeg » Tue Jul 23, 2013 8:58 pm

Hi folks

Im female currently on the look out for my first Mx5 and hope to get a Mark 2 in the next couple of weeks. I have done a little research but have little knowledge of the cars aside from the fact they are fun, look great and to be careful on the icy wet roads :wink:

The car won't be garaged, and Im just wondering about the hard top issue? I have seen a couple I really like but they don't have the hard top option, and one that does have it in the silver colour, I have also been tempted by a Jasper Conran special edition- but really I am pretty clueless.

Is the Hard Top really necessary if Im driving in all weathers and no garage?

Any advise would be great on what to look out for as I would be so grateful
Cheers
Mags
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Re: Soon to be MX 5 Mk 2 Owner - Advice Please?

Postby drumtochty » Tue Jul 23, 2013 9:44 pm

A hard top can be bought secondhand from say £250 to £400. If it is chipped or the wrong colour it costs about £100 to respray.

Very few cars came with them fitted from the dealers.

Virtually all Mk2's have the Frankenstein bolts behind the hood the chrome things that stick up and the hinge plates just behind where the doors open to connect the hard top too, If not they are expensive new or get them secondhand.

If the hardtop is not hung on their hooks they were supplied with, during storage they tend to distort which causes wind noise when they are on the car.

Where are you going to store it during the better months.

They are obviously more secure if you do city driving or you live in a city and soft tops can be vandalised at night,

They tend to be nicer in the winter as the car is dark with the hood up.

You can have the top down in November and February!

The cost of a replacement hood on a MK2 is from £400 upwards.

Mk2's rust at the rear up to £450 a side to fix.

Also the chassis legs that hold the engine tend to corroded and due to having a plastic undertray you cannot see the rust so that has to be removed to check for this problem.

There are good Mk2's about but to be honest you need a car inspected before purchase.

Where are you based.

Oh and welcome to the forum!

eddie
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Re: Soon to be MX 5 Mk 2 Owner - Advice Please?

Postby mysmeg » Tue Jul 23, 2013 10:25 pm

Thank you so much Eddie for all of that.
The car would be parked in the driveway, and I have parking at work in the city too ( Glasgow). I intend using the car throughout the winter - weather permitting you see.
I appreciate in buying a 10 year old car, there might be some issues. Unfortunately Im not very decisive, so will probably dither too long and my fav one will be gone. Im swithering between 3 cars, one though has hardly been driven in 5 years (10000 miles in 5 years) - and I know that is often not a good thing too. They are all on line. I will maybe email you the links and you can tell me what you think.

Off to bed to dream of owing my own one soon!

Mags
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Re: Soon to be MX 5 Mk 2 Owner - Advice Please?

Postby ukstern » Wed Jul 24, 2013 8:03 pm

Hi Mags,

I am also a new member, having purchased my first MX-5 (also a Mk2) in April 2013, and was deliberating the very same thing.

I live in a town, have secure parking but no garage and was a little concerned about the how the soft top will fair in our Scottish winters. I have purchased the hood cleaner and hood proofer from http://www.mx5parts.co.uk in the meantime and the stuff is fantastic, in my opinion it's well worth investing in as my already well looked after hood came out like new after one thorough clean. It's not expensive to buy and should last a while.

I don't really have the storage facility for a hard top in the better weather, and I fully intend to be driving with the roof down in winter as long as the weather allows, so I have decided against investing in one for the time being. I think as long as you are prepared to apply time and attention to care for the hood properly (which you'll have to with the bodywork anyway) then you should be okay. My dad had an MGF a few years ago and it was rarely garaged in winter, he just used a car cover instead and he never experienced any problems. Again, the MX-5 parts site has a couple of good options and I will certainly be investing in one for the winter months.

In terms of purchase, I looked for a few years on and off before making my purchase. I was originally looking for a Mk1 but I specifically wanted a 1.8l BRG/tan interior and couldn't find one in good condition. I came across a great example of the Mk2 and didn't need much convincing! And when viewing cars it's definitely worth taking someone along who knows what they are doing; I had done my research and knew what to look for but it doesn't hurt to have a second opinion; I had to look at a few bad cars before finding the right one and my friend spotted a couple of things that I may well have missed on my own. Good luck with your search though - you definitely won't regret it!

Amy
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Re: Soon to be MX 5 Mk 2 Owner - Advice Please?

Postby mysmeg » Thu Jul 25, 2013 12:09 pm

Thanks for that Amy, I take it you are loving your car? Iwould be using it all year round. Im hoping to go out this weekend to try out a few at a couple of garages I have seen. I haven't even sat in one yet so need to get a feel for one before I take the plunge. Im definately looking for a private sale though I would say, its hard trying to gauge from adverts as they all start to look the same - i don't want to end up with somebody elses "car troubles" just coz I fancy a wee convertible as that would be a disaster for me. Taking my time!

What did you go for in the end?

Mags :D
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Re: Soon to be MX 5 Mk 2 Owner - Advice Please?

Postby jumperjobbie » Thu Jul 25, 2013 2:53 pm

Hi Mags

I'd be interested in hearing how your search goes, Im after a Mk2 as well. Mine will be my only car and thus used throughout the year and kept outside in all weathers.

The thing that is scaring me is the chassis rail problems and the more I read about it, the more its frightening me!!! Im sure Im just picking up on the negatives though!

I'll be buying one from a dealer, I have asked a dealer if they will allow an RAC Inspection and they refused, so one potential lost sale there!!!

Best regards

Joe
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Re: Soon to be MX 5 Mk 2 Owner - Advice Please?

Postby drumtochty » Thu Jul 25, 2013 5:39 pm

Joe

If you buy a £10k car it is worth say £5k after three years. So that's is £5,000 depreciation and say £1,500 in interest as more than 80% of cars are not bought with cash. So we are talking of £6,500 plus service costs and repairs, road tax and insurance. Or over £2,000 a year in financing only.

Do not think that you are going to spend £1,500 on a Mk2 and live happily ever after, it can happen but you are running a 8 to 14 year old car.
So if you are not budgeting nearer £3,000 to purchase and tweak in the first year. I suggest you do not go the MX5 route.

A new hood is circa £450 for example.

I suggest a clean 2005 or 2006 Mk3 may be a cheaper car over say three years.

eddie
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Re: Soon to be MX 5 Mk 2 Owner - Advice Please?

Postby drumtochty » Thu Jul 25, 2013 8:45 pm

To our possible Mk2 buyers

It is now strongly advised that the front chassis rails are inspected. This will not be done on an RAC or AA inspection.

The engine undertray has to be removed. it is very probable that the little 6mm bolts with 10mm hex head that hold on the under tray will be rusty and will snap off when you try to remove them. Therefore they will have to be drilled out and the bolts replaced to put the under tray back on expensive or time consuming. The bolts did snap when I tried to remove the tray on my 1999 MK2. No I have not got it off yet but that's another long story!

The AA or RAC man will not do that as they are there to inspect not dismantle. Nor will the MOT man during the MOT test and the MOT authorities have advised this.

Without removing the under tray you cannot be 100% sure that the chassis rails are in good or bad condition.

Most people who remove the tray to inspect use long cable ties to put it back on but if it was your car you were selling and someone took the tray off would you want the rusty snapped bolts removed, quite expensive or would you be happy with it being put on with cable ties.

eddie
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Re: Soon to be MX 5 Mk 2 Owner - Advice Please?

Postby OldSpice » Thu Jul 25, 2013 9:55 pm

Welcome Mags.

A hardtop is far from essential if the soft top is in good condition. However, a hardtop during the winter is one of those options/personal preferences as it channels rain out over the drainholes instead of through the sills, which is one of these cars' designed-in weak points.
In addition, a hardtop car does drive better (a wee bit stiffer) and adds a certain ambience inside. But come a winter sunny day...you may regret it!
They can be removed in 2 minutes though, so if you have storage, fair enough. The fact that they can be removed quickly is also why a good few are sold by people who do not own them! :wink: However, you can fit locking thingys & the kits are readily available. You don't have to remove the soft top, but just make sure it's minty fresh when folded back to fit a hardtop. Think about getting a dirt cheap hardtop with distressed paint..as you can have them vinyl wrapped for £100.00.

In general terms? They do rust! Check the rear arches and cills, and the inside of the boot around the boot lights. Eddie has "spoken the truth" about chassis rails, so that is covered. Find out if the big cambelt service has been done, preferably with the water pump too. If not, negotiate. That's a £250.00 + job. Check the brakes look even & shiney all round, especially the rears. They can "bind"..or jam...and are expensive to replace.
Apart from that, just observe the usual older car disciplines:
Oil..is it fresh?
Does the coolant look the right colour?
Does the paint look even?
Accident damage? Do the tyres match as they should and have good tread?

Lastly, I strongly suggest you see a few before buying.
You may see a few utter sheds & rot boxes advertised as immaculate, and come across a peach that was understated.
There is always an imbecile you never bargained for. Usually in a Tescon carpark with a dented Zafira minus hubcaps
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Re: Soon to be MX 5 Mk 2 Owner - Advice Please?

Postby jumperjobbie » Fri Jul 26, 2013 12:38 am

drumtochty wrote:Joe

If you buy a £10k car it is worth say £5k after three years. So that's is £5,000 depreciation and say £1,500 in interest as more than 80% of cars are not bought with cash. So we are talking of £6,500 plus service costs and repairs, road tax and insurance. Or over £2,000 a year in financing only.

Do not think that you are going to spend £1,500 on a Mk2 and live happily ever after, it can happen but you are running a 8 to 14 year old car.
So if you are not budgeting nearer £3,000 to purchase and tweak in the first year. I suggest you do not go the MX5 route.

A new hood is circa £450 for example.

I suggest a clean 2005 or 2006 Mk3 may be a cheaper car over say three years.

eddie

Eddie

Im well aware of the costs involved, and I do have a lot of knowledge the pitfalls of owning and running older cars having run a Mk1 Capri for many years

I dont know what you are getting at with your costings, Im not buying a car on finance
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Re: Soon to be MX 5 Mk 2 Owner - Advice Please?

Postby ukstern » Fri Jul 26, 2013 9:07 am

Mags,

You'll get a far better deal by purchasing privately, in my opinion, as all of the dealership ones I looked at were vastly overpriced for the condition they were in. Also, you can get a feel from the owner how much they love, and have therefore looked after, the car. I had to look at some seriously awful cars, both private and dealership, before I found something that was worth my while. It's frustrating but don't be dishearted, there are some great examples out there.

I went for the 1999 Mk2 1.8l SE in the end; it was a model I was particularly keen on and I was lucky to find a good one.

Amy
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Re: Soon to be MX 5 Mk 2 Owner - Advice Please?

Postby drumtochty » Fri Jul 26, 2013 9:54 am

jumperjobbie wrote:Eddie

Im well aware of the costs involved, and I do have a lot of knowledge the pitfalls of owning and running older cars having run a Mk1 Capri for many years

I dont know what you are getting at with your costings, Im not buying a car on finance


Joe

I was not aware that you had run old cars. I was advising that the cost of running a new small car after buying it on credit that over 80% of people do would be similar to buying a Mk2 for cash with all the repairs over a few years. The MX5 would of course be more fun but probably not that much cheaper to run although some people have been lucky in the past before the chassis rail problem.

eddie
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Re: Soon to be MX 5 Mk 2 Owner - Advice Please?

Postby jumperjobbie » Fri Jul 26, 2013 10:33 am

drumtochty wrote:
jumperjobbie wrote:Eddie

Im well aware of the costs involved, and I do have a lot of knowledge the pitfalls of owning and running older cars having run a Mk1 Capri for many years

I dont know what you are getting at with your costings, Im not buying a car on finance


Joe

I was not aware that you had run old cars. I was advising that the cost of running a new small car after buying it on credit that over 80% of people do would be similar to buying a Mk2 for cash with all the repairs over a few years. The MX5 would of course be more fun but probably not that much cheaper to run although some people have been lucky in the past before the chassis rail problem.

eddie


Thanks for clearing that up Eddie.

I've been doing a lot of research on the chassis rail prob and with it being so difficult to tell, I may just plump for a Mk1, which I actually prefer but Im aware the MK2/2.5 is easier to live with on a day to day basis. But I guess the reason we buy these cars is not just ease of use!!!

If I do decide on a Mk1 I will be buying privately, I've seen a lot of ads for Mk1 where the owners are clearly enthusiasts and have really looked after the car. I'll still be looking at Mk2's though as I may come across one that has had the chassis rails inspected and ok'd

As for the Capri I had, lovely car but everytime I turned away another rust bubble appeared!

Best regards

Joe
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