MX5 in the snow

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MX5 in the snow

Postby CaptainNorth » Mon Jan 04, 2016 5:18 pm

Been thinking of running my NC MX5 year round, that means 50 mile a day commute in Aberdeenshire. When we were caught out on last year's club run 'Round the Top' and hit snow at Tomintoul once the traction control was disabled the car was actually driveable (with caution and some regular rear end catching) in 2-4 inches of fresh snow between Tomintoul and Keith on 4 very average part-worn summer tyres. So I know it could be done, if only just!

Who has fitted snow tyres and driven through a N.Scotland winter in an MX5 and what was your experience?

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Dave
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MX5 in the snow

Postby Macscorcher » Mon Jan 04, 2016 6:01 pm

Hello Dave

Sorry I've not driven my nc mx5 through a Northern winter which I know will be much tougher than the central belt but I drive mine all year round with winter wheels & tyres fitted from about November onwards. They make a huge difference giving a lot more confidence in slippery conditions.

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Bob




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Re: MX5 in the snow

Postby IanH » Mon Jan 04, 2016 6:41 pm

Did it in the 2.5 with normal tyres for one winter, that was enough, we do have a fairly significant hill to contend with though.

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Re: MX5 in the snow

Postby CaptainNorth » Mon Jan 04, 2016 7:15 pm

Hi Bob, thanks for your comment and pic! Yes agree winter tyres are a big improvement on any vehicle. Any snow experience yet?
Hi Ian, aye the worst seems to be over and we have been fortunate, others less so. The winter mini I'm running is actually an abysmal snow car, on summers not much better than the MX5; set me thinking the mx5 with snow tyres might be OK .
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Re: MX5 in the snow

Postby OldSpice » Tue Jan 05, 2016 11:16 am

Nothing like a bit of Old School technique & experience Dave is there? :wink:
Within sensible limits, they are fine in snow up to, I'd say, if the snow is no deeper than rim depth.
I've driven many miles in both our 5s through the years thus...without winter tyres. I find the open diff Mk1 better with it's narrower tyres, and the auto is actually a boon as you can feed the power in from tickover. If bad, I usually knock out the air to 20PSI, but I keep a plug-in inflator in the boot. The 2002 Sport, with it's Torsen diff (as much use as a chocolate fire guard in snow) and fatter tyres needs a different approach and is very much the last resort.
Since it's remetalling refurb and new alloys, it will not see a road unless dry and salt free anyway.

Snow is not the enemy so much as the inevitable salt and muck (not to mention "other" twit road users) which as we know will dissolve a 5 quicker than an Aspirin in hot water...unless it's hosed off after each trip which in freezing weather is a bind if not impossible...even if they have had some sort of proofing done.
Also, with Mazda paint being what it is, the thought of getting grit blasted from traffic and wheel-arch "blast" leaves me cold...pun intended.
From what I've read, good quality snow tyres turn snow driving into the same league as rain driving on normal tyres. They do transorm the car.
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Re: MX5 in the snow

Postby mgrays » Tue Jan 05, 2016 2:08 pm

In my limited couple of years with a Mk1 with a Torsen.. with wide 215 Goodyear F1 or Toyos it was perfectly drivable in snow. Like most non 4x4 you can get through until you run out of ground clearance so 3-4" if careful. It needs more reading the road compared to a FWD. Once did Aberdeen-Edinburgh in 3" of slush and was only overtaken by a transit and people carrier in 2 hours but it was a define 2 hands (gripped lightly) on the steering wheel drive. I did have a set of snow tyres which of course then never saw snow but did well in mud (very similar) but became scary in the summer if you pushed on as they overheated. To me the issue is ice .. the only car I have ever parked and walked was the Mk1 because of ice on those wide tyres.. I now make sure I have sipes on tyres used in the winter which is what you need to "key" into ice. I can remember one "hero" transit trying to push me along on an industrial estate; I knew there was an expansion strip coming up mid long corner so crossed it with a straight steering wheel.. hero man ended up backwards on the pavement in my rear view mirror with a better appreciation of the conditions; drive to the conditions (when you know them...)

The torsen can be activated with the handbrake if you are in a pinch.. once it "sees" torque created by the handbrake it locks up and you get both rear wheels powering you.

Anyways.. not seen real snow for a couple of years now.. hum.. not had the Mk1 out for a couple of years :( - a set of snow tyres is cheaper than a second car.. and you can resell them after.
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Re: MX5 in the snow

Postby CaptainNorth » Fri Jan 22, 2016 10:55 am

Thanks for the replies Guys, sorry for the delay replying, been distracted.

My technique is nowt to boast about OldSpice - I did the skid pan course at Knockhill but that's about it! To be honest that drive in the snow was pretty hairy! Yeah i was trying to save a few quid Mrgrays but in teh end went for fitting winter tyres to the newfangled Mini and kept the MX5 under cover. They have the same tyre size hence my quandry. What really swung it was 1. keeping my job for the timebeing and 2. the salt/rot issue. I guess we've all seen it, the brown soup on the road that gets blasted in to every rot-prone crevice of the car. So as long as I can affoird it it stays as a summer car. This does have one big advantage - the excitement of getting a 'new' car each spring!

Cheers
Dave

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