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Picked up this not-an-mx5-eunos-roaster as a daily driver for a new job, I didn't want to leave my Safari parked all day out of my sight.

Had a look around and found this mx5, I'm just going to call it an mx5 now. Thought it'd work well since it should be cheap to run and less likely to be stolen, problem was it was a 'stolen and recovered' Turners auction.

Kept my eye on it, the auction finished the day before Level 2 lockdown so I couldn't go have a look. Decided to just go for it and set myself a limit.

The description was the basic Turners type of only really interested in listing the scratches and dents etc. No real detail of the car. They couldn't even confirm if the engine ran since the ign barrel was smashed and so was the boot lock. So they couldn't get to the battery in the boot, plus it had an alarm (good thing too, else it might get stolen). So it was fork lifted around.

The photos were bad, but it had race stickers for the RS Cup (real slow cup) on the windscreen. The rear screen was dirty but I thought I could see an aftermarket roll bar, cool but not too exciting since there are plenty of basic bolt in jobbies available.

Anyway, I got into a bidding war but still got it cheap. Yay, I hope it runs...

Went to go get it, paid and changed ownership before even being able to check it out. I figure worst case I have to swap the engine or just part it out.

Lady said there were no keys, they can't start it, the rear plate is missing etc etc. Cool...great buy, me.

Walk over to the car, see a fckn homologation stick on the roll bar? Lady says "huh...why does this car have a roll cage?" 

Zero mention of this in the auction. Bonus! But is it wrecked?

There are also names on the side from the people that must have used it in the RS Cup.


Initial thoughts on pick up before being able to properly look it over:

The bad -

- Unknown engine and gearbox

- is probably wet inside due to broken glass

- front guard has a couple of big dents.

- big scratch down the side

- smashed out rear garnish/boot trim

- smashed ignition barrel and trim

- smashed bumper light

- smashed passenger quarter glass

- stickers ripped off removing top coat

- soft top is duct taped onto the top of the windscreen for some reason. Maybe its broken or leaks?

- rear window plastic is hazy and has two rips.

- overall body looks rough but is straight.

The good - 

- Homologated roll bar (why would it need homologation)

- New looking but budget supercat tyres

- looks to have some decent aftermarket shocks and has a Koni sticker on the boot.




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Got it home and checked the oil: golden

Checked the water: green and watery

Checked inside, found a key, guess Turners didn't look. It works on the doors, cool.

Tried to open boot, right...these don't have a boot opener latch. Why Mazda?

Found a way to open the boot which is a bit invasive but no other choice. 

Battery dead flat, but there are some jumper leads in the back. Connect a spare battery, we have dash lights!

Turn key to try start and nothing, but there is a flashing LED on the steering column surround. Oh right, the alarm.

Pulled off the trim to trace wires and found the alarm. Managed to get it started by just pulling a fuse (wtf!).

It sounds very healthy, but quite rich. Also barely any fuel in the tank and probably really old since Turners have had the car since last November according to the writing on the car.


- Mirror is taped up for some reason

Big thing I then noticed was mounting brackets at the bottom of the A pillars....brain says...wait...wait....homologation....maybe it had more bars? Check the roll bar and under some foam is another set of mounting points! Cool! .....but I don't have them.

Then found an authority card inside. Then found a receipt in the glove box with a phone number, think about it for a bit and decide to send a text. I assumed they would have been paid out by insurance since it was with Turners. Didn't get a reply for a few hours so decided to call. Had a great conversation with the guy, I apologised for being a bit cheeky calling him but he said he was thinking about selling the car anyway.


He'd used it for years all around the country doing the RS Cup and Surgery Sprints, all standard engine wise to keep it simple.

And he still has the bars!!



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Just now, Transom said:

Bolt in roll bar or welded ? 
how cheap was cheap ? 

Pretty cheap, although if it was stuffed, not so cheap. I know a local guy who wrecks them and sounds like he gets them even cheaper. Mostly damaged though. 

Welded roll bar, bolt in front bars.

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Pulled out the alarm and de-soldered the spliced wires ect.

Traced some wires to the back to figure out what they did.

Cool install:




Nicely soldered and heat wrapped back to factory.

Went to start it and its got no fuel lol

Traced another wire which I thought wasn't part of it and it was joined half way down the sill for what must be the fuel pump power. Fixed that and it starts fine.

Found this which I've never come across, a mercury switch. Assume some kind of roll over shut off? It was wired into the alarm.



Also you can see that the roll bar is tied into the boot which is sweet.

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Just now, Adoom said:

Isn't the boot pull in the box between the seats?

Some didn't have it, there is only a fuel cap latch where it should be. Its fucking weird. Seems like it was an option.

People retro fit them or put in electric ones.



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Oh and the missing rear number plate was just sitting in the car. They must simply not check?

I've now replaced the broken quarter window, which requires removal of basically everything from the door. Including the main glass and the centre support.

Turned out the support/window guide/pillar jobby was super rusty at the bottom. So the bolt just ripped it to pieces and spun around.

Found a local guy who had a spare (got the glass and some other bits from him too). Put it all back together in the dark because it was going to rain last night. 


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I tried to find a replacement front guard but just ended up hammer and dollying out the dents for now and put the guard back on. There were some rusted bolts where it joins to the bumper which I had to cut off. I suppose it is 30 years old.

So with the window fixed I am now waiting on a replacement lock and key set and a bumper light, which should hopefully be enough to get a wof.

It'll be a fun little run around. If I like it enough maybe I'll do some modifications and use it at some events. I'd like to learn how to tune ecu's, I've had a decent play with the Link G4+ in my other car, I understand it but wouldn't want to use it to practice tuning on. If I can find a second hand plug in Link or Megasquirt, it'd be fun to get a little more out of this engine like removing the AFM etc. 

A megasquirt 1 plug in is $750 but super old. 

Does anyone know if the diy kits are any less reliable if soldered well? Are the pre-built ones also done by hand?

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Just now, ~Slideways~ said:

 later brakes. Although I think it might just be the bigger rotors. Not sure if they went to different calipers?





From memory the later discs are bigger diameter,  the caliper is the same, just has a different bracket

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1 hour ago, cletus said:

From memory the later discs are bigger diameter,  the caliper is the same, just has a different bracket

Yup 2 size upgrades from the stock 1.6 brake NB are larger and NB sport are another size up - calipers stay the same it’s all in the brackets and rotors 

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