Misc. info gathered from the UK MX5 / USA Miata Mailing List:-

MX5 / Roadster Tips


** Radio Mod and Speedo Conversion now available...for details:-

<< EMAIL HERE >>


Japanese / UK Currency Convertor


Fitting a WestCo battery.......Pics and info here


Miata Tech. manuals available from:-

In Association with Amazon.com


TYRE PRESSURE:-26psi

OIL GAUGE:-Post-'94, its ON or OFF!


Replacement Belts

Take your old belts (A/C, etc..) to an automotive shop and they will match up a new belt for you. I know the 'Express Factors' franchises around the UK do this all the time. They can check the width, length (circumference) and No. of teeth/inch (if toothed) or No. of ribs of (ribbed)

In the North West, try:-

Express Factors Rochdale

Woodbine St

Rochdale

Lancashire

OL16 5HY

Tel (01706) 713330


I've just come across another site in Japan able to supply parts that are import-specific:-

http://www.ibcjapan.co.jp

You have to register to use the site, but it has an online ordering system so that you can enter in a car's VIN and engine number in order to get the correct part.


Electric Window Cable

From: <TROUR1@DALH.jcpenney.com>

Subject: ELECTRIC WINDOW CABLES (LONG)

HELLO, I WANTED TO SHARE MY EXPERIENCE FIXING A BROKEN CABLE ON ONE OF MY ELECTRIC WINDOWS. WHEN I GOT IN MY CAR, THE PASSENGER WINDOW WAS DOWN HALF WAY EVEN THOUGH I HAD LEFT IT UP. USING THE MIATA ENTHUSIAST MANUAL AS A GUIDE, I REMOVED THE DOOR PANEL AND PLASTIC DOOR PROTECTOR UNDERNEATH AND SAW THE PROBLEM. ONE OF THE TWO CABLES THAT MOVES THE WINDOW UP OR DOWN HAD BROKEN. THE CABLE WAS THE ONE THAT HELD THE WINDOW UP; THE LEAD PIECE AT THE END HAD BROKEN. I REMOVED THE ELECTRIC MOTOR, CABLES AND WINDOW MECHANISM FOLLOWING THE STEPS IN THE MANUAL. WHEN I OPENED UP THE MOTOR I COULD SEE WHERE THE CABLES HAD WRAPPED AROUND EACH OTHER. I DON'T KNOW IF WRAPPED CABLES CAUSED THE CABLE END TO BREAK OR IF WHEN THE CABLE END BROKE THE WIRES IN THE MOTOR GOT WRAPPED. ANYWAY, MAZDA DEALERS OR ANY AFTERMARKET DEALERS WON'T SELL JUST THE CABLES. (THEY LOOK LIKE $2.00 BICYCLE CABLES) THE DEALERS WILL ONLY SELL THE ABOVE 3 COMPONENTS TOGETHER. I GOT QUOTES RANGING FROM $215 TO $285 FROM SEVERAL DEALERS.

I CALLED SOME SALVAGE YARDS AND WAS ABLE TO LOCATE THE PARTS FOR $125. I WENT TO THE MIATA DEALER AND ASKED TO SEE THE MANUAL PARTS. EVERYTHING IS THE SAME EXCEPT THE MANUAL VS THE ELEC. MOTOR. I PURCHASED THE MANUAL PART(S) AND CONNECTED THE CABLES TO THE MOTOR. THE MANUAL PARTS WHICH INCLUDES ALL THE COMPONENTS MENTIONED EARLIER COST $55. I PUT EVERYTHING BACK TOGETHER AND THE WINDOW IS LITERALLY AS GOOD AS NEW. I WANTED TO POST THIS INFO IN-CASE ANYONE ELSE HAD A SIMILAR PROBLEM. THE DEALERS DIDN'T KNOW THAT YOU COULD SUBSTITUTE THE MANUAL PARTS FOR THE ELECTRIC.

SOME ADDITIONAL ADVISE: IF THE WINDOW IS NOT WORKING PROPERLY *DON'T* KEEP MOVING THE BUTTONS UP AND DOWN, YOU COULD DAMAGE THE MOTOR AND THEN YOU WOULD HAVE TO BUY THE ELECTRIC PART. ALSO, THE MIATA MANUAL WAS INVALUABLE IN ACCOMPLISHING THIS TASK.


Rear Window Zip

Q:- > All,

> My neighbour windows zip has broken, well not boken as such but about 8" from the closed end the zip has opened and he can't get the >zipper right back to the start. I've just read that again and> When the window is zipped up there is a 8" length at the closed end which is >open and when the widow is unzipped it only unzips up to the point where it is broken. Is that clear!? > Has this happened to anyone else >and what can be done about it, apart from giving the garage £400 for a new window?

.A:- Put a little silicone grease or just silicone spray on the area where the zipper is not together any more. Wiggle the slider back. Get a new slider from Mazda (they say they do not have this part, tell them to order NA01-R1-250B) for 3 quid.

For replacement glass rear screens and zip repairs, Matt Clarke is on:-

Tel:- 0181 245 8682


IMPORTS....ITS A GOOD IDEA TO....

1) Fit a petrol restrictor in the filler neak so that a leaded fuel pump will not fit.

2) Fit an FM expander to the radio - in Japan FM only goes to 100mHz

3) Fit a new set of tyres - they will not be e-marked and could invalidate your insurance, and generally come fairly old and worn.

4) Fit a new battery, again the cars generally come with an old battery - it can take months for the car to get to the UK so it's normally very tired- best to fit a new one.

5) If you want to make your MX5 look 100% like a UK model you will need to fit a new rear number plate surround.


Wheel Alignment

Below are the factory settings. As has been said many times on this list, for best results have the alignment done with you sitting in the car.

  Factory recommended alignment

  FRONT

  Camber -0.4 +/- 0.75

  Caster +4.43 +/- 0.75

  Toe 1/8; +/- 1/8

  REAR

  Camber -0.72 +/- 0.5

  Caster not applicable, there is no adjustment possible

  Toe 1/8"; +/- 1/8";


60k Service

Subject: Re: What's REALLY needed on 60K service?

Timing belt & water pump are probably the most key things, though lots of people have driven cars far beyond 60k without performing the service. Call it preventative maintenance--it's highly unlikely that your belt & pump are on the verge of catastrophic failure but the work needs to be done at some point or other anyway.Otherwise the service is a fairly typical check-consumables-and-lube-everything kind of event. Change your engine oil, your transmission oil, and your differential oil. Flush your brake and clutch fluids. Check brake pads and replace as needed. Check all lightbulbs. lubricate moving bits--suspension, door hinges, top latches, etc.


Timing on an Automatic

From: <BHotaling@aol.com>

Subject: Re: 14 degrees BTDC

In a message dated 7/27/98 3:29:39 PM SA Pacific Standard Time, georged@alpha.buf.adelphia.net writes:

>> If the automatic stock setting is lower, does that mean the likely  optimal is still 4 more degrees or 12?  Have an automatic set at about >>14 and didn't notice the huge  improvement most people speak of but get no ping running premium  fuel. Should I push it more or am I at >>the likely limit of any  improvement? >>

Your senses do not fail you... for an automatic, subtract 2 (two) from anything the standards advance to. :) There has been discussion from time to time as to if an automatic really benefits from the timing advance. I have only advanced one automatic and it "seemed" better...

From: "Scott Brown" <sebrown@rocketmail.com>

Subject: Re: 14 degrees BTDC

I have my 95 A/T set at 16. Tried 18, but to much sacrifice of top end. The engine felt tight. I can attest to the fact that there is improved performance. I can notice the improved low-end at stop lights. Don't know if this is due to my recent catback install and timing reset or its just the one or the other. Suspect its a little of both. Prior to the catback install I had it set at 14, and there was a noticeable improvement over stock setting. You just have to experiment. 18, IMHO is not optimal for the A/T.


Hardtops

Subject: Re: hardtop or not

Second hand lids sell through the club from 500 upwards to 1,000...depending on age, condition etc.

There are different types of tops. Generally the OE Mazda top is the best. This top has the rear window wiring on the left hand side (UK passenger side) and a dark thin foam lining. The other most common lid is the TWR top supplied through Mazda before Mazda made thier own. This top is easily identified by the interior light. Some of these fit great and some fit very poorly and leak.

Try it for fit before parting with any cash. When you do this check seals for water/air tightness, small gaps can be adjusted out but beware of any top that is seriously bowed. Make sure all catches are complete and adjustable. Above all else, make sure the gel coat is complete otherwise a costly respray may be needed. Don't be put off by minor defects. If it is that cheap it is still worth having. The original early UK tops made by TWR: ALL the parts as are available as spares at reasonable prices, including improved rear deck catches (adjustable without having to remove top each time).

 


From: Keith Tanner <keith@miata.net>

Subject: Re: How to Identify an ABS Miata?

>.. By looking at a Miata, how can I tell if it has ABS or >not?

On an ABS car, the hardware can be easily seen at the back of the engine bay, just in front of the passenger. It's a big chunky looking box with brake lines coming into it that doesn't seem to belong :) On a non-ABS car, this spot is occupied by the windshield washer bottle. The bottle is relocated to a spot in front of the rad in an ABS car. In Canada, it's easy to tell. On a 94+, you could only get ABS with the Leather Package :)


Engine Number

Subject: Purchasing a "MX5" Eunos Roadster.

> > 1) I have been unable to locate the cars Engine number. (The UK registrations document on both these cars have the Engine Number listed >> as "not stated") Does any one know on what part of Engine the number is stamped or don't these cars have one, a number that is?!

Of course they have an engine number - in the same place as the engine number on a "British Made" (!) MX5 - a hard to find little shelf on the side of the engine at the rear, near the top of the block, facing upwards. 1600s have it on one side (left or right); 1800s on the other; I forget which..... You usually need to give it a good sanding with emery cloth to make the number visible.


Fuel Filter Location

The fuel filter can be found above a removable panel, located ahead of the right rear wheel.


Radio Installation

From: Jason Temelkovski <J.Temelkovski@unsw.edu.au> To: John Gilmartin <A3403131@infotrade.co.uk>

Subject: Re: help - installing UK stereo in Roadster

In order to remove the eyeball air-vents you need to stick a coat hanger in through the middle by bending the hook to fit and pull the vent out. If should come out with a firm pull. If not you might have to use the screw driver with it and pull hard. The plastic is very strong and will not break before the clips release it, but be careful not to scratch the edges when putting the coat hanger in.

From: "Hamish McLean" <hamish.mclean@virgin.net>

Subject: RE: help - installing UK stereo in Roadster

The normal recommendation is to put string through the vent and pull the string. Doe to the nature of the retaining clips it is easier to remove if you remove one edge then another rather than the all at once, straight out approach.


Air Conditioning

From: "Brian K. Dore'" <bkd@usl.edu>

Subject: Re: AC died

>One minute, it was working. The next minute, it wasn't. Fan stayed running. Air simply stopped being cold. When I push the AC button on and >off, the compressor does not kick in. Is this a fuse thing or am I in deeper?

First thing to notice is if the ecu compensates for the compressor by raising the idle or not. If the idle jumps when you press the A/C switch then it's probably the low freon shutoff like Sam described. Its inline with the aluminum A/C plumbing on the passenger side of the engine compartment, closer to the front. Or you can just hotwire the single wire to the compressor clutch. If you are low on freon, don't run it like this, just long enough to test it. Another indication of low freon are bubbles in the dryer sight glass located near the hood latch.

If the ECU doesn't bump the idle then it's probably the thermostat on the inside of the car. If you pull out the glovebox you should see a pair of (green I think) wires running to the A/C evaporator box. You can check if the thermostat is stuck by shorting them together.


Dim-Dip Removal

UK specification cars have a dim-dip function. This raises the headlights and illuminates them at about 16% of normal illumination whenever the  sidelights are turned on and the ignition is on.

 WARNING: This function is required by UK law. If you disable it you will  be breaking UK law, however many people have asked us how to do this, and you may have exported a UK specification car to a territory that does not require this function, so we are publishing it here.

This method has been found to work only on 1.8i models. Inside the engine compartment behind the left wing is a relay holder which is a metal bar about 10 inches long bolted to the car. Remove the black plastic cover by pulling it off! For easy access unbolt the fuse carrier using a 10mm  socket. The relay which controls the dim-dip function is the one nearest the front of the car and has a white nylon plug. Remove the plug taking  care not to damage the locking mechanism. The dim-dip function should now be disabled. Check the operation of all electrical functions, lights, horn etc. If these are ok secure the plug, you  may want to insulate the plug. Replace the relay carrier and the cover.


Blocked Rain Channel

I had the very same problem and it is quite easily cured. Get yourself a thin knife (that you don't mind ruining), underneath the sills very near the jacking points for the front and back wheels there are two slits (on each side). Just stick th knife into these slits and gently move it from side to side to clear the slits. Be careful because if they are as full as mine were you will get wet! Once you've cleared the slits there should be a stream of water coming out of the sills until they are empty. Hey Presto - problem solved and no more water sloshing!!

There are two different drains that can get clogged up: One is the two drain tubes from the rain rail of the soft top. The tubes are responsible for draining the water going between the top and the body of the car. The tubes exit just in front of the rear wheels. Make sure the tubes are clear, using an unbent coat hanger or something like that.

The other drains are in the door sills/rocker panels. These are four small holes near each jacking point. Use a small screwdriver or knife to clear them.

On the American list there were some discussion about this kind of problem being caused by a broken rain-rail in the top. That costs money to fix, so try cleaning the drains and see if that helps.


Wires under Seat

Wires under the seat are;

1.Headrest speakers

2. Seat occupied (for seatbelt warning buzzer)


Headlight Replacement

The headlights on most Roadsters are 7 inch sealed beam units. These are available for less than ten pounds each....

Halfords Reference:- R7014 (branded RING), 12volt 60/45w 7"

Removal is straightforward....loosen, but dont remove, the three screws securing the silver outer retaining ring (see highlighted circles below), then twist the ring about one inch clockwise (?). The unit will pull out. Note that the other (larger) screws, behind the cutaway notches in the black plastic outer housing, are the adjusters, leave alone!


Roadster Spares

KA YU AUTO PARTS (U.K.) (Regular containers arriving direct from Japan). MX-3, MX-5, RX-7, Eunos Roadster, MR2's, Supra's, Celica's, complete and half cars for breaking... engines, gearboxes, body parts, dealers/breakers enquiries welcomed, nationwide delivery, major c/cards accepted.

3, Blackbank, Exhall, Coventry, CV7 9NX

Phone 01203 318729


Handbrake Adjustment

On 90-97's, the rear brakes have an adjustment for the Handbrake. See the following for instructions on adjusting them. It is extremely easy and only requires a 14mm wrench spanner and a 4mm allen key:-

http://www.miata.net/garage/brakepad.html


Speedo Removal / Refitting

http://www.miata.net/garage/colored_gauge_face_installation.html


Speed Limiter - Removal

Japanese spec Roadsters have speedometers which are marked with a maximum speed of 180KPH (112.5MPH) as opposed to 220KPH in other metric countries and their top speed is artificially limited to this speed (180kmh). To get rid of this limiter, you have to remove a screw from the printed circuit board behind the speedometer.. Looking at the printed circuit board , there are two big multi-connectors ,each with 12 connections. They are labeled 'a' to 'l' and 'A' to 'L'. The 'G' connection is marked 180kp/h sw and, if you follow it up the board, it leads to a screw. Removing this screw disables the speed limiter.


Registration Plates

The Uk Legal Reference for Car Reg. Plates is:-

Regulation 17 and Schedule 2, Road Vehicles (Registration and Licensing) Regulations 1971

Main points of interest to Roadster owners :-

"The mark must conform with either one of two groups of provisions - the second group is given in brackets here. Characters 3.5 inches (3.125 inches) high, 2.5 inches (2.25 inches) wide, with a stroke width of 0.625 inches (0.5625 inches). Top and bottom margins must be at least 0.5 inches (0.4375 inches). Side margins must be at least 1 inch (0.4375 inches). The space between the nearest parts of each letter or figure must be 0.5 inches (0.4375 inches). The space between the group of letters and group of figures must be 1.5 inches (1.3125 inches). If the plate displays the marks in two separate rows, then the space between the upper and lower lines must be 0.75 inches (0.75 inches)".

Also:-

1. All numbers and letters must be black.

2. (Rear Plate) Backing must be of a yellow reflex reflecting material which must be legibly and permanently marked with the figure ‘B.S.AU 145a’ to show that the reflex material complies with British Standard specifications.

** Beware of cutting your plate smaller because you may remove the ‘B.S.AU 145a’ mark, thus rendering the plate illegal.

3. The plate must be kept clean, in good condition, and positioned in a vertical position so that the figures are easily distinguishable from the rear (up to 75ft away).

Further info is available, with examples, at:-

http://uglisoft.com/numberplates/information.html#legal

 


Low Fuel Warning Light

Make your own, see:-

 

http://homepage.interaccess.com/~hmachado/Miata/LowFuel/LowFuel.html


Importing via Europe

Full details at:-

http://www.euro-car.com/importation.html

http://www.roads.detr.gov.uk/vehicle/vse1/index.htm

 


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