And Then Two Come Along At Once!

A few months ago I complained about the lack of repair manuals for our favourite sports car and also the fact that the official Mazda MX5 documentation is not available to the public. Well I am still waiting for a response from Mazda UK on the latter point but after an eleven year gap Haynes have at last updated their book to take us up to 2009. Still nothing on the latest Mk3.5 but its better than what we had before.

I Am waiting for my copy to arrive but reviews so far are not great. This is a paperback manual printed on thin paper which might  not fair well in the workshop, unlike the old hardback versions. Also the information on the models released since the previous edition was published is pretty sketchy. You can get the manual on Amazon but they are in short supply so click on the cover above to check the stock.

At almost exactly the same time the Chilton manual appeared. This one specifically covers American and Canadian models and is also in paperback form. I haven’t seen a copy but I have a sneaky ( and entirely unfounded) feeling that the two manuals may be almost the same, there is certainly a link between Haynes and the Chilton author. If you know the truth let me know. Again it is for sale on Amazon, click on the cover.

You Can Have A Cosworth MX5!

Renowned Mazda MX5 tuner BBR has joined forces with Cosworth Engineering, the premier motorsport engineering company in the UK, to deliver an exciting performance upgrade package for the latest 2.0-litre, 158 bhp Mk3 Mazda MX5. The BBR-Cosworth collaboration unleashes a supercharger conversion that centres around a state of the art 4th generation Eaton MP62 supercharger.

The upgrade increases the power output to a dyno proven 235 bhp at 7130 rpm, with a healthy 190 lb.ft of torque available at 5260 rpm. Crucially the progressive nature of the power delivery means that the delicate dynamic balance of the MX5 isn’t upset, yet naturally with a power gain of 77 bhp and a torque increase of 51 lb.ft performance is transformed for the better.

In addition, to celebrate the 1990 launch of the original MX5 BBR turbo, BBR is also proud to announce a 20th Anniversary turbo conversion package for the Mazda MX5 model range, covering Mk1 and Mk2 variants of the world’s most popular sports cars, in both 1.6 and 1.8 – litre capacities. BBR’s relaunched turbo kit transforms the much loved Mazda MX5 into a serious driving machine, elevating its performance from sedate to electrifying. BBR’s in-house expertise and unrivalled experience with the Mazda MX5 enables the firm to build upon the overwhelming success of the original 1990 150 bhp MX5 turbo kit, updating and enhancing the design to produce a stunning, dyno proven 220 bhp plus from just 1.6-litres.

Finally, complete Mk1 MX5 turbocharged cars with cohesive braking and chassis enhancements are now available from BBR, with options from mild to wild! To get all the deails, just click on the logo:

Doing It Manually

Do you remember these? For many years I had a Haynes manual for every car I owned, simply because I could not afford to have servicing carried out professionally. Later on, with work and children taking up my time, I was glad to have a garage do the job. Now that I have a proper enthusiast’s car I would like very much to have a workshop manual, simply to understand more about the technology involved in the design of my MX5. However, although there are 850,00  proud owners out there you cannot buy a workshop manual for any MX5 made after 1998, even directly from Mazda. I know that modern cars are very sophisticated and servicing is best left to the experts, but why can’t we buy the book? Even better, give every buyer a disk with the manual in PDf format, it would cost very little.

If you have one of the earlier marques then you can buy any of the manuals illustrated above from MX5 Parts, a first class supplier of a wide range of items for the MX5, by clicking on the manual you want.

P.S. I spoke to Mazda customer service, who were quite charming, about this topic and was told that: “The manuals are available online only to authorised dealers and also independent motor traders who are VAT registered. There could be a charge for the use of these manuals.” In other words, get lost!

Save Your Leather From the Weather

The top of the range models in the latest MX5 range come with beautiful leather seats made by Recaro. They are six-way adjustable, have electrically heated base and back with six temperature settings and are finished with white stitching. The door panels are also trimmed to match . Of course sports car upholstery gets more exposure to the elements than a normal saloon and even modern leather is more vulnerable to the effects of sunlight and moisture than woven fabrics, so you need to look after it.

The hide used in the MX5 has a matt finish so it is important not  to use a wax polish or you will end up with a very shiny, slippery seat. The best products I have found are made by Autoglym, in particular their Leather Balm which breathes life back into the leather and also applies a UV protective coating. Autoglym also make a Leather Care Cream which is quite a bit cheaper and is very good too, so take your pick! You can get both products on Amazon.

Do It Now!

Do It Up: MX5: A practical Guide to Renovation on a Budget

The Mazda MX-5 was single-handedly responsible for the revival of the sports car market twenty years ago. Second hand models are now plentiful and affordable, and this practical guide provides expert advice on how to breath new life into a used example of this modern-day classic. From preventative maintenance, to the renewal of worn components and details of known problems and how to fix them, the clearly written, comprehensively illustrated text provides all the information required to enjoy an MX-5 on a budget. You can get the super MX5 Do It Up guide, published by Haynes, very cheaply from Amazon.

The first thing to do before starting a restoration project is to join the MX5 Owners’ Club which has a host of useful information. Start by taking a look at their excellent buying advice forum, or just click on the logo:

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