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Shake, Rattle & Roll

Such is the nature of buying a five year old car, this one came with a few problems. The paintwork I've dealt with, and the interior marks I can live with. What I also expected was a few rattles. The MX5 is a convertible after all, and it's never been the most rigid car in the world, so there's a little scuttle shake and with that the usual creaks, squeaks and moans from the dash and the roof. What I didn't expect were the noises from the suspension area.

There were a few, quite alarming ones that came to light that I didn't pick up on the test drive. First was when going over big bumps was a noise that sounded like one of the front wheels hitting the wheel arch lining. Which is exactly what it was. My car has taken to ejecting a great many of the plastic panel clips from random places around the car. One is from the drivers side wheel arch and with it flopping around a little, it does indeed hit the wheel. It looks like it's been doing it for some time also as it's worn a hole through. I've got panel clips on the way to sort that.

Next was an alarming rattle from the suspension area on the passenger side of the car. This turned out to be two things. The first I found when swapping the front brake pads. It's fairly obvious that the car has had new front disks fitted, and it looks like when they did it, they lost one of the spring guides. Rather than fitting a new one they simply put the pad back in and let it rattle around. *slow hand clap* Bravo.

Finally I was left with a rattle on the rear suspension. Which was traced by the guys at Blink Motorsport (MX5 race car builders and racers) to a set of nylon sleeves on the rear shocks. The passenger side one that was loose and bouncing around, the drivers side one being a lot more secure. The bizarre thing is that these sleeves seem to serve no purpose whatsoever. Everyone in the workshop came over and scratched their heads, the internet was searched, manuals were looked through. Nothing. Given that removing them would have involved taking the shocks out and the springs off, we just secured them in place. But we're still baffled as to what on earth they are and what they're for!

With that sorted I've swapped the CDFs for a nice set of Japanese Toyos, which have transformed the car into something that now has predictable handling. Job done.

One day it lasted, one fucking day and the engine check light comes on. I'm starting to think that I'm cursed.


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