F ollowing on from last month’s report, I thought I’d take time to assess the final member of the fleet, my ‘91 Eunos roadster and make sure that anything that needs to be sorted out is fixed before the end of the winter. Considering the car’s origins – it was recovered from a hedge and looked like its next trip was going to be its last, on the back of a breaker’s yard truck – this little roadster is amazing.
I just didn’t find the time last year to get it out of its corner and on the road. I feel guilty about this, and I kick myself for missing the warm months. It’s a great car to drive, with enough power and superb handling, and rewards my months of neglect with easy starting on the first turn of the key and an eagerness to get up and get gone. You couldn’t ask for more.
First task was to clean off months of storage grime. The paint, for the most part is still in good order. I repaired a few areas of lacquer peel when I revived the car and considering these were done on my usual budget of ‘cheap as possible’, they’re holding up really well. The nearside front wing will need some attention soon though. I thought it had been re-lacquered at any earlier date and had discoloured to a orange hue. But any attempts to polish the discolouration away revealed that it wasn’t lacquer but very badly matched paint. The paint has gone through in places, so it’s either going to need a new coat, or I may even keep an eye out for a complete front wing in
the correct colour. Bolting on a wing might be a lot less painful than respraying the old one.
The other area I feel now needs attention are the alloy wheels. No amount of scrubbing with soap and water will remove the black deposits caused by brake dust. They might be worth treating with a more hardcore dedicated wheel cleaner, and I’ve had amazing results with these products in the past. Or I may just have to bite the bullet and refurbish them. The Mazda is never going to win any concours competitions, but scruffy wheels really drag the looks of a car down.
Under the bonnet, there were a couple of small things to do. I had an oil filter sitting on the shelf, so it felt rude not to drop the engine oil and change the filter. It was a little decadent, as the oil came out of the sump still golden but I really enjoy the revvy nature of the engine, so it seems only fair to give it the best possible defence against my enthusiastic right foot!
I noticed a slight squeal from the auxiliary drive belt, so adjusted that to cure the problem. This job couldn’t be easier on the Mazda. The adjuster is right at the top of the engine and is a simple case of loosening the 12mm lock nut and then winding the adjustment up with a second 12mm bolt. There’s no having to lever and tension alternators and pumps here. Lock it up and job done.
Since I’ve owned the Mazda, I suspected there was some slight play in one of the engine mounts. It’s now moved out of the ‘slight’ zone and firmly into the ‘noticeable’. The rest of the car is incredibly tight, so feeling slight movement through the gearstick is disconcerting, which means the job is now at the top of my to-do list. I don’t think the parts are expensive so it’ll be well worth doing and make the car even better to drive once the spring comes. Bring it on.
A bit of spit and polish and the Mazda still comes up well.
The alloy wheels are now showing their age. Deep cleaning may improve them.
Removing discolouration has revealed the now worn through original. It’s now a toss up between repainting or replacing.
Repaired sections of the bodywork are still looking good, but it never hurts to take out fine scratches with a good quality polish.
A single 12mm spanner is all that’s required to tension the belt.
Auxiliary drive belt had become loose and was squealing under load. Adjuster could not be easier to get at.
Oil still stays golden in the sump – shows that the engine has always been looked after and serviced regularly.
The engine thrives on revs so it makes sense to keep oil changes up to date.