MG MIDGET 1500
RUST Check for rot everywhere, paying particular attention to the rear wheelarches, chassis box sections and the vulnerable double-skinned bonnet leading edge. If a panel has visible surface bubbling, you can be pretty certain that it’s ten times worse underneath. The good news is that you can practically rebuild a Midget from scratch thanks to exceptional parts back-up.
COOLING Midgets converted to run on unleaded petrol tend to run rather hot, so upgrading the radiator, relocating the fuel pump closer to the tank and fitting a thermostatically controlled fan is a good idea. Getting the exhaust manifolds wrapped or chemically treated lowers under-bonnet temperatures, too.
IGNITION Binning the original points and condenser in favour of electronic ignition will improve hot starting markedly, as will fitting a quality red-top rotor arm. A starter motor that won’t engage could be down to worn brushes – direct replacements are readily available, or you could upgrade to a high-torque starter.
MAZDA MX-5 NA 1.8i
RUST Pay attention to the sills ahead of the rear wheels as rot can spread to the inner structure; ensure that the drain holes from the hood area aren’t blocked. Look for poor quality patching. Original sills had a stonechip finish so smooth paint indicates previous repairs. Wheelarches go, and examine the windscreen surround as rot in the A-pillars isn’t unknown. Plenty of specialists can repair an MX-5 costeffectively, though.
ENGINE Check that the five-year/60,000mile cambelt change has been done, although the noninterference engine is safe if it does break. Correct anti-freeze levels are vital in protecting the alloy cylinder head, and check for a leaking water pump and oil seeping from the cam cover gasket, cam sensor seal and front crank pulley seal.
GEARBOX A sticky shift means that the rubber boot beneath has split , allowing oil to escape; it’s an easy fix. A leaky clutch slave cylinder is cheap and easy to remedy. A square rear number plate, aircon and/or auto ‘box means it’s a Japanesespec Eunos Roadster.