2003 red roadster

Started by Phillih, June 21, 2023, 14:54

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Hi all,
Got my roadster as a project car so I could tinker with it over the bad weather days and drive it in the sunny ones. I bought it as a no mot car, but after looking it over, no serious rust just some surface bits as to be expected, and a list of bits from the old mot advisories. So a nice starter challenge.
This is my 3rd mr2, I've now owned all 3 generations, so this Mark does have a special place in my heart. My first ever car after passing my test was a mk1 t bar, a few years later I got a mk2 tin top, and modified it the furthest I've ever gone with a car. This mk3 I want to keep as stock as possible and just enjoy it.
I'll add to this as I do bits to it, so I'll be playing catch up in these posts to start.


The paint was pretty bad on almost every panel, most of the rear was pink, and lacquer peel on most panels. All the brakes were shot, so all needed replacing, so I serviced the calipers at the same time, including painting them red. All the parts came new from ebay sellers.
I was surprised with how easy most of the bolts were to come undone, and I think most of the braking system was original, as it was very worn. It all cleaned up nicely, and I did them in the evenings after work. Everything was put back together with copper grease, and where I could wire brushed and undersealed.


Hi Phil, and welcome!

Copper grease on the sliders will end up actually getting sticky and not doing the job.  Silicon grease is the correct stuff (Ceratec).  No shame - I made the same error.
Perry Byrnes Memorial Award 2016, 2018.  Love this club. 


Welcome aboard, looks very tidy and you obviously know what you're doing and have a steer on which areas might be in need of some TLC, so it should be plain sailing all the way ⛵️

Looking forward to seeing / reading more.

Enjoy the ride.


2006 Roadster, manual, leather, in Sable


Your paintwork looks like mine including the lacquer peel on the door mirrors.

Get those headlights polished, then onlookers won't be looking at the paintwork so much. At least, that's my theory.

Nice to see another chilli.
"My name is not important" - Slartibartfast


 :) good to see your enjoying the spanner work 8)
how did you become the owner of this 2 did you look at many :)


Hi guys, thanks for the interest. I used copper grease on bolts etc, but on the slider pins I did use proper brake grease.
Yes paintwork is poor but I've got it to an acceptable level for now. The wing mirrors were really bad so painted them gloss black which I think goes well. The headlights were much worse, and I have been over them with wet and dry, then compounds. needs another go again. I have used a headlight film to protect from uv for now.
Nope I looked at none, it popped up on facebay near me so just went and got it as a project. It's not my daily so can spend some time on it.


Bits done recently, after the brakes, the roof when I bought it was shot, very crispy and ripped, beyond repair. Found a good condition used one and fitted that. It's not as daunting as some might think. I watched different YouTube videos so I knew what to expect. The jspec one is very good. I had the old off and new on in a morning. A friend to help was needed. While it was off it was a perfect time to fully clean out the water drain bags and the tubes. Once installed I got a roof cleaner and a protector and it looks great! A before and after picture.

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Over the weekend I noticed the car was always using some coolant, after investigating I found the leak at the bottom right of the radiator which I've read is a common failure. Straight to ebay and got a brand new one delivered 2 days later. While it was in the post I took off all the front plastic trim, and tidied up the frunk area over 2 days. I undersealed parts at the front and cleaned up and greased the steering u joint as I've read this can fail. Took off the fans, and rubbed down and resprayed the rad mounts as they were a bit rusty. When the rad arrived it was a simple job of take off hoses and drain. Then fit the new and bleed the system. Then refit the plastics. Some of the push clips broke so I've ordered replacements. The most fiddly part was removing the alarm from under the spare wheel. This was quite a fun little job, I'm finding the mr2 easy to work on, and not massively expensive for parts. The rad was £60 delivered brand new 5 year warranty, and coolant 10 litres premix was £30 from halfords.


 :) good work keep it up and enjoy the spanner time :)
what is next now 8)


Quote from: puma2 on June 30, 2023, 07:28:) good work keep it up and enjoy the spanner time :)
what is next now 8)
I will keep on doing undersealing, taking off underside braces and treating. I've also got some poly bushes coming so an opportunity to get the arb sorted and rust proofed. After that it will be tackling the dodgy paintwork. I've got a spray gun so will give that a crack. I cleaned my cars up today and are looking pretty good at the moment


Aux belt changed. Was cracking and once removed was sliced down the length. Well worth checking for peace of mind. Gates belt delivered and fitted within half an hour. Minimal tools needed. The hardest part was getting the grooves on the pullys lined up with the belt while not under tension. Cost £17.


Small amount of tinkering done over the last few weeks, weather not great so haven't used it much. I've fitted a k&n panel filter so I can just clean it and oil it so will last the cars lifetime. Also wired up the rear view camera and reversing camera. Part of the kit I got with the rear view mirror/ camera. Not wired up one of these before but it was sunny so had a go!. Easy to hide the wires up until the rear bulkhead, but found a grommet and got the wire through. Then connected up and spliced the red wire into my reverse light, job done. I now have a rear mount camera that records, and when I put it in reverse I get the camera full screen with the distance markers.


Quote from: Phillih on August  8, 2023, 23:47I've fitted a k&n panel filter so I can just clean it and oil it so will last the cars lifetime.
Careful not to overoiled this as it can affect the MAF.


As a reply about the K&n oiling, I was very conservative with the amount I used as I've heard it can cover the maf if too much used.
Did some tinkering today, and fitted a f1 style brake light. It's meant to flash when you brake, but I thought this a bit much so have wired it so it is just a solid red light when braking. I think it fits in quite nicely on the back. A question I have is should the bit of red bumper under the numberplate area be behind the black mesh? I got the car this way but it might have taken a knock...



Iirc my PFL has a similar "bit", but mine is silver as is the rest of the car.
In answer to the next question - I have no idea what it's purpose might be.

Not silver/ bodywork colour but black and thus less noticeable :


Same colour as the bumper - JDM plates are smallet and there are 2 additional pieces of bumper mesh to cover the void.


Looks like the numberplate is mounted too high. I think the 2 pins on the red piece should go inside the hollow on the bottom of the plate holder so the red piece is half covered.
"Racing" tax disc holder (binned), Poundland air freshener, (ran out), Annoying cylinder deficiency,  (sorted),
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I'd say the red bit needs to be behind the mesh, or there is a bit missing from it.
2004 FL, Black, Matt Brace, Team Dynamics Monza R, Tein Springs, TTE Exhaust, heated black leather seats, black leather armrest,  Zunsport grills, Midship front badge,  TRD spoiler, Halo DRLs with LED fogs, large clear wind defector, Krissg kick panels,  small mongos.