Black 05 impulse buy

Started by bobbe, August 10, 2022, 19:03

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bobbe

After taking what can only be described as a severe case of the headstaggers (as we say at home in Northern Ireland), I am in the process of acquiring up a black 05 MR2 in seemingly decent condition with around 75k miles, new discs and pads, and a 12 month MOT - for pretty reasonable money given today's market (less than £2k!):

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The alloys are all in good condition (with the midship runabout centre caps), the roof looks generally excellent - nice and soft (for a roof, anyway) with no patches. It goes up and down smoothly and even still has the strap to prevent the forming of ears when it's down. This car also has fancy things like a TTE spoiler (which I am unconvinced by and may end up selling, but I'm willing to leave it for now in case it grows on me), and it has typical bonus features like a cloudy headlight, but it also lacks nice amenities like air con. It has three original keys, which must be fairly unusual in a car of this age, but also little to speak of in terms of service history (it's a long shot but if anyone has any idea of the provenance of this car then all information is very welcome).

Of course, I'm sure this particular car's quirks and problems will reveal themselves to me in the coming months, but until then I'm pretty happy with what I've got. I'm hoping at least that it will hold together nicely on the 370 mile jaunt from Cambridge to Cairnryan for the ferry to Belfast next week for a fortnight's break with family (and another 370 miles back). I imagine I'll have a better idea of what's what with this car once I'm back in Cambridge in September after a couple of weeks toodling around the scenic but woeful roads of Northern Ireland.

Things I want to do with this car (a non-exhaustive list):
  • Add air con (which I'm sure will be nice and easy and not at all a nightmare)
  • Add a hard top - either buying one (though I know they are still going for silly money) or taking the hardtop and fixings from my silver pfl (which I plan eventually to sell) and getting it resprayed
  • Swap out the facelift black and red cloth seats for a nice pair of pfl leather (possibly in red?)
  • Swap out the red cloth door cards for leather ones (possibly red to match the seats?)
  • Sort out the clouding in the headlights and also open them (provided they'll fit in the oven) and paint the housing black to give it a more pfl look
  • Repaint the calipers - you can't really tell from these photos but they are faded red, so a lick of paint should bring them back up
  • T4 dual bumper exit exhaust (of the V2 variety, rather than the more expensive V5) with the appropriate rear grill
  • Possibly decat just to be on the safe side (which would involve swapping the aftermarket header from my pfl car onto this car, then decatting the stock manifold from this car and putting it on the pfl car)
  • Wire brush and treat any rust (though from what I could see from poking around there is very little rust anywhere on the car), and coat the underside in some variety of rust protecting paint
  • Tidy up the (few) bumps and scrapes on the bodywork. Generally it's very good, but it is also 17 years old so there are some small marks here and there. Most will wet sand and polish out, but one or two might need a smart repair or something of that nature.
  • In the longer term, probably refresh the suspension - the struts (shocks, springs, top mounts, associated other gubbins), drop links, ARB bushes, and control arms (not that the arms wear out, but the bushes in them do)
  • Last but not least - drive it!

I'm also hoping that the seller will be able to swap on a pfl front bumper before I pick it up on Saturday (as I much prefer the look of the pfl front end), which will mean I get the fog lights in a cardboard box. My plan will be to design up some 3D printed brackets to attach them to the bumper in something approaching this fashion (these particular ones apparently being from a 96+ Honda Civic).

I will endeavour to document all this here, with photos and what have you, particularly when things inevitably go wrong and I need help (for which I thank you in advance)

Joesson

@bobbe
Not much wrong with that for that money.
You obviously have some experience and a plan.
I would check the radiator condition before your jaunt, it must have been replaced but at 75 K it could be needing another.
I'm with you on the PFL front bumper, and the fog lights look better positioned in your link.
Looking forward to hearing about your progress.
And yes I would check/ change the oil and filter.
Enjoy.

Topdownman

No harm in getting a new, hopefully better one when they come up for sale!

Good luck with the holiday. What could possibly go wrong?!
"Racing" tax disc holder (binned), Poundland air freshener, (ran out), Annoying cylinder deficiency,  (sorted),
Winner of the Numb bum award 2017
Readers Ride

06 not V6 readers ride

bobbe

Quote from: Joesson on August 10, 2022, 20:15@bobbe
Not much wrong with that for that money.
You obviously have some experience and a plan.
I would check the radiator condition before your jaunt, it must have been replaced but at 75 K it could be needing another.
I'm with you on the PFL front bumper, and the fog lights look better positioned in your link.
Looking forward to hearing about your progress.
And yes I would check/ change the oil and filter.
Enjoy.

That's my thinking - even if I eventually decide not to keep it and to stick with my pfl instead, I'm unlikely to risk losing much money on this one given the price I'm getting it for. I'll give it a few months at least, though, before making any decisions either way

I checked the dipstick and it's got a good amount of fresh looking oil in it. I'll have a look at the filter as well but my suspicion is that it was serviced relatively recently so I'm not too concerned about that (though I will probably give it a proper once over with new oil and so on at some point in the next month or two). The radiator is a great suggestion, and one I wouldn't have thought of!

bobbe

Quote from: Topdownman on August 10, 2022, 20:22No harm in getting a new, hopefully better one when they come up for sale!

Good luck with the holiday. What could possibly go wrong?!

Thanks! Hoepfully I won't end up swearing loudly by the side of the M1 as my hopes rapidly fade of making the ferry before it departs...

puma2

 :) your a man with plan for sure well sort of man plan :))  :))
it does look good  ;D
hope your trip goes well and keep up posted how you get on and what your future plans turn out to be with your 2 8)  8)

J88TEO

(less than £2k!):
It's a steal! I bought an 05 with hardtop for just £1.7K about 3 years back and totally enjoying it.
Enjoy.

Chilli Girl

Quote from: puma2 on August 11, 2022, 07:26:) your a man with plan for sure well sort of man plan :))  :))
it does look good  ;D
hope your trip goes well and keep up posted how you get on and what your future plans turn out to be with your 2 8)  8)

I do believe that Jennifer is her name @puma2
Ex owners of Chilli red facelift 52 reg called Chilli, silver 55 reg called Foxy and blue pfl W reg MR-S called Sapphire. Now 2 less!

puma2

 :))  :)) go on  Jennifer you can do it :))  :))

bobbe

#9
So I picked this up this morning. I noticed immediately that it feels like a totally different car to my 2002! Whatever bracing Toyota added and whatever changes they made to the suspension have made it so much better over bumps (even allowing for my pfl having a hardtop - which itself greatly reduces scuttle shake - and a front strut brace). Though in fairness also the pfl has done 20k more miles, which I'm sure must also make a difference

In any case, the 2005's ride feels like a much bigger car, a much stiffer car, and very responsive. I reckon it probably handles better than the 2002, though I'm not sure it feels quite as sharp as the pfl? Probably because the 02 is a bit more skittish, so it feels a bit lighter and more nimble, even if in actuality the 05 corners better. Interesting reality vs perception thing.

The exhaust also sounds a bit throatier on acceleration, though that could just be that the hardtop on the 02 deadens the sound a bit. The interior of the 05 is spotless - well, it's a bit dirty, but the plastics and fabrics are all in excellent condition with the exception of a few scratches on the driver's side door handle where obviously someone has been wearing a ring. I do quite like the wee chrome touches that the facelift cars come with.

This car sounds like it has a slightly rattly clutch bearing or spring. I only picked up on that when I had the roof down on the drive home but isn't the end of the world. There's a faint chattering that goes away when the pedal is pressed even slightly - the clutch doesn't need to be disengaged all - so I'm fairly sure it's not an input shaft or anything more serious. If and when it comes to changing the clutch at some point in future I'll get that dealt with as well.

I'm still not 100% about this car. When I bought the pfl I fell in love with it as soon as I drove away. Maybe it was the novelty? It wasn't the first MR2 I'd driven, but it was the first I owned. With this one, there's something about it that I can't put my finger on. It does need a good clean inside and out, and I do want to replace the seats (I'm not feeling the cloth). It's got a year's MOT so I'll see how I get on with it over the next couple of months before making a decision either way. Given what I paid and what the market for these is like now, I wouldn't expect to lose money even if I decided to move it on.

I think my ideal MR2 is something like an 05 or 06 car (for all the extra underbody stuff that can't just bolt on to older cars) with a pfl front bumper, fog lights in the grill, headlight innards painted to look like pfl lights, a hard top, and a front strut brace. Preferably in black or blue (which I think looks best) with leather seats and air con. I'm not quite sure yet whether this particular car will be that ideal MR2, but those things are all achievable with this car with not that much work. They're certainly more achievable with this car than they are with my 02

I still don't like the TTE spoiler, mind you

I'll get it washed this afternoon (car wash guys only, sadly, since Cambridge is now officially in drought) and post some photos

bobbe

The 05 also has more feel in the steering than the 02, though I also learned today that the whine from the power steering pump in the 02 is not in fact normal (lol), which might have something to do with it

bobbe

One final thing (for now) - I think I prefer the 5 speed box in the 02? It feels a bit smoother. Though that could just be familiarity

Mr220Mike

Welcome. That looks a great buy for the money. You certainly can't lose on it if you decide it's not for you in the end.

Enjoy

bobbe

#13
I wouldn't say they've done a great job, but the guys at the local hand wash have indeed had a go at it:

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I was able to get the pfl bumper - it's not in great condition, but nothing that shouldn't wet sand and polish out. I'm going to have a go at the headlights this evening - hopefully I can make a dent in the cloud covering them   

The tyres on it have turned out to be Nankang NS-20s, which is good news (I had expected them to be something random). I know from researching tyres before (my 02 is running Falken ZE310 after reading around here and elsewhere) that a few people here have had the Nankangs and found them to be quite good. It also seems to have all the underbody plastics, including the nappy and generally from giving it a good look around it seems to be in solid condition and pretty well after

I've also got the front strut brace and trunk plastics swapped over (without shearing any top mount bolts this time!)

bobbe

Autoglym's finest and a big drill have done wonders on the driver's headlight:

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It's still pretty cloudy (which you can especially see when the headlights are on), but at least you can tell that there is something in there now. At some point I'll try to open it and do the inside(?) and if that doesn't work then start looking for a replacement

I ran out of masking tape ( ::) ) so couldn't get the other side done this evening, but hopefully tomorrow. It's much less bad so fingers crossed it comes up well!

Ardent


puma2

 :) brilliant work keep going :)
the write up is good as  well ;D  ;D

bobbe

Today this covered the 370 miles from Cambridge to Belfast without the slightest hint of a hiccup. And it did it on one tank of fuel! I filled up before I left and the fuel light still hasn't even come on. That sixth gear really makes a big difference - in the 02 car I got about 330 miles into a Belfast to Cambridge trip before the light came on.

Arriving in Belfast also gave me the opportunity to give it a go on a nice twisty road with a bit of elevation change and what have you (Cambridge sadly being in a particularly flat part of the world). My impression that - with all Toyota's bracing on the facelift and other tweaks to the 04+ cars - this feels like a totally different, much more sorted car is definitely confirmed. The 02 and the 05 feel like variations on the same car (for obvious reasons), but the 05 is both more planted and solid and more responsive and precise. Immense fun. I'm taking it up around the Antrim coast road tomorrow, so I'm hoping for light traffic and some twisty scenic joy

While I'm in Belfast I'm going to get it serviced and given a once over by a mechanic I trust here, and if he's happy with it then it's a keeper. I'm also considering pulling the precats while I'm here as I'm visiting my parents and can use their driveway (and potentially have access to their rally driver neighbour's extensive tool collection if I get stuck). I'm not sure it's entirely necessary on an 05 car, but also I don't particularly want to take even a small risk of Bad Things happening

Mostly - after the summer we've had in Cambridge - I'm just glad to be in Belfast where it's not 35 degrees, where it rains, and where the grass is luscious green instead of parched yellow

Here's a quick shot of it waiting for the ferry in Cairnryan:

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I really need to have another go at those headlights

No.Lows

Glad you're also loving your impulse buy, once I've actually done something to it I need to start a thread

SuperArt

Worse ways to spend £2k. Great find.
Personally not fan of the mixed FL/PFL, either or for me but mixed is confusing to look at.

As for A/C conversion, it's doable but you want to buy the parts new (condenser especially) and you want to do it quickly. I just had my AC overhauled and Toyota told me the condenser is obsolete and they couldn't get any. Ended up getting one through a reseller who happened to have stock.
You could try second hand but Andy from Jspec will tell you most of those components are shot when they come off breakers.

bobbe

Quote from: SuperArt on August 23, 2022, 14:24As for A/C conversion, it's doable but you want to buy the parts new (condenser especially) and you want to do it quickly. I just had my AC overhauled and Toyota told me the condenser is obsolete and they couldn't get any. Ended up getting one through a reseller who happened to have stock.
You could try second hand but Andy from Jspec will tell you most of those components are shot when they come off breakers.

My 02 car has working AC, so worst case scenario I should be able to just swap the condenser over to the 05 (after having the gas responsibly discharged, of course). Other things like the compressor, evaporator, double fan, etc should be findable in decent working condition second hand

bobbe

#21
Back in Cambridge. I did about 1200 miles in two and a bit weeks and no issues at all. The car runs well and feels great

I had it serviced while in Belfast and once it was up on stands and the nappy was off you could see there was a hole in the subframe - not a big one, but enough that I'll replace it. So I've a new one of those arriving soon from TCB. It passed it's MOT in July so it must have been with a particularly friendly tester

Anyway, not greatly looking forward to tackling that. I've read about the troubles with stuck suspension arm bolts, so I think my plan will be to replace the arms at the same time as replacing the subframe. Nengun has them at a reasonable price (about 260 for all four arms delivered to the UK). I'll get replacement bolts and several gallons of plusgas and hopefully (hopefully) it'll not be too much of a pain

bobbe

Also interested in any tips for protecting new subframes. A load of dinitrol and make sure it has all the rubber bungs?

JohnGee

Quote from: bobbe on September  1, 2022, 13:26It passed it's MOT in July so it must have been with a particularly friendly tester.

The tester wouldn't be permitted to remove the nappy, so no warning offered.
John

2006 Roadster, manual, leather, in Sable

J88TEO

Quote from: bobbe on September  1, 2022, 13:26Nengun has them at a reasonable price (about 260 for all four arms delivered to the UK)
I have a set of 6 arms ( original ) in very good condition - if you are interested.