Soft top recommendations please

Archives of Posts to the NZ MX5 List back in 2006
Need, more, 5-ing, time....
Need, more, 5-ing, time....
Posts: 109
Joined: Fri May 19, 2006 3:48 pm
Location: Paekakariki

Soft top recommendations please

Post by joanie » Fri May 05, 2006 6:33 pm

Hi Dave & Pam here's an old email on the topic.. well on the whole caboodle
really :-)
Cheers Joan H

It's brilliant stuff- I wrote a long piece about polishing MX5's in
September last year, which is repeated below as it includes contact details/
costs. Have to say I haven't polished it since, but it still looks good and
when I get a moment or 27...
97 SR Ltd
Proud new MX5 owner here - have been resisting temptation for a while here,
but when the IRD generously returned a large chunk of the money which I had
foolishly given them by mistake I set it aside for the day when the right
car came along. This happened on Fathers Day in the shape of a 1997 SR Ltd
in Sparkle Green - apparently only 316 were made in this colour, and I have
never seen another in New Zealand.

After an exhilirating drive back to Auckland from the car's previous home in
Hamilton, I set about making the car look as good as it could. It only has
37,000 kms on the clock and it feels as if they are genuine, but it had some
swirl marks on the bodywork and had been parked outside under pollen-bearing
trees for a couple of months, so it needed some TLC. The rear window was a
little fogged as well.

Having read the product review on this website about Meguiars Plastic Polish
#17 I set out to track it down. Repco and assorted other stockists of
Meguiars on the North Shore were not particularly helpful (mind you, it
helped when I learned that 'Meguiars' is pronounced 'McGuires' rather than
rhyming with 'Jaguar'. I knew that the Meguiar importer was LJ Smits and
they were supposed to have an outlet in Glenfield somewhere, but didn't know
where. They weren't in the phone book under that name, but fortunately I
happened upon them by chance at 243 Archers Road, Glenfield, and they were
open on a Saturday morning, too. Their head office phone number is 0-9-274
6871 if you need a stockist in another area.

I told the guy at the counter (Ramesh, I think) what I wanted and he was
most helpful, then I showed him the car and asked his advice. He was
extremely helpful, perhaps spurred on by the fact that I was clearly going
to be a good customer. I ended up buying the following (don't laugh - just

Gold Class Car Wash ($12.75)
Swirl Free Polish ($24.50)
Gold Class Liquid Wax ($27.97)
Plastic Cleaner # 17 ($13.63)
Vinyl/Rubber Cleaner ($16.33)

All prices are plus GST. Add to this the Meguiars Leather Cleaner and
Leather Conditioner I already had for my other car (about $40 from memory),
and I reckoned my new toy was ready to be thoroughly spoiled. The following
process took 8 hours over two days.

1. Gold Class Car Wash has to be applied with a sponge and I went over every
centimetre very carefully. It is pretty good at removing tar spots if you
take your time. It has to be rinsed off with a flow of water rather than a
spray at the end, and then wiped with cheesecloth or a soft chammy.

2. Once the car has dried out of the sun, use the swirl free polish. In
addition to the swirls, I also had some rub marks on both front wings where
I guess people had leant over the car carelessly. I did one panel at a time,
applying the polish and then taking it off with a clean cloth. It seemed to
work well in most areas, but I found later that the marks on the wings
needed more attention later. You also have to be careful if you have painted
mudflaps, as there were traces of the green paint on my cloth after using
this polish on them - perhaps the paint doesn't stick so well to that

3. I then attacked the rear window with the plastic cleaner. As well as
fogging, the window also had a couple of large scuff marks and a very small
crease. I found that the best way to treat it was to take one small area at
a time, as the cleaner rapidly builds up a layer of grime against the cloth
and if you don't work a bit at a time all you are doing is spreading the
grime back on to the next area. I was absolutely stunned by the
transformation this polish achieved. It takes time and effort, as the
product review said, but it was well worth it. The fogging was dramatically
reduced, the scuff marks disappeared completely and even the crease was
rendered less obvious. Doing the inside of the window is not a comfortable
process, and I am conscious that I should really do this again to get the
full effect, but I am delighted by what the cleaner has done so far.

4. Next area to tackle was the pollen, which had left a yellowish, slightly
sticky deposit all around the underside of the hood space and on some of the
hood itself, as well as the bars. I took the Vinyl/Rubber Cleaner to this
(this was the messiest part) and found that it actually came off very
easily - someone had previously recommended soap and water, but I had been
loathe to splash water around there. This Cleaner worked very well, and had
the added benefit of darkening the area and leaving a very slight shine.
Having done all the hard to reach bits, I then put the hood up and did the
whole thing, and was very pleased with the effect - with the muck removed
and the cleaner, as well as the newly see-through plastic window, the car
which had looked pretty good before was now starting to look immaculate.

5. Back to the bodywork, and I applied a coat of the Liquid Wax. It tells
you to apply this to the whole car and then polish it off with a clean
cloth, but despite doing this in the shade I found that the wax actually
dried more quickly than I wanted and polishing the later panels off was more
work than I expected (mind you, this was on the second afternoon!). Next
time I will do a couple of panels at a time. It proved worth it, though, as
the bodywork came up beautifully, has a good deep shine and even feels
silky-smooth to the touch!

6. Having vacuumed up all the bits from the ends of the cheesecloth, I then
cleaned and conditioned the leather parts of the seats - no drama here.

7. Finally, I used some chrome polish on the wheels, mirrors and exhaust
(can't remember the brand - I've had it around for ages) and some 'Black
Chrome' polish on the wipers (same thing), and black-walled the tyres. By
that time it was geting dark so I tucked it away on the garage with a dust
cover (Fathers Day present from the children) over it to protect it from the

Since then, of course, we've had typical bloody Auckland weather and there
hasn't been a period of sunshine long enough to do any more than take it out
for a half hour sprint. I have left it open in the garage for a bit as I
have heard from other people that if you clean a car internally and then
leave it locked up for a while you can get mould developing. As I'll be away
for three weeks shortly I didn't want that to happen after all my hard work.

So, but of a saga, and I doubt if I'll ever work so heard at cleaning a car
again, but it was worth it and the Meguiars products were superb. I have
used only a fraction of most of them (probably the vinyl/rubber cleaner took
the biggest hit) but I want to add some more coats of polish before doing
some cross-country trips next month and it's nice to know that the car can
then be restored to good condition with a lot less work. I still have the
engine bay to do, of course, but that may be another story...

Hope that answers your question about polish! :) And no, I'm not really
fanatical about cleaning cars - I'm just a proud new MX5 owner...


PS - got the car just in time, as we bought a house that afternoon. Had we
bought the house first, I could never have afforded the car!

From Fri Apr 27 17:58:39 2007
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Date: Fri, 5 May 2006 07:38:40 +0100 (BST)
From: graeme hakin <>
Subject: RE: Petrol grade
To: MX5List <>
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Advancing the timing does make a difference. Although it won't blow your socks off, I found a little more eagerness in the car when pulling up hills or away from a standing start. My only downside is that the car pings on 91 octane, especially on hills in warm weather. Other than that, I'm more than happy.
On the note about octane...I also find that BP Ultimate leaves less soot on my tailpipe than Mobil synergy 8000 (98).


Graeme H

Perry perry <> wrote:

I also changed to 98 from 96 and there was a great improvement.

As my MX5 was a Jap import and the 1.6 litre engines produced 97Kw opposed
to 85Kw and that they use 100 octane over there it might explain the

I was wondering if you advance the timing from 10 degrees to 14 degrees
would it really work as this is base of USA feedback where they use 87


Simon Lord
See my 5 and raise you.
See my 5 and raise you.
Posts: 98
Joined: Fri Sep 22, 2006 1:09 pm
Location: Albany

Soft top recommendations please

Post by Simon Lord » Fri May 05, 2006 6:53 pm

How my past comes back to haunt me - that was 4 years or so ago. At the
moment, said MX5 is still filthy from the New Plymouth trip 4 weeks ago and I
have no time to wash it, but I stand by everything I wrote and when I do put
the time in (down to 2 hours now) then it looks fantastic.

97 SR Ltd (sparkle green)


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