Ironing an MX5

  1. Mrs Sunshine New Member

    I went for a little (ok, 3000km) drive to France in June and was caught in a hail storm. The insurance have written her off but she's pretty solid, I'm the second owner since import and frankly, I love her to bits and don't throw things away until they are kippered....

    So, I've put a new boot on her and I've a new bonnet that needs spraying. The rest of it.....a body shop or professional PDR is going to cost way in excess of the value and my calling around the handful of colleges that teach bodywork has been fruitless so it's down to me. Mechanics don't phase me but this...this is a different world!

    I work overseas during winter and don't have a garage. I could rent a lock up but won't have power in it, I do have a very secure driveway large enough to put a tent in and all of the amps available for tools. I have a "complete" (can there ever me enough?!) set of hand/power tools. I have neither a compressor nor welder but think a weld on pin puller might be the way to go. I've welded before. Twice. The car will need paint due to cracking. Whether I DIY spray, rattle can or even brush, I'm undecided at the moment....leaning towards brush/roller given facilities available. I've coach painted narrowboats before so not *that* intimidated by the process; ignorance and stupidity and all that!

    Please don't suggest living with it for character - I've tried - I'm so sick of the questions and the behaviour of other drivers as a result...the number of people that think it was the wife of some guy I was having an affair - people can suck sometimes!
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  2. Dcal

    Dcal Forum Supporter

    Antrim Northern Ireland
    Wow that must have been some hail storm!
    What bits are you going to try and improve, it hard to see in with the rain drops?
    Coach paining it is going to give an interesting look and might attract as much comment as the distressed look.

    I'm assuming the worst of the damage was on the horizontal panels.
    Can you get a bonnet the same colour as your car?
    It might be worth looking into paint-less dent removal systems, either by getting someone to do it or getting the tools and giving it a go yourself.
    If it all goes pear shaped you can still go for conventional panel repairs.

    Post a few photos of the damage you need to fix and you will get get good advice on here, there are a few MX5 nut that know them inside out.
    Mrs Sunshine and Parm like this.
  3. gaz1

    gaz1 Forum Supporter

    heat can be used to shrink the metal

    filler can be used

    it looks good enough without the need for drilling a hole into it

    either way it will need a paint over
    Mrs Sunshine likes this.
  4. atomant48

    atomant48 Member

    Salisbury, UK
    Aren’t they aluminium bonnets on those things ?
    Mrs Sunshine likes this.
  5. zzr1200

    zzr1200 Working at 650 ft on open steel work

    Glapwell, Chesterfield, Derbyshire.
    Some pictures with dry panels would help, have you considered a respray from a bare metal surface and use body filler to flat the panels.

    I know its not what you want but unless you intend to learn the dark art of metal shrinking I can't see another way....
    stuvy and Mrs Sunshine like this.
  6. Wightsparks

    Wightsparks Forum Supporter

    I would think Paintless Dent Removal would work ?
    Mrs Sunshine, slim_boy_fat and Parm like this.
  7. Turbo Member

    Fermanagh, Northern Ireland
    Agree 100% with that. There may be some dents that you cant access from behind so you might need an alternative method.

    The other alternative is to buy a MX5 with a rusty chassis, plenty around for not much ££, and use it to donate as many panels as you can, will be easier than filling & painting all those dents.
    stuvy and Mrs Sunshine like this.
  8. northwest

    northwest Member

    Manchester UK
    See, that's the first mistake, talking to the general public.
    Mrs Sunshine and slim_boy_fat like this.
  9. bricol Member

    N.Yorks, UK
    Colleague here had many such dents on an AMG Merc removed by painless dent removal guy.

    By the time you've wrecked the paint with other methods, banged the dents out, filled, it painted it, repainted it after it rusted, then watched it rust from inside out . . .
    stuvy and Mrs Sunshine like this.
  10. pedrobedro

    pedrobedro Man at Matalan

    CX Derbyshire
    A bonnet, boot, hard top and wings would cover a lot of the damage then somebody who knows what they are doing for the rest or filler and a lot of patience then a respray.
  11. steveo3002 Member

    cambridge uk
    thats what id do

    if its all about money then a reasonable respray is going to cost more than the car is worth

    if its a solid car run it around as it is ?
    Mrs Sunshine likes this.
  12. Wallace

    Wallace Member

    Staines, Middlesex, England.
    If the car was mine I would be looking for any corrosion needing attention before attempting the dents and painting, you might end up spending time or money on bodywork that may need doing again through corrosion repairs.
    Mrs Sunshine and slim_boy_fat like this.
  13. Bullet2012

    Bullet2012 Forum Supporter

    Or get some decals to make them look like bullet holes and tell everyone you got into an ambush and are lucky to have escaped alive . :whistle:
    Gwil, JLP, Exuptoy and 3 others like this.
  14. Shox Dr

    Shox Dr Chief Engineer to Carlos Fandango

    East Yorkshire
    @Mrs Sunshine I think you summed it up in your first ‘Hey’ thread.

    ‘It will also need welding in a few yrs’

    As others have said, Id be investigating the structural integrity first. Paint is the very last step
    Mrs Sunshine likes this.
  15. Climber

    Climber Member

    Hampshire UK
    Why are you attached to the car? It seems like madness to be contemplating fixing a car with so much damage, that's worth next to nothing.
    Mrs Sunshine likes this.
  16. jsf55

    jsf55 Forum Supporter

    Sunny Swansea
    Turbo, Mrs Sunshine and slim_boy_fat like this.
  17. carter13 New Member

    Personally I would replace the bonnet repair the other panels then have the car wrapped, best cost effective method if you cant paint it yourself.
    Mrs Sunshine likes this.
  18. Ruffian Member

    Devon UK
    We had a mx5 in silver come through the body shop in a similar state to yours after also a hail storm.

    It was a nightmare.
    Every panel stripped and repaired and full repaint.

    I would agree with above repair and wrap. Especially if you can do the filter work yourself.

    Or if it was mine it was just get a roller repaint.
    Mrs Sunshine and eLuSiVeMiTe like this.
  19. Mrs Sunshine New Member

    Thank you all. To answer some questions - I've not got the quote thing playing and have spent far too long arguing with computers today to look harder so forgive...

    Yes, the bonnet is aluminium.
    PDR - yes - they quotes I've had have been - well, reasonable for a bitch of a job! There is no expertise for hail repair on this scale in the the £1500-2k range. I would be happy to give this a crack myself - I can't do it much more damage! But everything I can find cheaply is for glue pulling - and I'm told that it is unlikely to be successful due to soft respray/cheap amazon kits/"pushing is pro man." This is why I've been considering weld on pin pulling and then filling/paint. There is only one crack in the paint - on panels that will be kept at any rate....
    Solidity - I bought having boroscoped it. Front wings are rust free and I therefore want to save them if poss. They have some nasty stretched dents though. There is one blister in the outside passenger side sill. There is some corrosion inside the rear wheel arch but nothing showing on the outside at the moment. Internally, again, there is a small amount. It will cost me about £300 to have done professionally, which would be my intention, prior to a full repaint. The drivers side is - it's kinda fine?! There is surface rust - but I do mean surface. It gets filled with ditrinol on the regs.

    The black art of shrinking metal. Yeah, this is the bit that really scares me....

    Filling - yes - I feel that I should be bringing the level of the metal up as much as possible prior to....

    Wrapping - A wrap needs to go onto a smoothed and painted surface I believe? So if I brush/roller and it's streaky....I can certainly consider this.

    Why am I attached to it? Because I like her, it's fun and binning a car for a few dents seems wasteful - call me a hippy!

    Dry photos - slowly as my internet connection will allow!
    Gwil, zx9, Seadog and 1 other person like this.
  20. Mrs Sunshine New Member

    The crack in the paint