Date Added: Wednesday 23 November, 2005
My wife bought this exhaust for her '94 Roadster 1.8. First impressions were good, the exhaust seeming solid and well made. I fitted it for her, leaving the catalytic convertor in place. The problem mentioned in some earlier reviews regarding the proximity of the mid to back section joint to the differential was not present. It's worth noting that this feature (a joint between the mid and rear sections) will allow removal of this exhaust without removal of the rear lower suspension brace, should you have an aftermarket one or the factory brace as fitted to later cars by Mazda. If the exhaust you're replacing is a one piece 'cat back' unit though, you will need to remove the brace, if fitted, to get the old exhaust off (unless you cut it) in which case use plenty of penetrating oil, care and patience to avoid shearing or damage to bolt heads.
In short, we're both pleased with the noise of the new exhaust. Under light throttle it's still nice and discreet, so you won't be drawing unwanted attention all the time. However, under greater throttle openings it's definitely louder and more characterful, just like it should be in fact. It makes the car sound more like the sports car it should do and more like the MX-5 should have sounded all along. It also looks nice - as with all well made exhaust systems, almost seems a shame to hide it under the car! But what little of it is visible (the tailpipe) is nice and shiny and polishes well with Autosol metal polish. Incidentally, at 70mm the tailpipe is about 10mm bigger diameter than the original (60mm) and hence fills the aperture in the bumper better, looking a bit more purposeful.
One peculiarity was the exhaust was supplied with only three new hanging rubbers whereas there are four hanging arms - three on the backbox and one on the mid section. This didn't cause a problem for me because the existing hanging rubbers were not in a bad state, so it was ok to reuse one. However, it might cause a delay for anyone who found they really needed to replace badly perished rubbers. Still, it's a good idea to be prepared for these sorts of eventualities, so it would be a good idea to have a spare or two of both hanging rubbers and flange gaskets, and even if you don't end up needing them it's a good idea to have them spare in case of future need, especially since the only cost a pound or two each.
In summary, this exhaust seems excellent value at this price (£200) compared to other products on the market and, as such, I think it deserves the full five out of five marks. Well done mx5parts.
Rating: [5 of 5 Stars!]