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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
An often overlooked aspect of maintaining our wonderful 124 Spiders is keeping the drain baskets and sponge filters clean.

A quick perusal of MX-5 sites will reveal that clogged drain channels are a common source of damp interiors, mildew, foul cabin odors and worse: rust.

Luckily for us, the drain system was redesigned for the ND and 124. Whereas, with earlier MX models, owners had to use snakes to clear the channels, drain baskets and filter sponges were added to prevent debris from going down the tube.

However, keeping the baskets and sponges clean is still mandatory. If they clog up, all the previous issues with water leaking into the cabin floor return.

While it is possible to position everything just right, including your body, and perform this maintenance without removing any trim pieces, most people will find it easier to remove a couple pieces of trim in order to facilitate basket and filter removal.

Here is a video which shows you exactly how to perform this important annual maintenance procedure.

 

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He is NOT kidding - do this at least once, preferably twice a year (once after the fall tree stuff falls and once after the spring tree stuff falls). Also, make sure that you snake or blow out the drain that drops down behind the seat that connects to the basket. There is a little rubber one-way flap in the drain that can also get clogged. The drain is connected to the basket by a six (6") inch horizontal channel leading from the basket towards the center of the car. (one on each side) Don't ask me how I know all this - you can probably guess. Luckily, it's been hot and dry here in DC and driving around with the heat on high has gotten most of the moisture out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
He is NOT kidding - do this at least once, preferably twice a year (once after the fall tree stuff falls and once after the spring tree stuff falls). Also, make sure that you snake or blow out the drain that drops down behind the seat that connects to the basket. There is a little rubber one-way flap in the drain that can also get clogged. The drain is connected to the basket by a six (6") inch horizontal channel leading from the basket towards the center of the car. (one on each side) Don't ask me how I know all this - you can probably guess. Luckily, it's been hot and dry here in DC and driving around with the heat on high has gotten most of the moisture out.
Yeah. The new system is supposed to eliminate the need to snake, but...

You can't push the snake all the way down because of the one-way flap. I'm guessing you go from the bottom up? Haven't tried it yet.

By the way, when you take out the drain basket and sponge, you can feel the hole leading to the drain tube with your fingers. They are at the front of the area where the sponge goes. If you try to snake it, it will stop after about 6-7" because of the one-way valve.
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks! Best video I have seen on this. Why? Two reasons: 1) You show both sides. and 2) You address the proper alignment of the sponges.
Thank you. I thought I should add the sponge alignment because you can't really see how they are when they are inserted.

I try to make videos from the perspective of "if I wondered about it, other people will to".
 

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Thank you. I thought I should add the sponge alignment because you can't really see how they are when they are inserted.

I try to make videos from the perspective of "if I wondered about it, other people will to".
Alignment of the sponges was the only part of the video I had to come back to to check what I was doing!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I did this today immediately after viewing the video and it took 20 minutes, tops. My car is garaged and I try not to drive in the rain if I can avoid it, but I will definitely be doing this once or twice a year. Thanks @Tazilon Brenner for another great tutorial!
You're welcome!
 

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We experienced some heavy rains earlier last week and then I noticed that the floor of my trunk was rather damp. Would this be related to the issue being discussed in this thread or some other issue? I'm a relatively "newbie" owner (March 2021) so any advice is greatly appreciated! Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
We experienced some heavy rains earlier last week and then I noticed that the floor of my trunk was rather damp. Would this be related to the issue being discussed in this thread or some other issue? I'm a relatively "newbie" owner (March 2021) so any advice is greatly appreciated! Thanks!
I imagine it could be. If they overflow, the water is going where gravity and the path of least resistance takes it. I would definitely check them out and see if they are clogged or not. At a minimum, it would rule clogged drain baskets out as a possible cause.
 
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We experienced some heavy rains earlier last week and then I noticed that the floor of my trunk was rather damp. Would this be related to the issue being discussed in this thread or some other issue? I'm a relatively "newbie" owner (March 2021) so any advice is greatly appreciated! Thanks!
I have noticed a very small amount of leakage here (see pictures) sometimes after washing the car and once after being out in heavy rain.
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Excellent video, Taz. I agree, best video I've seen to take away the mystery factor.

I've seen minor water staining on the black cloth inside my car's top on the left and right, about where the mid-roof bend is located. It seems like the water comes in edge-wise and wicks its way across the inside cloth. When it dries, light-colored impurities remain. The water mark looks like it extends in about a 3" radius. I never noticed it until I was waiting for grocery delivery Friday night and happened to look up at the inside of the top (I had put it up to block the hot sun while sitting still). Doesn't really seem to be a problem, but neither do I like it.
 

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An often overlooked aspect of maintaining our wonderful 124 Spiders is keeping the drain baskets and sponge filters clean.]

Kudos to you Taz ( if I may). Your DIY videos are not only informative, but very well put together. You leave no stone unturned and your wife ka a very good vidiographer

I’m sure we will see more of your how-tos in the future. Well done.

Dan
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
thank you
 
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