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Thanks for the great video. I did this on Pearl today, and I have a couple observations and one small item to watch out for. In five years of garage storage, and minimal rainy driving, both baskets were completely clean, and the sponges were clear, with just the lightest coating of dust. That was it. Still, I've added this to my spring cleaning checklist. By the way, my '17 Abarth only had a total of three pop rivets per side, not four on the trim panels. I had the top door post rivet and then just two more down the sides of the trim panel, not three like on yours. So apparently, the number of pop rivets can vary by year and model. The small thing to look out for is that, when I was removing the trim panel, I heard a small piece of metal fall. I found that what had come off and fallen, was a small gray metal clip. There are two of them on each side that slip fit on to the metal at the side of the trim panels. They probably have to do with securing the trim panel to the metal, but they can be easily dislodged during removal of the trim panel, as I discovered. Anyways, thanks again.
 
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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
Thanks for the great video. I did this on Pearl today, and I have a couple observations and one small item to watch out for. In five years of garage storage, and minimal rainy driving, both baskets were completely clean, and the sponges were clear, with just the lightest coating of dust. That was it. Still, I've added this to my spring cleaning checklist. By the way, my '17 Abarth only had a total of three pop rivets per side, not four on the trim panels. I had the top door post rivet and then just two more down the sides of the trim panel, not three like on yours. So apparently, the number of pop rivets can vary by year and model. The small thing to look out for is that, when I was removing the trim panel, I heard a small piece of metal fall. I found that what had come off and fallen, was a small gray metal clip. There are two of them on each side that slip fit on to the metal at the side of the trim panels. They probably have to do with securing the trim panel to the metal, but they can be easily dislodged during removal of the trim panel, as I discovered. Anyways, thanks again.

It's weird. We have a 2017 Abarth and a 2018 Classica and they both have 4 total per side. I've also seen a video of a MX-5 ND1 that also had only 3 per side.

I agree - those little metal clips can come off. If they do, it is easy to see where they go back on, as the shape of the piece they go on is slightly indented where they go. Good observation!
 

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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.

Cool, thanks for this. Had no idea about this.
 

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Thank you! I am putting this on my to-do list. I asked the dealer to clean these out last time I had it in for service, and they said "uhh... there aren't any filters to clean." 🙄

I'll be interested to see how dirty they are as I live in the PNW and frequently park outside under trees. I do keep a half cover on it most of the time though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #25 ·
Thank you! I am putting this on my to-do list. I asked the dealer to clean these out last time I had it in for service, and they said "uhh... there aren't any filters to clean." 🙄

I'll be interested to see how dirty they are as I live in the PNW and frequently park outside under trees. I do keep a half cover on it most of the time though.

We keep Itsy in our garage and Saxy in our carport. We use a half cover on her, too, because a neighborhood cat has decided Saxy's top makes a good bed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #27 ·
My buddy used to say cars and cats are bad. First for the car, then for the cat. :sneaky:
I know. If I still lived out in the country, that cat would be long gone.
 

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Thanks a lot, did it today on may Lusso 2018, living outside all year (in France). Not sure a single dealer has done it during the maintenance.
Was ok, some small leaves and sponge with a bit of mud.
Cleaned the place and sent 2 liters of water on each side carefully before putting everything back.
 

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Discussion Starter · #30 ·
@Tazilon Brenner love your videos! I also did this yesterday, and wasn't surprised to see some bits in the basket. good to do this about twice a year, especially if the car is parked outside.
Thank you!
 

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@Tazilon Brenner Thank you for your outstanding tutorial on cleaning the convertible drain baskets and filter sponges. I just did it and it was a piece of cake thanks to your write-up and video.

Here are my observations and findings:

A soft pad for your knees helps a lot with comfort.
87006

Once you have the trim removed, which is easier with the top down, raising the top provides more access to the baskets. Also, strong light above the rear window will illuminate the basket location with the top raised.
87007

Here are my baskets and sponges as removed and dirty:
87008

87009

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And cleaned. Some dishwashing soap helps remove the dirt and staining.
87011

I wiped out the filter housings with white paper towels until they came out clean.
87012

Last step, and now part of my routine car cleaning process, was to lower the top halfway and vacuum under the fender area with a crevice tool. Catching debris here means it won’t end up in the baskets.
87013

87014
 

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Great video Tazilon. I cleaned my 2018 today. My car sat on the dealer's lot for about 9 months before I bought it in May 2019. I have not cleaned the filters for the 2 years that I have owned Sophia. I live in Southern California and did not find much debris in the basket but the sponges were fairly dirty. Like Magofin, I wiped the filter housings until they were clean. The housings were pretty dirty.

The small thing to look out for is that, when I was removing the trim panel, I heard a small piece of metal fall. I found that what had come off and fallen, was a small gray metal clip.
I also had one of the metal clips fall out. They are directional, so you have to be careful which side they go on to clip the trim piece.
 

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Thanks so much for the video. Your instructions made the task rather easy (and I don't consider myself particularly mechanically-inclined!). The LH drain basket was almost totally blocked and the sponge was fairly well soiled, as you can see by the amount of debris in the photo. I also wiped out and vacuumed the basket housings for both, although the RH basket had very little matter and the sponge needed just a bit of rinsing.
87300
 

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Discussion Starter · #34 ·
Thanks so much for the video. Your instructions made the task rather easy (and I don't consider myself particularly mechanically-inclined!). The LH drain basket was almost totally blocked and the sponge was fairly well soiled, as you can see by the amount of debris in the photo. I also wiped out and vacuumed the basket housings for both, although the RH basket had very little matter and the sponge needed just a bit of rinsing. View attachment 87300

These are the kinds of pictures people need to see. Most of our baskets are not bad, but you just don't know til you look. The penalty for not cleaning them can be severe.
 

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Was this how it's put back in the car (hump on foam lines up with the back part of the basket?) taking it off was the easy part, it's the putting it back that always confuses me :)
Yes, that photo shows the correct orientation with the scalloped edge toward the inside of the car and the tapered end pointing forward to cover the drain hole at the front of the basket. @Tazilon Brenner made a nice observation at 19:00 in his video that the angled part of the foam lines up with the angled part of the basket.
 

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I always park my car in the garage and the top is up when the car is parked in a parking lot.

Can the drains still get clogged under those situations?

Also, I live in Silicon Valley and we’re in the midst of another drought, so there’s not much chance of rain….
 

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Discussion Starter · #39 ·
I always park my car in the garage and the top is up when the car is parked in a parking lot.

Can the drains still get clogged under those situations?

Also, I live in Silicon Valley and we’re in the midst of another drought, so there’s not much chance of rain….
They obviously won't clog as quickly, however, my car in the video is also kept in a garage. While garaging slows down the accumulation, it does not stop it.
 

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Something I had been contemplating for sometime and I finally pulled the trigger on. I recently ordered (hasn't arrived yet) a partial cover, SpiderDOME, from 500MADNESS. I had been thinking about doing this so I would have it for use when traveling. I then got to thinking that even though I normally park Moonracer in my garage there are time when he sits in the drive and I have several blue spruce trees that at times shed nasty little needles like confetti rainy down at a NYC parade. So I'll probably be using the new SpiderDOME anytime I'm parked outside where there's a better than average chance for debris accumulation and also as originally intended - while traveling. The original intent was to protect the top from bird/sea gull poop and also to discourage the curious from pressing their greasy hands and foreheads up against my windows while parked at the motel. And whenever the SpiderDOME is in place that's that much less UV damage the top fabric is exposed to.

Car Vehicle Tire Wheel Automotive lighting



EDIT: Just found and watched the YouTube video by Drop Top Tees about the SpiderDome. (y) I had wondered about how the rear of the cover was secured. Great demonstration!
 
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