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Old 10-18-2016, 12:42 AM   #1
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Default Considering moving to 06 NC with Sport Suspension - Questions....

Hey all. I'm considering moving to NC Sport from NB and wanted to know a few things:
1 - stock Sport Suspension package any good or is it something I should be looking at replacing right away if I want to do track? It comes with Bilsteins + LSD. Sways?
2 - does it have more or less space than NB2? I'm tall and legroom and knee clearing steering wheel has always been a problem. Currently running fixed Ultrashield and aftermarket wheel.
3 - is power gain noticeable? I hope that 170HP 2L would be an upgrade. I'm not considering forced induction on current NB due to Cali smog/carb regulations
4 - any serious gremlins in 2006?
5 - is the engine any harder to work on and maintain compared to NA/NB? 1989-2005 have quite a bit of room and are generally easy to work on IMHO, so it's a bonus.

If the NC checks out - I will be looking at installing rollbar, replacing tires with something sticky (Hankook R-S3 or Bridgestone RE71). Potentially more supportive seat and safety harness.

Any thoughts?

My current NB is pretty much setup and runs well at the moment. It's 5 years older than NC and but NB has 10K less miles.

Current mods on NB are:
Exedy clutch 2K miles ago
New Bilstein HD B6+ spec miata sleeves
Eibach 450/325
Stock wheels with RE760s
Konig Dial In 15x9 with Hankook R-S3
FM bars
949 links
949 Dual use alignment
AEM Intake
Roadster Sport exhaust/muffler
Ultrashield 16" driver on custom mount
Sparco Spring passanger on custom mount
Sparco Steering wheel
Boss Frog Double Hoop MAX
TechnaFit stainless lines
Centric Rotors
StopTech Sport pads
5 point Crow harnesses
Samco coolant hoses (need to be installed)
Fresh fluids all around
JVC head unit and Lanzar speakers

Probably more stuff that I'm forgetting. Not really excited about re-doing all of this on NC, but....
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Old 10-18-2016, 04:01 AM   #2
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I have had two NC's, one on stock springs and Bilsteins, and one with stock Bilsteins and Mazdaspeed lowering springs. The stock NC suspension is not worth anything, so you will want to replace it, but the good point about NC's with the suspension package is that it comes with a stock LSD.

NC's most definitely have more interior room than an NB. I have had 3 NB's and two NC's, so I know the comparison intimately.

The power upgrade feels minimal, but the torque is a whole different story. It is a MUCH more enjoyable engine around town, plus you can modify it to rev much higher than a BP. They also don't vibrate to death like NB's do.

There is nothing more difficult to do on an NC engine than an NB engine. The early engines like to break coil connections and the thermostat likes to stick, but they are pretty reliable. There has seemed to be an uptick of the early engines seizing up lately, however. You really need to look into the state of 2.5 swaps now. They are making 200+ whp and of course the torque is outstanding because of the displacement.
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Old 10-18-2016, 09:48 AM   #3
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I personally felt more cramped in an NC than an NB. I was only in the NC to dump it though.
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Old 10-18-2016, 10:24 AM   #4
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I'd save for the 09+ manual if you can, forged rods, higher red line, better tune from the factory.

Or find a cheap 06-08 and plan on a 2.5 swap. 200whp in an NC would be a riot.

I was a much bigger fan of the NC for a DD than the NA/NB.
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Old 10-18-2016, 07:19 PM   #5
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Ok, this is off the table. NC that I wanted to take a look at and was listed as clean /no accident car with 133K miles happens to be for sale by curbstone dealer, was in front and back end collision and actually had 272K miles as of June of this year. The guy bought it a week ago to flip and now that the odometer is doctored - it's up for sale.

Also the title is still in the name of the first, original owner with his signature, but blank buyer's info.

In case someone is looking for NC around LA area - don't buy white 2006 VIN JM1NC25F060109184

Quote:
11/04/2009 California
Damage ReportAccident reported
Vehicle involved in crash
Involving front and rear impact
Vehicle involved in a rear-end collision
Airbags did not deploy



06/06/2016 272,908 California
Inspection StationPassed safety inspection
Passed emissions inspection

Last edited by 2slow; 10-18-2016 at 07:31 PM.
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Old 10-18-2016, 07:37 PM   #6
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That's shady for sure, but does 272k sound like a legit mileage to you?
I'd be really surprised tbh

Unless dude drove it cross country, that's a crazy amount of miles for 10 years
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Old 10-18-2016, 07:51 PM   #7
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I do think it has this mileage. The leather on steering wheel is literally torn - pieces are hanging off. The floor-mat appears to have two holes (or almost holes) right under gas/brake pedals. I think the seats may have been reupholstered or moved from another car as they appeared to be in very good condition.

Carfax shows miles steadily racking up all the way until last update at 272K.
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Old 10-18-2016, 11:26 PM   #8
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Early 2.0 cars (2006-2008) have weaker internals and the engines don't last long past 100k on a good day. These are, however, awesome candidates for 2.5 swaps. Your existing wiring harness is compatible and you only need to reflash the ECU. Exhaust with a tune will get around 200WHP with 80% peak torque at ~1800RPM. I want to build one in the worst way and cram 17x10 6UL on it.
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Old 10-18-2016, 11:56 PM   #9
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I hear you and would love to do it, but would still want to start with car that wasn't sandwiched at some point.

I have these very conflicting feelings about moving away from NA/NB (which are extremely similar in most regards) and moving to a new platform. On one hand NA/NB are classic, raw form of Miata. Nothing fancy, just the basics that was done well. They are cheap, easy to work on, upgrades are relatively inexpensive and are plentiful. At the same time NC has more power, more modern and stiffer chassis, more refined. I'm already trying to walk a fine line of stock looking, daily driven track capable setup and it's hard to keep it that way.
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Old 10-20-2016, 02:18 AM   #10
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Any reason you wouldn't do a swap or boost your current nb?
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Old 10-20-2016, 10:04 AM   #11
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Get a blown up 06 sport package (I think they came with LSD) and swap a 2.5 Mazda engine in it (you won't need to swap crank pulleys and it is more of a direct swap than a Ford engine). The 09+ is preferable for a few updates as a baseline, if you want a budget friendly start, a blown up 06 with a 2.5 swap (can probably be into the swap for 1500 all in) is a no brainer.

Profit!

At 6'4, I actually fit very well into a NC and was thoroughly surprised by how well they handle out the box. In addition, I can easily cram 17x9s and 255 rubber on there, which is very nice without any flares or fender work (apart from a roll, which is easy with a eastwood fender roller). The car handles better, has a stiffer chassis, has AC, more DD friendly if you need (can easily DD and the NC comfortably) and is just a more refined Miata chassis without losing the feel of the NA/NB. Yes it weighs a few lbs more, but the payoff in torsional and chassis rigidity more than makes up for it. And it's an overall more tolerable car than the NA/NB (if that is your desire). Also, SM/Continental Miata parts can swap right in as well. Also a majority of, RX8 parts swap in as well (most of the rear end, although you will have to shorten and marry the rear RX8 PPF to the front portion from the NC, which is easy enough to do. The brakes are a direct swap as well). RX8 has a stronger rear diff (although the NC rear diff is plenty strong surprisingly.)

If you want to turbo, there are only a few OTS manifold fabricators unfortunately, but Fab9 can fab up a manifold for you and you can custom the rest of your ancillaries (intercooler, piping, etc) fairly easily.
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Old 10-20-2016, 02:12 PM   #12
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I thought about doing the 2.5 swap, but honestly it will take more time than i can dedicate at the moment. I'm looking at basically full house remodel and taking on engine swap is just too much at the moment. I also considering TC and SC for my NB, but it would have to be CARB legal for me not to swap it in and out every two years. CARB kits are expensive though and not many options are out there.

It's ok, i'll just wait for another good opportunity.
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Old 10-20-2016, 02:39 PM   #13
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I definitely would NOT buy the on you have listed, but would surely consider a NC in the future
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Old 10-21-2016, 02:58 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2slow View Post
I thought about doing the 2.5 swap, but honestly it will take more time than i can dedicate at the moment. I'm looking at basically full house remodel and taking on engine swap is just too much at the moment. I also considering TC and SC for my NB, but it would have to be CARB legal for me not to swap it in and out every two years. CARB kits are expensive though and not many options are out there.

It's ok, i'll just wait for another good opportunity.
Yeah, only CARB ready kits are FFS for SC, right? Is any of the FM stuff CARB legal?

Old JR SC's?
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Old 10-21-2016, 03:17 AM   #15
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None of the FM are, at least for my year. Kraftworks and Trackdog at some point said they were working on CARB versions, but it never came to fruition. JR made legal kits for earlier cars.

My other options are even more expensive, but give the biggest reward - kit cars like catfish or exocet, which are CARB exempt and can have FI.
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Old 10-21-2016, 06:23 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2slow View Post
None of the FM are, at least for my year. Kraftworks and Trackdog at some point said they were working on CARB versions, but it never came to fruition. JR made legal kits for earlier cars.

My other options are even more expensive, but give the biggest reward - kit cars like catfish or exocet, which are CARB exempt and can have FI.
I was under the impression that this was a daily. Hence ruling those out.
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Old 10-21-2016, 06:30 PM   #17
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I'm in San Diego and could possibly live with them as gets cold here only at night in winter and rains so infrequently that I don't have to worry about it. I've ruled those out based on price though.
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Old 10-23-2016, 02:00 AM   #18
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I'll throw in my 2 cents in favor of the NC since there isn't a lot of love for them on MT. I've had 2 NA's, one of them that was supercharged and then turboed, coilovers, rollbar etc. etc. Moved over to the NC a few years ago for better DD-ability. I've been very happy with it.

1 - stock Sport Suspension package any good or is it something I should be looking at replacing right away if I want to do track? It comes with Bilsteins + LSD. Sways?
The stock suspension is by far the worst part of the NC. I would plan to replace even the sport suspension. I went with progress/koni for DD status, but good-win has more track oriented options that people seem very pleased with if you're so inclined.

2 - does it have more or less space than NB2? I'm tall and legroom and knee clearing steering wheel has always been a problem. Currently running fixed Ultrashield and aftermarket wheel.
I feel like it has more room than the NA/NB, but i'm also only 5'10".

3 - is power gain noticeable? I hope that 170HP 2L would be an upgrade. I'm not considering forced induction on current NB due to Cali smog/carb regulations
The NC feels much faster due to the torque bump over the NA/NB. I don't feel a lack of power in most situations. More would be great, but it's a miata after all. If the 2L isn't enough for you, as has been mentioned, the 2.5 is a good, cheap option. Something like $3k (if memory serves) from dynotronics gets you a low mileage, ready to bolt in 2.5 with a tune and it can be done to be CARB legal.

4 - any serious gremlins in 2006?
None that I've found. I've put 40k miles on mine with 110k currently. I've changed fluids, spark plugs, O-2 sensors and put a header on it. The early cars don't have the forged internals, but they also don't have major issues at stock-ish power as long as you keep oil in them.

5 - is the engine any harder to work on and maintain compared to NA/NB? 1989-2005 have quite a bit of room and are generally easy to work on IMHO, so it's a bonus.
Compared to an NA/NB, it's slightly more difficult. It's still pretty straight forward though. Compared to an Audi, it's a cake walk. It's all a matter of perspective I suppose, but I don't find it to be challenging to work on.

So far, I've swapped the seats for 987 porsche seats, updated the center console to the NC2 design, progress/koni suspension, RX-8 yellow/orange sway bars and 17x9 & 235 wheels and tires. Those changes fixed every annoying issue I had with the car. Handles great, rides well, comfortable enough, fast enough. And in hindsight, the seats were way more trouble than they were worth, should've just swapped for other NC seats in better shape.
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Old 10-23-2016, 03:06 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2slow View Post
I'm in San Diego and could possibly live with them as gets cold here only at night in winter and rains so infrequently that I don't have to worry about it. I've ruled those out based on price though.
If you are in San Diego, then drop by Goodwin Racing and go drive one of their 2.5 NC's. I think you would be very pleased.
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