I am a first time Miata owner who recently purchased a 2000 SE with 64k on the odometer. I am the third owner of the car -- the first owner drove the car less than 3k/year for 10 years!
The car had a couple of mechanical/wear issues, which I have taken care of, but the engine compartment was spotless when I bought it (and still is!) and the top is original with no tears and some minor discoloration. Interior has normal wear on the seats, but otherwise is very clean. Exterior is good, with the exception of the bumpers, which have some pretty decent marks/scrapes, especially the rear, but those will get squared away in due time!
Here is the punch list from April, when I bought the car -
• Fluids, all synthetic – Mobil 1 for the engine, Redline for the diff, and Ford Synthetic for the transmission
• TB, WP, accessory belts- 60 k service, done by RSpeed here in Marietta.
• Brake pads replaced with OEM; won a silent auction for a brake pad replacement that I intended for another car... used it on the Miata.
• Radiator replaced with koyorad OEM replacement off Amazon. My radiator was darker green than some others I’ve seen (not that brown / white color); even so, the upper fitting for the radiator hose disintegrated in my hand during the exchange. Replaced radiator hoses, as well.
• Window guides cleaned and lubed and power antenna replaced. Good to have a working radio!
• Punted the 99-00 header and replaced with 01+. Had to do it. That was a fun intro to leverage and PB Blaster. Perhaps some air tools should be on my horizon?!
• Wife insisted (seriously!) on a roll bar for the car – went with the M2 HCHDDD. RSpeed installed that for me as well. I just was not going to take a Dremel or other implement to the car. Some things I will not do – and the guys there did it right! Gives the car a completely new look and feel, not to mention sets it up from a safety standpoint for anything I might want to do with the car... may it never be used!
• Alignment done, since I had no idea when the car was aligned last.
• CEL came on shortly after I bought the car. Suspect the issue may have been there all along. Tried some simple stuff first (cleaning the intake manifold being the primary action). That did not work, and the issue was apparently the cat. Taking the manifold apart, did, however, give me some confidence to do some of the other things I have done to the car so far.
• Replaced the poorly welded/clamped and horrifically fitted (actually rubbing against the differential) mid pipe w/cat and no resonator with the 2.25 cat/midpipe combo from FM. Seems to have fixed the CEL... and the car does not rattle around like a crapcan when you start the car cold! Also sounds sweet, IMHO, even with the stock muffler. More bass....
Now – I seriously love this car. My previous all-time favorite, the first car I ever purchased, was a 1987 Honda CRXsi – black with red pinstripe. Bought it in 1992 with 50k on the odometer. I loved that car, too. Gave it to my dad when I was in Korea... handed down to my sister to drive in high school (she actually coasted into the parking lot b/c it was so loud!)... wrecked by my dad then resurrected, finally sold to somebody in TN... who I hope derived half the enjoyment I did from it.
However, I never looked forward to driving that car the way I do the Miata! I think part of that has to do with having a little more perspective to appreciate with the Miata is (and isn’t). I will tell you I’d love to get behind the wheel of that CRX again as a comparison, though!
So, now with safety and basic maintenance for the Miata pretty well sorted, as well as a few minor upgrades, what do I really want the car to be? My goal is for it to be a enjoyable car to autox and track occasionally, while still retaining around town manners that won’t jar my wife to bits when she takes the car out. I want to become a better driver – and also keep the bank account intact. So I am reading, listening and learning all I can about suspension and wheels/tires. Boost, if it comes it all, is far on the horizon of priorities. I am intrigued by the N/A potential, as well, especially the 949 builds -
I am definitely enjoying the ride so far... the people I have encountered have been great and there are so many resources available to novices like me... I look forward to the journey!