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Old 08-13-2014, 02:41 AM   #1
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Default Help me buy/mod a Miata

Yup, Along with Joe Perez, cardriverx, and Chilicharger665, I'm looking into buying a DD Miata.

This one, in particular.

2001 MAZDA MIATA MX5 MANUAL 5SPEED 2OWNERS BEST MR2 2002 2003



Love that color.

I know it has a lot of miles, but it also drives fantastically, AC blows ice cold, tops in great shape, and is a lot of Miata for my budget ($5500 max).

Although I'm hoping to walk in with a $4500 wad of $100s and buy it.

It's a 6 speed, which I think means torsen, with standard suspension and 1.8 brakes. That's actually a bonus, since sport brakes are expensive to replace. And I'd probably eventually do an ebay Bilstein coil over setup, although not for a while.

Cons are definitely the brown radiator and a front main seal leak, although a timing belt wouldn't be a bad idea at 177k. But to do an oil and filter change, coolant flush, ebay dual core radiator, mazdaspeed motor mounts, shifter rebuild, timing belt, water pump, front main, and rear main is $500 in parts and a 8-12 hour day off, and I'm not too worried about that.

I list motor mounts because, as you can barely see, the shifter is leaning towards the driver a bit when in neutral, so I'm guessing it's a collapsed motor mount. I had the dealer put it on a lift, and beyond the rear main and front main seal, it looked ok. Rust free!

Anything I'm missing that's sticking out like a sore thumb to you guys? Anything I should look at again when I get back to it?

I'm open to other options, the MSMs around here are either rusty:

2004 Turbo Mazdaspeed Miata MX-5 Convertible - MUST SEE

or have horrible shifters, although this one drove great.

2004 MAZDA MX-5 MIATA MAZDASPEED*CONVERTIBLE* SUPER SHARP MUST SEE !!!

All the other NB2s seem to be green. I hate green cars.

I'd like to stay away from a '99-00, cause I hate their center console with a passion, and yes, that's a deal breaker for me. And so is spending close to $200 on a center console to replace it with an '01+

I'd be open to an NA, but it'd have to be a 1.8, it'd have to be OBD1, and it'd have to be spectacularly maintained. Like, a '99+ engine, MS, amazing tune, with perfect paint and interior. Otherwise I might as turn my smurf into a DD.
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Old 08-13-2014, 06:46 AM   #2
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It looks pretty nice. I love that color. The dealer is pretty fail for listing it as a 5 speed multiple times in the ad.


Edit: The more I look at it, the more I like it. I am jealous of you NorthWesterners.
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Old 08-13-2014, 10:54 AM   #3
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The color is one thing I'm super excited about. Love me a blue car.
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Old 08-13-2014, 11:39 AM   #4
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Quote:
It's a 6 speed, which I think means torsen, with standard suspension and 1.8 brakes. That's actually a bonus, since sport brakes are expensive to replace. And I'd probably eventually do an ebay Bilstein coil over setup, although not for a while.
I have 2 2001's with six speeds in my garage. They both have sport brakes. One has the "Hard S" suspension and the other has the "Sport S"

You probably need to inspect the brakes before making assumptions.

other than that, looks really clean for 177K.
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Old 08-13-2014, 12:08 PM   #5
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I did, the brakes are most definitely standard, shocks are definitely black oem pieces, not yellow or silver bilsteins. They even put it on a lift for me. When I spun one wheel, the other didn't budge. This is typical for a Torsen right? Or not a definitive test? I thought an open diff would at least spin the other wheel backwards. Both wheels wouldn't move the other, and were spinning freely in neutral.
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Old 08-13-2014, 12:13 PM   #6
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I don't think that test on the lift is definitive. I think Torsens behave kind of like opens on a lift. Could be indicative of a stuck rear caliper though. As you know, that's common.

DO IT!! You'll have it perfect in no time.
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Old 08-13-2014, 03:37 PM   #7
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Ah, did not realize you had actually seen it in person, I thought you were speculating based on the fact that it has a 6 speed.

Someone on here told me that the torsen acts like an open diff when one of the wheels is completely unloaded, so I don't think your lift test was definitive. I think it is very likely though, weren't the nb 6 speeds almost always packaged with a LSD?
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Old 08-13-2014, 04:55 PM   #8
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That's what I'm going off, 6 spd= Torsen. Although with 177 miles, there's always a chance it's been replaced.

I'm getting excited to have an exciting DD.
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Old 08-13-2014, 06:10 PM   #9
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Wow its a clone of what my miata use to look like! FWIW mine was a 2001 had the 6 speed definitely had the torsen and had the larger sport brakes. So theres a good chance it has the larger brakes. If you can get it for 4,500-5k that sounds like a great deal. I wish it had lower miles but then they would ask more for it... Good luck!
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Old 08-13-2014, 08:36 PM   #10
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AFAIK 16 inch wheels always means sport brakes, but they have been replaced. Torsens also are open unless both drive wheels are on the ground.
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Old 08-13-2014, 09:44 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by curly View Post
I did, the brakes are most definitely standard, shocks are definitely black oem pieces, not yellow or silver bilsteins. They even put it on a lift for me. When I spun one wheel, the other didn't budge. This is typical for a Torsen right? Or not a definitive test? I thought an open diff would at least spin the other wheel backwards. Both wheels wouldn't move the other, and were spinning freely in neutral.
torsen will spin freely if either wheel is off the ground. you need to put resistance on the other wheel.

If it has leather, then its got a torsen. I don't think there was a PEP package in 01+, just the 99-00 had that (which made it more difficult to figure out. in those cases a power antenna I think means it has a torsen).

The Torsen was offered separately, so it could have it without those things. Lastly, grab the VIN number and call Mazda USA, they will tell you everything it came with. won't take you more than 5-10 minutes.
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Old 08-13-2014, 10:00 PM   #12
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Correct- 6spd=Torsen and spinning the wheels in the air won't demonstrate anything.

IIRC NB2s with 16" wheels automatically mean sport brakes. For example- My 02 SE had sport brakes, but didn't come with Bilsteins from Mazda.

If looking at NB2s, remember that 03+ had the T-F diff that was not-so-hot/prone to breaking.

'99 Miata FAQ
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Old 08-13-2014, 10:02 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by curly View Post
Yup, Along with Joe Perez, cardriverx, and Chilicharger665, I'm looking into buying a DD Miata.
What is this world coming to? Before you know it, all of the moderators of MiataTurbo are actually going to drive Miatas...


Quote:
Originally Posted by curly View Post
It's a 6 speed, which I think means torsen, with standard suspension and 1.8 brakes. That's actually a bonus, since sport brakes are expensive to replace.
So sayeth the dealer brochure:



That '01 which haveth the 6-speed and the Bose radio, an LS shall it be, and standard equipment on the LS is the Torsen, when an automatic be not installed.


That's a nice find.
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Old 08-13-2014, 10:15 PM   #14
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Yup...per de bro-sure, 16" wheels = big brakes
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Old 08-14-2014, 08:45 AM   #15
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Since you're buying from a dealer, don't flash your cash until you negotiate a lower price first. Dealerships make a ton of money from financing, so they will often be willing to go closer to their bottom line to earn more in the long run.
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Old 08-14-2014, 09:03 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Perez View Post
What is this world coming to? Before you know it, all of the moderators of MiataTurbo are actually going to drive Miatas...

That's a nice find.
+1

Comon Curly, buy it already.
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Old 08-14-2014, 09:09 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Perez View Post
What is this world coming to? Before you know it, all of the moderators of MiataTurbo are actually going to drive Miatas...
Hey now, I have been driving my beater 92 with 334k on it for the past few days since we have finally had some sun. I even got my built motor back for my 94 so I may even get to see some boost this year.

Curly buy the NB it looks awesome.
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Old 08-14-2014, 09:19 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by shuiend View Post
Hey now, I have been driving my beater 92 with 334k on it for the past few days since we have finally had some sun.
Ahahaha!

If Scott winds up buying a Miata, that's just going to be the end of it all!


Also, Curly, seriously, buy that ******* car already! It's perfect and you want it.
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Old 08-14-2014, 09:54 AM   #19
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Alrighty, old DD payment was finalized last night, I have a $5900 stack of 100 dollar bills in my bed side table. Thankfully I trust those of you who know where I live with that information.

What sucks is that it's 5:50am, and I'm about to leave to work 7-7:30. Then tomorrow morning I have to be out of the house by 8am to tune a couple cars at English Racing starting at 9am.

BUT once that's done, I'm driving home, picking up my wife and going to the dealership. Fingers crossed it's still there and goes for cheap


What y'all have said was confirmed by Ed (turbofan). Dealers get a kick back when you finance through them, so it's a bit of a myth that stacks of cash works best. So I'll be financing 100% of the car through them, hopefully at their 2.5% rate. My credits pretty damn good, so I think it should work. Ed says that's a stupid low rate for a 2001 car though.

At least the sale of the DD will get rid of $5900 in debt that's got shitty interest rates. My wife and I weren't too worried about paying off our TV from Best Buy at 0% within 6 months, but if there's any chance we didn't, it's something stupid like 19% after that. Don't have to worry about that any more.
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Old 08-14-2014, 09:56 AM   #20
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Oh, and of course I've already prepped my '93 for the track, so I'm about to leave for work in the race seat with a 6 point. I'll also be autotuning like a boss, in scrubs, on the way to the hospital, at 6am. I've finally hooked up my wastegate after breaking in the clutch, and it seems like the new Vishnu fuel rail is making it run pig rich.
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