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Old 12-15-2008, 02:35 PM   #1
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Default 1996 in need of head gasket: has HT

1996 Mazda Miata MX-5 $2000. OBO

No affiliation. If I had more time, I'd go buy this myself. $2k obo, claimed great int/ext, has hardtop, says needs a head gasket.

Could be your chance at a free hard top.
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Old 12-15-2008, 03:09 PM   #2
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Could be a motor, or could be a head gasket. I would assume the worst if buying a car like this.

Offer the guy a grand and see what he says.
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Old 12-15-2008, 05:27 PM   #3
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It's literally 10 minutes from where I work. I'm going to go check it out after I leave here.
Over the phone they said it has a problem with decently heavy white smoke when it first starts, and then it clears up after running. But no oil in the coolant or coolant in the oil... Their "trusted" mechanic is the one that told them they need a head gasket.
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Old 12-15-2008, 05:27 PM   #4
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Sounds a lot like the car I picked up last week. It is a '90 with a hardtop and needs a head gasket. It starts and runs fine but starts smoking like crazy after a few seconds. We paid $1250 and I am going to fix the car for my mother-in-law but I get to keep the hardtop for my efforts.
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Old 12-15-2008, 05:40 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RotorNutFD3S View Post
Their "trusted" mechanic is the one that told them they need a head gasket.

I trust my leak-down gauge....
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Old 12-15-2008, 05:43 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Braineack View Post
I trust my leak-down gauge....
Exactly. I was implying "trusted" in a sarcastic manner. However, I'm interested to simply fix and flip it.
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Old 12-15-2008, 08:06 PM   #7
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Let us know how it looks.
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Old 12-15-2008, 08:24 PM   #8
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Not the best. I'm pretty sure this guy goes to auctions and buys the stuff that isn't the hottest but still runs so he can fix them as much as possible to make a little profit. He had an RX7 a long time ago that I looked at, and has posted various other cars.

Really, with some time and effort, the car could be a good driver (although it was originally from Ohio and it had some underbody rust), but in it's present condition, not so much. The body is in good shape, it definitely got bumped in the front as the bumper paint is spider-webbed, but no visible frame damage. And the headgasket is not blown, I highly doubt he had the car checked out by a mechanic. The damn valve seals are shot to hell and it needs a new radiator. He claims that the previous owner almost completely overheated it, so he replaced the water pump. My translation, going to want to surface the head and check the block.
I'd give him $1000 at the most. The hardtop was the nicest part of the car.
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