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Old 05-27-2010, 03:27 PM   #1
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Default build or buy?

I just graduated college and I have always wanted a miata and now the time is getting near.

I have built many rigsbefore, all for wheeling. A Jeep tj and my suzuki samurai that I swapped toyota axles and Jeep springs. I can do light fab work and I'm pretty good at welding and I am pretty mechanically inclined.

Buying an already slightly built miata would be cheaper and easier and I've been there done that so it seems okay, but part of me wants a nice stock un-molested miata that I can build right and know exactly what's in it.

What do you think. I want it to have a cage, seats, harnesses, suspension, and a turbo engine. I'd eventually like to do some autox and some scca stuff. What do you guys think. My father owns a uses car dealership so I have access to tools and a lift. I just know that there are some well built miatas for good prices.

Thanks in advance fellas.

-Ben
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Old 05-27-2010, 03:30 PM   #2
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id say build your own cause when you buy somebody else's car that is already did up, its kinda still their car.
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Old 05-27-2010, 03:32 PM   #3
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i disagree. if someone's done mostly the same stuff you were going to do anyway, you save on both time and money. beyond that, you get to apply said time and money into MORE stuff that you want. i don't see the downside.

this assumes that previous owner was competent in the work being done, etc etc etc... if not, all bets are off.
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Old 05-27-2010, 03:42 PM   #4
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I have been doing some reading here and I still have a whole lot more research to do. I just don't want to end up with someone elses cobbled together wiring nightmare pos.

As long as someone has done some of the mods that I would have done and they were done right then I'm okay with that.
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Old 05-27-2010, 04:06 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toytruck View Post
I have been doing some reading here and I still have a whole lot more research to do. I just don't want to end up with someone elses cobbled together wiring nightmare pos.

As long as someone has done some of the mods that I would have done and they were done right then I'm okay with that.
Well then keep reading till you can tell on your own when someone fucked up. There are always great deals going in the FS section, but you still will have to know what your doing so you dont get fucked like that kid bobo

The best part of building is knowing EVERYTHING that you have done and not done. Thereof is easier to diagnose problems, although built projects can easily turn into nightmares.
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Old 05-27-2010, 09:56 PM   #6
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Anything can become a nightmare.

So just for ***** an giggles. Lets say my dad or uncle finds a nice clean stock miata at the auction and I pay $1500 for it. Approximately how much will I have to spend on it to get it to the aforementioned status of reliable built turbo engine/cage/harness's/suspension...?

I would obviously shop around and buy used when I could to save dough. I just want to do it once and do it right.
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Old 05-27-2010, 10:01 PM   #7
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I know a guy who bought someone else's project. He's on his 3rd motor and the turbo setup is still sub-par. Build your own car.

The only exception to this is if you were to buy a well-known forum member's totally sorted car, like cjernigan's NB or something I put together. It needs to have some history and documentation behind it.
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Old 05-27-2010, 11:07 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toytruck View Post
Anything can become a nightmare.

So just for ***** an giggles. Lets say my dad or uncle finds a nice clean stock miata at the auction and I pay $1500 for it. Approximately how much will I have to spend on it to get it to the aforementioned status of reliable built turbo engine/cage/harness's/suspension...?

I would obviously shop around and buy used when I could to save dough. I just want to do it once and do it right.
lessee

turbo rig $5000 for your turbie, mani, dp, exhaust, piping, IC, EMS
built engine $5000 unless you build your own. that includes all little bullshit associated parts
cage $1000?
harness/seats $600?
suspension $2000?
mad tyte rims yo $1600
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Old 05-28-2010, 12:26 AM   #9
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It seems like you're into the building aspect as well, having built two trucks before, I would build it yourself. When i was looking for cars i wanted to find one that had absolutely nothing done to it. I did everything myself, and now i know exactly how every part works, and exactly where to start when/if problems arise(like my map hose to the MS getting pinched today).

Also, I would never buy my car now, after it has been driven the way i drive it. Every person who has modded their miata, has driven it hard, and not everyone(including me) knows what they are doing.

Start from scratch, make it your own, stay persistent, and when it is done(never will be done) you will be much happier with yourself and the product.

Evan
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Old 05-28-2010, 01:03 AM   #10
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I bought my car completely did up and could not be happier. Over the past year and a half I have just been doing little things to make it my own....I'd love to do my own setup, but I've learned my lesson in the past and realized that at this point in my life I'd rather have something already sorted out so I could enjoy it and deal with just the little things that arise.....

Like others said, just make sure the previous owner is competent and didn't build a piece of ****

https://www.miataturbo.net/cars-sale-trade-6/considering-selling-my-miata-24080/
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Old 05-29-2010, 01:14 AM   #11
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At least if something was built by a member here, there will likely be a build thread that you can vicariously build back through it with them. You can usually get a pretty good feeling if it was a hack job or well thought out and sorted. If they are having a lot of troubles, it usually shows in the log. Not saying that a nonmember can't build a good car or anything, it's just a peek behind the curtain.

I know that when I returned my car to stock and sold off my turnkey kit that was a DIY build, ALL of the prospective buyers went over my build thread a couple of times and the buyer actually used it as a build guide when they installed it in their car. It took me a couple of months to fab everything and get it going, sourcing all of the parts, etc. The new owner had it installed in a couple of days.

Also, if it was a prepackaged "kit" there's less chance of it being a hack job but you do pay the "kit" premium. Even then, it's cheaper than buying a car, then a kit as you almost always lose money selling a modded car.
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Old 05-29-2010, 10:25 AM   #12
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If I could have bought that $15k silver/red stripe car that sold last week instead of building mine...I would. I'm fairly confident that I can look and drive a turbo Miata and determine if its worth my time or not.
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