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Old 10-31-2006, 12:37 PM   #1
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Default Here's my new car - 96M (pics!) (long) (welcome the new guy dammit!)

So much for a patient search, found a clean 96M on craigslist and just HAD TO HAVE IT. Asking price was $7500, offered $6000, and somehow settled on $5900. That's KBB "good" value, which seems to be low compared to real prices around here. So I'll call it a good deal - don't correct me if I'm wrong :gay: Plus, man, I LOVE the color combo. And though the wheels are heavy, they look good enough to keep me from shelling out big bucks for replacements for the street.

Questions - the oil was a little low (right about the low mark) after the hour drive home, and there was a really scary lifter tap. Topping (overfilling actually, oops) the oil, quited it down nicely. This AM, on first cold start, it clattered for maybe half a second (like my 160K mile BMW). Is the cold start noise normal? Is lifter noise hot with low oil common, or is there trouble brewing?

There is a ringing/hissing noise from the rear area above 20mph. I'm figuring that's a wheel bearing? Maintenance has been spotty, so I'll be checking the diff and trans fluid just in case. Is that common? How hard is the rear wheel bearing replacement? And should it have died at 77K?

From my research, I was not too surprised to find noticable body roll and squat. But it doesn't seem to affect roadholding, and it's really comfy to drive - nicer than my 3600# BMW with 40-series rubber, that's for sure.

The car is seriously fun as hell to drive. I knew it would be, but each opportunity to steer is a joy. Going straight and fast on the freeway is fine and dandy, but man, I'm in love.

One thing I didn't miss before getting into this thing was the four cylinder coarseness... oh well, a turbo should fix that up nicely. But first I need to make sure the oil system is up to snuff and get MSnS-E on it.

Other than a funky smell from the heater, a few dings, and an oxidized upper rear bumper, this thing is mint. Oh yeah, the cam sensor is leaking, big shock.

Speaking of which - OMG the heater is incredible. My BMW barely warms up by the time I get to work. This thing was nice and toasty in about two minutes.

Really glad my wife finally let me get one of these and didn't balk at me buying a more expensive NA than planned. I commented that it was a little on the slow side, she said, "Well, the turbo will take care of that."

I'd crosspost this at M.net, but I think I'm done with that site.
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Here's my new car - 96M (pics!) (long) (welcome the new guy dammit!)-copy-img_0538-medium-.jpg   Here's my new car - 96M (pics!) (long) (welcome the new guy dammit!)-copy-img_0541-medium-.jpg   Here's my new car - 96M (pics!) (long) (welcome the new guy dammit!)-copy-img_0542-medium-.jpg  
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Old 10-31-2006, 12:50 PM   #2
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Speaking of which - OMG the heater is incredible. My BMW barely warms up by the time I get to work. This thing was nice and toasty in about two minutes.
Welcome to funky coolant system plumbing!

Looks nice!
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Old 10-31-2006, 12:52 PM   #3
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Asking price was $7500, offered $6000, and somehow settled on $5900.
Lol, nice.

I hope to be in the market soon, just not soon enough. Congrats on your purchase.
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Old 10-31-2006, 12:52 PM   #4
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looks like a great starting point

the lifter tick is totally normal, most of them do it and its really nothing to worry about.

the possible wheel bearing on the other hand is totally uncommon, are you sure its not just a dragging pad, maybe the e-brake sticking a little?
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Old 10-31-2006, 01:12 PM   #5
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Thanks for the replies dudes. Efini - don't start looking until you're ready, elsewise you'll do like me and buy too soon.

Fritch - I'm pretty sure it's a wheel bearing, a ringing/humming/metallic sound, does it in coasting neutral, braking doesn't seem to change it, accel or decel doesn't either. I'll do a little more diagnosis, but from searching the Mnet posts, it doesn't sound like a hard repair. But good call on the Ebrake... the sound could easily be brake drag. THANK YOU for setting my mind at ease regarding the lifter noise... my buddy took the second shift driving home, and as he got out, he said "Wow, this thing is FUN to drive, but it's making a scary noise and I didn't hear it with the radio on." Poor guy looked like he was ready to **** a brick.

Hey Braineack - will the coolant reroute make the heater slower to warm up? With track days and a turbo in the future, cooling is going to be a big deal, but it gets cold here in the winter, and I'm a super wuss.
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Old 10-31-2006, 01:57 PM   #6
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Oxidized Miata bumpers liven up pretty well with a good waxing.

As Fritch said, the hydraulic lifter tick on most Miatas with mid-high mileage. They stick. No biggie as long as it goes away once warm.

Frank
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Old 10-31-2006, 02:44 PM   #7
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Hey Braineack - will the coolant reroute make the heater slower to warm up? With track days and a turbo in the future, cooling is going to be a big deal, but it gets cold here in the winter, and I'm a super wuss.
maybe a little bit. Not sure.

However, you can get around doing it by making sure your cooling system is up to snuff. If you have the engine out for any reason, no reason not to do the reroute.
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Old 10-31-2006, 02:44 PM   #8
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Oxidized Miata bumpers liven up pretty well with a good waxing.

for about a day
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Old 10-31-2006, 02:59 PM   #9
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If you have significant lifter tick change the oil. Fresh oil generally helps. You can also experiment with brand, type and weight of oil as well.
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Old 10-31-2006, 03:00 PM   #10
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for about a day
Word to that... I've been down the "wax the dead clearcoat" road enough to know better. Car definitely needs a good waxing (appears to have gotten frequent machine washing) but the rear bumper thing isn't that noticable.

Thanks for the advice on the cooling system. We're going to take the mods slow (so I always say), but Thunderhill gets damn hot.

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If you have significant lifter tick change the oil. Fresh oil generally helps. You can also experiment with brand, type and weight of oil as well.
The owners manual spec'd 10-30, I put a quart of 10-40 in it (all I had). Agreed that it probably could use a change.... that could explain the hot ticking.
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Old 10-31-2006, 05:39 PM   #11
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You can always fix the heater getting warm so fast by bypassing the heater core like I did. Sure makes the AC nice and chilly during those 120F days. If I ever have a passenger, the fact that I have the temp dial on full hot will really mess with their heads.

Nice car.
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Old 10-31-2006, 07:35 PM   #12
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Mobile1 15/50 cured the HLA clatter on my '93 but others have said that a thinner oil cured theirs.

Does the sound fron the rear change when cornering? If so it's probably a wheel bearing.
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Old 10-31-2006, 07:44 PM   #13
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looks good man, now boost that bitch.
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Old 10-31-2006, 11:25 PM   #14
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The only thing that cleared my HLA woes was going back to factory oil filters. No matter what oil (thinner, thicker, synth, dino) or filter (Fram, Puro, K&N, whatever) I had bad HLA. I run Mobil1 10w40 and the OEM Mazda oil filter. The only time I get HLA is if I run the crap out of it for an extended period of time... I mean straight abuse the poor car, then shut it off and let it sit for an hour. On startup it will make the worst clatter you ever heard for about 10 seconds... then silence again.

How often does everybody recommend oil changes for FI Miatas? I heard every 2500 miles. In that case, I'm just buying this and I'll have enough filters for a long time. http://www.finishlineperformance.com...n&key=MISCB6Y1
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Old 11-01-2006, 12:34 AM   #15
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I change it every 4-5k with mobil 1 and whatever filter I can find.
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Old 11-01-2006, 08:35 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by kyle242gt View Post
will the coolant reroute make the heater slower to warm up? With track days and a turbo in the future, cooling is going to be a big deal, but it gets cold here in the winter, and I'm a super wuss.
Welcome kyle242gt(is it Kyle?)

If you leave the heater in the circuit and pull the water to the top of the radiator from the back with a large hose and thermostat in the line, the heater will still warm up fast. It will not be as hot after the t-stat opens, however, since you will be running cooler back there.
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Old 11-01-2006, 08:37 AM   #17
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for about a day
That day is when you take pics or show off to your friends.

Frank
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Old 11-01-2006, 09:07 AM   #18
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That day is when you take pics or show off to your friends.

Frank
you must know the secret as well
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Old 11-01-2006, 01:48 PM   #19
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Welcome kyle242gt(is it Kyle?)

If you leave the heater in the circuit and pull the water to the top of the radiator from the back with a large hose and thermostat in the line, the heater will still warm up fast. It will not be as hot after the t-stat opens, however, since you will be running cooler back there.
Thanks! Sounds like I'll put that on the list to do this winter when I'm bored, along with the Tbelt and CPS (sp?).

The more I drive this car, the more I'm amazed that "They" let this thing be built for even one year, let alone 15+. The car practically begs to be driven injudiciously... and boost will only make it worse.

Just got it smogged, passed with flying colors.
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Old 11-02-2006, 01:25 AM   #20
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I run Mobil1 10-40 and find it doesn't have much tick after startup until I have 2500-3000 miles on the oil. I have over 130K on the clock, BTW. I use NAPA Gold filters. Either way it isn't hurting much even if it ticks till it's warm.

Take care of that CAS seal, it'll drip oil on your heater hoses and if you're inattentive like me they'll soften till they leak and leave your car with weird cooling woes. Take care of it ASAP, it's cheap and a pain in the butt.

Paint is sketchy per Mazda. My paint rock chips easily but it still really shiny with a coat of wax. The rear finish panel between the tail lights is peeling, as are most montego cars. Ah well.

Enjoy!
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