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Old 11-20-2012, 05:54 PM   #1
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Default Need help on a purchase decision miata chassis

Hey guys,

I have the opportunity to buy a rolling '95 chassis. Good engine (missing timing belt and injectors and coils), trans, clutch, and torsen rear end with 200k+ miles on it all. Alloy wheels and tires included. He's saying he'll let it all go for $400. Is that a good deal? It seems alright, considering what Torsens often fetch. This should be a bolt-in rear end for my car, correct?

I'm wanting to get a Torsen to go in my '00 that I picked up yesterday, and I think I want the 4.1 rear end ratio. (car currently has a 4.3 open diff and it's just too short). I do plan to put a 6-speed in eventually and some have said the 4.10 + 6-speed will be a good combo, but I saw one guy say that this is a terrible combo.

Advice is hugely appreciated!
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Old 11-20-2012, 06:08 PM   #2
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If the body is straight, it's a good deal.
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Old 11-20-2012, 06:11 PM   #3
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Thanks.

However, it hasn't got a body. It's just the backbone thing with the engine, tranny, and suspension/brakes, differential all mounted. He's also agreed to include the wheels and tires so that's a bit of a bonus.

It looks like this right now:
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Old 11-20-2012, 06:28 PM   #4
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That's half the price of a torsen swap, so keep the rest as spares.
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Old 11-20-2012, 06:58 PM   #5
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FYI with the 6 speed and the 3.636 gears, your first 5 gears will be almost identical to the 5 speed + 4.3 gears. Since people consider the 6-speed plus 3.636 gears STILL too short, I don't think the 4.1 gears will work well with it. On a track car maybe, but not on a road car.

See the FM Gearing Calculator for more info: http://www.flyinmiata.com/tech/gearing.php
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Old 11-20-2012, 08:05 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thenuge26 View Post
FYI with the 6 speed and the 3.636 gears, your first 5 gears will be almost identical to the 5 speed + 4.3 gears. Since people consider the 6-speed plus 3.636 gears STILL too short, I don't think the 4.1 gears will work well with it. On a track car maybe, but not on a road car.

See the FM Gearing Calculator for more info: Flyin' Miata : Technical info : Gearing calculator
Thank you for the immensely helpful post. I hadn't seen that site before.

Pardon my ignorance... where are the 3.63 gears found? Is that an RX-7 rear end?

I was not aware that the 6 spd actually had a shorter top gear than the 5-speed!

Going from the 5-speed with the 4.3 to the 6-speed with the 4.1 is basically a wash on top gear RPM @ 60 mph. Until I get a 6-speed in, though, I'd have a pretty nice setup with the 5-speed and the 4.1 rear end.

Thanks Hustler and Mr. Nuge for your help.
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Old 11-20-2012, 08:40 PM   #7
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3.636 gears can be had from 79-81 RWD 626s, they have the same 7" ring and pinion, or trackspeed and others sell new ones.

I was looking into getting a 3.636 R&P, but I think I will probably stick with my 5-speed for a bit.
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Old 11-20-2012, 10:46 PM   #8
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I had the 6 speed and 4.10 in YOUR (my) car......

Here you go

Look at how fast I have to shift lol



...Still way too short. I'd go 3.9 at the least.

But all those parts for $400 is definitely a good deal.
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Old 11-20-2012, 11:43 PM   #9
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Quote:
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3.636 gears can be had from 79-81 RWD 626s
Oh yeah, those are so easy to find. don't forget the diesel truck which Mazda made something like 25 nation wide.
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Old 11-21-2012, 10:07 AM   #10
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There's a couple on car-part.com, but getting an entire rear end shipped to me from Washington State is more expensive than just buying a new one from trackspeed.
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Old 11-21-2012, 10:30 AM   #11
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I'd buy all that for the engine and GIVE you the torsen if it was local...
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Old 11-21-2012, 10:45 AM   #12
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Thanks Vlad & Hustler, I appreciate it.

I'll pass on this one. My wife almost when I mentioned I was looking at these parts (since I just bought the Miata 2 days ago ) and since the 4.10 won't be great with the 6-speed, I'm going to just sit tight for now. I am sortof trying to still feel the car out as-is. Who knows, may just sell it when spring comes and get a different one. It's super stiff and raw with lots of turbo lag. I think maybe I underestimated my desires for comfort!!! I would probably be happier with a MazdaSpeed with a few goodies installed.

We shall see though. Since I'm not 100% sure about the direction to take the car, I'm gonna hold off on buying parts.

Thanks again folks.
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Old 11-21-2012, 10:48 AM   #13
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You should sell it to me in the spring.


You already have a nice 3" DP and exhaust, replace the Begi log with an artech ramhorn and strap an EFR on there.
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Old 11-21-2012, 12:51 PM   #14
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I'll definitely consider it. thing is, several of the parts are cheap: the churbo, the raceland coilovers... they're not worth anything as takeoffs, right? Combine that with the very disappointing paint job and it's a great looking car from 10 feet away but, as it turns out, isn't 100% what I was looking for. It's a helluva lot of fun though! Who knows, maybe I'll warm up to it.

Each car is a learning experience. I never intended this to be my car forever! Whether I end up keeping this one or selling it, My next car will be a turbo miata of some sort as well!

Brain, is the engine really worth that much? I mean... it's a 200k+ mile 1.8 with no injectors or timing belt... supposedly in good running condition but who really knows.

May try to talk the wife into it again.
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Old 11-21-2012, 01:00 PM   #15
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Whats wrong with the paint job besides that door? Is it damaged in other places too now? It left my house in flawless shape over a year ago, I guess NYC hasn't been very friendly to the paint?

The racelands are soft. Very soft. If you think they're harsh, you should drive any other suspension setup. Only thing softer is the FM stg1 springs/shocks.
The 30r can easily be replaced with something smaller and name brand. The BEGi mani and rest of the exhaust setup are good quality pieces. Also everything else is good quality stuff: ID1000's, MS2e, Etc.

Anywho, I'm not trying to convince you into liking the car LOL, just kinda sounds like you didn't really know what you were getting into and you'd be more satisfied with a near stock MSM (though with the stock ecu it will be just as "laggy" as the 30r without any of the topend power LOL)
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Old 11-21-2012, 06:11 PM   #16
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Quote:
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Whats wrong with the paint job besides that door? Is it damaged in other places too now? It left my house in flawless shape over a year ago, I guess NYC hasn't been very friendly to the paint?

The racelands are soft. Very soft. If you think they're harsh, you should drive any other suspension setup. Only thing softer is the FM stg1 springs/shocks.
The 30r can easily be replaced with something smaller and name brand. The BEGi mani and rest of the exhaust setup are good quality pieces. Also everything else is good quality stuff: ID1000's, MS2e, Etc.

Anywho, I'm not trying to convince you into liking the car LOL, just kinda sounds like you didn't really know what you were getting into and you'd be more satisfied with a near stock MSM (though with the stock ecu it will be just as "laggy" as the 30r without any of the topend power LOL)
I guess NY was pretty hard on it! It's flaking on that door but also all around the base of the top as well. little chips right along the edges. Also, the little bits of overspray on all the rubber pieces on the windows and around the windshield bother me. I'm probably being too picky about it, but it makes me realize how much I really do value a factory paint job. Also, there is some sort of crap going on with the hood above the driver side headlight. There's probably a square foot of area that has all these fine spider crack sort of things. Also the front air dam is loose and wobbles.

Other bits too... the transmission has a pretty bad shudder on acceleration in 4th gear. This leads me to believe that its days are numbered, and it's not a large number. It's definitely gear-dependent, doesn't happen in 2nd, tiny bit in 3rd, bad in 4th, a wee bit in 5th.

After reading your post, though, I took a step back and thought about the car a little more, and about the parts. When I'm shopping for things I get way over-obsessive, and I frequently feel buyer's remorse. Serious personality flaws, haha! I realized that the racelands don't really bother me -- they meet my needs. And the ride really isn't that bad. It's not stock smooth, but it's not bad, and holy hell it goes like stink in the corners under boost. Amazing. It's good enough for me.

In some ways I definitely would have been more satisfied with a stock MSM -- like on the 5 hour drive home from Pittsburgh. BUT... That rush on the top end... I need that. That was a must. And frankly, yes, it's laggy, but it's sooooooooooooo much fun when it comes on boost. I'm sure with a better tune it'll come on a little sooner and that'll be good enough.

I guess I felt disappointed because I snapped the car up for its looks, and the paint job lets it down when it comes down to details. But nobody else will notice this crap, so I need to get some looser panties and just enjoy the hell out of this thing. Took it for a top down drive today and realized that yes, I made the right choice.

Now to get my wife to let me buy a 6-speed so I can get a 280 whp pump gas tune...................................
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Old 11-21-2012, 06:52 PM   #17
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Oh wow didn't know the paint got beat up that bad.

I'm glad you enjoy it man. Throw some e85 on there and run ALLOFIT.......after you have a replacement 6speed that is
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Old 11-21-2012, 11:11 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by turbofan View Post
I realized that the racelands don't really bother me -- they meet my needs. And the ride really isn't that bad. It's not stock smooth, but it's not bad, and holy hell it goes like stink in the corners under boost.
If it makes you feel better, my 100% stock suspension on my 2000 was horribly uncomfortable @ 98k miles. Terrible handling characteristics too. It was definitely the worst of both worlds.

Put in the FM stage-1 kit and it rode much better than stock and handled better as well.
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Old 11-22-2012, 02:11 PM   #19
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Yeah after driving it a big more it's definitely stiff, but I mean, I'm used to an '04 Jetta TDI with big fat cushy sidewalls and lots of suspension travel. Just haven't owned a sports car forever. My '97 rode quite nice, this is much much much stiffer than that car was, but this one handles about 5 million times better.

I'm loving it. Need to do a tune though. Gonna end up with a 250hp tune and then will prolly use the E85 maps later on.
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