Need help- Salvage Vehicle in Ruckersville, Va (was- say you had $4k...) - Miata Turbo Forum - Boost cars, acquire cats.

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Old 07-22-2008, 11:36 PM   #1
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Default Need help- Salvage Vehicle in Ruckersville, Va (was- say you had $4k...)

A monetary conundrum:

If one had about 4k to spend in total (and no starting turbo parts) and would like a nice turbo miata (eventually) would you:

a) buy the nicest/newest miata available, knowing that it would take over a year to acquire all parts for a good, solid, upgradeable, long lasting build? (definitely get a 1.8 this route)

b) buy the cheapest/decent runner and a used turbo kit, or slap on a frugally built diy setup? (stuck with a 1.6 this way)

c) buy someone's old project (these tend to be 1.6s with upgraded greddy kits. Problem with this is that they are probably pretty ragged out and upgrading at this point means buying new prettymuchallturbopartscurrentlyonthecar)

d) other

e) buy stuff and let it sit around and then bitch about it.


I don't want to do e.
The problem with c, even though it's the biggest bang for the buck and I'd get a fun car immediately, is that it would cost as much or more as a or b in the long run, and I'll probably wind up with less car.
I think a is the most practical for the long run, but not as much fun as b or c.

With the knowledge you have about where you started and what you wound up with, if you had to start again (and with my limited budget) what would you do?
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Old 07-22-2008, 11:41 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by oilstain View Post
a) buy the nicest/newest miata available, knowing that it would take over a year to acquire all parts for a good, solid, upgradeable, long lasting build? (definitely get a 1.8 this route)
Best choice in my opinion, you know you've got a good base car and can be happy with it w/o it breaking down on you/blowing up on you, even if it is slow.

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b) buy the cheapest/decent runner and a used turbo kit, or slap on a frugally built diy setup? (stuck with a 1.6 this way)
This choice is certain to end up with a "Who knows a good shop to rebuild my motor" thread. Usually these cars will have rust, shitty interiors, etc... May be a little quicker initially but won't last as long most likely, and unless you throw alot of cash at them will most likely never be as nice/clean/straight.

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c) buy someone's old project (these tend to be 1.6s with upgraded greddy kits. Problem with this is that they are probably pretty ragged out and upgrading at this point means buying new prettymuchallturbopartscurrentlyonthecar)
Asking for problems here. Was it someone with a little self-respect or someone who threw it together so they could sell it? Chances are you will go through and replace 90% of the things in these cars anyway and usually the body/interior is about as good as choice B (you have some space bar problems there? LOL)

So Choice A all the way, for me atleast...
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Old 07-22-2008, 11:48 PM   #3
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either buy an immaculate turbo miata, or the cheapest torsen car you can find.


oh, and E all the way.


I firmly believe that if you're going to go the turbo route, save up the money and spare no expense to transform it into a car that you don't have to constantly work on. If I didn't fall into a wad of cash last year, I'd probably be rocking out with my naturally aspirate **** out forever.
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Old 07-22-2008, 11:51 PM   #4
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Asking for problems here. Was it someone with a little self-respect or someone who threw it together so they could sell it? Chances are you will go through and replace 90% of the things in these cars anyway and usually the body/interior is about as good as choice B (you have some space bar problems there? LOL)

Well there are two in my price range that I've looked at. One seems well sorted, but well-across-the-country. The other one, well, I wouldn't know where to begin with that one. Pushing it off a cliff would probably be a good start.
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Old 07-22-2008, 11:56 PM   #5
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Find yourself a nice '94 with a torsen. OBD1, the 1.8, and a real oil pressure gauge.

A '95 would be a nice second choice (OBD1, 1.8, but toy oil pressure gauge).

Rust-free should be a requirement as well.
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Old 07-22-2008, 11:56 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oilstain View Post
Well there are two in my price range that I've looked at. One seems well sorted, but well-across-the-country. The other one, well, I wouldn't know where to begin with that one. Pushing it off a cliff would probably be a good start.
I just read your signature and the fact that you currently drive a honda makes me want to retract any advice that I ever have or will give you, please do not accept or pay any attention to this advice, it is wrong anyway...p.s. HONDA!
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Old 07-23-2008, 12:15 AM   #7
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I did version A+

Couldn't stand someone elses old, stinky miata.
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Old 07-23-2008, 01:33 AM   #8
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I think it depends what you want to do with it. If its a DD or a weekend car then do A. If its a track car than I'd just get the cheapest one I could find and mod it.
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Old 07-23-2008, 01:45 AM   #9
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I think you should go with choice a..just because, you will know you have a nice clean car with no problems and you can do what ever you want with it your way..thats how i started bran new car and start modifying it your way..
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Old 07-23-2008, 02:09 AM   #10
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considering that the car will be something you will drive daily, and enjoy for that matter, as well as it must be able to handle the performance increases you'll throw at it, id go with option a....for me to start out with a fresh, good condition car is important: at least engine wise....my .02
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Old 07-23-2008, 02:15 AM   #11
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Call me weird, I like the 1.6. Parts are very around, and they are in my price range. I looked, bought and sold 4 miatas over 2 years. Upgrading every car to finnaly get blessed and have a keeper with all the ricer mods I wanted. The car wasn't abused, and has fabulous nice interior with a new top. Now I am just adding turbo. It has been a long process to get the setup the way I want. I have to connect the IC and it is tunning time.
Ps. I bought my car for $1600, now I have over $4000 in it. But I do have a spare motor and tranny.LOL You think you are just spendig 150 here 300 there, It ADDS UP!
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Old 07-23-2008, 02:39 AM   #12
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Option A: Buy the nicest Miata you can afford. No rust and relatively low miles, then save money and start collecting pieces for your kit. You don't want to cruise around in a POS miata with no power while you're collecting your parts. Get a clean miata and forget about all the maintenance you'd have to do with a cheap beater. It would be cheaper in the long run. You sound like you've already made up your mind about option C. While you piece together your kit it will give you plenty of time to learn your car and you can assemble a kit tailored to YOU instead of someone else's abused turbo miata. Thats my opinion. And definitely a 1.8l with a torsen!
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Old 07-23-2008, 03:05 AM   #13
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I'm very happy with my 91 1.6. I haven't quite spent $4000 total on my car and have a working turbo system, new water pump, timing belt, clutch (still have to put in), new top, and more.

In addition to all that, I still get 27 to 35mpg


Edit: Scratch that...I'm up to nearly $4750, I bought a hard top on Sunday for $750
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Old 07-23-2008, 05:52 AM   #14
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Do you just want to have fun with the car, or do you intend to keep it and turn it into a nice weekend driver? If you are doing the former, buy someone else's project, lean/fix the issues, and have fun with the car for a year or so. If you are doing the latter, spend every dime of the $4k on getting the nicest bone-stock '94 you can find. I chose the latter route, and I don't regret it for a second because I plan to keep this car forever.

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Old 07-23-2008, 06:45 AM   #15
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Given that he drives a Honda, he'll probably buy one, throw some parts on it, drive like a dick, get laughed at by all his 'Honda buddies' and then sell the car.


I speak from experience on this, as I have had several friends that are all gun-ho about modding and swapping those ******* ugly hatchbacks buy Miatas and do the above mentioned statemtent.
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Old 07-23-2008, 09:50 AM   #16
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Given that he drives a Honda, he'll probably buy one, throw some parts on it, drive like a dick, get laughed at by all his 'Honda buddies' and then sell the car.


I speak from experience on this, as I have had several friends that are all gun-ho about modding and swapping those ******* ugly hatchbacks buy Miatas and do the above mentioned statemtent.
I picked up my Teg 6 years ago at a dealership as a certified used car. It came with a cold air intake tube, front shock tower brace, decent wheels, legal tint a bunch of stickers, and a fart muffler.

Currently it's in nearly the same state, with a stock muffler, minus the stickers, plus 80k miles. It's been a good car, I've (literally) driven it across the country.

The main problem with the car is that it's wrong-wheel-drive. If it was RWD, I'd do a bunch of work to it.

Being that I haven't modded the car, it would be pretty safe to assume that I don't have any Honda Butties.

Cliff's notes: Honda = less ricey than when it was bought and it's damn near stock for 6 years.
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Old 07-23-2008, 10:16 AM   #17
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1.6l For Life.....
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Old 07-23-2008, 02:47 PM   #18
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1.6l For Life.....
yeah man displacement is for bitchez
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Old 07-23-2008, 08:57 PM   #19
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Jeez Savington, I think our cars were separated at birth!

I went route A. Bought the nicest low mile 94 I could find at a good price. Shopped for quite a while. Found my 94 black and tan with 74K with the hardtop for 3800 bucks 2 years ago.

Drove a lot of junkers. Lot's of them asking more money. You find the right one at the right price and you know it. Wait a little while too. Convertibles come down in price a bunch in the off season!
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Old 07-23-2008, 09:19 PM   #20
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I'm waiting for someone to post a thread about picking up a 92 for $800 out of DC today. Totally not option a which I'm strongly leaning toward, but for a functional car at $800, I'd drive it for a while and then sell it off when I found the right one.

Oh, and the kicker? It came with a hard top! FREE CAR!


(I almost forgot to defecate on your forum...)

This was in AZ. The wheels are a little much (and mounted wrong, thanks NTB! stupid *****) but they came with the car and I'm not about to replace them. They are mounted correctly now of course.

Last edited by oilstain; 07-23-2008 at 09:31 PM.
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