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Old 06-06-2009, 02:15 AM   #1
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Default Need MTs help. Buying another miata, which one?!

Sold the first miata, getting something less ugly, my two choices are as follows.

Car 1.


1990 Miata, 177K total miles
'99 1.8 liter drivetrain swap w/ 30k documented miles
'99 1.8 liter NB close ratio transmission
'99 1.8 liter LSD rear end 4.3 and (Torsen LSD)
Factory hardtop
New softtop with glass window
Flyin' Miata stage II suspension adjustable shocks and Eibach springs
Racing Beat intake + high flow air cleaner (K&N)
Racing Beat header (4into1)
Custom exhaust (full header back)
High-flow catalytic converter
Hard-dog roll bar (actually a style bar )
Cold A/C system
New Konig Helium wheels
Almost New Dunlop tires (no miles, but age cracking showing)
2001+ brake system upgrade front and back (hubs, rotors, calipers, pads)
JBL CD + head rest speakers.

That's the ad. Almost **** myself.. Anyway, when I got there it has a little shody body work done on the front end, obvious front end damage because the hood was lower than the front bumper cover while latched closed. The bumper cover had too much of a gap between it and the hood, while being tightly pressed up against both fenders. During cruise, the hood shimmied around a little.

He says the frame is straight, and the rest of the car looks normal with correct gaps and smooth closing doors, etc. Also, he has a lift at his house, so I can tell him my offer is contingent on getting the thing up in the air and seeing for myself. He didn't list it specifically in the ad, but it has AGX shocks and GC coilovers. It's also apparent that the seller does not quite know everything about the car, a negative if you ask me.


Car 2.

1996 Miata salvage title from hit in the rear bumper. Frame is straight, bumper is repaired. This is for sale by my parts guy, and he is a respectful and honest guy. The car has 79K original and is in great shape, but no hard top. (The original owner is on the same local forum I'm on and I know the entire accident story because it was a hit-and-run by a drunk chick in a vette, with custom plates! D'oh. She got owned eventually, the story spread like wildfire, and we had all the muscle car guys, all the bodyshops, everyone looking for this car.)


Concern with car 1 is that it could end up being worthless except all those drivetrain parts and the ad ons. Not to mention I don't know the ins and outs of the mods, and that sucks for a lot of reasons.

Concern with car 2 is that I'll have to deal with ODBII bs at emissions time. It's probably the better foundation to start with though.

Goals are to daily it for awhile while I attend to chassis braces and other non-visable but significant upgrades, while still running it on the track. Eventually it will be turbo and then gutted.

I almost have the money for both. edit: car 2 is 1,000 cheaper.

Last edited by UofACATS; 06-06-2009 at 02:32 AM.
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Old 06-06-2009, 02:23 AM   #2
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i thought OBDII started in 97...?

Prices help in our judgement...

What do you plan on doing with the car, Im guessing turbo because your posting on MT not miata.noob

car 1 you will pull off some of those mods for the turbo.

car 2's resale will be lower because of salvage title

need more info
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Old 06-06-2009, 02:28 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by sbkcocker499 View Post
i thought OBDII started in 97...?
Nope, 96.

I'm guessing both are about the same money, based on his comment that he could almost afford either one.

Given the state of the 91 that he was selling, he isn't scared of a bit of body work. I'd look hard at #1, given that I'm guessing it's going to get your old plate. Less $ outlay to get to where you want to go.
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Old 06-06-2009, 02:35 AM   #4
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Nope, 96.


In this case i would probably go with number 1 as well but definetly check out that front end
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Old 06-06-2009, 02:37 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sbkcocker499 View Post
i thought OBDII started in 97...?

Prices help in our judgement...

What do you plan on doing with the car, Im guessing turbo because your posting on MT not miata.noob

car 1 you will pull off some of those mods for the turbo.

car 2's resale will be lower because of salvage title

need more info
Car1: 3,000

Car2: 2,000

I put the plans in there. Daily it for a year or so (just sold all 3 of my cars) then turbo when I can do it right, then gut and track the **** out of it when I have another daily.

Not concerned w/ resale really. So cheap anyway.
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Old 06-06-2009, 02:41 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Stein View Post
Nope, 96.

I'm guessing both are about the same money, based on his comment that he could almost afford either one.

Given the state of the 91 that he was selling, he isn't scared of a bit of body work. I'd look hard at #1, given that I'm guessing it's going to get your old plate. Less $ outlay to get to where you want to go.

The thing is, I'm sick of the beat up look. I'm eventually going to drop a decent amount of money into it by the time you get the braces, suspension, turbo, and wheels/tires, and I want it to look nice. I'm really not that good at any body work.

Deep down, I want #1, it's almost a no-brainer, but it's also the riskier choice of the two.
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Old 06-06-2009, 09:26 AM   #7
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Ironically, OBD-II can be a blessing as well as a curse.

It does add complexity. No question. Any ECU install will have to be parallel, and you will have to go to some lengths to prevent the ECU from throwing codes. O2 simulators, that sort of thing.

OTOH, with a lot of states now doing plugin-only testing on the OBD-II cars, it doesn't really matter what's coming out of your tailpipe! So unlike those of us who have to fidget with our timing and fuel trim (esp. w/ big injectors) to find the perfect balance of HC/NOx at idle and lower speeds, you don't really have to worry about that sort of thing with OBD-II, provided you've tricked the ECU into saying that everything is A-OK.
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Old 06-06-2009, 12:10 PM   #8
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With my last daily with full ECU control, I loved the fact it was a 95, and I could turn off the CELs, install the cat, and pass emissions w/ no worries. When I looked at emissions readiness with the software, everything read "incomplete." But with the CEL off, and passing the sniffer, I was good to go. (I'd snicker and say "suckers.." but really, I am cheating the system if the exhaust coming out of my tailpipe meets minimum specifications?)

I have to admit my knowledge on engine management with the miata is sorely lacking.
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Old 06-06-2009, 12:18 PM   #9
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I still say car 1. Its already got suspension upgrades, and a better flowing engine. Its also got the torsen which you wont have to shell out 700$ for a swap. Hardtop you could sell for 800$ today if you wanted. Sell the style bar cuz its ugly. BTW my 2 miatas both have hoods that about 3/16" lower. I believe i need to adjust the bumper. One had been hit in the front and the other is straight. Do a carfax report to know for sure.
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Old 06-06-2009, 12:26 PM   #10
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I'm retarded. I'm realizing (tell me if I'm wrong) I can run MSPNP for the 90-93 on the 1990 miata w/ 99 engine. It's already running in this configuration, I don't see why it wouldn't work. Maybe a custom MSPNP? How's that for backasswards.

Think I'm going to offer on the 1990, and do some engine management homework.

edit: I think this answers my question https://www.miataturbo.net/forum/t26822/

edit #2: Another good one: https://www.miataturbo.net/forum/t10245/

Last edited by UofACATS; 06-06-2009 at 12:57 PM.
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Old 06-06-2009, 01:33 PM   #11
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#1 by a country mile.
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Old 06-06-2009, 01:33 PM   #12
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Car 1 hands down. It already has all the big items I wish I could spring for. You will save lots of money down the road...and engine management should be easy...as well as passing emissions as you suggested earlier.
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Old 06-06-2009, 02:55 PM   #13
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#1 by a country mile.
I looked through all your old threads (17pages) and found a ton of very helpful info regarding this.

I'm offering on #1 today. Worse case I have to swap all the goods to another roller.
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Old 06-06-2009, 03:16 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UofACATS View Post
I'm retarded. I'm realizing (tell me if I'm wrong) I can run MSPNP for the 90-93 on the 1990 miata w/ 99 engine. It's already running in this configuration, I don't see why it wouldn't work. Maybe a custom MSPNP? How's that for backasswards.

Think I'm going to offer on the 1990, and do some engine management homework.

edit: I think this answers my question https://www.miataturbo.net/forum/t26822/

edit #2: Another good one: https://www.miataturbo.net/forum/t10245/
I updated the 2nd thread.
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Old 06-06-2009, 11:24 PM   #15
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#1 for sure, have the front end measured up by a good shop, they may even bump it back if not quite right for a few hundred. Like previously said, major items for a good install are there, sell off the Racing beat parts when you go turbo. I'd check the motor over also.
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Old 06-07-2009, 01:53 AM   #16
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I'd check the motor over also.
First, I have a great body shop that's expensive, but worth it. I don't feel like dropping coin on cosmetics at the moment, however.

As far as checking out the motor, and the rest of the car, I'll be able to put it on a lift (sellers) and look under the entire car. I'll do some basics like peel up the carpet looking for flood damage and other obvious things. I can bring my compression tester as well.

What else?
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Old 06-07-2009, 11:36 AM   #17
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I wouldn't consider getting the body alignment checked cosmetic, a bad shop can make a horrible repair look good on the surface.

Check compression, look under for rust, look for damaged parts (worn) under the hood,take it for a test drive and flog it. If something feels off, start asking questions.
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