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Value Of Used Miata For Project

Old 05-31-2018, 04:25 PM
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Default Value Of Used Miata For Project

Trying to find out if the 1996 Mazda Miata 215k Miles I looked over is worth the price I negotiated too. He was asking $1750 but we negotiated to $1,200 but the car is pretty rough. The paint has been resprayed and looked pretty good besides a couple scratches but the interior was trashed with rips in the seats, a terrible aftermarket cheap steering wheel, and missing door panel and window regulator on passenger side. The AC seemed to work fine and the car never overheated at idle or while test driving. It's on lowering springs so it rode a little rough and none of the tires matched and were going bald. The owner said it had a new engine but the Oil Pan VIN and chassis VIN matched so I know that's not true so its at around 215k miles. The only thing really worrying is the coolant overflow was seriously sludge brown so I know the cooling system is full of rust. I compression tested it and the head gasket is good but the coolant is bad. There is no rust on the vehicle and the soft top seemed decent. The car has a raceland header with the exhaust not connected to it so it's ear piercingly loud and will need to be addressed. Is this car worth $1200? Also if it is and not a good project car could I buy it and just put some junkyard parts in it and turn a profit on it to get something better?
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Old 05-31-2018, 04:32 PM
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[QUOTE=MazdaDan007;1484742The only thing really worrying is the coolant overflow was seriously sludge brown[/QUOTE]

That's the only thing worrying you?
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Old 05-31-2018, 04:43 PM
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Originally Posted by bahurd View Post
That's the only thing worrying you?
Yeah most just the super rusty coolant, I dealt with that on a Buick century along time ago and it never cleared up but got better and never overheated from it just ugly, nasty, and annoying. I found some minor oil leaks but seemed like just the CAS oring and the rest of valve cover gasket. The car just sounds so ridiculously loud at the moment I can't get a good feel for any out of the normal sounds. Also the shifter was sloppy so that needs a rebuild but that's cheap with eBay parts and not replacing the rubber boots.
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Old 05-31-2018, 10:03 PM
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i saw this car on craigslist, and in my eyes, for $1200 its a good deal. as long as the body is good, no rust, paint is decent, good top and it runs well.

i wouldnt worry too much about dark coolant, you can buy flush kits and a few flushes should clean up the passages.

the interior bits can be easily gotten in Junk yards for cheap.

lol at turning a profit on a 215k mile car. even if you fix all the interior bits and get new tires, this car is TOPS $2k car with the miles on it.
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Old 06-01-2018, 01:03 AM
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The seller was trying to act like the vehicle had 103k miles on it and the engine had been swapped but after matching the VIN on the engine and running a VIN check I estimated the mileage to around 215k since in 2016 it was registered with 194,000 miles. The car is really rough and needs an exhaust immediately to even be drivable to my standards but I think I am going to try to purchase it and just use all junkyard parts and coolant flush and limit my budget to $300 and see how good I can get it for $1,500 since either way I can't really lose on the resale if I don't enjoy it. Or maybe I'll enjoy it and decide to rebuild the motor for cheap and keep it for awhile.
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Old 06-01-2018, 09:33 AM
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Flush the coolant, slap a cheap exhaust on it and go.

Depending on what type of "project" you want, I don't see anything there that would scare me away. That's assuming it's not rusty.

That is the absolute one thing I refuse to deal with on any car is rust.
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Old 06-01-2018, 10:26 AM
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Originally Posted by z31maniac View Post
Depending on what type of "project" you want, I don't see anything there that would scare me away.
This. You need to indicate what kind of project you have in mind. e.g.:
  • Buy a beat up old Miata, replace a bunch of body panels or interior bits to get it close to stock, repair drivetrain as necessary, drive or flip.
  • Buy a beat up old Miata, repair drivetrain, strip all the interior bits, install roll cage, turn into track rat.
  • Buy a beat up old Miata, install LS motor, do whatever you want.
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Old 06-01-2018, 06:39 PM
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In my area, that's a steal for a running, rust free 1.8 car, even if the interior sucks.
I can't even find shitty rust buckets for that money here.
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Old 06-02-2018, 01:16 AM
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I've paid $1600 for my 1.6 and it had a horrible top, 268k miles, and none working ac. $1200 seems like a good deal to me...
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