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Old 05-18-2015, 01:07 AM   #1
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Default year cost to run your Miata

So, I searched and didn't find a thread on this, so hopefully I didn't miss anything.

I'm interested in getting a Miata but I'm also looking at a few other vehicles.

What would you say you spend a year in maintenance?

I'm mostly interested in full race and street/weekend race vehicles.

How many how many races do you attend and how many miles a year on your vehicle?

I appreciate any info/feedback you guys have.
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Old 05-18-2015, 03:37 AM   #2
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Over the last five years I have consistently budgeted about $150 a month for maintenance, consumables, fuel, and minor mods. I run 8-10 weekends a year, typically 7-8 TT sessions per weekend. I drive zero street miles now, so some of that fuel money is actually fuel for the tow rig.

That figure doesn't include reg fees or major mods like suspension, seats, hard top, etc.
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Old 05-18-2015, 05:26 AM   #3
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I just gave advice about running cost to an endurance racer.

Here it starts at about $400 per hour (3kSEK), if everything is pristine when you start and nothing breaks. Probably a bit more since long term consumables isn't included (only tires, brakes, gas, oils).

But those who runs "HDPE" usually don't want to know what the true cost is, they focus on the admission fee only.
Fun exercise; Sum up the total money spent on a HDPE day...
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Old 05-18-2015, 09:06 AM   #4
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Brake rotors, pads, and tires are the consumables you will use most. Miatas have some of the cheapest costs related to these items of any of the vehicles you will commonly see at the track. Upgrade parts, because Miatas are the single most raced model of vehicle in the history of motorsports, are more plentiful and less expensive than most or all other choices. For going to the track inexpensively, being reliable, and having decent lap times, you can't beat it.

We are a notoriously cheap and practical group. If there was a better alternative that was cheaper, we would be there instead.
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Old 05-18-2015, 11:34 AM   #5
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Are you competing to win or just to go out there and have fun? That will effect what tires, brakes and pads you will use and how often you change them. Running something like RS3s and hawk Hp+ will give you larger number of miles then something like nittos and more aggressive pads. Especially if you don't mind loosing a little time on heat cycles rubber.

The bigger expense is the entry fees, gas to and from and at the track and lodging if you plan on staying the weekend and it's far away. This varies greatly with what region your in and what organizing group you go out with. Plus the occasional major damage repair bill that is inevitable and will hit you when you least expect it.

Last time out I blew an engine at a track 170 miles away from my house. Without AAA it would have been a $1500 tow. Without working on my own cars it would have been a $800 engine swap. Instead it was $120 annual AAA premium and $200 craigslist engine to get my miata running again. Be smart, plan ahead, and prepare to spend more than you expected on this hobby.

Last edited by cyotani; 05-18-2015 at 01:52 PM.
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Old 05-18-2015, 11:48 AM   #6
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Fuel isn't something I'm worried about.

Tires, brakes, repairs, etc are stuff I'm interested in. As it stands right now, I'm looking for a stress relief. I think it would be foolish to think I can step out onto the track and expect to win anything right now.

So, a good reliable setup that will last a year is probably all I need. I don't mind freshening things over the winter. I used to be a technician and I still do a ton of fabrication now.

What is a good ball park price on entrance fees and whatnot to run for a weekend? Anytime I have been on the track, it was for a media day and we don't pay anything. So, I don't have any idea what a normal entrance fee would be.
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Old 05-18-2015, 01:32 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cyotani View Post
A
Last time out I blew an engine at a track 170 miles away from my house. Without AAA it would have been a $1500 tow.
Get AAA with the 200 mile towing plan or some equivalent. It is worth its weight in gold and you can save a few bucks on hotels too.
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Old 05-18-2015, 01:44 PM   #8
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Most clubs aim for $100/hr of seat time. Some are higher, some are lower.

A weekend where nothing goes wrong will cost you around $600-700 between entry, food, lodging, gas, brakes, and misc stuff that needs to be done.
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Old 05-18-2015, 01:51 PM   #9
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OP, track fees depends on your location and who you run with. The cheaper groups will stuff more people on the track at a time or run shorter sessions of more run groups which is how they can afford to charge you less. In the so cal area the cheaper track events are about $100 and the less crowded events about $160

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Get AAA with the 200 mile towing plan or some equivalent. It is worth its weight in gold and you can save a few bucks on hotels too.
I upgraded from 100 miles to 200 miles just in time for that event I blew the engine at. Now I wouldn't consider going to an event without it
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Old 05-18-2015, 05:39 PM   #10
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$300-400 for entry for the weekend was the norm for NASA and the others I run with.
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Old 05-18-2015, 09:37 PM   #11
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Quote:
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Get AAA with the 200 mile towing plan or some equivalent. It is worth its weight in gold and you can save a few bucks on hotels too.
AAA all the way. I have had it for years. I drive to a lot of events and I'm frequently in the sticks when something breaks.
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Old 05-18-2015, 10:22 PM   #12
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A few years back myself and a couple friends ran two 7 hour endurance races for about $2500. Figure a 24hr endurance race might be twice the cost. And that's not factoring the cost to rebuild the engine after blowing it up on the last lap.

I think some Spec Miata guys are going through $800-1000 a weekend but they go through a lot of tires.

I figure about $400 for a 1 day HPDE. That includes food and gas.

Tires and brakes depend on variables but I'd plan for at least one set of each each year, maybe more.
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Old 05-19-2015, 12:05 AM   #13
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Miata tires and brake pads are cheap compared to any other track car. I had a BMW for a while.
I run $20 NAPA rotors, 205/50/15 RRs are $165 each, Maxxis and Nittos are less. Hawk pads are $120 & $65 a set.
Most maintenance parts are available at local auto parts stores.
Most repairs are easily done with hand tools, much cheaper than paying someone to do them.

And, when I researched it, Miata's were considered the best car to learn to drive on track. Not enough power to cover bad technique. Reward you when you do it right, and punish you when you do it wrong.
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Old 05-19-2015, 04:58 PM   #14
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my miata costs around 450-600 per day to run on track. That includes tires, brakes, entry fees, gas to and from, tire wear, engine wear, etc etc etc and even more etc. The reason for variation is the difference between registration fees.
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Old 05-19-2015, 05:14 PM   #15
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Thanks guys.

Are certain generations/years more reliable than others?
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Old 05-19-2015, 05:40 PM   #16
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I think everyone will agree- if you want a track rat, start with a 1.8l car with a torsen, so 1994-2005 (leather or special editions usually have the torsen).

Pretty much everything is interchangeable, and none of them are significantly more or less reliable. NB's (1999+ have slightly better engines, steering geometry and slightly more room for tires, but are heavier and more expensive due to being newer.)
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Old 05-19-2015, 05:52 PM   #17
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Quote:
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I think everyone will agree- if you want a track rat, start with a 1.8l car with a torsen, so 1994-2005 (leather or special editions usually have the torsen).
torsion meaning sway bars or what?
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Old 05-19-2015, 05:59 PM   #18
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Limited slip rear differential. The older cars 90-93 had a viscous type LSD and it doesn't do much. The 1.8l cars can come equipped with a mechanical "torsen" type limited slip diff that is much more durable and works better.
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Old 05-19-2015, 09:44 PM   #19
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How big of a deal is it to upgrade the rear end? I have changed my gears and added lockers a number of times throughout the years.
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Old 05-19-2015, 11:44 PM   #20
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Not a big deal. $400-$600 for a Torsen. A couple of hours to change it.

Get on DFWMiata.net to watch for cars, and Craigs List. Sometimes there's some 'deals' in rural areas. I found mine out by Longview, real cheap.
There's a shop in Lewisville that usually has some minimally molested NBs. http://www.acepdr.com/.

Also, check out the shops at MSR-C. They have a few 'track ready' Miata's out front. And Gary at Track Dog may have a customer trying to get rid of one.

Last edited by EricJ; 05-20-2015 at 08:11 PM.
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