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Old 07-17-2011, 02:08 PM   #1
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Default 5-7k budget for 2nd car...what would you do ?

Hi, I'll start with a quick intro. I live in NY and have an awd SUV as a main/family car. I've always had manual transmission cars in the past and miss it. I'm looking to get a second car to run errands and use a weekend toy. Here are the needs:

Needs

-manual tranny
-rwd
-quick
-convertible
-reliable

I am open to ideas. Since this a miata forum I expect most suggestions to be Miatas, which is ok since I like them. If I went the miata route I'd want it turbo'ed. I don't know if it would be better to find a clean one and turbo it or buy one already turbo'ed.

Again, initial budget is 5-7k.
Other options are s2k (tough to find under 10k), mr2, m3, m roadster, cobra.
As you can see I'm open to various options.

Opinions are appreciated.

Thanks in advance.

Last edited by shmezelk8; 07-18-2011 at 03:47 PM.
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Old 07-17-2011, 02:18 PM   #2
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Yup you're looking at Mustangs and Miatas for that budget. I'm not sure I'd like/trust a BMW convertible, or MR2 for that price. Definitely a good budget for a BMW hard top though.

I'd suggest getting the latest NB you can afford, beyond a MSM, I'm not sure I'd want a pre-turbo'd car, who knows what the P.O. has done.
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Old 07-17-2011, 02:20 PM   #3
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Recently there have been a ton of turbo miatas going up for sale in your price range or near it.

But I would most likely start with a nice stocker, then work from there. Trying to decode other people's work can be a pain. However, if you find the car is well documented on this site or another, that would make me think twice.
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Old 07-17-2011, 02:20 PM   #4
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Find the lowest-miles NB you can, or find a 140-160k mile '94-95 for about $3k and spend the other $4k buying used turbo parts and cheap suspension. One will be more reliable and nicer, the other will be faster and more of a pseudo-project.
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Old 07-17-2011, 02:25 PM   #5
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Do the newest NB route, I did the cheaper NA, higher mileage route and have regretted it since. Would have rather had a newer NB with less work required.
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Old 07-17-2011, 02:43 PM   #6
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^Agreed. I was debating miata vs foxbody 5.0 before I got my car, but I got the car I did because you can make a miata faster in a straight line easier then you can make a mustang handle / break well. NB's have a nicer interior, a bit more power and no stupid pop-up headlights. I wish I had gotten a slightly higer mileage NB instead of my NA. If I where you I'd pick up a solid NB for 5K, and then spend the 2K on a cheap turbo kit and a bitchin' roll bar. Hold out for a car you like though.
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Old 07-17-2011, 02:45 PM   #7
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Thanks. A low mile NB will be in great shape and reliable but slow. I'd definitely want something faster. But even though a clean 94 can be had relatively cheap I'd have to spend at least another 5-6k on the turbo kit and supporting mods. Then when you take into account wheels and aesthetic mods you're looking at over my budget price.
I saw some clean turbo'ed miatas for sale with everything I'd want already done to them. But as you guys mentioned I don't know if they were abused or not or if something will break soon.
To respond to one of the first posts, convertible would be nice but I can deal with a coupe if the price and car is right. I had an e46 m3 before and lover it but an e36 looks pretty old and it's a high strung car. Getting one with a lot miles might not be the best idea.

There are a few decent 96-98 cobras for sale but I don't know about their reliability.
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Old 07-17-2011, 03:02 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shmezelk8 View Post
Thanks. A low mile NB will be in great shape and reliable but slow. I'd definitely want something faster. But even though a clean 94 can be had relatively cheap I'd have to spend at least another 5-6k on the turbo kit and supporting mods. Then when you take into account wheels and aesthetic mods you're looking at over my budget price.
I saw some clean turbo'ed miatas for sale with everything I'd want already done to them. But as you guys mentioned I don't know if they were abused or not or if something will break soon.
To respond to one of the first posts, convertible would be nice but I can deal with a coupe if the price and car is right. I had an e46 m3 before and lover it but an e36 looks pretty old and it's a high strung car. Getting one with a lot miles might not be the best idea.

There are a few decent 96-98 cobras for sale but I don't know about their reliability.
Those cobras should be pretty reliable. The 4.6 V8s are used in cop cars that are run just about 24/7 for 100K miles. If you get a turbo'd car checked out and it seems like it was put together right then it'd be fine.
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Old 07-17-2011, 03:43 PM   #9
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Those cobras should be pretty reliable. The 4.6 V8s are used in cop cars that are run just about 24/7 for 100K miles. If you get a turbo'd car checked out and it seems like it was put together right then it'd be fine.
Yea. That's how I feel pretty much. A well put together turbo with the right mods would be ready to go and should be plenty of fun. I've just never dealt with turbo cars before so I would need to have someone who knows these cars in and out take a look at em for me.
As far as cobras, yea those modular 4.6's are tough. I like the 99-01 body and independent rear susp. but those are closer to 10k. ( I'd rather have an S2K for that much.) I don't know if I really like the 96-98 Cobra body enough.

Right now I'm leaning towards a clean turbo'ed miata. If I find one I'd probably just get a compression and leak down test done. Then if I buy it ill get it looked by a tuner to make sure it's running a safe tune and I should be good to go.
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Old 07-17-2011, 09:08 PM   #10
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Where in NY are you?
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Old 07-17-2011, 09:25 PM   #11
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If I were you I would find a nice HIGH mileage NB. I would look everywhere in the country and find something without rust. Then I would turbo it. Amazingly I just happen to have a turbo setup for sale!!!

Unless you need your miata to be faster than god herself, I would buy a used BEGI or FM2.
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Old 07-17-2011, 09:35 PM   #12
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Where in NY are you?
Staten Island but I'm in Brooklyn a lot and NYC too.
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Old 07-17-2011, 11:22 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shmezelk8 View Post
Needs

-manual tranny
-rwd
-quick
-convertible
-reliable
There are a few Volvo turbo wagons that you can get in that range.
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Old 07-17-2011, 11:30 PM   #14
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There are a few Volvo turbo wagons that you can get in that range.
volvo wagons are siick. especially if they have the rear facing back seats.
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Old 07-17-2011, 11:47 PM   #15
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If you don't have prior turbo experience, I'd be really wary of any turbo car that wasn't put together by a shop. I've seen more than one person end up with a total nightmare on their hands.
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Old 07-17-2011, 11:47 PM   #16
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240sx convertible
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Old 07-17-2011, 11:54 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Savington View Post
If you don't have prior turbo experience, I'd be really wary of any turbo car that wasn't put together by a shop******* awesome shop. I've seen more than one person end up with a total nightmare on their hands.
corrected since i've seen many shop fuckups too
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Old 07-18-2011, 12:19 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Savington View Post
If you don't have prior turbo experience, I'd be really wary of any turbo car that wasn't put together by a shop. I've seen more than one person end up with a total nightmare on their hands.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Faeflora View Post
corrected since i've seen many shop fuckups too
Yea, that's my main concern with buying one that's already turbo'ed. I usually get a PPI before I buy but I don't know how that would work in this case.

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Originally Posted by redfred18t View Post
240sx convertible
Those are cool but not what I'm looking for in terms of performance. I'd have to do an engine swap and that would put me over my budget.
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Old 07-18-2011, 12:21 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Savington View Post
If you don't have prior turbo experience, I'd be really wary of any turbo car that wasn't put together by a shop. I've seen more than one person end up with a total nightmare on their hands.
Btw, looks like you got yourself a serious race car there. Looks awesome.
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Old 07-18-2011, 11:59 PM   #20
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You should be able to get a 04-05 Mazdaspeed miata for 8-9k. I'd spend a little extra for the Mazdaspeed it has

factory turbo which can get 210ish whp for under $400 bucks (intake, mbc, resistor ecu boost cut mod)
torsen t2r
6 speed
sport brakes
bilsteins
eibach sways
racing hart wheels
projector headlights


lots of car for the cash
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