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Old 03-05-2014, 02:35 PM   #1
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Default Austinite beginner (SERIOUSLY beginner)

Heya guys!
I'm Weston, age 24, from all around the central cities of Texas, (Austin, San Antonio, Houston, and a little Dallas), and while right now I'm an "eh" owner of a stock auto 2012 civic, I have really been looking into Miata's in the area.

I'm noob in about every possible way. I only found out six months ago I even really enjoy auto racing, a friend of mine I met through a Summer job ignited that in me. I've always been interested but didn't realize it was within my reach.
(He was a Miata owner, too!)

My fiance has a Honda CR-V that I was hoping could tow a trailer-miata, since those were going for cheaper, but its towing capacity is too low.

I'm really excited to learn about everything I can though, already have myself a noob's toolset, and a jack and stands! Been learning from every friend in the area bits and pieces of maintenance.
Since my budget is super limited, I thought knowing how to fix things myself would help.

Looking forward to massive amounts of lurking.
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Old 03-06-2014, 06:03 AM   #2
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What kind of racing? Like, full on spec miata race car racing?
Or HPDE, pass corvettes on the weekends and drive it to work on the weekdays kind of racing?

If the latter, just drive the Miata to events. Tow a small tire / tool trailer behind the miata. Or have a co driver bring the truck.

Either way, you've come to the right place if you want to go quick.
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Old 03-06-2014, 06:15 AM   #3
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Welcome, Veranish!
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Old 03-06-2014, 10:06 AM   #4
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Honestly I'm not 100% sure what type of racing yet. I've done some Autocross, and while fun, I prefer longer driving. So track days probably are what I'm interested in. Though the opportunity to meet more drivers (A ton of them driving Miata's) is a good reason to keep going.

I have an old ranch road I drive nearby at night, it's a little rough since it's a private road, but quite a fun drive. About 4 miles in length, my civic takes it in about 7 minutes or so, one way.

And yeah since I don't have a truck definitely going to keep it street legal. I do want to add some modifications, upgrade parts and the like, once I feel it out.

I'm in the car-buying stage of the game, with only about 1k to start, so doing the research!
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Old 03-06-2014, 11:15 AM   #5
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1k isn't going to get you much.

I'm guessing you want an NA, you should start with something that has all the good stuff already.
Ideally you want a 94 r package car.
Anything after 94 will have the 1.8. Torsen rear end is something else you'll want.
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Old 03-06-2014, 11:59 AM   #6
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Good to know. Yeah I didn't think it'd get me anything yet, still saving up. I'm saving for a wedding too, elsewise I'd already be running about : P

That and being suddenly stuck with car payments on a new car that I didn't want, but alas the drama.

So a 94 with a Torsen rear end eh? Google tells me that's the one with the LSD?
I've been looking at this one: 1991 Mazda Miata
but it's a 91. The lights and the hardtop were what interested me in it, but I guess if I'm saving up I might as well get the most for my money, with the 94 R package.

There don't seem to be any of those available in my area just yet but I've got a few months before I'll have enough saved up anyhow. What's the general price range on one?
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Old 03-06-2014, 12:07 PM   #7
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Well.. I paid 2500 for my 94 r package, leaking coolant, missing mirrors, and a bit raggid. But with the "swag tax" being put on miatas lately you'd be looking at 4500+ for an r package.

Do some research, find out what the cars came with during each year ect.
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Old 03-06-2014, 12:30 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Veranish View Post
Good to know. Yeah I didn't think it'd get me anything yet, still saving up. I'm saving for a wedding too, elsewise I'd already be running about : P

That and being suddenly stuck with car payments on a new car that I didn't want, but alas the drama.

So a 94 with a Torsen rear end eh? Google tells me that's the one with the LSD?
I've been looking at this one: 1991 Mazda Miata
but it's a 91. The lights and the hardtop were what interested me in it, but I guess if I'm saving up I might as well get the most for my money, with the 94 R package.

There don't seem to be any of those available in my area just yet but I've got a few months before I'll have enough saved up anyhow. What's the general price range on one?


That's not an OEM hardtop. That's an aftermarket piece that will be ill suited for anything but track work. You'll need seals and glass as well.
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Old 03-06-2014, 01:01 PM   #9
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Been here like ten minutes and look at all this knowledge.
LOOK AT IT.

Well I'll keep looking around, I may decide to go with something lesser to just get out on the track on budget around 2k or so, in about a year and a half my budget will expand greatly as various bits and pieces of loans and such are closed, and then go for a proper upgrade
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Old 03-06-2014, 01:25 PM   #10
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If you're looking to get on the track for $2k including the car, you'll need to get extremely lucky and find a car for way less than it's worth and then get good deals on track-prep parts.

Your mention of towing with the CR-V reminded me of this column by Peter Egan. Not relevant, but a fun read.

Econoline Sunset -- Side Glances

Anyhow, you've discovered that there's a ton of info here. After reading enough, you'll be able to figure out what's a good deal on the used market and what isn't. If you're not too picky you can score some great deals.

You will WANT a 94 R package, but don't make that your only option. They're hard to find, and often times when you DO find one, the owner thinks it's made of gold. At your price, you're looking for a mechanically solid Miata, and that's it.

Welcome to the site!
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Old 03-06-2014, 01:38 PM   #11
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Hm, Miata weighs about a ton though so guess it's still out of the 1,500lbs towing capacity range. I don't really know anything about towing.

2002 mazda miata
So I've seen a few 2002's like this pop up, for rather freaking cheap it would seem, but with a rebuilt title and the moment I ask about that people stop replying to me.

Rebuilt means salvaged right? What could cause these 2002's to need to be rebuilt and still cost so little?
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Old 03-06-2014, 01:40 PM   #12
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In Michigan, salvage title and rebuilt title are 2 differnt things.

I don't think you can register a salvage title. But a rebuilt title you can.
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Old 03-06-2014, 01:47 PM   #13
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Oh, yeah it says rebuilt title.

So, car wrecks and stuff, right? Where the car was classified as totaled. Only total car I've had experience with was my parents car that got T-boned and the chasis was bent four feet deep, which is definitely not fixable. Guess I'll need to research what can be totaled but still mechanically sound and how to look out for them
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Old 03-06-2014, 01:48 PM   #14
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car was wrecked, insurance company determined that it would cost more to put the car in "pre-wreck" condition than to pay "market value" for the car, someone bought the car from the insurance company for very little. Made the car "aesthetically accurate", and now want to make a small profit off of it.

If you're going to track it, make sure the accident didn't damage anything attached to the unibody by anything other than bolts.
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Old 03-06-2014, 01:57 PM   #15
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I read the thread title as:

"Austenite beginner"


which I thought was kinda weird for a Miata forum
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Old 03-07-2014, 09:19 PM   #16
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Welcome to the forum. 94 and newer will have a stronger diff and larger brakes as well as a larger engine.
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