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Old 08-18-2009, 10:31 AM   #1
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Default Greetings from a really frustrated Miata owner

Hi. My name is Travis. The Miata is my 11 or 12th (give or take) car. I've owned it since November 2008, and have driven it less than 2k miles.

Its a bone stock 2003 with now ~316xx miles on it. Within a month of purchasing it, the rear diff died (clunk-clunk-clunk). Unfortunately shortly after that the company I worked for went out of business, I had to move, etc. and didn't really get a chance to work on it. Shortly afterward I switched jobs and moved again. Recently I got down to business and replaced the diff (4.3 open) with a 3.9 Torsen. I did manage to drive it almost 200 miles before new problems appeared though.

List of current problems.

Diff makes a whining noise accelerating from a stop.
When sitting in traffic, the engine will idle higher and higher the warmer it gets (although coolant temp is not changing).
ZOMG WORST CLUTCH CHATTER EVER
Transmission does not shift smooth at all - i.e. notch 1-2 (this is probably an easy fix, but an annoyance regardless).

Anyway, I'm here because the answers to my issues over on Miata.net have been far from technical, and not all that helpful thus far. A friend told me that this forum would have more gurus capable of answering my questions.

Hope to be picking your brains soon.
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Old 08-18-2009, 10:52 AM   #2
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idle probably means a vacuum leak, find the "highly flammable" brake cleaner and spray it around your IM gasket, TB gasket and other intake pipes to find the leak.

rear and tranny sounds like a drifter got hold of the car before you.
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Old 08-18-2009, 11:07 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Braineack View Post
rear and tranny sounds like a drifter got hold of the car before you.
AFAIK, the car has been autocrossed exactly twice, at CDC events. My father was the previous owner. I'm sure the diff was mostly my doing as the awesome clutch chatter means that no matter how the car was launched it resulted in a fucked-up wheel-hop disaster. To drive it on the street I finally figured out I just have to slip it out from like 3k. Regardless, whats done is done. A replacement diff is in, and apparently about to come back out and sent to Andrewtech for bearings/R&R.

I'll try checking for vacuum leaks tomorrow. Not sure I follow how they would only leak when hot, but it can't hurt to look. Most Miata.net discussions are also pointing at the IACV, but nobody has confirmed that the problem has gone away once replaced, and I'm not dumping $300 on a shot in the dark.
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Old 08-18-2009, 12:29 PM   #4
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there was a recall on the clutch chatter.

whoever installed the ring and pinion did a mediocre job. if you know how, pull it and check the tooth wear pattern and bearing preloads.

R&R the tranny fluid with something really good. search here for opinions.
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Old 08-18-2009, 12:30 PM   #5
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Welcome, Travis!

I think the one link the M.net post I found had some guy (Phoenix) trace the idle issue to the alternator. Granted, his car was the 1.6.

That sucks. You bought the car off your dad (definitely not a joyrider) and it's been an albatross for you. Bummer.

-Ed
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Old 08-18-2009, 12:40 PM   #6
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there was a recall on the clutch chatter.
Are you sure? I've done searching and seen TSBs, but never a recall. TSB doesn't help me any other than being a nice piece of paper from Mazda that says "You're fucked." A recall would be awesome.

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Originally Posted by y8s View Post
whoever installed the ring and pinion did a mediocre job. if you know how, pull it and check the tooth wear pattern and bearing preloads.
I bought the R&P still sitting in the factory housing. I installed it directly in my car this way. I'll pull it out and just give it to a pro to check the bearings/enagagment/etc. I'm sure I'm capable of it, but I'm simply tired of dealing with this stuff.

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R&R the tranny fluid with something really good. search here for opinions.
Will do, its on the list.

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Originally Posted by saint_foo View Post
Welcome, Travis!

I think the one link the M.net post I found had some guy (Phoenix) trace the idle issue to the alternator. Granted, his car was the 1.6.
Yeah, I've been reading what you sent me. I'll do what I can and come back with results.
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Old 08-18-2009, 12:56 PM   #7
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Hey Travis, glad to see you made it over here, sucks about the car though. Hope you get it proper soon!
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Old 08-18-2009, 01:04 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ProDarwin View Post
Are you sure? I've done searching and seen TSBs, but never a recall. TSB doesn't help me any other than being a nice piece of paper from Mazda that says "You're fucked." A recall would be awesome.
I bought my 01 new and swear I took it in for a free clutch something or other. it might have changed by 03 though.
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