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Old 01-02-2016, 03:42 AM   #1
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Default Hopefully soon to be Miata owner.

Hey guys, my name is Brandon, I'm 18. I get none of that is necessary, but I need some help. I've been wanting a miata since I first laid eyes on one. I found a guy in my area that has one for sale...$800... he says it just needs cosmetic work. I've seen pictures and paint and interior wise it looks rough. Didn't see no dents though. It's a 1990 1.6l NA. Obviously you guys cannot see it, but how does that sound? This Sunday (1/3/16) I will be going look at it. Any tips you guys got for me? What should I look for? What should I feel for while test driving it? What are some things that I need to look for to tell if this car is utter garbage and should not purchase? Thanks in advance for any replies. Hopefully everything checks out with the miata haha. If so, I'll be on here alot. Happy new year guys!

Edit: Forgot to add, it has 120k on it.
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Old 01-02-2016, 10:06 AM   #2
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Take a ratchet, extention, and socket with. Pull all the plugs and compression test every cylinder. Then post numbers on here in this thread so we can tell you if the motors good or not.
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Old 01-02-2016, 10:45 AM   #3
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If it runs, has zero rust, and doesn't have horribly dented quarters, that probably isn't a terrible deal.
Just realize that 90-93 are the least desirable years, and you will quickly make up any money saved when you start to upgrade.
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Old 01-02-2016, 11:19 AM   #4
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If you have the plugs out you should bring a long enough screwdriver to make sure tdc is still tdc.
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Old 01-02-2016, 07:23 PM   #5
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Welcome to the site KoolKat97, thanks for joining up!
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Old 01-02-2016, 07:45 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Monk View Post
If it runs, has zero rust, and doesn't have horribly dented quarters, that probably isn't a terrible deal.
Just realize that 90-93 are the least desirable years, and you will quickly make up any money saved when you start to upgrade.
Agree. As a seller I'd be annoyed trying to sell a 25 year old car for $800 and have some dude I don't know wanting to pull plugs and compression test it.

If you can find a 94+ that's in your price range definitely do it, but you really can't go wrong with a complete, non-rusted, driveable $800 Miata.
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Old 01-02-2016, 07:47 PM   #7
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The first couple of years had a short nose crankshaft with serious problems regarding the harmonic balancer/crank pulley and the crank keyway. Things will move and twist that are important to timing. Damage is difficult /expensive to repair.

And pre-94 had small rear diffs that explode at stock power, small brakes, no vtps, less chassis bracing, and more. Buy 94-up.
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