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Old 09-12-2014, 10:24 AM   #1
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Default MS3 owner lurking, thinking about a miata

Right now I have a mazdaspeed 3, and I've had my fun with it...and I'm just entertaining the thought of a miata. So I thought I would introduce myself while researching.

Since money is tight, I would have to sell the ms3, so I'm trying to see if it's the choice I would want to make.

If I went a miata route, I would probably work on going turbo. I know it will never be as fast as the ms3 in the straights unless I put a lot of money into it.

Couple pics of the ms3



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Old 09-12-2014, 10:50 AM   #2
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Welcome to the site.

What's done to the MS3? What kind of times have you run?
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Old 09-12-2014, 11:03 AM   #3
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Love first gen MS3s.
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Old 09-12-2014, 11:10 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by pdexta View Post
Welcome to the site.

What's done to the MS3? What kind of times have you run?
3" intake, 3" turbo back, gt3076, upgraded cdfp, fmic, ported IM, self tune. Best on street tires is a [email protected] and best trap is 117
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Old 09-12-2014, 11:21 AM   #5
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Your statement about straight line speeds may or may not be true. If you are talking straight line from a standing start like drag racing I would probably agree with you. But then, you can still go fast in the standing quarter mile at a reasonable cost up to a certain point.

I bet there are a bunch of 12 second Miatas here, and that is a pretty quick quarter mile.
According to the online calculators, my car (2680lbs with my fat *** in it and a full tank of gas) would take 270whp to hit 12.5 in the quarter. I realize that is not taking into account driver, tires, etc. My point is that a 270whp Miata isn't that uncommon around here and I am an engine build (stock rods are the known weakpoint past 230tq) away from 270whp and I have less than $5k in parts in my car.

I consider a 12.5 second car pretty fast.
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Old 09-12-2014, 11:36 AM   #6
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Your statement about straight line speeds may or may not be true. If you are talking straight line from a standing start like drag racing I would probably agree with you. But then, you can still go fast in the standing quarter mile at a reasonable cost up to a certain point.

I bet there are a bunch of 12 second Miatas here, and that is a pretty quick quarter mile.
According to the online calculators, my car (2680lbs with my fat *** in it and a full tank of gas) would take 270whp to hit 12.5 in the quarter. I realize that is not taking into account driver, tires, etc. My point is that a 270whp Miata isn't that uncommon around here and I am an engine build (stock rods are the known weakpoint past 230tq) away from 270whp and I have less than $5k in parts in my car.

I consider a 12.5 second car pretty fast.
Yeah but trapping 117, slicks and I'm in the 11's. A 2.2 60ft isn't all that great.

But either way that's not what I want, don't care much about going down the quarter mile...just do that at meets. If I did I wouldn't be thinking about buying a miata obviously. There are easier ways.

What I would miss though is destroying ego's every once in a while when some smug ******* thinks they are king of the road.

Don't get me wrong the MS3 is a heap-ton of fun, but it does lack balance.

2nd reason I'm debating this is finances. Truth is my raises aren't keeping up with rising costs of keeping a family. Parts in the car, and selling the car, I figure I can get 17-18k, have 8-9k left on the loan...pay it off. Then have around 10k for another car...

Figure I could buy a NB for not too much and put a little money into it...have something fun to drive, and no loan, better gas mileage, cheaper to maintain...etc.

If I had 200whp I would probably be happy.
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Old 09-12-2014, 11:57 AM   #7
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If you can handle it being stock, an NB with big brakes and a six speed is (my personal favorite) best starting point, and you should be able to get one from about $5,500-8,000. From there upgrade wheels, tires, and add coilovers* as soon as you can so when you inevitably have to replace tires you are not wasting time with the sub-par selection of 16" tires. Case in point, the widest tire I can get for my 16" wheel is 205 tread width on a 7ish inch wheel and it costs the same as a 15" 225 tread width on a 9" wheel. I am kicking myself for wasting money on only "ok" tires because I don't have the budget for new wheels.

This is just my opinion and I may be full of ****, but I think that is the general consensus around here. Once that is done, start saving for turbo goodness and if your goal is only 200whp, buy used whenever possible. You can put together a 200whp kit for a pretty reasonable cost if you just buy off of here (and craigslist) when good deals surface, provided you know what parts to buy and what to avoid.

*On an NB, 15x9" wheels require coilovers.
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Old 09-12-2014, 12:01 PM   #8
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86amishms3: Not to derail the thread that much, but how is the MS3 for daily use? I am really looking at getting one for a daily driver soon, test drove a 2011, thought it was pretty fantastic. Any major flaws or drawbacks off the top of your head? Obviously yours is modded, so not sure if you DO daily it or not.
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Old 09-12-2014, 12:12 PM   #9
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86amishms3: Not to derail the thread that much, but how is the MS3 for daily use? I am really looking at getting one for a daily driver soon, test drove a 2011, thought it was pretty fantastic. Any major flaws or drawbacks off the top of your head? Obviously yours is modded, so not sure if you DO daily it or not.
It really is a great all around car...If I had my way I would have a miata and a mazdaspeed 3.

Even at my level, it daily's like it should. The only thing on my car that makes it less driveable is a little surge at light load.

They can get nearly 30mpg on the highway, fit plenty of stuff, rear seats fold down.

Decent aftermarket support. Easy to make 400whp, past that you will require substantially more money.

A flaw to watch out for is don't just throw bolt on the car with no tuning solution. The car is slow to transition from closed loop to open loop in the low rpm range and when you throw mods in you will have a lean spot and you'll get knock. That's why in the dark days there were plenty of motors that threw rods. Through education this has been mitigated.

Cobb is the tuning platform. Buy an AP, download ATR for free and you can tune to your hearts desire. With a stock wideband and knock sensor, tuning on the street is a breeze.

Also I don't think gen 2's are that great of a looking car, but if you like then that's you. At least gen 2's have much better gearing (longer).
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Old 09-12-2014, 12:15 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Chiburbian View Post
If you can handle it being stock, an NB with big brakes and a six speed is (my personal favorite) best starting point, and you should be able to get one from about $5,500-8,000. From there upgrade wheels, tires, and add coilovers* as soon as you can so when you inevitably have to replace tires you are not wasting time with the sub-par selection of 16" tires. Case in point, the widest tire I can get for my 16" wheel is 205 tread width on a 7ish inch wheel and it costs the same as a 15" 225 tread width on a 9" wheel. I am kicking myself for wasting money on only "ok" tires because I don't have the budget for new wheels.

This is just my opinion and I may be full of ****, but I think that is the general consensus around here. Once that is done, start saving for turbo goodness and if your goal is only 200whp, buy used whenever possible. You can put together a 200whp kit for a pretty reasonable cost if you just buy off of here (and craigslist) when good deals surface, provided you know what parts to buy and what to avoid.

*On an NB, 15x9" wheels require coilovers.
I think my only fear is I won't have the tuning/data logging capacity that I loved so much with the MS3. I tuned the ms3 on the street doing pulls on open stretch of highways.
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Old 09-12-2014, 12:21 PM   #11
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Miata won't be that great for quarter mile. definitely will be fun though. Plus its RWD.

I used to have a 1st gen MS3. Great car, but being that my intentions are more track/race oriented, I am extremely happy with the miata.

Not to mention its cheaper car overall. Although, the turbo route seems on the expensive side (comparing among miata options) if its not just for street pulls.
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Old 09-12-2014, 12:42 PM   #12
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Then get a reverent plug and play megasquirt.

How much do you know about the ECU options in the miata world?
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Old 09-12-2014, 12:47 PM   #13
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Then get a reverent plug and play megasquirt.

How much do you know about the ECU options in the miata world?
About 5 on a scale of 100...so far it seems like one of the best/preferred is megasquirt.

The MS3 was my first vehicle that I tuned. As someone who likes math, I found it easy to work with tables and calibrating various things.
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Old 09-12-2014, 01:00 PM   #14
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I think my only fear is I won't have the tuning/data logging capacity that I loved so much with the MS3. I tuned the ms3 on the street doing pulls on open stretch of highways.
I think the majority of us here do our own datalogging and tune on the street. The stock computer isn't flashable, so it requires a standalone, but there's a ton of support and data for megasquirt so that shouldn't be a big concern.
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Old 09-13-2014, 02:05 AM   #15
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Thanks for joining, 86amishms3!
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Old 09-13-2014, 06:55 PM   #16
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The Megasquirt will autotune your fuel table to match your targets while you drive it around.

Welcome to the forum!
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