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Old 08-31-2014, 03:12 AM   #1
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Default Differential issue, need some advice.

Recently, I have been doing basic maintenance to my mostly stock 2004 Miata LS because I will be going to Hallett on Sept.13 for my first track day!

Today, I decided to go ahead and swap out the transmission and differential fluids to Amsoil MTG and Severe Gear 75W-90. I quickly swapped out my tranny lube, and when I was draining the diff I saw this on the drain plug after cleaning up the usual metallic slurry:



The particles looked a little larger than I would like, at least I thought so until I noticed that the fluid was draining off a little strange.

Upon further inspection, I found this in the drain plug opening



Damn. I'm pretty sure I shouldn't take my car to the track with this diff. If it grenades, I will be 5 hours from home without a car, and this car is my DD.

For a little more background, when I first got the car I found a piece that looks like this but was approx. 1/8th the size. It was unnerving at the time, but I have driven the car for a year or so since I bought it, and have had no issues at all with it.

I'm wondering what this is, and if I should take it to the track in this condition. The engineer in me is very bothered by the fact that my diff is shearing off considerable chunks or metal. Should I be actively seeking a diff?
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Differential issue, need some advice.-20140830_193657_zpsxibxkqgv.jpg   Differential issue, need some advice.-20140830_194805_zpsr8q5ylcz.jpg  
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Old 08-31-2014, 09:13 AM   #2
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It appears to be a clutch disc from a clutch style lsd....that said, I didn't think any base model miata came with a clutch plate lsd from the factory.

It certainly isn't any of the torrington bearings, or preload washers...

If it were me, I'd pull the drive shaft, and yank it out real quick.

Is it stock diff, or upgraded?

Last edited by glade; 09-02-2014 at 09:26 AM.
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Old 08-31-2014, 04:51 PM   #3
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I thought the diff was stock, but I think you are right.

When I saw it I thought it looked like a piece of a clutch plate, and I was genuinely confused. Can anyone else confirm that this is a piece of a clutch plate?

This is both interesting and frustrating for me. How can the diff be coming apart when it's just a street driven stock powered car? I don't drive like a maniac...
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Old 08-31-2014, 04:57 PM   #4
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didn't the 03's come with a Touchigi-Fuji (or whatever the heck the spelling is)?
cause nothing I can recall even close to that would be found in an open or a torsen, if anything you'd find gear teeth, not that.

that does look like a clutch disk piece
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Old 08-31-2014, 04:59 PM   #5
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Old 09-01-2014, 01:22 PM   #6
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I had a piece that size come out of the T/F diff I put on my '99 a couple of years ago. I've continued to track it often, changing the fluid a couple of times a year. I haven't heard any noise. I did find a Torsen-II and it's sitting in my garage for when the T/F implodes. Until I hear something I continue to use the T/F.
See you at Hallett.
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Old 09-01-2014, 01:52 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 18psi View Post
I read your thread about the T-F diff before posting. I am apparently having the problems that the Touchigi Fuji Super LSD had. My piece of metal looks exactly like that piece in the M.net forum you linked! Props given for the links. Thanks!

I am legitimately confused, I thought T-F LSD's only came in 2003 Miatas. After looking at some 2004 and 2005 Miata information, apparently Mazda decided to keep using the stupid T-F unit!

So, I guess I need a diff from 2002 and earlier, before Mazda started using the T-F diffs. I thought for sure I read that all 6spd Miatas got Torsens, I guess I was wrong.

Since my car isn't making any strange noises or exhibiting any real problems(except that my car feels like it has a more than usual amount of driveline lash), should I just run it? Or am I just asking for trouble?

Quote:
Originally Posted by EricJ View Post
I had a piece that size come out of the T/F diff I put on my '99 a couple of years ago. I've continued to track it often, changing the fluid a couple of times a year. I haven't heard any noise. I did find a Torsen-II and it's sitting in my garage for when the T/F implodes. Until I hear something I continue to use the T/F.
See you at Hallett.
Props given for relevant experience! Looks like I'm not giving up on Hallett yet!

Thanks,
-Dustin

Last edited by Dustin1824; 09-01-2014 at 02:18 PM. Reason: Added quote from EricJ and response
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Old 09-01-2014, 04:37 PM   #8
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Yeah, I probably wouldn't cancel the track day for this.

All the ones I've heard of failing did so in a slow fashion, none just popped and left people stranded.

Just sayin.
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Old 09-01-2014, 06:56 PM   #9
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Wow, that's a big piece of metal!

I'd go with what Eric said. I'm trailering Honey Badger up there, but it's perfectly street legal and quite comfortable. So, if you get in a bind, we can put your car on my trailer to get it home.

See you at Hallett!! You don't want to miss it.
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Old 09-02-2014, 02:16 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by hornetball View Post
Wow, that's a big piece of metal!

I'd go with what Eric said. I'm trailering Honey Badger up there, but it's perfectly street legal and quite comfortable. So, if you get in a bind, we can put your car on my trailer to get it home.

See you at Hallett!! You don't want to miss it.
Hell yes! +1 for making it impossible for me to back out on Hallett!

I now know that your primary interest is infecting noobs with Triple Threat Track AIDS!

Thanks!
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Old 09-02-2014, 09:15 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dustin1824 View Post
I read your thread about the T-F diff before posting. I am apparently having the problems that the Touchigi Fuji Super LSD had. My piece of metal looks exactly like that piece in the M.net forum you linked! Props given for the links. Thanks!

I am legitimately confused, I thought T-F LSD's only came in 2003 Miatas. After looking at some 2004 and 2005 Miata information, apparently Mazda decided to keep using the stupid T-F unit!

So, I guess I need a diff from 2002 and earlier, before Mazda started using the T-F diffs. I thought for sure I read that all 6spd Miatas got Torsens, I guess I was wrong.

Since my car isn't making any strange noises or exhibiting any real problems(except that my car feels like it has a more than usual amount of driveline lash), should I just run it? Or am I just asking for trouble?



Props given for relevant experience! Looks like I'm not giving up on Hallett yet!

Thanks,
-Dustin
Yeah, the T-F diff was the LSD in *almost* all LSD NBs starting in 2003. The notable exception are the Mazdaspeeds which used a TORSEN.
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