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Miatas.

  1. #1
    Super Moderator TheIglu's Avatar
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    Miatas.

    So the wife and I are going to test drive a 2001 Miata Special Edition this weekend. ~30k miles, heated garage kept it's whole life, never seen snow or rain. It is in the British Racing Green with the Tan leather interior and wood steering wheel/shifter/ebrake, Bose system, LSD, etc. Bone stock. Driven by a housewife. Stored up on a lift in the winter. I wouldn't of even considered a Miata really, but this is owned by a family friend who keeps everything him and his wife owns 'perfect'. He wants to upgrade to a Porsche.

    I've bought a whole bunch of bikes in the last two years and I figure it's time to fill the new garage with something we can both enjoy.

    Anyone have any experience with the NB's?

    Rough value of one of these bad boys in excellent condition?

    Best upgrades?

    I've seen some Eaton superchargers, that would probably be first on the list. Expensive though!

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  2. #2
    TRACK RAT!!!!! Pigman's Avatar
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    Re: Miatas.

    Yea............getmiata this car and best upgrade is this


    http://monstermiata.webs.com

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  3. #3
    Lifer tsorfas's Avatar
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    Re: Miatas.

    If you don't get it Clayton let me know what he wants for it. They keep their value very high due to the fact that they don't break, they are great on gas and amazing fun to drive. The also make great track cars too (just saying). Not sure about value on this specific one I'll have to do a bit more research But with that low of a mileage I wouldn't expect anything under 6k. Things change between friends and people can also ask whatever they want but that d be an offer id make to a stranger. Maybe 6500 if I really liked it.

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    Lifer Jim's Avatar
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    Re: Miatas.

    stop buying everything Sav

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  5. #5
    Lifer tsorfas's Avatar
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    Re: Miatas.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim View Post
    stop buying everything Sav
    Lol this isn't for me. My friend had been looking for a clean Miata all summer long. We didn't find anything under 70k miles.

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  6. #6
    Senior Member AVI8_636's Avatar
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    Re: Miatas.

    I only have experience with NAs, I owned one for only a few months and had to sell due to new living situation. I actually regret selling it as they're awesome little cars.

    Miata.net is THE site for Miata questions. There are guys on that forum that know the torque spec of every nut and bolt on that car, and just by browsing/searching you'll learn a whole lot.

    Excellent condition for an NB could be upwards of 6500-8500. It really depends on the seller though. The great thing about these cars is that parts are plentiful, and for the most part pretty inexpensive. They're reliable and easy to work on with basic hand tools. I did a full timing belt/waterpump on my NA with basic tools.

    I def plan on buying another one day when I actually have a driveway and garage. Post pics if you get it!

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    Last edited by AVI8_636; 10-16-12 at 10:26 AM.
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  7. #7
    Burns retinas nhbubba's Avatar
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    Re: Miatas.

    I owned a '99 for a couple years. I miss it all the damned time.
    My FIL had an '00 SE. Driving his was part of why I bought mine.
    A close friends' dad bought a mint '94 NA for something like $6k (this was in ~2005 or 6). His purchase was part of why I bought mine.
    A guy I know from college (who lived in FL at the time) bought three '90 and '91 cars. He successfully ran one of the '90 cars at the national level in SCCA autocrosses. The '91 cost him $750. His was part of why I bought mine.
    My MIL now has an '00. Unfortunately it is an automatic and sucks.

    My '99 was a "leather package"; blowse, leather (duh), wrapped wheel, 15" alloys, Torsen. I loved everything but the leather. Hot as fuck in the summer.

    I used it as a daily commuter. Part of why I traded it away was because it is a shitty commuter. I replaced it with something faster, better on gas, bigger, more comfortable, and way quieter on the highway. For a weekend car, I am not sure my '99 could be beat.

    My FIL's '00 I drove a lot. His was an SE with the 6-speed. Before I bought mine I thought I wanted a 6-speed bad. But the 5-speed car I found was fairly clean and at the right price. However the 6-speed is no better IMHO. 6th is not much taller than 5th is on the 5-speed cars and so it still turns absurd RPMs on the interstate.

    In my opinion the '99/00 is the Miata to get as it has the lower compression 1.8L engines. The NA is smaller, more cramped and less comfortable. The '01+ cars (except the MazdaSpeed Miata) have the higher compression 1.8's that "require" premium yet don't get you much more power. The 99/00 engines are the basis for the MazdaSpeed Miata with its factory turbo, not the '01+ 1.8's.

    On the other hand, my friend that digs those early 1.6L NA's insists the NB is overweight and bloated. Everything is relative.

    That said, I wouldn't kick an '01+ NB out of my garage.

    The Torsen is great, definitely helps IMO.

    I also love the lines of the NB; I think it looks like a baby FD RX-7. Especially with a hard-top fitted.

    Green is my favorite color for the Miatas. Mine was green with tan leather. It looked great. Very much a modern take of the classic English roadster (Elan). But it will get you home without worry. My friends' father who has the '94 got rid of his MG-B to make room for his Miata. He hasn't looked back for even a moment.

    Price, I dunno. I am not sure I'd pay much more than $5-6k for an '01. But then I look for cheap, not really minty cars. One of my favorite things about Miatas are that they are cheap, cheap fun. Mine had some dings and I never once worried about driving the piss out of it daily. Kinda like my V-Strom.



    Did I mention that I miss this car?!?

    Despite what everyone thinks, you can fit at least 3-4 cases of beer in the trunk. Really, that and a credit card, wtf else do you need to bring with you?

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  8. #8
    With 2 esses's Rossco's Avatar
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    Re: Miatas.

    Buy a roll bar. Not only is it safer, but it makes it look more like the proper sports car.

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  9. #9
    Rider. Just a rider... DucDave's Avatar
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    Re: Miatas.

    I choose to be offended....

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    BMW track whore e30addict's Avatar
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    Re: Miatas.

    Ha.

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  11. #11
    Burns retinas nhbubba's Avatar
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    Re: Miatas.

    'Safer' is a relative term. I find it interesting that someone who rides a motorcycle would view one as required equipment.

    My opinion was that if you manage to roll your Miata, you have bigger problems and are likely in for a world of hurt either way.

    There is also a lengthy debate as to what type of bar constitutes a real safety improvement. Usually the ones that offer real improvement are ugly and expensive. The ones you typically see added to NA and NB Miatae are all too often the cheaper ones that offer debatable safety improvements.

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  12. #12
    Super Moderator TheIglu's Avatar
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    Re: Miatas.

    This will be a weekend fun car and a grocery getter. I'm not planning to autocross one in this nice shape. Can always get an ugly one for that!

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  13. #13
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    Re: Miatas.

    Quote Originally Posted by nhbubba View Post
    'Safer' is a relative term. I find it interesting that someone who rides a motorcycle would view one as required equipment.

    My opinion was that if you manage to roll your Miata, you have bigger problems and are likely in for a world of hurt either way.

    There is also a lengthy debate as to what type of bar constitutes a real safety improvement. Usually the ones that offer real improvement are ugly and expensive. The ones you typically see added to NA and NB Miatae are all too often the cheaper ones that offer debatable safety improvements.
    all roll bar, all the time

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  14. #14
    Bullshit meter pegged scottfromboston's Avatar
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    Re: Miatas.

    We've got one ('00 NB) in the garage. Simple, fast (relatively), fun, cheap, handles extremely well (very neutral!). The impracticalities should be obvious - small, loud, and hard to see out of. It's very easy to work on, and parts are cheap.

    With proper winter tires and ballast, it's perfectly capable in snow.

    I don't think that the '01 had a warmup cat (on the header), but if so, replace the wires and plugs ASAP. The older OEM wires will misfire during driving in high humidity or rain, and will blow out the warmup cat. This also has the potential of destroying the main cat and ruining your day.

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  15. #15
    Super Moderator TheIglu's Avatar
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    Re: Miatas.

    I'm going to enjoy this most for getting to and from the airport. Time to start flying again

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  16. #16
    Bullshit meter pegged scottfromboston's Avatar
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    Re: Miatas.

    It's a perfect machine for that.

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  17. #17
    Burns retinas nhbubba's Avatar
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    Re: Miatas.

    Scott has a good point re the cables. Supposedly the coils are sore-spots on the 99/00 cars too. Although I did not have problems and I think they changed to separate stick coils for the '01+ cars. I changed wires.. why not? I did have a misfire once after I washed the engine bay. It was apparently not as dried out as I thought. Some paper towel jammed down the plug wells and a couple more hours in the sun cleared the issue. I cleared the light and never saw that again.

    I also had an O2 sensor pre-heat circuit go. I swapped the sensor and was good to go.

    I had corrosion on one of the relays for the AC circuit. The compressor would not engage. I fixed that with some contact leaner and a wire brush.

    I did shocks at ~80k. My uncle was still working as a mechanic and we did the work on one of the lifts at work using his air tools. That was the only time the car was on a lift while I owned it. I went for Bilsteins on factory springs. That was probably the only big dollar hop-up I did to mine.

    I never touched the timing belt. I think mine was done 10k or so before I bought mine but the dealer I bought it from couldn't tell me for sure; there were no records. I chanced it and ran with it. It is a non-interference engine, so worst case I was in for a tow. Or so goes my thinking.

    I found the car DIY friendly with shade tree tools for the most part. Although clearances are tight and I am not a small human.

    Miata.net people are the shit. I had a blown (blowse) speaker in my car when I got it. Someone from the midwest sent me a full set from their car free. They'd pulled the system and installed a traditional aftermarket setup. I passed the other speaker (I only needed one) onto another member from Mass.

    Mine was super sensitive to wheel balance and tire pressure. Get one wheel a couple PSI off and the 70 MPH shimmy was bad.

    The 99/00 blowse stereo with tape deck (remember those?!) can be retrofitted for an aux in adapter using a $0.99 CDROM audio connector from a PC.

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    Last edited by nhbubba; 10-16-12 at 01:16 PM.

  18. #18
    Bullshit meter pegged scottfromboston's Avatar
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    Re: Miatas.

    Honestly, I don't think that I've ever had to post to Miata.Net - EVERYTHING is covered there.

    I encountered the disaster described above after washing the engine bay. The problem (engine throws code) and solution were pretty well covered on miata.net, but it was a fair bit of work to fix.

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    Last edited by scottfromboston; 10-16-12 at 01:35 PM.
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  19. #19
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    Re: Miatas.

    I know a couple guys that have raced Spec Miatas...they love them, keep saying they make great race cars...

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  20. #20
    Super Moderator TheIglu's Avatar
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    Re: Miatas.

    My brother in law races SCCA with his 924. He hates the Miatas. His mechanic (yeah, he races, but doesn't wrench) says they are "cockroaches".

    I'd love to track one at some point, but what can I say, bikes are more fun.

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  21. #21
    Senior Member AVI8_636's Avatar
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    Re: Miatas.

    I personally think the NAs with the 1.8s are the ones to get. I love the NA look, and the bigger engine is better all around.

    Here's what I had...



    I regret selling it sometimes since it was so nice, and so fun, but at the same time had I not sold it, I wouldn't have gotten into trackday riding, so it's not all bad. Plus I def will get another one day.

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  22. #22
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    Re: Miatas.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheIglu View Post
    My brother in law races SCCA with his 924. He hates the Miatas. His mechanic (yeah, he races, but doesn't wrench) says they are "cockroaches".

    I'd love to track one at some point, but what can I say, bikes are more fun.
    Ever seen a spec Miata race? Insanely competitive. Bumper cars for adults. If I recall the fields are some of the largest in SCCA.

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  23. #23
    Bullshit meter pegged scottfromboston's Avatar
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    Re: Miatas.

    I ended up at NHMS for work about a month ago and ate lunch in the turn 6 bleachers while watching a car club trackday. 80% miatas (mostly NA). Looked like fun. I get the impression that the Miatas are the SV's of the car world - small, cheap, fun, all about cornerspeed.

    I plan to track this one once it's no longer a daily driver.

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  24. #24
    Lifer Garandman's Avatar
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    Re: Miatas.

    I had a ride at an autocross in a well-driven supercharged Miata with race tires. It made a Cayman seem like a dump truck.

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  25. #25
    Lifer tsorfas's Avatar
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    Re: Miatas.

    I mean it's a great car and id love to have one but comparing to a Porsche is just not ok.

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