View Full Version : Miata

08-19-2010, 11:57 PM
Hey guys, I know it doesn't deal with Celicas or Toyotas at all, but I've seen some have Mazda Miatas. Now my GF is looking into buying a Miata, she wants a first gen so like 89-97 and she was told that the earlier years like 89-92 have "more" mechanical problems than the others and also that the coolant for the 93 and previous is no longer available. Anybody have any input on what to look out for? Thanks a bunch :)

08-20-2010, 03:05 AM
I can't really give any input on the mechanical problems, but if nothing else, older cars tend to need more maintenance. I'm sure all they meant about the "coolant" is that they use R12 as the AC refrigerant. No different from any other air conditioned car, since as far as I know that's when they switched to R134a. There are lots of options in terms of retrofitting etc for that and info is all over the place.

Unless there's some catastrophic difference in certain years, just find one you like that is in good shape. I'd only really expect to find specific details on year differences on a Miata forum... hard enough to find some of those things out about Celicas even :P

08-20-2010, 04:38 AM
The 1.6L shortnose is the one with the issues, found in 90/91. The key in the crank wiggles out and the crank moves and breaks. Some people use loctite on it and have no issues.
The 92/93 had a different crank nose to fix the 1.6L issues.

The 93 was the last year of the 1.6L engines. In 94+, they were set up with the 1.8L, an engine that responds very well to boost in its stock form The 94+ cars had more bracing to handle the flex from the bigger engine.

Cars were switched from R12 to R134a in 94.
Passenger side air bags were added in 95.

95+ got rid of the A, B, C, etc equipment packages.
They were sold as base, preferred package, and special edition models.

Base models had manual windows, locks, and sometimes steering.
Preferred package models had power everything.
Special edition models had special paint and leather seats.

The oil pressure gauge in a 90-94 is a real guage, but in 95 it's a dummy light that looks like a gauge (the only downside to a 95).

So... frankly, if you're looking for a miata, I'd say get a preffered package 95 if you can find one for a good price. These are the most sought after NAs, because they include all the options, have a Torsen LSD, ODB1, and the 1.8L that people boost to 250-300 without changing anything internal.

08-20-2010, 05:44 PM
^Sweet thats what I was looking for :) Thank you!

08-21-2010, 12:17 AM
KM is now our resident Miata expert.

08-21-2010, 03:36 AM
Miatatech.com = :gay:

But I've done my research. There's a reason I own the miata I own.

The 95 I have is an all-option car. Power everything, dual airbags, ODB1, Torsen LSD, longer gears, turbo-ready for up to 300 hp.

08-21-2010, 03:54 AM
Well KM you totally rock! :cheer_2:

08-24-2010, 03:10 AM
Buy this one.


08-24-2010, 03:27 AM
^ Thats a sick car!

08-24-2010, 04:38 AM
KM pretty much covered it. What are her plans for the car? As for some common stuff to look out for. First thing is rocker panel rust, right between the door and the rear wheel well. There's a drain on the bottom of the car by the pinch welds, if it gets clogged water can get trapped there and the panel will start to rust from the inside. Only real fix is to cut and weld in a new panel since it's not surface rust, panels aren't too expensive actually. Check for leaks in the trunk and tailight area. If the rain rail for the top is leaking you'll get water in the trunk, you can't physically see this part. 90-93 have weak rear ends, those can go out from abuse under stock power even. 90-93 also have smaller brakes, these can be upgraded to 94-97 brakes. The rear end can be upgraded to the 1.8L rear, open diff rear ends aren't too expensive the torsen can run around $800 IIRC since you would need the driveshaft, and axles when swapping to the 1.6L. Also check the handbrake if it doesn't work you could be looking at new rear calipers. The rear brakes have an adjustment screw that's hidden to back out the pistons, some people use a c-clamp and push piston stripping the screw making the handbrake useless. Lifter tick on startup or sometimes after very hard driving is common on these cars. On start up it should go away within a minute, nothing really to worry about.

Good luck with the search and feel free to ask more questions.

08-24-2010, 05:48 AM
I was going to ask how that 93 was SCCA legal to run in it's class, but I see it's running in the prepared class.
93s don't have 1.8s, or Torsen LSD, or any of the features that car does. It is also not street legal. :P

08-24-2010, 10:24 PM
She doesn't really have any plans...I do though lol. Probably not too much, except a couple bolt-on parts. If I come up with any questions I'll let ya know. Thanks for the help :)

08-24-2010, 11:29 PM
The only real necessary bolt on is a roll bar. Not to be confused with a style bar. Get one that stands 2+ inches above the seat.

'cause this can happen to anyone:

08-25-2010, 01:07 AM
+1 to the roll bar. That is an excellent idea in any vert, especially one with sporting intentions.

08-25-2010, 01:20 AM
^ Point taken, but the plan was more for suspension work rather than engine mods

08-30-2010, 06:04 AM
Check out the GFs new ride!
http://img529.imageshack.us/img529/8391/47150419677716151564576.jpg (http://img529.imageshack.us/i/47150419677716151564576.jpg/)

Uploaded with ImageShack.us (http://imageshack.us)

http://img696.imageshack.us/img696/7778/47150419677721151564576.jpg (http://img696.imageshack.us/i/47150419677721151564576.jpg/)

Uploaded with ImageShack.us (http://imageshack.us)

08-30-2010, 06:17 AM
NICE!!! Congrats!!!

08-30-2010, 08:45 AM
Still think you should have gotten the one I posted...

08-30-2010, 11:59 AM

(Notice the random MR2 and vdub in the back row.)

08-30-2010, 03:57 PM
KM, when was that?

08-30-2010, 05:22 PM
KM, when was that?

Saturday night. After the roll bar installs / swap meet and greet, we went to La Parilla in Newnan.
I also found out that NA miatas' top speed is 115.

08-30-2010, 10:57 PM
And you didn't think to invite me so that the MR2 owner wouldn't be so lonely? j/k

08-31-2010, 12:54 AM
I didn't know he'd be driving an MR2. It's a 91 factory turbo, though. He said he bought it a few days ago.