MX5/Miata Thread

MX5/Miata Thread


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equiraptor

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Take this without offense but I honestly think driving an MX-5 without LSD isn't fun at all when pushing and in drifting situations, not kidding, can actually be dangerous.

In some situations you will get a one tyre fire, on others the back will step out so much that's it upright dangerously sideways in a very uncontrolled and twitchy manner - to a point where I'd even say that any MX-5 should have an LSD because if the backend steps out unwanted in some weird conditions, you're much, muuuch better with an LSD in catching the car. Even goes for people who don't know what oversteer is. Even if it is a very communicative car.

At least in my opinion...
Fun is very personal, but I absolutely cannot agree that an MX-5 without an LSD is dangerous. The car is not significantly more difficult to control without an LSD. This is based on having driven the same car, in the same condition and configuration, with an open diff and with LSD. The car certainly can benefit from an LSD, but it's absolutely not needed to avoid the car being dangerous.

I cannot speak to drifting situations, specifically, as I'm not a drifter. I can say that an MX-5 is fine for "people who don't know what oversteer is" with an open diff. There are hundreds of thousands of those out there, and the accident rates show it's not a significant issue.
 
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loose_unit

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Correction, LSD is actually listed, just very well hidden in the description. Lights are definitely stock halogen though. I probably won't bother - though I would like to have them, retrofitting xenons will probably be rather expensive and not really worth it. My C-class didn't have any either, at some point I just installed Osram Unlimited bulbs and was reasonably happy with them until I got rid of it.
Retrofitting Xenon's is basically impossible in Germany. None of the electronics that control them or the special washers are installed and T?V notices. LSD is no T?V issue so if it doesn't have one it can be retrofitted.
 

leviathan

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Test drive done. It ain't perfect, but I like a lot. Some details:

2017-08-19 12.01.41.jpg

2017-08-19 12.02.01.jpg

The car has 105'000 km on it. Engine was swapped at 93'500 (reasons unknown, promised to find out from the previous owner who's apparently a friend of the dealership's owner), the "new" one had 62'000 on it when swapped, so ~74'000 on the engine now. T?V was done in March at 103'500 ("keine M?ngel"), good until 2019.

Gearbox is the 5-speed manual. Like it a lot, really short and precise shifts, smooth, no issues in any gear that I could identify. Clutch engages really early, feels a bit weird since the "pressure point" is really hard to feel (much more distinct in most other manuals I've ever driven), but I got used to it rather quick. It could definitely use a 6th gear for Autobahn cruising, but that's not the point of the car anyway.

Brakes are fine. Tires are bad - different pairs on front and rear, rears are fine-ish (enough profile, though quite old), fronts are hopeless - from '07 and nearly bald. Dealer will throw in a new front pair. Also no winter tires/wheels (has apparently never been driven in the winter), will have to get some.

Soft top seems good. Car was parked outside at the dealership for a while now, with heavy rain in the last couple weeks, I couldn't detect any leakage. No tearing anywhere, straps on the back of the roof look like new, seals are good. It needs a thorough cleaning though, there is even some light mold on the inside - dealer said he'll get it done at part of pre-sale service. And - not sure how normal this is, but it's bloody impossible to raise the roof from the inside. It's quite heavy and the angle feels like I'm going to dislocate my shoulder before it lifts up. I couldn't do it in several attempts, resorted to quickly hopping out and grabbing it from the outside.

Wear and tear seems alright. No rust that I could see anywhere (looked in the wheel wells, door wells, under the liner in the trunk, and as far as I could see inside the engine bay). Tiny dents on both front wheel arches, a scratch on the right mirror (it also only moves vertical, lateral adjustment is broken), and some scratches on the outside radius of the wheels. Interior is really good, leather seats are in better shape then the ones in my A5 (at 70kkm), no major scratches, nothing broken. Electrics all work, once we got it jump-started - the battery was dead from sitting in the lot; will get a new one before delivery, too. Only the DSC lamp stayed on throughout the drive - dealer said it's probably also due to battery, should be fixed as part of pre-sale inspection if anything's wrong there in any case.

Drives great. Idled a little rough at first but was fine once warmed up properly (might have also been the ECU reset thing due to dead battery). No unwanted noises or anything unexpected. Loud above ~120 km/h, but that's the soft top, nothing to be done there I guess :) Again, it's not a car for long autobahn cruises.

Got the price down to 8800 + new pair of front tires, new battery, a full pre-sale inspection including a thorough cleaning of the soft top, and a 12 months used car warranty (covers any work on mechanical or electrical parts + 40% of parts prices).


I'll try to find a few more to look at, don't like choosing from a single option. But I like it a lot, and would probably take this one if all works out with selling the A5 as planned. Any input on what I might have missed or should look at again before committing?
 
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MWF

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My advice would be to keep looking and instead find a well-preserved, low mileage NB. They do exist.

To my mind the NC is the worst of the generations - it feels too modern and lumpy and the interior is very generic. The ND has gone back to basics, and aside from the numb electric power steering, is nigh on perfect but I suspect it may be out of budget. Even if it is go take one for a test drive as a comparison and do the same with an NB.

If you still want an NC after that then go for it but I would advise looking for a 2.0 with a 6 speed.
 

equiraptor

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The car has 105'000 km on it. Engine was swapped at 93'500 (reasons unknown, promised to find out from the previous owner who's apparently a friend of the dealership's owner), the "new" one had 62'000 on it when swapped, so ~74'000 on the engine now.
Engine failures happened with the earliest built dates and with the '07 models, but both reasons should have been fixed by '08. It still doesn't have the forced internals of the NC2, but I wouldn't expect that to be an issue unless the car was driven *extremely* hard. However, an oil loss situation can happen on the NC with little warning. The first indication you've lost oil will be when the needle in the oil pressure gauge sits at 0. The second will be when the engine fails. There's no oil warning light. The oil pressure gauge is also fake. The level it gives is based on RPM and coolant temperature, and is just overriden to 0 if there's oil loss. This is, perhaps, my least favorite thing about the NC. I'd rather it have a real oil pressure gauge, like my NA.

it's bloody impossible to raise the roof from the inside. It's quite heavy and the angle feels like I'm going to dislocate my shoulder before it lifts up. I couldn't do it in several attempts, resorted to quickly hopping out and grabbing it from the outside.
Depending on who you are, where you sit, and how stiff the top is, it may be very difficult and need some weird movements to get the top up. If I want to put the top up from inside the car, I have to shift myself toward the center of the car and brace heavily. Then I can just barely lift the top. The vinyl top is harder to lift than the cloth, and the tightness of the top is relevant, too. A good, tight top will be harder to get all the way up. Most of the time I get out to put the top up, only staying in if it's raining and I want the top up fast.

Only the DSC lamp stayed on throughout the drive - dealer said it's probably also due to battery, should be fixed as part of pre-sale inspection if anything's wrong there in any case.
After the battery is disconnected, there is a DSC reset procedure that should be followed. The manual says you should have seen a flashing DSC OFF light as well as the standard DSC lamp on, but I swear mine only lights up the DSC light in this case. The reset procedure is also in the manual:
1. Turn the ignition switch to the ON position.
2. Turn the steering clockwise fully, then turn it counterclockwise fully.
3. Make sure the DSC OFF indicator goes off.
4. Turn the ignition switch to the OFF position, then turn it to the ON position again.
5. Make sure the TCS/DSC indicator light goes off.

I know you said the dealer would fix it, but that's still a good thing to know about the car.
 

leviathan

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The manual says you should have seen a flashing DSC OFF light as well as the standard DSC lamp on
That's exactly what happened - standard DSC lamp stayed on all the time, additional "DSC OFF" flashed until I started driving. Good to know it's normal and how to get it running again.

People on Telegram have found a couple more interesting ones: a 2002 NB with almost no mileage (https://suchen.mobile.de/fahrzeuge/details.html?id=248169694) and a similar NC, but with xenons, 6-speed and a colour (https://suchen.mobile.de/fahrzeuge/details.html?id=249019234). And I've found another NC nearly identical to today's test drive (https://www.autoscout24.de/angebote/-484214b2-91ef-40b8-9f78-9eb470b1af05). They're all in the same general area. Might take a day off next week or after my vacation in two weeks, and go take a look at all of them.
 

Mitchi

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That's exactly what happened - standard DSC lamp stayed on all the time, additional "DSC OFF" flashed until I started driving. Good to know it's normal and how to get it running again.

People on Telegram have found a couple more interesting ones: a 2002 NB with almost no mileage (https://suchen.mobile.de/fahrzeuge/details.html?id=248169694) and a similar NC, but with xenons, 6-speed and a colour (https://suchen.mobile.de/fahrzeuge/details.html?id=249019234). And I've found another NC nearly identical to today's test drive (https://www.autoscout24.de/angebote/-484214b2-91ef-40b8-9f78-9eb470b1af05). They're all in the same general area. Might take a day off next week or after my vacation in two weeks, and go take a look at all of them.
Cool thing about that NB: It should be an actual, real "sportive" model (top of the line), which was only available in .de for MY2002 and very early 2003. Really cool. A lot of people just put it online and say it's a sportive with the 6-speed etc, but it really isn't...
 

Mitchi

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Seems like enough time has passed for people actually swapping their MX-5 NAs and NBs with J32 and J35 engines from Honda vans and sedans.

I am hugely in love. I'd probably do this over a turbo...


 

Mitchi

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And the best thing? The engine fits with the stock gearbox (adapter included in the kit), weighs just a couple of kg's more and can be good for 300 hp.

So it's basically a Nissan 350z/370z with 500 kg less. :lol:
 

Redliner

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And the best thing? The engine fits with the stock gearbox (adapter included in the kit), weighs just a couple of kg's more and can be good for 300 hp.

So it's basically a Nissan 350z/370z with 500 kg less. :lol:
Oh man, that ticks so many boxes.
How hard would it be to get it T?V approved? :lol:
 

Mitchi

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Oh man, that ticks so many boxes.
How hard would it be to get it T?V approved? :lol:
I thought about this long ago and to be honest, I don't see a problem with the whole build - you'd just need to get the engine from the US as no Honda has been sold with one over here. Then you'd need an Einzel-Abgasgutachten (which I think is quite expensive) and you're good to go.
 

loose_unit

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I thought about this long ago and to be honest, I don't see a problem with the whole build - you'd just need to get the engine from the US as no Honda has been sold with one over here. Then you'd need an Einzel-Abgasgutachten (which I think is quite expensive) and you're good to go.
Probably bigger brakes, too.
 
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