MX5/Miata Thread

MX5/Miata Thread


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MadCat360

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Unfortunately for me I don't own it, but now I'm driving an NA Spec Miata on weekends. The one with yellow stripes (not me driving):



My favorite in stock form is the NB though.
 
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argatoga

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Seriously though, total fag car. You should have picked something far more manly and butch.
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:p
 

thedguy

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Here is me (with a girl riding shotgun!) coming out of the corkscrew



Miatas are for faggetz.


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The Miata originally popped into my head because its a lightweight RWD car. Then I went to a few autocrosses and realized that they kick butt there. Then I did more and more research and decided that I really like them a lot. Then I drove one and that basically sealed the deal. In a matter of about a year I went from "why would I want this little girls car" to "omfg I need this in my life". I've wanted one ever since. Finally got my NB this weekend :D They are ridiculously fun and emotionally appealing cars. If you've never drive one, do it. Really.

btw, I picked an NB because its newer/fresher and therefore has lower mileage (typically). Its also stiffer, has a much better interior, yet drives the same as an NA and weighs only a little more. Honestly, you cant go wrong with any model.
The NB may be the superior car, but the NA is the better Miata :p

I've let a number of people drive my NA with a low on power 1.6 (it's was an automatic, these came with 10 or 15 less hp) and most come out of it only with a threats to their loved ones or asking "so how much will it cost me to build one to drive like that." Some usually ask about turbo kits.

What do all you Miata fans think of forced induction? I've been reading a few articles. Some people like it, some don't.
The engines are, quite literally, built for boost. The 1.6l's even have all the factory oil feed/drains still cast in the block. Mazda took the 323gt(x) and basically modified it to be a better NA engine.
The 1.6's are pretty solid up to around 200whp, the 1.8's are good for more. The limiting factor on power is the trans and diff, neither really likes much over 250.

P.s. I've been researching turbo bits for my NA. I hoping that by the end of summer it'll be seeing boost.
 
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RaptorJesus

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I like Miatas, specifically NB's but would rather buy a AP2 S2k. I've driven all three gen's and they were brilliant handling cars, especially the NA but it just doesn't get me going. I think if I got one I would have to put a rotary or LSx engine in it to make it mental/unique.
 

Hbriz

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When I come to buying my next car, if my budget is not as limited and I don't carry the occasional backseat passenger, I'd seriously consider an MX-5. But the MR2 and even the MG TF have their charms and I'd have to drive each of them to choose between them. I'd go for the NC if the budget permits, as if I were going to upgrade my car I'd like it to be newer. Also, lower mileage and fewer potential problems, and I don't mind trading off a tiny bit of driving enjoyment for a car that would be better to own in the long run.
 

thedguy

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When I come to buying my next car, if my budget is not as limited and I don't carry the occasional backseat passenger, I'd seriously consider an MX-5. But the MR2 and even the MG TF have their charms and I'd have to drive each of them to choose between them. I'd go for the NC if the budget permits, as if I were going to upgrade my car I'd like it to be newer. Also, lower mileage and fewer potential problems, and I don't mind trading off a tiny bit of driving enjoyment for a car that would be better to own in the long run.
Honestly, there ain't much to go wrong on these cars. I'm racing on a 140k mile car that's 21 years old and hasn't exactly been the most well maintained car in its life as the P.O. was a girl in college. I've had 1 major problem that was only an early design issue for 1 year of these cars.

Get the one you like, not the one that is the newest unless that is really the one you end up liking.
 

LeVeL

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I like Miatas, specifically NB's but would rather buy a AP2 S2k. I've driven all three gen's and they were brilliant handling cars, especially the NA but it just doesn't get me going. I think if I got one I would have to put a rotary or LSx engine in it to make it mental/unique.
I was going to get an ap2. Then I paid a third of what it costs for a Miata. I haven't driven an ap2, but my Miata is more fun than an ap1, imho
 

public

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So I just went and voted NA because I somehow thought this thread was about which one I like the most. Great.
 

Dr_Grip

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Maybe we should rename the "Post your car" subforum to "post your Miata".
 

CraigB

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I've always been Miata/MX-5 curious, but never had a chance to drive one. I'm not sure I'd even fit comfortably in one.
 

MWF

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Well there is only one way to find out for sure. Go take one out for a test drive.

On a side note I helped my sister in law choose her last car 3 years ago. She hated the idea of an MX5 but I insisted she took one out. Even on a crisp, sunny February day we had the roof down and she was grinning like an idiot after half a mile.

The she decided it wasn't practical enough (single girl, wtf?), bought an Alfa 147 instead which chucked a cam belt a few months back and cost her ?1200! Then some girl who'd been driving 3 months went into the back of it a couple of weeks ago and totalled it. She and her fiance have just bought a Passat estate diesel.
 

Lastsoul

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So I just went and voted NA because I somehow thought this thread was about which one I like the most. Great.
So better start keep looking at nettiauto.com for jamesmayed NAs!
 

Eunos_Cosmo

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I really want a black NB, with a hardtop, and bridgeport 13b.

Looking something like this:
 

Mr. Nice

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I'm really surprised that I'm the only one so far with an NC. As much as I think the NA is better in a lot of ways, the NC has certain good qualities as well (like being newer, for one).
 

MWF

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Well spicysaurus has one but isn't active here much these days, and equiraptor obviously hasn't spotted this thread yet, but both of them have NC's. I've seen both and driven several hundred miles in the former. Interestingly both my NB and spicy's NC come "on cam" and give you a kick up the arse at 4000 revs. I was quite surprised at how similar they are to drive.

I'm eager to play with the new one (ND I assume) when it arrives as I hear they are working on ways of making it as light as an NA, with the poke of a 2.0 NC and return 50mpg. :D
 

MadCat360

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I was quite surprised at how similar they are to drive.
Really? The NC I drove once felt much more grown up than the NB - the NB was more raw feeling. I also felt like it had much better torque across the range, but that was probably the shorter ratio 6-speed versus the 5-peed in the NB.
 

MWF

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You have to bear in mind they were fairly fleeting impressions. Other side of roads paved with different materials. Certainly different to drive but the DNA was obvious. I've not experienced an NA as a driver or as a passenger but I can say that I am a confirmed fan. I don't have the most illustrious car history, but having owned an Impreza 2000 Turbo wagon my MX5 provides as many smiles for roughly half the running costs.
 

equiraptor

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I own two Miatas - an NA and an NC. However, the NA is my mother's car, these days. My MX-5 story goes something like this. I get a bit long winded about this, sorry. :)

Once upon a time, I was driving an old Camry. Nugget had recently sold his 1994 MX-5 M Edition and bought a 2002 BMW M Roadster (S54 engine). I'd always loved driving, and Nugget let me drive the M Roadster. It was great. He suggested I get a Miata - sure, it doesn't have the power of his ///M, but it's a lot of fun and cheap to own and maintain. I took a look at them and initially preferred the NB to the NA - I hated the popup headlights (just more to go wrong, in my mind). I drove a friend's stock NB. But the NAs were cheaper, and more in my budget (I was still in school). I saved up a pile of cash and found a pretty little 94 M Edition in Georgia. Nugget and I went out in the M Roadster and came back with two cars.

My little NA was 10 years old with 89,000 miles. It needed new brakes, new tires, new shocks, and wasn't too far from needing a new clutch. It was still the most fun car I'd owned. Initially, parts were replaced as necessary/I could afford. But I quickly grew to miss the power of Nugget's car. I read the miata.net mailing list, lurked on the forums, and soaked up information. We had a local Miata guru in the area - John Long. He knows more about fixing (and fixing up) these cars than the guys who designed them. He was just starting an independent shop as I purchased my NA, and I was one of his first customers. As his shop grew, he took on a service manager by the name of Dan who raced Miatas. Dan had a supercharged NB. That sealed the deal for me - I wanted a supercharger. I knew John and Dan had the experience and expertise to build me a good one. I wanted a supercharger for the flat torque curve, as compared to a turbo. As my car was primarily a street car, I was fine with the slightly lower power output. With the twin screw supercharger kits being developed at the time, the parasitic power loss wasn't bad, the noise was low until the system reached boost, the system was reliable, and it definitely put down power. And so I walked in one day and told Dan, "I want a supercharger." "Great," he responded, "After you start autocrossing." I was planning to autocross anyway, so it started.

Dan knew I wanted a powerful car - one loosely modeled after his then-300rwhp MX-5 (his eventually went to 350rwhp before it was sold - probably close to 400hp at the crank in a 2300 pound car). He knew this was my first RWD car and wanted to be sure I could handle the power. Soon after I started autocrossing, he let me drive his NB on the street. It was clear from his body language, sitting next to me, that he didn't trust me. He thought I lacked the skill to handle the vehicle and was ready to step in at a moment's notice (yanking it out of gear, cutting the ignition, whatever). I kept going to autocrosses, and a few months later, I left my car at the shop. I was buying Dan's old block - he was replacing his built 1.8L block with a built 2.0L stroker block. As the intake and exhaust on the '94 mate a bit differently from the '99, my built engine was to use the head from my car, but with mechanical lifters (rather than the hydraulic ones that are OEM, and tend to collapse at high RPM). John also had some custom cams for an MX-5 that another customer had abandoned mid-build, so I got those for cheap, and the valves were re-done to allow a better seal and faster airflow. John and Dan patiently explained all of these parts, their purpose, their role, etc. to me. They built up the engine, installed the supercharger, installed the new ECU, etc., and two weeks later, I had my car back, only with about twice the power it had before. It was amazing. The car sounded stock, sitting at a light, but as soon as I hit boost, that supercharger whine screamed and the car flew down the road. I continued autocrossing it, and continued to feel I was doing poorly. Still, I loved the car and I was having a lot of fun, so I kept on.

Dan had made some more improvements to his NB, and was planning on selling it soon, so he let me take it for another spin. This time, sitting next to me, he was relaxed. As I blipped the throttle and braked late for a turn, he was no longer concerned and ready to intervene. He'd clearly come to trust my judgment and my skill.

Around this time, the NCs started arriving. I mostly ignored them. They were newer, bigger, and heavier, and my little car was a blast. But John and Dan bought an NC, as a parts development car, and Dan started autocrossing it. Dan sold his souped up NB, racing the NC instead. If Dan could be happy with the NC, perhaps it deserved a closer look. In March of 2006, I went to a dealer in north Austin and took one for a drive. The dealer was just across the street from my parents' neighborhood (where I grew up and learned to drive). I tossed the car around the familiar roads, then took it down 2222 (a curvy, hilly road in the area). My mother was with me, and as we went down 2222, she said, "Don't roll it."
"I won't, Mom."
"Don't go into oncoming traffic."
"I won't, Mom."
"Don't get a ticket."
...
A smug look appeared on my mother's face. Still, I kept going, and that brief drive down 2222 was hugely informative. I took it down the freeway for a bit, and then went through some of the city traffic. Immediately I could tell the suspension was softer than I wanted, it needed a lightweight flywheel (perhaps my favorite mod), and it was definitely down on power compared with my supercharged NA, but there was something there. That chassis... It was rigid. Remarkably so, for a convertible. The weight was very centered in the chassis. Remember, at this time, I had just a few autocrosses under my belt. I considered myself "someone who enjoys driving," not a racer. I didn't think I'd have the ability to notice these things, so I distrusted my own judgment. I got home and researched the car, and discovered Mazda had actually made significant efforts to both stiffen the chassis and center the weight. Huh. Well. At this point, I knew I needed one. Yes, it needed some modification, but that was fine. It was definitely still a Miata, and it was great.

Over the course of the next year or so, I stopped modifying my NA. I still autocrossed it and I still loved it, but no more money was spent improving it. That all went into the "down payment on the NC" savings. I also talked with Dan, Nugget, my mother, and the car community about what I'd do with the NA. Selling such a modified car is not always an easy proposition. But the pieces started to fall into place. I had found a buyer for the go-fast bits from my car. We'd trade - he'd get my aftermarket parts, I'd get OEM equivalents from him and money. John and Dan would do all the installs. The cash influx would go into the down payment on the NC, and my mother would get the now-back-to-stock NA. As this was starting, I complained to John, "I really wanted a Nordic Green NC, but they're not selling those anymore. I don't like the Highland Green or the Stormy Blue." I got one of those, "You're such a girl," looks, but then he said, "Mine's green. It's a 2006." That meant it was Nordic Green. He said he might be interested in selling it - the parts development wasn't going anywhere, and he rarely drove it. My eyes lit up. That weekend, we gathered at the shop and I took John and Dan's NC for a drive. It was indeed Nordic Green. It had coilovers, a lightweight flywheel, a cold air intake, and an aftermarket muffler. I tossed it around the area roads, and it felt great. It was maybe a bit stiff over the railroad tracks, and it was loud, but it pulled harder than OEM, and the lightweight flywheel was great, and... I wanted it. I went home uncertain. I wanted that car, but was John serious about selling? That Monday I dropped by the shop at lunch and asked what he wanted for the car. Friday we were signing the paperwork and I drove my NC to work.

Friday evening I drove my NC back to the shop. There was an autocross that Sunday, and Dan and I were going to run my "new" car. Dan is a "real" racer. We would be running the car on his R-compounds. My old car had been classed in SM2, and I always placed last in the class, no matter who else ran. The new one was in CSP, and I assumed I'd be last, like always. To my surprise, I came in 2nd, with only Dan beating me. This persisted through a few events, and finally I came to realise... I wasn't just some girl who liked cars, anymore. I had become a racer, a real competitor, someone who could win.

In 2008, the car and I won the 2008 Southwest Division CSP championship. We brought home 1st in CSP at the Fort Worth National Tour and 2nd place in CSPL at Nationals. Second place at Nationals, my first time to go.

Shortly after, Nugget and I moved to Houston. I stopped autocrossing and did more track days. I'm now instructing for a few different groups and racing in LeMons and Chump Car from time to time. I may move on to Spec Miata in the future, if I can find/make the time (and money).

I've driven a wide variety of Miatas. I've driven stock 1.6L automatics. I've driven 350+hp Miata beasts. I've driven Spec Miatas, track Miatas, turbos, superchargers, etc., etc. The first time I autocrossed the NC, I was convinced I'd have no idea how to drive it. Dan said to me, "It's just a Miata. It has a bit less acceleration and a bit more grip than your old one, but you drive it the exact same way. It'll feel the same. Just get out there and do it." He was right. They're all Miatas, faster Miatas, slower Miatas, twitchier Miatas, softer Miatas, they're all Miatas and they're all a joy to drive. These cars earn their cult-like following.
 
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