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Discussion Starter #1
So at the end of March I will be buying a NB Miata.
I found two that I think are priced good.
Ok now my question is which one would you buy?

1. 2004 Black Cherry with 38,459 miles

Auto trader link- http://www.autotrader.com/fyc/vdp.jsp?car_id=209496775&dealer_id=82188&search_type=both&distance=200&address=50701&make=MAZDA&model=MIATA&make2=&start_year=1981&end_year=2007&min_price=14000&max_price=15500&transmission=&engine=&drive=&doors=&fuel=&max_mileage=&color=&certified=&advanced=&default_sort=priceDESC&keywordsfyc=

2. 2003 Dk Garnett Mica with 11,563 miles

Auto trader link- http://www.autotrader.com/fyc/vdp.jsp?car_id=208577588&dealer_id=10579669&search_type=both&distance=200&address=50701&make=MAZDA&model=MIATA&make2=&start_year=1981&end_year=2007&min_price=14000&max_price=15500&transmission=&engine=&drive=&doors=&fuel=&max_mileage=&color=&certified=&advanced=&default_sort=priceDESC&keywordsfyc=

I really like the Black Cherry and Im not in love with that Dk Garnett Mica but with the low miles and good price I could probally learn to like it.
What car would you guys think is the better BUY?

Ok I know this question was probally asked a billion times but what are some thinks that I should look forwared to when checking these cars out? I tried to search

Thanks
 

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I find that when faced with comprable cars I tend to go with the one with the least mileage despite the age. One thing to keep in mind is both of those cars probably have an open diff., not a limited slip. That would kill the deal for me personally but to each their own. I agree, I like the darker color.
 

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The black cherry is 10 times nicer. What you do is print out the info on the other car and take it to the black cherries dealer. Show them that the other car has less miles for cheaper and you would like to take home the blck cherry for a couple gs less.

Don't make it obvious that you went over there to do that. Make pretend you just had copies of NBs that you intend on looking at that day and mention how the other is cheaper with lesser miles.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Ok so how can you tell that they have an open diff.?
Would an open diff. limit me while I am autoX or are the Lsd really needed in the Miatas if you plan on doing some sprinted driving?
How much more should I have to pay for a car that has an LSD in it versus one that doesnt .
Do all the NBs have the Torsen diff.?
And I heard somewhere that you can swap out your open diff. for a lsd for $600 is that true?

I am sorry for all the extra noob questions :oops:
 

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Discussion Starter #6
The black cherry is 10 times nicer. What you do is print out the info on the other car and take it to the black cherries dealer. Show them that the other car has less miles for cheaper and you would like to take home the blck cherry for a couple gs less.

Don't make it obvious that you went over there to do that. Make pretend you just had copies of NBs that you intend on looking at that day and mention how the other is cheaper with lesser miles.
Ahh thank you that sounds like a good idea. =D>
And whould it be fair if I asked them to get it for $12,000 or would that be extreme lowballing?
 

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In 2003 and 2004 a Tochigi Fuji LSD was an option not a Torsen. Line item in 2003 and part of a package in 2004. The LSD was standard on an LS model but so was leather. Unfortunately I don't know how to tell if the car is equipped with an LSD. You can check the door plate on the passenger side, if it says "Hard S" under the suspension catagory then you may have an LSD but don't quote me on that.

1.8 Torsen diffs run around 600-1100 depending on who sells it for the complete center section. You can get a diff from Mazda Comp for around 600 but it has to be installed. Don't know what the labor runs. But if you're going that route you could look at a KAAZ, or other LSD.

I've driven both and can tell a difference especially on the autocross course. Street driving you can't always tell unless you get into that slippery situation. Even then I can tell my viscous is not enough.
 

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I would suggest you buy a 99-00 first off. The 01+ require 91 octane while the early NBs require 87. You get a few extra HP with an 01+ but its not really worth how much money in gas its going to cost you.

As far as the LSD goes, it would be nice to have but not required. If you are trying to be competitive in AutoX (vs gaining experience) an LSD is important. But depending on how much driving experience you have, you might not have learned how to take advantage of it yet.
I really notice I have an open diff when im coming out of a tight corner with some bumps or crap on the road. I can't really get on the power (because of inside rear wheel spin) until I have the weight more evenly distributed over the back.
If I had started out with an LSD I would have never learned where one would be useful. Because I started out with an open diff I can now see exactly where a upgrade will improve my performance.

The more you demand accelerative capacity out of the rear tires, the more you need an LSD.
 

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Ahh thank you that sounds like a good idea. =D>
And whould it be fair if I asked them to get it for $12,000 or would that be extreme lowballing?
Not at all. That is the tops you should pay in my opinion. Depends where you live sometimes. Might be harder in warmer weather.

I also agree with endlesscorners that a 99/00 is more favorable. It benefits the most with a header install then any other year. In my opinion has the nicer front bumper of the nbs. And last it has the best power to weight ratio then any other year.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks for the info I always knew that the 99-00 were the best because they had the best power to weight ratio. And also because they dont have Variable valve timing so they dont require premium. I really like the newer front though. And the 99-00 looks a bit more dated. Plus I cant find a 99-00 for the right price all way expensive.I will be on the look out though and will do more research and I will get back to u guys when I finally buy it.
 

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I've always thought black sports cars are just plain sexy.
Then again I might be a liiittle bias since my nb is black :D

But in all seriousness, you said yourself you like the black cherry look more and 38,000 miles is still relatively low in the grand scheme of things. Spend the few extra bucks to get what you like. In the long run you'll be much happier.
 

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Thanks for the info I always knew that the 99-00 were the best because they had the best power to weight ratio. And also because they dont have Variable valve timing so they dont require premium. I really like the newer front though. And the 99-00 looks a bit more dated. Plus I cant find a 99-00 for the right price all way expensive.I will be on the look out though and will do more research and I will get back to u guys when I finally buy it.
For the amount you would save on a 99-00 you could do a front end swap and still end up in the green.

You will also have slightly less depreciation on an older car too.

But if a 99-00 is simply too much compromise get an 01+, you are buying this thing for your own enjoyment.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
For the amount you would save on a 99-00 you could do a front end swap and still end up in the green.

You will also have slightly less depreciation on an older car too.

But if a 99-00 is simply too much compromise get an 01+, you are buying this thing for your own enjoyment.
thanks man I guess I will be on the look out for a 99-00 I will have more money left for mods. And I can change up the front if I get tired of the 99-00 front and then sell that front to someone. Good idea
thanks
 

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No problem, the swap has been done a few times.

There is a member here named Fritch that has done the swap, you might want to PM him for details. There is also more info about it on miata.net forums. From what I remember all you need are the headlights and the front bumper.

If you are looking for a buyers guide, or at least common problems I again suggest miata.net forums. There is tons of good info there as well as rampant paranoia. If you have already done research on 01+, be aware that 99-00s are going to have a different set of problems.

Just some examples:

There are two bars I have to squeeze together when I put down my soft top, or it wont go down farther then half way. From what I remember this is common to all NBs.

01+s have problems with clutch chatter, as far as I know 99-00s are unaffected.

Some 99-00s were given an engine thrust bearing that is too small and causes the engine to eat itself. The only true way to tell is to check the endplay runout of the crankshaft. I have 80K+ miles and im not going to bother.

When my transmission gets warmed up after long drives it makes some pinging noises when I accelerate in 4th or 5th gear between 4000 and 5000 rpm. Other people with 5 spds have this problem and as best anybody can tell its just harmonics that occur in the case.

Anyway, not to scare you off but I think you ought to know that the different years have different peculiarities.
 
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