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Looking for barebones fun. Looking at the 1.6 NA to start with. Is there much difference in the 4 years that this engine was available? Im talkin simply engine and drivetrain performance. Whats the year of choice for the upgraders out there? Interior options make no difference, as this with be a fully gutted, and fully caged once i get my hands on one. I was considering a 94-97 with the 1.8, but all the options that come on those would eventually be removed anyways, and just seems like a waste of a perfectly good car. Ill let the people who want airbags, A/C and a radio have those. Thanks for the input, and I absolutely love this forum. You guys and gals do some great work. Im totally inspired.
 

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The 90 Miata is the lightest of them all if I remember correctly. But they do come with the short nose crank.
If I was buying a 1.6 I would get a 92 or a 93. I currently own a 90.
 

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Avoid the first two years of production, as stated above, or you'll possibly end up paying a good chunk o cash on an engine overhaul/new engine.
 

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brontosaurus
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Best 1.6 is a 92-93, unless you find a 90 with a 92-93 swap.

FYI 94-97 miata cans be had with no a/c or powersteering.

None of the years really came with many extras you are worried about.

A 94-97 has a few upgrades you should really be interested in as a track car.

For starters they make more power due to the larger engine. The engine can also have a bp4w or Vvt head slapped on from a 99-04 miata. Either of those heads with flow stock as much or more than a 1.6 or 94-97 head can fully ported.

The rear end on the 94+ cars uses a 7" ring in the differential, the 1.6 cars use a 6" which is VERY prone to breaking with abuse or power adders. The LSDs in 7" trim sell around $600 used, and that's if you find a deal. This alone could pay the price difference from a used 1.6 to a used 1.8.

The brakes are bigger on the 94-97 cars, the extra surface area means you could hold out on a brake upgrade longer.

Also the 1.8 will always make kore power for the equivalent modifications. 12psi on a 1.6, say 190whp. Same setup on a 1.8, 210hp.

Power is just easier to be had.

Just food for thought.
 
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