Any insight on a 96 Mazda Miata

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by hottxboi16, Oct 11, 2006.

  1. hottxboi16

    hottxboi16 Member

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    has around 124k miles...


    Just mainly looking for anyone thats owned one or knew someone that has that can give feedback if they think the car will last or not?
     
  2. Rikter8

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    Thats a very hard question to answer, especially sight unseen, Plus are you willing to work on this yourself??

    MMM... well with that amount of miles on it, I would be looking at the suspention condition, and check to make sure your ball joints, tie rod ends, end links, bushings and tire tread to see the overall condition.
    It's all going to determine how it was driven before.

    At that mileage, there are several things that should have been done recently.
    1. Coolant flushed and new antifreeze installed
    2. Transmission and differential fluids changed
    3. Engine timing Belt service, and Belts
    4. Spark Plugs, wires, and Fuel Filter

    Those have Timing belts rather than chains.
    Belt driven cams generally have the belts stretch after around 80K miles.
    I'm not sure if thats a Zero clearance motor or not, but if the belts are worn or break on a zero clearance motor - catastrophic event.
    When theres too much slop in the cam belt, the valves come in contact with the pistons, and BOOM.
    I would also check the idlers to make sure the proper tension is on the belt.

    It's a 1.8L DOHC engine, so your talking about some major cost if you have to have the heads redone, and cams replaced.

    Check the coolant in the radiator and recovery jug. Does it look either Pink or Green?
    If its brown, that indicates either Head Gasket leak, or Intake Manifold leak.
    It could also mean a cracked engine block.
    Another thing, that I learned from the 3800 Series II is to look at the rocker arms through the oil fill cap in the valve covers. Do the rocker arms look clean, or are they sludgy?
    Sludgy means water may be getting into the motor, OR they didnt change the oil frequently...BOTH are items to steer clear of, unless you have another motor on an engine stand, ready to go in. (I ran out of engine stands, all full TEE HEE HEE)

    If it's been well maintained, drives well, the motor sounds tight, and you are getting a GOOD price on it, might be a good car.
    Might be handy to take a code reader with you to see if any Engine/body codes are being flagged.

    If It were Mine, I would do all the maintenance on it, and then put Mobil 1 synthetic motor oil into it.
    Mobil 1 synthetic just about stops all engine wear when you put it in.
    Just remember...you cant switch back.

    Hope this helps.
    Hit me up if you have more questions.
     
  3. roosevelt

    roosevelt New Member

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    It's a non- interference angine by the way. so no worries there, and the heads tend to be very strong.

    The motors are known for being long lasting, the bodies are usually good if it's not from the rust belt. They tend to be very reliable cars if well maintained.

    I love my miata, it's fun, reliable and gets good gas mileage.
     
  4. Rikter8

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    I just confirmed...

    It is a Zero clearance motor, so timing belt service would be critical.

    Autozone - Gatorback Timing belt kit GTK0179 $117

    Autolite Platinum plugs APP3924 $3.99 each

    PCV Valve PCV148 $ 3.00

    Fuel Filter FF747 $20.89

    Etc..etc...




     
  5. Rikter8

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    You sure?

    Every listiing I find for that timing belt says "Interference engine"

    Even if it isn't, anyone that has owned a belt driven cam system knows better than to stretch it over 100k miles.
     
  6. roosevelt

    roosevelt New Member

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    Pretty sure... (hmmm... maybe my memory is off though) rebuilt one earlier this year, someone had run it without water, and blew the head gasket (the head was actually okay)

    I do agree though, Timing belts are a must every 60-80k wether it's an interference engine or not. nothing sucks worse than sitting on the side of the road broken down.

    And the timing belt idler too. (take my word on this one)

    Rikter8 is Absolutely right that you need to maintain the thing, and what he listed can be considered good preventative maintenance.

    They're fun cars to drive, and quicker than most people give 'em credit for. and when you drive gently, you can expect almost 30mpg.

    Also have the A/C checked out if you intend to use it, and have the brakes checked.
     
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