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I want to buy a Miata for track, what should I look for?

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  • I want to buy a Miata for track, what should I look for?

    Hello gentlemen (not sure if there are any ladies on here other than myself, lol)!

    I am looking to pick up a Miata for track purposes, so I'm looking to my resident experts for pointers! I know Rob had a lot of input when Toan was looking for his, but I have since blanked on all his advice (sorry Rob )! I seem to recall that ABS is bad and that the special editions are a waste? Please give me whatever advice you can muster, thank you all in advance!!
    www.team5racing.com

  • #2
    You are looking for someone who lost his job, has a nice track day Miata, and is desperate for money. Good luck . . .
    The deposed former Sheriff of trackHQ . . .

    2006 Porsche 997 Carerra Coupe 6-MT - daily driver
    1992 Honda (Acura) NSX 5-MT - classic investment I couldn't resist and occasionally drive
    2004 Honda S2000 AP2 6-MT - my last track day car (FOR SALE or not, depending on how I feel when I fall out of bed tomorrow morning)
    2006 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX MR 6-MT - when I need a backseat, 4-doors, or a real trunk, and still want to haul ass . . .

    Comment


    • #3
      there is no bad year Miata. but in general I would prefer 1.8:

      NA6 is 90-93, 1.6
      NA8 is 94-97, 1.8
      NB1 is 99/00, 1.8, make good power
      NB2 is 01+, 1.8 with VVT, make good torque

      1. 99+ engine has a little more power than NA8
      2. get one with torsen
      3. ABS is a good thing. later ABS is better than earlier ABS. But not easy to find
      4. 6 speed is stronger than 5 speed if you go FI. 5 speed shift better most of the time.
      5. get a hard top, not cheap. ~$800
      6. good roll bar is a must, a-pillar is make of toilet paper
      7. 94+ also has bigger brakes. better for track work.
      8. for rear end on stock power. 4.3 is best, but expensive. 4.1 is most common. 3.9 is expensive, better fit for FI.
      9. to make power, I/H/E and ECU will add about 20-40whp.
      Last edited by bellwilliam; 08-06-2011, 10:53 PM.
      S1 Supermiata - 220whp
      13 Tesla, ma: no engine !!
      17 GT350R
      03 Miata Club Sport
      96 NSX
      06 EVO MR
      15 Mini Cooper S
      Beck 550 Spyder

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      • #4
        Originally posted by bellwilliam View Post
        there is no bad year Miata. but in general I would prefer 1.8:

        NA6 is 90-93, 1.6
        NA8 is 94-97, 1.8
        NB1 is 99/00, 1.8, make good power
        NB2 is 01+, 1.8 with VVT, make good torque

        1. 99+ engine has a little more power than NA8
        2. get one with torsen
        3. ABS is a good thing. later ABS is better than earlier ABS. But not easy to find
        4. 6 speed is stronger than 5 speed if you go FI. 5 speed shift better most of the time.
        5. get a hard top, not cheap. ~$800
        6. good roll bar is a must, a-pillar is make of toilet paper
        7. 94+ also has bigger brakes. better for track work.
        8. for rear end on stock power. 4.3 is best, but expensive. 4.1 is most common. 3.9 is expensive, better fit for FI.
        9. to make power, I/H/E and ECU will add about 20-40whp.
        William forgot to mention the best Miata of all - the one made by Honda. It's basically the same as all the other Miatas William mentioned, except the Honda version has a 2.2L, 240hp, revs to 8200rpm, has a much stiffer chassis, longer wheelbase, TorSen LSD, and a 6-speed is standard.
        HP Autowerks 335i - 1st Place @ RTA Las Vegas 2010
        HP Autowerks 335i @ Buttonwillow - 1:59.1
        HP Autowerks 335i @ Laguna Seca
        Buttonwillow dorifto
        Lexus IS-F @ Chuckwalla
        100cc TonyKart @ Adams
        125cc TonyKart Shifter @ Apex

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by J. Tyler View Post
          William forgot to mention the best Miata of all - the one made by Honda. It's basically the same as all the other Miatas William mentioned, except the Honda version has a 2.2L, 240hp, revs to 8200rpm, has a much stiffer chassis, longer wheelbase, TorSen LSD, and a 6-speed is standard.
          Jeff forgot to mention that the Honda version costs 4x as much for the car or replacement engines. But otherwise, yeah, they're faster.
          WWW.949RACING.COM
          SuperMiata

          Aside from their cost I never understood why people race them.
          But obviously I just dont get it. -fatbillybob

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by emilio700 View Post
            Jeff forgot to mention that the Honda version costs 4x as much for the car or replacement engines. But otherwise, yeah, they're faster.
            4x as much for same year/model? - No.

            But I was just being facetious
            HP Autowerks 335i - 1st Place @ RTA Las Vegas 2010
            HP Autowerks 335i @ Buttonwillow - 1:59.1
            HP Autowerks 335i @ Laguna Seca
            Buttonwillow dorifto
            Lexus IS-F @ Chuckwalla
            100cc TonyKart @ Adams
            125cc TonyKart Shifter @ Apex

            Comment


            • #7
              Thanks for the input William! And this might be a noob question, but what is torsen? I'm budgeting $4000 or less for the car, assuming I'm going to have to do a good deal to it once I get it to even get it HPDE ready. Any additional advice or input will be appreciated, thanks again William!

              Oh, and Jeff, I would love an S2000 but as Emilio pointed out the 4x the cost is way out of my budget!
              Last edited by katc10; 08-07-2011, 02:05 PM.
              www.team5racing.com

              Comment


              • #8
                Torsen is a type of LSD.

                I vote for trying to find an early NB, you should be able to find one in your price range.
                99 Mazda Miata SuperMiata #515 - AKA Sparky SOLD
                '91 Mariner Blue Miata project AKA Napoleon

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Red_5 View Post
                  Torsen is a type of LSD.

                  I vote for trying to find an early NB, you should be able to find one in your price range.
                  OK, good to know. I might be able to find an early NB out there in my budget, but I have a feeling it's going to be a lot harder around my neck of the woods. I've seen people asking $5-6000 for NA6, and up to 8 for high-mileage NA8. What kind of mileage would you consider "good". Should I be concerned about high mileage for something that's going to be a track car?
                  www.team5racing.com

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                  • #10
                    I also was thinking about a Miata and the information is helpful, what do you do when the driver is 6' 2"?
                    If nothing happens and there is no one around why did it not happen?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by katc10 View Post
                      OK, good to know. I might be able to find an early NB out there in my budget, but I have a feeling it's going to be a lot harder around my neck of the woods. I've seen people asking $5-6000 for NA6, and up to 8 for high-mileage NA8. What kind of mileage would you consider "good". Should I be concerned about high mileage for something that's going to be a track car?
                      Broaden your search even as far as SoCal if you have to. In PA you'll only have garage queens and rust buckets, neither are really the best bet for a reasonably priced track car. What's your idea of high miles?
                      Originally posted by Johnny_Se7en View Post
                      I also was thinking about a Miata and the information is helpful, what do you do when the driver is 6' 2"?
                      Bolt the seat to the floor. Emilio and UCFBrett both fit in Miatas and they're taller than you.

                      I might have my 01 Sport for sale sooner than I planned. I just need some time to dig into it. It's really a perfect track car / race car donor although the interior is perfect and shame to gut.
                      99 Mazda Miata SuperMiata #515 - AKA Sparky SOLD
                      '91 Mariner Blue Miata project AKA Napoleon

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                      • #12
                        Right now my search encompasses a 300 mile radius. I'm open to looking further but not sure how the best way to go about that is, since I don't really want to purchase sight-unseen and would obviously also need to get it back to my garage without adding an unsightly amount to the cost.

                        I would probably consider 150,000+ high miles, no?
                        www.team5racing.com

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                        • #13
                          My cousin recently sold a 93 with I believe a 1.8 swap, torsen swap and a roll bar for around $4K and he lives in the Butler area. As the weather gets worse, the prices should come down.
                          99 Mazda Miata SuperMiata #515 - AKA Sparky SOLD
                          '91 Mariner Blue Miata project AKA Napoleon

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                          • #14
                            I know of a track ready miata for sale in norcal.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Here are a couple of cars semi-local to you off Miata.net:

                              [NA] 1994 M Edition 5 spd - $2500 - Location = lower NY State - MX-5 Miata Forum

                              [NA] 1996 Miata MX5 122k $4500 - MX-5 Miata Forum
                              99 Mazda Miata SuperMiata #515 - AKA Sparky SOLD
                              '91 Mariner Blue Miata project AKA Napoleon

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