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dan79brooklyn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Okayama, Japan
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Bought my first project car....

Since my job has me staying home at 60% pay indefinitely. I suppose I have too much free time, so I went searching for a car Iíve always wanted to own...a Mazda Roadster!

I looked at several locally at dealers but the prices were a bit high. I extended my search to neighboring prefectures via online auctions and a decent candidate popped up with a buy it now of the equivalent of $2000.

It does have some (very) questionable mods, but they will hopefully be easy to undo.

Itís a 1998 10 year anniversary 1.6 5 speed, with just 140,000 kilometers.
Has a hardtop ( missing the soft top).

Iím planning on picking it up and driving three hours back home on Friday.

I donít know a lot about these cars except their reputation as fun, cheap, reliable, easy to work on etc.

What should I check carefully before driving it back, and any tools (can fit in a backpack) I should bring?



Last edited by dan79brooklyn; 05-05-2020 at 04:40 PM..
Old 05-05-2020, 03:43 PM
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Bill Douglas's Avatar
 
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Hair dresser's scissors.

Sorry Dan, but you are going to have to get used to that stupid joke sometime or another.
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Old 05-05-2020, 04:34 PM
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weekend wOrrier
 
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Well at least you are doing better than my garden tractor!
Old 05-05-2020, 04:37 PM
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CMDR Perry's Avatar
 
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It's a Miata, just put some gas in it and drive it. Seriously I would check the all fluids and once you get it home replace the timing belt and water pump as soon as you can unless you have documentation it has been done. That's it, you should be able to get anything you need in terms of parts in the home country. Enjoy the new roadster and remember the answer is always Miata! DP
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Old 05-05-2020, 04:40 PM
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Hereís the engine bay.
Looks like an aftermarket chassis brace and an HKS cold (hot?) air intake. And a lotta dirt.

Old 05-05-2020, 04:50 PM
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Once you get it home probably an oil change, drive it a bit then another oil change to some good quality synthetic. Get rid of all the differed maintenance oil.

A friend has had one since it was near new and it would have to be the most reliable car I've heard of.
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Old 05-05-2020, 04:56 PM
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Looks like a fun project!!!!
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Old 05-05-2020, 05:13 PM
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thow a turbo kit on it weld the diff and have the time of your life
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Old 05-05-2020, 06:32 PM
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Nice. Most of those are pretty damn reliable. The early NAs are known to have the short nose crank issue. I am not sure if they solved that in yours. I think it looks a NB from your pic.

https://www.miata.net/garage/crankshaft.html

I had an NA, under power is an understatement, but no need to use brakes on turns so you save gas and it just keeps on going. Mine had sticky tires and adj Tokico shocks on it. Oh one more thing to remember, do not ever allow those soccer moms to beat your ass to the next signal light. They do this without trying and probably don't notice what they are doing to your manhood by making you look bad in your lil' red sports car. Mine was red also. They really are lots of fun. I took mine to a Porsche canyon run a couple times. They all gave me the thumbs up and all smiles, but I know deep down inside those bastards were calling me all kinds of names once I got into the car. Oh and I know them well.
Old 05-05-2020, 07:03 PM
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I live in Japan. Thereís no ĎMiataí stigma

Though there probably is towards Porsches...

Since Iím close to Hiroshima (Mazdaís headquarter) thereís a lot of pride in having one.

Glad to hear that you guys think the trip home will be smooth. Iíll check the liquids and tires and bring some hand tools.

Looking forward to cleaning it up and unpimping it from the aero parts.

Then full maintenance and some more tasteful mods.
Old 05-05-2020, 07:30 PM
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....
 
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I like it!
Not kei truck cool, but I would drive it.
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Old 05-05-2020, 07:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AZ_porschekid View Post
I like it!
Not kei truck cool, but I would drive it.
Haha! So you purchased one already?
Old 05-05-2020, 08:39 PM
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I’ve had mine for 17 years . . . and it has just turned over 315k kilometres. I bet close to 100k of that is from track and auto cross related activities. It’s cheap. Reliable. And not fast.
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Old 05-06-2020, 02:42 AM
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Once you get it sorted out throw a supercharger on it and have some fun . Never had one but competed against some well setup cars in AX that cornered like a go kart . Some aero kit parts look good ............. the ones on that car not so much . But create your own vision and enjoy . Keep us posted as you move forward .
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Old 05-06-2020, 03:52 AM
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Dan your car is an NB but with the 2nd generation NA 1.6 long nose crank engine. Those engines are very stout and can make serious HP with cams and head-work. Your roadster will look much better minus the side skirts. That car would sell for at least $5K in the USA. The factory bolt on Hardtops are getting to be very rare here due the Spec Miata rules requirement. DP
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Old 05-06-2020, 04:18 AM
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Nice! Hard top is a big bonus. I’m not sure that counts as much of a project car, something tells me it won’t take much to get it fully roadworthy. There’s a reason why Miata is always the answer....
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Old 05-06-2020, 04:22 AM
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That should be a fun project! And a great price. Where I am the hardtop would sell for $1000 easy.

We didn't get a 1998 model in the US. 1997 was the last of the NA (pop-up headlight) cars, and 1999 started the NB. We also didn't get a 1.6 after 1993 (Or maybe 1994?)

Right hand drive?
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Old 05-06-2020, 05:55 AM
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Did you know... that you can put a Jaguar V-6 in a Miata?

and it weighs LESS than the stock motor...
Old 05-06-2020, 01:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dan79brooklyn View Post
Haha! So you purchased one already?
Yup! Still in Japan, but hopefully not for long.
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85 928S; LSx conversion, 5 speed with LSD.

IRR... What IRR!

Last edited by Arizona_928; 05-06-2020 at 04:18 PM..
Old 05-06-2020, 04:09 PM
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Hey guys!

I picked up the car last week. It made the 2.5 hour drive back no problem.
Been cleaning it up slowly and getting ready for the strict Japanese inspection/registration process.
Pulled the seats and thoroughly cleaned the interior. Gave the engine bay a clean too.
Iíve got a pair of (red!) cloth seats on order to replace the bucket which is too tight.
Nice surprise is the soft top is intact and in very good shape too.



Old 05-14-2020, 04:13 PM
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