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Mazda MX-5 Miata (2005 and earlier)

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Comments

  • freddy_kfreddy_k Posts: 376
    That sounds like a Miata to me!
  • locke2clocke2c Posts: 5,038
    nope, sorry there's quite a lot of body roll in my opinion. mind you I don't come from buicks or SUVs, so those types of folks probably do think the stock miata is as crisp as can be.

    -Colin
  • panamaltd2panamaltd2 Posts: 162
    Hey everyone! I just thought I would share with you some information I have on the next Miata. Just the other day I was able to see some pictures of the next Miata's interior and a possible exterior design. The interior that I saw was absoultly incredible. Watch out BMW! It consisted of a two tone interior design (black and tan) with traditional round vents seen in the new Mazda6. It also has the Mazda information center sandwiched between the center vents. It has a three spoke steering wheel with audio/cruise controls. The gauge cluster is much like the one seen in the RX-8. The dash is now a waterfall layout sandwiched between two enormous chrome strips running from the back of the interior right up to the front and ends inbedded in the dash board right bellow the information center. It was stunning! The exterior was much less finalized but it seemed to be a mix of RX-8 and Mazda6 design cues. Just thought I would share it with you guys, happy zooming!
  • lngtonge18lngtonge18 Posts: 2,228
    Does anyone else seem to notice that the 1st gen Miata tends to peel out easily when doing a u-turn? It just seems that my 92 Miata likes to get skittish when doing a u-turn. I'm not flooring it, just trying to accelerate at a moderate pace to get up to speed without getting run over. In the middle of the turn at full steering lock, it peels out and gets skittish, wasting valuable acceleration time. Is this just normal rear wheel drive behavior? I just find it a little odd since my tires are new and the car only has 116 horses. Another thing I notice is the Miata doesn't exactly instill confidence to push the car real hard in turns. The body leans quite a bit and it just feels like I'm going to be spit into the weeds at a slower speed then some of my other cars. Granted, it seems to cling to the road good enough considering its small 14" wheels, but the tires don't give much warning of the break-away point. Once they start to squeal, you aren't too far away from fighting a slide. I know people are going to think I'm crazy, but I have more confidence in the handling of my front-wheel drive 84 GTI and even enjoy the handling feel of the 02 Cabrio (less lean, direct steering but not overly quick, and brought a smile to my face). I do like the quick steering response of the Miata (though it can be a bit too darty) and it is fun sliding the car on dirt roads. I guess what I'm trying to say is, I think the older Miatas could use a little more refinement in their handling (it needs a less skittish, more planted-to-the-road feel). I wonder if the 99-02 Miatas are better in this regard? I guess this is what happens when you grow up on front-wheel drive cars. You just don't feel completely comfortable with rear-wheel drive handling. I still find the Miata fun to drive, just not as secure in more severe situations.
  • freddy_kfreddy_k Posts: 376
    Some questions for you.

    What tires are you running on?
    What shocks are you running on?
    When was the last time your shocks were replaced?

    Miatas are actually supposed to be friendly at the limit, and easy to drive fast. Since I've taken up autocrossing I'ver realized how opposite I've found the car compared to your findings. The car whips around corners, when the tail end strays it is quickly checked with slight adjustments, and I can do U turns faster then I ever have before. If you are giving it gas while the wheel is still turned, then obviously the rear of the car will go in a different direction then the front of the car, that is the nature of rwd. I typically go into the U turn fast, coast around until the car and wheel are straight, and then hammer on the gas.

    If you ask me, I'd say you need to get your car checked out by somebody who knows Miatas. You'd be amazed at the difference even just a proper alignment can make.

    Also, consider a performance driving school. It doen't matter if you do performance driving or not, you'll learn to drive the car properly, and probably find limits higher then you would have expected.
  • locke2clocke2c Posts: 5,038
    freddy addressed the suspension questions fairly well but I think he's overlooking something about the U-turn:

    you probably are spinning just the inside rear wheel. a '92 miata has either an open rear differential, or given sufficient mileage a worn-out viscous coupling limited slip. the VC rear end wasn't "grabby" when new, so after the miles go on they do practically nothing.

    when I did an aggressive U-turn in my ex-wife's Miata I'd approach fast, stand on the brakes, lift, rotate and stomp the gas. the torsen rear end digs in pretty good and after a brief chirp you're gone.

    -Colin
  • freddy_kfreddy_k Posts: 376
    Thank you for the frightening post

    It looks like the whole point of the Miata is soon going to go to hell. Everybody knows what happened to the once great Z car as they tried to fancy it up with garbage? The car gained weight, lost sportiness, got expensive, lost sales, and died. even the model name grew (240, 280, 300)
    Chrome trim? Mazda information center? Controls on the steering wheel? I think we' might be seeing the final days of the Miata as we know it.

    The fancier, more technological, and the bigger and heavier the car gets, the less interest I have in it. As it stands now I wouldn't purchase any model past '00.
  • lngtonge18lngtonge18 Posts: 2,228
    Hmm..thanks for the insight. Maybe I will try going into the u-turn faster and not apply the gas till after the car is str8. I have just been surprised by it a few times because I wasn't flooring it; the gas pedal was about 1/4 of the way down 3/4 of way through the turn. I didn't expect it to be that sensitive. When I first got the car, the rear tires were showing heavy wear on the inside edges, so the alignment was off (Are the rear tires toed out more by design like some cars?). I have since had the car re-aligned 3 times: once when I got 4 new tires, once when I had the front shocks replaced, and once to correct the pull caused by the second one. By the way, I'm running Fulda Assuro 185/60HR14s, KYB XR2 gas front shocks, and original rear shocks. I wanted better tires but was limited in my choices. The ones shown in the tire store had an aggressive pattern and looked like good performance tires, but the ones put on my car had a less aggressive pattern (I was a little ticked because they told me it would be just like the one I was looking at). They seem to grip good and are quiet. I know the rear shocks are old, but surprisingly, the new ones seem to lean more in turns then the old ones. Anyway, the Miata is now my daily driver so I plan on doing some upgrading, like lower front stressbar and rear bulkhead stressbar. Eventually, I will get the new rear shocks as well. I also want to dress up the interior a little.
  • panamaltd2panamaltd2 Posts: 162
    That is the question I asked the man who showed me this pictures. His reply was..."The Miata is the single most important car to Mazda. If Mazda could only going to make one vehicle it would be the Miata. The original Miata formula will remain through the progression of the MX-5 Miata's lifetime." Actually my post was not meant to scare anyone. Obviously Mazda is not moving in the wrong direction right now (Mazda6, RX-8). In the process things are going to move up scale but the drawings I saw reeked of original Miata DNA. It looks to be absoultly gorgeous. That chrome trim you are so afraid of can be seen in the upcoming RX-8, sure as heck doesn't look bad there. And the Mazda information center is there so that there will be less eye travel and you can focus on the road more, ditto the steering wheel controls. You have to be open for change especially if Mazda is trying to become the "Japanese BMW." Looks like things are only getting better for Mazda. In this important "turn around" time for Mazda I doubt they will make any mistakes. Proof of this can already be seen in the 6 and RX-8. My informant also told me that the bosses at Mazda are being extra picky about what the next Miata will be like, their main goal is to stick to the original formula. Change isn't always bad.
  • freddy_kfreddy_k Posts: 376
    panamalt: Change isn't bad, but one of the things I like about the car is simplicity. Right now it is a simple car that is easy to modify to the drivers tastes. As if the airbag isn't enough, steering wheel controls will make it even harder to swap out the wheel. The plain plastic used now let's the driver decide what he'd like to trim his car with, chrome, aluminum, carbon, wood... Also, it's old and simple engine without this valve technology BS is relatively cheap and easy to modify with F/I for those who like it, and there are many. If Mazda wants to be the 'BMW' that's fine, but leave the Miata out of it! (just look at the Z3!)

    Ingtonge: Maybe somebody with more mechanical knowledge then me can verify, but I'd say running on custom shocks replaced within the cars lifetime on half the car, and original factory shocks could be a big part of the cause of the problem. You might consider something like KYB AGX 8 way adjustables on all four corners. They're cheap, effective, and you can play with settings to a get suitable ride vs handling compromise.
  • panamaltd2panamaltd2 Posts: 162
    I didn't think of the whole customizing thing but really how many BMWs do you see customized. Mazda is trying to make this car so perfect that you won't feel compelled to modify it. Mazda is moving up and I doubt if it will leave the Miata behind. (Valve timing makes for a better engine too.)
  • kymikekymike Posts: 115
    You will find that your handling is a direct function of tires, shocks and alignment. I would recommend visiting the http://www.miata.net/ forum and follow some of the messages under the handling section. I have the KYB AGX shocks on my 1991 and hold them in very high regard. I replaced shocks that had about 58,000 miles on them and could immediately tell a great difference. I would also recommend an alignment to the specs found at http://www.hummingbirds.net/alignment.html . These fall within Mazda's recommendations. You will notice a big difference in your handling once you have your car aligned to these specs.


    Since you want to upgrade your car somewhat, I would recommend adding the front and rear subframe braces and the cockpit brace found on 1994 and later models. These will take a lot of the "looseness" out of your ride and make the car feel more solid. You can actually make your own front brace out of "C" channel iron for under $10.


    The most expensive of all of the above mods will be the shocks. At a minimum, I would recommend replacing the factory rear shocks as they are probably well worn by now. The other mods can all be done fairly cheaply if you buy used braces on http://www.miata.net/ or http://www.ebay.com/.


    These are wonderful little cars. Happy motoring!

  • lngtonge18lngtonge18 Posts: 2,228
    I'm sure others have noticed how inadequate the wipers are on high speed, at least on the older Miatas (my 84 RX7 had the same flaw). I drove through the worst downpour today and for the first time truly wanted to pull over. I was going 25 mph and couldn't see anything more then a couple of feet in front of my car. I couldn't even see the side of the road to find a safe spot to pull over! I literally had my chest pressed against the steering wheel, trying to see the road better. All I could think of as water sheeted down my windshield was, "I sure hope some SUV isnt gonna come flying up on me and plow right over top of me". The wipers were going about the same speed as low on other cars. Has anyone found a solution to this?? Is there a way to add a higher powered motor or something to make the wipers go faster? In Florida, it just won't work to have such pathetic wipers. Give me some ideas guys!
  • karl1973karl1973 Posts: 89
    Keep your windshield clean.
    Use rain-X. It really works.
    Replace your wiper inserts. They at most last a year. But in the Florida sun, the UV may shortens their lives.
  • WarpDriveWarpDrive Posts: 506
    RainX your windows. It is possible to drive through a torrential downpour WITHOUT your wipers using RainX.
  • verozahlverozahl Posts: 574
    My dad used RainX on his Miata and I'm going to do the same with my Integra later today! Lots of crazy downpours recently.
  • crashton6crashton6 Posts: 245
    I haven't been caught in any torrential down pours. I guess I've been lucky so far. The wipers on my 95 are slow too. Just like you said high speed is the same as other cars slow speed. They are however much better than the ones on my old MG. Rain X works well, but doesn't last long. Also sometimes it makes the wipers chatter. Best bet is new blades every 6 months or so.
  • lngtonge18lngtonge18 Posts: 2,228
    My wiper blades are only a month old at the most. Though RainX works good, it has always caused my blades to squeal, chatter, wipe sporadically, and generally drive me crazy. Has anyone tried to put in a better motor? Why is the motor so slow?
  • audia8qaudia8q Posts: 3,138
    Mazda has just announced 0% financing for 60 months on the Miata!!

    Rich
  • maltbmaltb Posts: 3,572
    the same day they released sales figures for July that show Miata was the only lagger of the bunch.
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