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Mazda MX-5 Miata (2005 and earlier)

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Comments

  • dgraves1dgraves1 Posts: 414
    That's not going to hack it in Florida. I've gotten convertible rental cars in Florida in the summer and you might be able to put the roof down at 10 o'clock at night with the AC on full blast. During the day, the AC couldn't keep up even with the roof closed (this was in Sebrings, of course, not Miatas).
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I know what you mean. Rented one in Orlando a few years back, drove it to Cocoa Beach and back. Had to stop and put the top up to get cool enough.

    -juice
  • dgraves1dgraves1 Posts: 414
    Orlando to Cocoa Beach? That's my route!
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Yep, I think you see the Kennedy Space Center en route, is that what I think I saw? Plus the cruise ship ports.

    Nice drive but too straight to be ideal for a Miata. I love that speed limits in Florida are reasonable, too.

    -juice
  • North Georgia is not quite as hot as Florida, but we have to keep the top up June, July, August days. I suppose tan top / tan interior is better than black in keeping the heat down. Florida is brutal in the summer.
  • dgraves1dgraves1 Posts: 414
    Ateixeira - Yep, that's KSC. The huge building you can see from the Beeline is the VAB (Vertical Assembly Building) where they prepare the Shuttle for launch (It was built for the Saturn V, which is why it's so huge). Most of the launch pads you see are actually on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.
    The cruise ship terminals are pretty new. I remember watching them building them a few years ago. I wondered if they would be successful. I guess they are, they keep building new ones.
  • logic1logic1 Posts: 2,433
    My wife and I took a Miata North through the Sierras in late September '99 for our honeymoon. After hitting Lake Tahoe we headed East through the Central Valley toward Napa Valley.

    We had to put the top up and really crank the a/c daytime in the Valley which is basically a desert in the late summer and early fall.

    Anyone making that trip should time to drive through the Valley at night when it is often 20 to 40 degrees cooler than the day.

    Napa Valley and the surrounding mountains (during the week, when the crowds are not there) is about as perfect a Miata drive as you can find.
  • Finally got my car out of the repair shop. The bumper looks great and the shop also buffed out a couple of scratches for me. You know on a black car you don't want scratches!!!! I got to enjoy the top down yesterday on the way home from work, but now that it's the weekend, it's raining. Oh well, I guess I'll just have to admire my little toy car sitting in the garage.
  • bjrichbjrich Posts: 125
    After the run down Arkansas 7 in two weeks, (getting close now) we are making plans for a top down run for a week from St. Lo to Savannah-Charlston area for sight seeing. We have heard soo much about this area and are looking forward to visiting and sightseeing. (anyone make any recommends as to lodging or such for this area?)
    We now have 12 cars for the Arkansas run and pray for nice weather. We have earmarked Mt. Nebo for a definite run....great 5 mph switchbacks ending in a large plateau about 2500 ft up overlooking a hugh valley and mountains. Can get a nice tail slide making the switchbacks in low and pushing that little pedal as you crank the steerng wheel...Mrsbjrich thinks this is not such a great way to drive.
    By the way, just put an Eagle One brand of paste carnuba on the Crystal Blue, over the Mcquires clean and wax, andthe body is really sharp. We shall slide thru the wind with ease...
    Got a big birthday coming up and look forward to many more years with Mrsbjrich and Crystal Blue. We have had it just one year and it shows 17,200. I do get the clutch shudder some mornings. but not worried..if it goes, it goes, and if Mazda stands behind it fine.....if not, fine too.
    Hopeing to hear some nice info about the Savannah area from some Miata folks..Take care. Bob
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Napa is beautiful, but all I could rent at the time was a Sunfire convertible. Even in that it was fun, I can imagine in a Miata.

    -juice
  • lngtonge18lngtonge18 Posts: 2,228
    I've decided to replace the original top on my 92 Miata. I'm going to order a Robbins top with the rain rail already installed and then install the top myself. I'm thinking about getting the tan top since my car is red and it would look real sharp. However, I'm worried that the tan will show dirt more, stain easier, and be harder to keep clean. Anyone with a tan top that can comment on this? Black tops in Florida have their own downfalls: fade and shrinkage from the extreme heat. Would the tan top keep the interior a little cooler? Anyone had any problems with the Robbins tops? Any specific place have cheaper prices? All insight would be much appreciated. Thanks.
  • Sure you don't want to have a shop put your top on for you? I understand it is a bear.
  • lngtonge18lngtonge18 Posts: 2,228
    Yea, I'm sure. I can't afford the $200 to let someone else do it and I'm tired of having to throw on the hardtop everytime it threatens to rain. Besides, most reviews I read said it took them between 6-8 hours to do by themselves with no prior eperience. I will have someone helping me who is very mechanically inclined so I expect it to take about 5-6 hours. A day's work basically. Not a big deal when I look at how much money I'm saving. So far the best price I have found is $359.55 from mmmiata.com (which is $30-40 cheaper then everyone else). Anyone know of one that is cheaper without being the economy version?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I have a tan top and the previous owner sort of let it go without cleaning it often. So yes, it does stain and look old, though at least the plastic window is still transparent.

    I tried to detail it with a toothbrush, but no luck. I imagine the stains have had plenty of time to set.

    I'm not sure how it would look if I had been cleaning it since the beginning.

    -juice
  • bjrichbjrich Posts: 125
    It has been one year and he tan top look just like new.
    However, the entire car looks just like new.
    I would say that if you plan to take care of you car with routine washings, the tan top will hold up fine. My car is also garaged at nite.
    I think I make decent effort to keep after things like that. It is really sortof a necessary option if you care to keep the top looking good, as welll as the rest of the car. I would think a black top can get pretty ugly if you do not take care of it.
    Getting anxious for the Arkansas run. Take care you guys...one weekto go. Bob
  • knhillknhill Posts: 33
    I have a 99 with ~29k on the odo and I just found holes in my third top! In each case, the holes about eight inches behind the vertical center of the door windows. They look like some rough spot on the top frame is cutting each time I raise or lower the top. I can't find any trouble when I'm raising and lowering and feeling for the rough spot.

    The first time, the dealer replaced just the top. The second time, the dealer replaced the top and the frame - I thought that would get it. I don't know what they will think this time. It looks like something I am doing but I can't imagine what. I always raise and lower from the driver's seat. Any ideas? Has anyone else had this happen?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Are you unzipping the window before lowering the top? That sounds strange since you replaced the frame. My '93 has the original top still.

    -juice
  • knhillknhill Posts: 33
    No zipper on 99.
  • bjrichbjrich Posts: 125
    Take it to a good trim shop and have them look at it, and then take that information to the dealer....In this area, take it to Hy-Tech Trim Shop in Columbia, Il.
    Find a busy and active trim shop, and that will tell your if they are good.
    Good luck! Bob
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I stand corrected.

    Are you lowering it and raising it too quickly? Maybe the top is getting pinched or something.

    -juice
  • freddy_kfreddy_k Posts: 376
    My '99 tan top is stained from the previous owner. I don't know how to keep it from getting worse, I just wash it with the rest of the car and hope it doen't get any worse. Right now it's just in a few areas but they won't come out. Wear and tear I guess. I don't think about it either way when I'm driving, and I try to keep the top tucked away as often as possible anyway!

    The problem I have with it is the rubber seals on the top tear off, and tend to stick out when it's up. So far it isn't leaking though, so I can't bring myself to spend money to fix it
  • freddy_kfreddy_k Posts: 376
    Sunday I'm going to a Miata Club meeting. This summer I'm (finally) getting into Autox, although I've been told it's not a good idea since the car is my daily driver. I don't care thoughm this care was built for it! I can't wait.

    I'm thinking of getting into the 'dirty work' of the car more, I've never really dealt with it mechanilcally, and would like to start. She is my (other) baby after all ;-)
    Is there any reasons I shouldn't attempt to do certain things to my car? RIght now I'm thinking fluid changes, sparkplugs and wires. removing the baby teeth. basic stuff to start, or so I think. I just don't want to dig a hole I cant' crawl out of.
  • dgraves1dgraves1 Posts: 414
    freddy - Great idea. I totally support doing as much work as possible on your car. It is part of the total ownership experience to me. As you said, start with the small stuff and as you gain confidence, you'll be ready to tackle bigger stuff. Of course, if the Miata is a mandatory transportation asset, you'll want to proceed cautiously. Since we sold one of our cars, I have put off some projects on the MR2 because I can't afford to have it down for more than a few hours at a time. Once we add the new car to the fleet, there's going to be MR2 parts all over the garage :D.
    The best way to learn is from watching/helping other, more knowledgable people. See if some of the guys at the local Miata club will let you watch over their shoulder as they do stuff on their cars. Some clubs even have tune and repair days where a bunch of owners get together and do stuff on each others' cars.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Yep - invite friends or other local Miata owners over to help out. Hard jobs become surprisingly easy when you have help, especially experienced help.

    Also, work on a Saturday, so you have Sunday to correct any mistakes you made before needing the car for your commute.

    Finally, make sure to get all the supplies in advance. I think you need about 4 quarts of gear oil (75w90, BTW) to do the tranny and rear diffy. And it doens't hurt if you have your significant other around to drive you to the shop to get any missing parts/tools.

    -juice
  • freddy_kfreddy_k Posts: 376
    Thanks, I need all the help I can get!

    This weekend, as long as it doesn't rain the wole time, I'm going to attack the tranny fluid. So far it seems I can do it with the fluid and a commonly available hand pump. I haven't started looking, but I imagine I should replace any rubber seals involved as well. Will typical automotive supply shops carry these?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Seals? I just removed the two plugs, let it drain, replaced the lower plug, and pumped oil in until it spilled over, then replace the other plug. You can even skip the pump and lower the tube from above, in the engine bay, with a funnel.

    I think Miata.net has diagrams. I used Hakuna's photos for guidance. The rear diffy is a lot easier than tranny because it's easier to reach.

    -juice

    PS The pump is stiff to operate if it's cold out. The oil is thick, and even thicker when it's cold.
  • bjrichbjrich Posts: 125
    Good luck and have fun. If I was physically able I would be doing much of this type of stuff. Just keeping it clean and shiny is about all that I can do. Got a big birthday coming up and can't believe that I am that old. Still loven my Crystal Blue.
    Do get a bunch of members together, have a Bud for me, and have fun. this is he greatest car in the world, bar none. Bob
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Yeah, a 6 pack and a pizza are your most important tools. ;-)

    -juice
  • knhillknhill Posts: 33
    I thought about the speed too. When I lower, I move it back about even with the top of the seats and then just drop it. When I raise, I reach straight back with my right arm and tricep it up, fairly quickly, to the same point.
  • lngtonge18lngtonge18 Posts: 2,228
    Speed shouldn't cause problems with holes. My top has 140k on it (its a 92) and only has one small hole on the driver's side b-pillar area. I drop the top in the same way you do. Something must be catching the fabric.

    As a side note, I have decided to hold off on replacing the top for another month or two. I'm about to move and won't have a job initially so I need to save up my money. When I do get it done, I will let you all know whether it's as bad as everyone says to do it yourself.
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