Mazda MX-5 Miata (2005 and earlier)



  • redgoatee7redgoatee7 Member Posts: 30
    My parents own a white 1990 Miata which they purchased in August 1989 (they chose it over a Porsche!). It still runs like new and looks good (has 67,000 miles on it), except the rear window is cloudy and has a slight (1/4 inch) crack. My parents love this car more than the other cars they own (including two new Mercedes) and intend on keeping it indefinately, so they want to fix this. Does anyone have any recommendations other than having the window or the entire top replaced? Or would their best bet be to replace the whole thing? Thanks.
  • karl1973karl1973 Member Posts: 89
    It depends on what kind of condition the top is in. I had a red 90 and after 120k miles, the top was tired. If I remember it right, you can get a replacement rear window and replace it that way. But if the overall condition of the top is not that good, I would recommend bite the bullet and replace the whole top. There are vinyl and sunfast cloth. I would suggest getting a cloth top with glass window! :)
  • jwilson1jwilson1 Member Posts: 956
    I couldn't agree with you more about the wisdom of buying used, plastech -- it makes real sense, especially when you're more interested in the toy than the transport value.

    Just a reminder w/your "new" '90 -- very important in the Miata to check the timing belt. I'd want to see paperwork indicating the change. If you have to take care of it, be sure to get a Miata-wise (dealer?) mechanic to do it as there are some fairly finicky (and not intuitive) mechanical precautions to be taken. It was a quirk of the '90 and (I think) some of the '91s. Not a problem if the mech knows what he's up to.

    Take care.
    Joe W.
  • jwilson1jwilson1 Member Posts: 956
    If your parents aren't fond of the duct tape school of repairs, there isn't much else you can do but get into replacements. Have you visited the aftermarket dealers at yet? Many choices are available.

    The rear window is cheapest, of course. But as a veteran of the "I'll do it myself in an afternoon" school of thought, I know it's is far from easy and not the smartest chore I've bitten off. Since that debacle, I've replaced the entire top -- costs more, of course -- but I took it to an upholstery and top shop where they did it -- quickly, simply, and it came out looking real good. With either a window or an entire top, I heartily endorse that option.

    Check the original top, too. If it's faded or stained, you may not be able to get a very good match by buying just the window.

    Tah-tah. I have to go out driving now :) to check the new brace I installed ;)

    Take care.
    Joe W.
  • blackcurrantblackcurrant Member Posts: 152
    Thanks for your thoughts. I realize they're very different "personalities". The funny thing about me is my personality tends to change ~D so the miata could suit me for a time. They are a different kind of fun!
  • mustang76mustang76 Member Posts: 6
    we purchased a glass window and vinyl top for the '92 miata about 6 months ago. You get a lot better visibility out of the glass, and you will probably never have to replace it again. The former plastic window was torn and had begun to turn brown from the sun. Didn't look to good...The top had also begun to dryrot. Get someone to check it out before you decide.
    Best of luck.
  • warrendebwarrendeb Member Posts: 1
    I live in the northwest and have been looking for a Miata.
    I found a like new, 93 SE with hard top, and new custom wheels and tires (stated to have cost $2 K) They are expecting the first child and need a sedan. It has 59 K miles and they are asking $11400 which is high.

    Any suggestions on an offer price and any advise on the 93 Miata?

  • tiltboytiltboy Member Posts: 63
    I am kinda torn between buying a new Miata and looking for a used one. The new ones don't seem to be too bad of a bargain at 20k loaded up. Even for a 3rd vehicle. If you plan on keeping it for a long time. I don't want to buy one 10 yrs old and spend $$$ fixing timing probs etc. I drove a green 2000 L with Tan top and interior that is flat out gorgeous. I think I'm ready to take the plunge!!!!!!!!!
  • usayitusayit Member Posts: 17
    Today, I drove away with an absolutely immaculate 97 M-edition with 28k on it. The rear plastic window looked brand new... not a single scratch nor a fold.... even the wheel locks were still in their original unopened packaging. I originally wanted a 99 or 2000 but I fell in love with this beauty. It took about a month of searching (i practically gave up) but the search paid off. I purchased it for 15k this afternoon and already put 50+ miles driving around this fine evening. I'm having as much fun as I did when I first got my little red jeep wrangler. In fact its almost as if the jeep and miata are incarnations of each other. One for the road.... one for the not so road...

    I was in your shoes about two months ago. Test drive all different types of miatas new and used. You'll know the right one when you find it. Don't forget to try out the used 96's and 97's out there.... I found them just as exciting as the newer 99/00's. If you choose a used one, check out's FAQ. You'll find somewhere in there a detailed list of what to inspect. I found it extremely helpful. The dealer allowed me to take it into the garage for a closer look. I spent about an hour trying to find anything wrong with it. Found nothing except a few scratches near the trunk keyhole. (don't forget to also take it to the garage and have a mechanic look it over) With the extra cash I saved, I can now search for goodies. In my case, I ended up with a fully loaded M-edition... they are out there... especially now.

    My fiance was with me on the test drive and asked her opinion just based purely on looks. Her opinion was that the older body looked more "classic" while the newer body looked more like the sport cars of today. She did prefer the dashes of the newer 99/00's but also mentioned that it also looks much like the japanese sport/sporty cars you see everywhere.

    Can't wait to take it for a ride tomorrow... cya on the road.

    I believe my little 93 red YJ is enjoying the company of the little 97 green miata.
  • x2ski2x2ski2 Member Posts: 5
    Just found an awesome deal on a 99 Miata and snatched it up before anyone else had a chance. Found a white one with 15K for $16,999. Didn't even try to pretend to walk when they wouldn't be talked down considering this is $4K below KBB. (Though I am still hoping this is a good deal! I need reassurance!!) It has a/c, CD w/4 speakers, PS and 15" wheels (aftermarket) but no PW or PDL (not like you really need them anyway). I had been searching for a 97 Del Sol Vtec or 97 Miata, but was not as keen on the plastic windows. This car is nothing but fun. If you are even thinking of a Miata, do it. I can't wait to get it out on the PCH later this summer!
  • WarpDriveWarpDrive Member Posts: 506
    Wow, two new recruits. Welcome! I hope you enjoy your new rides. Maybe we'll see you around in where most of the other Miataphiles hang out (and spend way too much time there...I know I do!) (Edmunds is fun too for a change away from looking throughthe Miata-colored glasses)
  • jwilson1jwilson1 Member Posts: 956
    congrats to both of you, especially you x2ski2, as you've been hanging around here just about to commit for quite awhile. kind of like a seventh-grade dance, but lots more fun.

    warrendeb, that price for a '93 is pretty high, I think. You don't really indicate details of condition, etc. The '93 special edition is, however, nearly a collectible if in pristine condition and may be worth a premium (here in NE) if it's PERFECT. That's the black one with the red leather upholstery. And the aftermarket wheels and tires, in that case, may be new but don't really add to the value. Does the owner have the original BBS wheels to add to the pot? If so, that helps.

    What I'd do: contact the local Miata club and have someone who's knowledgeable about the equipment, etc., come with you to check it over. (Miata folk are pretty friendly and usually wouldn't mind). If it's still interesting after that checkover, be sure to take it to a mechanic -- @59k, btw, it's ready for a timing belt change.

    None of this is a reason to hesitate, but you need to get that price down out of the stratosphere unless there is a lot of other information to offset what you've said.

    Take care.
    Joe W>
  • judasjudas Member Posts: 217
    Abbreviating mustang76 to mustang isn't really a grammar problem, is it? As far as the performance goes, according to Motortrend the MR2 is .9 seconds faster to 60. There's a very large difference between 6.6 and 7.5. And every single roadtest I've ever seen has the MR2 significantly ahead in acceleration, and very close in handling, sometimes a little better, sometimes a little worse.
  • judasjudas Member Posts: 217
    No C13, I don't drive a Civic, thanks. But I find it amusing when people bash them, especially when there are Civic's in the, what, 9's now in the 1/4? 8's? As for the geezers in the M3's and the 911's, the only place I see them are driving at 28 mph down the main strip in town to get groceries or go to church. I see a lot more kids with their Honda products at the drag strip or the SCCA course, so who do you really think is more experienced(Not to mention having more fun)? Just because you're old, doesn't mean your experienced.
  • mustang76mustang76 Member Posts: 6
    im sorry but those of us in the ungramatical (sp?) world have moved on to bigger and better things. Your a little missed it, it WAS 40 POSTS AGO. Either stay with the topic or leave it alone...don't try and come in 40 posts later.
    First of all your right, .9 seconds is a world of difference...That makes the MR2 a ferrari? I would consider it an insult to the ferrari.
    And i thought we already established that correcting grammar was for "dorks, dinks, dildos and amateur grammarians." Just leave it alone. I don't why im even responding....did i mention you were 40 posts late?
    Yes civics are running in the 9's now. Guess how much of the car is "civic"?, your right, the body. Thats like taking a model T ford and using the body for dragging, and saying that "my model T runs 9's in the 1/4" Who cares?
  • freddy_kfreddy_k Member Posts: 376
    Sure, many Civics are overdone, gaudy and plain dumb looking. Why would someone pour money into a Civic? Well, it is one thing to buy a car, it is another to race it. I too would be hard pressed to race my 911 (if I had one). Many people can afford to drive a 911, but few people can afford to race them.
    Of course then there are the guys who do it just to look good - or think they look good anyway. These people are usally given away by useless body trinkets and stickers rather then useful upgrades.

    BTW Experience is really just a word. Just because someone has been driving for 30 years, that doesn't mean they haven't been driving WRONG for 30 years.
  • judasjudas Member Posts: 217
    Exactly my point about the experience freddy. Unless the viagra swiller behind the wheel has been drag racing for the last 30 years, I don't consider him to have any more experience than I, who have only been driving for 8 years.
    Mustang76, yeah, it was 40 posts, and 5 days ago. Sorry, most people, including myself, have better things to do than sit on the computer on Memorial day weekend. Apparently you don't, that's your problem, not mine.
    There are Civic's in the 9's that are a lot more Honda than just the body, mustang. Try stock block, chassis, tranny. I'm not talking about tube frame RWD V-8 cars with Honda bodies on them, so if thats what you were thinking, guess again.
    That makes the MR2 a ferrari? I
    would consider it an insult to the ferrari.
    Apparently you're not understanding, I was comparing. I didn't say the MR2 was a Ferrari, did I? I said it was compared to the Miata. Basically what I'm saying is, that it has a significant performance advantage. If you construed that statement to mean anything else, once again, your problem.
  • mustang76mustang76 Member Posts: 6
    how about try this....any car with the number of mods as the civics that run 9's....can run 9's. Its just a choice of what car people choose to modify.You never know... I could have been modifying my civic over the weekend...and if every one else DID have something better to do, 40 posts might not have slipped in before yours causing you to bring back a rather old discussion. Significant performance advantage being .9 seconds of acceleration. Anything else? cause thats not all that significant. I guess i have a lot of problems from where you sit. Frankly, thats your problem, cause i don't care.
  • karl1973karl1973 Member Posts: 89
    Please take your flaming somewhere else.
    Driving a Miata is not about going the quarters in 9 seconds.
    And just out of curiousity, have you (Judas) driven both the Miata and the MR-2? It is easier to say one car is better than the other one when you actually drive them and tell from your experience. Oh wait, I guess throwing out quoted numbers from magazines is easier.
    I have not driven an MR-2 so I can't say how much better a car it is. Personally, I don't like the look and I am very satisfied with my Miata.
  • tiltboytiltboy Member Posts: 63
    Good one Karl. This should be a discussion for people interested in the Miata. It's not a dragster, so go start a 0-60 and 1/4 mile ETA's forum elsewhere. Thanks
  • usayitusayit Member Posts: 17
    Who cares about pure numbers reported by a so call magazine. (not to mention you quoted Motor Trend? I've learned not to trust their numbers...) Who cares about 1/4 miles.... 0-60.... The difference between those that care and those that don't is that the ones who don't are out enjoying whatever they decided. As I said before.... try out everything and decide which fits you best.

    Its easy to make pick any car as a base for a project and improve suspension for autox or improve engine for the dragstrip. Most will agree that the Miata (and Hondas... and Toys and Camaros... Mustangs... etc...) are all good plateforms to start on.

    Let'see I bought mine for 15k and I saw the MR2 for about 28k including markup at the local dealer. For about 13k I bet I can do stuff to my miata that will eat MR2's. But thats besides the point. As a Jeep YJ owner, I'd like to share with everyone here a saying that us jeepers have. Jeeps are not bought... they are built! Guess what... so are race cars...

    My choices for my next car were BMW z3, Miata, MR2, S2000, or wait for the next hot car. Pretty much narrowed it down to the Z3 and Miata... and guess what... I chose the Miata. Yes its 0-60 #'s and whatever else people like to blurt out are not up to par with the Z3 (2.3). Who cares... THe miata felt better... gave me more enjoyment... it was the best bang for the buck... parts are cheaper... aftermarket is better w/miata... looked nicer than the MR2 (My opinion)... had more personality (my opinion again) and there is something else that can't really place a finger on. Oh yeh... its character.. has nothing to do with $$$ or engine... but has everything to do with reviving the true sports car and most importantly, bringing it to the masses. Practically any one can own one... I've seen high school kids... college kids... and older family types... And they all have something to share and enjoy... can't say that for Oldsmobiles and BMW's

    MR2 pulls up and grins at the BMW who grins at the Porsche who grins at the Ferrari. The miata pulls up and doesn't even notice....

    Enough rambling.... I've written way too much
  • pinecrestjimpinecrestjim Member Posts: 64
    There is a topic for the Miata / MR2 debate, #1732 in this subject category. Some of you may want to take your debate there.
  • thebigguythebigguy Member Posts: 1
    I bought a 10AE Miata in September and completely love it. It runs very well but seems to have lost some power in 1st and 2nd gears. Is this normal? Is anyone else experiencing this same loss of power after about 8,000 miles?
    Is there anything I can do to get this power back? Any responses are appreciated. I would love to hear the chirp of the tires again every time I start from a standstill.
  • socalboysocalboy Member Posts: 1
    for whatever it's worth...i just purchased a black 93 limited edition for $6,000 @ 80k mi...and imho is in very good condition. guess i'll be a miata-phile before long...didn't realize they only produced 1,500 of these beauts...i don't think the folks i bought it from did either...i already got an offer to buy at substantially higher than the purchase price.
  • karl1973karl1973 Member Posts: 89
    Gotta know what you are selling/buying. There are still people asking for over $10k for a 91BRG Miata. That is one of the best colour combinations you can get.
  • locke2clocke2c Member Posts: 5,038

    Seems to me like tires or clutch would be more appropriate places to consider rather than the engine loosing power.

  • freddy_kfreddy_k Member Posts: 376
    Can anyone tell me if Wheels off of an Escort would fit a Miata? If anyone can give me a Sure answer, it would really be appretiated!
  • jwilson1jwilson1 Member Posts: 956
    My favorite limited edition is the '92 Sunburst yellow -- wow. Congratulations, socal boy. Your black/red should give you as much pleasure as it will residual value!

    What a strange sounding question, freddy k. Check with your Ford dealer, I suppose, to find out what the offset is on the Escort wheel. If I remember correctly, the Miata wheel uses a 45mm offset and you want to keep that so everything stays happy in the wheel wells.

    I'm curious: what are you thinking?

    Take care.
    Joe W.
  • freddy_kfreddy_k Member Posts: 376
    I'm thinking that I really want new rims for my ZX2, but I'm also planning on trading it in for a Miata as soon as I can do it without losing too much money. I figure if they, by coincidence, fit each other, I can simply transfer the rims to the Miata. Since ford uses a lot of Mazda parts in their cars now, I figure the possibility is there.
  • karl1973karl1973 Member Posts: 89
    Dunno about the Escorts, but the Miata has 4x100mm wheels (if I remember it right)
    And the wheels are probably not hubcentric even the bolts pattern are the same.
    If you are shopping for rims, wait until you get the Miata. Alternatively, the people selling you the rims can probably help you. Many aftermarket wheels can be made hubcentric with adapter rings.
  • locke2clocke2c Member Posts: 5,038
    but I'm also planning on trading it in for a
    Miata as soon as I can do it without losing too much money

    How's that? The depreciation on Escorts is not kind, so the way I see it unless you sell it to an individual you're going to take it in the shorts now, even more later. I say this as a former Neon ACR owner, also a fast depreciating car.

    The Miata is worth it though.

  • WarpDriveWarpDrive Member Posts: 506
    I don't know about the Escort wheels fitting a Miata, but I'll put this recommendation....don't. Why risk ruining a good thing.

    Very few wheels have the proper offset to fit the RWD Miata. The Miata offset measurement is an oddball number. Most aftermarket wheels don't have the proper offset. There are ones that are as light as the OEM wheels and have the proper fit but for the most part they are expensive.
  • freddy_kfreddy_k Member Posts: 376
    What does the offset do? My tire guys said that it should be no problem (I just went at lunch) but he didn't say anything about offsets.
  • ewassermanewasserman Member Posts: 4
    i have a '99 miata and have had the oil changed at the dealer 3 times. every time they change it it reads over the fill line on the dipstick. the first time it wasn't bad so i left it. the second time it was 1/2 inch over so i had them drain some. this time it is 1" over the fill line and they refuse to drain it. that told me that the oil is at the proper level and not to touch it. that also said there is no danger of increased pressure due to excess oil because there is a pressure release built in. this sounds nuts! i think the service guy must have been dropped on his head. has anyone else had this problem. some comments would be appreciated.
  • jwilson1jwilson1 Member Posts: 956
    check your manual, ewasserman. If it's a problem (and like you I'd want to know) the manual will say. I'm wondering why the service honcho is having so much trouble with this issue -- kinda makes you wonder what he'd do with something tricky.

    freddy k, (I wish I could draw) imagine your wheel viewed head on. Now draw a vertical line right through the middle of the wheel. The Miata wheel hub is offset 45mm toward the outside of the wheel.

    To see why it's important, imagine a wheel with 0 mm offset -- your tire would now be 45mm further into the wheel well and (in a tight space like that allowed for the Miata) could rub when you turn and could influence the braking as well as the car's ride.

    If the guy said "no problem" without checking, he's blowing smoke. And, since I'm an amateur, please check out what I'm telling you at in the tech notes or in the section on reviews (of different aftermarket wheels). You'll see a number of suggestions there -- I don't remember any for the Escort however;) Did you know that the Panasport (seven spoke) and the BBS lace (1992? -- 1993) option (RZ-II, I think) are reportedly the lightest wheels made for the car? Unsprung weight is much more important, yknow, than looks in the dollar::fun equation.

    Take care.
    Joe W.
  • freddy_kfreddy_k Member Posts: 376
    Thanks Joe! I'm going to do some research first, and make a couple of calls. I appreciate your help, and now I understand. What I want is 5 split-spoke. Any comments on those?
  • sebargesebarge Member Posts: 50
    It's time for our Miata to have its tires rotated, and I was wondering if it needs the high speed balance (like Butler Tires does), or if (the more convenient 'cuz it's closer) Good Year would do just as good a job with their regular balancing? It normally gets the high speed balance, but does it really make that much difference?
    Thanks in advance.
  • tiltboytiltboy Member Posts: 63
    I found a nice new 2000 Miata LS I think I'm gonna go pick up tomorrow. I got $500 over invoice, which after rebate comes to $21,045. I may have done a little better, but they had the color I wanted and I hate dickering over a hundred or two. Can't wait to drive home (about 75 miles) I haven't seen many used ones at that price around here. Hope I did okay. Stay tuned!!
  • locke2clocke2c Member Posts: 5,038
    Sounds like a good deal. Not quite the stop-drop-and-roll firesale going on in dgraves neighborhood, but a nice deal.

    What color is it?

  • tiltboytiltboy Member Posts: 63
    It's emerald green with tan top and tan leather interior. I debated about going for the special edition, but couldn't see the extra $1500 for 6sp, chrome wheels, and some woodgrain cosmetics. We thought about the Blue with tan also, but couldn't find one. I like the green, and hopefully I will be driving it most of the time. Took a demo out of the same car overnight and had a great time. Lot's of lookers too!
  • karl1973karl1973 Member Posts: 89
    Green and tan has the old British Roadster appeal. It is the kind of colour combo you would find on an old Jaguar E type.
    Twilight Blue and Tan is a very nice combination too, but TWM is a very hard colour to find on a Miata because not many people want it. It is even more rare than the Sapphire Blue mica of the 10AE.
  • tiltboytiltboy Member Posts: 63
    I almost went with the Special Edition. After more phone haggling a local guy promised the world on a 2000 S.E. Unfortunately he came back about a $1,000 over his initial number. Jerk... I will let you guys know how the ride home goes!!!I saw a picture of one with the Racing Beat roll cage on. Looked really neat. Lots of different styles with chrome and black finish. They state on their site that it doesn't provide any rollover protection, just helps stiffen the chassis. I would think it would have to provide some safety in a rollover. I think they probably can't say that for liability purposes. Anybody have any comments on it? The site is
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    There must be another was to stiffen the chassis, either a frame underneath or shock tower struts, etc. The problem with a roll bar is that you can kiss your resale value goodbye unless you can unbolt it and hide the holes...and if they are saying to has no rollover protection, then what they are saying is that it's just cosmetic--in other words, a "fake" rollbar. Why put extra weight on your car and drill holes in it just for looks? Might as well glue on a cardboard bar that you can take off with velcro! (just kidding).
  • contenttcontentt Member Posts: 1
    I'm talking with a dealer that has a 99-anniversary edition Miata and was trying to figure out what a fair price would be? He's also throwing in the hard top. Is it a better idea just to buy the 2000 LS? I don't see any differences. Any thoughts would be appreciated.
  • karl1973karl1973 Member Posts: 89
    I am not too sure about the options on a 2kLS, but if you definitely want the 6-speed, it is the way to go (or get a 2KSE). Think of the 10AE as a Leather package and sports package thron together with a 6 speed and you get the idea.
    There were some discussions about 10AE pricing and I remember people were picking them up at around 22k to 24k fully loaded (brand new with ABS and hardtop)
    If this is a used one, you can talk it down to probably below 20k, and most likely can do a lot better.
  • johnjay100johnjay100 Member Posts: 1
    Hey everyone! I have sold my 280ZX, my Olds Cutlass and now I am searching for a Red Miata (1994 - 1996) near Williamsburg, Virginia. Anyone know of one available.
  • karl1973karl1973 Member Posts: 89
    Have you tried local papers?
    Online used car sites are good place to start too (for example,
    and even Edmunds has its own used car site now.
    Another place to check is Check the classifield section. Some people post their cars there for sale.
  • locke2clocke2c Member Posts: 5,038
    I've done some research on rollbars for my wife's miata and the RB one is actually a style bar... as in, no rollover protection.

    Personally, I think it would help a little, but not much. If a Miata goes over more than once, the windshield is going to lay flat and if you don't have a real rollbar in all likelihood you're going to be much shorter. Check out the Hard Dog rollbars, you can find them from the links section on

  • jwilson1jwilson1 Member Posts: 956
    The hardtop the dealer has for the 10AE is about $1800, so be sure to include that in your thinking ... unless you live somewhere that you can leave the top down all year!

    Take care.
    Joe W.
  • usayitusayit Member Posts: 17
    I was at my local bookstore last night and found an article in some foreign magazine (i think it was UK) that did a good comparison between the Z3, MR2, Miata, Lotus, and MG roadsters. The miata did very well... squeeking by the MR2 in the final remarks. It seems that they liked the all-around, toss-me, drive-me, and everyday Miata. The miata was always in the middle of the pack in various categories. (I'm sure there are mod'ed miatas out there that solve that problem) The only remarks that I remember is that they kinda liked the pop-up headlights better and absolutely hated the orange color. ( they didn't count the color against it though)

    This was the first time I saw pics of the Lotus and MG roadsters... those are pretty nice. I absolutely love the body style of the Lotus. I wonder why they are not marketed here in US? It seems that the Japanese and Europeans have great sports cars..... what do we have? BIG SUVs (You know the ones that would sink in mud if they ever were in mud... the ones that have no idea what tread lightly means...) uugh..

    Also, the Z3 (1.8? 4 cyl?) came in at the bottom. It wasn't up to par with the handling
    characteristics of the other rivals. It seems that Z3's are only popular here in the US becuase of the 6 cyl engine and yes... the image. Essentially a great touring car... (as Warpdrive previously mentioned)

    By the way, thanks again Warpdrive for helping me decide back when I was in the y2kZ3 forum. I absolutely love the 97 M-edition.....

    Any one know a wood dash kit that "closely" matches the wood brake and knob that come on the 97 M-edition? (Posted it on miataforum a week ago and didn't get many replies.)
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