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Mazda MX-5 Miata (2005 and earlier)



  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Sorry, no idea on the suspension fix.

    On the Miata, Look under the door sills, right where the jacking points are.

    If any body work was done in the past, perhaps the body shop sealed up the hole?
  • jrdennisjrdennis Posts: 1
    I've found a '99 Miata without an AC. My mechanic is willing to pull an AC from other Miatas in the junkyard, but does anyone know what years will work in this 99?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Not specifically. The NB ran from 1999 to 2005, though.
  • chrisa222chrisa222 Posts: 17
    Hey guys,

    Im looking for a 2nd car and came across a 97 Miata...a car that I always wanted but was never able to pull off because here in CT the winters would never allow it. Now I can have another "Fun" car.

    Im trying to stay under $5K and this is the only one I have found under 100K miles (it has 99K, haha). Looks to be in very good shape, aside from hubcaps instead of rims :-(

    Anyone have any thoughts? Anything specific I should look for/ask about? Was this a reliable year for the Miata?

    Thoughts on finding/prices for used rims?

    Appreicate any info. Im going to see what I can find over at

    Thanks again and I look forward to comments, comments, and more comments!
  • 1990 5 speed with 176k miles . The car recently started to stumble while accelerating and acts like it is loosing power. I did the usual external check of all the wires, vacuum lines etc. but nothing loose. The check engine light does not come on. It does this all the time and not just when cold or after running a while. Any suggestions where to start?

    Thanks, Jeff
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    For any 12 year old car I would start with a compression test to see if the piston rings are sealing well and to see if the head gasket is OK.

    I see no particular reason to avoid it.

    '90 models had some crank issues early on, and '99 models had clutch chatter and some other issue (I forget now). But overall major issues are few and far between.
  • jeff84redjeff84red Posts: 3
    Thanks for the input. I actually replaced all the plugs and wires with a performance set. Two of the plugs where fouled and two of the wires had resistance values way out of spec. Car runs great now.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587

    Wires for these should be replaced every 30k. I have a while to go.
  • toydriver1toydriver1 Posts: 11
    I'm wondering how many miles (over and above the 60K recommended by mfg) owners have driven their Miata's prior to changing the timing belt ?
    Can someone expect to get 90K miles on the original tb ?

    I recently bought this one owner commuter car from the dealership that sold it originally. They told me that "all required maintenance had been done". Since then I have found that the timing belt has never been changed ( 82K mi on the odo now ). The car has otherwise been cared for with maintenance records showing everything else having been done. ( The owner obviously traded the car prior to doing the expensive timing belt )
    I have been keeping the RPMs relatively low ( below 4500 ), but I do realize that I need to change out the TB soon.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I just had mine changed this weekend. I was overdue - 76k miles.

    They used a whole timing belt kit and did the water pump, too.

    The job got a bit pricey but it's the first major expense I've had in 8 years, so I can't complain.

    On a bum note, I had my timing advanced to 14 degrees BTDC, and they set it back to stock 10 degrees. Would you believe I feel the difference?

    I gotta find those old instructions so I can advance the timing again.
  • tsotsitsotsi Posts: 98
    I have the same problem with my '93 Miata. It has 60,000 mile on the clock and I only drive 3 or 4 thousand miles a year so I figure the belt might last until 2018, when the car will be 25 years old. I searched the internet and couldn't find a case of the belt failing in less than 90,000 miles . . . but age may also play a part.

    If it fails before the rest of the car I will report on how many miles (or years) the belt actually lasted. I understand it is a non-interference engine so a broken belt won't trash the pistons and valves.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Yeah, it won't do any harm but you may end up stranded.

    I advanced the timing, and it fixed the power loss issue.

    They had it set to 1 degree BTDC, it's supposed to be 10 degrees!

    I advanced it more than stock to 14 degrees. Runs like a champ now. :shades:
  • lsa_1977lsa_1977 Posts: 2
    Due to the fact that my '99 miata's engine has died to the point of a rebuild, I have opted to install an R1 engine and transmission into it. However, I do not have the resources or the time. Does anyone know of a shop who could do this in the Alabama area. I'm willing to travel to Georgia and Florida.

  • chrisa222chrisa222 Posts: 17
    Whats an RI engine?

    You should go to, a lot more readers there that know a lot about their cars.
  • lsa_1977lsa_1977 Posts: 2
    reading my post, I guess it was a little confusing. I was talking about the engine out of an RX-7 R1, which is the model type. kind of like you have your gt's, r/t's and slt's. It's a twin turbo on '93 models.
  • tsotsitsotsi Posts: 98
    I googled "rotary engine Miata" a year or so ago and got a lot of information about a few attempts at doing what you are thinking about.
  • lboundlbound Posts: 1
    I have a 1990 MX5 with a new engine. 2500 miles. The oil pressure guage does not show oil pressure till about 2000 rpm then at best only slightly. I know it must be better or I would have motor problem by now. Previous owner installed new motor so I don't know much about the work done. Car runs and performs well. Need a new sender? What should the pressure register?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Well, the 1990-1994 models had real gauges that actually measure oil pressure, not just a dummy gauge like the later ones.

    Mine reads low until I rev the engine, but not zero, just low. It jumps up when the engine revs, then stays pretty steady and increases slightly with high rpms.
  • I have an intermittent "squeal" noise when I first start up my '04 Miata, when the engine is cold. It also happens (on ocaision) when I first turn on the a/c ( goes away when turned off ). After about a minute the squeal goes away. I think it is coming from both the a/c and alternator (belts).

    I haven't driven the car for several months. The drive belts were changed about 10K miles ago. ( Purchased the car about a year ago, but haven't had the chance to drive it much until lately ).

    Is this common ? Should the belts be adjusted ? Other common causes ?
  • I recently ordered a replacement headlight switch for my '97 Miata. I am by no means a mechanic! My switch was deemed bad by a professional. I am now facing the task of replacing it. How?! Do I remove the steering column cover or steering wheel? Help! I have no headlights or taillights! And the dash lights aren't working either. Can anyone give me simple directions to replace the switch and come back to the LIGHT!!!! Thx!!!!
  • dovandovan Posts: 4
    How do I find directions to replace the O2 Sensor on my 2001 Miata? I don't want to have to buy a repair manual just to do this. I'm not mechanically inclined. I have only known how to change oil and filter. I have also heard that I'd need a special tool (crow-feet wrench?). Thanks. -Hieu
  • Hello. I just bought a 1992 Mazda Miata. I wanted to know if it has a non-interference engine? I read that the 1991 has a non interference engine but I didn't know if the same applied to the 1992 Miata. I love my little Miata!! I don't know much about them since I have only owned it for 3 days but I am in love with it and I want to keep it forever so that is why I was looking into timing belts and the like. Is changing the timing belt on my 92 difficult?
    Thanks in advance!
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Correct, it is non-interference.

    I just changed my belt, but I paid a mechanic to do it.

    I did reset the timing, though, because they got that part wrong.
  • A service provider connected battery cables incorrectly and blew the main fuse and radio/tape player in my 1993 Miata. I was told by a Mazda mechanic that the main fuse did not protect the radio and it must be replaced. The owner's manual reads as if there's a separate fuse in the radio. Is there a separate fuse that might have protected the radio?
  • toydrivertoydriver Posts: 227
    I'm looking for advice on correcting my pwr window function. Driver window is slower than passenger side, and squeaks as it nears the "up" position.

    My car is 2004 with high mileage. Otherwise it is nearly perfect.

    I've heard that a special lubricant is needed and requires removing the door panel. I've also heard that the typical dealer "fix" is to squirt some WD-40 into the window and charge an hour of labor.
    Does anyone have a "do it yourself" remedy ??
  • toydrivertoydriver Posts: 227
    Thanks for the info. I'll try the ShinEtsu grease after cleaning the window rail.
  • I'm considering buying a used Miata, most likely '99 or earlier. I'll be going through the posts here, but I wanted to poll this board to see if there are any major issues to be aware of: year models to avoid, mechanical issues to have checked, etc.

    This is the first non-Honda/Toyota I will have bought in nearly 30 years. (Yes, it will be a mid-life crisis car).

    Thanks in advance for your help.
  • toydrivertoydriver Posts: 227
    Like you I have owned mostly Toyota/Honda products but recently purchased a used '04 Miata as a fun good weather car. I have been very happy with it; although, there are some maintenance requirements that differ from Toyota/Honda that you should know about. For example, the Mazda timing belt is due to be replaced at 60K mi (unlike Toy/Hon at 90-100K), along with spark plugs, etc. at every 30K mi. This added to my expense as I didn't check the timing belt issue prior to purchasing. My mistake.
    Re: WHICH Miata. A friend who had previously owned 2 Miatas recommended the second generation Miata ('99-'05) over the first gen. ('91-'98). Bigger, more power, retains the light weight, 50/50 wt. balance of the first gen but "better", imo.
    I have a personal rule never to purchase the first model yr after a major re-do, ('91, '99, '06); but that is just my preference. I'm not aware if there have been more mechanical problems with the '99 models than with, say, the '00 models.
    There are many specimen out there to choose from. Some second gen. models with higher mileage can be priced similar to first gen. models.
    Since you are so accustomed to the Toyota/Honda products, you should review the Mazda service recommendations to make sure you know what you will be getting into, imo.
    Good luck with your car hunting. Great little cars!
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