99 Miata....80k....good buy?

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by railer, Dec 8, 2012.

  1. railer

    railer Golden Member

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    I'm not really a Miata buff....but a friend of the family is putting a 99 with around 80k up for around $4k. Car has a good history (he's owned it for quite a while, although not the original owner), and has nothing wrong with it.

    Just looking for a quick opinion from ATG. I'll be looking through CL, ebay, etc to figure out what these are actually worth.

    I figure if the price is good, I could just sell it in the spring and get my money back. If I like the car I'd obviously hang on to it.

    Thanks!
     
    #1 railer, Dec 8, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2012
  2. thedarkwolf

    thedarkwolf Diamond Member

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    Assuming it is a manual and in good shape then yes $4k is a very good deal. I wouldn't sell my 95 with 160k miles on it for much cheaper than that.
     
  3. hans007

    hans007 Lifer

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    For 80k miles that seems like a great deal
     
  4. Arkaign

    Arkaign Lifer

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    If it checks out, thats an outstanding buy. That's really low miles, and Miatas are robust and relatively dirt-cheap to maintain for a 'fun' car. Imho they are the pinaccle of Mazda's history (sorry RX models, the Rotary is just ... sigh).
     
  5. slugg

    slugg Diamond Member

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    If there isn't anything majorly wrong with it, sounds like a complete steal!

    80k is when some major maintenance has to be done. Timing belt, water pump, spark plug wires, spark plugs, and clutch slave cylinder. Even though the mileage is low, the rubber stuff still goes bad, so some hoses may need replacing, bushings, valve cover gasket, yadda yadda. All in all, even if the previous owner leaves ALL these expenses to you, it's still a good deal at $4k if the car is in good shape.
     
  6. iamwiz82

    iamwiz82 Lifer

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    I will be the voice of dissent and say that's an average deal, at least up her in the north. $4,000 would be the price you negotiate down to on a CL car.
     
  7. Xecuter

    Xecuter Golden Member

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    I paid $6200 for my '99 with 100k on the clock. I paid $1000 more than I should have, but I bought it in March (worst time of the year to buy a convertible).

    $4k is a great deal, you won't be disappointed.

    Calling JCH13...
     
  8. Throckmorton

    Throckmorton Lifer

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    That's a normal price. I really hope that's not one of the rare automatic ones, in which case it's only good for an LS1+trans swap.
     
  9. Imported

    Imported Lifer

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    Good if manual. I got my 1999 for $5100 a couple years ago and it had just north of 100k on it.
     
  10. applesj4924usa

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    awesome deal. should get it asap
     
  11. xapo99

    xapo99 Member

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    Seems like the Miata (Eunos or MX-5 over here) holds its value very well in the US.

    I bought a 98 for £1500 two years ago with 80k on the clock, a 1.8, 140bhp manual with leather and FMSH.
     
  12. thomsbrain

    thomsbrain Lifer

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    Good deal, I would have a hard time walking away from it and I have 2 cars too many already. :)
     
  13. railer

    railer Golden Member

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    Well I got a chance to see this today. It had a couple of tears in the top, one about 2.5", the other about 1". There was a patch over a crack in the door sill. Car was fairly dirty inside and out, so it was tough to pick out paint chips or scratches under the dirt. Overall this was no garage queen. I had no idea how absolutely tiny these care are until I sat in it. My old Ford Probe was like a stretch limo compared to this Miata. The small size, slowness, and overall fair condition of this car makes me think I'll pass. It did come with a full set of extra wheels and tires with good rubber....but
    14" tires for this car are ridiculouslly cheap on tirerack, so they're not sweetening the deal that much. I'm thinking this is maybe a $3k car as it sits.
     
  14. slugg

    slugg Diamond Member

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    The only expensive thing to fix on a Miata is cosmetics. I think you made the right choice to pass.
     
  15. thedarkwolf

    thedarkwolf Diamond Member

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    bah tops are dirt cheap but yeah I wouldn't pay $4k for one like that either.
     
  16. railer

    railer Golden Member

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    Oh, I thought tops were around 1k. I guess that might be for an OEM top from Mazda. I see a bunch of aftermarket tops on ebay with plastic rear windows for around $150. I assume these are quite a few steps down in quality/durability from the OEM tops considering the price difference.
     
  17. slugg

    slugg Diamond Member

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    On an NB, those would be a couple steps down since NB's came standard with glass rear windows and defrosters. But the same company that makes the $120 tops also makes ~$350 tops with a glass window with defroster.

    These eBay seem to be the same quality as an OEM top; they're very popular among Miata DIYer's. The "premium" brand is Robins, although I don't understand why anyone would ever spend that kind of money on a soft top.
     
  18. leper84

    leper84 Senior member

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    Edmunds is saying private party value for that car in average condition is $2700. How good of a family friend is he? Guess it might be a little rude to low ball the guy from what he thinks.

    Might be worth letting him try and sell it at that price for a month or two and see if you can't come back with a lower offer without pissing him off.

    Those are great little cars. Slow but fun as hell to drive. One of the best OEM clutch/ shifter combos I've ever felt.

    The great thing is setting the alignment on those. You get two eccentrics in all four lower control arms so not only can you set camber and caster but you can get them dead nuts accurate. Just the other week we had a late 90's one with 300k miles and it went from crap to perfect in 30 min.
     
  19. Mazdatech0895

    Mazdatech0895 Junior Member

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    3k is about max value unless they have added performance parts and the car is immaculate. The powertrain is vertually bulletproof is cared for. By far one of the most fun cars to drive. Especially when it's a speed miata! The biggest issue u see on late 90's and up miatas is the cam sensor on the back of the head starts leaking oil. Also the coil pack on the backside is junk too.
     
  20. T2urtle

    T2urtle Diamond Member

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    so many miata owners here.

    i do wish for one of these tiny cars. Would like people to who done repairs to list possible cost of commonly failed items.

    I see a $350 DIY soft top so far off ebay. I priced out common tires, brakes, tie rods and they are dirty cheap. T-belt on the non-interference motor shouldn't be much more then $150 in parts.
     
  21. thedarkwolf

    thedarkwolf Diamond Member

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    Timing belt is fairly easy to do too.
    Radiators die $120
    Clutch slave cylinders die $20
    Noisy lifters = $0 ignore them aslong as they quiet down when the car warms up. I had to finally replace all of them on my 94 using kia or hyundai lifters that are exactly the same only half the price of mazda ones. Think they were $8 a pop. Did them while doing the timing belt
    Cam sensor leaking $5 but a bit of a pain to get too
    Coolant line to the oil cooler leaking $5 but a HUGE PITA to get too. I just bypassed my oil cooler when my line went. Decided to wait till I had to pull the engine to deal with it which I'm doing now.
    Rocker panel rust $$$$ depending on how you "fix" it
    Replacing the entire suspension because you want to beat that other guy at autox $300-$6000 :)

    That is all the common ones I can think of off the top of my head.
     
  22. T2urtle

    T2urtle Diamond Member

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    Pretty much agree with all that.

    How is rocker, rear quarters and from rail rusts? I know fender flares are out there but do they make proper patch panels. I don't want to flare/wide body it.
     
  23. Eureka

    Eureka Diamond Member

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    I would agree with the dissenters... for me to pay $4k for it, it would have to be in immaculate condition. Any less and take it off linearly.

    Miatas rust super easily. Be wary when you buy the car.

    thedarkwolf has a pretty good idea of what has to be done. A lot of maintenance items to be done on a car this old but most of it is cheap. I had to replace the clutch cylinders on mine, it was $30 for both cylinders but easy enough to do (assuming you have someone who knows how to bleed a line with you).

    I have to do the timing belt on mine but it looks simple to do. About $100-200 in parts depending on where you buy and how much you're replacing.

    The thing I'm most afraid of on my car is the soft top. While the part is cheap, replacing it seems complicated.
     
  24. JCH13

    JCH13 Diamond Member

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    You rang?

    Yeah... check the rear of the rocker and bottom of front fender for rust. These are the two most likely spots. Also check the frame rails for abuse/crushing.

    Really? You would expect a 14 year old $4k car to be immaculate?

    KBB on a 1999 Miata, with no extra options, is $3600 in 'fair'. $4k, with extra wheels/tires, is a decent deal. I usually add $1k to book value as a 'Miata tax' when looking at one because they're so popular. This time of year though the Miata tax can be taken off if you live where it snows.

    A full timing belt/maintenance job is maybe 6-8 hours of labor for the full FM timing belt kit and water pump. I've done it three times now! :eek:

    I've never replaced the soft-top before. Most people say it's 4-6 hours to replace it the first time, and the cheaper options are cost-effective. If I was going to spend $1k on a soft top I would just buy a hardtop instead.
     
  25. bigrash

    bigrash Lifer

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    I'll disagree with everyone here and say it's a bad deal. Don't think I'd spend that much on an old Mazda (nothing against Mazda though)