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Old 26th December 2013, 11:34 PM
danilo danilo is offline
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 30
Default What to be afraid of in a Donor Mx5?

Have been looking to find a usable Miata/mx5 as a donor (Wet coast of Canada)
But seemingly these things are owner by Kids who think perhaps a bit too highly of them, as asking prices for a ~90 version is in the $3/$4000 range.
A bit much methinks for a very tired and too often rough condition ...24 yr old car..
Likely the only affordable ones are going to be either non running beaters (yikes!) or seriously damaged... again (too ?) oldsters.
What are the key areas to inspect on these rascals that would render them completely unacceptable for donor uses ? ie; critically broken or simply no longer cost effective (worthwhile) to rebuild ?
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Old 27th December 2013, 12:22 AM
alga's Avatar
alga alga is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Vilnius, Lithuania
Posts: 1,249

Perhaps look for a donor that's cheap because of a rotten body. Then hopefully the mechanicals will be fine.
Haynes Roadster FAQ | Haynes Builder Locations
Gallery, build thread in Lithuanian / via Google Translate.
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Old 27th December 2013, 01:57 AM
PorkChop PorkChop is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 394

I wouldn't worry too much about the mechanicals; they are easily rebuildable if you have prior experience and you're on the right side of the Atlantic to get reasonably priced rebuild parts e.g. the crank and conrod bearings would cost you not much over $100 for top spec items. In the UK, you could spend double that for the same items. There are plenty of Miatas running around with 100K+ miles on the clock with no problem.

A small nose crank car (90 - early 91) is less desirable as the crank nose keyway can wear causing pulley wobble. The later 8 slot, big nose cranks don't tend to suffer from this type of wear.

You can buy used engines reasonably cheaply, most people seem to take this route if their current engine is on its way out as it is the cheapest route to take. You still run the risj of having something needing work though.

Could you buy the parts piecemeal if a complete car is 3-4000 bucks? How about getting one from the States?
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Old 29th December 2013, 09:27 PM
danilo danilo is offline
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 30

Thank you gentlemen.
Was just a bit depressed by the 'asking' prices.. I initially tripped over.
Will devote serious efforts .. soon enough.
PS; I wish :-) I could find a 100 k miles car.
Many (most?) are well over 200 a few at 280k even
Clearly durable machines, but imo at those mileages likely every part needs refurbishing.
Oddly enough a 2000+ year model car asking price is for not very much more than a 1990.. Truly strange..
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