Floating Doc
Floating Doc Reader
2/5/18 10:59 p.m.

Looking at a 95 M edition, which comes with ABS.  Is that something to be avoided? I see discussions on ABS removal on some of the forums. My plan for the car is occasional street so that it gets driven regularly, mainly for autocross and track days. 

The photos show that the paint may be disappearing from spots on the trunk, the M edition wheels have been replaced, and the seats have covers, so likely the leather's shot. 155k miles, claims everything works, doesn't appear modified.

It was listed at 3200 six days ago, now a new ad at 2950. I'm going to offer 2000-2500 depending on how it looks. Rather have an NB, but budget is limited since I still will be adding a roll bar and hard top. How's the price seem?

BoxheadCougarTim
BoxheadCougarTim MegaDork
2/5/18 11:25 p.m.

Price seems OK from where I'm sitting, but then again these seem to be more expensive on the West Coast.

Re the ABS - I've tracked NAs both with and without ABS. Yes, the brakes have better feel without but at least IMHO not enough of a difference to really rip out the ABS.

Blaise
Blaise Reader
2/6/18 5:31 a.m.

If you're doing track days, you want to buy a prepped car. You're going to spend a (small) fortune prepping it. I did this last year. Let's pretend you get it for $2k.

500-800 Rollbar
500-1000 Race seats (you'll need 2)
300-500 6pt harness (you'll need 2)
250+ removable wheel
500-1000 Wheels, Tires
3-500 Pads, rotors, fluid, SS lines

And that's assuming no suspension work - which you'll want.

So at the *very* best case, you'll spend $4500. Realistically well into the 5s or 6.  Now look at a similarly priced track car. You might even get a hard top!

 

Rodan
Rodan Reader
2/6/18 6:38 a.m.

Any reasonably clean, good running, rust free NA8 is a good buy at $2000-2500.  The fact that this car didn't sell at $3200 makes me wonder.  Take a close look.  With NA prices rising, you may actually find more for your money in an NB.

All that said, I wouldn't worry about the ABS.  The NB version is better, but IIRC both can be deactivated for track use fairly easily.   Some of the hardcore track guys put it on a switch so they can use the ABS in the rain.

Dashpot
Dashpot Reader
2/6/18 6:44 a.m.

I ran  a 95M for seven seasons and went from dual purpose to dedicated/caged track car during that time. The ABS is a pretty primitive 3 channel system, but it will help if you have issues with flat spotting front tires.

Some people will swear that your foot control will always be better than an old ABS system in a spin. Can't say that I did a comparison on that feature, but I did yank the ABS when I swapped out the factory ECU for an aftermarket unit. Pedal may have been a touch better without the pump in the middle of the circuit.

Blaise is right on with the math & logic for a starter car. I went through the exercise, comparing an (FMII) semi prepped Miata to an E36 M3. The track prep budget # was pretty close between the two. I settled on the Miata for better or worse and enjoyed it thoroughly despite a few challenges.

Floating Doc
Floating Doc Reader
2/6/18 9:15 a.m.

Honestly rather have an NB, but pulling all of the change together at once to get a prepped car rather than piecing it together is a factor. Not going to look at this one, will hold off for a while. 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
2/6/18 9:50 a.m.

I don't agree that you need seats or harnesses or a removable wheel for a street/track car. But even if you do decide that, the 95M seats are unique and thus have some value.

I wouldn't pull the ABS, as I have yet to see a Miata with three brake pedals. Remember, ABS lets each channel brake to the limit of traction, non-ABS limits every wheel to the limit of the lowest traction wheel.

If you want a for-real track Miata and not a street/track car, get yourself a used 1.6 Spec Miata.

jstein77
jstein77 UltraDork
2/6/18 9:57 a.m.
Dashpot said:

Some people will swear that your foot control will always be better than an old ABS system in a spin.

 

What does ABS do in a spin?  I've never actually spun an ABS-equipped car.

Last car I spun was my non-ABS Sentra.

 

codrus
codrus UltraDork
2/6/18 11:11 a.m.

I haven't noticed much difference between ABS and non-ABS cars when applying the "in a spin, both feet in" rule.  This is a '93 RX-7, so it's a pretty old ABS unit and it basically just spins in a straight line and stops.

 

 

I'm a big fan of ABS in a track car, if for no reason other than saving expensive race tires from getting flat-spotted.  That said, I recently hired a driving coach to work on the loose nut behind the wheel, and he was of the opinion that the ABS in my Miata (it's a 99 chassis, but I transplanted the ABS out of a 2003 into it) was getting confused by the grip level and brake hardware in my car (Wilwoods at all four corners, DTC-60/30 pads), activing in cases where it shouldn't be, and that this was part of the reason why I was having trouble with braking consistently.  So I'm sort at a crossroads in that regard and not sure of the right way forwards.

 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
2/6/18 11:31 a.m.

Codrus, I'd deactivate the ABS and see what the basic balance is like. As long as it's pretty close, the ABS should be able to cope.

I can confirm that running different diameter tires front and rear will lead to early activation. They don't like the differential rotational speeds.

rustybugkiller
rustybugkiller Reader
2/6/18 11:36 a.m.
Keith Tanner said:

I don't agree that you need seats or harnesses or a removable wheel for a street/track car. But even if you do decide that, the 95M seats are unique and thus have some value.

If you want a for-real track Miata and not a street/track car, get yourself a used 1.6 Spec Miata.

This was my reason for buying a stock car and building what I want. I don’t want to get into trailering a race car right now. If things change down the road, I’ll buy a spec Miata and sell the street/track Miata.

Dashpot
Dashpot Reader
2/6/18 11:49 a.m.
jstein77 said:
Dashpot said:

Some people will swear that your foot control will always be better than an old ABS system in a spin.

 

What does ABS do in a spin?  I've never actually spun an ABS-equipped car.

Last car I spun was my non-ABS Sentra.

 

Never spun it w/ABS either, certainly did without it. There was debate after one of club guys was instructing in an ABS car that spun & may have hit the wall (I wasn't there at the time). I spoke to him the next day & his opinion was that the trajectory changed and the distance lengthened due to ABS. He was a strong anti-ABS advocate after that experience.

Rodan
Rodan Reader
2/6/18 12:54 p.m.

In our NC, the ABS was completely transparent on track, even with RE71Rs.  The stability control couldn't cope with the turn-in, though, so it gets turned of.

I've not driven an NA/NB on track with ABS, but as long as it's not interfering, I agree leaving it on is best.  I just finished upgrading our NA to Wilwoods all around, and it's going to be a bit of a learning curve to avoid flat spotting a tire or two...

NickD
NickD UltraDork
2/6/18 2:03 p.m.
Rodan said:

 I just finished upgrading our NA to Wilwoods all around, and it's going to be a bit of a learning curve to avoid flat spotting a tire or two...

Sometimes I wish my NA had ABS, because even with just upgraded 1.8L pads and rotors and RE71Rs, people hop in my car at autocrosses and attempt to make my tires square, even when I warn them that it doesn't ABS.

CyberEric
CyberEric Reader
2/6/18 2:22 p.m.

I'd much rather have the ABS in an NA. Mine didn't have it, and without doing the Hawk rear pads, I could lock up the fronts scary easy. In fact, that's why I don't have the car anymore. I locked the brakes up going down a steep hill around a sharp turn with the sun in my eyes and crashed into oncoming traffic. Yikes! I always felt like the NA had way too much front brake bias, and I wish I had done something about it before the crash. Fortunately, no one was hurt. 

I know the best drivers can stop faster without it, but most of us mere mortals benefit from it, on track and on the road. I don't consider myself an amazing driver, but I have done Skip Barber and Evo schools, and won autocross classes regionally, so I'm not a complete dinkus. I hope! 

NickD
NickD UltraDork
2/6/18 2:26 p.m.

In reply to CyberEric :

The NA definitely has a lot of front brake bias. Mine was particularly bad when I had 1.8L front brakes and 1.6L rear brakes. Even with 1.8L brakes all the way around, I ended up running OEM front pads and Porterfield rears to balance it out.

CyberEric
CyberEric Reader
2/6/18 2:39 p.m.

In reply to NickD :

Yeah, that's the way to do it. I regret not doing that right away. If I buy another NA (and I hope to someday), that will be the first thing I do if it doesn't have ABS, even if it does actually. I find the bias that bad. 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
2/6/18 3:31 p.m.

I prefer to use brake pressure proportioning. Pull the ABS fuse, set the balance, put the fuse back in. Much easier to fine-tune.

Snrub
Snrub Reader
2/6/18 4:26 p.m.

 have a NA8 champcar with no ABS.  With grabbier brake pads I found it difficult not to lock up a tire, particularly with closer to stock suspension.  I will admit that my threshold braking skills are not the best.  However, consider the uneven weight distribution caused by your body weight in a ~1900lbs miata.    I've picked up most of the necessary ABS parts and I am planning to install it one day.  :)

 

I find my street RX-8 with ABS a dream under braking on track.  It's super stable and controllable and even with lesser tires it significantly out brakes the my miata and frankly most other cars as well.

 

I agree with the idea of buying a already prepped car.  My calculations and cost allocations might be a bit different than Blaise's, but the general message is the same.  I agree with the 1.6L Spec Miata suggestion as well.

NickD
NickD UltraDork
2/6/18 5:25 p.m.
CyberEric said:

In reply to NickD :

Yeah, that's the way to do it. I regret not doing that right away. If I buy another NA (and I hope to someday), that will be the first thing I do if it doesn't have ABS, even if it does actually. I find the bias that bad. 

The real way to do it is to install a brake proportioning valve and set it up correctly. My solution was just the cheapass $20 way to keep codrivers from flatspotting my RE71Rs every time they got to the first turn.

goingnowherefast
goingnowherefast New Reader
2/6/18 6:33 p.m.
NickD said:
Rodan said:

 I just finished upgrading our NA to Wilwoods all around, and it's going to be a bit of a learning curve to avoid flat spotting a tire or two...

Sometimes I wish my NA had ABS, because even with just upgraded 1.8L pads and rotors and RE71Rs, people hop in my car at autocrosses and attempt to make my tires square, even when I warn them that it doesn't ABS.

Yeah I can lock them up no problem at any speed below about ~50 mph with 205/50/15 RE71R's on 15x8's. G-loc R10 F, R8 rear. Just takes some getting used to, but I was really worried about not having ABS when I started racing, now I don't really care. 

 

I think it's been stated, but the NB's are superior cars all around especially in the performance category if the OP can spring for it. 

Jaynen
Jaynen SuperDork
2/6/18 6:42 p.m.
Blaise said:

If you're doing track days, you want to buy a prepped car. You're going to spend a (small) fortune prepping it. I did this last year. Let's pretend you get it for $2k.

500-800 Rollbar
500-1000 Race seats (you'll need 2)
300-500 6pt harness (you'll need 2)
250+ removable wheel
500-1000 Wheels, Tires
3-500 Pads, rotors, fluid, SS lines

And that's assuming no suspension work - which you'll want.

So at the *very* best case, you'll spend $4500. Realistically well into the 5s or 6.  Now look at a similarly priced track car. You might even get a hard top!

 

This is pretty bang on, I went 5 pt, but once you add in backbraces depending on seats, hardtop, etc.

Seats are like 300-400 on the cheaper end, 100 per bracket if you are doing off the shelf, 150 or so per harness, 600 for rollbar and that was me picking it up in person at Hard Dog.

Hardtop is 800 bucks if you find a lucky deal 1,000 if not (for OEM)

This is a really good deal, I have been telling my buddy to buy it. Not sure what makes it not street legal depending on state besides exhaust

https://lynchburg.craigslist.org/cto/d/1990-miata-hpde-track-car-18/6470034239.html

Floating Doc
Floating Doc Reader
2/6/18 8:08 p.m.

Thanks for all the responses. There's a pretty good opportunity for an NB a couple of hours away for 5500. Hard top, race seat for the driver, aftermarket wheel and hub, good tires and wheels, custom paint, custom gauges and interior, etc.

Hard to let it go, I'm just not ready to spend that right now. One thing that seems apparent is that there are a lot of Miatas for sale, all of the time. 

Edit: I'm going to look at the NB I mentioned in this post on Thursday. Also, it already has a roll bar, too, plus the sport package. Owner's on his third Miata, this one's his first 6 speed. As I've read, he volunteered that the 6 speed is a disadvantage for autocross, but I like it for the slightly lower highway rpm. I'm not skilled enough to be competitive anyway, I just want to have fun. 

Had a good conversation with the owner tonight, and it's priced right. We'll see what happens...

 

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