'97 NA 1.8L For Sale in Metro Detroit

about 1 year ago
Available on
Warren MI

See more photos of the car in my Craigslist ad:
Selling my Classic Red '97 NA 1.8L (NA8) MX-5 Miata before the onset of winter and the need to store it. And maybe make room for a newer model.
What it is:
Base trim level with power windows and power mirrors; both work. I cleaned out and re-lubed the window tracks a couple years ago and use silicone lube so they still move up & down fairly well.
Also has AC; I've re-charged it and it worked for a while but doesn't seem to now. Don't care as I rarely use it.
What it isn't: I'll be honest: This is no shining beauty, no garage queen, not a pristine specimen of glorious Miatahood. But it's reliable and will get you where you want to go with fun at hand.
It's not lowered, lifted, stanced, turbo's, blown, tracked, squirted, modded, or any of that. I haven't even done the timing advance on it. But it's a good canvas for you to work on.
What it could be for someone like you:
- Track-day car for hipster track-day bros or bro-ettes if bracing were added and other mods done
- Exocet donor vehicle (since everything but the body is decent)
- Part-out car - Note that I am NOT entertaining part-out offers so please don't ask. I don't have the time, space, or patience to sell bit-by-bit. I'm selling the whole car, as-is. But if you'd like to get into the wonderful world of parting out, this might do for you. But drive it first. You might find you like it too much to part with it.
- Fun reliable weekend car that gets a lot of compliments and conversation
- Put some winter/snow tires on the 14-inchers or some steelies and have fun drifting in the snow!
- A gateway drug for Miata newbies :-)
The Good:
- Clean green title in-hand
- Runs well, drives well, new parts, no CEL's, no leaks, no drips, top is tight and leak-free.
- Newer Pioneer in-dash stereo with Bluetooth, USB input, and AUX jack input; Newer Kicker 6.75" door speakers.
- New Timing Belt, Water Pump, Radiator, crankshaft & camshaft seals, valve cover gasket, alternator & power steering belts done September 2016.
- New lower & upper shift turret boots and bushings in late 2014. Replaced shift turret fluid at that time, and again last year with Amsoil GL4. (I stopped short of getting the Motorcraft "Unicorn Tears".)
- Replaced rear diff fluid with store-brand GL5.
- Cleaned intake manifold, throttle body, and EGR valve in late 2014 to remove carbon buildup and clear CEL codes and idle droop which were present when I bought the car. I even cleaned the inner EGR passage in the intake manifold, and the IACV passage in the throttle body. It now idles smoothly, no dip or surge, no codes, no hesitation.
- New NGK Blue spark plug wires installed...a couple years ago?
- Vinyl top was replaced several years ago (by PO to PO so I don't know what kind) and is still toight like a toiger and leak-free. Drains are clean and work well.
- Rear vinyl window is relatively clear, no cracks, no major creases, but a few scuffs that were already there when I bought it. I was able to clean & clarify much of it. You can see into & out of it. It also zips & folds down. I have tried to protect the surface by using soft towels when folded down.
- New front Centric rotors & Akebono ceramic pads done April 2017.
I also have rear EBC rotors & Akebono pads which I will include with the car.
- Interior is relatively clean and damage-free; normal wear-and-tear for a car that is legally old enough to drink.
- Trunk seal replaced earlier this year (I think in July?) and is water-tight.
- Paint is decent in most areas; I spent a lot of timing polishing it back to Red. The nose and rear finish panel are still a bit faded.
- I have been using Shell Rotella to cure the excessive lifter tick and it seems to work well.
The Not-So-Good:
- AC doesn't seem to work. I've diagnosed and recharged it earlier this year and it worked in June/July but hasn't since then. Not gonna bother with it as I rarely used it.
- Wheels are the 14-inch 7-spoke but the tires need replaced. They were the ones that came with the car. I have had a set of 15's for a couple years but they are very light, hard-to-find and I would like to keep those. (Or you can make a separate offer on them.)
- The headlight adjuster screws move within their grommets so I haven't been able to achieve a desired adjustment. Not wanting to pay outrageous prices for Mazda replacements, I have left them alone and abandoned the idea of aftermarket lights
- Damage to right rear quarter & bumper from a low-speed rear-end collision in 2015; I replaced the taillight assy. and decided to leave the rest.
- Probably needs new shocks & struts; I'm too much of a pussy to do it myself. I do have some old yellow Koni's I bought that are sitting on the shelf, for which I would also entertain offers.
- Exhaust leak somewhere under the driver; I haven't really examined to locate exactly where. Doesn't seem to affect performance that I can tell, mainly just loud exhaust noise.
- I threw out the old cracked plastic undershield; I have a new one but I haven't bothered to put it on as a few of the bolts broke and I haven't really made a concerted effort to remove them. I will include the shield with the car.
- Some other dings and dents and chips which a car will get in 21 years
The Bad: Rocker panel rust, both sides, front and rear. In one of its past lives, the drains were never cleaned the drains, so water built up and caused moderate to severe rust. They were eventually cleaned out when the top was replaced several years ago, and I checked them again after I bought the car a few years ago. The previous owner who sold me the car was a handyman who bondo'd the affected areas. But it was already coming off and I hated it so I knocked most of it off.
It would cost more than it's worth to repair/replace the rockers, and I likely wouldn't get back what I put into it, so I'm not going to. It could probably do with an angle grinder and some primer & black spray paint, but it's too noisy & dirty a job to do in my condo.
Other: I recently installed blur leatherette (vinyl) seats with headrest speakers and partial foamectomy. I haven't decided whether I will sell the car with these or with the original black cloth seats. Will likely depend on the offers I get.
$2000 OBO. Cash only please. No trades. You won't find one in this good mechanical shape at this price for 100 miles. Email or text msg only please.
Available to see evenings & weekends in Warren. I will keep it available for your viewing pleasure until next weekend when I plan to take it out-of-state for winter storage. In some cases I will agree to bring the car locally for you to see.