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Buying a 99 donor - what to look for?

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#1
dtfastbear

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Given the incredible toyo contingency in NASA, I'm thinking about getting back in to SM again after a hiatus to focus on my LS1 car. I might as well build a 99 if I'm going to build another SM, right? I know almost nothing about the 99's. Are there any specific packages, build numbers, options, etc. etc. etc. that are specifically desirable or undesirable in the 99?

I already know that I shouldn't get a California car given that some of the exhaust parts are more restrictive. Any other advice?

Cheers,

Dean

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#2
Ron Alan

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Oh man, I see how you are(tire whore!)....guess we'll stay in SCCA :D I don't think it really matters as far as options. You'll pay more for a nicer car with low miles but the stock stuff you don't need will be in better shape and you can off load it easier. If you want a real project...but cheap, get a hold of me. Will be great to see you back out there on a regular basis! Some wont be so happy :banghead:

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#3
FTodaro

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Dean I do not know how much you do or don't know so if I will assume nothing. Stay away from the 6 speed 10 year anniversary models. otherwise you want what you would in any year. obviously nice if it comes with a Torsen, nicer, if it also had a hard top. As far as I know the options and packages are not that important; no automatics as the computer is different. otherwise get the cheapest cleanest one you can find. Out in the mid west I regularly see decent 99"s in the 4 to 5,000.00 range.

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#4
Duncan

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Given the incredible toyo contingency in NASA, I'm thinking about getting back in to SM again after a hiatus to focus on my LS1 car. I might as well build a 99 if I'm going to build another SM, right? I know almost nothing about the 99's. Are there any specific packages, build numbers, options, etc. etc. etc. that are specifically desirable or undesirable in the 99?

I already know that I shouldn't get a California car given that some of the exhaust parts are more restrictive. Any other advice?

Cheers,

Dean


Don't let the CA car be a deal breaker if you find a nice example. It's pretty easy (and fairly cheap) to convert it to a non-CA car. You only need a non CA manifold, and ECU. The ECU isn't necessary really either, the car will run on either. With open fuel pressure and timing I doubt it even matters anymore.

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#5
Duncan

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Also, If you find a car you can call Mazda Motorsports with the VIN and they can tell you if it has a torsion. I found a car where the seller didn't know/car the car had the nicer diff and got a killer deal.

Duncan
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#6
Killian

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Many MW/GL '99 owners don't know it, but their chassis (where the swaybar brackets mount) can be punched through with a pick and a hammer.

http://forum.miata.n...ad.php?t=397790

#7
dtfastbear

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Seems like the wrong place to be trying to remove weight... ;-)

Thanks guys - that's exactly the kind of information that I need regarding the special models to avoid, the torsen, the differences with the CA car, etc. You can buy a bunch of parts for the cost of a plane ticket and the costs associated with driving the car back several hundred miles from NV, UT or AZ...

Cheers,

Dean

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#8
Charlie Hayes

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Its around $400 total to convert a CA car to the Federal exhaust including the manifold, heat shields, and new bolts for both heat shields. I wouldn't go through the trouble getting a out of state car unless it was a great deal and obviously worth it.

Im not sure if ECU's will be the same as my 1.6 where I went through a few to find the best one. :spin:
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#9
Johnny D

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You may want to look at 01~05 as well with the rules.
99-00: from 2400; 38mm
01-05: from 2400; 40mm
I think the chins are available as well.

Drago's doing a 02, what a surprise.
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#10
Jim Drago

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Drago's doing a 02, what a surprise.
J~


All for that cool wide Chin spoiler and cooler headlights, front cover and tail lights :) We are doing mine all out, but it is for sale. I am running my 99.

Important to say.... The 01-05 is at no more of an advantage or disadvantage since last year, compared to the 99, both lost 3 mm in plate and still weigh the same.. My thought process is that the 01/05 cars will pull 5th gear better than the 99's... I know one track specifically in Wi that has a very long 5th gear straight. Also feel the 01/05 may lose less with same 3 mm in restriction as the intake is already so bad.. We did an 02 last year that was pretty good, runs with almost any 99 in the country, but was not quite as good as our best 99's, but real close

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#11
Dewey P

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Dean,

If memory serves me correct, if the donor has leather package or cruise control then it will have a Torson. Obviously the leather sells good on craiglists.

#12
Duncan

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Dean,

If memory serves me correct, if the donor has leather package or cruise control then it will have a Torson. Obviously the leather sells good on craiglists.


But that's not the only way to get one. My non-ABS cloth seat car had a Torsen. When I was looking at cars, I would just call Mazda Motorsports with the VIN and they would tell me what diff was in it.

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#13
Killian

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But that's not the only way to get one. My non-ABS cloth seat car had a Torsen. When I was looking at cars, I would just call Mazda Motorsports with the VIN and they would tell me what diff was in it.

Duncan

Might be a popular equipment package (PEP) car.

Also, regarding the rust in MW/GL/NE cars, I am curious if one could patch this common problem in a '99 car...

Rail, Otr Frame¶ (a) R NC10-53-35XA
L NC10-54-35XA
6 Rail, Inr Frame¶ (a) R NC10-53-310
L NC10-54-310

http://www.mazdamoto...mx5_9905_cg.pdf

#14
Bench Racer

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Also, regarding the rust in MW/GL/NE cars, I am curious if one could patch this common problem in a '99 car...

Rail, Otr Frame¶ (a) R NC10-53-35XA
L NC10-54-35XA
6 Rail, Inr Frame¶ (a) R NC10-53-310
L NC10-54-310


A few days ago during the undercoat bitchfest while searching I read on another site a post about a guy pushing with a screwdrive at rusty looking areas & the next thing he knew he had very large holes where per him the unibody frame rusted out from the inside. If it were me doing a race car I'd say good by :wave2: to that chassis.
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#15
Glenn

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But that's not the only way to get one. My non-ABS cloth seat car had a Torsen. When I was looking at cars, I would just call Mazda Motorsports with the VIN and they would tell me what diff was in it.

Duncan


Open the passenger side door and look at the post, if it says "hard s" it is will have a Torsen as well as Bilstein shocks ( very marketable).

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#16
MPR22

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Open the passenger side door and look at the post, if it says "hard s" it is will have a Torsen as well as Bilstein shocks ( very marketable).

+1
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#17
Nathan Pring

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Dean I do not know how much you do or don't know so if I will assume nothing. Stay away from the 6 speed 10 year anniversary models. otherwise you want what you would in any year. obviously nice if it comes with a Torsen, nicer, if it also had a hard top. As far as I know the options and packages are not that important; no automatics as the computer is different. otherwise get the cheapest cleanest one you can find. Out in the mid west I regularly see decent 99"s in the 4 to 5,000.00 range.

Bringing up an old thread here, but what is the reason to avoid the 10AE models other than the six speed?  I currently am looking at some copart donors and keep seeing 10AE models available near me.  I have a '99 caged roller already so i'm just looking at getting a parts donor car to transfer to the shell.  I've already bought a motor and was planning on getting a 'race prepped' 5 speed so are they any other reasons to avoid the 10AEs?

Donors near me seem pretty scarce (at a decent price), if anyone has a heads up on a good donor car let me know! 



#18
TylerQuance

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They have the wrong rear gear ratio since they have the 6 sp. Adds cost to your build to also buy a 4.30 Torsen

#19
Ron Alan

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The 3.9 Torsen is worth ever bit as much as a 4.3...the 6 speed will also bring you money! After that the harness and all the other bits you need will swap into your chassis. Not sure if the 6 speed ecu is different but the 49 state ecu's are readily available! If the price is right a 10ae isn't an issue...you might come out ahead being able to sell the 6 speed and 3.9(worst case trade)! If it has the original wheels and seats in decent shape they are worth a few bucks as well!


Ron

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#20
Nathan Pring

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Thanks guys, that's the info I needed.




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