Mike Walsted's Miata Page

This page is for info regarding my 1999 Mazda Miata. There most likely isn't anything exciting or groundbreaking, here, and only exists so that I may reference a page when people ask about the car. I have included links to sources in case you have a similar vehicle and would be interested in the same thing, or are considering purchasing a Miata.

I bought the car from Mike at Mayhill Motorsports in Denton, TX. He seemed to know his Miatas, and offered decent prices on vehicles with relatively high mileage but otherwise good condition. I would recommend that he be one of the first people called if one is in the market for a bargain Miata in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Of course, a Craigslist search often yields some unexpected bargains, but Craigslist bargains are usually snapped up real quick.I sold the car in January of 2016 when the junkyard replacement engine blew. The body had over 482,000 miles on it when I sold it.

Here is how the car looked when leaving the factory, according to the Mazda web site:
1999 Mazda Miata

Here is the picture of the car in a search for pre-2001 Miatas near my home on Autotrader.com:
1999 Mazda Miata from Mayhill Motorsports in Denton, Texas
You can see a 1992 Miata in the background on the top-right of the picture. We almost bought that vehicle instead, as it was in great condition.

This is how the car looked after I got it home and cleaned up a bit:
1999 Mazda Miata soon after purchase

This is how the car looks now, with non-stock wheels and fog lights:
1999 Mazda Miata a few years later

More pictures of the car after we brought it home and washed it can be found here.

I visited some friends in California, and those of us with Miatas had our picture taken together.

Questions and Answers

"Why a Miata?"
I prefer manual transmission cars with rear wheel drive, since they are easy for me to work on. I also commuted about 38 miles each way to and from work, plus weekend trips of about 190 each way. The car I used to drive to work averaged 24 miles per gallon on Premium fuel. The Miata averaged just under 30 miles per gallon on regular fuel. I was not aware of any other cars that were equipped with a manual transmission and rear wheel drive, achieved around 30 or more miles per gallon on the highway using regular gas, were dependable, and could be had for the same or less than we paid for this car.

"What upgrades have you done to the car?"
I installed a header from a 2001 Miata, an aluminum radiator that is larger than stock, an aftermarket fan, a Walbro fuel pump, and some fog lights.

"What work have you done on it?"
I removed the front tie down hooks since I don't plan on putting it on a ship, and installed aftermarket fog lights in their place. I removed the bracket that keeps the passenger seat from sliding all the way back into the car's computer, since the computer isn't behind the passenger seat on the 1999 Miatas. The catalytic converter has been replaced four times, the first time with an inexpensive one, and the second time with a more appropriate one, which also died after a year, and that was replaced with an OEM grade converter, that also died after a year. I cleaned out the clogged EGR passage in the intake manifold more than once - at one point the mileage had deteriorated to 25mpg, and cleaning the passage usually brings the mileage back up to 29-30mpg. I replaced the thermostat, which wouldn't totally close, leaving the heat rather weak. I stay caught up on the routine maintenance. The fuel pump failed while driving home one morning, so that was also replaced, and replaced again six months later, and again, with a Walbro, six months after that. While doing an oil change, I took a few pictures of various things under the car so people may use them when trying to explain things to others. I replaced the worn, vinyl top with a cloth no-zip top with glass window, defrost, rain rail, and cables, and the Miata looked better when installed in my opinion. (top removal pictures) Since that time, it has started to wear through.

While doing tires the first time, I noticed that there was a slow fluid leak from the right rear caliper. The leak barely affected braking, and meant that I had to add fluid weekly. I cleaned the caliper trying to find the leak, and that made it worse. Although I hate to defer maintenance, I didn't plan on replacing the caliper until after I bought a new floor jack. However, since cleaning the caliper made it leak so much faster, I couldn't stop myself. Later, I noticed that the replacement caliper had also developed a leak. Luckily, Oreilly's replaced it under warranty. And again. I've also replaced the brake pads and all four shock absorbers.

My radiator started to change color, so it was replaced with an aluminum one before it cracked. (ZensMiata posted this picture showing the color of his radiator before it blew in this thread at Miata.net.) The timing belt and water pump have been replaced twice, and the clutch, once. Unfortunately, seals weren't replaced, so the car leaks oil. Not unexpected after 317,000 miles on the odometer, though. (No that isn't a typo.) The transmission locked up at about 362,000 miles, and was replaced. Compression on cylinder #4 went to 10 at about 412,000 miles, and the engine was replaced with a junkyard replacement. The replacement died at about 472,000 miles on the car, and its replacement died 10,000 miles after that.

"Should I buy a Miata?"
Yes. Of course, if everyone follows that advice, it will be harder to find a used Miata at a reasonable price, so you should start looking now. The Miata I bought to replace this one is NOT for sale.

Other Helpful Links and Information

The Metroplex Miata Enthusiasts are a helpful group in Dallas/Fort Worth. Their forum contains a lot of helpful information.

Miata.net and the associated forum have an incredible amount of information.

Texas Standard Presumptive Value calculator - estimates what the State of Texas will assume the value of the car to be for sales tax purposes for private party sales.

Tires I bought and future plans.

Too much information about my Miata's sound system.

If you have the Bose system in your Miata and are wondering which speakers will fit, here is a picture taken from the back of the small speaker, and here is a picture taken of the larger speaker.

If you have any suggestions, such as useful Miata links, please feel free to e-mail me at mike@mikewalsted.com.