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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
That鈥檚 a very clean looking spyder that your friend has. how do you feel it compares to your ND Miata?
Great question, and actually not that easy to answer. Clearly the Miata is the better (by far) fun car that can be daily driven. 15 years of advancements in every measure of performance, tech, comfort, safety are obvious.

That said they are both a hoot to drive. "Quick, not fast" applies to both in good measure. Easy to drive, quick reactions and (subjectively) attractive in their own right.

Best analogy I have for the MR2 Spyder is that (at least to me having owned 3 mid-engined Porsches) is that is like a first gen Boxster. Light, quick, and very tossable; only more so!

As to the Miata, I've owned at least 10 or more; NA's, NC and this ND. The ND is the best Miata for today's real world, and still as much fun as any of the early gens. I raced an NA in SCCA Spec Miata class from 2002 til 2008. Great fun and a hoot to constantly mix it up with 3 to 5 other more or less equal cars in close quarters. Talk about cheap fun.

Pic of mine in action at Summit Point Raceway in WV.

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2001 2zz 6spd
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Steve,
I have a nice 2005 I'm about to sell. It has about 90K, exceptionally well maintained SoCal car (no rust), 6 speed manual and a lot of other upgrades. If you're interested I can put together details and pics.
Dave
That sounds awesome. I'd definitely be interested in hearing what you are offering and any mods you put on it!
 

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Discussion Starter · #25 ·
Well, I've made it to the 10 day mark, so hopefully, I can write and receive PM's. Will I be notified, or can a willing member try to PM me and see what happens. My forum searching just shows what a "conversation" is, but not any help on creating or sending one. All help, advice, PM's :LOL: is appreciated!

Now for the latest news, see my next post below......
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
Well, I've made it to the 10 day mark, so hopefully, I can write and receive PM's. Will I be notified, or can a willing member try to PM me and see what happens. My forum searching just shows what a "conversation" is, but not any help on creating or sending one. All help, advice, PM's :LOL: is appreciated!

Now for the latest news, see my next post below......
Leading candidate so far; 27K, 5MT, hope to see it over the holidays. Any advice is appreciated.

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Leading candidate so far; 27K, 5MT, hope to see it over the holidays. Any advice is appreciated.

View attachment 86276
Not to be crass but don鈥檛 buy this. $27k for a pre-facelift is such a bad purchase. Not only are Spyder鈥檚 in a bubble right now, but this car will have the oil return ring / precat issue. So you鈥檙e overpaying by at least $10k for a car that will need a new engine anyway.

You can get an absolutely cherry Boxster for that much or a slew of other sports cars. Heed my advice and do not jump on the hype train. The Spyder is an awesome car but this is a mistake.
 

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Hopefully the 27k is the mileage, not the asking price 馃檭. It's a pre-facelift so do what you can to try to determine oil consumption. The mileage is low enough that it might not have any lasting effects yet (ie. remove pre-cats as soon as you get it like I did on mine at 37k miles).
 

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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
Not to be crass but don鈥檛 buy this. $27k for a pre-facelift is such a bad purchase. Not only are Spyder鈥檚 in a bubble right now, but this car will have the oil return ring / precat issue. So you鈥檙e overpaying by at least $10k for a car that will need a new engine anyway.

You can get an absolutely cherry Boxster for that much or a slew of other sports cars. Heed my advice and do not jump on the hype train. The Spyder is an awesome car but this is a mistake.
I AGREE!! 27K miles, not $$. Sorry about that. Price is a bit more reasonable, :LOL: :LOL::LOL::LOL:
 

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Discussion Starter · #30 ·
Not sure where price will wind up, and I haven't actually seen/driven this one; but what is a reasonable price for what I believe is a totally stock car, no mods, no damage, clean CF? Also, is there any way to check the precats without pulling the O2 sensors? Smoke, noise at startup, idle, performance?

Also I would be driving it home about 600 miles (bring earbuds and tunes!). Could the pre-cats destruct that quickly if the car is running fine/normal?
 

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You can't really check the precats by removing the O2 sensors ...like an iceberg you only see a small part of them through the O2 bungs. The only way to tell for sure is to remove the entire manifold & use a scope...or remove them completely. If the car is burning a significant amount of oil it would hint at potential precat damage already having been done. Overwhelmingly more likely than not you aren't going to have a precat issue during your drive home if one doesn't already exist.
 
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The real risk with the precats is pushing the engine hard when it is out of tune. They don't have much temperature margin when the engine is at full load, and anything that raises the exhaust temperature can push them over. The leaky oil rings is just one road to that destination.
 

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I'd consider skipping the ear buds on the the maiden journey and listen to the car.
 
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Discussion Starter · #34 ·
You can't really check the precats by removing the O2 sensors ...like an iceberg you only see a small part of them through the O2 bungs. The only way to tell for sure is to remove the entire manifold & use a scope...or remove them completely. If the car is burning a significant amount of oil it would hint at potential precat damage already having been done. Overwhelmingly more likely than not you aren't going to have a precat issue during your drive home if one doesn't already exist.
Thanks, based on the car's history (chat with last owner, CF), I'm confident it was a "summer, fun" car that saw minimal winter use or performance driving. Would a cold start tell me anything when I drive it next week?
 

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Discussion Starter · #35 ·
The real risk with the precats is pushing the engine hard when it is out of tune. They don't have much temperature margin when the engine is at full load, and anything that raises the exhaust temperature can push them over. The leaky oil rings is just one road to that destination.
Thanks, that is good insight for sure. Out of tune symptoms? Misfire, lumpy idle, low power, won't pull strong to redline?
 

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Discussion Starter · #36 ·
You can't really check the precats by removing the O2 sensors ...like an iceberg you only see a small part of them through the O2 bungs. The only way to tell for sure is to remove the entire manifold & use a scope...or remove them completely. If the car is burning a significant amount of oil it would hint at potential precat damage already having been done. Overwhelmingly more likely than not you aren't going to have a precat issue during your drive home if one doesn't already exist.
Well, so much for bringing my tools to the test drive! One "hopeful"sign is that the last 2 owners worked for a Toyota stiore. One of them (10 years, only 2K miles) was the Service Manager who was a fan of these and had 2 Spyders. The other he drove a bunch and put miles on; this one was his baby. This info is from the last owner who also worked at the store and knew him and the car for several years before they bought the car from the SM. Hearsay for sure, but a bit more reassuring if valid. Roll of the dice, I guess! 馃槼
 

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Thanks, based on the car's history (chat with last owner, CF), I'm confident it was a "summer, fun" car that saw minimal winter use or performance driving. Would a cold start tell me anything when I drive it next week?
Cold start will tell you plenty if you dont accelerate the engine beyound starting idle:

puff of smoke - valve guides.
5 - 10 seconds of soft rattle-likely VBTI sprocket is not locking.
Momentary hard knock- bearing knock, turn around and run.
Soft slap-pistons, this would be a deal breaker breaker for me.
Depending on ambient humidity some moisture could drip from the exhaust pipe as an engine is an air pump and will compress moisture from the air. This should end when warm or within 4 or 5 minutes and have little to zero carbon floating atop the little puddle. And DEFINITELY not smell or taste (stick a finger in it and touch a small dab to your tongue, wipe your tongue off it won't jill you) like coolant.

Make sure the seller knows you want the engine cold. Sitting with no start least overnight. Put your hand on the motor block if its even slightly warm same advice as a hard knock. Turn around and run.
 

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Whenever you buy a car ask the owner NOT to turn it on or run it before you get there. Ask them to start the car with you standing behind looking at the tailpipe & confirm there's no smoke. Burning oil has a slight blue tinge, condensation is white...it can be difficult to tell sometimes but use common sense regarding ambient air temp. Look in the engine bay for any oil leaks (if it's spotless then it was cleaned & tells you nothing). Finally, let it run for a few mins while you look it over then turn it off & check the oil. If its low & no visible leaks I would suspect some degree of consumption. No oil on the dipstick is an obvious deal breaker...anything less than half full is definite consumption, between half & full line is indeterminate IMHO. If the car still has precats then idk what to make of previous owners being Toyota service techs

I wouldn't worry about identifying abnormal engine sounds...any of them is a deal breaker IMO as I'm sure you're going to be asked a price high enough to reflect the current market forces. Other than that, just typical used car inspection stuff...look under it for rust (I'm in the NE so surface rust is expected, frame rust is no bueno). Inspect the top & make sure it opens & closes easily, has no tears or separation of the rear window. It's also worth looking into each wheel well at the shocksto make sure they aren't leaking any oil...all things to factor in when deciding what your final purchase price should be.
 

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Discussion Starter · #40 ·
Whenever you buy a car ask the owner NOT to turn it on or run it before you get there. Ask them to start the car with you standing behind looking at the tailpipe & confirm there's no smoke. Burning oil has a slight blue tinge, condensation is white...it can be difficult to tell sometimes but use common sense regarding ambient air temp. Look in the engine bay for any oil leaks (if it's spotless then it was cleaned & tells you nothing). Finally, let it run for a few mins while you look it over then turn it off & check the oil. If its low & no visible leaks I would suspect some degree of consumption. No oil on the dipstick is an obvious deal breaker...anything less than half full is definite consumption, between half & full line is indeterminate IMHO. If the car still has precats then idk what to make of previous owners being Toyota service techs

I wouldn't worry about identifying abnormal engine sounds...any of them is a deal breaker IMO as I'm sure you're going to be asked a price high enough to reflect the current market forces. Other than that, just typical used car inspection stuff...look under it for rust (I'm in the NE so surface rust is expected, frame rust is no bueno). Inspect the top & make sure it opens & closes easily, has no tears or separation of the rear window. It's also worth looking into each wheel well at the shocksto make sure they aren't leaking any oil...all things to factor in when deciding what your final purchase price should be.
Thanks so much for the excellent advice. All good ideas that I have used (and reccommended to others) often. Your specifics on oil smoke, level, "leaks" is very helpful. Agree that ANY noises, performance or drivability issues would be a no go. It is priced fairly IMO,if there are no obvious needs, issues that need attention. I am planning on replacing the pre cats if I get it and then slowly "making it mine" with the right mods, Stay tuned!
 
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