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Old 12-25-2012, 07:25 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Auto Mx5

So, hold the OMG GAY posts, but are the auto boxes in the mk1 miata/roadsters/mx5 any good?

For health reasons I need an automatic so I need to sell my mk1 1.8 manual, so been looking around and can find a few decent looking 1.6/1.8 auto ones nearby.

Possibly selling my two current cars and getting an impreza wagon auto and maybe an mx5 auto.

Wont be for driving fast, drifting, etc. Just for tarting up and hard parking
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Old 12-25-2012, 08:53 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Auto Mx5

Unless you have no left leg/foot, there is no reason not to keep the manual.... wait you could get a hand clutch as well..

but seriously I have no real input here. These cars are slow enough with the manual, I cant imagne how much worse it would be with a auto.
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Old 12-25-2012, 09:24 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Auto Mx5

Basically I have a hip issue thats gotten so bad I can use a manual gearbox for about a mile before I nearly pass out from the pain so theres no point keeping the manual if the furthest I can drive is to the top of my street and back...

So just wanting opinions. If they are really awful I'll just sell my NA and all the bits I've got sitting for it and just use the money to do up an Impreza wagon/Bmw touring/whatever.

I'm on constant pills and morphine when not driving y0 lol.
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Old 12-25-2012, 09:45 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Auto Mx5

i wouldnt drive an auto miata. whats the point?
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Old 12-25-2012, 10:10 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Auto Mx5

Wow sympathetic crowd here, way to kick a man while he's down.

Tinners sorry to here about your injury, fingers crossed there's a way for it to improve.

I haven't met many owners with auto mx-5s/miatas but they all seem to think their Auto MX-5s are great. So i'm guessing as far as autos go they work fine.
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Old 12-25-2012, 10:36 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Auto Mx5

Thanks.

It's the internet, Sympathy is rare lol. I'm due to get an op, but even then theres a year or more recovery, but no date on the op, and no guarantee it'll fix it so yeh...Automatics needed I haven't driven for around 6 months now so kinda pissed off with having two manual cars sitting.
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Old 12-25-2012, 10:53 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Auto Mx5

I work with a guy that drives a little red '90 auto that he has replaced the shocks on, done some engine maintenance to, but has never had any trouble with the auto trans.
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Old 12-25-2012, 11:02 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Auto Mx5

The general consensus from what I have heard and from many people around my area in the club with experience is that the auto trans is rubbish. Slow to shift, won't shift right, they actually tune the engine for less hp (adjustment so there's more torque causes this).

I haven't driven one personally though.
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Old 12-25-2012, 11:38 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Auto Mx5

My daily is a 5 speed box and have driven auto NA6, NA8, & NB's, the auto box is complete shit when you've driven a manual miata. Having said that, you're used to a manual but your hip is forcing a change, try to find an auto miata to take for a drive, see if it's still the car for you.
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Old 12-25-2012, 12:13 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Auto Mx5

OP I hope that you get better. Sorry to hear about that. From what I have been told by generally older gentleman that drive auto na's is that it handles the same and the auto is not that bad really. Actually some of the people prefer it. (before this becomes a war i know that stick is the true way and more fun) The auto seems like a nice alternative from not driving it at all. You might be able to find a good deal on one since most people dont want them. Good luck.
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Old 12-25-2012, 12:17 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Auto Mx5

Thanks. Can find a few low milage Uk ones for around 800 or jap 1.8 ones for 1000 so they aren't that hard to find as no one wants the auto because currently the scene kids here want Mx5s because OMGDRIFTCAR!1!1. So that's kinda what tempts me, the fact they cost next to nothing. Just want to know if it'd be causing loads of issues, or anything like that.

That and I can pick up a local auto and a local impreza wagon for 2200..which doesn't seem that bad for two cars lol.
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Old 12-25-2012, 12:26 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Auto Mx5

doesn't seem bad at all for those prices. Have some fun with it. Post up some pics when you get it. If you do any highway driving it is actually better to have the auto because of the overdrive so the rpms are way lower.
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Old 12-25-2012, 12:30 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: Auto Mx5

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i wouldnt drive an auto miata. whats the point?
Listen up, Fuckstick. Pick your posts carefully. Very carefully. Remember the Golden Rule... you've really outlived your usefullness here.

OP - Sorry to hear about your injury. We've got an awesome group in my neck of the woods and if I were in your shoes I'd rock an auto Miata.

If not a part of a local "Miata Community", I'd probably pick something with more umph.

Here's hoping for a full recovery
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Old 12-25-2012, 12:49 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: Auto Mx5

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Listen up, Fuckstick. Pick your posts carefully. Very carefully. Remember the Golden Rule... you've really outlived your usefullness here.

OP - Sorry to hear about your injury. We've got an awesome group in my neck of the woods and if I were in your shoes I'd rock an auto Miata.

If not a part of a local "Miata Community", I'd probably pick something with more umph.

Here's hoping for a full recovery
automatic swap in the future for scrat?
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Old 12-25-2012, 01:27 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: Auto Mx5

.
Get a used old Rolls or Bentley that's in good mechanical order. I couldn't recommend getting a miata with a bum hip.
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Old 12-25-2012, 01:38 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Default Re: Auto Mx5

Now you mention it...
http://classifieds.pistonheads.com/c...ing-car/967857

Bit big and the dog might scratch the leather..
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Old 12-25-2012, 02:21 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Default Re: Auto Mx5

They sold thousands upon thousands of them. They're just fine. They don't have the sporting edge the manuals do, but if you're not driving it like that it isn't a concern. And you could do a lot worse than a Miata for a fun little car to drive.

Now with that said, if you have hip issues, getting in and out probably won't be comfortable for very long. I'd go to a different auto that sits a little higher. Maybe a Mustang convertible that could be picked up on the cheap, is a little more comfortable to get in and out of, and is actually fairly entertaining to own even as an automatic. Just a thought.
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Old 12-25-2012, 03:45 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Default Re: Auto Mx5

Miata+V8 with auto=everybody wins.
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Old 12-25-2012, 04:05 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Default Re: Auto Mx5

Don't know about automatic miatas, sorry. But from my old BMW days I'll use an e30 as example. The manuals were usually good. Sometimes notchy but whatever. The automatic e30's to me is DANGEROUS. Very laggy, and it doesn't shift too smoothly. You'd reach say 4k then it would hold it there for like 4 seconds then finally shift.

The miata, being Japanese and all, I would assume its a pretty good unit. Don't think I've driven a bad Jdm auto (maybe DA integras)
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Old 12-25-2012, 07:51 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Default Re: Auto Mx5

The 1.6L autos are a bit of a dog. I haven't driven a auto car with a 1.8L, but trust me, you'll need the extra torque. Here in the states, the auto cars seem to have lower miles than their manual brethren, although I'm not sure if that's true all over. Just make sure to get the maintenance done, and then enjoy your roadster.


Sorry to hear about your hip problems. My father had his hip replaced in his early 40s; and the opposite knee is now beginning to languish. It's a common issue with hip problems, they cause the other knee to try to compensate for lack of movement, and eats up the cartilage. I'm hoping my years of riding pools wouldn't catch up with me too quick, although I'm betting I'll need a surgery sooner rather than later. Best wishes in your recovery friend.
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Old 12-25-2012, 08:24 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Default Re: Auto Mx5

if you were in the US this would be a perfect trade. ive got a 95 auto im looking to get rid of. auto is..... sluggish when its cold but other than that is a decent car.
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Old 12-26-2012, 12:50 AM   #22 (permalink)
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Default Re: Auto Mx5

An auto transmission ** without overdrive ** is a very reliable unit. Put OD in it and all bets are off.

The secret is to change that transmission fluid AND filter every 25,000 miles or so, and use a transmission cooler, and never get that fluid hot. You can consider a transmission temperature gauge; it's good to have. Do that and it will last longer than the car. Fail to do that and it could die anytime with the right set of circumstances.

Trouble with a Miata AT is all ATs are torque-multiplying and there isn't much torque to multiply. So, not so much oomph.

Thinking outside the box a bit, I would bet a turbo would really make it fun-ish to drive. ATs are strong units and self-absorb drivetrain shock so it probably would be a decent car.

Not my cup of tea, but gotta make the best of the cards you're dealt with.
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Old 12-26-2012, 01:08 AM   #23 (permalink)
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An auto transmission ** without overdrive ** is a very reliable unit. Put OD in it and all bets are off.
You're assuming that all transmissions use the incredibly dated method of what effectively amounts to having two final drive ratios. OD on any modern transmission is pretty much just another gear, it's nothing special and doesn't make the car any more or less reliable.

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Trouble with a Miata AT is all ATs are torque-multiplying and there isn't much torque to multiply. So, not so much oomph.
All transmissions are torque multiplying (and the automatic Miata actually makes more low end torque due to the different engine as noted earlier).

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Thinking outside the box a bit, I would bet a turbo would really make it fun-ish to drive. ATs are strong units and self-absorb drivetrain shock so it probably would be a decent car.
IIRC the NA (and possibly NB?) auto transmission was used in some Mazda SUVs as well, so it's relatively robust.
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Old 12-26-2012, 01:23 AM   #24 (permalink)
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You're assuming that all transmissions use the incredibly dated method of what effectively amounts to having two final drive ratios. OD on any modern transmission is pretty much just another gear, it's nothing special and doesn't make the car any more or less reliable.

All transmissions are torque multiplying (and the automatic Miata actually makes more low end torque due to the different engine as noted earlier).
That "incredibly dated method" could often be found in new cars and trucks on the dealer's lot during the 21st century.

As for "Torque Multiplying" yes gears before 1:1 multiply torque but given the same ratio (say 3:1, typical 1st gear number) the AT will deliver more torque to the differential than a manual transmission with the exact same gear ratio. So "torque multiplying" is a characteristic of an AT in relation to a MT equivalent. (If the torque converter locks up, that characteristic is eliminated).

You are absolutely right that if built from the ground up (as compared to modifying an existing 3-speed) to be an OD unit, they can be reliable. But you couldn't buy those (on standard duty vehicles) until relatively recently. Every single OEM without exception had a higher failure rate with the addition of OD in the first generation ATs.

And prior to the emergence of OD an automatic trans generally outlasted the rest of the vehicle, even when neglected, unless somehow it overheated. The junkyards are full of high mileage 3-speed non-OD AT equipped cars with the original transmission fluid and filter that would work fine if you swapped it into a working vehicle. (2-speed ATs are even more robust than 3-speed variants both without OD). Overall the ATs that were used from the 1960's onward had a remarkable reliability record that spiked abruptly in the wrong direction with the addition of OD.

The early Miata AT's were not exclusive to Mazda but instead supplied by JATCO and used by a number of Japanese OEMs; Toyota, Datsun, etc. All in all they seem to be reasonably reliable, but the units in the NAs are all derived from a 3-speed non-OD model. A similar Aisin (computer controlled) unit was used on the NBs and the NC has an all new 6-speed.

*IF* you follow good maintenance (oil and filter changes, etc) almost any auto transmission can be reliable. But the days of neglect showing no adverse affects are over. OD simply generates too much internal heat under some driving conditions, and OEMs are under pressure to use shift points that give good fuel economy. Even a 10 or 20 degree increase in temperature over normal will reveal itself in reduced life. Those shift points are not conducive to bulletproof reliability.

My comments are in reference to ATs in general and not the units supplied in Miatas, which I have no experience with. It's quite possible they are robust enough that problems are minimal; Japanese motors in general are not torque monsters after all, and ATs can handle enormous engine power when built for it. But, none the less, the issues do apply to any AT and whenever an OEM installed an AT that was even slightly taxed for the application, failure rates increase significantly. It is not an area where "close" is "good enough".

Last edited by Johnny2Bad; 12-26-2012 at 02:40 AM.
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Old 12-26-2012, 02:34 AM   #25 (permalink)
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The 1.6L autos are a bit of a dog.
This is an understatement
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Old 12-26-2012, 02:59 AM   #26 (permalink)
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Default Re: Auto Mx5

If you still love love driving a Miata then by all means get one with an auto....whatever it takes to keep you in the car that you wanna be in.
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Old 12-26-2012, 09:01 AM   #27 (permalink)
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Default Re: Auto Mx5

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Listen up, Fuckstick. Pick your posts carefully. Very carefully. Remember the Golden Rule... you've really outlived your usefullness here.

OP - Sorry to hear about your injury. We've got an awesome group in my neck of the woods and if I were in your shoes I'd rock an auto Miata.

If not a part of a local "Miata Community", I'd probably pick something with more umph.

Here's hoping for a full recovery
Oh, shut up.
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Old 12-26-2012, 08:01 PM   #28 (permalink)
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Default Re: Auto Mx5

buy an auto brz? I hear that tranny is practically telepathic.

Sorry to hear about your hip man, I fear that may be me some day with all the sports I play..
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Old 12-26-2012, 08:27 PM   #29 (permalink)
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If you still love love driving a Miata then by all means get one with an auto....whatever it takes to keep you in the car that you wanna be in.
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Old 12-26-2012, 09:11 PM   #30 (permalink)
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Default Re: Auto Mx5

There's no point in having an auto miata, they really are so terrible. I'd look for something else.
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