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91 Mazda Miata

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A little over 3 years ago I bought this 91 Mazda Miata. I bought it on ebay, drove all day to get it home. It had 117,000 miles on the clock. At the 130,000 mark, I was on my way home from work on the highway. I was movin..... Well about a mile from my exit, the battery light came on, and coolant flew from under the hood. Within seconds I killed the engine and coasted to my exit. I had my car towed the last 20 miles home but while I was waiting I poped the hood. I didn't see any thing wrong, no blown hoses, all the belts were there and tight. I was confused. The only thing I noticed was that the top of the radiator was split. I bumped the key, it fired right up. Looked under the hood again and I then saw another problem. The crank bolt was spinning but the crank pully wasn't. Well the end of the crank is damaged, keyway and pulley both bad. I had 3 choices..... one replace the motor, two rebuild the motor with a new crank, or three find some way to "make" it work. I went for the make it work with the help of my dads welding skills. After I decided to have it welded, there was 2 more choices. One weld it so it will never come apart or two weld it in a way that it can come apart. I took number two. I figured if this weld worked, then if it ever needed a timing belt or water pump, I could take it apart. What we end up doing is welding the crank pulley to the crank bolt. Well that worked, and worked longer that I figured it would. I'm at the 159,500 mark. Well just last week I was taking it for a drive, basically hitting some corners, revving 6500 RPM like I do all the time. I came over a hill and the familiar battery light came on, lights went dim, and I killed it. I figured the belt came off. I got it to the house and realized that the pulley and bolt spun off and landed on the edge of the radiator fan. I'm super lucky it didn't spin off right threw the front of the car. Today, I put the crank pully and bolt back in, used lock tight this time, and its going again.


I told you this story to help me make a decision. I had this car up for sale, I want $2000 for it. With all the body repairs (bought car wrecked), I have $4500 into it. Well after I spun the crank pulley off, I'm not sure if I want to sell this car to someone. If it breaks on the person that buys it from me, then they'll think I'm an asshole...... and I'm not. On the other side, I bought this car, and it was sold as a running car and it obviously had engine problems before. I honestly don't know what to do. In the time I had it posted for sale, I had lots of inquires.


Could you live with yourself for selling a car AS-IS knowing it has a motor issue?













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i could live with it as long as i made sure the possible buyer knew what was wrong and what was required to fix it if they complain about the price simply tell them how much you have into it and that your taking a loss on the car if it doesnt sell after a month or so just keep it

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Anyone buying a used Miata should be aware of 90-91 cars having the wonderful short nose crank failure, for which the fix is loctite, which you have already done. No bullshit, it's in Keith Tanner's book on Miata maintenance. (Keith Tanner of Flyin' Miata fame.) Nice guy, have talked to him on the phone back when I had my Miata.


Still, Miatas are usually about the cheapest, most reliable vehicle you can get. My buddy Bryan still flogs his little red Miata at autocross with 150 some odd thousand miles and it never skips a beat. Those BP16 and 18s are some of the best, lightest motors you can get.


I'd say throw a newer motor in it. Junkyard motors are easy to get and dirt cheap for the 1.6 liters. Something past 92 where the crank problems don't arise. The other thing is even with loctite, if it's been dinked a few times, it may still have enough play to wiggle the bolt loose again.

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When I bought the Miata, I wasn't aware of the crank nose issues. After mine broke, I did some research. According to every miata info sight, in mid 91 they used the long nose 1.6L. According to my vin number and the way my crank pulley looks, I have the long nose crank 1.6L which is suppose to have been alot better. I haven't seen anyone have issues with the long nose 1.6L but mine sure has the problem. Since I bought the car, I haven't had to do one thing to the motor. Its been extremely reliable.


I'm selling my car because for some reason the price of the insurance is stupid high for me. My sister has a 94 Mustang and its almost 1/2 the cost for her insurance. She has the kind of insurance that's nearly full coverage but not quite. I run the basic minimum for our state. For 6 months, it cost me nearly $1000. My 73 Datsun is about $480 for every 6. My driving record isn't perfect but I don't feel I deserve to have to be raped just to have a forced insurance. In 2002, my 6 month ins was $220. I'm still with the same company and its get more and more.


I'd be willing to trade this Miata for most 50's, 60's or early 70's vehicle that will run and drive. Right now, I'm looking at a 1967 Mercury Monterey with a 390 BB. He's interested in my Miata but I haven't mentioned the crank yet. Honestly, I just want to get out of this car.... nothing to do with the car itself just some personal reasons. Its mostly bad memories and misfortune.


I had offers to sell my hard top, one lady offered me $1000. I haven't gotten back to her yet because I don't have a soft top or frame.

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... cant you just replace the woodruff key? If not how about pining the crank. Drill a hole a little ways into the crank and stick a stainless dowel or bolt in there and line it up with the key way on the crank. There are a lot of other ways to fix it other than welding it all together.


Fix it the right way and have piece of mind when you sell it.

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How old are you? That has a lot to do with it. Also if you're on your parents' insurance helps when you're younger. If you're on your own, shop around, see if you can't get a local place to get you better covereage. I only pay 50 bucks a month for liability and uninsured/underinsured on both vehicles, but I also have pretty high amounts for collateral? damage. The stuff where if I wreck the car and my buddy is hurt, I think it goes up to $100,000 paid in hospital bills, which isn't hard to do. Hope it never happens, but you never know.


Then again, I'm 30 now, so that helps the cause. I didn't stop getting screwed until I was around 27. My record is clean though. At the expense of money. A good laywer is invaluable in traffic ticket issues.

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It depends just as much on what you drive as how old and your record. I had a integra beater just to commute and they were telling me some bs about how kids hook them up race and crash and so thats why the rates are high (110 a month). I had a 98 325i after that and paid less (80 a month). Now with the truck they give me another line of shit about how if I hit anyone they're toast so the premium is higher (91 a month).


50 a month from 120 bonvo? Shit I'm start looking for a mom and pop company lol.

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I helped a friend fix his miata crank problem. We used a cut off bit of a snap=on drill bit for a new "key" And then he JB welded the bolt in there... 3 years later no problems... ( i didnt agree with the use of JB weld btw)


Go ahead and sell it, If it happens again, then you will have told them, and it's a very common problem, so it won't be a surprise to anyone.



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