There is another one in the same area selling for $600 but the seller says it burns oil, particularly on cold start up. The valve seals were replaced in 2011 so we agreed it's likely valve guides. He says it goes down to the add mark after about 1000 KMs. It doesn't leak any oil.
Here is the list he sent me of the work he's done on it.
Quote: Transmission is original 5 speed. It did get locked in reverse 12 years ago. Switch was replaced with the new model and that issue never happened again. both rear and inner seal and gasket have around 30,000km on them. Lower shift boot and turret changed and cleaned in 2011 at around 252,000km. 1.6l SNC loctite repaired sept 2, 2011 at a little over 254,000km. Engine was torn completely apart at the same time. NPR piston rings were installed. I can't guarantee anything on the engine. It works. It doesn't leave me choking with smoke. I just notice the oil does go down and needs to be topped up every so often.I didn't know what he meant about "SNC Loctite repaired" and this was his reply...
Quote: SNC is "short nose crank". It's an issue many of the early 1.6l miata's had with the crank nose. It uses a square key to hold the timing belt cog and harmonic balancer in place on the crankshaft. The pulley bolt would come loose which would allow the square key to start smashing up and causing damage to the crank nose on the crankshaft. The fix involved using two types of loctite on the new parts and a higher torque setting on the bolt. One is an actual metal filler for the void beside the keyway, the other is just the typical loctite to hold the bolt in place. You can search for more information about it on miata.net. There's plenty of threads about the fix for it. As for the oil consumption, I'd say I could get about 1000km from full on the dipstick to the add part of the dipstick. It's difficult to say because sometimes I'd just top it off long before I'd let it get too low so I wouldn't get myself in a bad situation with low oil. I know the valve guides have not been changed and they're likely the culprit, it does have valve seals that aren't that old since it was taken apart in 2011.He's the original owner and it sounds like he's taken pretty good care of the car. The body and frame are rusted out.
My question is would you take a chance on this engine? I don't mind getting the head done but wouldn't want to buy something that's going to be giving me problems in in short order.
Im asking because I know nothing about these engines. The consensus is they're bullet proof but Ive found with modern small engines, once they start going they're not worth fixing and this one is pretty high mileage. Maybe thats not the case with these engines.
The price is certainly right but not if I have to dump a bunch of money into it. It's a 6 Hr drive to pick it up so I want to be fairly sure Im going to buy it, pending any surprises, before I make the trip.
Thanks for your advice.
"In this world, you must be oh so smart, or oh so pleasant. Well, for years I was smart. I recommend pleasant." Elwood P. Dowd