Miata Peeps! Looking at 2003 Miata Shinsen, common issues?

Discussions related to Solo
RxCritical
Posts: 958
Joined: Mon Dec 20, 2010 8:31 pm
Location: Lenoir City, Tn

Miata Peeps! Looking at 2003 Miata Shinsen, common issues?

Post by RxCritical » Sun Dec 24, 2017 5:37 pm

I'm looking at a 2003 Miata Shinsen with 5 speed and around 103K miles on it.
Anything I need to be on the lookout for?
Any particular problem areas?
Any reason it wouldn't make a decent autocrosser?

Thanks,
Paul
Paul McFall
18 Fiata Abarth (#34 CS)
Team Canopy

Miata22
Posts: 330
Joined: Tue Apr 07, 2015 6:45 pm

Re: Miata Peeps! Looking at 2003 Miata Shinsen, common issues?

Post by Miata22 » Sun Dec 24, 2017 11:46 pm

Paul, this car should make a decent Autocross car depending onot what class you want to run. The VVT motor makes just a little more on low end torque than the earlier models I weights just a small amount more but has a 6.5 inch wide wheel over the older 6 inch wheel. Other than the shinsen appearance package it doesn't come with many performance upgrades. It should have a torsen rear diff. Hope this helps.
Randy Adkins

RxCritical
Posts: 958
Joined: Mon Dec 20, 2010 8:31 pm
Location: Lenoir City, Tn

Re: Miata Peeps! Looking at 2003 Miata Shinsen, common issues?

Post by RxCritical » Mon Dec 25, 2017 9:39 pm

Thanks Randy! Apparently Mazda changed the limited slip to a Torcju?? Or something spelled close, ;) This is a one owner essentially stock car so it would drop as is into ES. The owner kept a detailed record of everything he did to the car including waxing! :o
Paul McFall
18 Fiata Abarth (#34 CS)
Team Canopy

Miata22
Posts: 330
Joined: Tue Apr 07, 2015 6:45 pm

Re: Miata Peeps! Looking at 2003 Miata Shinsen, common issues?

Post by Miata22 » Mon Dec 25, 2017 10:28 pm

I know the fuji rear came in the 04-05 but was not aware of it in 03. Still a good rear and car should be competitive in ES. Have fun if you decide to go that way.
Randy Adkins

flier129
Posts: 1819
Joined: Tue Feb 12, 2008 12:50 pm
Location: Knoxville, TN

Re: Miata Peeps! Looking at 2003 Miata Shinsen, common issues?

Post by flier129 » Wed Dec 27, 2017 11:54 am

The tochigi fuji super(TFS) LSD came in 03s and up. I don't think they used it in the MSM, though. It's an ok street LSD and shouldn't exploded with typical auto-x use. There's rumor that several of them were not setup correctly from the factory.

A Shinsen should come with a 6spd and a 3.9 final-drive. This is ~5mph shorter than a 5spd/4.3fd combo, so you might be doing some shifting.

If you take a BP6D(VVT engine) beyond ES, you won't want to rev it past 7400rpm. They have a higher lift/dur so they require aftermarket valve-springs and they also have a harmonic imbalance issue.

If it's a good example and not expensive, I wouldn't hesitate to buy it. I'd like to have something like a Shinsen for a turbo street car one day.

Common items to ask about or look at when the miata is over 100k:
timing-belt
water-pump
cam seals
front main seal
rear main seal
clutch and throw-out bearing
check bearings/hubs(wiggle in air if possible)
radiator(if no black, it needs to be replaced sooner than later, if light tan or green it will need to be replaced asap)
axle seals (you'll see oil/grime thrown up near the axle to diff area)


Good news, all miata parts are cheap! :rockon:
Last edited by flier129 on Wed Dec 27, 2017 12:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Marcus Luttrell - 99' Miata - TTE #92

jcox07
Posts: 4855
Joined: Tue Feb 08, 2011 6:40 am

Re: Miata Peeps! Looking at 2003 Miata Shinsen, common issues?

Post by jcox07 » Wed Dec 27, 2017 12:03 pm

Cold beer, please translate Marcus last post on his mumbo jumbo speak he was using....
JY ( Jeff ) Cox
2018-2020 Solo Nationals Co Chairman

RxCritical
Posts: 958
Joined: Mon Dec 20, 2010 8:31 pm
Location: Lenoir City, Tn

Re: Miata Peeps! Looking at 2003 Miata Shinsen, common issues?

Post by RxCritical » Wed Dec 27, 2017 1:43 pm

Thanks for the info Marcus! It does in fact have a 5 speed not the 6. I plan on looking at it again this weekend.
Paul McFall
18 Fiata Abarth (#34 CS)
Team Canopy

Miata22
Posts: 330
Joined: Tue Apr 07, 2015 6:45 pm

Re: Miata Peeps! Looking at 2003 Miata Shinsen, common issues?

Post by Miata22 » Wed Dec 27, 2017 3:54 pm

The Mazda speed versions did have the Fuji rear diff. And mine had 200k on it in the speed. I think they hold up very well. I always left the line at near redline and never had a failure. I also believe you could get a 5 speed in the 03 with that package.
Randy Adkins

Miata22
Posts: 330
Joined: Tue Apr 07, 2015 6:45 pm

Re: Miata Peeps! Looking at 2003 Miata Shinsen, common issues?

Post by Miata22 » Wed Dec 27, 2017 3:58 pm

You can also do a complete timing belt, water pump and gaskets for about $200. Passenger motor mount is almost always torn on those year cars with that kind of mileage. They are around $45 each.
Randy Adkins

flier129
Posts: 1819
Joined: Tue Feb 12, 2008 12:50 pm
Location: Knoxville, TN

Re: Miata Peeps! Looking at 2003 Miata Shinsen, common issues?

Post by flier129 » Wed Dec 27, 2017 6:32 pm

I've done some research on diffs since mine is relatively useless as a LSD now. The MSM does have a torsen, it the same as a S2000 torsen, so you could use the MFactory LSD into your MSM torsen.

Maybe 6spd was an option with the Shinsen or maybe that one was swapped? 5spd/4.3 is better for autox, anyways.
Marcus Luttrell - 99' Miata - TTE #92

RxCritical
Posts: 958
Joined: Mon Dec 20, 2010 8:31 pm
Location: Lenoir City, Tn

Re: Miata Peeps! Looking at 2003 Miata Shinsen, common issues?

Post by RxCritical » Thu Dec 28, 2017 1:45 pm

Marcus, what did you mean by the colors when you talk about the radiator? Are you talking about the exterior radiator color or the coolant???

Actually the Shinsen only came with a 5 speed according to Mazda brochures I found. The 6 was an option on the LS and standard on the SE that year.
Last edited by RxCritical on Thu Dec 28, 2017 1:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Paul McFall
18 Fiata Abarth (#34 CS)
Team Canopy

User avatar
John Brown
Posts: 8148
Joined: Fri Dec 05, 2003 11:05 am

Re: Miata Peeps! Looking at 2003 Miata Shinsen, common issues?

Post by John Brown » Thu Dec 28, 2017 1:45 pm

the plastic.. black is good.. the other colors are bad and ruint.

Different stages of plastic going bad
ETR Pro Class Champion-2002-03-10-11-12-13-14-15
BMW/CCA D-Mod National Road Racing Champion-2011
Pro-Solo Prepared National Champ-2004
Pro-Solo Prepared National Champ-2005
2016 Dodge Challenger SRT 6.4L CAM-C

RxCritical
Posts: 958
Joined: Mon Dec 20, 2010 8:31 pm
Location: Lenoir City, Tn

Re: Miata Peeps! Looking at 2003 Miata Shinsen, common issues?

Post by RxCritical » Thu Dec 28, 2017 1:48 pm

Ok, thanks John! Sent you a IM.
Paul McFall
18 Fiata Abarth (#34 CS)
Team Canopy

Miata22
Posts: 330
Joined: Tue Apr 07, 2015 6:45 pm

Re: Miata Peeps! Looking at 2003 Miata Shinsen, common issues?

Post by Miata22 » Fri Dec 29, 2017 12:23 am

A toyo replacement can be had for approx $42 on eBay. Many places sell them for varied amounts but usually the same radiator. It’s considered a factory equal replacement.
Randy Adkins

RxCritical
Posts: 958
Joined: Mon Dec 20, 2010 8:31 pm
Location: Lenoir City, Tn

Re: Miata Peeps! Looking at 2003 Miata Shinsen, common issues?

Post by RxCritical » Fri Dec 29, 2017 11:54 am

Sold 30 minutes before I showed up today. The search continues.
Paul McFall
18 Fiata Abarth (#34 CS)
Team Canopy

Post Reply