Fix Your Overheating Miata

So, in Australia, it gets hot. Particularly in summer.

My Daihatsu Feroza had completely lunched its engine, with the valves smacking the pistons in an all-out brawl of mechanical disaster.

I was 26 and despite being a massive car enthusiast, I’d never owned a sports car. Not even for a minute. It was time to rectify that.

All the Nissan S-chassis stuff is shagged AND expensive out this way, and I didn’t want something too pricy like an RX-7 or 350Z. I needed something more accessible, and of course - Miata is always the answer.

After skipping on a nice NA in British Racing Green because the seller wouldn’t budge, I instead bought the cheapest MX-5 I could find, settling on this beast for $3000. I’d barely got it home before the diff started whining, the aftermarket alarm keyfobs all failed, and it started overheating.

After replacing the keyfobs and getting an assurance from a local MX-5 specialist that the differential would probably be fine for the short term, I set about fixing the overheating problem. Even just a small hill or any drive over 15 minutes long would send the temperature spiking.

The solution was two-fold - replace the missing undertray, and replace the radiator with a fresh, shiny new one from eBay. They’re awesome and cheap and I can’t recommend them strongly enough to anyone who needs one.


Fitment was easy - the radiator mounted to all the standard factory pickup points and slid into place with just some minor cajoling. Mine also came with an upgraded dual fan setup which should serve me well when I eventually go turbo a year or more down the track. The only drawback is that it makes it hard to set the timing, as the thicker 52mm radiator and new fans leave very little room in front of the engine.

Overall, I highly recommend going with an eBay aluminium radiator when your cooling system fails on one of these cars. They get the job done, and rather nicely, too.

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