Operating Temps - Miata Forumz - Mazda Miata Chat Forums
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NA (1989-1997) NA Miata discussion within. The MX5's first generation, the NA, sold over 400,000 units from 1989 to 1997.

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Old 07-30-2013, 01:30 AM   #1
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Default Operating Temps

What is "normal" for operating temps on a 1996 MX-5?

I ask because when I start the car from a cold start, it jumps to about halfway - usually in between 1/2 and 3/4, and stays there. Sometimes, after spirited driving, it'll jump to just below 3/4 of the way.

Is this normal? Or is this overheating?

Thanks!
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Old 07-31-2013, 09:33 AM   #2
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The stock gauge is designed with a large dead spot in the middle, then it jumps above that spot when it overheats. 3/4 is overheating some. There is a modification for linearizing the operation of the stock gauge but aftermarket will almost always be more accurate. Just know if it starts moving above that dead spot it is getting hot.

Do you still have the factory ducting from the bumper mouth to the radiator and the factory undertray that goes from the bumper mouth ducting to the frame under the engine? If not, the car will typically overheat due to the way the air moves through the system. It is even more important with greater than stock power (turbo).

The factory radiator is pretty small as well. I have the Mishimoto 52mm thick radiator and that helped quite a bit. I can still overheat when pushing the car on the track with the turbo for long periods of time in the summer heat.
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Old 07-31-2013, 01:34 PM   #3
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Here's a picture I took of it, cold start.

http://i1049.photobucket.com/albums/...1/IMG_1948.jpg
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Old 07-31-2013, 01:35 PM   #4
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Old 07-31-2013, 01:36 PM   #5
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And here's during driving. I live down south, so it's been hot and muggy lately.

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Old 09-10-2013, 02:20 PM   #6
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Well, you'll never figure out if it's hot or cold looking at the oil pressure gauge.

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Old 09-10-2013, 02:35 PM   #7
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Hahaha! I didn't ever see his replies until now.
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Old 09-10-2013, 04:12 PM   #8
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I guess we all know now how those type of gauges got their names.

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