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Old 07-03-2012, 10:32 PM   #1
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Towing our Miata

We heard so many stories about towing a Miata 4 wheels down. All from dealers. We were told not recommended. Different story from those that have toad there Miata. Well we just towed our Miata 4 wheel down for it's first tow trip. All worked really well. We have 2011 Newmar Canyon Star with the V10 Tritan. Had to keep checking out the review camera to make sure it was still there. Previously we towed our Toyota 4 Runner which ways in at over 4000 lbs. The Miata is approx. 2000 lbs. It was recommended that we change the transmission oil to synthetic. Our Miata is a stick shift and is a 6 speed. Thought I would just pass this on for anyone considering on towing a Miata. Automatic transmissions may be a different story.
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Old 07-04-2012, 12:11 AM   #2
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What year?

I've towed our 1991 Miata 5 speed manual transmission over 10,000 miles with no problems.

Mine weighs 2,310 lb.
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Old 07-04-2012, 05:12 PM   #3
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We have towed a 2000 Miata for several years with no problems. We really like this car for several reasons. We tow it with a 2006 Dutch Star and hardly notice it being there. It is a 5 speed and I know of no reason that towing that transmission will damage it. Automatics are a different issue.
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Old 07-05-2012, 12:47 PM   #4
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We've towed our 1999 5sp Miata over 6000 mi so far with no problems. I asked dealer to be sure transmission was as full as possible prior to towing, no other modifications. Thje dealership mechanics did warn me that it could not be towed 4 down as per the manual.
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Old 07-06-2012, 04:03 PM   #5
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I towed this 2000 Miata 5-speed manual over 35,000 miles and drove it another 50,000 miles.



And have now towed this 2010 PRHT 6-speed manual over 10,000 miles and driven it another 15,000.



I have also helped (with equipment sourcing and advice) over 25 other Miata owners (including several on this forum) set-up their Miatas to tow.

Automatic transmission Miatas cannot be flat towed without extensive, expensive, modifications.

Miatas are a GREAT towed car.

Tim
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Old 07-13-2012, 09:19 AM   #6
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What tow bar did you use and base plate did you use? djeich
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Old 07-13-2012, 07:29 PM   #7
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Roadmaster Sterling tow bar and base plates.

The base plates attach where the tie downs are located for shipping.
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Old 07-14-2012, 03:33 PM   #8
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I also used a Roadmaster tow bar and base plates. I installed the base plates myself in less than two hours using the existing tie down mounting holes and the bolts supplied by Roadmaster. I needed a 3 inch drop receiver to level out the tow bar. I installed an additional light bulb in the tail light housing and routed the wires for brake and running lights to the connector that I mounted in the grill opening. I painted the electrical connection low gloss black and it is barely noticeable when not being towed. I have chosen not to use a supplementary brake system, as the car weighs well less that 2,300 lbs. I disconnect the battery when towing, as the RV electrical system does the lighting job. Be sure and turn the ignition key on so it will steer behind the RV. I installed a vinyl cover on the car to protect it from rock damage. The car tows like a dream.

Good luck.
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Old 07-16-2012, 04:05 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vraines View Post
I also used a Roadmaster tow bar and base plates. I installed the base plates myself in less than two hours using the existing tie down mounting holes and the bolts supplied by Roadmaster.

I disconnect the battery when towing, as the RV electrical system does the lighting job. Be sure and turn the ignition key on so it will steer behind the RV.
vraines,

In a pre-2006 Miata NB, it is not necessary to turn the ignition key ON to have the front wheels unlocked to follow the RV. The secret is after the last time you started it, do NOT to remove the key from the ignition. It is the act of removing the key that activates the steering wheel lock.

If you accidentally remove the key and the steering wheel lock activates, just turn the key to ON, then back to lock and leave the key in the lock.

Because it is not necessary to turn the key to ON, it is also NOT necessary to disconnect the battery to tow whether the RV does the lighting or not.

I know... I towed a 2000 for 5 years and 35,000 miles.

To test this, start the car, turn the ignition off to the LOCK position, but do NOT remove the key from the lock. Grab the wheel and forcefully turn it left and right.

Tim
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Old 07-17-2012, 12:43 PM   #10
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Thanks for the tip, Tim. I'll try that this afternoon.
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Old 07-27-2012, 09:42 AM   #11
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Thanks for the tip, Tim. I'll try that this afternoon.
How did that work out for ya'?

Tim
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Old 11-04-2012, 01:28 AM   #12
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Healeyman, does your 2010 MX-5 use a key in the ignition, or is it the proximity key fob sensor? If it doesn't use a key, what position do you turn the ignition... knob?
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Old 11-04-2012, 12:51 PM   #13
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Healeyman, does your 2010 MX-5 use a key in the ignition, or is it the proximity key fob sensor? If it doesn't use a key, what position do you turn the ignition... knob?
The "knob" is removable and there is a regular key slot beneath it.
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Old 11-04-2012, 07:18 PM   #14
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Thanks Sierra5er, that totally answers the question! Looks like towing the MX-5 is a go!
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