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The third generation Mazda Miata, the NC, is perhaps the least appreciated of all the generations. Many people overlook it because it is heavier and larger in all dimensions than the NA and NB Miata(s). However, having driven all 4 generations of the MX-5 and being an NC owner myself, I can say that the NC is my favorite. Now that prices for the MK3 have dropped to an affordable level for most people more and more people are buying them. Unfortunately, there isn’t a lot of information out there about affordable modifications for the NC generation of the Miata. I have decided to compile a list of the top modifications for the NC chassis that won’t break the bank.
#1- Anti-Roll Bars
Anti-Roll Bars (or Sway Bars) are arguably the best modification that you can do to your NC Miata. The NC came with a very spongy and soft suspension from the factory (even with the sport suspension like my car has). This causes the car to roll too much in the corners. By upgrading your factory NC sway bars to stiffer ones your NC will roll significantly less when cornering. This will lead to a much sharper feeling car.
#2- Stiffer Springs
Upgrading to stiffer springs, like upgrading your Anti-Roll Bars, will drastically help your NC feel stiffer and more responsive. One advantage of upgrading to stiffer springs is that they will decrease the amount of pitch and dive of the car (amount of forward and rearward motion), unlike Anti-Roll Bars that just affect lateral movement. One added bonus of upgrading to stiffer springs is that they can also lower your car to give it a more aggressive look.
#3- Upgraded Shocks
Like the previous two mods, shocks are an important suspension modification. Shocks (or dampers) control the compression and rebound of the spring. The NC Miata has very soft shocks from the factory. By upgrading your shocks, you can expect the car to handle much tighter and be much more responsive than before. However, for the upgraded shocks to be most effective it is necessary to pair them with a compatible set of springs. You can even buy adjustable coilovers for the NC, so you can set them exactly where you want for maximum performance.
Tires are not the first thing that comes to mind as an affordable modification. In fact, you may not think of tires as a modification at all. However, upgrading to a set of performance tires will completely change the amount of grip your NC Miata has. If you participate in autocross or just enjoy driving your NC on a good twisty road then a good set of tires will give you much more confidence in the corners.