Here's how to recognize when your upper shock mounts are shot. This one is from my 1994 Miata with 175,000 miles.
The old mount is on the left and a brand new one on the right. If the center part of your mounts are popped up like this one, it's time for new ones. Both front mounts on my car were like this. The result was a rattly, loose front suspension that made my car feel like a piece of junk. The cost of replacements were under $100 for both from Flyin' Miata. I was planning to replace the entire suspension when I realized the only problem was these mounts.
The Tein Basic coilovers I installed in 2004 still have some life in them.
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