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Old 12-08-2015, 09:27 PM   #1
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Default Ls3 build. Aero and Weight loss and Power! Oh my!

So I joined this forum because out of all the forums, you guys focus the most on performance. And that's what this car is about, performance. It's not for other dudes to jerk off to because it's "hellaflush" or other bull like that. I have a couple other build threads that I've had going for a year and some change now but I'm too lazy to copy all that over here. Also it's finals week(s) for me and this is my short break from schoolwork so I don't have a whole lot of time.

So from the beginning, (this is gonna be a long story short type of thing). I want to buy a miata (2013). My redneck friend thinks miatas are gay. I ignore him. His dad tells me, "I won't respect you unless you put a v8 in it." I ignore him. I look up v8 miatas. 2.5 years later and a lot of money I'm here. So yeah, that's how I got into this whole project, a good buddy's dad made a stupid comment that completely changed my life. My buddy has since quit his trucking ways and currently drives a 240z and thinks a miata would be a fun car to own.

As for what I want out of this car. This car started as a car that would see the track a couple of times a year but mainly be on the street. As I went farther into the project I realized that what I really wanted was to be able to use the car, something I wouldn't be able to do on the street. So it slowly transformed into something that would see the street once in a while but mainly see the track. So here are my current goals: 2300 lbs without driver, whatever hp it puts out is fine, more than I'll be able to handle for quite a while. For the first couple of years I plan on using it in some autox and hpde to really learn how to handle the car and then figure out what I'm going to do from there.

This car will also be undergoing experiments as I progress through my engineering school as I would like to have it finished by this summer (the end of my junior year). The plan is to get it running and then attempt a flat underbody going to a diffuser, gtc300, and whatever front aero I need to balance that out, obviously I'll start with the normal splitter, air dam, and then go from there. I'm a little worried about trans and diff temps with the underbody but that's a ways down the road. I'm currently planning on a cage from miatacage and having a well known cage builder in the area install it because I'd rather not screw with safety.

Also going to attempt a dual three to y-pipe going to a single 4 out the back, this should save me around 10-15 lbs depending on what muffler is being used. I realize there's a pretty good reason people don't do this and it's because there's simply not enough room but I figure I'll give it a shot because the weight savings would be worth it. I also realize it will most likely be a little bit of a performance hindrance on the stock engine. I am ok with this. After a cam it should no longer be hindering performance, I'm alright with giving up a little in the short term for a better long term product.

I guess about me? I'm 21, I'm an engineering student, I have two miatas, I have a girlfriend and a job. Yep that pretty much sums up my life. Also I suck at writing, that's why I'm an engineer, not a English major so apologies in advance for jumping from topic to topic because it's one of my favorite things to do. (Side note: I'm so proud of how well my title flows together, just came up with that) Anyway, picture dump:
Day I got the engine:

Suspension:



Brakes, oil pan, radiator, powersteering stuff:

Oil Pan on engine:

Control Arms painted after sand blasting:


Belt set up on Ls3:

Headers (ceramic coated):

New wiring harness vs old:

Birthday present from my girlfriend:

Night before the engine went in:

Headers on engine:

Transmission waiting to go in the car:

Seam welding:

Por15 over seam welds and start of stand alone wiring:


So yeah, that's pretty much where I'm at right now, I always appreciate advise and tips as I go, hopefully so updates will be coming soon as I have the second batch of finals next week.
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Old 12-09-2015, 05:44 PM   #2
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Really cool stuff. What's the goal? Track toy, street, or what?

*It's ok to say bullshit here. We're adults.
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Old 12-09-2015, 06:54 PM   #3
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Cool, more local people. And a fellow engineer. Project looks fun. Hit me up for a beer sometime, I'm in Seattle a lot.
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Old 12-09-2015, 07:04 PM   #4
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@Itty- you work at the shipyard? I used to
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Old 12-09-2015, 07:13 PM   #5
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Haha yeah. "Nuclear Engineer".
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Old 12-09-2015, 08:59 PM   #6
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Sixshooter-Thanks man! Goal is for a track toy, end power goal is 480-490whp with engine response as the most important factor and around 2300# with no driver. The extra power will come later as I'll be focusing on learning the car since it's obviously gonna be a little different than driving my stocker. I'll mainly be running it at the local autox for the first part of the summer along with my motokart. I'll be entering the miata in the first session of the day and the motokart in the second. I'm also hoping to get down to the Ridge a couple of times before I have to pack the car in for the winter. Aero will probably come after this season is done.
*Also glad to hear that there's adults here who can handle something more than "oh shoot" haha

Itty-I'll have to hit you up one of these days, somehow I got shafted and my entire ME class doesn't give two ***** about cars, so I'm always down to hang out with more engineers who do.
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Old 12-10-2015, 12:44 PM   #7
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Well to be honest, I've only recently given any *****. In college I raced bikes and had no interest in cars at all. My hip got all boogered and I needed a new toy so I got a Miata.
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Old 12-11-2015, 04:51 AM   #8
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Looks like a great project.

A girlfriend that gives you car parts is a keeper.
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Old 12-11-2015, 09:50 AM   #9
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Awesome build!

Was it not possible to drop in engine and tranny together?
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Old 12-11-2015, 10:11 AM   #10
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If you've never run a car at the track- it might be wise to bolt a 2x4 under the gas pedal for your first couple outings.

I can't imagine a 400+whp miata on track.
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Old 12-11-2015, 04:27 PM   #11
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-Mobius, she's definitely a keeper, she supports my car addiction and is finishing her ME degree this year, if that's not a keeper I don't know what is!

-Preluding, it definitely is, however the transmission is something like 130lb which makes it a real bitch to move around. Since the engine goes in and out pretty regularly I don't feel like making it any harder on myself haha

-dcamp2, I've had it out on the track a couple times, would have been more by now if it wasn't for my work/school schedule. I actually have thought of making a throttle stop for when I first have the car running though. That's also part of the reason that I'm planning on mainly autoxing the car once I get it running since there's less chance of me ******* up too hard. Time will only tell how the car turns out but I have no doubt that it's gonna be a bit too much for me to handle at first, so I'm just going to have to be careful. Also not that it's true track time but I do have a pretty legit simulator that I built that I try to use as much as I can. I was actually pretty surprised at how many of the concepts transferred over once I actually got out on track.
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Old 12-11-2015, 05:04 PM   #12
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Cool build, will be following. Where do you go to school? Are you on FSAE?
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Old 12-12-2015, 02:11 AM   #13
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-acedeuce802 I'm at WSU, and I sure as hell wish I was in FSAE. Sadly I'm not at the main campus since WSU is in the middle of nowhere and the alternate campus doesn't have enough money to finance a FSAE team. I have thought of transferring to the main campus for my senior year but we'll see, FSAE would basically be the driving force for me to transfer over there.
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Old 12-12-2015, 02:47 AM   #14
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Cougs suckkkkkk. Booroo
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Old 12-12-2015, 03:05 AM   #15
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-aidandj, Does it help if my girlfriend is a Husky? lol
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Old 12-12-2015, 03:12 AM   #16
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Even worse. Go beavs

Where did you get the control arms sandblasted.
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Old 12-12-2015, 03:42 AM   #17
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-aidandj, my house haha, my dad bought a sandblaster back when he first started his restoration project. It's coming in handy for my projects quite a bit now. It's been great other than the fact that I forgot my spindles in the cabinet and was searching for them for about 2 hours a couple weeks back
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Old 12-13-2015, 05:49 PM   #18
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Make more posts I need to give you more props

absolutely fantastic. I want a ride.

Let's swap cars at an autox for a run... woooooooooo then you can compare V8 to trubo. I'll even turn the boost up for you, lol
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Old 12-14-2015, 01:56 AM   #19
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-turbofan I might take you up on that once the car is running well. I've only had a short experience with a turbo miata and it was a mile or two drive down in Colorado when my girlfriend and I were coming back from FM. It was a 2.0l that was putting out just over 300 to the wheels and was an absolute blast to drive. But that was only on some back roads and a quick highway pull.

As for updates on the car, hopefully I'll have some tomorrow. I need to go run to the parts store and return the lower balljoints I bought the other day. Then I'm gonna try to fit the new radiator. I also need to order another quart of por15, wish that **** wasn't so expensive. I should have almost enough money for my axles and driveshaft this paycheck but I'm gonna hold off and order the diff from v8r at the same time. I'm currently thinking a 3.73 rear end. I'll try to make a chart showing the difference in gearing, if anyone has opinions they would be much appreciated.

My second finals week is this week with my last three finals on thursday and friday. Luckily my job's weekend is tuesday, wednesday so I have a ton of time to study and I'm gonna try to get a few hours in on the miata this week to break up the studying once in a while. WSU has us taking a couple classes at the community college which helps with cost for us which was why I have two finals weeks. Last week was on hell of a push, a thermo final on tuesday, a material science project on thursday, a statistics project, and an FEA project both due on Friday.

Also I figured you guys would appreciate a couple pics of my cat who spends the bulk of his time eating and pretending he's a seal.




Oh and here's brad in his current state. Don't mind the sick nasty pimp rims in the back, it's the only spare 15's I had laying around for the free snow tires I nabbed from work:


Edit: You know in this lighting brad actually looks like a decently nice car, don't be fooled though, he's ugly
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Old 12-14-2015, 02:51 AM   #20
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Funny. Propped again. In for car swap, and more progress pics so I can give you more props for building the V8 Miata I'd have liked to build.
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