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Old 11-26-2013, 04:58 PM   #1
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Default Pouring life blood and $$ into my MSM build

This story is a sad one with no end.

My first car was a Volvo 240DL...it was AWESOME. I actually bought this car because it was the only one my parents would give me a loan for. I'm saying it was awesome because its awesome NOW. I never fully liked and appreciated the actual potential of the car when I had it and sold it when the clutch went. Knowing what I do now...I would have never sold it to buy an great car like a prelude:


Now this car was "funner" to drive then the Volvo and a lot nicer to look at. It gave me the motivation to start working on vehicles and enjoying the progress. Probably something I should have done with the Volvo since it would have been a much better platform. Something still didn't feel right...It was light'ish compared the Volvo, very comfortable though, but still lacking a certain "feel". Maybe it was RWD. Either way...after owing the car for 5 years and going through 3 engines and 5 transmissions, I got rid of it. I even shed a tear when it left my dooryard.


Fast Forward a few years...above was my second Miata (the first was a red 90 with a bad crank I JB welded and sold for a slight profit). I would call this car my first real project. I'm almost positive I've turned 80% of the bolts at some point on the entire car. It was also my first boosted project.

I bought a brand new built engine from a person on here and it lasted 500miles before blowing up. After it blew up, I pieced together and got another engine professionally assembled and its still running today. While trying to sell the car to buy the MSM, a test driver wrecked it. Insurance obviously didn't think the car was worth the thousands I put into it and I was left to part out a lot of it.
Some of the mods from this car will transfer to the...MSM...finally...the topic at hand.


The picture above is a few weeks after I bought it. I've installed BC Racing Coilovers and some knock off wheels I already had purchased for the last car.

The car came with an intake and exhaust as well as manual boost controller. This was my first MSM experience but I intended on having fun with this car.


Lots of fun


This car was lacking...well...everything compared to my NA. It was slow (My NA was probably well above 200whp). The power did not come "on" the way it should. It seemed to spool quickly but it didn't actually go anywhere until some sort of magic "switch" was hit around 5000rpm. With the size of the turbo...I could only blame the ECU, my hazardous tuning skills were still better then what is the stock tune on this bastardized 2 year turbo miata experiment mazda decided to call "mazdaspeed"....but enough of this rant.

So begins my build thread for this car. I installed a roll bar shortly after buying the car(only picture I could find)

Shortly after that, I crossed my fingers and took it on a road 2000mile road trip to ocean city with a few friends:

The above is how the car currently sits. The car is sitting with the paintshop right now getting the bodywork fixed up as it has its fair share of bumps and scratches.

Over the winter, the following will be installed:
Begi S6 Downpipe/Manifold/GT3071r (recent pickup off m.net)
Megasquirt (from rev) & wideband
FM clutch
RC750s with Peak and Hold driver.
3.3 gearing (Miataroadster)
short throw shifter (Miataroadster)
Built short block
- I need input here, should I use the block and head from my old 97 or use the MSM head and the 97 block or take out the internals and swap them over?

That's all I have for now...I don't think I've ever really done much of a build thread even though I've been on this forum for years. But the story can start here and hopefully move forward.
Attached Thumbnails
Pouring life blood and $$ into my MSM build-th_ee478310.jpg   Pouring life blood and $$ into my MSM build-th_be03c9b4-f202-49c7-83ec-c64a604d86ce-6831-0000033f6308b6a7_zps0d840c2f.jpg   Pouring life blood and $$ into my MSM build-th_null_zps0f78178e.jpg   Pouring life blood and $$ into my MSM build-th_1000583_231836870299911_2125808476_n_zps5c00c029.jpg   Pouring life blood and $$ into my MSM build-th_null_zps8c3ce41c.jpg  

Pouring life blood and $$ into my MSM build-th_rollbar_zpsa2d0ca64.jpg   Pouring life blood and $$ into my MSM build-th_1382105_10151738056355345_306622330_n_zps6a32737c.jpg  

Last edited by Preluding; 11-27-2013 at 09:17 AM.
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Old 11-26-2013, 04:59 PM   #2
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*hold*
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Old 11-26-2013, 05:16 PM   #3
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Nice intro, welcome to the site.

For the motor, you can use either bottom end .. they are both the same, other than a compression ratio difference which doesn't matter if you are going full forged. As for the heads, you should use the MSM head. It's the same as a 99-00 head IIRC and flows great.
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Old 11-26-2013, 05:28 PM   #4
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I don't know how you didn't kill the guy who crashed your car on a test drive, what an idiot.

Sounds like you've got some solid plans for this car though, can't wait to see it come together.
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Old 11-27-2013, 09:15 AM   #5
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That situation with the guy isn't done yet. I've let it go and decided to move forward but can't help but hope one day something he loves will be ripped away from him.

Thanks for the advice on the block. After performing leakdown test on the 97 engine I'll pull the MSM engine and start the swap process.

I thought there were difference in the Oil/Water lines between the MSM and other blocks for some reason....The S6 kit comes with lines that I'm sure aren't fabbed for the MSM block anyway so it shouldn't make much a difference.
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Old 11-27-2013, 10:35 AM   #6
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You probably already know, but when the head is off it's a good idea to do a '94-'00 headgasket + coolant reroute.
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Old 11-27-2013, 10:40 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pdexta View Post
You probably already know, but when the head is off it's a good idea to do a '94-'00 headgasket + coolant reroute.
very true...and I've been debating this myself on what option to go with on the coolant re-route.

My last build had one only I did not like how messy it was. I'm also still running the stock MSM rad for now.

This car will not be tracked for anything more then Auto-X. Is a re-route necessary with the newer style headgasket?
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Old 11-28-2013, 03:00 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Preluding View Post
very true...and I've been debating this myself on what option to go with on the coolant re-route.

My last build had one only I did not like how messy it was. I'm also still running the stock MSM rad for now.

This car will not be tracked for anything more then Auto-X. Is a re-route necessary with the newer style headgasket?
Nope. I'd only do it if the car saw lots of track time. Even the occasional track day you'll be ok. Just invest in a nicer radiator and FM spal fan setup.
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Old 11-28-2013, 06:33 AM   #9
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I have built an MSM engine and a 99, so I can tell you the differences:

The MSM head is very similar to the 99-00, but it has the same coolant passage routing as the VVT head and uses the VVT head gasket. The intake cam is different too.

The MSM block is the same as the early NA 1800 block, the later NA 1800 no longer has the provisions for the oil feed on the side of the block. The MSM block also has the mains support brace like on the VVT block, and obviously has a different sump. The MSM block also uses the VVT oil pump.

Hope this helps!

Cheers
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Old 11-28-2013, 08:35 AM   #10
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Props for a very useful post, Tim.
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Old 11-28-2013, 08:42 AM   #11
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Thanks Tim!
If those are the only differences I don't see the point in swapping internals from my 97 block to the MSM block.

I've got a working BE Oil pump in the 97 block and will hopefully be able to simply bolt on the mains support brace if needed/possible.

Started cleaning/purging the garage last night in preparation for the tear down. I have WAY too much junk.
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Old 11-28-2013, 05:18 PM   #12
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Excited to watch this build! Your part list looks like what I dreamed this car to be!
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Old 12-02-2013, 07:55 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Preluding View Post
I've got a working BE Oil pump in the 97 block and will hopefully be able to simply bolt on the mains support brace if needed/possible.
From memory you just need to make sure the mains support brace and sump stay together and you'll be right to just bolt it up.

Oh and if you use ARP mains studs they will hit the brace.

Keep us posted and take lots of pics!

Cheers
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Old 12-17-2013, 08:58 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timk View Post
From memory you just need to make sure the mains support brace and sump stay together and you'll be right to just bolt it up.

Oh and if you use ARP mains studs they will hit the brace.

Keep us posted and take lots of pics!

Cheers
Thanks everyone for the help.... winter is fast approaching and we've recently gotten dumped with 30-40cm (~15") of snow along with well below freezing temps....picked up a propane garage heater so this build might actually go somewhere now.
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Old 12-17-2013, 09:09 AM   #15
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Did a little progress but not much...

So I pulled the Miata in the garage for the LAST time as a stock car. Depending on how much I **** up this build... it might never see the light of day again...so I took a pic...


My hotside new setup came in shortly there after!! WHO HOO!!! I'm a little scared going with Begi products from the trouble i've read about them on the forums and haven't heard much about the S6 kit...but for the price I got it for, I can't complain.

Wastegate/GT3071r/Manifold/Downpipe/Oil&Water Lines (will need to be modified)

I've checked out my old engine from the 97. A leakdown test confirmed less than a 20% loss across all cylinders which I think is great for a self tuned engine running 20psi for almost 2 years. I patted myself on the back and moved on.

Since I'm re-using the MSM head and not the one on my 97 I took the head off to take a look at the pistons... other then a little charcoal they don't look bad.

I may clean them up and re-ring them for good measure, but that's probably it.

Next step will be taking fenders/hood/bumper off of the MSM while I work on it to make things easier.
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Pouring life blood and $$ into my MSM build-th_img_1322_zpsdc1406c9.jpg   Pouring life blood and $$ into my MSM build-th_img_1329_zps4463822c.jpg   Pouring life blood and $$ into my MSM build-th_img_1341_zpse8947486.jpg  
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Old 12-17-2013, 10:30 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Preluding View Post
I may clean them up and re-ring them for good measure, but that's probably it. .
If you are pulling the motor apart and re-ringing, it would be a DAMN SHAME not to toss some fresh bearings and a set of el cheapo forged rods in there.
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Old 12-17-2013, 01:13 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fireindc View Post
If you are pulling the motor apart and re-ringing, it would be a DAMN SHAME not to toss some fresh bearings and a set of el cheapo forged rods in there.
Engine was rebuilt a couple years with Belfab H-beam rods so I'll probably skip on getting another set.

Thought about bearings as well too....I'm NOT an engine builder or have I ever tried myself...is it simply a process of buying them and tossing them in??
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Old 01-08-2014, 12:56 PM   #18
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Update...I caved a bought a propane heater for my garage.....I can now work in a T-shirt.
See below:

This thing can get my 15x25ft garage from -13f to 70-80f(-25c to 25c in Canadian) in about 30minutes so getting work done will happen.

First thing I did was strip the fenders/bumpers/lights off the car. as well and start to strip the engine bay of anything tying the engine down... got most of it done here.


In my first thread, I stated my old block looked great and I would use that...not looking so bright anymore....when I pushed the piston #1 down I found scratches on the block. Looks like I'll be using the MSM block after all....

They aren't bad and didn't affect any running aspects of the old engine which is odd but I can definitely feel a set of ridges along my fingernail when feeling it so since I don't want to do this job again I don't think I'll use it.

Any insight on this?? Engine building itself is not my forte and will be sending it to a local shop.
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Pouring life blood and $$ into my MSM build-th_90a45f5f-8deb-48c8-8aeb-4259de7c686d_zpsugana1mh.jpg   Pouring life blood and $$ into my MSM build-th_2a1a39d5-a2c3-4389-bde5-a75602130278_zpswamajuaq.jpg   Pouring life blood and $$ into my MSM build-th_85dd6150-74b7-4085-8e8b-369bc6ad9396_zpslbhlqn0m.jpg  
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Old 01-08-2014, 01:11 PM   #19
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Quote:
First thing I did was strip the fenders/bumpers/lights off the car.
Great idea on the fenders. I was wondering how I would be able to do all the needed work and not end up with scratches on my fenders, as I don't have any of those protection things.
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Old 01-09-2014, 12:03 AM   #20
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that cylinder looks pretty bad in the picture, i doubt that would hone out but you can try. If you have an option, i'd definitely use the better looking of the two blocks.

On a BP i just pulled apart, this is probably the worst cylinder:



I think it'll hone out, but I have yet to do it.
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