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Old 12-01-2017, 04:23 AM   #1
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Default Slovenian Baby Viper Feeds Hungry & Thirsty Cats

As I stated when introducing myself, it's time I start my semi-proper build thread. Here's the list of parts that I plan to use:

- 1.8 VVT built block with 8.5:1 84mm Wiseco pistons, Eagle forged rods, ARP bolts, ACL bearings
- BE oil pump
- ATI Damper (not 100% sure yet)
- Custom tubular manifold & 3” catless exhaust
- EFR6258 0.64a/r
- TSE studs & locking hardware
- Bosch ev14 640cc injectors
- Walbro 255lph fuel pump
- ME221 ecu
- AEM analog gauges: wideband, boost, oil temp, coolant temp, power steering temp
- VDO analog gauge for oil pressure in place of stock gauge (I made a tutorial for this if anyone would be interested)
- CC Stage 4 clutch with lightened flywheel (13.2 lbs)
- 6speed & Torsen T2 3.636:1
- I.L. Motorsport 42mm radiator
- I.L. Motorsport dual Spal fan
- Skidnation coolant reroute
- Universal front mount intercooler with 2" piping
- Various handling and safety upgrades (Coilovers, sway bars, butterfly brace, brakes, bucket seats, rollbar, harness..etc)

Since this is my first car project ever, I’m kinda pussying out and going the safer route when it comes to building an engine. We also don't really have any miata specialist garages in my country so I'll trust a guy who builds engines for hillclimb specials and rally cars and has many years of experience with all kind of racing engines. Maybe I'm being tiny bit stupid/paranoid because I'm no mechanic and only wrench in my free time, but I just prefer being safer than sorry. At the same time I'm also hoping to achieve 'do it right, do it once' thing and go straight to EFR power™.

To keep transmission from exploding I'll stay around 300whp/350bhp with final numbers. Even that should be more than enough since my initial numbers were whooping 80 whp. I will post current dyno sheet later on, if anyone would like to see what poop looks like. Fun poop nevertheless.


A lot has already been done to the car, but I'll start at the very beginning so everything is in chronological order. First of, like most miatas in my country, mine also started just as a base 1.6 NBFL model with 5 speed and a gay open diff

Example A




Plain, innocent and completely unaware of what the F's about to happen to it..





Wait for it..








BAM! Stanced, riced, ruined, stylebared, stickered, gayed up. I bet you didn't expect that did you?


After I got bored of stance handicap-ness, cut lowering springs, ghetto stiffened OEM shocks and anchors instead of wheels which made me almost hate driving it, I decided I need to grow up and buy some decent coilovers. So I bought a set of Vogtlands which are basically KW V1s but with slightly different springs and non-stainless steel shock body, which I don't care for since I don't drive this car in winter. The difference with new coilovers was like day and night and while I started upgrading suspension I though screw it, let's go all the way and I also bought H&R adjustable sway bars, I.L. Motorsport adjustable endlinks, proper rollbar (GCR3), bucket seats, smaller steering wheel, OMP 3" harness and few other bits.







Together with lighter wheels and semi slick tires I was starting to get on nerves of many stronger car owners on short tracks and backroads. I know-Rota grids are not ideal for handling, but a friend was selling them for cheap and I liked the design.

I also got flywheel lightened and deleted AC since I probably turned it on 3 times in last 5 years of ownership and wanted to add some lightness for that midcorner agilityz.






I did a few track days and drift events afterwards and made nice results, which led me to the decision that I don't want to be in ‘mice’ team anymore. I wanted to turn the table and let others get on my nerve by starting planning 300whp+ build.



After spending couple of weeks, months and years on various internet forums I realized boosting my 1.6, which is already tired because the LPG conversion damaged valves, would be similar to shooting myself in a leg and then trying to run a marathon. I also found out that complete 1.8 engines with 6 speed and any sort of LSD are actually more rare than unicorns in my country. So..through half a Europe I imported myself a 1.8 VVT with flat/square top manifold, 6 speed, 3.636:1 Torsen diff and complete sport brake kit (270/276mm discs). All parts were from slightly damaged car from UK with only 50k miles (Or so I was told). It was fairly cheap and that would at least give me good basic or in other words: Car like it was supposed to be from the beginning.





Shipping took little more than a month but all worries were gone once I checked the goods.

To accommodate the drivetrain swap few other bits were acquired, mostly supporting mods for more hp down the line.







So on..



& on..

Well you get the idea, parts tend to pile up, when you have time to order them and no time to do the install.



Oh yeah and because I know not everyone likes to read long boring stories, I'm also adding whole first post conclusion in short and bolded words;

NB2 with coffee maker-1.6, 5 speed and open diff -> swap with 1.8 VVT & square top manifold, 6 speed, 3.63 Torsen, EFR6258, built engine, ME221, EV640cc, CC 6 puck clutch, 300hp+, track day bro, dorifuto bla bla fun times bla



More to come soon..



Ps.Hope my english is good enough for you to understand everything

Last edited by tubitele; 12-01-2017 at 12:02 PM.
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Old 12-01-2017, 11:59 AM   #2
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Cat pics or ban.
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Old 12-01-2017, 12:37 PM   #3
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As you wish..




This one was very hungry and didn’t want to stop eating until it looked like Jabba the Hutt. Now it barely moves.


Son likes cats too



And cats like our cars so much they chill in engine bays for fun

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Old 12-04-2017, 10:12 AM   #4
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Looks like I'm not banned yet but before I continue, I need to mention that I was very familiar with driving the car prior to starting this build. Here’s my result from one of the time attacks on a small race track. First third of the list were cars with at least double the power and I really couldn't improve much more due to lack of it, so I decided I should finally start working on engine upgrades.

This was on a stock 1.6 with exhaust, coilovers, rollbar and Federal Rs-rs.


So to really kick it off, I installed ecu ME221, loaded basemap, changed the necessary settings and it fired up immediately. Some of you might be already familiar with it, but this ecu is making a nice progress in Europe due to the prices of plug’n’play solution.




Since I’m trying to build this thing with sort of quality parts, next items made my wallet cry for a bit and I'm not talking about those two backing plates



Didn’t took long to get gauges assembled in white to match OEM interior;



Wiring took a little longer and at first it looked like a big pile of spaghetti





Luckily I remembered a little about soldering from high school, so I got that out of the way on my own in few hours.





Testing the final result:



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Old 12-04-2017, 11:51 AM   #5
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You're missing a stripe on the car.
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Old 12-05-2017, 11:32 AM   #6
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I'm not sure which stripe do you mean, please elaborate your thoughts


Anyway, build thread moving on.. couple days later I called few miata buddies, if they’re up to lend me a hand with the swap and put the gloves on.


I wanted to create time elapse video with a gopro but battery died shortly after this shot. And yes I know, my tiny garage is barely big enough to fit miata inside and pull the engine.


1.6 coffee maker out of the car:




Got few other bits relocated to trash and together with LPG tank, the car gained about 50lbs of ‘lightness’




It looked so empty that I had to try a little 'if I fits I sits' cat game with trubo in hand. To understand the engine, you must become an engine




Well couple hours later and assembled stock 1.8 vvt was ready for a game of hoist cornering in this low-ceiling-garage.






Except for a little misalignment with engine mounts, it went pretty smoothly and there it was:




Couple additions were also installed; sensors for gauges, new silicon hoses, bigger rad, etc.






Also made a quick comparison with stock radiator




We took our time and that was mostly all for first day, on a second day there was still drive shaft, ppf, exhaust and fluids to get in..which of course didn’t go without issues. When installing exhaust I noticed lambda isn’t in the same location as before, so the bung had to be welded on the downpipe. I’m lucky to have friends with welders at their home as that was on a Sunday.






Second bigger issue was a hole in fuel rail, which was noticed immediately after turning key to ignition and making a fuel fountain in engine bay. That also stopped me from trying to start the engine the second day of swap



I guess it was damaged when removing/installing plastic fasteners for fuel line. As that was on Sunday and all stores were closed, I had to wait until morning next day to find replacement. I mean, it still went pretty ok for very first engine swap in home garage and to be fair, I had some help from friends that work as actual mechanics every day and I'm very grateful for that.

Moving on, I bought a new fuel line on a third day and fixed the leak at rail simply by moving the line upward the fuel rail and tightening it with hose clamps. It was time to start the engine and it was success on first try. It made me happy as a dr franky




Couldn’t really work on a car afterwards, so it took me another few days to set up the ecu settings. It still has a slight issue with bouncing revs while warming up and idling, but it drove really good after changing basic settings in engine driver and entering wideband values in HRT table.



For the time being I just made sure that it doesn’t get any lean or rich spikes when accelerating and cruising. The difference in torque was already substantial, but I still wanted it to be dyno tuned by a professional. Drove it like this for few hundred miles to bed in the clutch. It took a week or two, but I got used to 6 paddle disc and afterwards it became drivable just fine.

Oh and here's another photo being back on the road, just to make sure this thread doesn't lack visual content of riceness

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Old 12-05-2017, 09:03 PM   #7
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So, this car runs on propane? Are you planning to convert back to gasoline with the FF injectors?
I am interested in running propane, sorry if I missed it because my reading comprehension sucks.
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Old 12-05-2017, 10:08 PM   #8
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Congrats on getting the swap out of your belt. I think more than a few people this side of the pond will be jealous of the 3.636 torsen you got!
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Old 12-06-2017, 10:39 AM   #9
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sonofthehill, it did run on propane for 5 years which was about 70k miles, but is was poorly set up old system installed by previous owner, so it eventually damaged/burned valve seats on 1.6. I didn't really care at the time, because I wanted to upgrade anyway, so I was just daily driving it to save ton of money on gas and put it aside for build. Price of gas over here is little over $6/gallon and propane is about $2.5/gallon. Wages are very low in my country so that makes a big difference in the long run, but I decided not to use propane anymore and risk new engine which will be built down the line. I won't be dailying it as much as I did anyway. Right now I also have two other cars running propane, which are a bit more practical and I use them if I have to transport something and/or cover longer distances.

Thank you ridethecliche, I'll try to put a good use to it

Best is yet to come, so let's continue this goodnight story. Next up to install was butterfly brace with frame rails by Skidnation.



Similar as Flyin Miata version, 2mm thick stainless steel with detachable center section, but it's made in europe which makes it half the price in the end. Shipping and import taxes make US parts very expensive to buy, as I’ll explain once I get to BE oil pump. Two jacks turned out to be essential when installing it.



These massive stainless steel parts needed several new holes, some of them right between fuel and brake lines. I bet everyone who was installing these had to hold a breath for a while there




Even though I normally don't drive the car in shitty weather and keep it stored during winter time, I still did some rust-preventive actions with base paint and silicone. NBFLs are hard to find in good body condition and since mine is currently pretty solid, I want to keep it that way.





While I had drill in hand, I made two more holes in trans tunnel for track harness mounts





I mounted harness along the stock seat belts so I can still choose which to use for daily driving. Next day when I went to friend's garage to get those backing plates welded, I immediately noticed the chassis bracing in the very first turn. Really nice improvement.






Since this was my first time installing harness, I needed little help from someone who has experience with these. He showed me the first one and after I nailed the second one, I stayed a bit to observe this monster he was building for upcoming drift competition season


Absolutely ludicrous..


While still wishing I had that V8 with a supercharger on top in my car, I drove off to dyno to finish the map. Few hours later and number 110whp with flat-ish torque was achieved, which is pretty standard from what I read online. I was hoping for little more, but tuner said that this particular dyno usually under-reads by few %. Anyway, the car felt solid and quite different than before which was the point of this swap.



Here's a little comparison

1.6 before the swap vs 1.8 vvt


A week later I went to first track day after engine swap for a little shakedown. Wasn't really going for any personal records, but still had a blast adjusting to all changes.





I managed to convince a buddy to join in with his NA, which also has a swapped 1.8 vvt and few other bits. You can see evo 9 and sti right behind us, both of which had quite similar track times, so we were running same groups most of the time. We don't have any serious racing series or big tracks for now, just a gokart track where we measure lap times and have fun. It got even more fun when I put some 10 years old tires in the back and started skiding around. After a couple of spinouts, I found out that front wheels hit sway bar when I come to a full lock. Apart from that, everything held up great and altogether with few short roadtrips 1000 miles were on the engine in about two weeks.

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Old 12-07-2017, 11:38 AM   #10
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Forgot to mention before, I installed the I.L. Motorsport short shifter at one point during the swap. However they only sell shifters for 99-00 6 speed, so I needed to do a small modification to make it work with 01+ 6 speed:

- Sanded off the small nylon cup on the outside (cup from 5 speed/6 speed NB)
- Sanded off the big nylon cup on the inside (cup from 6 speed NBFL)
- Put a small amount of grease in between and used some force to join them, so the small one fits almost completely inside the bigger one.








Hope that makes sense with pictures. Afterwards the whole shifter assembly installs like any other short-throw. I combined it with a small extender and 8 ball ****, which gives a nice racecar feeling when changing gears.

Moving on to the next event, I did couple of skids on a small driving school course








This was the result after both events and I think it wasn't bad for beginning of the season. I was slowly getting used to it, but the binding on full lock made me spin around too many times. Next day I got the car back on stands to solve the issue and found out that sway bar wasn't the only thing that was blocking the fronts;



wubba rubba dub dub



Luckily I had a spare set of 5mm spacers and after fitting those it seemed everything cleared. And while I already had it on stands, had to install few last parts that were gathered through the winter.





To be honest it wasn't really perfect fit but some heat gunning and twisting gave quite nice looking result;






For some people this is probably little over board with cosmetic add ons, but I find it just the right amount to make hairdressers car look agressive and at the same time not too ricey. I'm not going to add any more visual parts, however another pile started growing fast

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Old 12-08-2017, 11:04 AM   #11
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As you can see it was a time for brake upgrade. Powder coated calipers from 'sport' model, bigger discs, Carbone Lorraine RC5+ pads, fresh fuild, braided lines etc. I also got coolant reroute kit, but that comes later on, when engine comes out again.



Little comparison between new and old calipers





Like always, something had to come up which I didn't account for before upgrading. Dust shields were not big enough to fit uprated discs, but luckily I rented friend's garage with a lift and power tool for this job, so that was sorted quick enough. I know dust shields are not heavy, but cutting part of the edges at least made a small compensation for heavier brakes.







Got everything fitted, fluid flushed, system bled and even though calipers will probably get dirty soon, they do look a lot better than old rusted ones






And before going to next event I wanted to try another temporary thing. Because the gearing of individual gears in 6 speed is shorter than 5 speed gears, I was having problems with hitting the limiter in 1st gear too soon between corners and since I didn’t want to swap trans or diff back, I just raised the rev limit a bit during normal operating temperatures (80-110ºC).



Reading various threads regarding raised rev limit engine failures, it got me thinking that I shouldn’t have too much problems, if I rev it that high just for few minutes during sessions and then give it a proper cool down. The plan was also to have whole engine disassembled and upgraded, so I just took the risk of doing it earlier than over the winter.


So then the next drift day came and it was a real blast, almost emptied the fuel tank before I ran out of tires.








High 5 anyone?

The more I was getting used to the new setup, the braver I got. Maybe even too much, so I made a little dent on a rear panel during tandems, but the damage was really small and didn’t concern me. It was fixable under insurance policy by body shop.



And a short video how did that happen



Unfortunately files from camera on rollbar got corrupted, but I had few buddies along and they filmed a bit from outside.

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Old 12-08-2017, 12:32 PM   #12
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Drifting gives you body damage? I've never heard of that before.
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Old 12-08-2017, 07:15 PM   #13
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It's not so much the drifting, it's the surprise buttsexing.
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Old Yesterday, 02:35 AM   #14
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"Wall banger class" That's what some of the techs call it. I often get teched next to a drifter, on Wednesday nights drag and drift go hand in hand.
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Old Yesterday, 10:48 AM   #15
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I was surprised too, but then I accepted that part of the game. Might crash few times more if I run out of talent though

Don't worry, I have other intentions with car too. Did my first autocross event couple of months ago..wasn’t really satisified with whole experience to be honest. When I go to a track or drift day, I can drive for hours with only few short breaks, but this was boring as hell. Arrived at 7am and drove only 2 rounds until 3pm. The course was little under 2 minutes long, so wait/drive ratio was about 3 hours for a 2 minute cone track. After the second round I packed everything and went for drive home on a back road. Weather was just too nice to waste it waiting to drive and deal with uptight people. It's much more fun to drive when there's positive vibe going on and this event was just too crowded which made everyone little nervous.





Here’s a video from very first round. I wasn’t familiar with layout so I was taking it slow and learning braking lines/entering corners. Second round was bit quicker but I forgot to stop filming after the first one and battery died while waiting for next one. Well the point was anyway just to give it a try and have fun, but I guess I’m not as patient as I thought.




Weekend after that I went to drift course again That was allofit more fun than previous weekend, but weather was getting little hot, so I ran out of tires after 2 hours. However, did some progress in driving and also obtained nice little scratch. I know you'll love it:










And another video, this one little more entertaining showing fails. Funnier to watch than ‘regular’ runs.



Since the car will have jet sounds and effects sooner or later, I added a warning label to the soft top handle



Also added few new stickers and took the car on a roadtrip along the coast. You'll probably need to zoom in a bit to find new add-ons




Then couple new parts came to keep the build moving forward




And of course the jewel and main reason for ‘warning’ label





I know it's relatively small turbo, but it’s my first one and looks massive when holding it in hands. Few weeks later another big pile started to grow..



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Old Yesterday, 03:11 PM   #16
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I was so excited until dorifto.
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Old Yesterday, 09:41 PM   #17
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Drifting is the figure skating of motorsports. Track days are the real deal. Autocross is usually like kissing your sister.
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Old Today, 03:15 AM   #18
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I agree with that interesting interpretation, but I'm still not sure what's wrong with little skrt skrt I just do things that are fun to me and track days got little boring with the amount of power I had. That might change once boosted, but another thing is that we don't have any real tracks in the area. Closest thing to me is that small driving school-drift place, which is about 20 minutes away and that course is mostly 1st gear. The gokart track (big improvement-2nd gear ) where 3 track days per year are held is hour and a half away, then there's Hungaroring and other European tracks which are about 5 hours drive or more. I do like real tracks, but it's not possible to go to every month.

Speaking of which..I visited Hungary in september, when their national miata club organised one of biggest meets in this part of Europe. It was also combined as a track day on F1 track. Now, that was a fantastic experience and several things were very first for me; First time in Hungary, first time on such a ‘big’ track, first time filling up on race gas (102 octane - about $10.6 per gallon ) and of course first time seeing 250+ miatas in one place. Really awesome little european version of MRLS and they already announced next one in May 2018.




Although hungarian language isn’t something I would understand at all, whole event was simple enough to flow with and organisation was on point without a minute in delay, so there wasn’t any confusion. People were also a lot nicer than what I’m used to, so I made a number of friends on and off the track.



Paddock area started to fill up right away in the morning and everything went smooth enough to have 4 15 minutes sessions through the day. I finally got the opportunity to properly test everything that was done to the car this year. Handling proved to be really good, but the lack of power hurt bad on the straights and that's where I get little bored. I managed to capture few sessions on camera, but as usually battery started to die later in the day, so this is all I have:



There was no official timing so I used an app on my phone. Best lap was 2.26:989 and that was with the passenger and booth full of tools. Still a solid reference for next time when I’ll have mr.turbskies with me.




Right by the main track, there was also a small autocross course set up and of course I wanted to have a go. Although I did only 3 runs, I made it to 9th place out of 75 applicants.



Caught the third/fastest run on video:



Another interesting part of the day was parade lap on the track, where we managed to cover whole 2.5 miles of it with our cars in a slow line. Definitely coming back next year. I don’t regret driving for 5 hours on a highway at all. I also heard that future events might even be held at a different European F1 tracks and that would be nice as well. Anyway..enough of my chatter, here are few interesting photos to check out:

(My favourite of the whole meet)


(My guess is sturovo turbo kit on this red one? Looks decent for it’s value)











Even though my project is far from finished, still got to receive several peeks



And I got the seats fixed right before the event, so they didn't hurt the eyes anymore.






I also managed to half-decent clean the engine bay. Here’s a little photo sequence of changes in chronological order.

-2011



-2014



-2016



-2017


Intake piping on last photo makes my OCD sense to freak out a bit, but it’s crooked partly because I made it for 1.6 and there’s little difference in dimensions between the engines. Also, when I was doing the swap, I managed to break both brackets that hold MAF in place, so it’s mostly held there with zipties and this is the result of all that. Of course it's only temporary until the turbo system gets installed in couple of months, which will change up the whole piping.


Afterwards the car went to manifold fabricator. Are you ready for some fapfap pictures?
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