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Old 09-29-2013, 03:37 AM   #1
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Default MSM Engine & 6 Speed Swap Into NA

Ok, so here's my situation: A couple months back I picked up a 1994 base (sweet manual rack). Compression and leak down came back great, then 2 weeks later the head gasket is blowing exhaust into my coolant.

The following are two options I am considering now:

Option 1: I can fix the head gasket issue, and boost the current engine which is at 158k mi.

Option 2: For a little more money, I can swap in a msm engine w/ stock turbo, and 6 speed which only have 72k mi.

Both set ups will be running MS. I'm leaning toward the MSM because of the CAS and VVT. However, I've read poor things about the factory MSM turbo set up, and if I got the MSM, there would be no budget left over for a manifold and turbo. My goal is 180-200 whp. I want a canyon carver/auto-x car that I can take on short road trips with my wife, so reliability is important.

What do you guys think? Option 1 or 2?

Are there any major oversights in my thinking here? Big wiring issues I'll run into with the MSM engine?

Also, can anyone tell me if the stock MSM TBE will fit the NA exhaust hangers? I understand it will bottle neck things to around 160 whp, but it might be a temporary solution if I can get it with the engine and tranny.
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Old 09-29-2013, 06:41 PM   #2
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MSM doesn't have vvt but if that's what you want just get a vvt head and use the money saved for turbo hardware.
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Old 09-29-2013, 06:56 PM   #3
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The NB exhaust won't bolt right into an na.
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Old 09-29-2013, 07:06 PM   #4
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The msm setup will make 200whp no problem? Also the msm turbo is an oem setup. It will be reliable. I just cracked 97k on mine and have been running 10psi+ for a few years. I know other people who have 150k on theres.
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Old 09-29-2013, 07:10 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stealth97 View Post
The NB exhaust won't bolt right into an na.
I think all you'd need is new exhaust hangers. The routing is the same.
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Old 09-29-2013, 08:23 PM   #6
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Replacing a head gasket is much cheaper than engine swap, just sayin'

I was actually looking at doing this exact same dance on my NB, until the engine was sold out from me. As long as you understand the limitations of the stock setup I see no problems. (I've got a full bumper-to-bumper 04 MSM harness and ECU in the garage that never came out of the box, you know, just in case you were looking for something like that )
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Old 09-29-2013, 09:19 PM   #7
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The engine swap with the 6spd is only going to cost me about $600-900 more than sticking with the old high mileage engine. Less if I sell the old engine to offset costs. The real cost here is my time, which I enjoy spending on big never ending projects anyways

Thanks for the feed back guys, I'll see what I can do about the exhaust. If the routing is the same, I can probably fab up some crappy hanger brackets. I'll keep you guys posted on the build if I end up with this swap!

EO2K: I might take you up on that harness, depending on what kind of a PITA it is to modify the existing harness vs replacing it! I still have more research to do on the subject.
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Old 09-29-2013, 10:14 PM   #8
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No worries, I doubt its going anywhere anytime soon.

I initially bought the ECU & harness because I had intended to do a full CARB legal MSM engine swap into my '00. I needed all the emissions bells and whistles to be properly functioning so I figured it would be loads easier to just get the whole harness, rather than chase wires for months.
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Old 07-10-2016, 03:05 PM   #9
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Hi guys,

I'm bringing this thread back to life. I just bought a Japanese MSM turbo 1.8 with the intention of dropping in my currently engineless 92 NA. It's coming with the wiring, factory ECU, and HKS F-Con V Pro fuel and ignition timing ECU, and the 6-spd trans. As far as I know, it's completely factory apart from the ECU and trans oil cooler.

I'm wondering if anyone here knows what kind of mechanical headaches I should expect during installation. I have some professional automotive wiring skills I'm going to have to pull of the shelf and dust off to get the right hand drive harness to fit, I'm sure, but any help or suggestive criticism is good news to me.

I'm also curious to know if I can use an aftermaket NA exhaust to make use of the factory hangers, or if that's going to be a bigger headache than it's worth at the downpipe end and if it's just easier to go with NB exhaust. I'm still not opposed to custom piping but I just broke the bank and would rather stay thrifty where it's reasonable to be.

Thanks
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Old 07-10-2016, 04:26 PM   #10
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Here, start at post #154.

https://www.miataturbo.net/build-thr...g-75005/page8/

Essentially everything bolts up, follow the wiring from the VVT thread here:

https://www.miataturbo.net/engine-pe...athread-80469/

Except obviously you won't be wiring up any VVT.

The exhaust all bolts right on with enough hangers, the stock exhaust we used had a piece of pipe welded in place of the muffler, and with a catless dp it was loud but glorious. Our shitty intercooler piping, ebay catless dp, stock straight piped exhaust, and rx8 420cc injectors gave us a year of tracking 230hp. Personally, I'd smoke test the intake to make sure the turbo doesn't blow up trying to pressurize a leaky system (blew up twice with poor intercooler piping), turn the boost down to 200hp, and enjoy it, they're a blast at that power level. But maybe keep a rods only build in mind.

Also, the front subframe swap is not necessary, but gives you the better NB geometry. If you have access to a totaled MSM like we did, do that, if not, the NA subframe works fine too.
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Old 07-10-2016, 07:56 PM   #11
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Super helpful thread. Much appreciated my friend.

Slick build by the way. Doubt mine'll hang when (if) she's ready to fire up this summer. I'm expecting to spend a lot of the winter fine tuning.

I still have to see how much wiring arrives with the engine tomorrow before I know exactly what I'm in for.
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