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Old 06-27-2009, 10:59 PM   #1
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Default 1.8 race engine build

I am looking for some good advice in heading down a different path in racing.
After 10 years of club racing miatas in SM, ITA, ITS, and PT. I have really come down with "boost sickness". I have decided to jump off a cliff and convert my ITA miata to an ITE Turbo miata. My suspension is developed pretty well and I think with a good Turbo setup I can have a fun & fast racecar.
I have a lightly used FMII kit coming from a close friend who is not able to use it in CA. I already use a MSPNP for ITA and Jerry at DIY has offered to help me with the tune. The other aspect that has me (a non mechanical, close to clueless about engines) confident in going this route is that a good friend in the area has already done a great deal of development with 1.8 Turbo racecars. Keith Verges has been running and building them for a few years and has learned several things that make them more reliable under race conditions. Front end body work, special fasteners with safety wire, etc. He is going to be my consultant and help me convert to the darkside.
Even with Keith's guidance, I am interested in other opinions on how I should go forward. Especially on the engine build.
Keith has used basically stock motors with milage that has varied from engine to engine. Although he has been through a few as he developed the car(s), I think everything he has figured out makes the engines last longer.
I figured to go with a build instead of stock for a couple of reasons: 1. I have a good engine builder who helps me out as I send him some good business from racers, and I just have to think a good build will hold up longer at harder use. I am not looking for huge dragstrip type HP/TQ, and I am not going to go crazy spending huge dollars on a racecar part that may blow on me. I think if I can build to lay down some good HP/TQ but have it last a decent amount of time that I will be happy.
So what would you guys suggest for a car that will be doing 45 minute sprint road races. ( I have done the search and have a little better knowledge than before I searched but other opinions will be appreciated.
Thanks for any comments.
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Old 06-27-2009, 11:11 PM   #2
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You ready to drop $10k into the engine bay? If you aren't, don't even consider it. Anyone who tells you otherwise hasn't attempted to make a high-horsepower turbo Miata reliable on track.
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Old 06-27-2009, 11:49 PM   #3
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Ive heard mixed reviews on safety wire. IF you want that whole aspect of nuts not loosing go with V-Bands. Figure 200-300$ for a full exhaust of vbands and you wont ever have a stud back out/shear. I plan on doing this on my next project build.

FWIW with a stock motor good tune and coolant reroute i would think your motor would be able to hold up. If you really wanted to "build" the motor. The first weak point in our motors is the rods. Somones selling Mtuned rods with ARP 2000 bolts for 300 shipped in the classifieds. Rated up to 600 horsepower.
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Old 06-28-2009, 04:25 AM   #4
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off topic, but i have a built engine for sale that is not posted in the "sale" section yet. i can give you the specs if you are interested.
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Old 06-28-2009, 09:59 AM   #5
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I guess the first part is to say No I am not dropping $10k for a built motor.

Next questions:1. Do you think using upgraded rods will gain you a great deal more reliability?
2. Would you need to use the upgraded pistons too. (Sorry to be so ignorant on the subject.)
3. Is a 99 head going to give you anything?
4. How about the adjust. cam gears?
5. Would putting all the above together in a stock engine give you much more (Safe Reliable) HP/TQ than a stock engine for Road Race usage?
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Old 06-28-2009, 10:53 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IPRESS View Post
1. Do you think using upgraded rods will gain you a great deal more reliability?
In a F/I engine, rods are your best insurance.

Quote:
Originally Posted by IPRESS View Post
2. Would you need to use the upgraded pistons too. (Sorry to be so ignorant on the subject.)
Not required, but would be beneficial.

Quote:
Originally Posted by IPRESS View Post
3. Is a 99 head going to give you anything?
Yes. More if you do mild head work. Significant improvement with serious head work (to include oversized valves).


Quote:
Originally Posted by IPRESS View Post
4. How about the adjust. cam gears?
You'd gain greater ability to tune the car. How is this a bad thing?

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Originally Posted by IPRESS View Post
5. Would putting all the above together in a stock engine give you much more (Safe Reliable) HP/TQ than a stock engine for Road Race usage?
Any time you improve on the quality/efficiency of your internals you will see a benefit.

On a stock to upgraded non-F/I build I went from 119/106 (HP/Tq) to 125/111 with flatter (damn near straight) lines on the built dynograph. Build cost, for the engine (internals, machine work, and assembly) was about $5K.

- L

PS - Spend a little more time with the SEARCH function...
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Old 06-28-2009, 11:47 AM   #7
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building the motor is the cheap part.
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Old 06-28-2009, 05:07 PM   #8
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Quote:
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building the motor is the cheap part.
Yep...

Think about it. You build an engine and then a turbo system. Next you're looking at brakes and suspension, rims and tires, and safety gear...

Then you start looking at entry, transport and logistical (rooms, food, beer, etc.) fees!

- L
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Old 06-28-2009, 06:30 PM   #9
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Guys those extras are always there when you are racing. I have been doing it for 10 years and and very few hobbies are cheap.
The reason I am converting instead of buying a built car is my conversion should be simple once I decide on the right plan.
The more I hear the more it seems best to put strong rods in a stock bottom and have my motor buddy do his magic on a 99 head. Maybe get in on the Adjustable Cam Gear GB and go with that.
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Old 06-28-2009, 07:18 PM   #10
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IPRESS; I didn't see any remark about cooling your engine in your questions.

For 45 minute racing sessions, that's going to be a very big part of your success. Sorry, I don't have the answers to that but; I would suggest you search for threads on that particular subject.

BTW; I personally like Tony's approach (hint: look for a thread about "electric water pump").

Good luck with your project. It sure sounds like fun!
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