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Old 04-12-2011, 12:11 PM   #1
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Default How to go about fixing and tuning my 1991 Miata engine?

So I have a 1991 Mazda Miata with a 1.6 dohc engine that is going to be rebuilt soon since I've hit the 210,000 mile marker. The rest of the car is solid, but the engine sputters and idles. It is being taken apart and sent to the machine shop sometime soon. They are going to increase the size of the pistons, the exact size I'm not sure but more than the stock size.

So my question is what will I need to get for my engine to make it stronger and more durable for what I am looking for below? (Looking for things mandatory while my engine is accessable and able to be worked on, such as preformance rings, seals, pistons) What ever I should get so that I have the option of getting a turbo installed later on this stock engine. Because I'm thinking of also getting the Flyin' Miata turbo kit installed later on as well.

P.S. I should note that the car has had engine compression issues definately in the forth cylinder and slightly in the third. The spark plugs were also getting oil on them as well, mainly the forth, barely on the third.

I don't know that much about cars, but if there is something you need to help me out I'll do my best to figure it out to give you more information for better insight on my dilemma.

www.flyinmiata.com
It will be either the 1990-93 Voodoo II turbo system or the 1990-93 FM II Hydra turbo system.

Comments, questions, suggestions, or any feedback is appreciated.
Also posted on Yahoo Answers http://answers.yahoo.com/question/in...1130049AAJqxpf

Thanks for any of the help guys!
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Old 04-12-2011, 12:57 PM   #2
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Umm i would recomend using the search button first, but since youre already here a good question would be whats your budget? What are your goals? And is this a daily driver for you?

If it not a daily driver i would recomend getting some forged rods (mtuned makes a great set for a great price), forged pistons (preferably lower compression), a good oil pump with billet gears, an ati dampner and as much headwork as you can afford. But that all depends on your situation.
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Old 04-12-2011, 01:05 PM   #3
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The usual way I love sweetbreads is simply pan-fried with a spritz of lemon, but for our wedding anniversary earlier this week, I wanted to dress them up a bit. I figured I'd build on the way the lemon highlights their delicate flavor, adding the freshness of parsley and a few briny capers. The celery leaves were a last minute addition, but I loved how their clean flavor married with the other ingredients in this piccata-esque sauce, and so did my husband. Some nights playing with your food is so rewarding.
Serves 2 as an appetizer

* 4-5 ounces veal sweetbreads
* milk to cover
* 4 cups water
* Kosher or sea salt
* Juice of half a lemon plus 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
* 1/4 cup Wondra or other finely milled flour
* Freshly cracked black pepper
* 2-3 tablespoons unsalted butter
* 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
* 1 teaspoon brined nonpareil capers
* 1/4 cup loosely packed picked celery leaves
* 1/4 cup loosely packed picked flat-leaf parsley

1. 2 days before cooking, place the sweetbreads in a bowl or small container, cover them with milk, and allow them to soak in the refrigerator overnight. Remove the sweetbreads, discarding the milk, and trim any veins or dark bits. Rinse them well and set aside. Ask a question about this step.
2. Place the sweetbreads in a small pot, cover with water, and add a big pinch of salt and the juice of half a lemon. Add the sweetbreads, bring the water to a boil, and blanch them for about 5 minutes. Remove the sweetbreads and plunge them into an ice bath. Ask a question about this step.
3. Line a small sheet pan with a kitchen towel and place the sweetbreads on the towel in a single layer. Fold the towel over them to cover, place another sheet pan on top, and weight it down – a heavy pot or a few cans of tomatoes work well. Place in the refrigerator overnight. Ask a question about this step.
4. If your sweetbreads are large, slice them into medallions. Spread the flour on a plate and season with lots of salt and pepper, then toss the sweetbreads in the seasoned flour until well coated on all sides. Ask a question about this step.
5. Melt the butter in a heavy bottomed skillet and cook the sweetbreads over medium heat until golden brown. Place the browned sweetbreads on a paper towel-lined plate and set aside, tenting loosely with foil to keep warm. Ask a question about this step.
6. Whisk the tablespoon of lemon juice with a pinch of salt, a few grinds of pepper, and the olive oil in a small bowl until emulsified. Add the capers, celery leaves and parsley and stir to combine. Place the sweetbreads on a serving plate, and drizzle the sauce all around. Finish with a little flaky salt if desired. Ask a question about this step.
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Old 04-12-2011, 01:12 PM   #4
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I am surprised at your choice of "Loosely" packed garnishments...
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Old 04-12-2011, 01:25 PM   #5
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I was looking through various threads but everyone's situation is a bit different, but my budget is probably around 5k, keep in mind this is for repairing the engine which is rougly around 3-3.5k but I'm looking to just make the engine stronger so that I can get the turbo later on. This also is my daily driver as a car, so it will not be raced, but I do want a car that packs a punch if I need it too. (Sleeper Also I don't plan on having anymore than 10-12psi of boost, depends really on the kit I get later on.

Goals
1. Make the car capable of supporting the FM kits with good engine lovegevity. (I don't drive the car hard, usually.)
2. Get as much power out of this car as possible while keeping it affordable as possible.
3. Figure out exactly what I need for the stock engine to fix now while it is easily accessable so that I can do the rest later if I choose to get the turbo. If not then I'll just have a really nice durable engine for years to come.
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Old 04-13-2011, 03:01 PM   #6
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Still looking for a bit of assistance or guidance on what I should do.
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Old 04-13-2011, 03:49 PM   #7
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Find a used 1.8 motor, put it in, get the flyin miata kit, get a megasquirt ecu, profit. Run 220hp all day on your non hard car driving. Don't waste money on getting your pistons enlarged.
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Old 04-13-2011, 03:58 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dustinb View Post
Find a used 1.8 motor, put it in, get the flyin miata kit, get a megasquirt ecu, profit. Run 220hp all day on your non hard car driving. Don't waste money on getting your pistons enlarged.
Listen to this man. If I didn't buy my car already turbo'd I woulda listened to this guy. Don't waste your time with piggybacks, get a MS right off the bat.
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Old 04-13-2011, 04:00 PM   #9
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if you're spending 3.5k to build an engine you're overpaying 1.5k
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Old 04-13-2011, 04:11 PM   #10
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^agreed. Unless they are doing some fancy crankshaft lightening and balancing, and head work and other cool stuff.
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Old 04-13-2011, 04:54 PM   #11
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I Get the impression the op doesn't know what is going into his engine rebuild. They could be making it high compression and totally screwing him for a turbo setup.
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Old 04-13-2011, 05:38 PM   #12
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Depending on what exactly you are aiming for as far as power, I would suggest a baseline for boost;

Forged 9:1 (or 8.5:1) pistons -- not required to get forged rods+pistons for low-boost applications, but I'd suggest the rods at the very least.
Forged rods
Magnaflux the crank - not required as yours is probably fine, but it's a relief to make sure it's not cracked at all.
Hottank and deck the block and head. Depending on price, having the head reworked is a good option too unless it's a low-milage 1.8. Chasing the threads can make install easier too.
New bearings - Make -SURE- you get the crank and main caps calipered so you get the right size bearings. This can be an expensive repair if they are wrong.
New stretch bolts, or ARP bolts if you are going all out.
I would highly suggest new heater core hoses, they are very brittle. cut the existing ones off with a razor, the heater core attachment is brass and extremely easy to bend. I heated up an exacto knife with a lighter and used it to melt through the hose, worked very well.

If you have the tools yourself, the total here should be around 1.5-2k depending on the pistons and rods you get. If you are thinking of autocross, remember that any engine work takes you straight out of SPEC classes. The whole project isn't all too unreasonable, and you'll soon learn that fast isn't fast enough
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Old 04-13-2011, 05:48 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by der_idiot View Post
depending on what exactly you are aiming for as far as power, i would suggest a baseline for boost;

forged 9:1 (or 8.5:1) pistons -- not required to get forged rods+pistons for low-boost applications, but i'd suggest the rods at the very least.
Forged rods
magnaflux the crank - not required as yours is probably fine, but it's a relief to make sure it's not cracked at all.
Hottank and deck the block and head. Depending on price, having the head reworked is a good option too unless it's a low-milage 1.8. Chasing the threads can make install easier too.
New bearings - make -sure- you get the crank and main caps calipered so you get the right size bearings. This can be an expensive repair if they are wrong.
New stretch bolts, or arp bolts if you are going all out.
I would highly suggest new heater core hoses, they are very brittle. Cut the existing ones off with a razor, the heater core attachment is brass and extremely easy to bend. I heated up an exacto knife with a lighter and used it to melt through the hose, worked very well.

If you have the tools yourself, the total here should be around 1.5-2k depending on the pistons and rods you get. If you are thinking of autocross, remember that any engine work takes you straight out of spec classes. The whole project isn't all too unreasonable, and you'll soon learn that fast isn't fast enough
+1
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Old 04-13-2011, 06:08 PM   #14
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OP sounds like a manager. "Here's what I want, now do it for me."
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Old 04-14-2011, 07:33 PM   #15
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I have been looking around and with the help that you guys have provided rather than rebuilding the 1.6 engine, I found a 1.8 engine for $850 so the work and cost for this project has gone down significantly! The engine has about 40,000 miles and comes with the tranny also

Appreciate the help guys and if I run into any other issues or problems I'll keep you guys posted.
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Old 04-14-2011, 10:56 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brycla0317 View Post
I have been looking around and with the help that you guys have provided rather than rebuilding the 1.6 engine, I found a 1.8 engine for $850 so the work and cost for this project has gone down significantly! The engine has about 40,000 miles and comes with the tranny also

Appreciate the help guys and if I run into any other issues or problems I'll keep you guys posted.
I wish everything came with a tranny.
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Old 04-14-2011, 11:08 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hustler View Post
The usual way I love sweetbreads is simply pan-fried with a spritz of lemon, but for our wedding anniversary earlier this week, I wanted to dress them up a bit. I figured I'd build on the way the lemon highlights their delicate flavor, adding the freshness of parsley and a few briny capers. The celery leaves were a last minute addition, but I loved how their clean flavor married with the other ingredients in this piccata-esque sauce, and so did my husband. Some nights playing with your food is so rewarding.
Serves 2 as an appetizer

* 4-5 ounces veal sweetbreads
* milk to cover
* 4 cups water
* Kosher or sea salt
* Juice of half a lemon plus 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
* 1/4 cup Wondra or other finely milled flour
* Freshly cracked black pepper
* 2-3 tablespoons unsalted butter
* 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
* 1 teaspoon brined nonpareil capers
* 1/4 cup loosely packed picked celery leaves
* 1/4 cup loosely packed picked flat-leaf parsley

1. 2 days before cooking, place the sweetbreads in a bowl or small container, cover them with milk, and allow them to soak in the refrigerator overnight. Remove the sweetbreads, discarding the milk, and trim any veins or dark bits. Rinse them well and set aside. Ask a question about this step.
2. Place the sweetbreads in a small pot, cover with water, and add a big pinch of salt and the juice of half a lemon. Add the sweetbreads, bring the water to a boil, and blanch them for about 5 minutes. Remove the sweetbreads and plunge them into an ice bath. Ask a question about this step.
3. Line a small sheet pan with a kitchen towel and place the sweetbreads on the towel in a single layer. Fold the towel over them to cover, place another sheet pan on top, and weight it down – a heavy pot or a few cans of tomatoes work well. Place in the refrigerator overnight. Ask a question about this step.
4. If your sweetbreads are large, slice them into medallions. Spread the flour on a plate and season with lots of salt and pepper, then toss the sweetbreads in the seasoned flour until well coated on all sides. Ask a question about this step.
5. Melt the butter in a heavy bottomed skillet and cook the sweetbreads over medium heat until golden brown. Place the browned sweetbreads on a paper towel-lined plate and set aside, tenting loosely with foil to keep warm. Ask a question about this step.
6. Whisk the tablespoon of lemon juice with a pinch of salt, a few grinds of pepper, and the olive oil in a small bowl until emulsified. Add the capers, celery leaves and parsley and stir to combine. Place the sweetbreads on a serving plate, and drizzle the sauce all around. Finish with a little flaky salt if desired. Ask a question about this step.
What?!? No lemongrass? You heathen.
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