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Old 02-08-2009, 12:57 AM   #1
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Smile Miata Engines 1.6 vs 1.8

HI guys:

I searched for an answer for this but I couldnt find any. Sorry to ask this obvious questions but is the 1.6 liter Miata engine lacking power wise or should I stick with the 1.8? Any cons/pros of 1.6 or 1.8? Im learning about Miatas now and I saw another thread of a guy swaping the 1.6 for a 1.8? Is this a very involving swap or everything pretty much falls in place?? Because I could always get a 1990 Miata and then later swap a 1.8L engine inside.

Thanks for your answer and helping a noob!!

BTW Im planning of building the Miata for boost!!
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Old 02-08-2009, 01:02 AM   #2
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Search more. For days. Simple stuff that's been beat to death. Just read and read all this stuff has been covered a million times. If you didn't find anything specific to 1.6 vs. 1.8, just keep searching for stuff. It's been covered. The more you read, the more you'll know.

The synopsis: Buy a 94' miata. If you buy a 1.6, you'll spend 2k-2.5k updating the brakes and drivetrain to 1.8 spec. Might as well just get a 94' if you haven't bought a car yet.

Welcome to the forum. If you haven't, go to the meet and greet section and start a thread there introducing yourself. Boost > *
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Old 02-08-2009, 11:12 AM   #3
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If you're planning to turbo the car, the 1.6 and the early 1.8 are going to be relatively similar in terms of their power potential. However, the 1.8 cars will already be equipped with the larger R&P gears, and if you're lucky (and do your homework) you can probably score one with a Torsen for no extra money as well.

All in all, you'l probably save money in the long run starting with the 1.8 car. Try to stay with a '94 or a '95 if you live in an area with OBD-II plugin emissions testing.
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Old 02-08-2009, 01:52 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by patsmx5 View Post
The synopsis: Buy a 94' miata. If you buy a 1.6, you'll spend 2k-2.5k updating the brakes and drivetrain to 1.8 spec. Might as well just get a 94' if you haven't bought a car yet.
That amount is probably overkill. You could upgrade the rear end and brakes for around $1k if you look hard enough.
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Old 02-08-2009, 02:07 PM   #5
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Fill in your location in your profile.
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Old 02-08-2009, 04:31 PM   #6
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From my experience, while the power potential of both motors are similar, the low-end torque and better spool from the 1.8 make it a much better platform to add boost to.

As others have pointed out, the cost difference between a '90 and '94 are probably minimal. Might as well spend a little more up front and get what you will eventually want anyway.
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Old 02-08-2009, 04:39 PM   #7
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1.8 is a better choice because it has the brakes and rear end already installed, that way you dont even have to mess with it. Definitely a bit more torque on the 1.8s
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Old 02-08-2009, 05:39 PM   #8
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Old 02-08-2009, 05:39 PM   #9
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Old 02-08-2009, 05:40 PM   #10
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Old 02-08-2009, 10:33 PM   #11
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OK guys, thanks for the info. I already updated my location, Miami, FL. So no,no emissions testing. I was thinking probably I would go as high as 2000 for the Miata b/c for the price difference I my as well just go a little bit newer. So the 1.8 it is.

When I was into Honda's we used to have a great guy at the forum to do the porting/polishing/valves of our heads and that would free lots of HP specially for higher boost applications, what about for Miatas, do we have somebody here like that?

Roger
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Old 02-09-2009, 02:26 PM   #12
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Well, if you're looking all the way up through 2000, you should do a little more research on the motors. The compression ratios and head designs changed a few times between '94 and '00, making some years better for boost than others.
I don't recall off-hand which years are which, but I know comp ratio went up (bad for boost... sort of) but head flow also went up (good for boost) and at some point, variable timing and intake stuff was added. (I don't know what any of it is or does, since my car is way before any of that)
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Old 02-09-2009, 10:40 PM   #13
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just look for 94-97, preferably a 94-95

-dont sweat high miles (so long as its well maintained)
-dont sweat the interior (easy/cheap to find pieces/parts for)
-stay away from rust
-you can call Mazda with the VIN # and they will inform you of what options the car had when it left the factory...the key thing you want is a Torsen rear. Most cars during those years had them, very popular option.

go to The MX-5 Miata Pit Stop: MX-5 Miata.net , they have a section dedicated to all the changes thru the yrs and even a buyer's guide on what to look for
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