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Old 07-29-2009, 03:52 PM   #1
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Default N/A Engine build?

Well it seems I just blew my engine,


I tried posting this on two other forums, but I guess no one over there knows much about building engines So levnubhin suggested I post it here, any help would be very much appreciated.

This is the second engine I've had in my NA, the first one died of a spun rod bearing so I bought the current '96 1.8 engine with an alleged 26,000 miles. Then after driving it for 25,000 miles, it too gave up on life. I'm beginning to think it has about 100,000 more miles than I was told it did.

So now I am trying to decide if I want to take that risk again and buy a low milage '99-'00 engine or get my '96 rebuilt with stronger components.

I have absolutely no idea where to start as far as getting my engine rebuilt. I know FM will build you an engine if you are willing to sacrifice your 2/3 of your limbs. And I found this site, Racing Mazda b series engine , which is reasonable, but apparently they don't exist anymore.

I don't plan on turbo'ing my car, but IRTB's are definitely in my future. If I rebuild the engine I will definitely want a 99-00 head, but what else should I consider? I do about 8-10 track days a year and I might start doing some NASA time trials. What should I have done to the bottom end? 11:1 pistons? Which ones? Should I bother with rods since it won't be boosted?

Thanks for any help, after 6 years I've been able to pretty much bolt everything on or off, but this is a bit over my head.
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Old 07-29-2009, 04:02 PM   #2
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If you are staying NA, yes on pistons, no on rods. Might as well bump displacement by overboring 1.0 mm while you are at it. Plus, it gives the shop a chance to go through your next "supposedly low mile" engine.
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Old 07-29-2009, 04:34 PM   #3
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Was the 1.8l at 26,000 original or after rebuild? a bad rebuild won't last long.

You never know how honest the seller is when buying a used motor, as you've found out, so I say rebuild. Personally for N/A I would go higher 11:1
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Old 07-29-2009, 06:55 PM   #4
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Wow, its refreshing to get some real answers, thank you

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Originally Posted by sprayed View Post
Was the 1.8l at 26,000 original or after rebuild? a bad rebuild won't last long.
Original miles supposedly.

I spoke with an engine builder in Miami, and this is what we talked about doing:

Port and polish '99 Head
11:1 Pistons (Which would you guys recommend?)
Billet Oil pump gears (I guess Boundary Engineering is the only place to get them)
ARP head studs

We also talked about cams, but they are rather pricey, so I may add them at a later stage. What should I look for in cams? Are adjustable cam gears necessary?

He said this set up would be safe to rev to 8000, does this sound right?

Anything else you guys would recommend? I'm not looking to break any HP records, I just want a strong peppy engine.
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Old 07-29-2009, 07:00 PM   #5
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Head won't make 8K and last without valves/springs.

There is a piston group buy going on right now. Supertech has 11:1's and IIRC, all are $365 shipped in the group buy. It closes 7/30 so get on it to save better than $100.

Take a look in the group buy section for details.
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Old 07-29-2009, 09:25 PM   #6
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If you're not looking to break horsepower records, or at least get honorable mention, why are you planning on spending so much money? Grab a hanes manual, a rebuild kit, give the entire rotating assembly, block, and head to a machine shop, and when you get it all back, start learning. If you go the camshaft, ITB, high compression route, your return will be no where near your investment. The SM guys are getting 120hp out of a 1.6, which is plenty "strong and peppy" and you'll be able to start with a 1.8, and break a lotta rules.

This is all just my opinion. After rebuilding my own 1.6, it's survived numerous track days while NA, and now it's a dedicated turbo'd track day car. I don't blame you for staying NA, but if you're going to do that, supposedly to keep things simple (that's generally the biggest reason anyways), do just that, keep it simple.

Edit: Dear lord that sounds horrible

Last edited by curly; 07-29-2009 at 09:26 PM. Reason: watched video
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Old 07-29-2009, 10:00 PM   #7
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Jimmy at fujiracing runs he's ITB setup with a 99-00 head ported, adjustable cam gears, not sure on what valve/spring combo he's running but it revs to 8500-9000 rpm on the track. Meanest sounding n/a miata I've ever heard lol. He runs some 11:1 CR pistons and not sure on the rods. I suppose one advantage to some forged rods is that they'll be lighter. He's running a AEM ecu with that engine setup and boasts a impressive 185rwhp and 135ish ft-lbs of torque (didn't see a dyno sheet but I didn't doubt it after seeing it run).

I agree with what the others said, new pistons,bearings,head studs, and machine work. Have your block and head checked out by a trusted builder and ask him what else might need to be replaced. Maybe your shim clearances are fucked, maybe you flat spotted a cam lobe, maybe your crank is unservicable. Just need to have someone that deals with it on a daily basis take a look at it. Trust me, I'll be coming up on my 4th engine in this car and this will be my 2nd "built" motor lol.

You could reassemble it yourself but I didn't because I don't trust my abilities 100% and would be paranoid all the time lol. But thats just me. Good luck with it, this group is very helpful btw .

Oh and that sounds nasty, nastier than my spun rod bearing or clogged oil ports with piston slap and major valve train chatter or hammered down rod bearing lol. Sounds like more than one problem but you never know until you pull the engine and tear it apart.
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Old 07-29-2009, 11:45 PM   #8
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This is all great info, thank you.

I will be ordering the 84 mm 11:1 Supertech pistons tomorrow morning

Curly: I'm not spending that much money. I spoke with a builder today in Miami that has been highly recommended and based on some initial pricing on parts the total should come out to about $1,700.

Flier129: I'm actually going to see Jimmy's car first hand this weekend, and I'm sure I'll learn alot more about what he has done.
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Old 07-29-2009, 11:52 PM   #9
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I'd do the rods if you plan on tracking it. Stock rods are designed for the typical consumer, not a few hours of 7200rpm.

if you're interested in doing it right, call Endyne because they make absurd #'s in NA miatas.
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Old 07-30-2009, 12:05 AM   #10
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Emilio at 949 Racing has a pretty decent NA set up for his track car. I don't believe it was to expensive either. His web page has the build info on it somewhere.
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Old 07-30-2009, 02:14 AM   #11
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make it 2.0L with 25 overbore like i did and go for 11.5:1 + some aggressive cams and properly tuned intake manifold versus itbs
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Old 07-30-2009, 11:36 AM   #12
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I couldn't find much info on Endyn working on miatas.

Wow, I knew about the OGK, but after taking a look at Emilio's blog it looks like he and I are going to pretty similar engines. And he was able to get 158 whp without a 99 head

UrbanSoot, I'll let you go ahead with your build and just be envious of your ballin' engine. Instead of getting a set of aggressive cams, for now I may just go with the MSM intake cam, keep the 7200 rev limit and if later on I want more I'll do valve springs, and some serious cams.


I think I should mention that the reason I'm not looking to make big hp numbers is because I actually liked my miata being a little slow at the track because it gave me greater satisfaction at the end of the day when I looked back on all the faster cars I was able to get past and keep up with. And it was even more of an ego boost when those drives came up to me afterwards to see "what I got under there" and watch the the surprised looks on their faces when they see its just NA. With a turbo, SC, V8 etc, its easy for them to say, "Oh well, its got power adder thats why you got by me." So since I'm rebuilding the engine anyway, I figure why not spend about a grand more than I would with a standard rebuild and give me a little more of an NA advantage. Oh, and if I do have the need for speed I have the option of driving my father's Cayman S, or my MD's GT3.
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Old 07-30-2009, 12:40 PM   #13
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Yeah, it was fun with no power. However, I want the lap times.
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Old 07-30-2009, 01:32 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hustler View Post
Yeah, it was fun with no power. However, I want the lap times.
I think I may start feeling the same way when start doing the NASA time trials.
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Old 07-30-2009, 02:28 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ApexScalpel View Post
I think I may start feeling the same way when start doing the NASA time trials.
The grass is always greener. When I basically had the fastest street car on the track (aside from the TDR car that I only scored a few laps with), I wished I had a few little scuffles on the track. When a prius pulled me on a straight I wished I had power.
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Old 07-30-2009, 02:52 PM   #16
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what shop is building your motor in miami?
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Old 07-31-2009, 06:07 PM   #17
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Port, port match and clean up the chambers, but there is no need to polish the head. (Arguements pro/con regarding boundary layers and the benefits of having "tumble" within the runners...)

+1 on the rods.

+1 on not seeing 8K/rpm. 7500 is a realistic upper limit for flow, with 7200 being the norm.

If budget allows, balance the bits to include crank, flywheel and pressure plate. It'll rev smoother.

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Old 08-02-2009, 01:23 AM   #18
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I've pretty much gathered that 8k is out of the question without more head work, which would put be well over my budget ($350 springs and $280 valves). However I was talking to Emilio from 949 and he said I should put the valve springs from the 96 head when the 99 head is rebuilt. Are the 96 valve springs that much better?

Also I rode in Jimmy from Fuji Racings' Miata today and it was very very impressive, reving to 9k, idling at 1k easily with aggressive cams, but after seeing IRTB's in person I think I'm going to hold off until my NA is no longer my DD. There are too many variables and fine tuning that has to be done for me to feel comfortable relying on my car to drive me 50 miles everyday and also tracking it 10 times a year.

Some things that I'll be including in the build is a Fidanza 8lb flywheel, Samco hoses (heres why at 1:26), competition motor mounts, MTuned coolant reroute, and COPs
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Old 08-03-2009, 01:55 AM   #19
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In keeping with doing things proper, I will be picking up a 6 speed transmission on Tuesday

When I pulled the engine and transmission the 18 year old 5 speed was in sorry shape. It was leaking about the seals and it was already starting to grind into 3rd and 4th.
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Old 08-04-2009, 05:59 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ApexScalpel View Post
Some things that I'll be including in the build is a Fidanza 8lb flywheel, ...
Instead of changing the flywheel, knife-edge the crank. You'll get the same general effect in regard to reduced rotating mass, but will gain a benefit through loss of drag within the oil bath and reduced frothing.

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