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Old 11-06-2011, 10:35 AM   #1
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Default New block for the kid

Hi everybody,

I'm quite a noob around here. Last week I picked up my green '99 FMII from Miami. Unfortunately the engine didn't survive the drive up I95. After about 1000 miles, under light boost and 6000rpm a piston appears to have separated from the rod. This was followed up by the rod poking some holes into the block and oil-pan.
Don't know if the head survived - there's no external damage, but I'll know when I pull it.

Here's my question: It appears that 1999-2001 engines are relatively expensive. Can I just use a pre-1999 1.8l short-block or is there a difference? AFAIK the heads are different, but block and crankshaft are the same - no?

There's a guy around here selling a '97 1.8l engine for $200. Sounds like a great deal if the crank and block are OK.

I'm planing on using lower compression pistons anyway to increase the possible boost levels, but was thinking about leaving pretty much everything else stock. The car is supposed to be a daily driver with some mild track activity on a few weekends....

Any suggestions would be welcome!
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Old 11-06-2011, 10:52 AM   #2
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all 1.8 blocks are the same. However, the difference is the pistons, lower compression ratio for earlier 1.8's. The mazdaspeed 1.8 block has water ports for the turbo.
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Old 11-06-2011, 10:56 AM   #3
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I'm pretty sure that the blocks are the same from 94-up, but the heads are definately different. The 99-00 head is the one you want, so if your head isn't screwed up, I'd use that. I also strongly suggest that you should surely get different rods. M-tuned, Carillo, etc., you should be able to get a set for around $300 with the bolts.
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Old 11-06-2011, 12:20 PM   #4
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Putting a pre '99 block under a '99 and up head will give you less compression immediately without changing pistons.
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Old 11-06-2011, 12:24 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by olderguy View Post
Putting a pre '99 block under a '99 and up head will give you less compression immediately without changing pistons.
Has anyone figured out why this is yet? I remember hustler made a thread about something like this ( I think) and nobody knew for sure.
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Old 11-06-2011, 01:13 PM   #6
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I think it is the pistons. They have a lower CR.
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Old 11-06-2011, 01:31 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by olderguy View Post
Putting a pre '99 block under a '99 and up head will give you less compression immediately without changing pistons.
Awesome - that'll make my life easier (and cheaper)

What's a good source for performance rods, bearings and pistons? Do any forum supporters have decent prices on those?
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Old 11-06-2011, 02:18 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stefanst View Post
What's a good source for performance rods, bearings and pistons? Do any forum supporters have decent prices on those?
Hang on a minute...I'm looking for links. There are vendors on here that have great deals on rods and such.

http://949racing.com/

http://k-tuned.3dcartstores.com/M-Tuned_c_60.html
/\ Those guys always have group buys on rods, but I think they're out of stock right now.

If you scroll down on the mt.net homepage, under classifieds you will see "Official Miata Turbo Vendors". That's where you can find any part you need for your engine build.

Good luck!
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Old 11-06-2011, 07:35 PM   #9
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Has anyone figured out why this is yet? I remember hustler made a thread about something like this ( I think) and nobody knew for sure.
We know it is true because the pistons do not come up into the head like the "99s do, but we have not yet found anyone to calculate the actual number.
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Old 11-07-2011, 05:43 PM   #10
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Well, looks like I found a recently rebuilt engine on Craigslist for $350. Hopefully I'll pick it up tomorrow.
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Old 04-28-2012, 03:44 PM   #11
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Alright - I gave up. Just couldn't find the time to do it myself - in addition my garage is really too small. So I had the Miata towed to a local shop (the guy usually works on boosted Hondas and such). He pulled the engine, pulled the head. The new block is in. but the old head had some bent valves, so I need to get that fixed. But, if everything goes OK, back on the road next week!
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