Price check on a 03 long block with A/T, or a 97 long block only - Miata Turbo Forum - Boost cars, acquire cats.

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Old 02-19-2015, 07:36 PM   #1
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Default Price check on a 03 long block with A/T, or a 97 long block only

I can snag a 1.8, 154k miles, from a wrecked 97 for 500; or a 1.8, 120k miles, from an 03 (with an A/T) for 500-600. The purpse of this would be to refresh the shortblock, install forged rods, possibly 9:1 pistons, and trade the head in for a core on a noncompliant spec miata head. Then my begi s3 goes on it and into the car.

If I got 97, I'm pretty sure the pistons can stay, but the head is worth $200 less as a core. If I go with the 03, then new pistons are a must to maintain a lower CR, but the head is more valuable. I know the owner of the 97 and know the motor is sound, I do not know the owner of the 03, nor the internal condition of the engine but I'm told it's good, no reason at this point to discredit that.

Can I get a little direction on this? I know it's not the deal of the century, but it's what is available to me at this time. I'm not in a rush, per say, but I would like to have a replacement engine in line. My current motor is at 156k miles, is starting to go thru a quart of oil every tank of gas (leaking front and rear, and probably burning), and I'm at about 260 whp so I would say I'm on borrowed time...

Thanks,

Andy
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Old 02-19-2015, 08:00 PM   #2
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If you get the '03, you'll also have the expense of controlling the VVT (assuming you trade for a ported '03 head).

If this were normally aspirated, it would be an easy decision. With the turbo, not so much. Can you talk down the '97 some based upon the availability of the '03?
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Old 02-19-2015, 08:24 PM   #3
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Actually, the head I will be getting is a 99-00 head.

and I may be able to get him down a little bit (maybe 400-450), on the 97.

I know, I can't quite come to a decision...
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Old 02-19-2015, 08:25 PM   #4
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If I were offered an '01 block with a '99 head for $500, I would buy it sight unseen and irrespective of mileage. The head alone is worth about $400.
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Old 02-19-2015, 08:29 PM   #5
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I'm sorry, maybe I was a little unclear:

complete 03, 120k miles, with an A/T, $500-600

vs

complete 97, 154k miles, no trans, $500

trade in either head for core on a 99 spec head (pay 700 if it is the 97 head, or 500 if its the 03 head)

assemble with forged internals.

win?

Last edited by Mech5700; 02-19-2015 at 08:51 PM.
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Old 02-24-2015, 01:38 AM   #6
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I would drop the 03 if compression and leak down are good with it'S head or NB1 head if you have one else just run witout VVT but your MS3 should handle it...

Plan your build, get your parts, found a good shop and machinist and when ready (down time) do it wisely.
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