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Old 03-17-2011, 05:59 PM   #1
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Default Question on engine builds and swaps

Hey guys new here but not new to forums.

I just picked up a 1990 to build into a track car and am currently working on building out the mod list for it. My plan is to get the chassis sorted (weight reduction, seats, roll bar, suspension, ect) and then move into power. So thats why Im here as Im trying to build out a plan for power in the mean time so I do it right the first time around.

I have been reading and reading and searching and searching and it seems like there are a million ways to go with the engine stuff on these cars.

Common swaps seem to be:

1.6L to 94-98 1.8L

1.6L to 99-2000 1.8L

1.6L to 2001+ 1.8L (adds VVT)

I have also noticed a hybrid of the 94-98 1.8L with the 99 or 2000 head on it as the head is suppose to flow better and combined with the lower compression of the older 1.8L (9.0:1) makes a good base for a FI car.

Also from what I read it seems impossible to make over 200whp on a car with stock ECU or Piggyback (must go stand alone) as well as race gas, plus its ultra expensive.

So here is what Im thinking and point me in the right direction if Im totally wrong on this:

94-98 Block and/or 99-2000 block with lower compression pistons
99-2000 Head
Kraftworks S/C

Goals 200-250 whp with stock ecu (reflashed) or piggy back on 91 oct.

I know cooling system and exhaust will have to be updated. Also will the 6-speed from the 99+ motor fit on the block of the 94-98 motor?

Cheers
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Old 03-17-2011, 06:10 PM   #2
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Reflashed stock ecu? How do you plan on accomplishing that?
Get a real ecu, using piggybacks on a track car is just gay.
Otherwise not bad, though I'd do forged pistons/rods since its a track car.
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Old 03-17-2011, 06:33 PM   #3
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Reflashed stock ecu? How do you plan on accomplishing that?
Get a real ecu, using piggybacks on a track car is just gay.
Otherwise not bad, though I'd do forged pistons/rods since its a track car.
Didnt know if you can do reflashes on the stock ecu or not but I prefer them. I have a close friend who works for a big tuner out of Japan and they only do ROM tuning no stand alones. Their belief and I agree, is that stand alones only have a few maps (say 3) where the stock ECU has hundreds and when you Rom tune the ECU can adjust based on the conditions from all those available maps.

Im not a tuner so something like that makes more sense for me. I dont want to be dealing with data logging and coming in to the pits and making adjustments based on per track per elevation and climate changes.

If ROM tunes are not available on the miata like on my old EVO IX then I will just go piggyback as they still retain some of that.
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Old 03-17-2011, 06:41 PM   #4
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1) our ecu's were made 10-20 years ago. They don't have 100's of maps. they are not programeable without re-soldering and adding that feature, and even then its pretty much limited to raising rev limiter and super small things like that. Not a whole re-map that takes controll of all fueling/timing parameters.
2) evo9 ecu has 4 fuel maps and 2 spark maps and then a bunch of compensations and enrichments and safety features. an EMS has all that too.
3) good luck with piggy backs. They are good for nothing better than an underpowered rarely pushed street car. running piggybacks in a built race car is just silly.
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Old 03-17-2011, 06:42 PM   #5
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I think begi just announced that they can do reflashes, but up until very recently the miata ecu was basically locked. For a track car, you should be using a full standalone, either a ms2/ms3 or AEM. You are going to want the on the fly adjustability. And you will want to use e85 or race gas for a track car.

The three main ways of getting a solid miata track car are:
1. vvt built motor, naturally aspirated, about 160 horsepower. This is the most reliable setup, less heat, less parts, less fast :(.

2. Absurdflow turbo setup with built low compression motor. Less reliable, more expensive, need to get either all v-band parts or inconel studs. Cooling system needs to be top notch, positive is a lot more horsepower, savington now has pretty reliable 350 hp beast.

3. Rotrex kit, new to the miata track car list, There are a couple guys here running them, not positive who. These are supposed to generate less heat than a turbo, meaning better reliability, they still need a great cooling system like the turbo, and I'm not positive what are reasonable horsepower numbers for them, I think around 250-300 based on which unit you get.

For your 200-250 goals, I think the rotrex sounds great. Put a good amount of money into the cooling system, get a built block with a good flowing head, put some money into chassis stiffness, and slap some xidas on there
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Old 03-17-2011, 06:46 PM   #6
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The Begi reflash still uses a xede to make the important adjustments in fuel and spark. I suppose that's considered reflash+piggyback which is technically what OP is looking for but IMO it still falls short of something like AEM/hydra/ms3/adaptronic.

Its just not the same type of ecu as an evo9 or subaru with fully developed open source tuning and logging.
There's a reason NONE of us have a reflashed ecu.

On another note: the few running Rotrex' all seem to be very happy with them
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Old 03-17-2011, 06:50 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Vegas_Sirk View Post
...Also will the 6-speed from the 99+ motor fit on the block of the 94-98 motor?...
Look at my sig.

There is a reason Mazda owners replace their ecu's, the newer (NC 06+) miatas are reflashable but the older ones can only have the rom chip changed. Having to get a new chip every time you change anything doesn't sound fun to me.

If you really want a chipped ecu Miata.net has discussions on chipping your ecu and vendors who will do it.
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Old 03-17-2011, 07:00 PM   #8
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Look at my sig.

There is a reason Mazda owners replace their ecu's, the newer (NC 06+) miatas are reflashable but the older ones can only have the rom chip changed. Having to get a new chip every time you change anything doesn't sound fun to me.

If you really want a chipped ecu Miata.net has discussions on chipping your ecu and vendors who will do it.
ah I didnt think about the ECUs being 20 years old. I was just hoping for being able to do something similar to what EVOs , STis, 350Zs are all doing with reflashes.

You can run the NC ecu on the older motors?

I guess from what you guys are saying a AEM EMS might be easiest as I could keep the stock wiring and just have it tunned.
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Old 03-17-2011, 07:03 PM   #9
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you can run aem, adaptronic, megasquirt, hydra, etc etc etc.
For your year miata there are a LOT of plug and play options.

Plug in.
Tune.
Done.
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Old 03-17-2011, 07:07 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vegas_Sirk View Post
You can run the NC ecu on the older motors?
That's not what I said, NC's can use NC ecu's not the other cars

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vegas_Sirk View Post
I guess from what you guys are saying a AEM EMS might be easiest as I could keep the stock wiring and just have it tunned.
Look into all the options for your year of car before deciding. A diy pnp ms2 would work with your proposed setup, be cheapish and use stock unmodified ecu connectors.
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Old 03-17-2011, 07:22 PM   #11
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Ok cool. Thanks guys for all the feedback.

One other question with the 97 block 99 head what install kit would I buy from FM the 99+ or the 94-97?
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