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Old 05-27-2016, 11:54 PM   #1
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Default Best year NA?

We got my fiancee a 90 Miata (weekend car) about 2.5~3 years ago, and I've driven it a pretty fair bit. She seldom lets me drive when we are together in it because she drives for a living, and apparently my driving scares her a little, (my daily driver is a 430 hp V8 S10 pickup, and I cut it NO SLACK, LOL). Anyhow, I've decided I want a Miata too, for my daily, saving the truck for towing the Drag car, and/or drag racing the truck as well. My questions are....what are the pros and cons of the different years of NAs. I know 94 and up had the 1.8, along with bigger brakes? Different differential? Definitely want the LSD! And some time along then, the 6 speed came out. How much heavier are the later NAs? When did the 6 speed come out? Is it a straight up swap with the 5 speed? Any difference in gearing? I'm not sure at this point whether I will stick with the 1.6~1.8 motor and turbo it, or perhaps some kind of engine swap, but the plan is to get a running, driving car first, then proceed with the mods in stages. Since I run an auto repair shop, and do engine swaps fairly often, it would be no big deal to do a V8 swap, but the Miata is such a well balanced car, I'd like to keep it that way, so any swap candidates will most likely need to be the same weight or lighter than the stock motor. The only V8 I've heard of that would accomplish that would be the all aluminum 5.3 LS, and truthfully, I think I'd prefer a turbo 4 or V6, just to be different and keep total weight down. Thanks for all info and suggestions!
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Old 05-28-2016, 12:03 AM   #2
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94 and up have the 1.8, larger brakes, and stronger diff.
94 blocks have a source for an oil feed line, but are otherwise the same.
6 speed was not available in NAs, and yes, they are geared quite differently.
They do swap easily.
Torsen diffs are available after 93. 6 speed NBs came with a 3.93 diff.
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Old 05-28-2016, 03:43 AM   #3
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Lots of questions easily answered by some reading, but Monk had pity.

I love it when people say they want to avoid LS swaps because they want to be different.
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Old 05-28-2016, 07:22 AM   #4
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Yeah, I've been feeling extra friendly lately.
OP, if you really do want a v8 or v6 swap, LSx or LFX are the best options.
Personally, I think the lfx is actually the better swap.
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Old 05-28-2016, 08:36 AM   #5
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Quote:
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Lots of questions easily answered by some reading, but Monk had pity.

I love it when people say they want to avoid LS swaps because they want to be different.
Thanks Monk! I did a fair bit of reading, but didn't find the info I was looking for. I would have though it would be very easy to find. If you go to the v8 s10 site I moderate and admin on, you can find this kind of info in literally seconds. I meant different than my truck, it goes 12.20s on street radials, and gets about 17 mpg. I love the way the Miata handles, I just want a little more power. I'm shopping for one right now, so this info will come in handy very soon.
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Old 05-28-2016, 08:47 AM   #6
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I have a v8 mini truck too.
The miata is its polar opposite.
If you just want a bit more power for the street, consider going down the traditional path of installing a megasquirt and then a Fly in Miata turbo kit.
You'll be money ahead in the long run compared to just about any swap.
In my opinion, engine swaps in miatas make the most sense in dedicated track cars.
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Old 05-28-2016, 10:53 AM   #7
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Surprisingly, my truck handles very well for a truck, actually, it does everything pretty well, but I can't seem to drive it without wanting to lay rubber everywhere. The Miata should get me away from that. My race car is a twin turbo small block Vega ([email protected] mph so far), so I'm a little familiar with boost. Not so much with MS and programming, although I look forward to learning, the principles are the same as diagnosing and repairing OEM EFI systems, but with MUCH more control of what happens, and when.
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Old 05-31-2016, 10:31 PM   #8
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There's some pretty good info here on weights and changes over the Years.
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Old 06-01-2016, 02:32 PM   #9
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Honestly, I'd save the cash for an NB2. They are getting way down in price with the NDs out now. Even early NCs are getting very cheap.
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Old 06-01-2016, 02:54 PM   #10
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Best NA is the 94. 95 is 99% as good. Best NBs are the 2001/2002s, same car except for some changes to the radio. 03+ NBs got the weaker T-F clutch diff, 99-00s have worse interiors and no projector beam headlights.
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Old 06-01-2016, 03:11 PM   #11
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Expect over $15k for a v8 swap.
Over $10k for a k or lfx swap.
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Old 06-01-2016, 04:16 PM   #12
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Quote:
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Over $10k for a k swap.
We are well under that figure right now on our build. Including all the bells and whistles, $9k tops.
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Old 06-01-2016, 05:19 PM   #13
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Maybe ignoring scope creep. But if you start with an NA you're gonna be looking for a 6 speed, cleaning stuff up, etc.
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Old 06-01-2016, 05:28 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aidandj View Post
Maybe ignoring scope creep. But if you start with an NA you're gonna be looking for a 6 speed, cleaning stuff up, etc.
No, not ignoring scope creep. I'm literally building one right now, remember?
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Old 06-01-2016, 06:07 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aidandj View Post
Maybe ignoring scope creep. But if you start with an NA you're gonna be looking for a 6 speed, cleaning stuff up, etc.
Not to mention looking for wiring.
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Old 06-01-2016, 06:53 PM   #16
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It can be done for less. You are proving that. But you aren't the average miata noob.
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Old 06-01-2016, 07:11 PM   #17
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Guys, $9k really is an all-inclusive number.

$3700 KMiata swap kit
$1200 K24A2
$500 RSX VTC gear, K20 oil pump, OEM tensioner
$700 intake manifold+throttle body
$600 header
$400 clutch
$300 OEM Honda engine/charge harnesses (brand new)
$450 KTuner
$300 radiator

$8150 leaves you plenty of leftovers to sort out the intake, cooling hoses and exhaust. On the NA, you need to add $200 for a modified valve cover and $150 for an aftermarket fuel pressure regulator/fittings. It's not as expensive as you make it out to be. It's not as if we're skimping on parts, either - you could use a higher-mileage and/or less desirable motor, you could do without the RSX gear, you could do an S2000 manifold instead of the Skunk2 parts, you could start with a used engine harness, and you could use a less expensive clutch and radiator.
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Old 06-01-2016, 07:13 PM   #18
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oh what do you know, it's not like you bui......................oh wait
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Old 06-01-2016, 07:14 PM   #19
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$9K vs. $10K is really the same number when talking about big car projects. One man's opinion. I think you're both saying the same thing.
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Old 06-01-2016, 07:17 PM   #20
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potato vs pohtahtoe, SAD vs SAV
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