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Old 06-22-2008, 05:48 AM   #1
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Default engine replacement question!

Hey guys, wanted to get some opinions once again if I could. So I found a 99 miata for sale that looks fantastic, its a 99, clean title, dark green with tan interior, lip kit, very clean, and mainly: its for a cheap price. There's 1 thing wrong with it: engine is shot. Dunno how or what, but its not working, so Id be buying a car that needs a new engine or possibly just new block.

Now for the question: how much money is usually invested into a block or possibly whole engine replacement for a 99? im not talking about bare bones block (searched that and know), but whatever seals, gaskets, misc other **** that would go into a project like this and how much time it takes. Im fairly good at wrenching, have tools and everything, swapped engines and transmissions before so its not like im completely noob at this.

Also what pricing will i be looking at?
Any advise/experience's shared woud be great. If its not too hard or expensive (or tough to find) this would be a SWEET deal since the car is being sold for a good price. thanx
-Vlad
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Old 06-22-2008, 11:43 AM   #2
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You could use any 1.8 short block with that '99 if it was something like rods or rings. I don't think it would have the hole drilled and tapped for the knock sensor but that is something you could work around.

I would expect a rebuild to cost around, I really don't know so you need to do a search it's been discussed alot on here by samnavy and a couple others. Maybe $400 for all new rings, seals, gaskets, WP, timing belt. Plus a rehone.

How much is the car, I can atleast confer with you on wether or not it's a good price.
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Old 06-22-2008, 12:34 PM   #3
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A decent rebuild kit by one of the major companies was in the $350-$400 range. "Topline" was one that came up often. That price includes everything for the motor except a crank, rods, and valvetrain. There were options on most of the kits for upgraded rings as well. Usually there will also be extra options like a "water pump/oil pump/timing belt kit" that were prices like what you'd find at NAPA.

My research led me to create this thread:
https://www.miataturbo.net/forum/showthread.php?t=15045

I am no longer planning a 1.6 build, but rather am going to sell my current car and purchase a '99 and do it right from the ground up in a year or so.

Labor charges are major factor which is why choosing a shop is so important.

In the end, I found that a "mild" engine is going to run you about $2500.
Stock coated pistons
Belfab rods
Engine rebuild kit
Minor head-work
WaterPump/Timing Belt
ARP Head/Main studs
Tank/Hone block... etc...

Since then, it seems like ceramic coating exhaust valves and adjustable cam-gears is a good idea. You can go bat-**** crazy saying "just another $150 and I'm set".

There's a fairly popular online company that has a one-stop-shopping website for BP engine rebuild components with decent prices (can't remember the name) that I am seriously going to look into.

My biggest learning experience is the possible pain associated with forged pistons and the benefit/cost ratio. A no-knock tune and ceramic coated stock pistons will do 300whp for a long time. Forged pistons are nice, but they'll be over 1/3 of your parts budget if you get them. I believe Mazda OEM pistons are Hyperuetectic... and most of the rebuild kits use cast pistons. I'd be sure to get the stronger Hypereutectic ones and coat them if you go that route.

But what you really need to do it find out exactly what it wrong with that motor and go from there.
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Old 06-22-2008, 04:56 PM   #4
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wow guys, THANX ALOT!!! Sam your post (and thread in link) pretty much lays it all out for me completely and answers all questions.

for what its worth, the car is for sale for 4k. it has about 50k miles on it and looks great. everything looks taken care of and what not. so say i add to that sams "mild" engine build for around 2500, ill have a clean as miata with a stronger engine for 6500, which leaves a couple grand for a diy put together turbo kit, 1k for suspension (i dont plan on getting crazy with that, just a low stance with somewhat decent ride quality) and im set
ima call the guy on monday
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Old 06-22-2008, 08:29 PM   #5
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I'd do some of your own homework first. That's what I found by doing my homework in Virginia and it was some time ago. Before you commit to buying a car that needs an engine rebuild, I'd find myself a shop and make some friends. You may find out that things are considerably more expensive for your particular needs. But I'd REALLY find out exactly what is wrong with the car first.

Where in Cali do you live?
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Old 06-22-2008, 08:48 PM   #6
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im in nor-cal. sacramento to be specific. the thing is, my buddy owns 3 shops, a body shop, a frame/collision/welding shop, and an engine/transmission shop, where he has 2 guys working for him replacing/fixing engines and what not. if anything i will always have a really good hook up to any tools i will need, a lift, compressor, and pretty much anything to do anything with a miata. i DEFINITELY plan on getting as much info on this car as possible before i buy, of course im not just going to purchase it out of the blue. i just really wanted a rough estimate of what kind of figures im looking at with something like this, which is why i found your post very helpful
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Old 06-22-2008, 09:42 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 18psi View Post
for what its worth, the car is for sale for 4k.
Sounds on the high side to me...with a fried engine.
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Old 06-22-2008, 09:45 PM   #8
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really? hmm, in that case I will see if i can negotiate to a lower price, say 3k. but only after fully inspecting the car of course
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Old 06-23-2008, 05:42 PM   #9
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If all else is good and you only need to rebuild the block $4000 is a good price. Still do try to neg. down to $3000 or so, it would be stupid to just pay up and not try.
If there are more thing screwed up, walk away, but a clear title NB with only blown motor and all else in great condition, I'd pay $4000 esp. with 50K on the clock.

How much time do you have to rebuild the motor? Do you need this car as a DD?
A rebuild could take some time, you know that...

I would go with ETD/Belfab rods and get some pistons out of a 94-97 car to get the 8.8CR and have them tri-coated, I considered these guys but decided to go local to save a few bucks.
Get some new rings, I still don't know which ones I will go with, I am looking for an option that's better than OEM, maybe molly rings or Ross, I will decide after I talk to my machinist.
Get the most reputable shop to do your block and crank work and to tell you what size bearings to get, for oem bearing go to mazdacomp, for better bearings go with Calico.
Get all your seals and gaskets through mazda comp, order it all at once so you don't pay shipping more than once. It is all OEM stuff, that's the only reason I'm buying from them instead discount parts stores who maybe a little cheaper, but you are left wondering about quality.
Good luck in your build, I hope you go through with this deal and let us all know how much you were able to talk him down (Russians are good at negotiating, so don't let me down).
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