Serious discussion on the LS1 swap. - Page 7 - Miata Turbo Forum - Boost cars, acquire cats.

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Old 09-22-2009, 02:07 PM   #121
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Originally Posted by JayL View Post

A few things that I don't like is that I started my turbo build before I looked into the swap option, the price for a fully built LSx is very high and I would rather drop one into an RX7 instead of a Miata. Actually these are more likely excuses that I am telling myself so I don't try this in my current Miata.
You know, it's funny, I've often considered an FD/LSx swap. However, once you get into an FD shell you lose many of the benefits of having a Miata shell- mostly that if you wad it up at the track, you're out some bucks, and it's harder to come by junkyard replacement panels, as well as the little goofy replacement parts that can become surprisingly expensive with enough time. Plus, the FD has clearance for more rubber.

Then again, the FD has, for me, the massive benefit that it's not a convertible. I hate convertibles. Which leads to my next comment on the LSx swap- does anybody know of one with functioning air conditioning? If I were to do the swap, it wouldn't be for a track rat- even if I kept the cost down to a "mere" $10,000 or so, I simply can't afford to track something like that as the vehicle's only purpose. While it certainly wouldn't be a daily driver, I'd want it to be something that I could hop in and drive out on vacation or whatever. I already have a Miata without air conditioning, power steering or a radio, if I could afford the luxury of a track rat, that'd be it.

This is where I swing toward the "just buy a used 'vette" side of things. The 'vette has more luggage space, modern creature comforts and the like. Yeah, it's not nearly as badass as a V8 Miata, nor does it provide me with the opportunity for another project, but it does get me all the things I'm looking for in a performance/touring type car with well sorted-out functionality.

Of course I don't think that a turbo Miata that I'd build would come close to the ultimate track performance of an LSx Miata that I could build, but then the question is whether I'd ever USE all that performance, and the answer is "dude, you're a shitty driver, deal with it."

So I guess these rambling musings are just aimed at the fact that while I don't think it's possible to match the raw performance of an LSx Miata, and while it would be AWESOME to build one, it may not result in the car I'm looking for. So basically I think I need to buy a used 'vette and convince a friend/relative/neighbor that they want an LSx Miata, so that I can build it at their expense, and drive it occasionally. Best of both worlds.

So who has a big bank account?


Edit- The "engine swaps are sacrilegious" people, in the Miata community and otherwise, just make me want to do crazy engine swaps for the hell of it. I'd put a flathead Lincoln motor in a Miata, I'd put a diesel engine in a Corvette. Just to **** off the fanbois.
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Old 09-22-2009, 02:10 PM   #122
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Originally Posted by gospeed81 View Post
^^^THIS

A turbo Miata makes sense...and so does an LSx powered FD.

Having both makes even more sense.
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Old 09-22-2009, 02:23 PM   #123
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Is there actually anyone out there currently running an LSx Miata on the track besides FM? I am really curious about the lap times and if any of the little LSx track day problems occur when used in a Miata?
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Old 09-22-2009, 02:55 PM   #124
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Originally Posted by the_man View Post
Then again, the FD has, for me, the massive benefit that it's not a convertible. I hate convertibles.
At the risk of thread-jacking: wow. Could not disagree more. When I bought my current car in '03, the fact that it was a Miata was somewhat of a secondary consideration. Its immediate predecessors had been an '87 Celica convertible, a '91 Metro convertible, and a '71 Beetle convertible. Sense a trend here? Small, cheap, and ragtop were really my only criteria. The fact that I landed with a Miata as opposed to, say, a Capri or an Eclipse, was pretty much just luck of the draw.

Obviously I've grown to appreciate the car's other positive traits, but I honestly can't imagine myself ever buying a hardtop for use as a daily driver at this point.




Quote:
Edit- The "engine swaps are sacrilegious" people, in the Miata community and otherwise, just make me want to do crazy engine swaps for the hell of it. I'd put a flathead Lincoln motor in a Miata, I'd put a diesel engine in a Corvette. Just to **** off the fanbois.
Diesel engine in a 'Vette? Coming up:



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Old 09-22-2009, 02:58 PM   #125
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Originally Posted by Joe Perez View Post
At the risk of thread-jacking: wow. Could not disagree more. When I bought my current car in '03, the fact that it was a Miata was somewhat of a secondary consideration. Its immediate predecessors had been an '87 Celica convertible (red), a '91 Metro convertible (red), and a '71 Beetle convertible (not red, but it was in mint condition.) Sense a trend here? Small, cheap, and ragtop were really my only criteria. The fact that I landed with a Miata as opposed to, say, a Capri or an Eclipse, was pretty much just luck.

Obviously I've grown to appreciate the car's other positive traits, but I honestly can't imagine myself ever buying a hardtop for use as a daily driver at this point.
Meanwhile, I drive the Miata in spite of it being a convertible. Different strokes for different folks- just like turbo vs. V8 vs. ? - lots of it comes down to personal preference. It's cool.
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Old 09-22-2009, 03:08 PM   #126
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Originally Posted by JayL View Post
Is there actually anyone out there currently running an LSx Miata on the track besides FM?
I will be soon. I am setting it up now. No lap times to report yet though. There was a recent thread on m.n about a recent track day where bbundy had the Miata FTD in a turbo car. IIRC in that same thread Keith at FM was stating that the Miata V8 (at the same event) probably would have been as fast had it had a better driver in it. Apparently bbundy is pretty fast.

If the plan holds for TWS there will be several laps turned in my LS1 car so we will see how it does. If there is a Texas/OK club track where more power makes a difference, it is TWS (compared to Hallett, ECR, MSR-C, MSR-H, Oak Hill, H2R). Personally I will not be happy unless it runs AT LEAST sub 2:00 lap times.
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Old 09-22-2009, 03:20 PM   #127
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The only aluminium ford 5.0 blocks I'm aware of are aftermarket, like the dart blocks. When I was building my 88 Mustang GT I looked into aluminum blocks and it was just to much.
The aluminum fords are the new modular motors, typically the 4.6L and weigh around 425lbs. The 99-2002 cobras put out 320hp with the aluminum block. When they went supercharged in the cobra they went back to iron block. Lot's of cars had the aluminum block though with less hp than the cobra. Quick check used at car-parts and the cobra engines are $2500-3500.
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Old 09-22-2009, 03:22 PM   #128
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Originally Posted by JayL View Post
Is there actually anyone out there currently running an LSx Miata on the track besides FM? I am really curious about the lap times and if any of the little LSx track day problems occur when used in a Miata?
I know there is a local guy with an LS6 miata that is planning to hit Little Tally. I believe already tracked it there a few times, but can't find anything about it currently. IF i recall, he's on here also, goes by the screen name 4seven.
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Old 09-22-2009, 03:22 PM   #129
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Originally Posted by cueball1 View Post
The aluminum fords are the new modular motors, typically the 4.6L and weigh around 425lbs. The 99-2002 cobras put out 320hp with the aluminum block. When they went supercharged in the cobra they went back to iron block. Lot's of cars had the aluminum block though with less hp than the cobra. Quick check used at car-parts and the cobra engines are $2500-3500.
The modular V8s are HUGE though...not a good fit -if at all- in a Miata.

I had found a wrecked 4.6L with intact drivetrain for $1300 when I was pulling the blown 1.6L, and almost picked it up...until I saw a picked of a modular motor next to a standard 5.0L. Good god they're huge.
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Old 09-22-2009, 03:28 PM   #130
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Yeah I believe that is one of the main reasons why the 5.0 and the LSx motors are the swap of choice. Not only are they are relatively cheap and plentiful, and have gobs of relatively cheap bolt-ons, but they are 2-valve pushrod V8 engines. Thus the heads are small and the engines are more compact. A DOHC multi-valve head engine is typically a lot larger.

The consensus seems to be if you want to go cheap, and have a slightly easier build, get the 5.0/T-5 combo. If you want more power, and less weight (aluminum block) get the LSx/T-56 combo.
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Old 09-22-2009, 03:45 PM   #131
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Originally Posted by gospeed81 View Post
The modular V8s are HUGE though...not a good fit -if at all- in a Miata.

I had found a wrecked 4.6L with intact drivetrain for $1300 when I was pulling the blown 1.6L, and almost picked it up...until I saw a picked of a modular motor next to a standard 5.0L. Good god they're huge.
Hasn't there been a 4.6L NC done somewhere? Maybe?
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Old 09-22-2009, 03:52 PM   #132
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I'd venture to guess that the 4.6 is as wide as a Chevy big block.
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Old 09-22-2009, 04:08 PM   #133
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Wow, that's a lot of opinions.

I've done both, turbo 99 miata with 270hp, supercharged 99 Miata (twinscrew) with 300hp, smaller turbo on a '94 only at 171hp and now a '94 with the LS1 conversion.

I haven't had the LS1 on a track yet because of potential oil pressure problems that I want to solve first, but I've had it at 2 SCCA Divisionals in XP and done quite well even on crap suspension (well, crap shocks anyways)

We're talking about two different cars completely. This car can and will be a monster on the track once the oiling problem is fixed. If anyone assumes they can outrun this car on the track easily because of weight will be sorely mistaken. This car with stock interior and a LOT of dynamat still weighs just over 2400lbs (with a rollbar), and if i wanted to get it down to 2200#, it'd be way too easy. This car still maintains the usual miata balance, though it's at about 52/48 weight distribution. I used the V8R kit so that means the steering rack was not moved and steering retains it's same feel.

I built this car as a daily driver period, not to race. Yes, it will see a dragstrip every once in a while and i've already had it autocrossed a couple of times and it's a blast. The subframe and tranny mount with the framerails keep it nice and stiff. The diff has had no issues as of yet, though I *did* break a rear axle joint even though ti was rated at 400rwhp, (which i doubt, and am sure i'll break the other side soon if i continue running 275 Hoosier A6s back there).

The best part about this car is that it's easily tuneable as GM tuners are a dime a dozen and I don't have to worry about different tunes for different seasons (i always had issues with texas summer and texas winter cold startups). GM engine and drivetrain reliability is pretty rock solid.

The comments about "respect" etc. are silly. More respect from Mazda power just because of a turbo setup? Lame. If I walk past a Miata that has a turbo all I think of is, "Eh, another turbo Miata". But a V8 Miata? You don't see that often and I"ve had MANY more comments and compliments (most from the domestic community) about my LS1 Miata than any of my F1 Miatas.

When this car gets some real suspension slapped on it I'll take up any offer for a heads up wheel to wheel on a track (assuming the oiling issue is taken care of, too).

Dan
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Old 09-22-2009, 04:21 PM   #134
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Dan I hear from a fast guy I know running an LS1 in an RX7 chassis (with big Hoosiers) on road courses that he gets away with taking care of the oiling problem by running an extra quart over full at the track. So far so good. He also runs an oil cooler. Apparently an extra quart of oil and an oil cooler does the trick, at least for moderately grippy cars. What have you heard?

I am putting an oil cooler in mine, and may add an Accusump eventually. Though for now I am just going to run an extra quart and watch the oil pressure.
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Old 09-22-2009, 04:22 PM   #135
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Dan I hear from a fast guy running an LS1 in an RX7 chassis (with big Hoosiers) that he gets away with taking care of the oiling problem by running an extra quart over full at the track. So far so good. He also runs an oil cooler.

I am putting an oil cooler in mine, and may add an Accusump eventually. Though for now I am just going to run an extra quart and watch the oil pressure.
Yah, i figure i'm so deep $$$ into this, what's the cost of an Accusump that's probably the route I'm going. I do have an extra quart as well as a cooler mounted for now

d
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Old 09-22-2009, 04:28 PM   #136
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Yeah agreed. The Accusumps are not cheap, like $300, but still cheaper than a new motor, and a lot easier than an oil pan swap. My engine is mounted so low in the chassis I am not sure I could run a deeper sump anyway. It would have to be done with baffling only.
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Old 09-22-2009, 04:32 PM   #137
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Do you have to get an Accusump, or would it be better to convert to dry-sump? My understanding is that it's possible to retrofit an LS7 dry-sump system to any other LSx block relatively easily.
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Old 09-22-2009, 05:52 PM   #138
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I remember reading some discussion on that somewhere, either on m.n, corner-carvers, ls1tech, I forget. I think someone mentioned that the LS7 dry sump system was a POS but I have no idea why. An Accusump is really not very expensive and really simple; it is just an accumulator really. Seems like a dry-sump retrofit would cost more?
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Old 09-22-2009, 05:58 PM   #139
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I have no idea regarding the costs. And I understand that the Accusump would be better on a dry start, but again, I'm not *that* well versed in it, since I haven't really had a need to be. That's the first I've heard of the LS7 dry-sump system being a POS, but I'd be curious as to the reasoning if I can learn more about it.
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Old 09-22-2009, 06:16 PM   #140
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I would point you to the thread but I do not remember where it is. It might have been a similar discussion on m.n about tracking LSx Miatas.
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