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Old 02-01-2010, 09:08 PM   #1
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Default New Here! Justin in Texas. Bulding a Turbo Miata.

Hello Everyone,

I am kind of glad I found this site. I hope to learn much and contribute just as much. But first, a little about myself...

My name is Justin. I live just north of Dallas and run a business of my own in the Dallas area. I am 31 and have had a wrench in my hand almost all of my life. Cars are my addiction. I am from a family of drag racers and am kind of the odd ball since I have ventured out into road racing and rally racing. I have a lovely wife of 5 years and two wonderful kids, 6 year old girl and 15 month old boy.

I have had a number of cars, dozens, over the years and picked the Miata to originally build a Spec Miata and get into more "Pro" road racing. After finding out the SM class is all F'ed up with cheaters and it is nowhere close to the spec class it is supose to be I decided to do what I would really like to do with the car and that is make it FAST!!!. I was worried the damn 115 hp car would be way too slow for me anyway.

This is where I wont fit in with most of you guys. I am almost sure that all of you are sticking with the Mazda engine typically found in one generation of the Miata or another. I have chosen to take a different path. NO! I am not shoving a big domestic V8 into it this cool little import car. Although I respect those who decide to do such, I would rather stick with an import package and go with somethign that nobody has done before.

So, my power plant may be different that all of you on this site but, I will still have a turbo four cylinder in a Miata. So, just about everything else will be the same. I will have to deal with all the same issues you all have been trying to figure out, or already figured out. I hope to work along side you all in figuring out what works best on the rest of the car when getting a good amount of power from a turbo charged power plant in a Mazda Miata.

Sorry for being a bit long. Thought I would get some of this pout of the way so you can all know a little about me and my build. I look forward to talking to you all.

Thank You,

Justin
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Old 02-01-2010, 09:23 PM   #2
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Welcome....So what turbo 4 cyl are you planning to put in?
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Old 02-02-2010, 02:44 AM   #3
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Cut to the chase bucko.



Welcome.
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Old 02-02-2010, 02:56 AM   #4
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why would you stick any other motor in it. These motors where made for boost. They will jack up hondas. You should let Trey give you a ride before you do all the work.
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Old 02-02-2010, 11:40 AM   #5
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Welcome. Stick with the mazda engine. People cheat in every form of racing, SM has less cheating that most, but it is still there. You will never get away from that. It is as close as you will get to spec racing.

Get ahold of several turbo people in the area and go from there before you make your decision to pull the mazda motor like Todd said.
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Old 02-02-2010, 11:45 AM   #6
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Yeah, mentioning what drivetrain I plan to use would have been nice.

Todd, I plan to go with something else because I am not looking to kill Hondas. I am noy going rabbit hunting. I plan to go elephant hunting. I also see all the money that is spent on the stock engines to get 250-400 hp out of them and just cant justify that kind of cost when I know I can do with with another platform for less and feel like I can make it more reliably. This is the part where I know I will get flamed since I know you are true blue Miata guys.

I plan on building a Mitsubishi 4G63 or 4G64 DOHC Turbo motor with at least 500 hp to start with. Figure out how well the car can handle that much before pushing any more. Since these motors are very capable of putting out over 1000 hp and can be very street'able with the power like I am desiring I see it as a great choice. Also, since they came in RWD set-ups it makes mounting it into the car pretty easy.

As for the transmission, I can go with a number of choices. There are some RWD transmissions that will bolt right up to the Mitsubishi engine like the Mighty Max tranny, the Mazda Pick-up tranny (since some Mazda trucks came with Mitsubishi Engines), or with a simple bell housing swap a RX-7 transmission. The problem with all of these choices is that they have been proven to be weak past 400-450 hp or so. I am in luck. There is a company that makes bell housings to bolt up a number of transmissions to the 4G6X engines. Power Glides, TH350, and a couple of various Toyota transmissions just for example. And for a very reasonable price too. I am going to go with famous 6 speed Toyota Supra transmission. I know it can handle the power and has some wonderful gearing for the desired output of this project.

I plan on going with the AWR wide body kit to get some more rubber under the car. I like because it looks pretty much like a stock car, but bigger. I need to figure out a couple of things such as suspension, rear end, and various other stuff. I have the car stripped down and installing the roll cage and prepping for paint. I really hope to learn plenty from you guys though, like what suspension, and other components, seem to be working well and seem to handle the higher amounts of power. This isnt meant to be a quick car down the 1/4 mile, although I am sure it will see the drag strip, but more of a road race/street monster that will be fun to drive, able to kick the pants off of almost any other RWD car I will pull up next to on the street, and to be a complete one of a kind. I have some other ideas for the Miata platform but I decided to go this route and hope to have a lot of fun doing it.
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Old 02-02-2010, 01:22 PM   #7
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If you are successful, I want a ride. 500hp in a miata is chaos, 250hp is still chaos.

You said you can't justify the money spent to achieve 250whp, but you want all this other stuff (AWR,500hp) which is going to cost alot more in the end. I would expect atleast 15k-20k to do your project, considering you are going to be upgrading every system on the car.

What's your background? Racing experience ETC
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Old 02-02-2010, 01:47 PM   #8
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Welcome.

If you're looking for a capable swap that's cheap and worth it (double BP headroom) try the FE3. Otherwise I'd save up for an LS1 or stick with what you've got.

Much more power than that is useless in a Miata anyhow.
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Old 02-02-2010, 03:07 PM   #9
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Bond, you may be right. I may end up spending more but not all on the motor. I have a lot of the stuff already to put the motor together. I am a long time DSM'er so I have parts just laying around. Plus, I can justify it when I will have so much more car and something nobody has ever built before.

gospeed, What you are saying is exactly why I want to do this build. I am not going with this because its easy. I am also not looking to just shove a big V8 in there either. I know the LS1 package is a very nice way to go but just not the path I wish to take. I am not looking to jsut copy what someone else has done. That isnt the kind of projects I like to take on.

As for it being too much power for a Miata, that is why I know I will need much better suspension, bigger brakes, a larger rear end and much more rubber in the fender wells. Consider an 800+ hp Cobra. They are light weight, handle well, and have tons of power. The trick is making it all work together so it is manageable.

Bond, I am forklift technician by trade. I run my own business these days providing "in house" forklift maintenance and repair to production and warehouse facilities. I have grown up around drag racing. My father builds race engines and rail cars as a side business. He makes his living in the forklift industry as well. My racing history has including working at a couple of performance shops and working on race crews as well. I have been crew chief for an Modified Class Import Drag team and an Open Class Rally Car team. I really enjoy road racing but have never really got into it. I got the Miata to go SM with but after fears of it being too slow for my liking and concerned about the ability to truly be a top contender in such a massive class that seems like it is getting further and further from affordable or being spec I decided to just build the car the way I would really like to and find a class I can run it in. I may later focus on another spec class to get into but if I am going to spend the kind of money SM would require there are other/better classes to get into (in my opinion).
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Old 02-02-2010, 09:26 PM   #10
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Welcome! Looking for pics....
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Old 02-02-2010, 09:52 PM   #11
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quit talking and start swapping!
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Old 02-02-2010, 10:17 PM   #12
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Turbo,

I've always wondered why no one has done the 4G63/4G64 swap into the Miata; figured it was due to the lack of a bell housing to mate to a RWD transmission. Can you post the link for the bell housing/adapter? I agree that it is going to be a easier to get big power out of a 4G63 than the FE3. The other advantage is that if you use the Evo VIII or IX engine harness/ECU you have all the thousands of hours of EcuFlash development at your fingertips (Tehpra mod, 2 byte load logging, JDM map sensor, enhanced electronic boost control, No Lift to Shift, valet mode, Tehpra mod cockpit switchable dual maps (premium gas/E85), etc). Good luck with your project!
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Old 02-02-2010, 11:37 PM   #13
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Rex, all you would see now is a stripped down car and a partial roll cage. But, I will keep track of things as I go. I should start a project progress topic once things really start coming together.

WonTon, Now thats what I am talking about! I was actually at the shop earlier tonight. Didnt touch the Miata though. Was messing with the old Talon project some. Its just been too damn cold for the Texan to get anything done lately.

sn95, I too have wondered, especially with all the other 4G swaps that have been done. You have to know that there are RWD set-ups for them when the Conquest and Starions have been doing 4G63 swaps for years. Also, Buschur and Rau have been running various trannies behind RWD 4g power cars as well. Mitsubishi was actually the first to put a 4G motor in a RWD platform though. They also put these engines in such things as forklifts and bobcats. There so many different oil filter housings, front covers, engine mount brackets and all kinds of other parts that making a 4G fit into just about anything possible with little hassle. To study more on RWD 4G63 swaps check out :: Project Zero G ::

As for going with the EVO ecu, I will pass. There has been great debate what actual gains you will get from the extra cost of swapping to the EVO set-up over going with DSM Link v3. I personally will be going with v3. If I decide I need more than that then I will go ahead and spend the money to go with a Haltech or Motec. I prefer Motec and have good experience using such to get about 1100 hp from a 4G63 with it myself. But, you have pointed out a good point by suggesting that. That there are so many options and proven ways to get massive amounts of reliable power from a 4G6X. Its that DAMN fragile AWD transmission thats sits next to the motor in a DSM that leaves you sitting at the starting line, in my experience anyway.
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Old 02-03-2010, 12:15 AM   #14
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I'd guess that you will want to look at the Ford 8.8 IRS rear end for that swap/power.

Parts are cheap, you can DIY the swap. Axles will be pricey, though. The ones that I am using for my V8 car are good for about 450 whp. They are $110 per side. To go to the upgraded ones for 800whp you are looking at about $1800 for the set.
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Old 02-03-2010, 03:13 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stein View Post
I'd guess that you will want to look at the Ford 8.8 IRS rear end for that swap/power.

Parts are cheap, you can DIY the swap. Axles will be pricey, though. The ones that I am using for my V8 car are good for about 450 whp. They are $110 per side. To go to the upgraded ones for 800whp you are looking at about $1800 for the set.
Stein,

Where are you sourcing your axles at $110/side? Are you using 28 or 31 splines at the diff end? I assume that you are still using the stock Miata hubs; swapping out the Miata hubs is where it seems the swap gets expensive . This would actually work me, I can get a boneyard 7.5" Tbird IRS or 8.8" MKVIII IRS for less than the cost of getting a Torsen or Hi strength LSD. 7.5 and 8.8" Traction Loks are always available cheap on Ebay and set of Ford 3.73 gears is cheaper and easier to find then Mazda 3.63 gears.
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Old 02-03-2010, 08:42 AM   #16
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I never understood why a drivetrain part would be rated in HP instead of TQ....
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Old 02-03-2010, 09:51 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sn95 View Post
Stein,

Where are you sourcing your axles at $110/side? Are you using 28 or 31 splines at the diff end? I assume that you are still using the stock Miata hubs; swapping out the Miata hubs is where it seems the swap gets expensive . This would actually work me, I can get a boneyard 7.5" Tbird IRS or 8.8" MKVIII IRS for less than the cost of getting a Torsen or Hi strength LSD. 7.5 and 8.8" Traction Loks are always available cheap on Ebay and set of Ford 3.73 gears is cheaper and easier to find then Mazda 3.63 gears.
Axles and CV's come from Factory Five Racing for their Cobra kits. They are 28 spline, axles are shortened to fit. They are designed to work with the 8.8.

You have to broach the Miata hubs to accept the Ford spline. There is enough meat to do so. Mine are at Mark Williams right now being broached. Price is $60 + $50 setup. A couple of us got together and sent three sets so we are splitting the setup.

I also am dropping my diff off today at lunch to have a new set of 3.73's and a Traction Lok installed.

Here's a huge thread that covers pretty much everthing, including contact info and part numbers.

8.8 rear end conversion axle measurements - MX-5 Miata Forum
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Old 02-03-2010, 10:08 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stein View Post
Axles and CV's come from Factory Five Racing for their Cobra kits. They are 28 spline, axles are shortened to fit. They are designed to work with the 8.8.

You have to broach the Miata hubs to accept the Ford spline. There is enough meat to do so. Mine are at Mark Williams right now being broached. Price is $60 + $50 setup. A couple of us got together and sent three sets so we are splitting the setup.

I also am dropping my diff off today at lunch to have a new set of 3.73's and a Traction Lok installed.

Here's a huge thread that covers pretty much everthing, including contact info and part numbers.

8.8 rear end conversion axle measurements - MX-5 Miata Forum
Wow! Thanks for the info on the 8.8 conversion! The pricing on that is really good!
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Old 02-03-2010, 01:56 PM   #19
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Thanks for the info. I was talking to a bud of mine about this yesterday actually. We were talking about what it would take to make somethign we already have sitting around work and which one would be the best and/or easiest swap. We have three to choose from; 300ZX, R32Skyline, Turbo RX-7; but may have to just go outside of what I already have for a Ford set-up. There are a few driveshaft shops in the Dallas area that I have used to make customer, strong stuff for me in the past but if there are parts for reasonable pricing already out there that works well for what I am wanting to do then why not go that route. Of course the beauty of going with the Ford 8.8 is the fact that I can get gear sets in almost any ratio I desire.

As for transmission I think I may consider the Z28/Trans Am 6 speed along with the Supra gear box. Probably just depends on which one I can get for cheaper. Both are capable of doing what I want and bell housings and/or adapters are available for both.

Ok, time for me to go check out your link to the rear end conversion some more.

Thanks,
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Old 02-03-2010, 02:04 PM   #20
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You can build a t56 with guts rated at 800hp for $700. Some guy in Keller does it, he built us one for our z28 before we sold it.
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