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Old 02-11-2014, 12:27 PM   #1
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Default Swap VVT into NA, or just pickup an NB2?

After eating the 2nd 1.6 in the '90, it obviously needs a VVT engine.

I figure my realistic costs for a VVT swap are:
$1000 for an engine
$500 in exhaust (RB header and new test pipe)
$850-1000 for MS3 PnP
$500+ in random parts here and there like mount arms, IAT sensors, etc

Since I know **** always goes wrong, or unexpected issues crop up, $3500 is likely a realistic budget. However, then I'm still left with yet another junkyard engine.


It seems like you can pick up clean NB2s in the $5-6k range.

So now I'm thinking, pick up an NB2, swap over the XIDAs and Wilwoods, part out of the remaining bits of both cars and move on?
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Old 02-11-2014, 12:34 PM   #2
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Well if the goal is just n/a vvt power with suspension and brakes and then spend a ton of time at the track, I'd probably lean toward the NB2 idea
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Old 02-11-2014, 01:15 PM   #3
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I've wondered this same thing and I've always leaned toward just spending a little bit more up front and get an NB2.

Of course that's not what I did but...
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Old 02-11-2014, 01:20 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 18psi View Post
Well if the goal is just n/a vvt power with suspension and brakes and then spend a ton of time at the track, I'd probably lean toward the NB2 idea
That's basically it.

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Originally Posted by Efini~FC3S View Post
I've wondered this same thing and I've always leaned toward just spending a little bit more up front and get an NB2.

Of course that's not what I did but...
That's what I wanted to do to begin with a couple of years ago, but NB prices weren't quite down far enough, and I knew I'd need extra funds for the safety equipment, wheels/tires, etc.

I figure at least this way, it'd be stock VVT power (but that would still be FAR better than worn-out 1.6s) and later on I can install the squaretop/exhaust/MS3x.
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Old 02-11-2014, 01:21 PM   #5
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Really depends on what you want. NB2's are ******* awesome, i'd love one. I also love my NA and i'm ***** deep in it, so there's no going back anyways.

NB2 drivetrain in a clean NA with bracing would make an awesome car.
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Old 02-11-2014, 02:19 PM   #6
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The NB tub is a lot nicer and doesn't flex nearly as much as the NA.

FatKao is doing this right now since his NA was being a PITA. If you're looking to do PTE, you can "get" sport brakes for free with a dyno reclass. It's definitely the cleaner option in terms of electronics since the only thing you really need to mess with wiring wise is a GM AIT and MAP; however, the VVT swap into NAs (1.6 and 1.8 cars) is really well documented and everything has been sorted out with both the MS3 and AEM computers.
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Old 02-11-2014, 02:33 PM   #7
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you could just swap a 1.8 in and not give a ****. If you aren't really doing classed events or anything, it seems like a lot less headache and much cheaper than either option.

I priced out trying to buy a new car, move my parts over, and selling the rest of the **** and its almost a total loss. If you really think about it, the only thing worth it on your car are the modified parts. Parting out a broken engine and assorted used interior parts & accessories doesn't return much, especially since the 90s don't have a worthwhile diff either (transmission is worth it, but at $250-$300...not much).

then again...blown engine would be easy to convince me of a lot of things.
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Old 02-11-2014, 03:01 PM   #8
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NB's are much better cars.
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Old 02-11-2014, 03:07 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dunning Kruger Affect View Post
The NB tub is a lot nicer and doesn't flex nearly as much as the NA.

FatKao is doing this right now since his NA was being a PITA. If you're looking to do PTE, you can "get" sport brakes for free with a dyno reclass. It's definitely the cleaner option in terms of electronics since the only thing you really need to mess with wiring wise is a GM AIT and MAP; however, the VVT swap into NAs (1.6 and 1.8 cars) is really well documented and everything has been sorted out with both the MS3 and AEM computers.
I've already got Wilwoods at all 4 corners, I'm less concerned about classing then I am building a quick, reliable track vehicle.

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you could just swap a 1.8 in and not give a ****. If you aren't really doing classed events or anything, it seems like a lot less headache and much cheaper than either option.
Because I literally hate working on cars. I only do it because I can't yet afford to have a shop take care of prep and maintenance.

I can't get behind the idea of swapping engines again just for an NA1.8 (BP4W's seem to be impossible to find).

My car also haz no Torsen.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Track View Post
I priced out trying to buy a new car, move my parts over, and selling the rest of the **** and its almost a total loss. If you really think about it, the only thing worth it on your car are the modified parts. Parting out a broken engine and assorted used interior parts & accessories doesn't return much, especially since the 90s don't have a worthwhile diff either (transmission is worth it, but at $250-$300...not much).

then again...blown engine would be easy to convince me of a lot of things.
I figure if I can get an NB2 for $6k or less with a Torsen and solid drivetrain, it might be worth it.

I can sell the Hard Dog Roll Bar and Frog Arms off the NA, figure I could get another few hundred out of the small random stuff like the reroute, radiator in good shape, rear center panel, locally.

Sell the suspension/brakes/interior out of the NB2 for a few hundred more, and likely be near break even on VVT/Torsen into NA6 vs swapping over the good parts and selling the rest from both.


Of course that's why I'm asking, to see if I'm thinking clearly.
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Old 02-11-2014, 03:33 PM   #10
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I guess I have a 99, so I can't complain much. I would do like FatKao and buy a heavily used NB. I think he got a 2001 w/ 170k for about 3k-ish.

Don't be a **** up like me and drop big cash on a lightly used NB, the miata can take it Then again...you don't want to work on your car...*shrug*

I really don't think the "swap your parts over to a new car" will break anywhere close to even. My math sucks, but I had a hard time trying to find parts worth money in the car once I removed the parts I wanted to keep.
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Old 02-11-2014, 03:59 PM   #11
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I don't know about about the frog arms, but pretty sure the roll bar will swap over.
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Old 02-11-2014, 04:10 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by TorqueZombie View Post
I don't know about about the frog arms, but pretty sure the roll bar will swap over.
The Frog Arms fit all 1990-2005.

For the Rollbar, I think some do and some don't. I have the HDHCDD "M1" which I'm 99% sure does NOT work on the NB.
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Old 02-11-2014, 05:21 PM   #13
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I believe the NA bar will actually fit as a friend of mine did this when he went from an NA to an NB. I'll check with him to confirm, but IIRC you won't be able to fold the top down if it has a glass rear window. Eliminate soft top, acquire hard top, win at life

Having owned and driven both an NA and NB, I'll ask if you've driven an NB in anger yet? I sometimes miss the lightness and simplicity of the NA. Sometimes. When people say "The NB is a better car and the NA is a better Miata" I tend to agree.

Also, don't get hooked on VVT. The BP4W in the 99/00 is a solid contender as well, and should be cheaper than an NB2 at this point.

Edit: Friend messaged me back, says he moved his "HCHTDD" from his NA to his NB. Should be able to check dimensions on HD's website from there.

Last edited by EO2K; 02-11-2014 at 05:36 PM.
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Old 02-11-2014, 06:02 PM   #14
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Except that there are way more VVT motors out there versus the unicorn BP4W head. You can pick up a junkyard VVT motor for $800 or you can pick up a BP4W head (only) for $800.

Yeah, it flows better than the VVT head; however, spinning the motor gets expensive quick and usable torque is always fun.
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Old 02-11-2014, 06:25 PM   #15
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Quote:
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Yeah, it flows better than the VVT head
I was under the impression the runners/combustion chambers were the same between the two, BP6D just adds VVT?
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Old 02-11-2014, 06:54 PM   #16
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AFAIK (and judging from Emilio-posts), you can make more peak power N/A with a BP4W, but that's when you're spending some serious coin on a Miata motor. IIRC, you'll wind up with cam clearance issues if you're running huge cams on the BP6D head with the valve cover whereas you'd be OK on the BP4W.

Personally, I think that the availability and drive-ability of the BP6D makes it a no brainer for the track. If you get really deep into it, you can replicate stuff like hustler's 85mph @ 35mpg tune.

e: remembered some specifics
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Old 02-11-2014, 07:46 PM   #17
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NB2 all the way. If you're doing it on your terms just wait it out and get a good deal, I got a high mileage NB2 for $4,500 with a hard top. Roll bars swap any which way as long as you don't have a glass top. Worst case swap the top over from your NA. Or take out the soft top and run with a hard top only like a real man.

Most of the wear parts (suspension) swaps over from my NA. After parting out my NA and buying a bunch of maintenance items (front ball joints, outer tie rod ends, brake lines) I'm $3,600 into the upgrade. Still have to buy hubs & bearings and engine parts. Will need at least a timing belt kit and valve cover gasket. I have some of the radiator hoses already.

Haven't started parting out the NB2 yet.
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Old 02-11-2014, 08:24 PM   #18
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I bought my NA already built with a 99 1.8 installed. The previous owner spend $2500 just on the engine install. I'd say throw the 1.8 in the car you have.
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Old 02-11-2014, 10:29 PM   #19
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If time and location allow it, to save some money on the motor, buy a wrecked NB2 and part it out to make up some money back.
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Old 02-11-2014, 11:16 PM   #20
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Having owned a 91 that was a dedicate race car with all the fix -ins . I too thought about swapping a VVT over in it. I end up selling it for a very nice price and picking up a low mileage 2002 NB . I can tell you this ... I don't regret it. The Nb2 's is a much nicer car and the chassis is much stiffer . Now since I've added almost all of the same goodies I had on the Na it's alot faster than my old 91
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