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Thread: What is the best engine swap for a Miata?

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    Question What is the best engine swap for a Miata?

    What is the best engine swap for a Miata? Mazdaspeed Turbo? V6 Millenia, Ford 5.0L, Mazda RX7, Chevy LS, or other ??? I want something faster when my engine eventually goes out so I figure i should plan ahead now and save for the future.

    If you could do an engine swap what would you choose and why?

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    3,000 rpm - starting to feel the power ctrench's Avatar
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    not to be a jerk, but use google... it all depends on money, reliability, weight, n/a or boost, all depends on the person,

    I personally would go LS2 on spray, http://www.bossfrog.biz/Miata_V8_Swap.html (for all your LS swap needs!)
    reliable, good power, and lightweight

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    4,000 rpm - entering the fun zone SM16RMSM's Avatar
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    It is really up to you. I can tell you that you need a LS swap since that is what I would do, but you might find that a v6 swap is more up your alley or you might like to have a 13b turbo swap in the future. The possibilities are endless.

    I prefer a LS3 swap. I think that the LS would be a better solution if your looking into weight, grip, track time, and good ol American muscle. A LS swap, T56, and a Ford 8.8 adds like a extra 200 lbs of weight to the chassis I think. I not sure of the exact number here. I know it pretty close to that range. A LS swap would be more money, better reliability, better drivability, less weight than a 5.0L Ford, and fast. My second option would be a 1.8L motor with a stroker kit from FM and a FMII kit.

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    Administrator / Pit Boss Phatmiata's Avatar
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    Well he did come HERE asking US for advice, so.... sending him off to search Google is kind of a kick in the teeth. IMHO

    There is a lot of options with these cars, the V8 kits are now a bolt in affair, with minimal cutting, you would just need to source the engine. But have you considered forced induction like the new SuperCharger kit from Project-G ?? 217hp may not sound like much vs todays cars. However the miata does not weigh nearly as much as the new cars these days, so the power-to-weight is pretty excellent.

    If you are sold on a engine swap I would have to say the V8 kit from V8Roadsters and Monster Motorsports are the best so far. I see a lot of guys "trying" to complete a Rotory swap, but most seem to never finish.


    BTW Chris, not to be a jerk but why would you choose Bossfrog when V8Roadsters is right here in our backyard? unk577 can tell you they do tons of swaps here locally.

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    3,000 rpm - starting to feel the power ctrench's Avatar
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    really?! i didnt know v8roadsters was local, and yeah ive talked to brian about his LS projectbut he didnt mention anything about v8roadsters.

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    Administrator / Pit Boss Phatmiata's Avatar
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    Their shop is like 10 minutes from the "Five Guys" place we used to meet. Lol.

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    5,000 rpm - there be torque here! I<3flippyheadlights's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phatmiata View Post
    Their shop is like 10 minutes from the "Five Guys" place we used to meet. Lol.
    His V8 Miata is gonna be bad ass


    To the OP, like everyone else has said it is up to you and your goals. best engine swap would be V8 LS series hands down. Your question should be something like, "I'm new to this whole thing, I have *fill in the blank* of experience with cars and I'm looking for a different engine for my Miata when it goes. With that you can be more guided. How deep are your pockets? Can you wield? etc.

    All these things come into play with the Miata. If you don't have a lot of experience putting anything else besides a BP back in the Miata is a ass ton of work. You can be very happy with a boosted Bp engine. You won't be the fastest in the world, but it will put a smile on your face and you will smoke enough cars.
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    4,000 rpm - entering the fun zone SM16RMSM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phatmiata View Post
    Well he did come HERE asking US for advice
    The subject of engine swaps in pretty wide. Most will favor the LS swap for being the most easiest for having many bolt-on optons. I vote it for the best like I<3flippyheadlights. I choose a LS motor since I like the power added to the chassis while still being light. Outside research is pretty much a requirement. You can find tons of info on the LS motors vs 5.0L Fords.

    IMHO, it how deep your pockets are at the end of the day. Swaps can consume time, money, and your patience.

    If Kassm is just looking for more power, a built BP motor and turbo kit could be the answer. It's easy on the pockets and require no modification the the chassis, subframe, or drivetrain. With a v8 swap, your looking at changes to the chassis, subframe, drivetrain, wiring, air conditioning, and more.

    Start saving now. Take a look into each motor you have on your list. Read into each motor. Look at every possible aspect from cost, reliability, maintenance, to economy. Deciding on which swap you wants to do won't happen over night. It take time and research to find the perfect setup. It took me over a year to decide on what swap I wanted to do.

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    You guys summed it up pretty well. Goals, skills, budget. I chose LSx because I didnt want to fab the subframe and V8R makes it very easy.

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    3,000 rpm - starting to feel the power DK Wolf's Avatar
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    Fuck you guys are way too nice. I'd have told him to eat shit and die. And then provided my answer.

    If you're poor, 5.0 swap. It's solid and the engine is dirt cheap and simple, and stupid cheap to mod. However it's heavy... and its power gains from factory motor specs aren't worth it for the average douche.

    LSx if you have some extra cash, it's lighter than the 5.0, more power... but again... it costs more.. a good fucking chunk more.

    13B if you're a delusional fucking retard. Only a couple guys have been able to do it successfully, and there's a few threads all over the place of people take it on with no success. If you have no prior car history or mods. Kiss this good bye.


    Really the only ones worth mentioning... other guys will say V6, but fuck them. That's gay.




    I'd also highly research the option for turbo-ing your car.




    now go kill yourself

    EDIT: but fucking seriously, we aren't going to write the shit that's already been written about. Google it, it's on plenty of other forums and there's a thread I started on CR that went IN DEPTH about motor swaps. Probably one of the best full blown discussions about it.
    1994 Mazda Miata, 1992 Mazda Miata Sold, 1995 Mazda Rx7 (500hp) Sold, 1999 Subaru GC8 (310hp) Sold

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  12. #11
    5,000 rpm - there be torque here! I<3flippyheadlights's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DK Wolf View Post
    Fuck you guys are way too nice. I'd have told him to eat shit and die. And then provided my answer.

    If you're poor, 5.0 swap. It's solid and the engine is dirt cheap and simple, and stupid cheap to mod. However it's heavy... and its power gains from factory motor specs aren't worth it for the average douche.

    LSx if you have some extra cash, it's lighter than the 5.0, more power... but again... it costs more.. a good fucking chunk more.

    13B if you're a delusional fucking retard. Only a couple guys have been able to do it successfully, and there's a few threads all over the place of people take it on with no success. If you have no prior car history or mods. Kiss this good bye.


    Really the only ones worth mentioning... other guys will say V6, but fuck them. That's gay.




    I'd also highly research the option for turbo-ing your car.




    now go kill yourself

    EDIT: but fucking seriously, we aren't going to write the shit that's already been written about. Google it, it's on plenty of other forums and there's a thread I started on CR that went IN DEPTH about motor swaps. Probably one of the best full blown discussions about it.

    I was actually thinking about that thread. You went into a really deep discussion between supercharging, turbo'ing, and engine swap. I'm with you on the 13B, you have to be really ballsy to do that and if you do a V6... well... ya... no...



    *edit* Just found a thread where someone did a GTO 4.7 V8 swap in 3 months. Here is their cost.
    Engine/trans/all accessories (and even the pedals) - $4750
    V8R Parts (Engine mounting standard location subframe, clutch/flywheel, clutch hydraulics, oil pan, Getrag G1 driveline kit, driveshaft, axles, mounts) - $5046
    Rear Diff (CTS 3.23 from local junkyard) - $302
    Power steering fittings and lines - $57
    Water pump/Head kit - $313
    ARP Bolt kits - $65
    F-body shifter - $100
    New Tie Rod Ends - $105
    TSP 224R Package (Cam, springs, pushrods) - $625
    Texas Speed OTS Tune (remove VATS, remove rear O2, second gear lock out, cam grind) - $225
    Texas Speed ASP Pulley - $155
    HP Tuners - $650
    Intake (aluminum pipe, AEM filter) - $125
    Flyin miata stuff (NB Fuel kit, flywheel cover, headers, oil adapter) - $1017
    Calico Coatings ceramic header coating - $231.75
    Exhaust (made by Sean) - $966
    Hose kit (pieced from Advanced Auto parts) - $125
    Fluids (oil, trans, and diff fluid) - $82

    So about 15k but can be done cheaper without cam, new gaskets, HP tuners, etc

    Now they did everything themselves. Are you up for spending that much and doing all that work?
    Last edited by I<3flippyheadlights; 12-24-2012 at 09:30 AM.
    1990 Miata, she was red but now she is Spirit Green!

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    Also check out the facebook page http://www.facebook.com/IHeartFlippyHeadlights !!! Its a facebook page dedicated to the awesomeness which is flippyheadlights! Not me, but the actual headlights! High time someone noticed how awesome these things are; check it out!

  13. #12
    3,000 rpm - starting to feel the power concealer404's Avatar
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    If you're hell-bent on swapping a motor for some reason.... the LSx is really the only one that "makes sense."

    SR20 swaps are dumb.

    Rotaries are cool, but no real payoff beyond DAT BRAP BRAP BRAP and being able to tell someone you swapped your motor.

    The KL swap is an engineering circle jerk with potential for HUGE power, but it's not so well supported, and if you're asking the original question, a KL swap is not within your grasp.

    The Mazdaspeed Turbo swap is dumb. Turbo your existing motor and voila! You've got a Mazdaspeed Turbo motor, but better!

    The 5.0 swap is mostly irrelevant at this point in time with the support of the LSx swaps in my opinion.

    FE3 swap is cool, but again, is it really worth doing over just boosting a BP? Meh.



    Basically, the only logical choices when it comes to making more power in a Miata are 1) Turbo BP, or 2) LSx swap.



    Do as i say, not as i do.

    <---- F2T swap incoming.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jeremy Clarkson
    One thing I’ve noticed over the years is that if you drive into London at 6am, half of the cars on the roads are Porsches and Astons. Whereas if you go in at ten to nine, they’re all Renaults. Simple solution, then. You want a nice car? Get up earlier and do more work.

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    I'm torn between doing all the work of editing this thread or just deleting it. Obviously someone got banned for similar language in some other threads and I'll paraphrase what I wrote there. No we don't have word blocks in place because after discussing this last year, it was agreed between admin and the membership that while limited profanity was okay for emphasis, that's not a green light to make MR.net F-bomb central. There are other Miata forums for that and why we pride ourselves on being different.

    So while we're not going to brow beat people for occasional profanity, the flip side is that we trust the membership not to put us in a position where we have to delete posts or ban people. Nobody feels comfortable doing that so please...just a little common sense here.

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    3,000 rpm - starting to feel the power wannafbody's Avatar
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    The LS based 5.3 Truck engines are probably the cheapest option, some even have the good 246 heads.

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    Moderator maharaj's Avatar
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    Of all of these comments, how many are from people that have ACTUALLY done the swap, or ANY type of swap? Practical and theoretical applications are completely different when you are the one doing the work and spending your money.

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