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  1. #1
    Idling - Listen to it purr...
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    Escort 1.8 into a 1992 miata with stock 1.6?

    Hey need a little help found a 1992 Ford Escort GT with a 1.8L in it. Found out I can get the motor for $100 my question is can I swap this motor into my 1992 1.6L miata is it worth it? or would it be easer to find a newer 1.8L out of a miata for the swap? Any help would be great new to the miata world and loving it :-)

  2. #2
    Admin / Pit Boss / Miataholic Phatmiata's Avatar
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    would be easier to swap in a 1.8L from a Miata, im sure the ford motor probably has some different sized connectors for the electronics etc, which would mean more custom work on your end.

  3. #3
    4,000 rpm - entering the fun zone SM16RMSM's Avatar
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    Nope, pretty much a different engine.

    Quote Originally Posted by SoloMiata
    Update 12/2/98

    I get a lot of inquires about using the Ford Escort GT engine as an alternative as many seem to have found inexpensive examples. The Protege/Escort/Sophia/Tracer 1.8 long block is the same as the 1.8 Miata but all external things are different since they come from a FWD application. Items like the oil pan, thermostat housing pipe, heater core coolant pipe, intake manifold, intake manifold support brace, exhaust manifold, alternator & AC brackets, fuel rail, etc must be sourced from the Miata specific engine. Some items like the Miata valve cover and timing belt cover are optional only if you want the 'Miata' look. Addtionally, some of the 1.6 Miata parts will transfer such as the timing belt cover, cam angle sensor and thermostat housing. IMHO, unless you already have access to the Miata specific stuff it would be easier to just get a Miata motor.
    “The only thing standing between you and your goal is the BS story you keep telling yourself as to why you can't achieve it.” ― Jordan Belfort

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  5. #4
    5,000 rpm - there be torque here! The Driver's Avatar
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    Sorry both Phat and SM16RMSM, but the Ford Escort engine, though a FWD application, is a BP engine, and it has been installed in a Miata.

    "It's the same engine.

    The Miata engines are quite a bit more money and tend to have lots of miles on them. Ford bought the BP 1.8's from Mazda, so the engines are essentially identical. All that has to be done is:

    - plug the dipstick hole on the oil pump (Escort dipstick went through the oil pump).

    - knock out a freeze plug on the head because the thermostat is on the other end of the head for the FWD application. Everything is there to move the thermostat to the Miata location.

    - The Escort used the 1.6 style water pump so there is a minor mod that has to be done on the timing belt tensioner mounting bolt hole.

    Other than that it is just moving all of the manifolds and the oil pan from the Miata to the Escort long block. Some of the holes used to mount things in the Miata application will need to have the threads chased, but the block casting is the same.

    If someone could find a 50K mile Miata engine, it would be $1200+, at least in my area. The Miata engines available in my area range from 74K-180K miles and are $700-$900. I picked this Escort engine up for less than what it would cost to have a valve job done at the machine shop.

    The Escort GT's (91-96) and Kia Sephia (95-97) have long blocks almost identical to the Miata. The place I bought this from had three more Escort GT engines on the shelf. One had 57K on it for the same price as mine ($250)"
    96 Montego, replacing a 95M... I miss: My running peeps in Tampa, running barefoot @ Clearwater Beach and First Choice BBQ, in Brandon. In So Cal I miss: The Malibu Canyons, CA 33 and In & Out Burgers ! I'm from Tampa, if I was from Tampa Bay, I'd be a fish!

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  7. #5
    3,000 rpm - starting to feel the power Rogue's Avatar
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    The JDM BPs were FWD for a while, I installed a bunch of them in Miata's
    (There is a coolant pipe that need to be plugged on the rear of the head)
    The issue with putting one in a NA is you need the 1.8 Intake/Exhaust, Oil pan, Valve cover, oil pump plug etc.
    So you likely would need a 1.8 core BP from a Miata.
    Putting one in a 94-97 is just swapping parts.
    1992 BnT, 93LE #737, 94M, 95M, 96M, 97PEP, and a few 90s

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  9. #6
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    thanks for the info guys I found out the motor is tore apart so it will be a complete build from bottom to top. trying to decide if its worth it? my motor is still running strong even with 167,000 miles on it but still has org timing belt and water pump. I am looking to build a nice daily driver but want to be around the 200-250hp mark with a turbo. so im thinking this would be a good starting platform or am i wrong?

  10. #7
    4,000 rpm - entering the fun zone SM16RMSM's Avatar
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    Driver, your right about the block. But jturner92 doesn't have accessories for a 1.8L. He would have to source intake, exhaust, etc. I don't remember 1.6L accessories fitting a 1.8L block.

    If the Escort has the head, I would go for pistons and rods for the bottom end with new bearing and ARP head bolts. A small turbo will get you to 250 who with no issues and you don't have to worry about the bottom end if you want to go to 300+ whp in the future.
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  12. #8
    Idling - Listen to it purr...
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    I'm okay with having to source parts I will build the motor this summer and swap the motors this upcoming winter. So your saying if it has a good bottom end and the head looks good pay the $100?

  13. #9
    Ninja Messiah kung fu jesus's Avatar
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    Yes.

  14. #10
    3,000 rpm - starting to feel the power Rogue's Avatar
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    If your building an engine, I'd find a good core from a Miata.
    That way you have less specific parts to source.
    individual parts sure can add up…$
    also use the 1.6 flywheel, its 3lbs lighter.
    1992 BnT, 93LE #737, 94M, 95M, 96M, 97PEP, and a few 90s

  15. #11
    4,000 rpm - entering the fun zone SM16RMSM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jturner92 View Post
    I'm okay with having to source parts I will build the motor this summer and swap the motors this upcoming winter. So your saying if it has a good bottom end and the head looks good pay the $100?
    KFJ beat me too it. Yes. There is a lot you can start if you go down the road with a bare block basically. I've read what you said and it sound like the Escort motor is stripped right now, meaning no accessories like intake or such. I say go for it IF the block is at lease in good condition and the crank isn't overstressed. Once you start a new build, your going have the crank checked and new bearing in place. Your going to have mostly new aftermarket rods and pistons which will help you increase power if you decide to add more POWER down the road. What ever rings your bell, go for it.

    There also the added benefit that the Escort motor has the front freeze plug in place to block coolant exiting the front of the motor, which is used on all Miata. Its well documented that the back of the block will overheat under boost and some correct this by blocking the front exit and using the rear exit for the coolant.
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  16. #12
    3,000 rpm - starting to feel the power BlitzWing's Avatar
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    Silly question if your sourcing a BP from a FWD car why not keep the FWD coolant route and have something close to the typical coolant reroute set up? Just seems like a lot less work for an easy gain.

  17. #13
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    Sm16RMSM sounds like you know what Im thinking lol most of the motor will be aftermarket so a good block crank and head is what Im looking for. I will have the block crank and head checked by a known machine shop before I start the build. Any suggestions on what compression ratio to run? remember it will most likely get a FM2 turbo kit

  18. #14
    4,000 rpm - entering the fun zone SM16RMSM's Avatar
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    If your going to run a FM2 kit, go with what is proven. 9:1 ratio for compression and nothing over 84.5 mm piston size.

    As BlitzWing said, since it the FWD application BP motor, you will want to keep the original coolant setup, which for us is the exit at the back of the block. This will help keep it cool under boost. The Miata's BP block had the coolant exiting the front of the motor for convince and it not the best when it comes to cooling. The rear of the bock tends to overheat so look into a coolant reroute for the Miata. There are ways around the expensive known reroutes too. I have to look but somewhere online, you can use a Kia housing on the Miata for the reroute. Or if you want to be fancy about it, you can use one of the Miata venders kits like 949 Racing or Flyin Miata.

    http://949racing.com/miata-coolant-reroute-system.aspx
    “The only thing standing between you and your goal is the BS story you keep telling yourself as to why you can't achieve it.” ― Jordan Belfort

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