Mk1 MX5 engine swaps

Discussion in 'Technical and Mechanical' started by pablo, Apr 1, 2010.

  1. pablo RMS Moderator

    pablo
    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2002
    Location:
    Glengrimley
    Drives:
    Saab 9-3 Turbo X
    Going to look at an MX5 on sat with a duffed engine. Just wondering what options I have to replace it?

    There is a 140bhp 1.8 MX5 engine which would make an obvious candidate. But are they pricey/hard to get?

    Any info appreciated. Also open to non MX5 engines but would need to be relatively straightforward not really open to a big project.

    Sensible answers only please, no mad suggestions like supra TTs etc ;)

    Ta
     
  2. Stuarty1984 RMS Regular

    Stuarty1984
    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2002
    Location:
    Dundonald
    Drives:
    Astra Vxr
    I'm near sure Rogie had a 323 turbo engine in his old mx5, I think he may have bought it like that though, so not sure whether work was done in his ownership.
     
  3. Twain RMS Regular

    Twain
    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2003
    Theres quite a few engine transplants that pop up on the mx5/miata forums. Lexus V8, Mazda 13b..even an RB26 i think. Serious power for the wee machine. Id be looking a good low mileage auto 1.6 engine and turbo it. Think they have lower compression or something which helps it when forced induction is added.

    clubroadster.net, mx5nutz.com, flyinmiata.com would be the places to go looking as you can buy a engine transplant kit for the bigger swaps from usa afaik.
     
  4. Gee RMS Regular

    Gee
    Joined:
    May 6, 2002
    He's had a few of them so I could be wrong but afaik the DIY turbo one was a 1.6 with an HKS turbo kit. He had a 323 turbo aswell, maybe you're getting it confused with that.
     
  5. Stuarty1984 RMS Regular

    Stuarty1984
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    Nov 27, 2002
    Location:
    Dundonald
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    Astra Vxr
    You could be right sir!
     
  6. Cess RMS Regular

    Cess
    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2002
    The 323 engine is a 1.8 turbo and not all that powerfulas stock, quite long in the tooth and I'd say a nightmare to get bits for. Plus does it even fit?
     
  7. Coog Administrator

    Coog
    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2004
    The 1.6 is the one to turbo charge.

    If I was doing it I'd see about putting a rotary in it though, just to be different. Just love that wap wap wap wap :D

    It's a big conversion in Aus - infact they seem to put rotaries in everything over there.
     
  8. pablo RMS Moderator

    pablo
    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2002
    Location:
    Glengrimley
    Drives:
    Saab 9-3 Turbo X
    not sure, I couldnt turbo it straight away so would have to live with the 1.6 as std for a while :(
     
  9. Gee RMS Regular

    Gee
    Joined:
    May 6, 2002
    Is it for a track car? I'd say the 1.8 would have better legs for Kirky unless you are definitely going to turbo the 1.6
     
  10. Coog Administrator

    Coog
    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2004
    Even the 1.8 is a complete dose Gee. If you're keeping to std MX5 engines then go 1.6 and save for the turbo/supercharger Pablo...

    There's a guy just up the road from me, mad into his MX5's, we took a rip up one afternoon. He has some corkers... ITB'd & Cam'd ones, turboed ones, a shed full of them and stacked with parts! He has a website, mad about mx5's or mx5 nuts or something. He'd deffo be worth giving a shout, probably have the bits you need and will give great advice on the best way to get yourself a properly quick one.

    He has some mental ones lying about.
     
  11. pablo RMS Moderator

    pablo
    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2002
    Location:
    Glengrimley
    Drives:
    Saab 9-3 Turbo X
    tbh Im kinda 50/50 on the whole thing. I cant afford what I want and think an MX5/MGF whatever is just going to be too slow.

    Turbo kit is around £1500 which is a fair chunk of money, heading into E36 M3 money
     
  12. Cess RMS Regular

    Cess
    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2002
    What criteria does a potential track car have to fulfil, Pabs? RWD a definite?
     
  13. pablo RMS Moderator

    pablo
    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2002
    Location:
    Glengrimley
    Drives:
    Saab 9-3 Turbo X
    rwd is an absolute must
    pref up to 200bhp
    smaller the better (for trailer/storage)
    handy to work at/get parts for etc.

    budget max £1500.
     
  14. Gee RMS Regular

    Gee
    Joined:
    May 6, 2002
    The 1.8 I drove went alright I thought, bit different for a track car but for a road car its enough to keep me interested on a back road.
     
  15. Coog Administrator

    Coog
    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2004
    The 1.8 MGF's are fairly lively. We picked up a clean BRG one, new HG done, full MOT, etc for £1400 a couple of weeks back. Prefer the MX5 myself but the MG was a nice wee car.

    I owned a 1.8 MX5 (140), felt fast for the first week then after that it pissed me off no-end. I didn't even think it handled that well tbh (going by other reviews there could have been a problem with mine, or maybe it was because I chopped a MINI in for it). Was swiftly written off with about 800 mile on the clock :oops:

    If you're looking for weekend fun you could have a look into the offroading. £500 will have you sorted (though give it a couple of weeks till the weather gets better) and you can bring the nipper along when he/she is old enough to use a proper seat, etc. Plenty of young'uns even drive at them and have their own class/competitions.
     
  16. Gee RMS Regular

    Gee
    Joined:
    May 6, 2002
    Was yours a Mk1, Coog?
     
  17. Andy888 RMS Regular

    Andy888
    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2005
    Location:
    Bangor
    Drives:
    Saab 9-3 / 944
    Lol at Coog, I had one of those work 140bhp MX5 MkIIs as well. Figured it was a bit crap when a Skoda Octavia diesel drove passed me in a straight line. It used to lurch round roundabouts as well.

    I managed 400 miles in mine before the crash barrier intervened, but oh no, they went and fixed the damn thing!!!

    I also test drove a MkI 1.6 turbo that was for sale ages ago and tbh I laughed after I drove it. I thought it was pretty pathetic and for the same money at that time my DC2 was 100x the car.

    Still fancy one though, they can look class, and Rogies red turbo'd one was gorgeous.
     
  18. Coog Administrator

    Coog
    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2004
    MK2.5 Gee

    Never knew you crashed yours too Andy lol. Mine lurched about too.

    I actually crashed mine twice. I just didn't think they were as epic as everyone made them out to be... The MINI would have handed it it's ass on a backroad and it was heavier, 25bhp less and had four seats.
     
  19. Alan_B RMS Regular

    Alan_B
    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2008
    Location:
    My house
    Drives:
    MR2 Tubby
    £1500 woud easily life a mk2 MR2 pabs, 2.0l is 170bhp or there abouts, so abit nippier than a mx and still RWD.
     
  20. pablo RMS Moderator

    pablo
    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2002
    Location:
    Glengrimley
    Drives:
    Saab 9-3 Turbo X
  21. Alan_B RMS Regular

    Alan_B
    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2008
    Location:
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    Bingo! And when you get bored get a turbo kit for it.
     
  22. Gee RMS Regular

    Gee
    Joined:
    May 6, 2002
    Mk2 and Mk2.5 were a bit of a flop, they aren't comparable to the Mk1 or Mk3.2
     
  23. Coog Administrator

    Coog
    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2004
    Have you driven all three? Haven't had a chance to drive a MK1 yet so can't really compare. I was under the impression that they were all pretty much the same. Certainly a lot of bits/engines/drivetrain components will fit all three.
     
  24. Alan_B RMS Regular

    Alan_B
    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2008
    Location:
    My house
    Drives:
    MR2 Tubby
    Ive driven a few mk1s, they where pretty good craic but what bothers me about them is the body flex over bumps. Though I guess that would only be an issue for road use.
     
  25. Gee RMS Regular

    Gee
    Joined:
    May 6, 2002
    I remember reading an article on the MX5 in Evo mag, Mk1 and the very latest Mk3 were epic and everything inbetween was poor.

    The only part that is the same for all three is the side repeaters.

    Nice article on the Mk1 here

    Mazda MX-5 | Car Features | evo
     

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