Car Catcher: 525-Horsepower V8 Miata on Bring a Trailer

For sale: Flyin’ Miata’s very own V8-powered ND. This Miata isn't powered by just any run-of-the-mill V8, though, it's a 525-horsepower, Lingenfelter-built LS3

It's currently listed on Bring a Trailer with a bid of $45,259 with six days to go at the time of this writing. And just look at (and listen to) this thing.

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300zxfreak
300zxfreak New Reader
8/22/19 3:50 p.m.

One has to wonder why current owner is parting with it after so few miles.......

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
8/22/19 4:18 p.m.

FYI, this is not FM’s own car. It’s a customer car. We’re taking care of the listing because he asked for help selling, and we take care of our V8 customers.  

The customer is moving on for various reasons of his own. Nothing wrong with the car. Take advantage. 

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
8/22/19 4:20 p.m.

So, guesses as to the hammer price? Impressed with the bidding so far. 

Hasbro
Hasbro SuperDork
8/22/19 5:57 p.m.

Just stunning. Are those exhaust cutouts between the muffler pipe routing?

yupididit
yupididit UltraDork
8/22/19 6:13 p.m.

The only v8 miata I'd pay for if I could. Is an FM ND 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
8/22/19 7:59 p.m.
Hasbro said:

Just stunning. Are those exhaust cutouts between the muffler pipe routing?

They sure are. It allows you to use sheer sonic energy to propel the car. 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
8/22/19 8:00 p.m.
David S. Wallens said:

So, guesses as to the hammer price? Impressed with the bidding so far. 

Look at it this way, it’s still cheaper than a Global Cup car!

I'm hoping for a hammer price that starts with 7. 

AnthonyGS
AnthonyGS Dork
8/22/19 8:23 p.m.

So basically to have a legal install in TX you need a '16 Z28 LS engine complete (accessories fit?), and a 98-02 F body spec T-56?  The TR-6060 does not fit?  Curious as this could be my ultimate car project.... costs appear on par with building a full Cobra kit, but this seems way more refined.

 

 

bmw88rider
bmw88rider SuperDork
8/22/19 9:23 p.m.

I passed TX emissions with Betty with no issues. Honestly they never even asked about the engine age. All they cared about was the no codes and the gas cap test. Other than that, even at the sticker stop I never had an issue. 

 

Kieth, this was the one you were building when I picked up Betty right? I remember the Lingenfelter engine part and the car being white so I'm figuring it was the same one. 

 

Maybe I should have put Betty on BAT.....Oh well. :)

HundredDollarCar
HundredDollarCar New Reader
8/22/19 9:23 p.m.

Pretty appropriate photographed in front of a Bell 407 in PHI livery.  A hot rod in its own right.

AnthonyGS
AnthonyGS Dork
8/22/19 10:46 p.m.
bmw88rider said:

I passed TX emissions with Betty with no issues. Honestly they never even asked about the engine age. All they cared about was the no codes and the gas cap test. Other than that, even at the sticker stop I never had an issue. 

 

Kieth, this was the one you were building when I picked up Betty right? I remember the Lingenfelter engine part and the car being white so I'm figuring it was the same one. 

 

Maybe I should have put Betty on BAT.....Oh well. :)

So I can just get an F car drivetrain and have it refreshed run it on newer computer and viola?  Man.... this may become my new 50th birthday dream car. 

 

 

bmw88rider
bmw88rider SuperDork
8/23/19 4:31 a.m.

I mean technically it's suppose to be a newer engine but in practice, they never even lifted the hood in Austin area at least and I don't figure Dallas is any different. They just plugged in the ODB2 reader and did the gas cap test. More than anything you just need to have a full ODB II feed with I think it was 2 or less not ready codes and you were golden. 

Knurled.
Knurled. MegaDork
8/23/19 5:21 a.m.
Keith Tanner said:
Hasbro said:

Just stunning. Are those exhaust cutouts between the muffler pipe routing?

They sure are. It allows you to use sheer sonic energy to propel the car. 

At first I was a little horrified by the wrapped exhaust, but then I paid a little more attention, and it looks like the exhaust has been given plenty of room to grow lengthwise.  Should never have doubted smiley

 

 

Armitage
Armitage Dork
8/23/19 8:17 a.m.

Love it.

NermalSnert
NermalSnert Reader
8/23/19 9:00 a.m.

What a car! Just for e36 m3's, grins, and giggles, what is the top speed, give or take?

bmw88rider
bmw88rider SuperDork
8/23/19 11:21 a.m.

It'll run in the area of 175 MPH if it's anywhere close to the NA-NC. Right now at the TX Mile, the unofficial miata record is 176 by a NA that was LS swapped. 

stuart in mn
stuart in mn MegaDork
8/23/19 1:04 p.m.

I would imagine that with 525hp, the top speed is going to be limited by whatever final drive gearing is in the car.

WonkoTheSane
WonkoTheSane SuperDork
8/23/19 1:09 p.m.

Eh, don't get all worked up guys.. It's a 2016.   They added like 15 more horse in a year or two.  Save your money.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
8/23/19 1:34 p.m.
WonkoTheSane said:

Eh, don't get all worked up guys.. It's a 2016.   They added like 15 more horse in a year or two.  Save your money.

Ah, true, good point. smiley

By the way, I drove the prototype. (That was the prototype, right?) It's all the wow. 

Jay_W
Jay_W Dork
8/23/19 3:06 p.m.

Oh holy crap

I'd go broke, but happy....

Knurled.
Knurled. MegaDork
8/23/19 3:36 p.m.
WonkoTheSane said:

Eh, don't get all worked up guys.. It's a 2016.   They added like 15 more horse in a year or two.  Save your money.

No no, see, you need the 2016 because LS swapping an ND2 gets you less of a gain.

AnthonyGS
AnthonyGS Dork
8/23/19 10:56 p.m.
Knurled. said:
WonkoTheSane said:

Eh, don't get all worked up guys.. It's a 2016.   They added like 15 more horse in a year or two.  Save your money.

No no, see, you need the 2016 because LS swapping an ND2 gets you less of a gain.

Call me crazy but I was pricing 2016s today for this very reason.....  It's shocking what some of the new sport and club models can be had for.  I may sell my Boxster S get the ND and start socking away parts.  I budgeted it all out and it's about the same as building a nice FFR Cobra, and I'm positive which one is more user friendly on a daily basis. If anyone has one in DFW or is passing through, I'd love to see it in person. 

 

 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
8/24/19 2:19 p.m.
stuart in mn said:

I would imagine that with 525hp, the top speed is going to be limited by whatever final drive gearing is in the car.

Not quite. I think 6th is geared for close to 300 mph. Those T56 ratios have a long legged top. 

But 5th tops out at just over 200. Given enough room to run and the improved aero of the ND, I find that plausible. Haven’t tried yet.

stuart in mn
stuart in mn MegaDork
8/24/19 4:36 p.m.
Keith Tanner said:
stuart in mn said:

I would imagine that with 525hp, the top speed is going to be limited by whatever final drive gearing is in the car.

Not quite. I think 6th is geared for close to 300 mph. Those T56 ratios have a long legged top. 

But 5th tops out at just over 200. Given enough room to run and the improved aero of the ND, I find that plausible. Haven’t tried yet.

Holy overdrive, Batman.  smiley  I didn't know they were geared that high.

The0retical
The0retical UberDork
8/24/19 4:57 p.m.
David S. Wallens said:

So, guesses as to the hammer price? Impressed with the bidding so far. 

I'm betting $72k.

These things really are the modern day Shelby Cobras or Yenko Super Camaros.

AnthonyGS
AnthonyGS Dork
8/26/19 2:48 p.m.

Step 1 approved by wife....  sell Mustang, NA and Boxster and buy ND.  Gonna be buying components with bonus 3-4 times a year if all goes well.  

I priced out doing my NA with all new engine, trans, rear etc.  It looks as if it might make more sense to invest in a newer stiffer chassis too.  I’m hoping this winter I can find a ‘16 club for 12,xxx.  I can drive it for 12-18 months as is while acquiring parts.  Maybe I will get another raise this year too.....  

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
8/26/19 3:58 p.m.

As the owner of a V8 NA - the V8 ND is really a much better car. You can more easily use it as a real car. The NA has more inherent drama because you're locked in the car with a beastly engine, but the ND can dance just as well.

As for buying the subject - pay attention to the interior. The GT has a nicer interior with more toys, the Club is a little more stripped down. We haven't done a Club with an LS yet, you may have to retrofit a specific sensor on the steering column from a GT.

yupididit
yupididit UberDork
8/26/19 4:33 p.m.

In reply to AnthonyGS :

ND's getting into the 12k range? blush

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
8/26/19 4:38 p.m.

eBay has three in the 18s right now plus two salvage cars - if you don't mind flood damage that, I swear on my mother's grave, it only went to the floorboards and I waxed it real good, you can get that for under $12k.

yupididit
yupididit UberDork
8/26/19 5:12 p.m.

I just found a few for 15-16k on Craigslist 

 

And they had under 40k miles

AnthonyGS
AnthonyGS Dork
8/26/19 5:43 p.m.
yupididit said:

In reply to AnthonyGS :

ND's getting into the 12k range? blush

Local one listed as for sale by owner at 14.3.  This is why I’m predicting 12.9k this winter.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
8/28/19 4:04 p.m.

Sold for $84,000. I have to admit that’s higher than I expected, but I don’t think it’s unreasonable. It feels good to have the marketplace respond to our work!

AnthonyGS, think about how much work you’ll put into this. Start with the car that will give you the end result you want, not the cheapest possible. It’s why we had so many people ask us to convert Mazdaspeeds, because that was the look and feel they wanted even if they paid a bit more for the donor car. 

AnthonyGS
AnthonyGS Dork
8/28/19 11:43 p.m.
Keith Tanner said:

Sold for $84,000. I have to admit that’s higher than I expected, but I don’t think it’s unreasonable. It feels good to have the marketplace respond to our work!

AnthonyGS, think about how much work you’ll put into this. Start with the car that will give you the end result you want, not the cheapest possible. It’s why we had so many people ask us to convert Mazdaspeeds, because that was the look and feel they wanted even if they paid a bit more for the donor car. 

You make a great point.  I see myself taking $5k or so to a used car dealer with my 00 Boxster S soon.  That puts me at two hobby cars which fit in my garage.  It’ll take a while to buy all the parts and get it done, but I have time in the winters, big end of year bonuses and we know FM will be around a long time.  

Cotton
Cotton PowerDork
8/29/19 9:53 p.m.
Keith Tanner said:

Sold for $84,000. I have to admit that’s higher than I expected, but I don’t think it’s unreasonable. It feels good to have the marketplace respond to our work!

AnthonyGS, think about how much work you’ll put into this. Start with the car that will give you the end result you want, not the cheapest possible. It’s why we had so many people ask us to convert Mazdaspeeds, because that was the look and feel they wanted even if they paid a bit more for the donor car. 

If I shipped you a new ND what would it cost to replicate that car?  I’m just trying to get an idea of whether that was a good buy on the used market or if someone would have been better off having you guys build them one.

classicJackets
classicJackets Dork
8/29/19 9:55 p.m.

In reply to Cotton :

He commented in the BaT thread that it was a $65k build, after they got the car. So, likely still a great deal for the buyer!

Cotton
Cotton PowerDork
8/29/19 9:56 p.m.

In reply to classicJackets :

Ah thanks,  I didn’t read all the comments,  so didn’t catch that.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
8/29/19 11:19 p.m.

There were a lot of comments :)

Had this been an ordinary build, $84k is right about the cost of buying a new car and having us modify it. But it wasn’t. There were three guys bidding over $80k for this one, so it definitely had the market’s attention. 

nimblemotorsports
nimblemotorsports Reader
8/29/19 11:49 p.m.

It is a LS-swap Miata.  Yawn.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
8/30/19 12:31 a.m.

Yeah, they’re pretty dull. I mean, there are about a half dozen of these in the world. Nobody likes them. Totally played out. 

AnthonyGS
AnthonyGS Dork
8/30/19 1:38 a.m.
Keith Tanner said:

Yeah, they’re pretty dull. I mean, there are about a half dozen of these in the world. Nobody likes them. Totally played out. 

That few?  Today I was looking at a Fiat 124 Abarth.  The Fiat has some neat lines.  Are the electronics compatible?  I’m thinking FM’s computer interface works with the LS/Miata combo but would it work with LS/Fiat combo?  

My wife offered to fly and drive a Miata for me today too......  

NOHOME
NOHOME MegaDork
8/30/19 7:39 a.m.
Keith Tanner said:

. The NA has more inherent drama because you're locked in the car with a beastly engine, but the ND can dance just as well.

 

Yes, this is the truth as I am finding out. At no time are you NOT aware that there is a monster aboard.It is also waaaayyyyy  to much fun to provoke said monster!devilsurpriselaugh

 

I am waiting for the novelty to wear off.

 

Pete

z31maniac
z31maniac MegaDork
8/30/19 8:20 a.m.
nimblemotorsports said:

It is a LS-swap Miata.  Yawn.

Don't cut yourself on that edge. 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
8/30/19 10:09 a.m.
AnthonyGS said:
Keith Tanner said:

Yeah, they’re pretty dull. I mean, there are about a half dozen of these in the world. Nobody likes them. Totally played out. 

That few?  Today I was looking at a Fiat 124 Abarth.  The Fiat has some neat lines.  Are the electronics compatible?  I’m thinking FM’s computer interface works with the LS/Miata combo but would it work with LS/Fiat combo?  

My wife offered to fly and drive a Miata for me today too......  

Yes, that few. We simply didn't have the time to build any more. The decision to stop building turn-keys was an acknowledgement of what we were able to accomplish. We had a waiting list, we just couldn't fulfill it. There is a DIY-built one in Sweden that was our test customer for supporting DIYers, it's up and running around.

The Fiat would PROBABLY work. Maybe. It depends on how much Fiat is in the CAN stream on the body side. I'd need a log to know for sure. I also don't know what differences there are in the engine bay architecture. The Fiats look good from some angles and then fall apart from others. 

Nohome, the novelty will fade but the giggles never will.

Knurled.
Knurled. MegaDork
8/30/19 10:39 a.m.
z31maniac said:
nimblemotorsports said:

It is a LS-swap Miata.  Yawn.

Don't cut yourself on that edge. 

And you say we never agree on anything...

ebonyandivory
ebonyandivory PowerDork
8/30/19 10:47 a.m.
nimblemotorsports said:

It is a LS-swap Miata.  Yawn.

We’d all love to see the sub-3,000lb, 525hp sports car you drive that makes this boring!

 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
8/30/19 10:52 a.m.

Psst. ~2600 ;)

z31maniac
z31maniac MegaDork
8/30/19 10:56 a.m.

Yeah, I'd have to think outside of some super exotic, or a sport bike, you're unlikely to find something as wild.

z31maniac
z31maniac MegaDork
8/30/19 10:58 a.m.
Keith Tanner said:
AnthonyGS said:
Keith Tanner said:

Yeah, they’re pretty dull. I mean, there are about a half dozen of these in the world. Nobody likes them. Totally played out. 

That few?  Today I was looking at a Fiat 124 Abarth.  The Fiat has some neat lines.  Are the electronics compatible?  I’m thinking FM’s computer interface works with the LS/Miata combo but would it work with LS/Fiat combo?  

My wife offered to fly and drive a Miata for me today too......  

Yes, that few. We simply didn't have the time to build any more. The decision to stop building turn-keys was an acknowledgement of what we were able to accomplish. We had a waiting list, we just couldn't fulfill it. There is a DIY-built one in Sweden that was our test customer for supporting DIYers, it's up and running around.

The Fiat would PROBABLY work. Maybe. It depends on how much Fiat is in the CAN stream on the body side. I'd need a log to know for sure. I also don't know what differences there are in the engine bay architecture. The Fiats look good from some angles and then fall apart from others. 

Nohome, the novelty will fade but the giggles never will.

I didn't realize you stopped building them either. 

I don't have the money laying around for one, but where would you but it on the difficuly scale for a DIY job? 

I've swapped E36 motors into E30s, all suspension brake work, multiple Miata engine swaps, etc.

ronholm
ronholm Dork
8/30/19 10:58 a.m.
Keith Tanner said:
AnthonyGS said:
Keith Tanner said:

Yeah, they’re pretty dull. I mean, there are about a half dozen of these in the world. Nobody likes them. Totally played out. 

That few?  Today I was looking at a Fiat 124 Abarth.  The Fiat has some neat lines.  Are the electronics compatible?  I’m thinking FM’s computer interface works with the LS/Miata combo but would it work with LS/Fiat combo?  

My wife offered to fly and drive a Miata for me today too......  

Yes, that few. We simply didn't have the time to build any more. The decision to stop building turn-keys was an acknowledgement of what we were able to accomplish. We had a waiting list, we just couldn't fulfill it. There is a DIY-built one in Sweden that was our test customer for supporting DIYers, it's up and running around.

The Fiat would PROBABLY work. Maybe. It depends on how much Fiat is in the CAN stream on the body side. I'd need a log to know for sure. I also don't know what differences there are in the engine bay architecture. The Fiats look good from some angles and then fall apart from others. 

Nohome, the novelty will fade but the giggles never will.

Sounds like you need to raise the price to a point you have a waiting list you can keep up with.  There is at least 2 othe guys in the world who were at 80K+ for a used one.  :)

ebonyandivory
ebonyandivory PowerDork
8/30/19 11:06 a.m.

In reply to Keith Tanner :

Allow me to edit my response 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
8/30/19 11:19 a.m.
ronholm said:
Keith Tanner said:
AnthonyGS said:
Keith Tanner said:

Yeah, they’re pretty dull. I mean, there are about a half dozen of these in the world. Nobody likes them. Totally played out. 

That few?  Today I was looking at a Fiat 124 Abarth.  The Fiat has some neat lines.  Are the electronics compatible?  I’m thinking FM’s computer interface works with the LS/Miata combo but would it work with LS/Fiat combo?  

My wife offered to fly and drive a Miata for me today too......  

Yes, that few. We simply didn't have the time to build any more. The decision to stop building turn-keys was an acknowledgement of what we were able to accomplish. We had a waiting list, we just couldn't fulfill it. There is a DIY-built one in Sweden that was our test customer for supporting DIYers, it's up and running around.

The Fiat would PROBABLY work. Maybe. It depends on how much Fiat is in the CAN stream on the body side. I'd need a log to know for sure. I also don't know what differences there are in the engine bay architecture. The Fiats look good from some angles and then fall apart from others. 

Nohome, the novelty will fade but the giggles never will.

Sounds like you need to raise the price to a point you have a waiting list you can keep up with.  There is at least 2 othe guys in the world who were at 80K+ for a used one.  :)

We have been doing this - but there's also the matter of resources. Our warehouse is at the point where it's putting pressure on the shop area, and our R&D needs were pulling away the V8 wrench guys too much. Yes, yes, "just hire more guys" but it's not that simple. Maybe in LA, but not in small town Colorado.

We're streamlining ourselves to be a better and better online parts store, tweaking our internal systems to get parts out the door ASAP as we grow past the stage where we can just throw more people at the problem. That's been hugely successful. But running a shop is a totally different business, and the software on the back end is quite different. Trying to support the turn-keys while also being an efficient parts store just didn't work, it was basically a separate business. And it was one that accounted for about 2% of our gross revenue but took up a considerably higher level of resources.

Yes, spinning it off into a separate business unit has been proposed and looked at. I've been championing that approach for years, but it hasn't happened.

I feel it's a bit like VW shutting down Lamborghini. It was never a big part of their business but it's a dream car for a lot of people who will never own one. I'd hate to see that happen as well, and I'm still trying to find ways to bring the turnkeys back.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
8/30/19 11:29 a.m.
z31maniac said:

I didn't realize you stopped building them either. 

I don't have the money laying around for one, but where would you but it on the difficuly scale for a DIY job? 

I've swapped E36 motors into E30s, all suspension brake work, multiple Miata engine swaps, etc.

Well, we never put out a press release that we'd stopped building them. We just decided that the last one would be the last one, and told the folks on the waiting list. A press release just didn't seem right.

Now we're into the interesting questions.

Difficulty is remarkably low. It's pretty close to a bolt-in with the parts we developed. Wiring is straightforward - the programming of our CAN gateway was NOT, but once that's been done once it's been done. CAN wiring is basically two wires. You have to fiddle around with the throttle pedal wiring a little bit, but there's no large-scale moving of metal, no welding and no removal of the interior. It's an easier swap than the earlier generations once the R&D is done.

ORIF
ORIF New Reader
8/30/19 12:53 p.m.

I was watching the bidding closely and was prepared to bid up to $65k, but then things got way, way out of hand ; )

 I see this vehicle as a perfect replacement for the S2000 that I have been daily driving for nearly 20 years. I am still waiting for it to die, but I am beginning to realize that it may never stop running and I may have to have 2 small convertibles to play with. Not necessarily a bad thing, mind you. 

As daily driver, I was thinking that an unmodified GM crate motor might be more easy to live with than that beast of a Lingenfelter.

However, I simply don't have the time to take on a project like this myself.

Keith, Could you give a ballpark estimate of the hours involved to assemble a turnkey car?

I live reasonably close to Long Road Racing, the company building the MX-5 Cup Cars. I am fairly certain that they could assemble the cars, but likely they would prefer to use their own parts where applicable. FM as a company, certainly has the most unbiased favorable reviews of their parts and creations on the internet for V8 conversions.

Also, "Assembled by Flying Miata" certainly seems to help resale value, No?  : )

I sincerely hope that you guys come up with a good solution for those like me. The bidding shows that the demand is definitely there. 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
8/30/19 1:00 p.m.

I know there are one or two FM NA/NB cars coming up on the market soon. Different beast than the ND, but it's an option.

A stock "430" LS3 is a real sweetheart to live with. The original Lingenfelter cam was a little rowdy and the customer was not happy about that. The replacement was better, but it was still a little harder to drive at parking lot speeds than a 430. Opinions inside FM are split - Jeremy likes the stock cam because it's just so darn nice, I like the "525" cam because I'm willing to accept its occasional unruly manners in exchange for its bloodthirsty mid-range throttle response.

Long Road definitely has the skills to build one, and since they don't have their own parts for this swap I suspect they would be willing to use ours. We have a good relationship with them. I'd actually be quite interested to hear their feedback if they do one.

Hours to build - that's a tough one because it varies depending on the person spinning wrenches and if it's their first attempt or their fifth. I think our internal spreadsheet uses 120 hours for determining costs.

AnthonyGS
AnthonyGS Dork
8/30/19 2:44 p.m.

Thank you for the additional info.  It’s making the idea even better.  Time to start saving.  I will probably go drive some NDs in the next week and see how Iike the car compared to the Boxster.  Then its time to save the shekels and wait for winter to buy a car.

I’ve been eyeing 430, 480, and 525 hp GM crate LS3s too.  It’s pretty easy to add hp to a 430 if desired too.  The 480 is the $/hp winner for sure.  

And Summit has a 495 hp version now too.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
8/30/19 3:08 p.m.

Don't do the 480. It's got poor driveability combined with very little power gain. The 525 drives better in all respects. As soon as the 525 came out, the 480 was obsolete.

The power difference is not as big as you think. The 430 is proper SAE spec, the 480 and 525 are not tested with the full SAE protocol so they're a little more optimistic. Here's a comparative chart - note that this particular 525 is the highest performing one we've had on the dyno, the others are usually just slightly weaker.

 

 

Knurled.
Knurled. MegaDork
8/30/19 3:41 p.m.

takes notes

bmw88rider
bmw88rider UltraDork
8/30/19 3:45 p.m.

As I can attest to the 430HP motor is a surefire way to have a "calm" V8 miata for a DD. I daily drove Betty when I had her almost every day unless the weather just looked nasty. Cruising through traffic in Austin.....No problem. 100+ degrees with the AC on? no problem. Drove just like a corvette from a drivability standpoint. Great cruiser. I'd still have her as my primary car too if my job/life didn't change so much (Now in Colorado as a field sales rep) and I need to drive 80-100 miles in a day regularly. 

The Dyno on mine was 408 HP and 391 TQ with the torque plateau through the whole rev band. 

I only had one day of any problems. It was the hottest day on record in North Texas at 117 degrees and fighting traffic. She started to run a little hot then but that is well outside of normal operating realms. 

I would recommend it to anyone and I'm glad I had one in my life. I'll probably regret selling her at some point but I figure a 911 will help ease the pain. 

 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
8/30/19 4:02 p.m.

Betty was a staff favorite as a GT and great everyday driver. I'm pretty sure Jeremy still prefers that platform over the ND, and as I mentioned earlier Jeremy loves him a 430. There are some folks here who still haven't forgiven me for selling that car.

I have a dyno chart that shows all the 525s that hit our dyno, and there's a surprising variance. Ironically, the one that performed worst was running a set of long tube headers that everyone knows improves performance ;) My car is the strongest - and it's also the one that was run the hardest before getting on the dyno. Goes back to our break-in discussion.

AnthonyGS
AnthonyGS Dork
8/30/19 6:50 p.m.

In reply to Keith Tanner :

This is ine of the reasons I avoided the break in discussion.  My dad was a crew chief for a lot of stock car races and at LeMans and Daytona a few times.  I always learned if a new engine is going to fail it will fail early and spectacularly.  I’m totally a drive it drop the first oil at liw mileage, get it up to temp and let it rip person.  

stuart in mn
stuart in mn MegaDork
8/30/19 7:03 p.m.

For those who haven't seen them, Tom's Turbo Garage has a series of videos on YouTube showing the installation of an LS3 in a 2004 Mazaspeed Miata.  HIs videos can be a little cheesy smiley but he included a lot of details on the conversion, so it will give you a pretty good idea of what's required to do it yourself at home.  https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLaeETZPdShsN8XtwhDKS-iVJZ38lKFKI9

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
8/30/19 7:54 p.m.

...on an NA/NB. It’s different on the other platforms. 

AnthonyGS
AnthonyGS Dork
8/30/19 8:01 p.m.

FM has ND videos up on their channel.  

nimblemotorsports
nimblemotorsports Reader
9/1/19 3:06 p.m.
ebonyandivory said:
nimblemotorsports said:

It is a LS-swap Miata.  Yawn.

We’d all love to see the sub-3,000lb, 525hp sports car you drive that makes this boring!

Let me just say Keith Tanner has all my respect and kudos for all his success.    

My Volvo C30 might only have 227hp, but I'd rather drive it over a miata, and still have room for 3 more.

I bought a house for less money, but if I had $84,000 to spend on a car and didn't want a new Porsche for the same money,

this is the one I would have.

From Jalopnik, rotary miata

"Anybody can go and build a fast Miata. Anybody can cram a V8 up front and call it a day. But the owner of this Renesis-powered car gets to have something unlike anything else. Unbelievably smooth, unbelievably clean, and unbelievably accomplished. This car might have taken hundreds of man hours, but it produced a unicorn. I think it was worth it."

 

NermalSnert
NermalSnert Reader
9/1/19 3:09 p.m.

"Anybody can go and build a fast Miata. Anybody can cram a V8 up front and call it a day. " Are you serious? Edit: I see that quote was from the article. Your posts and attitude are off-putting though.

ebonyandivory
ebonyandivory PowerDork
9/1/19 3:20 p.m.

In reply to nimblemotorsports :

First of all, your initial “yawn” comment was a blatant insult. You could’ve made your point much more clear and without the condescension. It just would have taken another minute to type.

Second, your 2nd post is bordering  on outrageous. Anyone can do it? Really? Not only is that plain not true, the fact is that Keith’s cars are AMAZING works of art. This isn’t Roadkill butchery.

ronholm
ronholm Dork
9/1/19 3:27 p.m.

In reply to Keith Tanner :

Oh from the business side I get it...  and your explination make even more sense. All I do is run a Christmas Lighting installation service, and throwing more employees at the problem never works, even when the task is VERY, VERY simple.

 

 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
9/1/19 3:47 p.m.

The funny thing about rotary Miatas is that anyone who makes one never makes another one. There have been rotary Miatas since the early days because, well, it's got the same name on the engine. I've talked to a number of people who have built them. But there's never been a kit to install one, they're always one-offs. Given that there are at least three kits to put an LS engine in an NA Miata (if we count the departed Boss Frog), it's surprising.

Jalopnik is right, it's a lot harder to do a good job than to simply get something running. There are a lot of poorly swapped V8 Miatas out there. Those tend to show up on Craigslist instead of BaT. There are some pretty poorly swapped rotaries too, although not as many because there just aren’t as many rotary swapped Miatas.

I agree that a V8 Miata is no substitute for a Volvo C30. It could be argued the other way around as well ;)

nimblemotorsports
nimblemotorsports Reader
9/1/19 6:35 p.m.
ebonyandivory said:

In reply to nimblemotorsports :

First of all, your initial “yawn” comment was a blatant insult. You could’ve made your point much more clear and without the condescension. It just would have taken another minute to type.

Second, your 2nd post is bordering  on outrageous. Anyone can do it? Really? Not only is that plain not true, the fact is that Keith’s cars are AMAZING works of art. This isn’t Roadkill butchery.

Maybe you shouldn't fire off forum posts without taking a minute to see that I quoted that quote from the Jalopy article, it was not my comment.

And frankly isn't the whole business model that "anyone" can do a v8 swap, if you just buy the right parts from the right people?   lol

 

ebonyandivory
ebonyandivory PowerDork
9/1/19 9:30 p.m.

In reply to nimblemotorsports :

 

 

It’s not anyone’s job around here to click on an article to see if by chance you may have quoted a portion of it especially without giving proper credit, you know, since you state you quoted it.

(Hint: when you quote an article then post that quote as your own with no attribution, don’t act surprised that it’s gets attributed to you.)

Your statement/quote was obviously a lame attempt at trolling or whatever it is people do when they’re not in the mood to be constructive.

This is all kind of obvious and self-explanatory. 

 

Kreb
Kreb UberDork
9/2/19 11:55 a.m.
Keith Tanner said:

 

Jalopnik is right, it's a lot harder to do a good job than to simply get something running. There are a lot of poorly swapped V8 Miatas out there. Those tend to show up on Craigslist instead of BaT. 

Hey Keith, I think that if you aren't going to do them yourself, you should really consider licensing shops to do the conversions. The market really cares about who does the work and where things come from. Unless the builder has a fantastic reputation, "home built" or even "home assembled"carries a stigma. If I had a thick wallet and was considering whether to buy a LSX-powered Miata versus a new Corvette, I'd pay huge attention to who assembled, tuned and debugged it.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
9/3/19 8:51 a.m.

Yes, that's been discussed. The problem is finding the shops, as it has to be someone we can trust with our own reputation. I agree that having some idea of the pedigree helps a lot. We've seen how the FM built cars are valued much higher than pro-built cars from other shops and far higher than DIY - especially if that DIY is done with used parts and "well, I couldn't afford X so I built Y".

Licensing a shop, however, is like saying "you haven't developed a reputation yet so here's ours". A good shop such a Long Road Racing shouldn't need that assist.

AnthonyGS
AnthonyGS Dork
9/3/19 11:24 a.m.
Keith Tanner said:

Yes, that's been discussed. The problem is finding the shops, as it has to be someone we can trust with our own reputation. I agree that having some idea of the pedigree helps a lot. We've seen how the FM built cars are valued much higher than pro-built cars from other shops and far higher than DIY - especially if that DIY is done with used parts and "well, I couldn't afford X so I built Y".

Licensing a shop, however, is like saying "you haven't developed a reputation yet so here's ours". A good shop such a Long Road Racing shouldn't need that assist.

I agree.  This may be one of the major reasons I would never open a shop myself.  Reputation is everything and sharing a hard earned one via licensing is too risky.  

I’ve been pricing a new build vs buying some used parts and having them rebuilt and new makes a lot of sense if you factor in rebuild costs.  Using old unknown parts is too risky if this much money is on the line, in my opinion.  A 430 hp crate LSX is downright cheap compared to a used 305 hp LS1 and a rebuild to 430 hp.  Plus using used accessorie drive stuff, no thanks.  Finding a good T56 core and having it rebuilt...  not cheap either.

 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
9/3/19 11:36 a.m.

Don't forget that the GM crate engines have a two-year warranty as well. It's a real warranty, not just lip service - we had to take advantage of it once*, and GM not only supplied a replacement engine but they also paid for the labor. Gambling with used engines was not something we were willing to do with our customers. It would be a different matter in a DIY build where you are your own customer.

* I later got my hands on that engine and it turns out the weird chirping noise was a couple of small ears on the aluminum rear main seal carrier making slight contact with the hardened steel crank. I'll bet you'd never hear it deep inside a Camaro bellhousing and it would self-machine some clearance very quickly. So the engine really didn't need to be pulled in retrospect, but nobody had any way to know that.

AnthonyGS
AnthonyGS Dork
9/3/19 1:53 p.m.

I’m very likely to start hoarding parts for this kind of project come December this year.  We go to Denver every summer now too so I may have to drop in next summer and pick up some things.  I’m startimg to think buying parts this next year and getting a clean used ND in December 2020 might be the way to go.  I can probably get 2-3k more for my Boxster S if I do some engine out maintenance this winter too.  I can also enjoy it another year.  

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