May 17, 2017 update to the Mazda Miata project car

Our Miata Needs a New Engine

Things didn’t go so well during our Daytona outing with the ChumpCar World Series presented by RVA Graphics & Wraps: Less than 10 laps in, a coolant line ruptured, leading to an overheated engine.

The final diagnosis? That engine is toast. Yay, us.

We looked at our possible solutions. We could find another used engine, but the newest one out there is now 20 years old. Yes, we could throw one under the hood and call it done. And then will it again blow 10 laps in? Once you figure in all of the other expenses to race–like transportation, lodging, food and everyone’s time–it seemed like a risky proposition.

So we’re building a new engine. And by “new” we pretty much mean a stock rebuild. The car is now down at Treasure Coast Miata. They specialize in used Miata parts as well as Miata race prep. They also offer rebuilt cylinder heads and short blocks, allowing us to start with clean assemblies fitted with fresh bits.

More to come on the engine rebuild once we get started.

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Comments

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fidelity101
fidelity101 SuperDork
5/17/17 2:09 p.m.

All these engines keep blowing? time for a wankel swap!!!

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
5/17/17 2:12 p.m.
fidelity101 wrote: All these engines keep blowing? time for a wankel swap!!!

With a turbo!

fidelity101
fidelity101 SuperDork
5/17/17 2:18 p.m.

In reply to David S. Wallens:

lets just take this one step at a time...

accordionfolder
accordionfolder HalfDork
5/17/17 2:19 p.m.
David S. Wallens wrote:
fidelity101 wrote: All these engines keep blowing? time for a wankel swap!!!

With a turbo!

I'm no professional - but as far as I'm aware that's considered the industry standard for reliability. You should consider Twin turbos - this roughly doubles the reliability of any one car.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
5/17/17 2:27 p.m.

Do I hear "quad turbos?"

Rodan
Rodan Reader
5/17/17 2:35 p.m.

1.8 NB2 VVT swap...

JeffHarbert
JeffHarbert HalfDork
5/17/17 2:37 p.m.

Needs more MZR.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
5/17/17 2:41 p.m.

Really, the plan is to get it back together. The car was fast (and reliable) at Lemons. Then we had some issues. If we can get back to our 193 horsepower at the wheels with fresh stuff and no leaks, then we should be golden. The major plan: run a ton of laps and have some fun.

True, though, MZR would be fun. Next time.

noddaz
noddaz SuperDork
5/17/17 8:14 p.m.

Coulda had a V8... (Still could...)

Sagewind
Sagewind New Reader
5/17/17 10:45 p.m.

Rotary + turbo... awesome! What could possibly go wrong? Besides, I hear it's been done before.

wvumtnbkr
wvumtnbkr UltraDork
5/18/17 12:50 p.m.

Rotaries are actually incredibly durable in this type of racing. We ran the same engine for several years with only minimal issues.

We even ran a turbo rotary for awhile and put it on the podium.

Jerry
Jerry UltraDork
5/18/17 12:54 p.m.

Sell this one...buy the one you promoted on Flyin'Miata...profit! Well, sorta.

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