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Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
6/25/14 12:16 p.m.
Swank Force One wrote:
bravenrace wrote:
calteg wrote:
bravenrace wrote: I'd be interested in knowing how they adapt to the trans and what trans they used as well.
I believe Mini Tec said the best candidate is a CL-S donor, implying that you use the entire Honda drivetrain. How they adapt it, I have no idea. I got the impression that it was $3000 for their kit + cost for a donor, which seems...optimistic. I checked their site yesterday, they don't have anything up there related to a Miata swap.
The CL is FWD, the Miata RWD. What am I missing?
Nothing. The Miata motor was FWD first, too.

But it also presented a number of significant packaging issues that needed to be changed, including a new intake manifold, distributor delete, coolant repackaging and a new oil pan. Some of this is relatively easy for an OE but challenging for junkyard builders. The intake manifold packaging seems to be a problem for a lot of the V6 swaps from what I've seen. I don't know the Honda J engine to know how it's put together.

ZOO
ZOO GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
6/25/14 12:22 p.m.
calteg wrote:
ZOO wrote:
Keith Tanner wrote: 300 hp. That's so cute! I think my car makes that at idle I somehow managed to miss seeing this car at the Mitty - I only heard about it the next day. I've been thinking a V6 would work well in the Catfish for some reason. We're seeing a few different V6 swaps these days. I'm still trying to decide if they're the best of all worlds or the worst. I need a chance to really crawl all over one.
How about the fact that it's 1/6 the cost of the cheapest LS1 swap you could cobble together?

I would need to see documented budgets for both. I am not convinced it would be one-sixth the cost of any V8 swap. Some, perhaps.

Having said that, even if it was 1/6th the cost, I don't think I would do it. If I planned to have more power in my Miata, I'd look at the V8s (otherwise you'd always be explaining why you went V6, instead of V8), or even a stroked 1.8.

There would need to be a compelling reason for me to consider a V6 in place of any number of GM V8s. Being a Honda wouldn't be enough.

Spoolpigeon
Spoolpigeon UltraDork
6/25/14 12:26 p.m.

Not a miata, but man I wish this was a factory option. J37 swap. Makes 300hp and 270ish tq. That would make for a really fun car.

Zomby Woof
Zomby Woof PowerDork
6/25/14 12:27 p.m.
bravenrace wrote:
Zomby Woof wrote: My buddies are doing Ecotec swaps into Miatas. They tell me its the way to go for budget friendly power.
What advantage does that have over a turbo on a miata engine?

More horsepower capable, and more reliable at those levels.

calteg
calteg HalfDork
6/25/14 1:02 p.m.
ZOO wrote:
calteg wrote:
ZOO wrote:
Keith Tanner wrote: 300 hp. That's so cute! I think my car makes that at idle I somehow managed to miss seeing this car at the Mitty - I only heard about it the next day. I've been thinking a V6 would work well in the Catfish for some reason. We're seeing a few different V6 swaps these days. I'm still trying to decide if they're the best of all worlds or the worst. I need a chance to really crawl all over one.
How about the fact that it's 1/6 the cost of the cheapest LS1 swap you could cobble together?
I would need to see documented budgets for both. I am not convinced it would be one-sixth the cost of any V8 swap. Some, perhaps. Having said that, even if it was 1/6th the cost, I don't think I would do it. If I planned to have more power in my Miata, I'd look at the V8s (otherwise you'd always be explaining why you went V6, instead of V8), or even a stroked 1.8. There would need to be a compelling reason for me to consider a V6 in place of any number of GM V8s. Being a Honda wouldn't be enough.

Agreed on the documentation, but as it sits, almost everything about the Mini Tec swap is conjecture, so that's what we have to go off of.

If you want a wildly overpowered (though understressed) Miata , that's your business. I've found that flogging a stock C6 is more than 90% of drivers can handle. Now put that drivetrain into a shorter wheelbase, with a smaller contact patch, and no driver's aides.

Zomby Woof wrote:
bravenrace wrote:
Zomby Woof wrote: My buddies are doing Ecotec swaps into Miatas. They tell me its the way to go for budget friendly power.
What advantage does that have over a turbo on a miata engine?
More horsepower capable, and more reliable at those levels.

Particularly for track work. You can half-ass a turbo kit that'll stay together on the street with some mechanical empathy.

A lot of the miataturbo folk find that even well put together turbo kits can be problematic on the track.

ProDarwin
ProDarwin UltraDork
6/25/14 1:08 p.m.
Zomby Woof wrote:
bravenrace wrote:
Zomby Woof wrote: My buddies are doing Ecotec swaps into Miatas. They tell me its the way to go for budget friendly power.
What advantage does that have over a turbo on a miata engine?
More horsepower capable, and more reliable at those levels.

Are these well documented? I've often thought that an LSJ would be an easy-button for reliable 250whp and the LNF would be stupid fun for power above that point... although I imagine the LNF gets expensive quickly.

They weigh less than a Miata engine too, right?

nderwater
nderwater PowerDork
6/25/14 1:09 p.m.

The magazine says that with the Mini Tec swap kit only the engine itself gets replaced; the stock Miata trans, diff, axles and radiator are retained. I don't think a stock clutch will take 240-300 hp; will the transmission? I'm also curious to know how will the radiator will take the additional heat.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
6/25/14 1:13 p.m.
calteg wrote: If you want a wildly overpowered (though understressed) Miata , that's your business. I've found that flogging a stock C6 is more than 90% of drivers can handle. Now put that drivetrain into a shorter wheelbase, with a smaller contact patch, and no driver's aides.

I know, it's so much fun Mazda gave us such an excellent chassis.

Keeping the stock trans on a 300 hp swap would work for a street car, but I'd want a spare in the trailer if I was going to the track.

You'd need a radiator that was up to the task. Honda seems to be fairly good at keeping their engines cool, so that's unlikely to be a big problem as long as you're not trying to cheap out with a 15-year-old plastic rad with aged end tanks. A good aftermarket replacement would likely suit. I think the key is that you don't need a different rad. You don't NEED one with an LS swap either, although the swap gets a lot easier with a rad that was designed for the LS inlet and outlet sizes and locations. It's one of those things that makes the difference between "wow, I can't believe you got it in there" and "wow, it looks like it belongs there".

Fueled by Caffeine
Fueled by Caffeine MegaDork
6/25/14 1:14 p.m.

http://honda-tech.com/showthread.php?t=3055801

700 hp out of that v6? I dunno. I might still want some v8 rumble for the ammount of work.

Swank Force One
Swank Force One MegaDork
6/25/14 1:33 p.m.
bravenrace wrote:
Swank Force One wrote:
bravenrace wrote:
calteg wrote:
bravenrace wrote: I'd be interested in knowing how they adapt to the trans and what trans they used as well.
I believe Mini Tec said the best candidate is a CL-S donor, implying that you use the entire Honda drivetrain. How they adapt it, I have no idea. I got the impression that it was $3000 for their kit + cost for a donor, which seems...optimistic. I checked their site yesterday, they don't have anything up there related to a Miata swap.
The CL is FWD, the Miata RWD. What am I missing?
Nothing. The Miata motor was FWD first, too.
I understand that. But calteg indicated that they may use the Honda engine and transaxle. I'd like to know how that would work.

They'll just use the engine, i'm sure.

Swank Force One
Swank Force One MegaDork
6/25/14 1:34 p.m.
nderwater wrote: The magazine says that with the Mini Tec swap kit only the engine itself gets replaced; the stock Miata trans, diff, axles and radiator are retained. I don't think a stock clutch will take 240-300 hp; will the transmission? I'm also curious to know how will the radiator will take the additional heat.

I'd imagine the trans would probably be fine.... it won't be near as stressed as one attached to a 300hp turbo BP.

Vigo
Vigo PowerDork
6/25/14 1:41 p.m.
otherwise you'd always be explaining why you went V6, instead of V8

Where does this keep coming from? I keep seeing this "shoulda got a v8" crap all over GRM forums and i just dont get it. I've owned V8s and driven fast v8s and worked on a crap load of v8s and none of it made me think that way.

I understand displacement can be a great thing but i've never seen it as the end all, and the way i see that mantra thrown around here on GRM forums just makes it look like unabashed automotive penis envy.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
6/25/14 2:10 p.m.

Hey, it's the easiest way to make power. And for a given amount of work, the biggest engine will give the biggest result. It's not any harder to fit a V8 in an engine bay designed for a straight four than it is to fit a V6, and you'll get 25% more power out of the bargain. Also, you never have to explain to someone (on this forum or elsewhere) why you put in a V8, but not everyone understands a V6 the same way Of course, you also probably don't have to deal with the "it must handle like crap with that big heavy engine up front" nonsense, so that's a plus...

Why won't the trans be as stressed behind a 300 hp V6 as it would be behind a 300 hp turbo four?

Just found the magazine and read the blurb. Sounds promising, they're aiming at the cheap swap market. If the details are properly worked out, it could be a good option for street cars although there's potential for some trans carnage. No obvious shortcuts in the picture in the implementation, although I suspect the intake could be improved.

bluebarchetta
bluebarchetta New Reader
6/25/14 2:11 p.m.

As the owner of a nice '91 Miata with short-nose crank 1.6, this excites the hell out of me. I always thought if the Barchetta's crank failed, I'd swap in a 1.8 or an LNC 1.6. But the going rate for a good J35 around here is only $500, thanks to the Frito-Lay transmission most of them were attached to. Even if the swap kit were $3500, it would be worth it for an ignorant wrench-turner like myself with more money than ingenuity.

Swank Force One
Swank Force One MegaDork
6/25/14 2:12 p.m.

Won't make as much torque (ASSuming the BP has proper sized turbo for the power), ramp up will be more gradual.

MG Bryan
MG Bryan SuperDork
6/25/14 2:17 p.m.

I, for one, just want to put a J32 in an Exocet now.

Bobzilla
Bobzilla PowerDork
6/25/14 2:17 p.m.
Spoolpigeon wrote: Not a miata, but man I wish this was a factory option. J37 swap. Makes 300hp and 270ish tq. That would make for a really fun car.

I said for years this should have been made and sold as an Acura. Would have been even better as a fixed roof coupe.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
6/25/14 2:29 p.m.
Swank Force One wrote: Won't make as much torque (ASSuming the BP has proper sized turbo for the power), ramp up will be more gradual.

But what about that naturally aspirated throttle response?

I'm not convinced the turbo four would make more torque. It's not automatically the case, that's for sure. I've had a turbo 1.6 four and a naturally aspirated 2.0 in my garage at the same time that had similar peak power numbers, and the naturally aspirated 2.0 was the torque king.

Swank Force One
Swank Force One MegaDork
6/25/14 2:31 p.m.
Keith Tanner wrote:
Swank Force One wrote: Won't make as much torque (ASSuming the BP has proper sized turbo for the power), ramp up will be more gradual.
But what about that naturally aspirated throttle response? I'm not convinced the turbo four would make more torque. It's not automatically the case, that's for sure. I've had a turbo 1.6 four and a naturally aspirated 2.0 in my garage at the same time that had similar peak power numbers, and the naturally aspirated 2.0 was the torque king.

You're right, it doesn't necessarily guarantee it.... but i'd be looking at a 300whp turbo BP that isn't making over 250ftlbs to the wheels, trying to figure out what's wrong with it.

And it'd be a hard-hitting 250ftlbs.

LOVE the throttle response discussions.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
6/25/14 2:44 p.m.

Given that the J35 is a 3.5L (thank you Wikipedants), it should do reasonably well on the torque numbers. It's rated at 250 ft-lbs and 265 hp in the MDX. Our mythical 300 hp version would probably see a bump in torque as well unless there's a cam swap involved.

In other words, I'd keep that spare trans handy for hard use.

Bobzilla
Bobzilla PowerDork
6/25/14 2:52 p.m.

but it's a Honda, so that torque is up high (compared to a turbo car or V8). When you're not shocking the trans with insta-torque, it'll last longer. After driving a few of those engines, I find the 250 number a bit optimistic.

bravenrace
bravenrace MegaDork
6/25/14 2:54 p.m.

Hey, I ran into a guy at Super Summit this past weekend that put a Honda B series in the front of a Corvair. It was FWD and he even grafted a Civic dashboard into it. He said it was a remarkably easy swap. While a appreciated the high level of work he did, I left wondering what would possess him to do a swap like that. In comparison, all the swaps mentioned in this thread seem incredibly reasonable...

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
6/25/14 3:00 p.m.
Bobzilla wrote: but it's a Honda, so that torque is up high (compared to a turbo car or V8). When you're not shocking the trans with insta-torque, it'll last longer. After driving a few of those engines, I find the 250 number a bit optimistic.

Rated peak torque for that engine is at 3500. I just checked on a 280 hp turbo Miata dyno chart, peak torque (280 ft-lbs) was at 5100 and was pretty weedy at 3500. Some of that is due to altitude. So I checked another turbo dyno chart from a third party, and it showed 301 hp and about 300 ft-lbs with the torque peak at 4600. Torque at 3500 was about 160. So maybe the torque isn't quite so high compared to a turbo car.

My V8 puts down 300 ft-lbs at 1800 and is over 400 at anything above 2900. That is why people like V8s.

Bobzilla
Bobzilla PowerDork
6/25/14 3:09 p.m.

Hehe... my L98 was at 300 at 1400. it reached peak (345tq stock) by 3000rpms IIRC. Granted, it only made 245hp and was out of breath and wheezing by 5k..... but it was a torque monster. Should have been used in motor homes and trucks instead of the C4

EdHigginbotham
EdHigginbotham Editorial Assistant
6/25/14 3:12 p.m.
bluebarchetta wrote: As the owner of a nice '91 Miata with short-nose crank 1.6, this excites the hell out of me. I always thought if the Barchetta's crank failed, I'd swap in a 1.8 or an LNC 1.6. But the going rate for a good J35 around here is only $500, thanks to the Frito-Lay transmission most of them were attached to. Even if the swap kit were $3500, it would be worth it for an ignorant wrench-turner like myself with more money than ingenuity.

I'm right there with you! I'm still on my original 1.6 SNC, and was contemplating starting a quality engine build just to be ready. Instead, I'm anxiously awaiting this kit's release.

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