Out with the Miata..

After thinking and looking around I decided it was time to pull the Miata engine out and go with something new.

Enters the Gm LTG ecotec engine! Modern power for the classic car!

Turbo Time!

For the first 5-10 miles the car was “fast enough” but quickly it I adapted and wanted more power.

Note the 3 core radiator, ducting and new coolant overflow tank,

I bought several turbo chargers with the intention of matching one to the car. The consideration was not only size for power but also footprint for fitting under the hood.  One problem I have had was an incredible amount of heat that builds up in the transmission tunnel and in the foot box.

Additionally I bought a 2004 Miata engine with VVTI and intended to have it bored and built for power.

Out for a drive..

First time i took the car out to a show was Caffeine and Octane. These are some of the pictures I found on facebook where others had taken pictures of the car.

The exhaust is from an Aprilia Bike. It has a factory cat convertor and flows very well. The sound is pleasant as well  The original battery didn’t last long- thankfully in this day and age LIPO batteries are amazing and half the weight. The coolant overflow tank did not last very long as the vibration tore it apart. 

Buttoned up and Ready to Roll

These are some of the pictures when I got a tag and took the car for a drive. The blue tape is on the car while fine tuning some of the body fitment pieces.

I don’t love the black wheels. They looked great online and I was able to get some help from a friend to get a killer deal. The requirement was a 17″ wheel to clear the front upper ball joint.

The brakes look tiny but they are more than enough to do the job. For size comparison the top of the roll cage is about 12″ taller than the top of the fender on the Suburban.

Wiring and electronics

When I started I had collected the entire Miata wiring harness and related plugs/modules.  First I removed all of the wire wrap and used a gallon or 2 of degreaser to get the years of adhesive off. Using several wiring diagrams I managed to identify and remove over 35lbs of wire and sensors that I didn’t need anymore. Things like power windows, wipers,emissions crap etc all hit the scrap pile.

Admittedly I was afraid because I didn’t know exactly what the engine and ECU would need to run. I left a few extra wires and plugs when I was unsure.

Wiring Harness before modification

For the taillights I did not want to use anytime similar the original or Caterham- both of those solutions use RV taillights.  After looking around I managed to find some LED’s that would light up in multiple colors.

First step was to buy some Aluminum blanks.

From there I turned them down to provide a small lip and allowing for a piece of glass between them. The lights are able to light up Red, Orange or white.

The coolest part is they will hold red but flash orange if a turn signal is lite up. White for reverse lights obviously.

Here is a shot of the turn signal on. I mounted them as high as possible and they are very bright which I hope will help with awareness.