After many months of collecting parts I believe I am finally in a position to start pulling the car apart in preparation for the engine swap. For those who haven’t seen or heard- I will be removing the Miata Engine and replacing it with a 2.0 GM Ecotec engine (with Turbocharger and direct injection..)
Here is a short video on the overview : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IajZ-zl0AzY
I will admit- I had a large amount of anxiety (and still do..) about pulling apart a car that was driving and running quite well. Especially not knowing if this new engine would fit or how many modifications are needed.
Starting with the seats, then the transmission tunnel, Radiator, scuttle and some sheet metal I started to pull off the covers and find things to remove- There certainly is no shortage.
The radiator was long overdue for a flushing, the seats had crap under them from 2010 and the questions continue. I also made the decision to remove the installed Halon Fire system and replace it with a single hand held unit in future. There are a few pounds I feel we can save!
Looking at all the wiring and I certainly think there is a good 40 or 50lbs of wiring that will be coming out of the already trimmed down harness
Mitch from Swap Time recently did a video about the harness. It is set to arrive on Wednesday of this week. Following that I will probably try find an hour or 2 to pull the engine this weekend and see if the new one fits!
Here was a video of the harness he made- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1jGzw7sIMFI
I suspect I will need to wire in headlights, tail lights and turn signals as well. The goal there is to keep them all as minimal as possible
Subscribe if you wish to follow along. The YouTube video channel as well as this webpage should both see a few updates in the coming weeks!
There was a single show in 2018 left on the Calendar and foolishly I thought I would give it the royal treatment. I pulled many pieces off of the car, polished it with high speed buffers and turned my hands and face into a filthy mess.
Unfortunately the idea to wax the sheetmetal afterwards was a mistake. It left streaks and dulled the image. In future I wont be waxing the car… actually I have decided to wrap it after getting its new engine.
Surprisingly the trailer fenders really respond well to being polished. They shined like crazy! Who would have thought that a Galvanized boat trailer fender could look so good?
What started and has been a major headache is behind me. I landed up buying factory bolts and intended to have Fidanza drill the holes bigger.
Soon after I received them I thought it might be easier to cut the bolt heads down in the lathe. Thanks to Cawley racing we were able to shrink them down and re blue them. Success!
After the install I started on the clutch and pressure plate. With a clutch alignment tool we were quickly in business again.
Up next I man handled the transmission on to the engine and bolted things together. Even the starter motor aligned so it was a good day
Up Next is the engine wiring. All parts are sent to the harness maker and hopefully I’ll have good news soon and be ready to drop this into the chassis!
What started as a promising morning didn’t end very well. I pulled the motor mounts off of the engine and welded on the needed offset pieces. Things were going very well! (note the metal braces going forward is to prevent the engine from rocking)
Using the”custom bolts” needed for the flywheel I managed to get all 8 in place and hand tight. I’ll admit I don’t love that there is no locating pin on the flywheel because it allows all of the rotational torque to be transmitted through the bolts to the transmission.
This is what the bolt looks like. It’s an m11 -which isn’t something you can easily find and definitely not something Chevrolet dealers usually stock.
After hand tightening the bolts I grabbed the torque wrench and set to 20ft lbs I wanted to get everything started and check alignment.
The first bolt achieved 20lb fts but the next 2 appeared to strip out. At this point I stopped and removed all 8 bolts and inspected the damage.
Even though the bolts appear hardened they lost their threads quite easily. The crank was inspected and it is fine.
While not ideal I’ll give a few vendors a call on Monday and try sort it out. Unfortunately m11 is a very uncommon size so this won’t be easy
I placed an order in early May for a pcm wiring harness and flashed pcm. The company was Swap Specialties and Performance. ( http://swapspecialties.com ) Initially they told me 4 weeks turn around. As of this day it’s been roughly 13 weeks and they don’t answer their phone consistently (4 times in probably 40 calls) and when they have they told me “it’s being buttoned up and will go out Thursday”- but nothing has ever appeared. Then the story changed to “that person doesn’t work here anymore” but the line about it shipping on Thursday continues.
I finally filed a paypal case against them and not surprisingly they did not even reply to that. Thankfully Paypal was able to recover my money. ($730+). Their conduct was very poor and the multiple lies were not appreciated!
If nothing else I hope my frustration saves someone else the hassle. I will admit I don’t know what I will do next- this is a big setback.
To finish the front of the motor I needed to find a way to tension the belt due to the fact I wont have an AC compressor.
To start I went to NAPA to get an Idler and a belt. I wanted to mount the tensioner high up since my engine often sits below the frame rail.
Pulley came from NAPA. It is grooved and part number 409703
This wasn’t the first belt I bought. I think the factory part was 1940mm. I went to 1740mm to get a good fit.
Napa Part number 050685- It is a 5 Rib 1740mm belt.
This shows the belt route and the rough placement I was considering. Note my tensioner is smaller than the factory AC Pulley.
Bracket created using the 2 front bolt holes. It is a solid fit so I didnt feel like I needed to move further back and triangulate. Note the location is higher than an AC.
This is the side view. It was essentially 2 pieces at right angles with a brace to stop deflection.
This is a close up view of the bracket. I painted it while hot so the paint bubbled. I like the look.
The end result is fairly good. I am happy and things appear to be tracking well and cleanly. I might add a nut to the back of the bolt. Right now I have tapped the steel plate (3/8″ thick) so I think it is good enough.
If you own a Camaro or ATS chances are you have the same transmission I am using. The one piece I will be using is the stock throw out bearing. Unfortunately The clutch hose I received was cut and my car actually has a steel braided AN line today. I plan to simply unscrew the -4 fitting that attaches to the miata slave cylinder and thread this piece on. That should be all that is needed to operate the hydraulic clutch for the LTG.
Part Number 139160 from Summit Racing
The turbo finally made its way to its permanent home. I removed the manifold to check for obstructions. All clear!
There is a ton of potential in good manifold. One day I might put it on a mill and clean up the ports to their potential.
Some of the pipes needed arrived. The GM packaging is by far some of the best!
All ready to go now. Just need a few more nuts for the turbo to manifold
My personal opinion is that Fidanza shouldn’t be allowed to sell parts with sick half assed support . To get a party they recommended I would have to go to Europe or China but online the part is harder to find than a uniform.
I bought a piece of bronze on what and stayed to machine my own. The dimensions were simple. 16mmID 28mmOD and 26mm in length. It took about an hour to make.
Overall it will get the job done and be fine. That said I am no where near the phase of recommending a fidanza product. Especially after the need for custom bolts!
Turbocharger Arrived this week and I quickly mounted it in a mock up fashion. Finding the size nuts and bolts for it is proving it be a royal pain in the ass.
It is a used unit from a junk yard off a stock motor which should be good enough for mock ups and to get things rolling. The air exit pipe actually fits in a good spot. Hopefully it will stay within the body lines.
Missing the factory heat shield but can make one fairly easily. If anyone knows the nut size or part number for the turbo please let me know.
The turbo came with 1 oil pipe but the other is missing and will need to be bought.
The turbo mounts further out then I would like but hopefully it will work.
Water lines need to be made/purchased. Unfortunately without using the stock radiator and coolant tank it may be another custom effort