MX5/Miata Thread

MX5/Miata Thread


  • Total voters
    191

equiraptor

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 22, 2009
Messages
1,933
Location
Houston, Texas, USA
Car(s)
2006 Mazda MX-5, 2007 Suzuki SV650
Clearly you need a turbo. Forget that "no mods" thing, turbo it! *hides*

And I need a V8 swap. And a rear diffuser. And a front air dam. And that'll mean whole new gear ratios.
 

MXV

Member
Joined
Oct 17, 2009
Messages
76
Location
Edmonton, AB, Canada
Car(s)
2016 Mazda MX-5 + 2017 MINI Cooper-S Clubman all4
In the newly re-branded Road & Track, May 2013 issue, you'll find a one-pager about Flyin' Miata's V8 conversions. A good review.

To quote:
Flyin? Miata?s ?Habu? ? The 4/5ths Viper
We?d normally be dead-set against this sort of thing. For around $36,000, Colorado-based Mazda tuner Flyin? Miata (FM) will rip out the four-cylinder engine of a first-, second-, or third-generation Miata and install a 480bhp Chevrolet V8. While awesome, the act raises the question: Is the resulting Franken-car still a Miata?
It?s a question worth asking, because the Mazda is almost perfect. The car?s genius lies in the way it connects the driver to the road: It?s exhilarating at legal speeds yet swift when wheeled by the skilled. Horsepower was never the point.
Still, stuffing big American power into a small, light body isn?t new. Carroll Shelby?s Ford Cobra popularized the idea in the early Sixties, but the concept has been around as long as hot rodders have had wrenches. When we heard that Flyin? Miata, a shop full of folks who totally ?get? the car, was building V8 roadsters, we decided to pull our heads out of the sand and check out the swap.
I drove the FM V8 Miata on Angeles Crest High-way, one of the countless curved two-lanes that snake along the ridges north of Los Angeles. Keith Tanner, FM?s jack-of-all-trades engineering guru, was in the passenger seat, doing his best to not appear scared.
From behind the wheel, this car looks and smells like one of the countless Mazdas I?ve driven over the years, yet a few things are markedly different. For-get, for a moment, the Camaro soundtrack emanating from the pipes. The oddest part is how ferociously this thing catapults out of corners. It?s unnerving.
The engine used here, a 6.2L GM LS3 V8 rated at 480bhp, is saddled with just 2,660 pounds. For perspective, the V10-powered Dodge SRT Viper, a car thoroughly overrun with motor, weighs about 3,300 pounds and produces 640bhp. In power-to-weight terms, the V8 Miata is only a tick behind. The Viper, however, had been built from scratch to handle that kind of grunt; it uses rear tires roughly the size of five-gallon buckets. The Miata?s are puny by comparison ? smaller by about a third.
Size isn?t everything with tires, but it?s at the top of the list when it comes to traction. You expect a V8 Miata to vaporize its rear rubber if you so much as look at the right pedal. Despite the highway?s long straights, there was rarely room for more than a moment of full throttle before I had to stand on the brakes and arc into the next bend. With each turn, I got on the power a little earlier, always waiting for that moment when the engine overcame the avail-able grip, the back end stepped out uncontrollably, and whoops! I flew off the road to a terrible doom.
Sound paranoid? When you?ve driven as many half-baked tuner cars as I have, you get a little wary. To their credit, the FM crew didn?t just drop in an engine, they adjusted everything else on the car to cope. The gearbox is a six-speed Tremec T56 borrowed from an older Camaro, it routes power to the same limited-slip rear differential used in the Cadillac CTS-V. The tires are Nitto NT01s, essentially street-capable racing slicks, and they?re paired with stiffer, lower suspension. The package including parts and labour, but requiring that you supply a Miata, starts at $35,670. If you?re a DIY handy and know your way around Craigslist, Tanner estimates you could make your own for as little as $12,000.
After an hour in the canyons, I began to consider hacking up my own Miata. Other than the heat pouring off the transmission tunnel, a by-product of the tightly packaged exhaust, there?s little evidence that FM?s car isn?t factory-built. The shifter and hydraulic clutch are only slightly stiffer than the original units, the gauges all work, and the power steering retains most of the Miata?s brilliant clarity.
Any my God, it moves. Since first gear is all but useless ? anything more than part throttle just smokes the tires ? the quickest sprints start in second. So hampered, the tiny car rockets to 60mph in 3.8 seconds.
That leads us back to the question: Just what is it? Like the AC Ace that became the Ford Cobra when Shelby was through with it, this thing is no longer a Miata. It?s more like a pint-sized Viper. Flyin? Miata is calling it the Habu, a Japanese word for a type of small venomous snake. For now, that?ll do.
? Larry Webster, ? Road & Track (May 2013)
 

GaryC

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 21, 2006
Messages
4,001
Location
Adelaide
Car(s)
'90 Miata, '12 Octavia RS
The thought of that much... unbalance boggles my mind. No way I'd do that ever.
 

jasonof2000

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 6, 2008
Messages
1,938
Location
Delmarva Peninsula
Car(s)
2013 Lincoln MKT, 2002 Miata SE, 2012 Honda NC700
It adds less weight than you think. Less than 200 pounds up front if I remember right. A modern small block motor is aluminum, the 4 bangers Mazda put in the NA and NB are iron block.
 

MXV

Member
Joined
Oct 17, 2009
Messages
76
Location
Edmonton, AB, Canada
Car(s)
2016 Mazda MX-5 + 2017 MINI Cooper-S Clubman all4
The thought of that much... unbalance boggles my mind. No way I'd do that ever.
"Elvis", FM's NB prototype car (the subject of the article), was originally a 2.0L stroker with turbo kit. The weight prior to and post conversion was within pounds, and the balance was actually better, as 1/3rd of the added weight is on the rear axle, due to the diff change and sub-frame. The 2/3rds of the LSx conversion was less in the front than the entire turbo kit that was removed along with the iron block inline-4 and transmission.

Despite the "gram strategy" employed by Mazda, the drivetrains of any NA, NB, or NC are portly, as compared with GM's LSx series of engines.

But, if by imbalance you mean power...again, there are 2.0L stroker motor turbo'd Miatas making more power, and you don't have to go with the hot-cam version of the LS3...the stock engine is 430bhp. That's not "that" much, as my buddy's 2.0L stroker turbo'd Miata made 420bhp / 325lb-ft as delivered by FM when they custom built it. Until the arrival of the LS3, none of the earlier LS1 / LS2 V8 conversions had dyno'd higher than his 2.0L.
 
Last edited:

CrzRsn

Mr. Fedewhatever
DONOR
Joined
Mar 6, 2005
Messages
17,284
Location
Motor City, Michigan
Car(s)
13 Ford Mustang GT, 17 Ford Fiesta ST
NA owners? How do I get my popups to be flush with the body? The linkages from the motor to the popup body have both just been replaced with new ones ordered from a Mazda dealer (NA01-51-SA5), and the lights are sitting a bit higher than they should when closed, and pointing a bit up when open. From a first glance there doesn't seem to be any sort of adjustment to get them lowered. Logically bending that metal linkage directly connected to the motor a bit until the lights sit flush with the hood/bumper would work, but that doesn't seem like the best solution.
 

GaryC

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 21, 2006
Messages
4,001
Location
Adelaide
Car(s)
'90 Miata, '12 Octavia RS
As far as I know, it's just pushing it and bending it. Otherwise, bend the bonnet?
 

thedguy

rides with Rebecca Black.. in the back
Joined
Jun 18, 2004
Messages
9,006
Location
Orange California
Car(s)
(OO=[][]=OO)
My battery caught fire today

My battery caught fire today

So my battery caught fire tonight

The factory tie down combined with an aftermarket battery that hat terminals that stuck UP rather than flush caused the positive to short to the chassis. Long story short, I will no longer be buying these style batteries (this was from pep boys), and I will forever insulate my battery tie downs.

In the newly re-branded Road & Track, May 2013 issue, you'll find a one-pager about Flyin' Miata's V8 conversions. A good review.

To quote:
I've had the pleasure of following their conversions driven by their own guys around laguna seca. I was riding shot gun in a 1.6 NA that could make the climb to the cork screw far better than that could. I wasn't impressed.

NA owners? How do I get my popups to be flush with the body? The linkages from the motor to the popup body have both just been replaced with new ones ordered from a Mazda dealer (NA01-51-SA5), and the lights are sitting a bit higher than they should when closed, and pointing a bit up when open. From a first glance there doesn't seem to be any sort of adjustment to get them lowered. Logically bending that metal linkage directly connected to the motor a bit until the lights sit flush with the hood/bumper would work, but that doesn't seem like the best solution.
Bend the lind. It can be done with your hands. Don't fuck with the linkage. They have probably been bent over the years from people sitting/leaning on the car or putting their hand on them while wrenching on it.

If the beam pattern is off, use the adjustment screw on the light housing itself inside the buckets.
 
Last edited:

equiraptor

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 22, 2009
Messages
1,933
Location
Houston, Texas, USA
Car(s)
2006 Mazda MX-5, 2007 Suzuki SV650
I've had the pleasure of following their conversions driven by their own guys around laguna seca. I was riding shot gun in a 1.6 NA that could make the climb to the cork screw far better than that could. I wasn't impressed.
That's a shame. I've shared track space with three different V8 Miatas and seen two of them at autocross. The drivers of them had various skill levels, but I found the cars impressive.
 

MadCat360

Forum Addict
Joined
Apr 15, 2008
Messages
7,569
Location
Mazda Raceway
Car(s)
*Carless* Waaahhh
I've had the pleasure of following their conversions driven by their own guys around laguna seca. I was riding shot gun in a 1.6 NA that could make the climb to the cork screw far better than that could. I wasn't impressed.
"Making the climb" in a Miata is relative. I was lucky if I gained 100 RPM between 6 and 7 in 4th gear, even after hitting 6 at nearly 90 with my 1.6.
 
Top