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Keith
Keith GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
7/31/08 5:11 p.m.

We're stuffing an LS1 into a Miata. The plan is to have it on the track at our Open House in two weeks. It's not being done Challenge-style (the shocks that are on the car would pretty much take up that budget immediately!) but I figured the GRM community would still enjoy it.

I'm looking forward to the end result a little bit too much. This is going to be great.

http://www.flyinmiata.com/projects/LS1

neon4891
neon4891 Dork
7/31/08 5:15 p.m.

what kind of power-to-weight ratio are you looking at?

oldopelguy
oldopelguy HalfDork
7/31/08 5:23 p.m.

That Keith, always sniffing something.....

Salanis
Salanis Dork
7/31/08 5:29 p.m.
oldopelguy wrote: That Keith, always sniffing something.....

I wasn't aware that they bottled Awesome yet. I'll have to track some down.

Keith
Keith GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
7/31/08 5:30 p.m.

I'm expecting the end result to be around 2500 lbs, and I think these engines start at 300 hp and go up from there. We've resisted the urge to modify the engine at this point, but you know it's going to happen :) The torque-to-weight ratio is what's going to be notable out of the box, I think.

People are always making comments like "$400 for a header? I can get a pair of headers for my Chevy for only $200!". Well, I've seen those $200 Chevy headers now, and lemme just say I can see why there's a difference in price. But it's hard to beat a 405 hp crate engine with a two-year, 50,000 mile warranty for $6159...

Rangeball
Rangeball New Reader
7/31/08 5:40 p.m.

A couple of people on ls1tech.com in the conversion/hybrid section have done this swap but mostly for straight line performance. I will follow Keith's progress as Miata + ls1 (the engine that was touched by the hand of god) = awesome as Salanis pointed out.

Let us know the weight distribution too!

bluej
bluej GRM+ Memberand Reader
7/31/08 5:44 p.m.

every time i see this done to a miata, it gives me evil, evil thoughts.

Nashco
Nashco Dork
7/31/08 6:04 p.m.

I'll be interested to see how this ends up comparing the Vorshlag LS1 E36, as it has the potentially to be even more wicked. I thought that project was awesome until they started releasing prices for their parts, then I lost a whole bunch of enthusiasm for buying off the shelf part and went back to my DIY mentality. I haven't watched to see how they're selling, perhaps the regular bimmer guys are eating it up, but $3k just for a set of headers is absolutely insane IMO. $1000 for some simple tube and plate brackets? By that math, the FM butterfly brace should cost somewhere around $1000.

Hopefully you guys can continue the badassery AND reasonable pricing, even I could like the Miata with an LSx. I've already been watching the build for a week or so. Keep up the good work! I'm curious to see what the final buildup looks like. I'm curious, are you guys already selling kits, or is the pricing on the site estimated?

Bryce

Carson
Carson Reader
7/31/08 6:07 p.m.

Looking at the pictures it seems like it's going to be a gas/electric hybrid and lubricated with water. FM has done it again!

Note the electrical outlets and switch cleverly hidden in the pan:

hehe

Keith
Keith GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
7/31/08 8:02 p.m.

Ooo, busted

We are selling kits - there have been a couple sold already. The pricing on the site is correct. We'll be adding a few more things - an installation kit to put this rear diff in "normal" Miatas is the first in line, as it should end up being price-competitive with a Torsen, especially if you take the gear ratio into account. There aren't a lot of ways to get a 3.4 rear end in a Miata.

I would not be surprised to see the weight distribution close to that of a big turbo Miata.

P71
P71 GRM+ Memberand Reader
7/31/08 8:16 p.m.

Mmmmmmm... LS1...

Which LSx motor exactly did you go with? Trans? HP/TQ? ANd when and what mods are going to be done? You are aware that 100HP is just a cam swap away...

familytruckster
familytruckster New Reader
7/31/08 9:47 p.m.

LS motors in anything are awesome. I've seen volvo wagons, miatas, civics, family truckster movie replicas!!!!, S2000's, 190E's, BMW's, etc....

Can't wait to see the finished product!

MitchellC
MitchellC Reader
7/31/08 9:55 p.m.
Nashco wrote: $1000 for some simple tube and plate brackets? By that math, the FM butterfly brace should cost somewhere around $1000.

I would have to assume that there was some amount of R&D that took place, and time is money.

Keith
Keith GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
8/1/08 10:08 a.m.

We're using an LS1 from a Firebird. The trans is a new T56. The engine is, at the moment, stock. It will likely not remain this way, but the first goal is to get the car to the "self-propelled" stage before we start futzing with things. That's taken some pretty solid self-control on our part.

Nashco
Nashco Dork
8/1/08 11:34 a.m.

Keith, are there any other documented swaps yet? I'd be interested to see/follow the others if you know of any others and wouldn't mind sharing.

MitchellC wrote: I would have to assume that there was some amount of R&D that took place, and time is money.

Have you seen the Vorshlag part prices? I work for a living, so I understand that time is money. Like I said, the FM prices are much more reasonable IMO, and I expect they'll sell a heck of a lot more of them in the long run so they'll end up making just as much money as the Vorshlag guys and a lot more enthusiasts will benefit. It's a win-win.

Bryce

Keith
Keith GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
8/1/08 12:29 p.m.

There's an "engine conversions" section in the Miataforum. I think at least one other build using the same subframe is being documented there, and there have been other folks who have stuffed LS engines into Miatas in the past. Root around there and you'll also find the V12 Miata.

AutoXR
AutoXR New Reader
8/1/08 12:56 p.m.

Factory manifolds Flow as well as shorty headers. The real benefit is shedding weight. It's only when you go long tubes do you see a real gain.

We have a 2650Lbs Ls1 Corvair vette, headers ,LS1edit..ect) with a Porsche tranny. LS1 Vair

Scarrrry Fast. Good times..

Nice build.

Keith
Keith GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
8/1/08 2:11 p.m.

I believe the shorty headers are being used for packaging, not performance.

gamby
gamby SuperDork
8/1/08 2:16 p.m.
neon4891 wrote: what kind of power-to-weight ratio are you looking at?

Is "silly" considered a ratio???

Sweet.

Rangeball
Rangeball New Reader
8/1/08 3:24 p.m.

The thing that always kept my imagination towards drifting away from this swap was the tire width on the miata. Now with a NA and NB fitting 275's all around, you have some decent rubber to put down the torque. Should be a nice car when its all done. Good luck!

ckosacranoid
ckosacranoid HalfDork
8/1/08 4:36 p.m.

i wouls say the 2003 biuld with the v-8 maita that the dogs biult might help...but they moved the engine back and had to make a new firewall for it...

Keith
Keith GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
8/1/08 4:44 p.m.

Too many people concentrate on tire width instead of tire compound. We're free of class restrictions here, so there are a set of 225/45-15 Nitto NT01's waiting to be bolted to the car. We've run as wide as 245 on an NB but they had to be "street" tires available from Tire Rack, so this setup will be vastly superior in terms of traction while still remaining semi-legitimately streetable.

DirtyBird222
DirtyBird222 Reader
8/1/08 7:09 p.m.

ok so you have completely changed my mind. I said I would never ever ever buy a miata, but if it's got an LSjuan in it than I may consider one.

Rangeball
Rangeball New Reader
8/4/08 8:47 p.m.
Keith wrote: Too many people concentrate on tire width instead of tire compound. We're free of class restrictions here, so there are a set of 225/45-15 Nitto NT01's waiting to be bolted to the car. We've run as wide as 245 on an NB but they had to be "street" tires available from Tire Rack, so this setup will be vastly superior in terms of traction while still remaining semi-legitimately streetable.

I just know from experience you will need a good amount of rubber to put down the power of an lsx motor. You guys know what your doing though so I will quietly sit and watch with much anticipation of the finished product.

Keith
Keith GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
8/5/08 12:41 p.m.

Well, we do have a lot of drivers here equipped with organic traction control We had one car here that had traction problems in 4th gear according to one driver, but I never noticed a problem.

The big problem with trying to fit fat rubber to a Miata is diameter. If you want to go wider than 225, you're generally looking at a tire that's about 2" taller than original and that brings along some downsides. Yes, there's the oddball Hoosier, but that's an autocross-only tire.

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