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Another Miata engine question

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J.P.Rap Avatar
J.P.Rap J.P. Rap
Mount Hope, Ontario, Canada   CAN
1976 Triumph 1500 "Donna"
2007 Ford Ranger
The Miata I was looking at for $500 is no longer available...and the seller never got back to me.
There is another one in the same area selling for $600 but the seller says it burns oil, particularly on cold start up. The valve seals were replaced in 2011 so we agreed it's likely valve guides. He says it goes down to the add mark after about 1000 KMs. It doesn't leak any oil.
Here is the list he sent me of the work he's done on it.
Quote: Transmission is original 5 speed. It did get locked in reverse 12 years ago. Switch was replaced with the new model and that issue never happened again. both rear and inner seal and gasket have around 30,000km on them. Lower shift boot and turret changed and cleaned in 2011 at around 252,000km. 1.6l SNC loctite repaired sept 2, 2011 at a little over 254,000km. Engine was torn completely apart at the same time. NPR piston rings were installed. I can't guarantee anything on the engine. It works. It doesn't leave me choking with smoke. I just notice the oil does go down and needs to be topped up every so often.
I didn't know what he meant about "SNC Loctite repaired" and this was his reply...

Quote: SNC is "short nose crank". It's an issue many of the early 1.6l miata's had with the crank nose. It uses a square key to hold the timing belt cog and harmonic balancer in place on the crankshaft. The pulley bolt would come loose which would allow the square key to start smashing up and causing damage to the crank nose on the crankshaft. The fix involved using two types of loctite on the new parts and a higher torque setting on the bolt. One is an actual metal filler for the void beside the keyway, the other is just the typical loctite to hold the bolt in place. You can search for more information about it on miata.net. There's plenty of threads about the fix for it. As for the oil consumption, I'd say I could get about 1000km from full on the dipstick to the add part of the dipstick. It's difficult to say because sometimes I'd just top it off long before I'd let it get too low so I wouldn't get myself in a bad situation with low oil. I know the valve guides have not been changed and they're likely the culprit, it does have valve seals that aren't that old since it was taken apart in 2011.
He's the original owner and it sounds like he's taken pretty good care of the car. The body and frame are rusted out.
My question is would you take a chance on this engine? I don't mind getting the head done but wouldn't want to buy something that's going to be giving me problems in in short order.
Im asking because I know nothing about these engines. The consensus is they're bullet proof but Ive found with modern small engines, once they start going they're not worth fixing and this one is pretty high mileage. Maybe thats not the case with these engines.
The price is certainly right but not if I have to dump a bunch of money into it. It's a 6 Hr drive to pick it up so I want to be fairly sure Im going to buy it, pending any surprises, before I make the trip.
Thanks for your advice.
J.P.



"In this world, you must be oh so smart, or oh so pleasant. Well, for years I was smart. I recommend pleasant." Elwood P. Dowd

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davew72 Dave Wheeler
Beloit, Wisconsin, USA   USA
This is my first post to this site. 4 days ago I bought a 73 Spitfire and have been learning a lot here. I do not plan on doing a Miata swap to this car. But I do know a thing or two about Miatas. I am the owner of Advanced Autosports (www.advanced-autosports.com) which is one of the largest Spec Miata race shops in the country. I currently have 45+ (yes FORTY FIVE) Miata in the shop.

I would run, not walk away from this car. Too many red flags.
1- you say he has taken "pretty good care of the car". yet the body and frame are rotted and the motor has been rebuilt (new rings, and valve seals) and still smokes. Guess what the 2 most common causes of smoke on a Miata engine are. Rings and valve seals. Valves guides very rarely go bad if the car is taken care of.

2- loctite on the crank is a temporary fix. For an extra $300 he could have repaired it properly when he did the ring job.

Based on your description, if this car pulled into my shop, I would not pay more than $300 for the car and I would not go more than 5 miles to get it.

Like I said, I know very little about Triumphs. But I know a LOT about Miatas.

dave

Lizzard d id
san jose, ca, USA   USA
http://www.picknpull.com/check_inventory.aspx?Address=95061&Lat=36.974200&Lng=-122.029700&Make=Mazda&Model=MX-5+Miata&Distance=25000

300-2 Engine Long Block Car $149.99 $29.99

1/2 off sale going on now till the 4th , so the long block would be $75 ish .

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Manana Avatar
Manana Steve Wten
Thornhill, Ontario, Canada   CAN
Things may be a bit different here in Canada, wrt availability and rust.

JP, depends what you expect from this car.... if you want it all in one shot, then walk away.

Take it for 400 bucks and you will have all the electronics, wiring, rad, driveshaft, etc etc that you will need. I picked up a second engine and tranny from JDM for 6-800 bucks just because I had the Short Nose Crank in my original and thought, heck $800 for an engine and tranny with low mileage to keep in the garage would be great.

Unfortunately one of my computer hard drives failed and I'm missing some info (like the exact price I paid for the engine and tranny - I actually think it was $650 cash). Also missing my notes on short, long and big nose cranks, but I think this sums it up....
http://www.miata.net/garage/crankshaft.html

I wouldn't count on that engine for anything except ancillaries as back-ups, but you may find they just collect dust. If it has air or cruise control, that might be interesting to have as well.

If you intend on moving the shifter location as I did, it's nice to have a second tranny around to give you that warm and fuzzy about drilling and taping the casing. Trannys are cheap, $100. The problem he mentioned about locking in reverse is not unusual, the Miata King on youtube explains it pretty well, not an issue.

Having extra parts around is really helpful in the swap. I even used the Miata fuel lines, just re-bent them as required. I've hung on to all the suspension bits as well; not sure if I'll be able to use them, but thinking about a new suspension out back (if I get some time down the road).

Anyway, good luck with whatever you choose, now's not a bad time to be buying I think; more may soon show up on the scene.



Steve
http://stevew10.wix.com/spit16

carChips Avatar
carChips Victor Harnish
Kelowna, BC, Canada   CAN
1933 MG Magnette
1973 Triumph Spitfire 1500 "Chip"
1989 GMC Sierra 1500 "Bush Truck"
With that mileage you can expect to do a complete rebuild on engine and trans. Sooo, save the 600 and do your spitfire engine.



'S all for now
Vic

J.P.Rap Avatar
J.P.Rap J.P. Rap
Mount Hope, Ontario, Canada   CAN
1976 Triumph 1500 "Donna"
2007 Ford Ranger
In reply to # 1482383 by davew72 This is my first post to this site. 4 days ago I bought a 73 Spitfire and have been learning a lot here. I do not plan on doing a Miata swap to this car. But I do know a thing or two about Miatas. I am the owner of Advanced Autosports (www.advanced-autosports.com) which is one of the largest Spec Miata race shops in the country. I currently have 45+ (yes FORTY FIVE) Miata in the shop.

I would run, not walk away from this car. Too many red flags.
1- you say he has taken "pretty good care of the car". yet the body and frame are rotted and the motor has been rebuilt (new rings, and valve seals) and still smokes. Guess what the 2 most common causes of smoke on a Miata engine are. Rings and valve seals. Valves guides very rarely go bad if the car is taken care of.

2- loctite on the crank is a temporary fix. For an extra $300 he could have repaired it properly when he did the ring job.

Based on your description, if this car pulled into my shop, I would not pay more than $300 for the car and I would not go more than 5 miles to get it.

Like I said, I know very little about Triumphs. But I know a LOT about Miatas.

dave
Thanks for the post Dave. I know nothing about Miatas and I wasn't real sure about this one so that's why I asked here first.
I'll keep looking.



"In this world, you must be oh so smart, or oh so pleasant. Well, for years I was smart. I recommend pleasant." Elwood P. Dowd

J.P.Rap Avatar
J.P.Rap J.P. Rap
Mount Hope, Ontario, Canada   CAN
1976 Triumph 1500 "Donna"
2007 Ford Ranger
Steve. Thanks for the reply. All in one shot is what Im looking for. I skimmed that article earlier today.
Lizzard. If only they were that cheap around here.I may have to look state side to see what's available.
Thanks Victor.
I think I'll let this one go.



"In this world, you must be oh so smart, or oh so pleasant. Well, for years I was smart. I recommend pleasant." Elwood P. Dowd

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RobTAR Robert I
Seattle, WA, USA   USA
In reply to # 1482501 by carChips With that mileage you can expect to do a complete rebuild on engine and trans. Sooo, save the 600 and do your spitfire engine.

Bah, Japanese cars will run to 250-300k miles with just regular maintenance. at about 150k Miles(250,000km) she has plenty of life left. On the other hand the SNC issue would cause me to walk on that specific one. But for a swap into a Spitfire or GT6 a good condition Miata mill at 150k miles will probably see the car rot away before it quits.

tightapex Avatar
tightapex Greg Bailey
Gilroy, California, USA   USA
Unmodified Miata motors are usually long-lived. My co-worker had a very long commute and racked up 305,000 miles on his originally-owned '91 with normal maintenance. I'm not sure if he had the short nose crank version, but I remember glancing at the odometer...sure enough, 305,xxx.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2017-09-04 02:04 AM by tightapex.

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AtRo Racing Avatar
AtRo Racing Rob Rossiter
Branford, Connecticut, USA   USA
You might be better off looking into a factory Miata spec racer engine. I understand that the factory supplies these engines fairly expensive to customers.

You can call my friend Randy Hale at Hale Prop in Oil Saybroik, CT for info. Yes he owns both a propeller reconditioning shop and a Miata race shop in the same building.

Call Randy at 860-399-4600 and he can answer all your questions about Miata engines.

Robbie



Rob Rossiter
AtRo Racing Products
55 Featherbed Lane
Branford, CT. 06405
203-641-8569
AtRoRacing@Gmail.com

J.P.Rap Avatar
J.P.Rap J.P. Rap
Mount Hope, Ontario, Canada   CAN
1976 Triumph 1500 "Donna"
2007 Ford Ranger
OK. I now have two Miatas to look at. One is a 92. The seller says the drive train only has 144K KMs but doesn't have documentation to prove it. The Odometer reads more than double that. It's not a SNC so no worries there.
The second is a 2002 special edition LSD. 230K Kms but is a 1.8 Lt with 6 speed trans.
My question is, would there be a lot more work to install the 2002 over the 1992? First...will the bigger engine and trany fit or am I asking for trouble. second...It has Full ECU control system. Is it a huge job to swap over?

I would prefer the 2002 and Ive accepted the need to do the mods for the old 1.6 but if there's a lot more mods (cutting more of the frame and firewall etc.) than that for the 1.8, 6 speed, Im not interested. I'm sure the ECU can be done but if it's going to be a major headache I'm not interested.
Asking price is the same for both so no worries there.

ETA...The seller of the 2002 says he noticed the timing belt is about to break. I don't think you can see the timing belt with the covers on so I'm not so sure about that. I'll know better when I go to look at it.



"In this world, you must be oh so smart, or oh so pleasant. Well, for years I was smart. I recommend pleasant." Elwood P. Dowd



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2017-09-22 11:14 AM by J.P.Rap.

tightapex Avatar
tightapex Greg Bailey
Gilroy, California, USA   USA
In reply to # 1487011 by J.P.Rap OK. I now have two Miatas to look at.

Both engines are relatively the same in dimension, however, the 2002 has a different intake manifold and a VVT module on the cam cover. It could present hood clearance issues. As for driveability, I always preferred the 1.6L for its revvy quality, but you'll get more power with the 1.8L. Mazda made a few additional modifications to the 1.8L from '01-on to extract more power, including an engine girdle plate reduce some buzziness on the earlier 1.8L's, It would be a good choice of engine. I believe you can do away with the VVT, but that involves standalone engine management. Don't know the exact details there.

J.P.Rap Avatar
J.P.Rap J.P. Rap
Mount Hope, Ontario, Canada   CAN
1976 Triumph 1500 "Donna"
2007 Ford Ranger
Not familiar with VVT. What is that?
My neighbors kid could help out with Stand alone engine management if it comes down to that. From what he tells me, he's done it a number of times on Nissans.
From what Ive read, the 5 speed is a fairly tight fit. Wondering if there,s much difference in the six speed.



"In this world, you must be oh so smart, or oh so pleasant. Well, for years I was smart. I recommend pleasant." Elwood P. Dowd

rustbuckit2011 Frank Zappa
auckland, auckland, New Zealand   NZL
The 5spd and 6spd gearboxes are quite different castings- where the 5spd can be modified to move the shifter forward to a near* stock triumph position, it cannot really be moved at all on the 6 speed. That combined with the extra ~1.5" of length in the 1.8 engine means your shifter will end up rather far back- probably where the handbrake is. The 6 speed will not only be hard to fit, it really just isnt necessary.

clshore Carter Shore
Beverly Hills, Florida, USA   USA
In reply to # 1487046 by J.P.Rap Not familiar with VVT. What is that?
My neighbors kid could help out with Stand alone engine management if it comes down to that. From what he tells me, he's done it a number of times on Nissans.
From what Ive read, the 5 speed is a fairly tight fit. Wondering if there,s much difference in the six speed.

Variable Valve Timing.

The ECU integrates sensor and operational data with a custom developed proprietary OEM algorithm that maps the optimum valve timing for
power, emissions, and fuel economy, to yield a stable, reliable, drivable motor.

Unless your neighbors kid has a access to a dyno, engine telemetry/data capture, an engineering degree, and 6 months to spend,
running an OEM VVT with a standalone engine management system is just not gonna happen.

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