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miata engine in an FC?

Old 05-28-12, 12:35 PM
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miata engine in an FC?

My uncle owns an FD rx7 and is tired of dealing with all the problems it has: hot start, overheating, crap gas mileage, and now he has oil in his coolant or something.

He is not open to participating in motorsports (dangerous) so there is no chance he will ever drive the car the way it was meant to be driven. At best he might accelerate quickly on an on ramp. But he does admire the car for its rich background, engineering beauty, and most of all, its looks.

It's for these reasons that he wants to keep the car and swap a miata engine into it. I'm a subaru guy so I have no idea what to tell him aside from "it will be expensive." I want to discourage him from going this route, but I don't know what to suggest otherwise. He just wants reliability in FC clothing. I want to help him but I don't want to desecrate the car. Plus, although I'm experienced enough to pull out the engine and maybe even do the wiring merge, I can't weld.

Basically what I want I'm asking is (1) Approximately how much would it cost to swap to a miata engine (in light of my limited contribution), and (2) what would you do if you were in my shoes? Thanks!

Last edited by nilo; 05-28-12 at 12:48 PM. Reason: D'oh! Wrote "FC" instead of "FD"
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Old 05-28-12, 12:52 PM
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Put an Ls1 into it. Not because its fast, but because its a 100% bolt on affair that's proven to be reliable. (Reliable = someone else has went down that path, found all the bugs, and are driving their cars 30,000 miles later without problems related to the swap itself)
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Old 06-01-12, 12:13 AM
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Easy swap for anyone that can do moderate fab and wiring work. Going to be a slow FC

Much rather just have a miata. I daily a '03 with a t28 turbo
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Old 06-01-12, 01:24 AM
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Sounds like the car is a basket case and your uncle is negligent. Those are problems are not just "facts of life" of these cars. The issues often publicized on here are due to increasing power or driving the car hard. If he can't/won't maintain the car, I don't really know what to tell you.

That said, putting a miata engine in an FD is a hairbrained idea, and not to be rude, but just stupid. If you aren't welding it isn't happening. It's going to be expensive and you're cutting the power in half. And any potential resale will be absolutely destroyed, and that's IF you can ever find an interested party.
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Old 06-02-12, 02:40 AM
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I agree that putting a Miata engine into an FD is a bad idea. It is one thing to do a swap into an FB, as I have done more than once, but the FD is a complex car, and if you do not have good fabrication skills and some engine swap experience, you had best forget the idea.

Tell him to buy a used Mazda 3, Civic, Prelude or other nice sporty coupe/small sedan with a reliable piston engine, preferably 2.0 liters or less if you are concerned about fuel mileage. Plenty of choices out there.

Most people do engine swaps to get performance increases, and a lot of them are just not concerned about fuel mileage. My belief is that in the next few years that will change, particularly as regards swaps into rotary powered cars. There are some really nice engines available with good power and excellent fuel mileage, but this is done with rather complex electronic engine management, and the swaps require considerable knowledge of wiring to be done right.
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