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How to make Spec Miata faster Vs E46


the5
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Hey guys currently trying to decide on two paths, earlier this year we were planning to come to Chump to do the 24 hour race with our Crown Vic. About a week before the event it was obvious that it wouldnt be done so we decided to find a spec miata and run that instead. So a week before the event we find this 1.6 Spec Miata, bring it home from Georgia to NJ and prep it to race.

Ended up coming in 20th overall with one of the slowest fastest laps and first in EC. 

 

So now I am faced with the decision of either to sell the car and build an E46 or Make it faster. 

Im not sure if you can crank another 10 seconds out of the miata without swapping in an ecotec engine. 

Has anyone been able to run a 1.8L competitively?

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You don't say what year Miata. If it's an NA,which I'd assume it is based on the 1.6 statement. You have a whole bunch of points to work with.

 

Miatas are very competive out here in the West. Arsenic Racing runs a Spec platform and won the West Coast Chumpionchip.

 

Miata PI,another Miata platform,is consistently fast and has podium ed,and won lots of events too.

 

A bit of homework,and I think you might be very pleased with what you already have.

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23 hours ago, miatainium said:

stay together for the duration of the race. 

Thats why we dont want EcoTec, It seems they are over powering the drive train. 

 

As far as pit work we are fine, AER Requires 3 min stops and in our mustangs we are usually loading 24 gallons of fuel in the 3 mins, so 5 mins and the miata 11.6 gallon tank was cake haha.

 

For the miata I was thinking one of two options

1. Cheap 1.8 Swap with the NA8 motor 

2. Go a little more and do a standalone ECU and VVT 1.8 

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There are more options on the ECOTech than what the Ecotech Miata team is doing.  Right now they are on a fairly radical path with the motor.  Kinda of cool they are doing the experimenting and test for us.   Thanks Guys!   We are running a stock 2.2 and so far no reliability issues outside of normal endurance racing stuff.  We'll probably try a stock 2.4 next year, should be another nice bump in torque and HP.  I little bit diff driving style with lower rpm.     The vvt swap is also a good one I believe.  Simple, nice bump in pwr.   Other than that you just have to drill 1/8 holes in everything. ;)

 

Edited by JDChristianson
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59 minutes ago, the5 said:

Thats why we dont want EcoTec, It seems they are over powering the drive train. 

 

To clarify, as @JDChristianson indicated, stock 2.2 L61 or 2.4 LE5 are very robust engines that do not “over power” the stock 5 speed, and in fact nicely matched the output. We ran both of those engine options for a season each and never broke drivetrain. The failures that took us out of races were things that broke as a result of having more power. For example, wheel bearings, those need to be replaced frequently, and even then sometimes good ones still fail prematurely. 

 

This year the most spectacular failure was at RA last month where we split the belhousing. In Friday practice we had a terrible money-shift from the top of 4 into 3 that didn’t take out the engine (robust!) but broke the crank bolts off. In ChumpCar never-say-die fashion we laid on our backs in the parking lot to piece together what we could with what we had. But the crank was slightly unbalanced and after ~10 hours of track time it failed gloriously. Top tip, don’t money-shift. 

 

Secondly, we run a fuel cell and we’ve been battling fuel related issues since last season. We think we’ve squashed a number of those bugs and at RA we were pleased that they didn’t crop up. Top tip, don’t run a fuel cell. If you do, be prepared to do it right or persevere through the growing pains. 

 

The easy route for a decent power bump is the 2.2 Ecotec and still have lots of points room, or a good bit more power with the 2.4 at the cost of points room. Keep the stock fuel tank and change your wheel bearings often. 

 

Good luck!

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24 minutes ago, Z06LOL said:

I am curious, how long are you ecotech teams able to go on fuel(stock size tank that is) ?

 

Something we have considered but being most races are 8hours and we can barely go 2 hours at stock 1.6 power not sure if it makes sense....

We are burning fuel at the same or sometimes less than we did with the stock 1.6l.  Also, we have a cell setup, have since day 1, and have had no issues at all with our fuel system, outside of when we got hit hard at NCM a few years back.

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On 11/9/2017 at 8:11 PM, the5 said:

Hey guys currently trying to decide on two paths, earlier this year we were planning to come to Chump to do the 24 hour race with our Crown Vic. About a week before the event it was obvious that it wouldnt be done so we decided to find a spec miata and run that instead. So a week before the event we find this 1.6 Spec Miata, bring it home from Georgia to NJ and prep it to race.

Ended up coming in 20th overall with one of the slowest fastest laps and first in EC. 

 

So now I am faced with the decision of either to sell the car and build an E46 or Make it faster. 

Im not sure if you can crank another 10 seconds out of the miata without swapping in an ecotec engine. 

Has anyone been able to run a 1.8L competitively?

1st off, why was the car in EC?  With the 250 pts to play with you should be able to make that car work into the rules?

 

If you are going to do a swap and do not want to go ecotec(we run one, have 3 weekends on it and no issues so far) I would suggest the 99 MIata VVT motor.  There are a couple teams we know that are running them and they seem to be pretty competitive with them.

 

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On 11/12/2017 at 2:22 PM, Z06LOL said:

I am curious, how long are you ecotech teams able to go on fuel(stock size tank that is) ?

 

Something we have considered but being most races are 8hours and we can barely go 2 hours at stock 1.6 power not sure if it makes sense....

With the 2.2 and stock tank we were able to get 2 hours track dependent. With the 2.4 we had already changed to a cell but it’s quite certain that 2 hours isn’t possible.

 

Maybe @55mini will chime in as he’s got a 2.2 with the stock tank. Although the 144HP doesn’t sound too impressive the torque is a huge improvement over the 1.6. With equal drivers it handily pulls everywhere on stock engine Miatas.  

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9 minutes ago, miatainium said:

With the 2.2 and stock tank we were able to get 2 hours track dependent. With the 2.4 we had already changed to a cell but it’s quite certain that 2 hours isn’t possible.

 

Maybe @55mini will chime in as he’s got a 2.2 with the stock tank. Although the 144HP doesn’t sound too impressive the torque is a huge improvement over the 1.6. With equal drivers it handily pulls everywhere on stock engine Miatas.  

Sorry, @55mini's car is the team I'm on, we have never run a stock tank on the car.  1st major change we made when we decided to get into Chump.

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I am just finishing a 2.4 Ecotec 1993 Miata.  Keeping it simple, stock tank, nothing different in the motor.  It'll run at Laguna in December and I expect perhaps 2 seconds, maybe 3 faster than last year in our old 1996 1.8 stocker.  I had a TON of experience in that car, running some 35 races in it.  I moved a lot of stuff over, should be good outa the box but there's always pains with a new build.  Looking forward to seeing how it does.  These 2.4 motors are cheap!

 

Edited by Jer
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On 11/12/2017 at 12:02 PM, hotchkis23 said:

 

 

 I would suggest the 99 MIata VVT motor.  There are a couple teams we know that are running them and they seem to be pretty competitive with them.

 

The 1999 Miata is NOT a VVT motor. Those started in 2001. The 99 head is the sought after non VVT set up.

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9 hours ago, miatainium said:

I stand corrected, it’ll be good to hear back from @Jer to see how long he’s able to extract from the 2.4 on a stock tank.  

Yes, this is a hot debate.  The Canadian Ecotec guys said 1:45 but in my testing locally, I think that's optimistic.  So we are tentatively planning 4 stints at Laguna each day, hoping a lot of cautions maybe stretch the first stint to two hours, but we will know more on test day.  It's possible it's only 1:30 or 1:35 meaning five stints.  If that's true, then I'll look for a cell next year maybe.  I like simple so I hope we don't have to do that.  

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1 hour ago, Jer said:

Yes, this is a hot debate.  The Canadian Ecotec guys said 1:45 but in my testing locally, I think that's optimistic.  So we are tentatively planning 4 stints at Laguna each day, hoping a lot of cautions maybe stretch the first stint to two hours, but we will know more on test day.  It's possible it's only 1:30 or 1:35 meaning five stints.  If that's true, then I'll look for a cell next year maybe.  I like simple so I hope we don't have to do that.  

When we were running the 2.4 even with our cell we would struggle to get to 1:45. 

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To be completely honest we have considered the options of engine swaps.  As of right now our car is a top 10 car,  it will never podium the way it sits...

 

However it is a lot of fun to drive, and extremely reliable,  and inexapensive! 

 

Only time will tell. 

 

Thanks for all of the ecotech input 

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