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All in, I think I'd prefer a C6 Z06 - not all that much more, esp if you buy a 2006 model, which by definition is newer than the Miata conversion by at least one model year. And you'll likely get a mfg warranty and thinks like 505 hp, 32 secion rear tires, stuff that can never be had in the miata conversion.
Id think you, of all people would realize the benefit of lightness!

The miata weighs 1000lbs LESS than a Z06 Vette


Thats HALF an elise, LESS

Stopping distance, corner entry speed, traction in during transitions are all GREATLY higher in a lighter car.

Oh, and the Ecotec setups ARE NOT better balanced in a miata than an LSx setup.

The main reason (Besides the heavier part of the LS motor sitting LOWER and further BACK than the stock motor/ecotec) is the t56 transaxle.

the LSx swaps, when done properly, weigh about the same as stock, but have a considerably lower CG.
 

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For many years Flyin' Miata has had a gathering in Grand Junction, CO in August which used to be called an open house and has since become their summer camp. Some of their scheduled activities take place at a local shifter cart track which resembles an autocross circuit. This year they had a couple of their V8 conversion Miatas at the track. They performed very well, and they sounded incredible. I didn't take the opportunity to ride in one of them, but those who did were favorably impressed.

Bill in
Cincinnati
 

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Discussion Starter #24
I'm seriously thinking about taking the plunge. While owning an Atom and Caterham is appealing, something as wild as putting an LS3 into a Miata without jacking up its handling characteristics sounds like a lot of fun.
 

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I'm seriously thinking about taking the plunge. While owning an Atom and Caterham is appealing, something as wild as putting an LS3 into a Miata without jacking up its handling characteristics sounds like a lot of fun.
You'll have to invite me down (Or up, if you move) to help with the install. :D
 

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I'm seriously thinking about taking the plunge. While owning an Atom and Caterham is appealing, something as wild as putting an LS3 into a Miata without jacking up its handling characteristics sounds like a lot of fun.
An LS3 Miata would also be comfortable, (relatively) practical and daily drivable while an Atom/7/etc are none of the above.
 

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Hey guys, Keith Tanner here from Flyin' Miata. I just figured I'd pop in and answer a few questions. If there's anything you'd like to know, just ask.

When we build a car for a customer, we use all new parts and the entire drivetrain gets replaced. The engines are the LS3s from the 2009 Corvette and come with a 2-year warranty - better than you'd get with a used 2006 Z06! Even the LS376/480, an LS3 with a hot cam that gives an extra 50 hp, bumping the total to 480 hp, comes with that warranty. So not only are we dealing with a car that's approximately 750 lbs lighter than a 2009 Corvette, we've also got an extra 50 hp :D Makes for a fairly perky little car.

If you want the 505 hp LS7 from the Z06, that's certainly possible. But it's a dramatically more expensive engine to buy without much of a performance increase, so almost all of our customers are going for that cammed LS3. I think we have a customer building their own with an LS7, I'd have to check.

We don't use the T56 transaxle. Packaging that thing is difficult in our chassis to put it mildly. We use the F-body version (Camaro/Firebird) of the same transmission.

As for rubber, we certainly can't fit Corvette-size meats under the back. Most of our customers are running 225/45-15 R-compounds. Matched with the effective Positraction LSD in the rear, that works pretty well. We've set up our own car to run up to 255-series tires in the rear without any visible body modifications, but we do have to go to a larger diameter tire to get that size so it's not ideal. With the 225s, the car does hook up much better than you'd expect out of corners - the first time I took one of these to the track at Laguna Seca that was my biggest surprise.

I've got a Lotus Seven replica in my garage. It's huge fun, of course, a different sort of beast than the V8 Miatas. Ideally, I'd have one of each. I'm working on it...
 

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Don't get me wrong, car sounds great! I run Turbo Miata race cars and love the extra power. It is just part of the biggest attraction of the Miata is low cost and if price is no object, then I am sorry, but the Miata is out of the picture - I look to Lotus, Radical, etc.

I wonder if the LS3 cars can truly run at race pace for extended periods of time without cooling and brake issues. Even with ony 250 whp in a turbo car we have to make signiificant modifications to get the car to run reliably at race pace and add an extra 100 hp or so and I really wonder if the car can run cool and fade-free on the brakes.

As you might guess, I have a Z06 and on track the car will see over 240 coolant and over 300 oil temps and that is with pretty seriously thought out oil and water (and gearbox) cooling. I just have to doubt you can get the miata platfrom to run cool without major surgery and modifications.

I'll be happy to torture test one to see!
 

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Our local track is a tough one for cooling. It takes about 7 laps for a stock LS1 Corvette driven relatively slowly to start to get hot. Our shop V8 car, fitted with a modified LS1, can easily handle the same at a faster pace. The GM engines are much more efficient at cooling than the stock Miata one is - there's some pretty interesting information out there about the work done to remove steam pockets in the heads, for example. So it's fair to say that you'd have to do the same things to a Miata that you had to do to the Z06 to keep it cool.

Brakes, yes. That's a legitimate concern as the load on the brakes goes up with the square of the speed. There are some good options out there and we've been able to stop 350 hp racers in the past, but you're certainly going to need something more than good pads and fluid.

I wouldn't call a V8 Miata a "cost no object" car. If you get a turnkey, they're cheaper than new Corvettes with the same drivetrain. If you build it yourself, it's quite a bit less. Unlike a Radical, you can drive it on the street!

In fact, kverges, I have a pretty good idea of what's in that turbo Miata race car of yours, and it's not all that far off what it would cost to have a V8 version made ;)
 

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Actually I bet I can beat your prices. I have 2 Miata FMII turbo RACE cars for $20K each, turnkey (except for seat). That includes hardtop, Hydra EMS, upgraded hardware (sorry, but the FMII hardware will not stay tight in race conditions), full weld-in SCCA legal roll cage, new Koni coil-overs, specially ducted hood and fascia, specially ducted brakes, new clutch, Torsen posi, oil cooler, big Koyo radiator, and fresh paint as needed on the donor cars.

Doubt you can do a turnkey LS car for that or even a DIY might be tough.

These cars have everything we have learned as the only endurance racing team that races turbo Miatas as far as I know. Ist overall in the NASA Texas 4 hour race in 2008, !st in class and 3rd OA in the 8 hour in 2009.

We and FM need to do Thunderhill
 

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re: LS-3 Miata or anything

GM LS series V8s are some of the best engines around. Light, reliable with lots of torque and power.

There are Miata conversions. I have seen a few. On the race-track a 300hp turbo car was faster then a Ford V8 Miata. For racing with that much torque in Miata chassis a number of things need to be improved:

1. Chassis needs to cope with that much power and re-enforced.
2. Same for rear suspension and pick-up points.
3. Brakes. I just do not see stock brakes being sufficient for something that can go 200mph.
4. Aerodynamics, see above

All of the above will add more $$ to a car.

A Z06 is a great platform with all of these bugs worked out. If one can live with Miata-style creature comforts, then the final weight would be very similar i.e. strip it. Also, the price is too.

I have seen a Z06 with $10k of suspension mods, do 1:23 around Mosport with a good amateur driver (at a Ferari event!). That is TransAm car territory. I have not seen any Miata or Solstice or too many cars come close. By the way, it had full interior.

The cooling issues can be solved with proper components and correct air ducting. I never had any problems with 900hp car in a 1 hour enduro, AFTER I fixed the above. Oil at 210 and water at 180 to 190.

If one desires a boulevard hot rod, then the game is different.

For the wow factor, why not a V8 in a Lotus (Elise or Exige). Nobody has one yet! I have the front and rear suspension worked out, together with some aero work :)

There is the GTM, the SL-R and a few other kit cars. A steel space frame, 450 lbs engine, 100 lbs tranny, 400 lbs drive-train makes for a 2200 to 2500 lbs car.

Or a LeMans car for the street:

http://www.caravaggiocorvettes.com/dev2007/Spotlight.pdf

Anton
 

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Discussion Starter #38
nice choice in body style and color, now just get rid of those fugly bbs wheels :DV:
I don't care for them much either. New wheels will likely come shortly after the new engine, roll bar, and bigger brakes. After that Ill be broke, so I'll spend the remaining money on a pine tree air freshener.
 

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those bbs wheels are badass.. but then again i love VWs so maybe thats why i like them so much. that miata is going to be wild with a v8 in it. i can only imagine how much of a handful it will be with all that tq, and relatively no rear tire. sounds like fun
 

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I don't care for them much either. New wheels will likely come shortly after the new engine, roll bar, and bigger brakes. After that Ill be broke, so I'll spend the remaining money on a pine tree air freshener.
Lemme know how much you want for the BBS wheels via PM.
 
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