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New to the group with some questions

Old 06-01-2019, 05:34 AM
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V8 Miata Noob
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Default New to the group with some questions

Hello everyone,

First a little background. Three years ago I purchased a 1996 NA Miata with 37,000 miles on the clock. It is my daily driver for about half of the summer. I always garage it during the winter time because Iowa winters don’t really allow for much fun driving. I absolutely love this car, so much that I have given up on a down the road Cobra kit car project because I feel the Miata conversion is more practical. I own a Sunbeam Tiger so I have some experience with converted V8 roadsters in fact I’m pretty sure that if Carroll Shelby were still with us he would be grinning from ear to ear. My intention is to leave my 96 NA stock and to purchase a Monster Miata to partially become an additional daily driver. My question is which build type to seek. I also own some other Ford performance vehicles. Blue blood runs through my veins so I am having some degree of difficulty considering the Chevy version. I would prefer to purchase an already completed car because of time constraints, my age, and not really having a good place to construct a vehicle. I have also seen examples of the Ford version being somewhat cheaper to acquire than the LS version. A higher priced car would not scare me off however if I could see the benefit of owning it. This brings me to one of my questions. I understand that it is somewhat easier to get 100 or more wheel horsepower out of the LS version but does a person really need that extra power? Is the Ford version more than ample power? Now I realize that certain folks have a belief that the more the better, or as Shelby would say, too much is just enough but can you really use it on the street? In town you are lucky to get the person in front of you to drive the speed limit or take right off when the light turns green so would that extra HP or torque be of any practical value? From what I have been given to believe you can pretty much spin the tires through first and second gears with the Ford version if you want to. Plus I would like to retain the A/C if at all possible. Is the A/C practical? Is it possible to keep these engines cool with that condenser in front of the radiator? I have had conversations with one seller that claims a bit of a hot soak problem if he makes several stops. He says that he has pushed water into the overflow tank a time or two. Could this engine be damaged? I have had a conversation with another that said that he has had no problem and could drive from coast to coast with no problem. Both people are in warm climates. Remember, I want this to be a daily driver and not just a toy; I already have a couple of those. I joined this group the other night because I know that I can benefit from everyone’s knowledge and I thank everyone in advance for any help that you can give. -Brad

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Old 06-01-2019, 06:11 AM
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Welcome! I am just in the finishing stages of my Ford build. I went with Ford as I started this roughly 5 years ago, and at that time, the small block Ford was plentiful and cheap (bought my 5.0 HO complete for a few hundred bucks), plus there seemed to be more support for that platform as the LS swaps did not seem as common. I have a built Ford, probably in the 325-350 hp range (TF heads, cam, Explorer intake, bigger tb, injectors, maf, etc) , and so far I have had no issues with overheating/heat soak driving around in stop and go on 85 deg days. I received my cooling parts from Monster Miata, and so far they appear to be doing the trick. I am in the process of getting the A/C up and running using the Ford compressor and adapter hoses to install with the Miata system. Hoping to have that up and running soon. Feel free to check out my build thread to see what all this build has entailed.

Regarding the Ford vs Chevy, I think at this time is is down to preference, as both have a lot of support now, and both have a huge aftermarket for upgrade possibilities. Personally, I am a Ford guy, and really wanted to do a Factory Five car (huge Shelby fan and the Cobra is my dream car), but after driving this car, and having the creature comforts (ie, A/C and usable top) that make it much more usable in Cleveland, OH, I'll probably stick with the Monster Miata.

Good luck with your choice, I don't think you will be disappointed either way. Every person that has rode in/driven my Monster has been grinning from ear to ear. The looks it receives are hilarious.
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Old 06-05-2019, 11:47 AM
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Brad,
You do have a bunch of questions there.
The answers are mostly opinion and preference rather than hard fact.

On the cooling worries it seems to come down to buying the right radiator and cooling fan and potentially installing hood vents.
Lots of builders have tried to find a $150 Rock Auto radiator that gets the job done and end up having some issues.
The thing about spending $800-$1000 for a radiator & shroud & fan from one of the outfits that sell V8 Miata specific swap components is that they are known to (mostly) work with minimal issues.

With respect to buying a V8 Miata built by someone else, the difficulty is that you will have a tough time finding a fix if something breaks or messes up.
You can't go to a normal vehicle repair book and expect it to give you an accurate answer unless you already know the exact problem.
Running down an electrical problem can be difficult if you have no idea what part is Miata and what part is from something else.
Building the vehicle yourself gives a feel for what is new and what is old and what specific parts are utilized to complete the build.
Something as simple as a replacement starter or water pump can be a real hair puller.
Add to that the problem that sometimes the components utilized are just not up to the requirements placed on the drivetrain and chassis.
Remember that you are doubling or tripling the horsepower without completely redesigning the suspension and electrical and chassis.
If someone else builds it how will you know that everything has been done to make the car perform and be reliable?

My opinion is that the biggest plus to the kits sold by Flyin Miata or V8 Roadster or Monster Miata has to do with the fact that the items have been tested on multiple builds so you can have a reasonable level of assurance that they are workable and adequate to do the job.
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Old 06-05-2019, 08:11 PM
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I started mine out to be a stealth kind of thing. It looks stock from most perspectives. The exhaust is loud compared to a stock car. It is an LS 6.2 engine with most of the mods that can be done short of power adders. The dyno yesterday said 443hp to the rear wheels. I can't describe the acceleration. Words like sudden and quick do not to it justice. These things are a bitch to work on after stuffing all this a tiny package, but then I complain about working room on my F350 diesel. There does come a sense of exhilaration watching the beast spin up to 6200 rpms on the dyno. It does feel good that I did it myself. I do view these kinds of things as a work in progress that is never really done. But that is part of the reason most folks go down this path.
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