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Miata: 1.8 swap begins

Well, some pretty fantastic exhaust leaks have cropped up sooner than I would have hoped, so the decision point came to this:  Put in a stainless 1.6 system, or advance the plans to do a 1.8 swap.  Seems kinda wacky, but moving to a 1.8 means I have a much larger selection of parts, and more importantly used parts, to choose from.

Work has already started on the '96 exhaust system I picked up - been cleaning, grinding, wire brushing, and even welding! (someone decided a self-tapping screw was an acceptable way to plug a hole in the cat)  I also learned a new trick to get studs out of a (rusty) cat (alytic converter).

The plan is to use a full 94-97 exhaust system painted with POR-20 - a small expenditure that should help keep the rust away.  The engine will most likely also be 94-97, but JDM sourced (JDM for availability, not JDM yo) (if they have an NB1 engine for not much more, will get that).  I may end up getting a transmission as well, depending on what supplier I go with.  Not my preference, but one of the two suppliers is kinda 'no speaky english' and only advertises via Kijiji.  The other is a major JDM source for North America...but only sells engine+trans combos, this means an extra $200.

I am still very much on the fence about the FM swap kit...if I can find a 1.8 throttle cable for cheap, probably no point in buying the kit.  The other side of this swap is the acceleration of the timing belt maintenance item (ha), it means that I'd do the timing belt and water pump while the engine is out of the car, but means that I'm doing it 20000kms sooner than planned.

Other items...really not much.  The usual maintenance bits, timing belt kit, water pump, front/rear crank seals.  Oh, I'll be painting the valve cover crinkle red for 5hp.  Also hoping to take the pressure washer to the engine bay once it's empty...kinda gross, and last time it was November so couldn't do that.

Oh yeah...deadline for this is July 1...have to pass an e-test this year, no way that'll happen with huge exhaust leaks.

Pictures to come when Google allows me to upload...


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