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      08-17-2011, 11:12 AM   #1
dizzyj
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lsx miata

for tracking?

I love my m3, and love driving it on the track, but am worried about the cost of damaging my m3.

if I added BBK+wheels+tires I could easily buy a spec miata with the thought of eventually swapping in an ls2 or so.

if it was just a spec miata, I'd keep my m3 for the track, I've ridden in several instructors and have a ton of respect, but I like having the power coming out of corners. Corners are great in a miata, but straights are pretty anemic.

even with an lsx swap, I'm a little worried about the miata. I LOVE the high reving v8. when I watch videos of z06's they shift so low in the rev range, just doesnt seem as fun.

Thoughts?
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      08-17-2011, 11:16 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dizzyj View Post
for tracking?

I love my m3, and love driving it on the track, but am worried about the cost of damaging my m3.

if I added BBK+wheels+tires I could easily buy a spec miata with the thought of eventually swapping in an ls2 or so.

if it was just a spec miata, I'd keep my m3 for the track, I've ridden in several instructors and have a ton of respect, but I like having the power coming out of corners. Corners are great in a miata, but straights are pretty anemic.

even with an lsx swap, I'm a little worried about the miata. I LOVE the high reving v8. when I watch videos of z06's they shift so low in the rev range, just doesnt seem as fun.

Thoughts?
LS-powered Miata is very unbalanced. It makes the car very front heavy and you can't fit big enough rubber in the back to keep it planted when you step on the gas... I'd suggest looking at a larger chassis if you are looking to do a LS swap. Cars like the 240SX, RX-7 and others are perfect for this set up.
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      08-17-2011, 04:16 PM   #3
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It's not a Miata but an E36 would be pretty balanced with an LS6 in it.
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      08-17-2011, 05:13 PM   #4
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from what I have read an lsx miata is not really that unbalanced. its not much heavier than a turbo or sc miata.

also, there are lots and lots of documented swaps, where as for most other cars it would be a much more difficult endeavor.
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      08-17-2011, 05:22 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dizzyj View Post
from what I have read an lsx miata is not really that unbalanced. its not much heavier than a turbo or sc miata.

also, there are lots and lots of documented swaps, where as for most other cars it would be a much more difficult endeavor.
Unbalanced as in front/rear weight distribution.

Not really, for the Japanese cars Hinson Supercars, Sikky and others make bolt in kits. They can even do all the wiring for you so it is really plug and play.

http://www.hinsonsupercars.com/
http://sikky.com/

There's even a whole forum dedicated to S13/S14 240SX LS swaps.
http://www.silviav8forums.com/forum/

Last edited by Z K; 08-17-2011 at 05:29 PM.
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      08-17-2011, 06:30 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Z K View Post
LS-powered Miata is very unbalanced. It makes the car very front heavy and you can't fit big enough rubber in the back to keep it planted when you step on the gas... I'd suggest looking at a larger chassis if you are looking to do a LS swap. Cars like the 240SX, RX-7 and others are perfect for this set up.
Are you speaking from experience?

I have both a 2011 e90 m3 and a ls6 miata and at least the balance in my setup is near 50/50. I would hardly said it's unbalanced. The ls6 block is actually LIGHTER than the stock flat 4 made of iron. the ls6 miata requires more skill because you've got more torque to handle but hardly unbalanced.

My ls6 will smoke my m3 anyday on the track without even coming close to it's limits. I pass up higher power porsches and vettes easily (mainly out driving them). I keep up or pass them in the straights.

of course I enjoy my m3 much more. much less nvh AND it has air conditioning.

I think speaking from experience weighs more than any theoretical rambling here....
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      08-17-2011, 07:00 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by stingray23 View Post
If you think 7100RPM is too low in the rev range in a Z06 that weighs 31XX lbs with 500 HP and 470 lb ft of torque, then you obviously never driven a one. Not only is it fun, its intoxicating and not for the faint of heart. You should try it one day
I have not ever driven one. only watched some videos, and commenting on what I perceived.
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      08-17-2011, 07:03 PM   #8
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Are you speaking from experience?

I have both a 2011 e90 m3 and a ls6 miata and at least the balance in my setup is near 50/50. I would hardly said it's unbalanced. The ls6 block is actually LIGHTER than the stock flat 4 made of iron. the ls6 miata requires more skill because you've got more torque to handle but hardly unbalanced.

My ls6 will smoke my m3 anyday on the track without even coming close to it's limits. I pass up higher power porsches and vettes easily (mainly out driving them). I keep up or pass them in the straights.

of course I enjoy my m3 much more. much less nvh AND it has air conditioning.

I think speaking from experience weighs more than any theoretical rambling here....
having both I'd really like to hear your opinion. would you prefer to take the ls6 out to the track over the m3? I cant imagine there being many cars out at the track that beat the hp/weight of an ls6 miata.
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      08-17-2011, 07:11 PM   #9
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having both I'd really like to hear your opinion. would you prefer to take the ls6 out to the track over the m3? I cant imagine there being many cars out at the track that beat the hp/weight of an ls6 miata.
If I want to get some surprised/angry looks then I take the ls6 miata out. If I want to drive to the track comfortably with airconditioning and not have my fillings fall out enroute I take the m3. Since I got the m3 I've been daily driving as well as running it at the track.

The ls6 doesn't have abs, it doesn't have anything but it's incredibly fun but much more dangerous. With the m3 I can have lots of fun while without requiring as much concentration - I keep the digital nanny's on. But at the end of the day I have a good time learning on the track.

I started tracking when I had an ariel atom 2 300 and that was even more of a beast. Eventually it depends on driver skill. I've enough time on the track that I can probably outdrive a novice in a nice car with me in a rental.

Last edited by 4sevens.com; 08-17-2011 at 07:53 PM.
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      08-17-2011, 09:51 PM   #10
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I managed to stuff 275's R6's on my ls6 miata. It's a beast at the track - frankly beyond my driving abilities. I'm sure a pro driver would be able to get it to low 30's at road atlanta.


Heres a recent picture in my M at onelapofamerica.com this year


Here is a magazine writeup on my LS6 miata:
http://chows.smugmug.com/Davids-Gadg...46933201_WHxS9


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      08-17-2011, 10:18 PM   #11
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Thats a wicked miata!

To the op: I think it really depends on your driving goals and how many events you are really running a year. If you're going out once a month (or more - lucky dog) and you want to master car control with minimal consumables cost, then the Miata is the way to go. They are awesome cars - but as you said, with stock motors they are "momentum" cars.

If I had another garage space, I'd def have a spec miata or an Atom. The people / instructors I respect most at the track have all reccomended SMs.
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      08-17-2011, 10:20 PM   #12
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Thats a wicked miata!

If I had another garage space, I'd def have a spec miata or an Atom. Lots to learn.
Thanks!

Obligatory atom picture
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      08-17-2011, 10:43 PM   #13
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Great pic! Why did you get rid of it??
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      08-17-2011, 10:47 PM   #14
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Great pic! Why did you get rid of it??
I got rid of the atom because the company needed cash - still regret it. I'll pick one back up one day.

I still have the ls6 miata - which by the way I'm trying to sell
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      08-17-2011, 11:26 PM   #15
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I got rid of the atom because the company needed cash - still regret it. I'll pick one back up one day.

I still have the ls6 miata - which by the way I'm trying to sell
How much are you selling the miata. PM me pricing please. Thanks!
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      08-17-2011, 11:41 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4sevens.com View Post
Are you speaking from experience?

I have both a 2011 e90 m3 and a ls6 miata and at least the balance in my setup is near 50/50. I would hardly said it's unbalanced. The ls6 block is actually LIGHTER than the stock flat 4 made of iron. the ls6 miata requires more skill because you've got more torque to handle but hardly unbalanced.

My ls6 will smoke my m3 anyday on the track without even coming close to it's limits. I pass up higher power porsches and vettes easily (mainly out driving them). I keep up or pass them in the straights.

of course I enjoy my m3 much more. much less nvh AND it has air conditioning.

I think speaking from experience weighs more than any theoretical rambling here....
I road in a LS1 powered Miata before and the overall feeling was OMG WTF I am going to die. The rear end starts burning rubber with every shift and it hops like a maniac all over the road. Corner, step on the gas with the stock Miata wheels and you go spinning real quick.

That said, I don't get the same feeling in my friend's LS-powered 240SX. It just feels right in that car but then he is running some big r-comps.
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      08-18-2011, 12:34 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by stingray23 View Post
If you think 7100RPM is too low in the rev range in a Z06 that weighs 31XX lbs with 500 HP and 470 lb ft of torque, then you obviously never driven a one. Not only is it fun, its intoxicating and not for the faint of heart. You should try it one day
+1 Drove the ZR1 the other day...say what you want about this 8400 rpm obsession, get that ZR1 to 4000 rpm's in 2nd gear and you really begin to wonder how they allow these things to be legal.

A bit off topic though...
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      08-18-2011, 06:46 AM   #18
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I road in a LS1 powered Miata before and the overall feeling was OMG WTF I am going to die. The rear end starts burning rubber with every shift and it hops like a maniac all over the road. Corner, step on the gas with the stock Miata wheels and you go spinning real quick.
Thats just plain silly to run with stock wheels (what is it 195 rubber???). With 275's I have no problems managing grip. It's still a challenge feathering the throttle out of a corner just like any high HP/weight car but not like what you described. Keep in mind 275's are bigger than the 245/265 rubber thats on my m3!

When I did the swap wheels, tires, brakes, and suspension was all done at the same time. Anyone who thinks they can get away with just an engine swap and be able to run it well at the track is kidding themselves.

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How much are you selling the miata. PM me pricing please. Thanks!
PM sent!
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      08-18-2011, 08:31 AM   #19
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as far as costs go, even if I budgeted 15k for for an ls1 swap na miata (doing the swap myself) with brakes, tires, suspension..etc. It really wouldnt be cost effective when compared to the cost of consumables.

Say for the m3 5k for a bbk, 2k for wheels/tires, that leaves 8k for consumables for the m3. Thats a lot of tires/pads/rotors. Where the idea of having a track car comes in nice is if I ever were to put the m3 into a wall (shudder). Not only would a track miata be safer (roll cage), but it would be less expensive to buy a new shell and move the existing parts to a new car.

I could build an ls1 miata vs 47's ls6. that would make it a bit tamer, but still a ton of fun, and quite a bit cheaper. I also like the idea of building it myself. Seems that if your going to track a vehicle, you should be able to inspect/fix it yourself.

Got to admit, 15k for a monster at the track seems like a good idea
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      08-18-2011, 09:47 AM   #20
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Got to admit, 15k for a monster at the track seems like a good idea
The expressions from the porsche, vette, audi r8 owners after a track session is absolutely priceless - especially when my miata looked completely stock when I was running without the fastback, wing and cf hood. (ok the extra and rubber and bbk's give some of it away but it's subtle)

They'd hover around and ask "hey are you running nitrous or something?" I smile and say "no it's stock, naturally aspirated!" They I get a "no way" with their eyes even bigger. I pop the hood and they gasp. mystery solved

I've got everything pretty much maxed out. The biggest downside I'd say is the chassis geometry. The wheelbase is just way too short. But thats the price of the ultimate sleeper
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      08-18-2011, 10:34 AM   #21
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Thats just plain silly to run with stock wheels (what is it 195 rubber???). With 275's I have no problems managing grip. It's still a challenge feathering the throttle out of a corner just like any high HP/weight car but not like what you described. Keep in mind 275's are bigger than the 245/265 rubber thats on my m3!

When I did the swap wheels, tires, brakes, and suspension was all done at the same time. Anyone who thinks they can get away with just an engine swap and be able to run it well at the track is kidding themselves.
That's what you get with a 20 year old on a budget wrenching in his parent's garage. The car was slammed with stock wheels. I didn't know the guy that well and I didn't really want to sit in his car again after that ride.
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      08-18-2011, 11:47 AM   #22
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That's what you get with a 20 year old on a budget wrenching in his parent's garage. The car was slammed with stock wheels. I didn't know the guy that well and I didn't really want to sit in his car again after that ride.
Hahaha. stock rubber and stock brakes with an LS engine is a death trap. no wonder you had a bad impression.

That would be the equivalent of mounting skinny spares on all four corner on an m3 and trying to run it on the track.
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