Sunday, March 22, 2015

10k: V8 Swap: 1992 Mazda MX-5 Miata

The first generation (NA) Mazda MX-5 Miata attacked the worlds apexes starting in 1989 and continuing well past 1997 when the last one rolled off the assembly line.  Although Mazda never offered a turbocharged edition in the first generation, plenty of speed freaks boosted the little 1.6/1.8 liter 4-banger, but to get real performance the preferred method is to build a Monster Miata with a V8 engine swap.  Find this 1992 Mazda MX-5 Miata with Ford 5.0 V8 power offered for $13,500 near Cleveland, OH.

The MX-5 is a  fun car to drive, even before you double (or triple) the original horsepower.  The lightweight Lotus Elan inspired 2-seater features some of the best tuned rack-and-pinion steering in the business and independent double-wishbone suspension on all four wheels.  When new it could hit 60mph in about 8 seconds and reach a top speed of 126 mph, not exactly "killing it" in the modern world. 

An owner of this car decided that ringing the maximum out of the little 1.8 liter 4-banger wasn't doing it, so he (she?) shoved a Ford V8 into the front.  This Monster Miata now sports a 5.0 liter pushrod V8 with a number of performance enhancers mated to a 5-speed manual gearbox.  Expect power in the 300hp range if everything is done correctly.

 See a cooler V8 powered sleeper?


  1. Neato Bandito!

  2. Way sleeper. It has to be so fun to drive.

  3. There is quite the market for putting LSX engins in the MX-5, so I always perk up when a ford powered one happens along. I'm not much of a hoonigan anymore and as such am always looking at freeway cruising and maybe top-end speed so these things are still way high on the list. I can't wait till folks start putting ford 3.5L 365 hp, or chevy 3.6 Twin Turbo v-6 420hp. Either one with a close ratio 8 speed auto transmission would be great fun and shave at least a couple hundred pounds off the equation... Bloods rushing... need. to. read. something. more sedate.... 1979 Toyota Corolla, ahhhhh that did it..

  4. All it needs are some Tiger badges on the fenders.

  5. I can imagine the amount of frame twist when you light the candle on that 5-oh. The neat thing about the '90-93 is that most of the chassis stiffening from the '94+ NA cars bolt up. They didn't list any chassis upgrades outside of the front roll bar in the ad (the rear most likely due to the change needed to a Thunderbird 8.8" independent rear setup), but that would definitely be a good idea.

  6. I just finished my monster miata (Ford 302) install. I think it's absolutely fabulous. She is completely bone stock (minus the driveline). I've been driving it for 2 months. The car has great manners.

    The price difference of the ford vs the LS is amazing. Closer to 15K all said and done.
    (I have a 97 with a 1.8 supercharger MP62) and a 95 R-package with the Ford 302 (no A/C or power steering).

    It's great to see I haven't wasted ALL my money. ha!
    If you are considering it... you should really consider it. :)

    1. That's super cool, Chris! Pictures, pictures, please!


Commenting Commandments:
I. Thou Shalt Not write anything your mother would not appreciate reading.
II. Thou Shalt Not post as anonymous unless you are posting from mobile and have technical issues. Use name/url when posting and pick something Urazmus B Jokin, Ben Dover. Sir Edmund Hillary Clint don't matter. Just pick a nom de plume and stick with it.
III. Honor thy own links by using <a href ="http://www.linkgoeshere"> description of your link </a>
IV. Remember the formatting tricks <i>italics</i> and <b> bold </b>
V. Thou Shalt Not commit spam.
VI. To embed images: use [image src="" width="400px"/]. Limit images to no wider than 400 pixels in width. No more than one image per comment please.