Monday, November 9, 2015

Not The Answer: 1993 Mazda Miata diesel conversion

When K2 tipped me on this, I thought about just posting a link to the ad and just typing NO in the largest font available on the Blogger platform.  I guess it is your car and you can do what you want with it, but why would anyone do this to a Miata?  Talk about not getting the whole point of the car.  Find this 1993 Mazda Miata diesel conversion for sale in Warminster, PA for $3,250 via craigslist.  Tip from K2 Mystery Car.

I feel sick
To me, this swap is wrong on so many levels, I don't know where to start.  If Bob Hall and Tom Matano were dead, they'd be rolling in their graves (luckily they are both still alive and kicking!).  The original motor in the NA Miata was a 1.6 liter twin cam with an iron block and aluminum head, producing around 116 bhp and 100 torques and loved to rev to its 6,500 rpm redline.  The ad says it's been replaced with a 1.0 liter Isuzu diesel making 25hp, but getting over 55 mpg.  Seems like it should make more than 25, but there's too much meh here for me to bother to look it up.  But with a diesel, it is all about the low revs and low down torque (and black lung), or so some say.  Which is pretty much at odds with the Miata and sports car philosophy in general, right?  I don't think Bob Hall's blackboard sketch of a lightweight roadster envisioned a boat anchor with a 2,500 rpm redline under the hood.

Zip ties and Reynolds Wrap, but where's the duct tape?

The interior appears to be untouched, although it's hard to assess the condition of the driver's seat bolster - a common wear point.   I'm curious how the stock gearing of the Miata 5 speed works with the totally wrong power plant.  Shouldn't it be a 16 speed with a Jake Brake?

To do list:  Item one, refill prescription.

No mention of the top condition or rust - a problem with Miatas that live where salt is used in winter.  However again, none of that matters, does it?  It would probably be doing the earth a favor if it broke in half because of rusty rockers.  The bigger question though is what would be the line of thinking that would go into doing a swap like this?  Monster Miata I get, this I don't.  Sorry to go off the rails on this if you are the builder, but I can't see why anyone would do this, let alone thinking someone else might buy this (unless they were really rich and wanted to tick off their friends in the local Miata club).  Could you run it in LeMons if you caged it?

I'll show those guys on Club Roadster...

See something requiring even larger quantities of mind altering substances to seem like a good idea? Email us here: tips@dailyturismo.com

Gianni is Daily Turismo's Pacific Northwest correspondent.  He thinks diesels are for 18 wheelers and farm implements.  He tries not to rant, but sometimes he can't help himself.

23 comments:

  1. The perfect car for Captain Slow?

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  2. Friends don't let friends drive diesel Miatas ......

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  3. That motor came with the Joe Isuzu brake .....

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  4. Replies
    1. [img]http://i.imgur.com/vAB8Mju.jpg?1[/img]

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    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    3. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zq1smlmJMBs

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    4. I nearly died laughing at that one!!!

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    5. I nearly died laughing at that one!!!

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  5. My inner hipster loves the irony that would be rolling coal on someone in this car.....

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  6. I am a loss for words (except I still have few).
    Please make the pain stop as I wish to unsee/unknow this about humanities evil.
    My two miatas (one monster miata) and other supercharged are O-fended.

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  7. Why not use the super black VW Diesel...?

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  8. I think the guys who stuffed a diesel into a 911 and then raced LeMons take the cake for "most offensive swap"... but this is a close second.

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    1. That TDI powered 911 started off incredibly slow but it has been getting a bit quicker as they develop it.

      Here's my sportbike powered MRSakibomb passing it at Buttonwillow :-P

      [img]http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-EQU7thz2OlU/VYyFoAkrhiI/AAAAAAAAmmA/tEjhwOOTZ-A/s640/44.JPG[/img]

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    2. I've seen 1.9 (?) TDIs make some fair power numbers... Fair as in 140 - 150 bhp and about 300 torques. In a ~2700lb 911 that should... ok yeah that's still not very good.

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  9. Speaking of black lung, what is up with that dirty air filter? There are maybe 3 people on the planet that would want this carbuncle and two of them just left the page due to the filthy filter. The other guy is institutionalized and he is ok with the whole swap.

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  10. Speaking of black lung, what is up with that dirty air filter? There are maybe 3 people on the planet that would want this carbuncle and two of them just left the page due to the filthy filter. The other guy is institutionalized and he is ok with the whole swap.

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  11. Speaking of black lung, what is up with that dirty air filter? There are maybe 3 people on the planet that would want this carbuncle and two of them just left the page due to the filthy filter. The other guy is institutionalized and he is ok with the whole swap.

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  12. I occasionally scan CraigsList for Miatas and this thing has been for sale FOREVER. I'm sure it doesn't surprise anyone, becaues 25Hp Diesel Miata is the answer to a question no one asked except the builder. I've easily seen this thing around on CL for at least a year. The seller really just needs to take it to a LeMons race and give it to someone.

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  13. I really think we should buy it and install a 10 liter Cummins Turbo in it instead.... just because. 300rpm and 17000ft-lbs of torque would be more appropriate than 1 liter 25 hp and 75 ft-lbs. Actually ANY other motor would be more appropriate.... six 50cc scooter motors would be more appropriate.

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