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Old 07-01-2012   #1
Hanns16
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IAC 5.3L Miata Build Thread

Hello Cicenet!

This is my first real post so a little background about myself and this car/club.

As many of you know there is an auto club based out of the University of Illinois in Champaign/Urbana, the Illini Auto Club (IAC). Club members/advisors frequent autocross around central Illinois and from what I have heard are active here on Cicenet.

My name is Dan Hanns and I am going to be leading our effort next year at the University. Compared to last year we have quite a few projects going on, and big plans in general to make IAC a real car entusiasts hub. I'd like to make our doings as a club more visible to the public and other interested parties, and that is the reason for this thread.

There were two projects last year: a 1982 Mazda RX-7 that fell about the wayside and one of our current projectsa 1991 Honda Civic Hatch. The goal is to have the hatch competing this fall in autocross and hopefully (Fingers crossed) Grassroots motorsports in Florida.

The next BIG project we are undertaking is a 5.3L LSx into a 1993 Miata. Our goal is to compete in the Grassroots Motorsports challenge, effectively making this project much more difficult.

The engine was purchased from Coulta's Junkyard in Danville, IL and was pulled from a 2002 Tahoe that rolled over on I-74. It is the Iron Block, and will be mated to (for now) a TurboHyrdamatic 350, 3 speed automatic transmission.

We obtained the car through a friend of a friend. It used to be a turbo track car. When we got it, it was a bare shell with odds and ends still included. Basil (I don't know his screenname) Sourced wheels and suspension from here, and we went and picked up the car. While there, we purchased an FC RX-7 rear differential with Miata bushings and everything to go with it as well as an aluminum radiator from the previous owner.

Currently I am trying to mount the engine/trans into the car and figuring out what will need to be modified. We are using no kit to build this car, but rather fabricating everything. Therefore much of this project will be install, check, measure, modify, repeat.

I have the engine sitting in the engine bay, but it seems to be a bit high. This is due to the oil pan hitting the steering rack just in front of the crossmember. I'm looking at a friends F-body LS1 Trans Am oil pan to compare. I expect to have to notch whatever oil pan we end up running.

I will try to keep the project updated on here as well as possible and try to include many pictures. PLEASE if you have any expertise/opinion of how the car is being built, tell us. I am no expert at this. I'm 19 years old and I have never built anything this radical. I value all opinions/suggestions. I know there are many smart people on here who can help us with their knowledge. If you think something is wrong, say it and explain why you think so.

Thank You for reading and we hope to hear from you!

-Dan Hanns
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Old 07-02-2012   #2
Chefasaurus
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Status of the RX7?
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Old 07-02-2012   #3
chpmnsws6
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You bought Splitime's old car.

I knew that car would end up a shell when we saw no progress on the V6 build

Good luck with the LS/Miata build!
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Old 07-02-2012   #4
GameQueazy
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10/10 would reassemble and push onto trailer again

Also, here's the old build: http://grassrootsmotorsports.com/reader-rides/901/

Also, our civic is "close" to being in running shape... But if anybody is a fan of OBD1 wiring conversions and wants to help me look over it, I will pay you in beer.

-Basil
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Old 07-02-2012   #5
mellephants
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GameQueazy View Post
10/10 would reassemble and push onto trailer again

Also, here's the old build: http://grassrootsmotorsports.com/reader-rides/901/

Also, our civic is "close" to being in running shape... But if anybody is a fan of OBD1 wiring conversions and wants to help me look over it, I will pay you in beer.

-Basil
Is beer the preferred method of keeping labor costs out of the GRM budget report?
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Old 07-02-2012   #6
DrewZFoster
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I have a 95 miata, can I stop by and see this thing?
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Old 07-02-2012   #7
GameQueazy
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Originally Posted by DrewZFoster View Post
I have a 95 miata, can I stop by and see this thing?
It's currently housed in Des Plaines, but we will be moving it down here to Champaign-Urbana sometime in the near future (once we have a place to put it... Gonna harass the exec director of F&S again tonight at softball :P )
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Old 07-02-2012   #8
Hanns16
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So minor Update, I compared our oil pan to a friends F-body Trans Am oil pan and there is a considerable amount more clearance with the LS1 piece. So if anybody has a sweat line on a oil pan and pick up out of any LS1 car on the cheap, please let me know!

Also, status of the RX-7: Hidden away in a yard in Des Plaines, IL. Maybe one day it will be built again...
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Old 07-02-2012   #9
DrewZFoster
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I am interested in in helping with what I can...I havent done a v8 swap before. It wouold be nice to have some expierence.
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Old 07-02-2012   #10
GameQueazy
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Originally Posted by Chefasaurus View Post
Status of the RX7?

The RX7 (1982 GSL that had its rear end replaced with a GS rear end after an accident) was found to be too rusty. Basically, shot to hell behind the firewall. It's been shelved and is slumbering in Dan's Garage Majal as stuffing a SBC or SBF into it (as was originally planned) would require extensive welding/patching and bracing, something we decided we weren't equipped to do at this time so we moved our attention to the civic.
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