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Drivetrain Backdating

- - - - - 1.6 1.8 engine transmission automatic manual

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#1
JRobles

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I have a 92 with a 1.6+m/t and a 96 with 1.8+a/t. Both are stock and unmodified. I would run the 92 but the chassis is super rusty and frame rails look like they have been used as lift points.

 

I have a couple of thoughts on how to get this working without having to buy a new car, but I'm not sure if the rules would allow it. 

 

1. Use the 96 chassis with same engine, swap transmission for m/t from the 92. I hear the engines in cars with auto trans are underpowered and not as free revving as their manual-mated counterparts. This makes a bad combination when considering the 96 is heavier and requires a restrictor plate. I really don't want to strip down the engine to make it essentially "manual-spec" and don't think that kind of change would be allowed.

 

2. Swap engine and trans from 92 to 96 chassis. I'm not sure if this is allowed and seems undesirable considering the combination of low power/higher vehicle weight. I'm sure this would necessitate the change of ECU+harness+fuseboxes, which I am fine with. 

 

Is a powertrain backdate like this even close to fitting within regs?

 

Please keep in mind, I'm new to this and am hoping to get started in racing, having no real life wheel to wheel experience before. No contacts, no experience, so excuse me if I sound like what I am, a newbie. Thanks for the help ahead of time.



#2
Ron Alan

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This would be my choice...sell both and find a clean running manual donor in any year!!! Bent(smashed) frame rails arent a huge problem but avoid rusty cars. The 96 motor is the same as a manual car(I believe but 1.6's are different) but whats involved in changing everything else is a pain and almost requires another manual car! 

 

That said either can be made to race...find the SCCA GCR on line and do some reading in the SM section! 

 

BTW...if you are in the Portland area PM me and I will put you in touch with someone who will be glad to answer a lot of your questions face to face!


Ron

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#3
davew

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Your best bet is to sell both and buy a complete car. Cars become cheap and lots of them available in a short time period.

 

Converting from a auto to manual trans is pretty straight forward. And you have most of the required parts (pedal, slave etc.) But, you would need to buy a 1.8 flywheel and clutch set up. This conversion is legal as the VIN does not say if the car is a auto or stick trans.

 

It is not legal for SM to swap a 1.6 engine into a 1.8 chassis. It has been done, but not legal. And it is a lot of work as none of the electronics will connect. So you have to change ECU, wire Harness, alternator etc.

 

What every newbie should do:

Buy my book and read it

Read the rulebook for the club you plan on racing with.

Read my book again.

Go to a track and introduce your self. Make friends.

Get to know the local GURU. You will need him eventually. 

Read this website. Ignore the goofballs, but listen to the people who know what they are doing.

Read the rulebook again

Be wary of the too good to be true deals.

 

The best time to buy a lawn mower is in the fall when everybody is done mowing. The same holds true for racecars. But them at the end of the season (usually fall) when people do not want to store the car for the winter.

 

Hope that helps

Remember, Racing is Supposed to be FUN

 

Dave


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Dave Wheeler
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#4
JRobles

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Thanks a lot, guys. Sorry I forgot to mention, but the 92 is my own "daily" driver. I don't drive it all that often, so I could easily go without it for awhile. During a trans swap, sure. But I don't have the option to sell it, unless I plan to use a race car for personal transportation. (Don't run that past me, I'll probably do it.)

 

While I have your guys' attention. Honestly, I have a very tight budget and would probably be fine with just the trans swap. The main goal to start is just to have a car that will let me show my own ability as a driver. I may not have any real-life experience outside of Skip Barber, but the instructors there were very impressed. Plus, I have spent countless hours on iRacing.com with a focus on developing myself, including data analysis with ATLAS and MoTeC, and have the honor of representing SAFEisFast.com on their virtual racing team. I have also read/am reading several books on all manner of racing topics. I know there is no substitute for seat-time in a real car, but I have been doing my best off-track to develop myself.

My question: would I be better off pouring as much money into the car as I can, or should I advance and display my own skill to be more attractive to potential sponsors, then focus on the car when I have some level of funding beyond my own paycheck? Pardon the run-on.

 

Thanks again for your help. I will order the book and get started!



#5
Bench Racer

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Thanks a lot, guys. Sorry I forgot to mention, but the 92 is my own "daily" driver. I don't drive it all that often, so I could easily go without it for awhile. During a trans swap, sure. But I don't have the option to sell it, unless I plan to use a race car for personal transportation. (Don't run that past me, I'll probably do it.)

 

While I have your guys' attention. Honestly, I have a very tight budget and would probably be fine with just the trans swap.

JR, PM site members Sean Hedrick (MiataCage) and Bruce Wilson located in the NorthWest. They know Spec Miata very well and many more Spec Miata contacts in the area. As was previously suggested, get to a track and meet Spec Miata drivers and learn about the whole deal. There were/are a couple folks out that way who drove their car to the track. Used as daily driver???

 

Have Fun

David


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