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Worth it to Build a New 1.6 Motor?

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#41
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I didn't race one time this year. My intake air from day one July or October was always approx. 95* F, don't know humidity. Do we really believe there will be a noticeable difference between 90* F and 100* F?  I happened to be there Sat. T shirt, approx. 70-75* F, unknown humidity.

 

At the 2017 Runoffs it was suggested that the best finishing 1.6 had heat soak issues. Without talking to the driver and after checking the lap time charts, I don't believe heat soak was an issue. At the Farm or Indy, what lap time differences might we expect? Didn't seem Dave had heat soak issues at the Farm testing.  


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#42
Walter Vetter

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Can this be the last thread on parity, it exists.

 

Please explain so my little pea brain understands. If parity has been achieved why are all the 1.6 cars I see for sale, even the very well built and so-called competitive, listed as "good starter cars", or "SMSE cars", or "SVRA cars"?

 

Why is no one building a "top build", "Majors" 1.6?


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#43
Johnny D

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Haldeman is building one (maybe more) for Sonoma.

 

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#44
Steve Scheifler

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But mostly for the same reasons stated again and again. They are old, now very old, more finicky to keep at peak tune, etc. Most of the people who have the resources and ability to be competitive have long since moved to newer models and are not interested in going back. People on their way up just naturally want a newer sexier car, not a seemingly more questionable and used-up older one.

I am not saying we are “there”, the fact is we NEVER CAN BE. And if you are running at the front in a super tour race then “very close” or within a tenth or two doesn’t cut it as a baseline. But that varies by track and we will never know exactly at any of them. So I really do not see why the average guy would opt for the 1.6 when contemplating a used SM if he can afford an NB, if for no other reason than the obvious fact that NBs win every meaningful race, regardless of reason. Where is the mystery?
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#45
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Please explain so my little pea brain understands. If parity has been achieved why are all the 1.6 cars I see for sale, even the very well built and so-called competitive, listed as "good starter cars", or "SMSE cars", or "SVRA cars"?

 

Why is no one building a "top build", "Majors" 1.6?

My pea brain has been soaking in water, being prepped for bean soup. Because driving 99 plus cars makes everyone feel like GOD and the car helps make up for driver mistakes. As in way more torque at less rpm's < That was not parity, it was part of the total response why 99 plus cars are the way to go. Also per say, it takes more $$$ to keep the 1.6 at peak tune.


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#46
davew

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To my knowledge there is one, new front running SM in the country. mine. I paid for the build because I wanted to know if the parity debate needed more fuel on fire. I do not remember the last complete build I have done of an NA car. I have done some cages, but not a full build.

 

The 1.6 is not a costlier car to build. The motor costs the same. Roll cage is the same. Suspension, brakes etc are all the same. It does take a little more concerted effort to keep the car in tune. The 1.6 is harder to drive fast. The room for driver error is demished by lack of torque. The NB car is more modern looking.

 

Finding a really good 1.6 donor is harder. This car is from Texas by way of a racer who took great care of it.

 

You will be hard pressed to find a front running 1.6 Majors car. They simply do not exist. The "front running" cars you see advertised are front running at lower competition levels, regionals, small NASA or local groups (MCSCC, WERA, Waterford, etc). You will also find more older builds in the 1.6 car. Remember we only had NA cars untill a few years ago. So the early SM cars where predominatly 1.6 cars. I know I have learned a lot about these cars in the last 10 years, so why should a 10 year old build be equal to a fresh car?

 

SVRA (vintage) has a new series called the Miata Heritage Cup for only NA cars. Advertising it as vintage elidgable may help sell a car.

 

I tried to be as equal as I could in this test. Same driver, same conditions, even the same tires. It is not possible to test 2 cars with one driver at the same time.  So this was the best we could do. I feel I have proven the cars to be about as close as possible, considering a 13 year age difference.

 

If I was going to build a car for strictly the fun factor, everything else being equal, I would go with a 1.6.

 

Dave


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#47
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Dave, your new 1.6 with no added weight, with 1 gallon usable gas and 2 gallon cool suit water?


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#48
Johnny D

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It should be interesting who brings what to Sonoma.

 

If you remember the NASA Western Champs.

Littlehale won from a DQ to a little black 1.6.

Littlehale, I believe is the Western SCCA Hoosiers Super Tour Champ (whatever you call it)

https://www.scca.com...ding-to-runoffs

 

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146 pts. - Jim Drago; Memphis, TN; Mazda Miata
142 pts. - Tristan Littlehale; Saratoga, CA; Mazda Miata
134 pts. - Chris Haldeman; McKinney, TX; Mazda Miata
124 pts. - Tyler Kicera; Manheim, PA; Mazda Miata
123 pts. - Daniel Langon; Alamo, CA; Mazda Miata

 

Just sayin,

 

J~


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#49
speedengineer

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My experience with my 1.6 has been quite good, and I don't think most of the perceived detriments of the 1.6 are near as substantial as people suggest.  As an owner of both a 99 and a 1.6, I think I'm pretty qualified to speak to this.  For example:

1)  The 1.6 is supposedly difficult to tune due to the flappy door airmeter and other stuff...
Eh, in my limited time with the 1.6 on the dyno, I tuned fuel and timing to that for peak power.  I then proceeded to evaluate the sensitivity of AFR on power, and ignition timing on power.  Varying fuel and ignition up and down by a substantial amount had almost no effect on any part or shape of the power curve.  This lack of sensitivity tells you that there is little to gain here, and also that varying conditions are unlikely to affect your performance on track.  Maybe other's cars respond differently, but not mine, nor two separate friends of mine's 1.6 cars.

 

2)  The 1.6 will get beat out of slow corners by the torqey 1.8 motors
Not necessarily true in my experience.  I find I get plenty of pull out of slow corners, and when going side by side with NB cars, it doesn't seem like I have a disadvantage.  The clutch type diff is especially beneficial on tight corners where torsen cars get wheel spin.  While a 1.6 absolutely makes less midrange power (aka torque for the unenlightened) than an NB, it also weighs 125-150 lbs less.  If you plot the power-to-weight curves for each, it really is close to being 'right there'.  My lapsim results coming off corners compared to NB cars backs up these calculations and subjective observations.

3)  The 1.6 is hard to drive fast
This one is kinda true.  For sure my 1.6 feels a bit less settled, can be twitchy, and require frequent small steering adjustments to keep it in check.  That said, it also has the advantage of being eager to turn.  It is easy to point at the apex, and is amicable to a variety of turn-in line choices.  On the 99, you have to get the timing just right, and have just the right speed and trail braking technique on corner entry.  At least, this is how my 99 behaves.  

 

The issue with the 1.6, in my opinion is it's inability to scale competitively to the big boy tracks.  The acceleration of a race car is dictated primarily by its power-to-(weight + drag) ratio.  At smaller, lower speed tracks, drag is a lesser effect, and the above ratio for the 1.6 is competitive with that for a 1.8.  However, at high speeds, I don't think the 1.6 keeps pace.  I think it'll get obliterated at a track like VIR or Road America.  At Indy, my car seemed capable everywhere on track, except the second half of the long straight, and the trap speeds substantiate that.  To remain competitive at all tracks, it would really need to be allotted a way to make more power, and have the weight correspondingly increased, so that the power-to-drag ratio will remain equal to that of the NB cars.  I highly doubt this will happen, but it's still a great car to race at your say sub-112mph top speed tracks, and definitely more fun and rewarding to drive!!

 


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#50
BNaumann

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I want to build a new 1.6. A stock rust free low-mileage donor is tough to come by. My NB came off eBay 20 minutes away.

P.S. I also see it costing slightly more because the diff and a couple other items are throwaway...

#51
EMatoy

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My experience in my 1.6 and VVT are similar to what Jason and Dave said. If I could only own one car I would keep the 1.6 simply for the fun to drive factor. Both can win if properly equipped.

#52
B(Kuch)Kucera45

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I'm not trying to turn this into a parity post but here are my question

Why would anyone build or buy a 20-35k NB when an NA is competitive ?

When you can buy a already built NA and freshen everything on it for a fraction of the price of a competitive NB.

Hear me out
Average price of an NA $6,000-10,000
New pro motor $6,000
New suspension. $800-$1,000
New trans. $1,000
Dyno time for a year. $800-$1,000
Misc. $1,000

I'm sure I'm missing some things but that comes to $15,000-$19,000 that's way cheaper then $22,000-$35,000 unless my math is that bad.
So there is a bigger reason that the top guys are buying and building only NB cars for the last 7-10 years. And don't tell me the NA cars are getting hard to find there are just as many NA as NB on craigslist and ebay

I'm done the mic has been dropped ! :) lol
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#53
Steve Scheifler

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Hey Kuch. You may not be way off on any one thing, but I think a little low on most of them and that’s before shipping of the big parts. Plus there is the perception at least that the tubs begin to flex more in critical places and flimsy spot welds pop as the car is raced hard. The cage makes the middle stiffer, but the loads have to go somewhere and it is reasonable to assume that much goes straight to the front and rear boxes to which the subframes are bolted. That same fact probably contributes to the failing subframes. Unfortunately we don’t have an approved way to deal with those spot welds though short of continuous welds it could be argued that “industry standard repairs” are allowed.

I’m not sure how relevant that small loss of structural integrity really is but some who replace their cars every couple years claim to feel the difference. We certainly have some well raced cars that are still capable of very fast laps, but perhaps they are less precise than they could be.
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#54
EMatoy

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I built a new NB. It was more than 3 times the cost of my NA. It's not any faster- but I knew that going in. I built it to have a newer, nicer and safer car. I did not expect it be such a pig to drive. If I did it all over again I would find a straight NA and fix all the things I did not like and put a new engine in it and call it a day.

My number one thought why no one wants a 1.6- until the turn signal delete (which we have only had for 2 seasons now) they could not complete and most people still have this perception- couple that with most are old and ugly.

#55
Mark

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The ugly car gets the turn!

 

My number one thought why no one wants a 1.6- until the turn signal delete (which we have only had for 2 seasons now) they could not complete and most people still have this perception- couple that with most are old and ugly.


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#56
BNaumann

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And don't tell me the NA cars are getting hard to find there are just as many NA as NB on craigslist and ebay


Show me. I'm seriously looking. Only viable donor I found guy wants $14k. There are three NBs in my area than would work for $5~8k. I paid $5800 for mine.

I don't want to have to de-f*** someone else's race car and I'm not putting $5k+ of fab work into a shitty donor.

#57
Mark

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Here in So Cal good and reasonable 1.6 donors are almost non-existent. There are a number of craigslist trolls around who grab every low cost miata that comes along so they can part them out. The parting out situation, combined with the canyon racers and stance peeps jonesing for miatas, is making the early car donors hard to come by for a good price. Most that are left are so hacked up that they are not good donor candidates.


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#58
Mark McCallister

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How many donor miles would you consider too many for an NA build?  Any different for an NB?


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#59
Steve Scheifler

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Jason, I agree with some of your observations but not all. We have three 1.6 cars, two ‘99s and a VVT. I have owned a dyno much longer than Jim or Dave and although they have certainly tested more different cars we probably have more time and pulls on the same pair of 1.6s than almost anyone starting back around 2004. The only point being that we have put a lot of that time and effort into controlling variables to ensure meaningful results.

You mentioned an apparent lack of sensitivity to both timing and fuel once they are close. We have observed the same thing to some degree, a plateau of sorts about 2 degrees of advance and a few tenths of AFR. That’s not a lot and if tuning to the lean side you don’t want to stray much more in that direction.

But I’m less in agreement with respect to environmental conditions. I’m not sure how closely you monitored raw uncorrected power or the SAE correction factor applied, but large shifts in temperature, humidity and barometric pressure obviously require some changes to maintain ideal tune. The comparatively crude system on these cars attempts to apply some trims but monitoring AFR or Lambda under vastly different conditions shows their limits. The NBs aren’t perfect either but probably better.

The weight and drag issue is a good one and touches on some prior discussions here. You are an engineer so I don’t expect to educate you but some others may appreciate explanations with my assumptions. Correct me where you see it differently.

Similar to a better corner exit speed, more torque very early in a long straight continues to pay dividends even after the sort term acceleration advantage is lost. The earlier you gather speed the longer you get to use it, even if your ultimate trap speed is equal to or even lower than a car with less torque. A good friend likes reminding me of this when I point to trap speeds and tell him to stop whining about low end power. :)

Towards the other end of the longest straights even seemingly significant power differences (by our standards) are totally overshadowed by aero drag. Any percieved difference in the rate of acceleration above say 100 mph has little to do with HP assuming well tuned cars and appropriate shift points. At those speeds closing rate was either accumulated earlier (see above) or is the result of reduced drag, whether inherent of from the draft etc. One notable exception to this, and somewhat at odds with your experience, is that the 1.6 has the same gearing but should have about 200 more RPM available before shifting. Many a time after struggling to make ground even with the draft, that extra few seconds in 4th while the car ahead has to upshift and then looses a big chunk of torque to gearing is when the 1.6 can close a bit on the NBs.

Back to differences in aero, I do not recall the claimed CD or frontal area of the NA vs NB, with or without the front lips. You probably have that but by the time we are in 5th gear small differences there become much more important than a couple HP or lb/ft of torque, so I agree that parity could potentially be significantly different at big fast tracks.
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#60
OrangeCrush86

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Our testing results. All this is quick and from memory. I have not looked at any data yet. Sunday was  rain all day. Sunday is simply a seat of the pants feel. Saturday should have been a great track, but everyone seemed to feel the track was about 0.5 seconds slow.

 

...

 

Dave

 

What were the car numbers that were being compared? I would like to take a look at the laps.

 

Thanks


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