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Thread: ECOTEC in Miata: Oil pan clearance problems; Help!

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    ECOTEC in Miata: Oil pan clearance problems; Help!

    Hello everybody, I been lurking on here for a while learning a few things and now I need help. I recieve a 1991 Miata with a 1.6 and "DIY" turbo kit installed. Problems, nothing but problems. The engine is dying, the turbo is dead, many engine management electronics are failing and cost more than the car is worth. It's time for something new, something Extravagent, an Ecotec Swap!

    For the most part everything is simple and straight forward. Ecotec engine, followed by an Ecotec to T56 bell housing, to a T56, custom driveshaft, and then to some differental (heard the CTS will work nicely, but problematic).

    Only three things worry me:
    1: Oil Pan! In the Miata the front sub frame cuts across under the oil pan. The Ecotec is tall compared to the 1.6. The way the 1.6 is set up is valve cover, head, block, oil pan. The Ecotec is valve cover, head, block, !main girdle!, oil pan. I have an extra 6-8 inches that need to be removed or moved. If I just raise the engine it will hit the hood (no biggie), but more importantly the bell housing will not fit in the tunnel without major fabricating. Solution is either a rear drop/sump oil pan or fabricating a subframe.

    Right now I hope for an oil pan, so I am seeing if anyone knows of existing rear sump oil pans or a place that could make one.

    2. Engine Management! Hoping I can get a stock ECU to just run the engine, similar to what CBM has.

    3. T56 Fit! There are woes out there of having to cut into the tunnel in order to get the T56 in with the LSx. There is one LSx kit that pushes the powertain forward more and solves this issue. Hopefully I can achieve this as well.

    I thank you all for reading and any input, suggestions, or ideas are greatly welcomed.

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    Dont really have any suggestions, But i would definitely like to see this happen!

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    i think the easiest thing would be to fabricate a new sub frame.

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    New subframe if its within your class rules, custom oil pan maybe as well. Could you run a lighter tranny than the T56? Its weighs more than the engine. Also, what car would you be pulling from and are you going boosted? That pretty much determines what you can do computer wise.
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    A new or custom subframe would be preferred. It almost seems easier, although depending on how I would go about it, ground clearance may become an issue. I will look at how the LSx kits redid the subframe. Still, my biggest hold back is I have no welding and little fabrication skills to do it myself. As for class rules, I'll have to see. The main purpose of this vehicle will be a drift car.

    The start off engine will be the L61 from my Cavalier as soon as I swap it for the L61E5SJ. No plans with boosting at first, just NA. Down the road I may see if the blower can be installed, but that's down the road.

    The computer, engine harness, and quite possibly the entire eletrical assembly will come from a junked 2dr Cavalier. My thought is pretty much shove the brain and nervous system of the Cavalier into it.

    As for a lighter tranny, my research has found three options. The Aisin that is in the Solstice and Sky (but its's short and would require fabrication of a shiter relocator), the T5 with a bell housing (also short and poor gearing/durability), and finally the T56 with a bell housing. T56 seems the easiest and safest, but i do wonder if that's too much tranny for the little L61.

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    I'd run the asin. It seems super strong. I'd run a stand alone if you plan on boosting the cavy engine. Fuck the stock computer, cunt^2 to tune correctly. if you are goint to run a shift re-locate, or shift cables, You can get away with tilting the engine at least a little to gain some more head room.

    If you are going to drive in FD, last I checked you cannot mod the subframe to fit engines, though that may have changed.
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    I would love to run the Aisin. It's relatievely inexpensive, bolts right up without a coversion bell housing (extra $600), and smaller and lighter than a T56. Only real concern is designing that relocation set-up for the shifter. Need to investigate how others have done it so I can get an idea. Tunnel clearance should be enough to not require any tilting, that is if the custom subframe allows the engine to sit lower and level.

    The main reasoning for running a stock Cavalier Ecotec computer is just for the simplicity of running it. No need to tune and check and dyno off the bat just to get it running. Just bolt on, plug and splice and you're good to go. The other option was the CBM standalone PCM with the custom harness; CBM PCM runs the Ecotec, Miata PCM runs the rest of the car. But a $1000 seems like a lot. It'd be cheaper to gut a junked Cavalier.

    I was also looking at FlyinMiata.com's tubular subframe used in the LSx conversion. It removes a lot of the extra material around the base of the engine and uses one tube across the front. This frame looks promising, just pricy.

    Miata 22.gif
    LSx V8roadsters_Miata_subframe.jpg
    As for FD, that's a bit aways right now. I'm only novice at best, lol. Right now is practice and training time, that's why I need a dependable car that can take abuse and there's no better canidate than a Ecotec powertrain under that car.
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    sweet another rwd eco. i modified the oil pan and the crossmember to get the clearence i needed for my build. im also running the stock ecu but in the future i know im gonna wish i was running a standalone.
    83 chevy s10, l61 swap,colorado trans swap, full exhaust, cai, bagged and bodydropped,kyb monotube shocks, 4 wheel disc brakes, 4 link, zq8 sway bars front and rear,poly bushing through whole chassie

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    That's awesome! I would love to see some pics of that truck. We need to become best buds, lol.

    But how did you modify the oil pan? Just cut into it and weld some metal around it? What about the oil pick up screen?
    As for the PCM, where you able to just make it run the engine and not need the EBCM or any other junk that's inside the cockpit, or did you just take all the guts from a Cavalier and put it in like I'm planning??

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    Ah found your pics, lol. And build!

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    Dry sump...
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