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.....and so it begins: F.R.E.coboost Miata

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  • .....and so it begins: F.R.E.coboost Miata

    Everyone loves a Miata am I right? What is it that the Miata is missing that should make it an even better...Miata? Yeah, more power.

    A few years I heard that a 2.0 ltr EcoBoost motor (think Focus ST) would bolt up to an NC Miata transmission. That and Ford Performance had a kit that would operate the motor as a complete stand alone (connect a ground, a power, and a couple control switches and it's good to go). I started talking about this being a great answer for a Miata. A fun daily driver/occasional track day toy sort of thing. I've kicked this idea around for a few years now, so it was finally time for me to either shut up (not all that likely in reality), or do something about it.

    So here we are at the early stages of the "F.R.E.coboost Miata", or maybe "Menschenstien II" (carry over from my motorcycle days), or "insert something clever here".

    The biggest issue on this project is I'm cheap...er...frugal.

    So I found a rust free 99 Miata with a bad motor (and a rollbar, 15x7 wheels and coilovers) for a pretty good price, so I was off to a good start.

    The first problem was Ford Performance doesn't sell the kit anymore... Luckily I found a tech at FPP that was willing to program an ECU that I supplied (free with both "E"s! other than having to buy an ECU). I also found someone at FPP who was willing to send me the wiring diagram for the chassis side harness that goes along with the ECU programming, so I could build my own. Not free, but definitely FRE!

    The next problem is a scrap yard Focus ST motor can run $1500-2000, but... last week I picked up a 2.0 ltr EcoBoost motor from a 2014 Ford Fusion (74k mile, 240hp) complete down to the accessory belt for $324. The Fusion motor uses the same turbo, cams, and head, so I assume the biggest difference (and the cause of the 12 fewer hp) is ECU programming, and I already have that addressed with the FPP ECU.

    This is certainly just the start of many "adventures" related to making this mismatched bunch of parts into an operating vehicle, but I'm started down the road. I don't have a really timetable (other than hoping I can drive the car this coming Summer). It's not being built to fit into any particular race class (though I hope to keep in SSM legal), it will mostly be a fun street car/occasional track day (TNiA) toy. Oh, and I'm hoping to be able to keep the whole budget under $5000.

    Wish me luck!
    Attached Files
    Last edited by the tick; 01-13-2019, 06:59 PM.
    John Mensch

    2011 Driver of the Year.
    Proud recipient of the 2008 Paul Weidner "Spirit of the Sport" award.
    Founder of F.rugal R.acing E.nterprises. (FRE) "It's not F.R.E.E., but it's close....."

    Quote section;
    Resentment: It's like taking poison and waiting for the other person to die...
    "If there is no plan, what can go wrong!" - Some Clown
    "I like to think of myself as thrifty, cheap sounds so.......cheap." - Same Clown
    To quote a wise man I once knew; "If you can't have a little fun what good are you?"

  • #2
    I am so glad to see this is finally happening
    2001 S2000


    Originally posted by 86SVO
    ..... then I found a broken chuck of plastic bumper cover to use as "paper".
    No one really listens to anyone else, and if you try it for a while you'll see why. - Mignon McLaughlin

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    • #3
      Very cool, John! I'm excited to see your project progress. Should be a hoot!
      Jeff Rye #64
      1999 Mazda Miata Sport -- ES
      2001 Toyota Corolla S -- HS
      Proud recipient of the 2016 Paul Weidner Spirit of the Sport award.

      Comment


      • #4
        JOHN'S a hoot!

        Comment


        • #5
          Thats my kinda crazy.

          Photo captions: #1: Open wide and say HORSEPOWER. #2:Can't be much harder than assembling kids toys after Christmas. Insert tab "A" into slot "B" and you're done!
          Last edited by 914 Dave; 12-19-2018, 06:03 AM.
          David Parsons
          1973 914. Kinda running.
          2000 Audi TT. 30+ mpg of fine art.
          2013 Jeep Compass. Wife's truck. Always.
          1993 Miata. Dad's to drive. Mine to maintain.
          2003 Kawasaki Ninjette 250. It followed me home.

          "Fix it till it breaks. Then fix it some more." Me
          "At the end of the day, when all is said and done- more is usually said then done" My Dad.

          Proud recipient of the 2011 Paul Weidner "Spirit of the Sport" award.

          Comment


          • #6
            Does any Mazda use that engine? I think you might be straight to XP and Cobra Wars territory with that swap. Definitely off to a great start, though; that's a hell of a deal on both the ECU and the engine.
            The Forsche 948: Engine in the front, drive to the rear, and a big smiling piece of meat in the middle.

            Proud recipient of the 2015 Paul Weidner Spirit of the Sport award.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by haroldk View Post
              Does any Mazda use that engine? I think you might be straight to XP and Cobra Wars territory with that swap. Definitely off to a great start, though; that's a hell of a deal on both the ECU and the engine.
              In the last year or 2 they added a rule in SM and SSM allowing none brand motor swaps that carry an additional 150 lb penalty.

              If someone REALLY wanted to do this "right" I think the EcoBoost head (and associated bits) fit on the NC Miata MZR motor. The blocks are the same family (and the NC trans bolts right up to the EcoBoost motor as does the NC oil pan).

              This is a "just for the giggles", cheap toy, fun car, so I'm not sweating too many classing details.
              John Mensch

              2011 Driver of the Year.
              Proud recipient of the 2008 Paul Weidner "Spirit of the Sport" award.
              Founder of F.rugal R.acing E.nterprises. (FRE) "It's not F.R.E.E., but it's close....."

              Quote section;
              Resentment: It's like taking poison and waiting for the other person to die...
              "If there is no plan, what can go wrong!" - Some Clown
              "I like to think of myself as thrifty, cheap sounds so.......cheap." - Same Clown
              To quote a wise man I once knew; "If you can't have a little fun what good are you?"

              Comment


              • #8
                Huh. This is what happens when you don't run regular classes. I try to keep up with changes so I can answer questions that come up, but I guess I missed that one. I absolutely understand doing something just for kicks. You've already got a well-prepped and competitive car for autocross duties, no reason not to put something together unfettered by the class system.

                I'd offer a hand (because I like putting my hands in things), but you'll probably be done building it before I've got free time again.
                The Forsche 948: Engine in the front, drive to the rear, and a big smiling piece of meat in the middle.

                Proud recipient of the 2015 Paul Weidner Spirit of the Sport award.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Yes! Make it so!
                  Ryan Devlin [06 JustaCooper] "Man's Prayer: I am a man, I can change, if I have to... I guess." RedGreenShow

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by haroldk View Post
                    Huh. This is what happens when you don't run regular classes. I try to keep up with changes so I can answer questions that come up, but I guess I missed that one. I absolutely understand doing something just for kicks. You've already got a well-prepped and competitive car for autocross duties, no reason not to put something together unfettered by the class system.

                    I'd offer a hand (because I like putting my hands in things), but you'll probably be done building it before I've got free time again.
                    Thanks Harold, I don't have a very well defined timeline, and since I don't have a race season depending on this being ready it's on the "when I have time/as long as it's fun" schedule. So I will keep your vailed offer in mind.
                    John Mensch

                    2011 Driver of the Year.
                    Proud recipient of the 2008 Paul Weidner "Spirit of the Sport" award.
                    Founder of F.rugal R.acing E.nterprises. (FRE) "It's not F.R.E.E., but it's close....."

                    Quote section;
                    Resentment: It's like taking poison and waiting for the other person to die...
                    "If there is no plan, what can go wrong!" - Some Clown
                    "I like to think of myself as thrifty, cheap sounds so.......cheap." - Same Clown
                    To quote a wise man I once knew; "If you can't have a little fun what good are you?"

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Cool project! I love lots of power in small cars. Almost makes me want to build something again. Almost.
                      brm
                      "The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts." Bertrand Russell

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Not sure but my hands might be smaller than Harold's, so if you need more hands, or smaller hands, call me.

                        But my hands aren't as small as that other guy in the news always tweeting and such. Not nearly that small.
                        David Parsons
                        1973 914. Kinda running.
                        2000 Audi TT. 30+ mpg of fine art.
                        2013 Jeep Compass. Wife's truck. Always.
                        1993 Miata. Dad's to drive. Mine to maintain.
                        2003 Kawasaki Ninjette 250. It followed me home.

                        "Fix it till it breaks. Then fix it some more." Me
                        "At the end of the day, when all is said and done- more is usually said then done" My Dad.

                        Proud recipient of the 2011 Paul Weidner "Spirit of the Sport" award.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Maybe I missed it, but you say the Ecoboost bolts up to an NC transmission, but you've got an NB... are you going to get an NC transmission, and will it fit nicely?
                          Looks like a great project!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by rschwanz View Post
                            Maybe I missed it, but you say the Ecoboost bolts up to an NC transmission, but you've got an NB... are you going to get an NC transmission, and will it fit nicely?
                            Looks like a great project!
                            Meh, it's only sheet metal. If it doesn't fit nicely, there is always a bigger hammer. Or a plasma cutter.
                            Ryan

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              This is gonna be FUN!!!
                              https://forums.mnautox.com/core/smil...//beer_new.gif
                              Mark Yakich
                              Sioux Falls, SD or somewhere in Arizona

                              Proud recipient of the 2012 Paul Weidner "Spirit of the Sport" award.

                              '16 Demon F500 - FMod
                              '05 Mazda RX8 - STX

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