Mazda Miata Unleashed: 525HP LS Engine Swap

TJ Hunt’s Special Mazda Roadster Project

One can scarcely ponder the Mazda Miata without considering all that they have previously heard about it. This minuscule convertible sports car has earned an undisputed rank in both RWD effectiveness and cost-effectiveness since being released in 1989, and can be aptly described with one term: equilibrium.

Although plenty of people are contented with the lightweight framework, substantial traction and no more than 200 horsepower that comes with a Mazda Miata, other owners use this vehicle as a starting point to achieve increased power.

Famous YouTuber T.J. Hunt is no newcomer to constructing exceptional project cars and hacks his pal Danny’s first-gen Miata with an LS3 V8 from a Trophy Truck to construct Danny’s dream ride. Unfortunately, everything isn’t straightforward.

We Put a 525HP LS3 in a Miata...THIS IS NUTS!

Swapping an engine into a Miata is nothing revolutionary; notable builds like Mad Mike’s twin-turbocharged 1,200 horsepower four rotor RADBUL drift machine or the wild orange Hellcat-infused Miata vividly show the power of these transformations.

Although these vehicles are certainly attention-grabbing, the majority of owners do not intend to reduce their rear tyres to pieces whenever they accelerate.

To attain the more feasible 525-horsepower 6.2-litre LS3 engine for this project, TJ has turned to Miata alteration experts V8roadsters’ complete subframe and LS attachment set as well as some individual work on the transmission tunnel.

However, TJ and his staff experienced a major setback soon after finding out the motor possessed a defective timing chain tensioner and there was an abundance of metal shavings in the oil sump, even though the engine was promoted as having only seen 500 miles use.

The team hastily disassembles the motor and conducts an examination, determining the engine is in favorable condition. They purchase a fresh timing chain assembly unit, a crankshaft pulley, and a number of supplemental valvetrain pieces. After cleaning the parts, they commence the installment of the new gaskets and lubricating all points where the valvetrain connects before reassembly.

A few key components of the engine are now improved, such as the Holley throttle body, newly-installed headers and exhaust system, an ACT clutch, and a more powerful fuel pump all controlled by a Holley ECU.

TJ as well as their cohort came across fresh difficulties, albeit, needing a diverse spline yoke for the driveshaft as well as another bell housing in order to fix the transmission.

Luckily, all the components for construction were delivered quickly. After making some additional engine and gearbox adjustments plus connecting the necessary detectors to the cables, at long last the engine was prepared to be totally mounted for the initial installment.

It can certainly be maintained that, comparatively speaking, this LS swap has been notably more challenging than the vast majority of others. However, TJ is confident as the construction of this build is rapidly taking shape, section-by-section.

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