|August 23, 2013 - Time for a big upgrade.|
When the car was converted to V8 power, it got a modified L33 engine. The L33 is a 5.3L truck engine with an aluminum block, but really the only things that stayed were the block, crank and rods. This is the recipe for the V8RSpec race series engines. It's a good track engine with a powerband that just keeps delivering more and more up to about 375hp at the rear wheels - but it's never had the bottom end torque I wanted. This is particularly a problem on the rally stage, where you don't always know exactly what a corner exit is going to look like. Driving the car back-to-back with my 5.7 LS1-powered MGB on the street really showed me what I was missing. So I've been eying the newer, larger LS3 engines for a while. I think I'm the only person who's ever felt the car was lacking for torque, though!
A few weeks ago, I got a call from a friend who had an LS3 for sale. It's a crate LS376/480, the same 480 hp engine that we use for a lot of conversions at Flyin' Miata. It had been installed and run just long enough to seat the rings before being pulled. He offered it to me at a killer price, so I jumped on it.
So the Targa Miata is going to get a makeover. Along with the new engine, I'll drop in the matching wiring and controller. No more modified 2002 Firebird parts, I'll be running a GM Performance Parts wiring harness, PCM and fusebox. This will, amongst other things, take the main relay out. Yes, that main relay.
I've got a few other changes planned, but this is the big one. It's going to be fun. Good thing I upgraded those axles.