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Hi,

Before i tell you about my car i would first like to tell you a little about myself. my name is Alan Smith and i work for landrover as a instumention engineer but most of my working life i have spent working in dealerships, and in my spare time building and racing autograss cars.

Less than 12 months ago I had no idea how good a car the na mx5 is as up till this point i thought they were for hairdessers only and how wrong was I ! what a well balanced fun it is, i have driven all kinds of cars over the last ten years and not many have put such a smile on my face.

I only came into owning one of these cars as a bit of an idea i had about this time last year as i was in the middle of bulding my last autograss car and i ended up with 3 1100cc honda blackbird xx engines 2 of which are full on big bores making almost 200bhp and 1 standard one,, all being the earlier carbed engines. and only being able to use one in the race car i had a couple of spares and seemed a shame to just have them sat there doing nothing, as i have been around autograss since 1987 I have seen the rise of these superbike engines and they are quite unbeleviable, how something so small can make so much power, and one of my best friends is one half of a company called promotive who do yamaha r1 conversion kits for the clasiic mini, I ended up deciding that i wanted a bike engined car !

As I started thinking of possable cars to convert to bike power the NA mx5 ticked all the boxes for me lightweight and rwd, also the fact it had a front subframe which bought me onto the next part of the idea maybe it could be possable to do the conversion without modifiying the bodyshell, So the next thing I know is im off the southampton to pick up 1990 mariner blue NA,

After getting the car home and having a quick measure up i discovered that the bike engine will fit, without to many dramas, so i now had a plan to modify the front subframe to accept the blackbird, but before i stared the conversion a friend of mine was without a car so i mot'd the car and lent it to him and thats when i realised that these cars are not for hairdressers they are a proper well balanced sports car and I loved it, even to the point i thought about not bothering to put the bie engine in. however around about june last year the project started.

By the end of October the engine was all in and all the drive take care of, and was running. It was a fairly tense time installing the engine for the first time as it had never been in the car utill that day all the mounting to the subframe was done by measurments of the engine bay, so i was quite releved when it all fitted in spot on!

Through November I finished off all the other bits and peices like modifiying the instument panel to accept bike clocks, gear cable/lever, making a complete exhaust system with a bike can, and all the odds and sods you always forget about!!

At the begining of December I had done it, fitted a bike engine without any mods to the bodyshell at all.

What i have ended up with is a honda blackbird powered NA mx5 with reverse!!, and i let me tell you how much fun it is, it is very very quick. and I know what you all are saying thats all very well but being a bike engine it has no torque and it will be impossable to drive in traffic as you have to rev the tits off it to even pull away, I have read alot of forums were the subject of a bike engined mx5 has come up and this seems to be the general opinion out there, well let me tell you all
that this is not the case, the clutch is very light and has a awfull lot of feel,and is not on off like most people think, i can move the car from a standstill on tickover and it will accelerate nice and smooth from as little as 3000rpm, once you get used to the gearbox and changing up with no clutch, it's no more difficult than driving any other mx5, but once you get round to 8000rpm the fun starts it pulls very very strong to 11000rpm rev limiter, and because the gear ratios are so close it keeps pulling through all the gears just as strong in the wet i have had spinning the wheels in 3rd gear no problem at all!!

Now I have finished the car and im very impressed with how it drives, and becauses i have done the conversion in such a way the body has not been modified, im thinking of doing it as bolt it conversion for the NA, but as im very new to the mx5 scene I have not got a clue what sort of intrest may be out there? the car has a feature done for Practical Performance Car magazine, which will be in the magazine in the spring time. So far all the feedback I have had from people who have seen the car is very good.

So im asking you to give me feedback on what im planning on doing so I can get an idea on wether it's worth doing this as a kit, the car is my everyday driver it's not some track car i have built for ocassional use on the road, it has all the trim and that all important reverse gear!

Thanks Alan
 

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629 Posts
Please get some pics and videos of the car up as it sounds brilliant. Not sure on demand i guess it will depend on cost but i love all the different engine combos people fit. If everyone did the same it would be a very dull world.
 

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10,141 Posts
Is it dry sumped? If not, get on it, sharpish. Keep your spare engine spare!

More detail of the drive arrangement would be good. Presumably you're still using the bike sequential box for clutchless upshifts, but reverse? Are you still using the car box or a quaife/MNR reverse box?

The blackbird makes good torque but I'll still be interested to see how the box survives. A 500kg BEC kit car is worlds away from a 950kg mx5 in terms of duty cycle
 

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Dr. Eunos
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Just hover over each image and click on the `Direct Link` to copy, then back on here hover over the green and blue `image` icon and paste into there then hit the post box
 
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