Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Oil pan swap- the Miata budget racer

We started with a MX3 running a built Protege engine and nothing better to do. After a few weeks into the fall the 1993 Project Miata appeared as the perfect candidate. But as the MX3 is a transverse engine the Miata is not. No matter how many different modifications that can be chosen the oil pan has to be changed.
Its a straight forward change, we used a 2001 miata oil pan which kept us away from making too many modifications. only few points to keep in mind ; the dip stick, the sump and the backing plate on the engine. The dip stick needs to be changed from its forward Protege (front of engine) position to the rear drivers side (Miata ) position. I cut down the old tube and gave it a good welding before reinstalling it.
the engine backing plate between the transmission and engine needs to be change to the miata type. You can use the Protege plate but I wouldn't recommend as you'd have to drill the alignment holes. the two different transmissions use different bolt patterns. I reused the 1.6 plate; this also gives the original the mounting point for the miata dip stick tube.

An engine stand is great for this chore, beats dancing with your lady. Once the old pan was removed things looked fine inside. Now to remove the old sump pickup and install a sump that will work with our new 2001 pan. The new sump has a tab for mounting to keep the vibes from breaking it and such. I could have taken the baffle off and run a bolt setup but I rather not put extra nuts and bolts that could stray. I opted to give a small spot weld as I had the welder out for the dip tube.
when all is set and done use good sealant, but make sure not to use too much. the pan bolts are tighten in inch pounds (74?in/lbs?) don't over tighen, I snugged them down every other one working around the whole pan.

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