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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Mazda Miata running gear in a'29 Ford

Has anyone seen a Mazda Miata engine run in an early Ford?

I am going to build a fenderless '29 Ford phantom roadster pickup (rat rod) out of spare parts I have from over projects. I have been seriously thinking of using a Mazda Miata as a donor vehicle for the engine, transmission, and differential. The differential is mounted on a subframe that should aid in the conversion. The width of the differential is very similar to the stock '29. I believe total weight should be no greater than about 1800 pounds without fenders, hood, etc, therefore the mild power output should be adequate. Any comments (hopefully constructive) would be greatly appreciated.
 

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As long as you havethe complete Miata as a reference it shouldn't be hard to do. Some fab work, but I'm sure you knew that already. The electronics shouldn't be tough -- just lift all the stuff between computer and engine from the Miata and drop in the roadster.

Hiding some of the stuff will be a problem -- best to run a hood with sides. You can lengthen some wires with no problem, but some of the sensors are sensitive to the added resistance and impedence. Make a note of EXACTLY what sensors/devices you lengthen wires to. If you have problems and get codes for those, you know what to do (shorten wires to original). Of course you'll need a wiring diagram for the Miata.

I've done something similar -- have an EFI six in my 63 Rambler. It wasn't to hard to do, but there are lots of wires and relays you can't eliminate. Mine was an earlier (1988) system that didn't have an anti-theft device. That can be tricky to get around! One of my Jeep buddies noticed that the alarm used in 2000+ Grand Cherokees needed the coded key to be near it, but not in the switch (apparently uses some kind of RF device to detect the correct key?). He didn't want to change the key switch in the Jeep he was dropping the EFI six in, so he zip-tied the original key to the steering column, hidden under the dash. Problem solved!
 

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oldpackrat said:
Has anyone seen a Mazda Miata engine run in an early Ford?

I am going to build a fenderless '29 Ford phantom roadster pickup (rat rod) out of spare parts I have from over projects. I have been seriously thinking of using a Mazda Miata as a donor vehicle for the engine, transmission, and differential. The differential is mounted on a subframe that should aid in the conversion. The width of the differential is very similar to the stock '29. I believe total weight should be no greater than about 1800 pounds without fenders, hood, etc, therefore the mild power output should be adequate. Any comments (hopefully constructive) would be greatly appreciated.
The Miata donor idea sounds very sensible to me. Like everyone says, just use everything out of the Miata. Can you use the front clip also or is it too "clunky" looking. It would be nice to have the brake system front and rear like the factory engineered it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Miata running gear in a '29 Ford roadster PU

techinspector1 said:
The Miata donor idea sounds very sensible to me. Like everyone says, just use everything out of the Miata. Can you use the front clip also or is it too "clunky" looking. It would be nice to have the brake system front and rear like the factory engineered it.
The front clip unbolts from the uni-body which is nice; however, it would still be ugly under a fenderless '29.
I do have some split wishbones, front axles, spindles, etc from a couple of '40 Ford front ends along with a '57 Ford PU steering and drag link from a '36 coupe that is going to be updated. So I am leaning toward a traditional suicide front end. The Miata rear end is also a complete bolt-in assembly which I think can be used without much difficultly with a Z-d frame.
 

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Miata running gear under a Model A 1929 Ford pickup

I happened to run across this post while searching Miata in a Model A.

I see it is an old thread but I have started one similar except I am leaving the car a full fendered truck, hood and all. It will not be a shiny car....I have two others and I don't drive them enough because of "chip" fear. This will look like an A that was just drug out of a barn and washed after 75 years....no rust or patina......dull original paint. Green body and bed, black fenders. But will run like a Miata.

It is really surprising how well the Miata front and rear clips fit under the A frame. I am changing motor mount position and also lengthening the Miata power train frame and driveshaft. I have had to alter the front "A" arms so that coil over shocks can be used.

I will try to send in some photos after we get some e-mail issues resolved.
 
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