11s42k New Reader
11/4/09 10:11 p.m.

Hi Gang. Erik Lawson here (2001-2004 Challenger). Looking for some ideas on what to do with a 323GTX. Up here in the great white north, we rallycross on ice. For the past several years, we have used 323GTXs. One rusted to death and got scrapped. The current one had the standard GTX crankshaft failure last year. I put all my 323 crap up for sale 6-8 months ago at what I thought was a reasonable price. Blame the economy or whatever - I still have 95% of the stuff and still have a busted car in the yard. I've had some "very interested" parties, but so far they have no money.

So here it is November again and the ice is on the way. The engine has to come out to fix it right. The question is: What goes back in there? I did one swap on one of these cars putting a B6T in where a B6T came out - it was very time consuming. I don't really want to do it at all, so I sure as heck don't want to do it twice. Have any of you put a Miata shortblock in one of these? Does it actually bolt up? Do the accesories fit, or is there a bunch of fabrication to do? Would the 1.8 be a better option? Can I put the Miata crank in my block? It appears that the oil pump and front cover differ, so that could get a little messy.

I need to be stingy on dollars and time. I'd like to utilize the factory ECM with my EL chip and recently installed Centerforce clutch, and I'd like to get it done in 2 weekends max with 1-2 helpers.

What would you do???


mad_machine SuperDork
11/4/09 10:44 p.m.

Isn't that the same basic engine as the Miata?

11s42k New Reader
11/4/09 10:46 p.m.

In reply to mad_machine: That is what I have read, but what does "basic" mean? What fits and what doesn't?

oldopelguy Dork
11/4/09 11:37 p.m.

This is all I know, except that if you find an extra b6-e I'd give it a good home in a Festiva...

mad_machine SuperDork
11/5/09 1:47 a.m.

that's a good question. I know the block bolts up..

maroon92 SuperDork
11/5/09 7:08 a.m.

the block bolts up, but the oil pan is in the wrong place, and I think the alternator bracket needs to be modified...even then, you wouldn't have the same power as the stock engine unless you got an expensive miata turbo kit!...

tpwalsh New Reader
11/5/09 7:43 a.m.

Why don't you pull the motor out, stuff in a miata 1.6 longnose crank, and get it back on the road? Seems like a (relatively) cheap fix, though labor intensive.

John Brown
John Brown SuperDork
11/5/09 7:55 a.m.

Jeez Erik, I thought the answer was always Small Block Chevrolet up around your parts... It's already got a rear end in it, put a SBC and a Glide in it and a stubby little driveshaft and go snodrifting!

wheelsmithy New Reader
11/5/09 8:10 a.m.

I'm not sure, but here are som leads... late model Capri(looks like an ugly FWD miata), also, I believe there's a 1.8 KIA or something with the same block(cheap)

splitime Reader
11/5/09 8:40 a.m.

I do think the longnose crank will fit in there. It is basically the same motor other than rods/pistons/cams/dizzy.

Teqnyck New Reader
11/5/09 1:44 p.m.

The 1.8 BPT engine swap is doable, but very time consuming and expensive. I'd stick to the B6Ts and go with a Miata shortblock, something 92-93ish with the long nosed crank. Also ditch that VJ turbo, lots of people make their own T3 adapter plates for the stock manifolds, keeps a new turbo in the stock place which is nice.

And you're close to Canada, right? You should be able to find yourself a Protege AWD fairly easily, parts will be easier to find and you can move up to the 1.8 Ltr. BPT motor. My car was a Canadian car, almost all of the AWDs were built in Canuck land but for the most part they made their way down to us.

petegossett Dork
11/5/09 2:02 p.m.

Well, this is a bit of a haul for you, but...

323 GT

93celicaGT2 SuperDork
11/5/09 2:04 p.m.

^Is that yours, Pete? I just spent a couple minutes pondering where tippecanoe was before i realized that it was close to me, relatively.


93celicaGT2 SuperDork
11/5/09 2:05 p.m.

As for the OP... i suggest an F2T swap.

Keith SuperDork
11/5/09 2:29 p.m.

Use a Miata bottom end. You'll need to swap the oil pan and associated bits as well as accessory drives, but it should be pretty straightforward. As an added bonus, you'll also get 9.4 compression which would be a lot nicer to drive than the 7.8 or whatever doggy ratio the GTX comes with. If I still had my GTX, I would not hesitate to stick a Miata short block in there.

Effort should not be significantly different than swapping the B6T for a B6T.

Teqnyck New Reader
11/5/09 3:06 p.m.
93celicaGT2 wrote: As for the OP... i suggest an F2T swap.

If you're going that far, DEFINITALY need to go FE3. 400whp on the stock bottom end, sounds delicious.

93celicaGT2 SuperDork
11/5/09 4:08 p.m.
Teqnyck wrote:
93celicaGT2 wrote: As for the OP... i suggest an F2T swap.
If you're going that far, DEFINITALY need to go FE3. 400whp on the stock bottom end, sounds delicious.

I suppose.... recent evidence shows that it's pretty likely that's acheiveable with the F2T as well, with more torque.

But the FE3 SOUNDS way better.

iceracer HalfDork
11/5/09 5:27 p.m.

The Escort GT used the 1.8 Mazda engine.

93celicaGT2 SuperDork
11/5/09 5:43 p.m.

Hrrrmmm... as a matter of fact, i think you're right!.

93gsxturbo Reader
11/5/09 5:45 p.m.

What are the odds you could fit a 4G63T, AWD DSM gearbox and transfer case, and modify the driveshaft to adapt to the DSM transfer case.

I bet you could get a complete rough but running early DSM for under a G, and part out what you dont need. No more oddball parts in the drivetrain!

Not to mention 200 horse stock, and 300 with easy and cheap mods.

petegossett Dork
11/5/09 8:02 p.m.
93celicaGT2 wrote: ^Is that yours, Pete? DO WANT.

Oooh no no no no.... it just keeps popping up on c-list. But yeah, I'd like it too - if I didn't have the Tempest that I haven't touched since the 4th of July, the 66 Jeep that I haven't touched since I dragged it home on Easter, and this 115-year old building I'll be working on for the next few years!

93celicaGT2 SuperDork
11/5/09 9:00 p.m.

Maybe i'll win the lottery or my bonus will be bigger than expected. I bet that thing is a little rocket.

I kind of want to get rid of the Celica for it, but my girlfriend just smacked me when i thought that out loud.

11s42k New Reader
11/5/09 10:52 p.m.

Thanks guys. I think I'll start shopping for a Miata / Capri / Escort GT shortblock in the upper midwest. I'll probably nix the a/c and lighten her up a bit, and I like the turbo swap idea too. Erik

Spinout007 Reader
11/5/09 11:08 p.m.
petegossett wrote: Well, this is a bit of a haul for you, but... 323 GT

DANG I wish that was closer, seems like the perfect swap into my 96 protege.

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