i need to find a miata with no engine or transmission.


Asked by Nov 09, 2009 at 10:00 PM about the Mazda MX-5 Miata

Question type: Car Customization

rear diff optional. perferrably with pop-up lights, i believe that's 89-93? interior intact, manual windows and mirrors.

5 Answers


The pop-up lights were used on Miatas through the 1997 model year (known as NA cars, not because they're in North America or they're Naturally Aspirated, but because the VIN number starts with NA). There was no 1998 model year. The '99 is the first of the NB series, which have integrated headlights. '89 to '93 used the 1.6L engine, which is why you had that range of years in mind; the '94 to '97 used the 1.8L engine but retained the original body styling. (I have a '96, for example, with pop-up lights and a 1.8L.) As for the limited-slip diff, if you go to a pick-and-pull be sure to get the half-shafts as well. The LSD is wider than the standard, and therefore the half-shafts are shorter. Virtually all the other differences are only important if you're judging at a concours or trying to pull a trim piece that changed from one year to the next. You can wait till you get one to find out about things like the difference between a '94 and a '96 engine wiring harness (the '96 has one more wire in the connector) or other super trivial details. Best of luck with your search!

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

thank you scott. i am actually looking for this vehicle for a 13B swap. that's why i want to find it without engine or transmission. i can find the engine i want just fine, and creating the driveshaft is no problem. in fact i am going to begin writing a few different transmission companies to see if there is a rear-mount transmission for the purpose i want. i am doing much research, so forgive me if i sound a bit behind the curve.


John, this is a well-known swap (and one I fantasized about recently while waiting in line at an autocross between a modified RX-8 and a VERY strong RX-3). The 13B will bolt up to the Miata transmission - just take the bellhousing from whatever your source is, as the Miata gearbox was derived from the second-gen RX-7. And the 13B will be even lighter than the original Miata engine, so there's no real incentive to go with a rear transaxle (unless you're going for inboard discs like my '89 Alfa Milano). (Now, with a V8 conversion, a transaxle would help shift some of the weight back to the rear wheels, but that's not your problem.) Plus, the Miata ratios are ideally suited to a high-revving engine that really wants to be kept in the powerband -- something the rotary likes very much. Don't get me wrong -- if you want to engineer and build something nobody's done before, then a front-mounted rotary with a rear transaxle may be one of the few areas not yet explored in the Miata world (I've seen rotary swaps, V6 swaps, and V8 swaps, including the amazing LS1 that Flyin' Miata brought to Laguna Seca for the 20th Anniversary party last March). If I were doing the swap, though, I'd go with a Renesis and make it fit with the factory drivetrain (and the RX-8's ECU). It's a newer design, makes more power than the early 13Bs, and does so with stock reliability. But that's what I'm into lately -- spending more time driving the cars than working on them. :-) Best of luck, and keep in touch! --Scott Fisher

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

thank you immensely for the suggestion scott, you have been immensely helpful. ^,..,^ and the rear transaxle thing is a fantasy, if it does happen it will be far after i initally put the engine in. and thanks for the renesis suggestion, i just needed a push in that direction from somebody who is as passionate about mazdas as myself. Zoom-Zoom

i have a 1999 miata with 182717 and the engine is falling apart and is slow as crap what is a good easy swap that is reliable and affordable

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