LFX Engine Swap (GM V6) at GWR

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Re: LFX Engine Swap (GM V6) at GWR

Postby Ryan @ GWR » Wed Dec 06, 2017 9:17 pm

Chuckwalla Valley Raceway. New Miata lap records in both directions. Counter-clockwise 1:51.9 / Clockwise 1:51.4

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Two day event at CVR, CCW Saturday then CW Sunday. Just a fun weekend getting laps in the car, getting more comfortable with it, etc. Kept data collection and adjustments light and just did lots and lots of laps. Fast laps in this thing requires a lot of trust in how fast it will go through sections. Car was happy to run all day long both days. Reminds me of tracking a naturally aspirated Miata just with the an entirely different performance envelope. Using leftover tires, had one set with over 20 heat cycles that I had already used at ACS, MRLS, and day 1 of SLB. Set 2 were fresher with just day 2 of SLB on them. Saturday's CCW time was on the old set. Switched to the fresher tires for the last session but never got clean laps, was doing 1:52's amidst traffic. CW was a little less drama on the fresher tires. It's a little ridiculous how fast the car is. Fastest car on track Saturday, 2nd fastest Sunday behind a GT1 class 911 Turbo on full slicks and the whole nine. Most cars in red group were doing ~6-12 seconds slower pace so clean laps were scarce because I'd almost always catch someone.

Counter-clockwise:



Clockwise:



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Re: LFX Engine Swap (GM V6) at GWR

Postby Carguy123 » Sat Dec 09, 2017 9:34 pm

Congrats on the times. I'm glad to see that it isn't taking a lot of getting used to.

A totally unrelated question, but since a 6 speed isn't needed on the track, is the bell housing bolt pattern on the LFX the same as other engines so that possibly a more compact and lighter 5 speed might be used?

I had fewer missed shifts with my 5 speed in the Miata than when I switched it to a 6 speed and never used top gear in either.

How have you been contacting V8R? I've emailed and left several voice messages but no one has ever gotten back to me. Do you have something different that what is on their website?
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Re: LFX Engine Swap (GM V6) at GWR

Postby Ryan @ GWR » Mon Dec 11, 2017 3:58 pm

Not sure on the bellhousing bolt pattern, it's a hard thing to verify without just buying transmissions from the junkyard and seeing what matches up. I've been really happy with the ratios in the 'box I have, so haven't looked elsewhere much.

I just saw Shandelle from V8Roadsters at PRI this past weekend. They've had some recent extenuating circumstances that have made replies take a lot longer than usual. I hear they're almost back on top of things, but can't hurt to shoot them another follow-up email.
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Re: LFX Engine Swap (GM V6) at GWR

Postby Ryan @ GWR » Thu Dec 14, 2017 11:16 pm

Always so focused on moving forward; next race, next improvement, next season, next steps. Every once in a while though it's fun to glance back to appreciate how far we've come, and it reminds me it doesn't happen over-night.

2011 Buttonwillow 13CW (my first track day) - 2:13.9

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2017 Buttonwillow 13CW (Superlap Battle) - 1:48.4

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Re: LFX Engine Swap (GM V6) at GWR

Postby Ryan @ GWR » Mon Dec 18, 2017 5:32 pm

A post about goals.

Those who have been following along with me for a while will recall I’ve posted about goals a couple times over the years. It started small, but years went by with goals achieved, each more ambitious than the last, and both the car and driver kept improving. Then I attended my first Superlap Battle. I realized I had built a quick Miata, but I wanted to make this little Miata something that is fast no matter what you stack it up against. I set my sights on breaking the 1:50 barrier at Buttonwillow (something a Miata had never done before) and taking a podium in Limited RWD at Superlap Battle. This year, I won the class and went 1:48.

Along the way I’ve had some amazing businesses and friends believing in these goals and helping along. Goodwin Racing has put its faith in this program and supported it in countless ways. Blackbird Fabworx made sure I was racing in a safe chassis and have been instrumental from concept to creation in many of the crazy ideas we’ve come up with. V8Roadsters made it possible for the car to have the powertrain it needs to compete on this level. Singular (specifically Sean) has shared in this adventure through thick and thin. Rocky's Miatomotive has lent a hand more times than I can count. Feal Suspension put together a coilover that I could drive fast and confidently on. There was a time I was just racing for me, but these days the HyperMiata is about a lot more than that. There are a lot of businesses and people that I look up to behind this effort, and there are so many of you who have followed along over the years, contributing and cheering us on, these days we're racing for all of you as well.

So, what’s next?

Re-building the car over the last two years, especially in the last few months, it was all push push push to get to SLB 2017. In the midst of that craziness, I had this funny kind of daydream idea that some day when I won at SLB I would sit back and relax. I didn’t expect to win LRWD the first year I returned, but the irony is that doing so has made me more hungry than ever to make the car faster. I can’t wait to get this next season started, to get out to the garage and start refining and improving things, to get back on the race track turning more laps and tuning.

In 2018 we return to SLB with a target on us. There’s no way to know what’s in the works in shops across the US that may be ready by next year, 1:48 was enough for the win this year but next year it probably won’t be. If you aren't moving forward, you're falling behind so we need to set a new goal to push towards. The track record for Limited RWD is 1:44.602, set by Cody Kishel in the seriously prepped Excelsior Motorsports C6 Corvette in 2014. That was the last year the class allowed flat bottom floors and 80tw tires, and nobody has run anywhere close to that before or since. That’s the aim. If someone else is going to take the win in 2018, they’ll need to be on pace for a new record because I intend to be.

3.881 seconds to find from this year’s time. Time to get to work.

Respect our elders even as we strive to surpass them:
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Re: LFX Engine Swap (GM V6) at GWR

Postby Ryan @ GWR » Wed Dec 20, 2017 11:34 pm

LFX Price List

One of the big questions everyone has had since the new drivetrain plans were announced was "what does it cost to do this swap?" I couldn't accurately answer that until the swap was done. When we're 'keyboard racing' and comparing swap options it's all too easy to add up the big ticket items and figure that gets it in the ballpark, but anyone who has done a swap knows that there are dozens of items you don't think of and they all add up. Therefore, just about every swap out there costs more to really do than people guess. To help demystify this subject for the LFX, I promised I'd post the real costs of the swap when done.

That time has come! However, a lot of details on the HyperMiata are irrelevant for the next guy doing a fun street/track build. So, to give a good representation of an "average" swap I've put together the cost list below:

LFX Swap Items/Costs

I trimmed out the pure race car stuff and subbed in options that I'd be choosing for a good average build. The list assumes minimum fabrication ability and includes any off-the-shelf options that make the swap easier, such as V8R's plug and play radiator and ECU with tune. Yes, you could definitely do an LFX swap for less than this list shows if you trimmed it down to the necessities and did a budget version of some items. Costs for fabricated items like the coolant hard lines and the exhaust are estimates that assume having the work done at a shop.

The only fabrication item not listed is the cutting of the rear corners of the engine bay and then welding in the frame rail corner caps - but the cost of those caps from V8R are listed. I think most DIY guys would tackle this bit in their garage.

Not listed here is a solution for gauges. The race car got a digital dash, a custom wiring harness and an array of extra sensors - not stuff you need for a street car, but in a way it made the job a little easier rather than trying to get the stock gauges to play nice with the new electronics. V8R lists a set of gauges in the works on their site, so there may be an easy solution for this in the future.

Finally, I've included all of the random incidentals that I came across - stuff like the new GM speed sensor, clutch slave, front differential bushing etc. etc. (all things that turned out to need replacing in the parts I got from the junkyard). These unplanned items will be different for each person, but I'm including all of mine to serve as a realistic and comprehensive example for the swap.
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Re: LFX Engine Swap (GM V6) at GWR

Postby Carguy123 » Mon Dec 25, 2017 8:17 pm

A question on your clutch, flywheel.

As i was rereading the thread it struck me at how thick the flywheel was. You mention it needed to be that thick to replace the flex plate, etc. Are the engines different Automatic & Manual?

None of the Camaro flywheels I've seen appear to be that thick. If you'd gotten a manual engine could you have just used a stock aftermarket unit?
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Re: LFX Engine Swap (GM V6) at GWR

Postby Ryan @ GWR » Tue Dec 26, 2017 10:22 am

The engines are the same between manual and automatic so there's really no avoiding needing the thick if I want to run SPEC's flywheel. Because we're talking about the "base model" V6 Camaro, I actually don't know of any other clutch MFGs offering an aftermarket clutch for this engine/trans. If more option sprout up in the future I'll be interested to see if/how they differ from this one.
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Re: LFX Engine Swap (GM V6) at GWR

Postby Ryan @ GWR » Wed Jan 10, 2018 12:18 pm

We have the shifter feel/return-to-center issue finally pinpointed!

Trans #1 had a seized pivot on the shift rod from the start. We just didn't know it because it was our first experience with a trans from this family. With trans #2 (and MV5 I bought to take comparison measurements from) and trans #3 (an MV7 to replace the one in this car) in our hands it became immediately clear that these pivoted differently than I recalled #1 doing. With the car back in the shop and on the rack I was able to disconnect the shift linkage last night and confirm the difference.

That pivot allows for the off-axis motion the shifter makes as it moves side-to-side. Without the pivot the shifter is binding with just about any motion.

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