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Thread: LFX (GM V6) in a Miata @ Goodwin Racing

  1. #21
    BMW Master bawareca's Avatar
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    Nice project, Ryan. V6 is excellent for the weight distribution. I have some doubts about the reliability of this engine on the track, but hopefully will work out good for you.
    Re: gain weight. Many people dont realize how much weight is gained when a turbo setup is installed. And it is generally on the front of the car. Incidentally, I am also moving to N/A motor and my new motor is heavier than my old motor, but lighter overall than the old motor with all added turbo junk.
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    Looks like a great package. Just curious though, did you consider any other V6's?

    Also, is this essentially the same motor that is used in the 2017 Camaro 1LE, aka, the "V6 SS"?
    Last edited by Loose Caboose; 10-08-2016 at 03:08 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Loose Caboose View Post
    Looks like a great package. Just curious though, did you consider any other V6's?
    I hadn't considered a V6 much at all until I saw this option in V8Roadster's street LFX test car at Miatas @ MRLS two years ago. Started looking into it and found it checked all the boxes for my goals. The other V6 swap options I've seen done in Miatas (Honda J series & Mazda KL) do not.

    Quote Originally Posted by Loose Caboose View Post
    Also, is this essentially the same motor that is used in the 2017 Camaro 1LE, aka, the "V6 SS"?
    I hadn't heard of the 1LE V6 option for 2017 yet. Just looked it up, that's a cool option. Very similar motor. Technically, in 2016 the LFX was superseded by the LGX. Same architecture, same performance elements. Most of the changes from LFX to LGX are focused on meeting efficiency requirements (cylinder deactivation, auto-stop at lights, etc.) and reducing sound (oil pump relocation, new engine cover, etc.). I expect a 2016/17 donor with the LGX would be more complicated on the electronics front. For what's important for a track car, the LFX shares all the same good stuff and seems a simpler package.
    Ryan Passey
    Singulär Motorsports | Goodwin Racing

    #13 1990 Miata
    "The sport dedicating to the spirits of time attacking motoring" -Emilio

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    Since we're talking about engines that are kin to the LFX...

    The 2014+ Cadillac ATS-V uses the LF3, which is essentially an LFX with forged rods and a turbo bolted to each side of the head. If you were looking at the picture of the LFX's exhaust port and thinking "that looks an awful lot like a turbo flange" yeah, GM was thinking the same thing. No exhaust manifold needed here. I suspect the turbos on the LF3 are Borg Warner units, as GM has specifically noted the titanium-aluminide turbine wheels which is a BW signature. The only weakness in the ATS-V setup that jumps out at me is air-water intercooler integrated with the intake manifold, which will likely heat soak just like the C7 Z06. Buuut... Those turbos are showing up in junkyards now



    At the same time, Cadillac ditched the V8 from their GT3 race car. The new ATS-V R uses the LF4.R. Same twin turbo setup. This one's an unobtanium spare-no-expense version of everything of course. However, it gives me high hopes for some groovy performance parts direct from GM down the road, or used bits from race teams?



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    Ryan Passey
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    #13 1990 Miata
    "The sport dedicating to the spirits of time attacking motoring" -Emilio

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    The Real Captain Slow Red_5's Avatar
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    Ryan, do you intend to share more of your build posts as you find time? I'm sure others here would like to see some of the fabrication required for your build.
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    +++

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    http://www.trackhq.com/Banners/yellowsitesponsor.gif Blackbird's Avatar
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    If you get a chance to take a close look at that Caddilac ATS-V R, don't miss it.
    It's a gorgeous build top to bottom, I got to dance around the car a bit at GP of Long beach and was very impressed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by thepass View Post
    Since we're talking about engines that are kin to the LFX...


    At the same time, Cadillac ditched the V8 from their GT3 race car. The new ATS-V R uses the LF4.R. Same twin turbo setup. This one's an unobtanium spare-no-expense version of everything of course. However, it gives me high hopes for some groovy performance parts direct from GM down the road, or used bits from race teams?



    Seems like a pretty high profile and a lot of complexity, but it almost makes you wonder if some variant of this twin turbo will be used on the forthcoming C8 Corvette - similar to the Ford GT.
    Last edited by Loose Caboose; 10-09-2016 at 05:02 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Red_5 View Post
    Ryan, do you intend to share more of your build posts as you find time? I'm sure others here would like to see some of the fabrication required for your build.
    Definitely, I'll work on getting this thread caught up to current.

    Quote Originally Posted by Blackbird View Post
    If you get a chance to take a close look at that Caddilac ATS-V R, don't miss it.
    It's a gorgeous build top to bottom, I got to dance around the car a bit at GP of Long beach and was very impressed.
    Pratt & Miller would do no less! I'd love to check one out in person.
    Last edited by thepass; 10-09-2016 at 10:25 PM.
    Ryan Passey
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    "The sport dedicating to the spirits of time attacking motoring" -Emilio

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    Let's start doing some fabrication already shall we? Always my favorite part...

    To gain clearance for the wider V6 and to set it as far back as possible, the rear corners of the engine bay needed to be squared off and a small area of the firewall needed some massaging to clear the high pressure fuel pump on the back of the head. The rules for Modified/Limited classes of TA allow for engine bay modifications for engine clearance so it's open season here.

    The below pic is a stock photo of a stripped engine bay on which I've marked where the work is done.



    After cutting those corners out, I made new plates to weld in. On the driver's side the steering rack passes through the corner:





    Snowballing as projects typically do, while I was in there it seemed the right time to add another 20 hours to the project and strip away seam sealer and stitch weld the sheet metal seams from the front shock towers to the firewall.

    Corners finished and primered to avoid rust before moving on to the firewall:



    Cut out the firewall section that needs to be clearanced. It only needs a liiiitle bit of space, I'm told you can get enough clearance just by massaging the area with a mallet but I'd prefer to do it a bit cleaner. The hole is for the brake bias adjustment knob to pass through:





    Not to be left out, a key part of the swap is the subframe, courtesy of V8Roadsters, which is a steel tubular unit with the proper engine mounts for this new motor:



    First engine test fit! Nowhere near done at this point, but it felt really good to see the engine sitting in its home.



    I discovered the power steering fitting sits a little too close to the lip of the engine bay on the driver's side, and the alternator gets really close to the frame rail on the passenger side. So both of those areas got cut/welded for better clearance:



    Last edited by thepass; 10-09-2016 at 11:34 PM.
    Ryan Passey
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    #13 1990 Miata
    "The sport dedicating to the spirits of time attacking motoring" -Emilio

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    Administrator ucfbrett's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thepass View Post
    Since we're talking about engines that are kin to the LFX...

    The 2014+ Cadillac ATS-V uses the LF3, which is essentially an LFX with forged rods and a turbo bolted to each side of the head. If you were looking at the picture of the LFX's exhaust port and thinking "that looks an awful lot like a turbo flange" yeah, GM was thinking the same thing. No exhaust manifold needed here. I suspect the turbos on the LF3 are Borg Warner units, as GM has specifically noted the titanium-aluminide turbine wheels which is a BW signature. The only weakness in the ATS-V setup that jumps out at me is air-water intercooler integrated with the intake manifold, which will likely heat soak just like the C7 Z06. Buuut... Those turbos are showing up in junkyards now
    I've driven the ATS-V with the twin-turbo V6, and it's for real. It's quiet, refined and makes great power. You don't miss a V8 at all.

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    Transmission installed with frame rails and crossmember from V8R:



    For the differential, pinion angle gets set on the bench to match the transmission and then adapter brackets welded in to the subframe for that final positon:



    Sent the subframe off to powdercoat afterwards:



    Diff installed via the adapter bracket from V8R on the rear two mount points and the weld-in bracket at the front:

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    Ryan Passey
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    On the car side, the fuel system needs some upgrading - same treatment as they do with V8 swaps, large SS lines from the tank up to the front, with an in-line Corvette filter. The same Walbro 255lph in-tank pump I had from the turbo setup remains.

    Last edited by thepass; 10-10-2016 at 12:27 PM.
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    Ryan Passey
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  14. #34
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    Moving on to the nose. A lot of components in the nose have to mingle together nicely, so there was a lot of figuring out several systems at the same time in my head before finalizing anything.

    On this car the plan is to vent all the air that goes through the radiator up and out the hood via a large duct to will maximize radiator efficiency as well as reduce aero lift. I also have plans for an intake that needs to extend over the top of the radiator, so for these various reasons we want to tilt the radiator forward quite a bit.

    Based on that, I chose to center everything around our GWR triple-pass radiator for the NC chassis. NC radiators are already designed to be tilted forward so the brackets on the unit don't need any modification, and the NC units have 30% larger surface area than an NA/NB radiator to boot.



    Of course, all of the mounts for the NA's radiator need to be discarded (cut out) and new brackets need to be made.

    Here are the new lower brackets which cradle the radiator's bottom posts. These also have threaded locations to mount some of the air ducting that will come later:



    The radiator's top mounts tie in with a new cross-tube that runs laterally between the two frame rails. Designing this cross bar, I want it to be removable to make engine removal/install nice and easy, so that involved welding captive nuts inside the frame rails for it to bolt to (which took some creativity ). The radiator, intake, power steering cooler, and some of the air ducting will all tie in with this cross-bar:



    Cross-bar installed with the radiator in place. The radiator's upper brackets mount to the two outer threaded points on the bar, via rubber standoffs to isolate vibrations:



    Moving to the intake, for this car I wanted to try out an idea I've had bouncing around for a while - putting the filter forwards of the radiator, and the tilted radiator makes this possible. Turns out, the angle of the throttle body is spot-on for this without even any bends, as if it was meant to be

    Intake fabricated:



    Placing the filter ahead of the radiator means the engine gets ambient temp air all the time without the need for any additional ducting. Also, the bumper mouth is the highest pressure area on the car at speed, particularly if you have good tight ducting. Might be worth a few HP at high speeds.

    [imghttp://www.mazdatalkforum.com/download/file.php?id=3745&t=1[/img]

    Finally, with radiator in place I could make the coolant return line:





    The feed line is simple, two 90° silicone elbows with a short joiner between them:



    I can't express how much it bugs me that the one silicone hose is blue... but they were out of stock of black.

    Last but not least, ducting the air. Began with a big sheet of aluminum...



    And many hours later...
    This center duct feeds air to the radiator, power steering cooler, front brake ducts and intake. There will be a shield for the intake filter, but haven't made that yet:

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    Ryan Passey
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    #13 1990 Miata
    "The sport dedicating to the spirits of time attacking motoring" -Emilio

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    Great project, seems like you have thought about it throughly. Any idea if the engine oiling system is up to the task?
    Less powah is better

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    That intake will suck in a lot of water if you ever drive it in the rain. Not that it is of too much concern in So Cal.
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    BMW Master bawareca's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by emilio700 View Post
    That intake will suck in a lot of water if you ever drive it in the rain. Not that it is of too much concern in So Cal.
    He mentioned he'll make a shield for the filter. Probably will still suck some water if the level gets to the filter.

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    The shield (that is yet to be made) will keep water off the filter in any rain situation that doesn't require an outboard motor
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    Ryan Passey
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    "The sport dedicating to the spirits of time attacking motoring" -Emilio

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    Exhaust system... this is another area I had some fun ideas. Much like the ATS-V.R I'm doing side exhausts - on both sides since it's a V engine.

    Benefits should be three-fold; total pipe length is 50" less than an out-the-back setup (which saves about 10 lbs), there will be less heat by the transmission and differential, and it should allow for several aerodynamic ideas that I want to implement on this car.

    A side exhaust presents some unique challenges. Such as... there's nowhere for it to go. Some surgery will be required.
    GTA Limited / RLTA Modified / NASA TT2 classes allow modifying the chassis for exhaust clearance (small point penalty in TT2). I'll be making full use of that allowance.

    Started with drilling holes and using the scope to figure out the internal layout of the rockers, then with a rough idea of how I want things to end up I began cutting, taking a little bit out at a time then investigating, adjusting, cutting more, etc.



    Nearly all the cutting is done in the pic above, but the pinch weld is still there. After a lot of test fitting, I decided to get the fitment I wanted with everything I was going to have to take that out too. This meant more work - this is a critical area of the car in terms of chassis rigidity so anything I remove I have to rebuild a replacement for.

    Below pic has the pinch weld cut out as well, and we’ve got the resonator mocked up roughly in position:



    Now need to rebuild the rocker in its new shape that accommodates the exhaust, and ideally we want the end result to be even stronger than the standard rocker.

    The sections that will make up the main sides of the rockers:



    The idea is to make the rocker concave so there is room to nest the exhaust about half way up within the chassis. Something like this:



    Holding that main piece up to the car it all looks pretty straightforward... I wish it was.

    Creating the new rocker and the new lower section of the front wheel well took several pieces including a rather complicated 90° bend to transition between the two, plus a dozen or so additional pieces to rebuild the pinch weld inside the rocker so that all the chassis loads that normally transfer through that area can continue to do so, plus some additional gussets to make it all stronger than what was there before. To top it off it needed to be able to go together in a sequence that allowed me to weld each rocker piece to the ribs and gussets on their back side.



    This took about 5 yards of welding per side:



    Cleaned up and primered:



    Naturally, I weighed everything that got cut out and put in on this project. Thanks to a lot of careful figuring out, the new rocker matches the weight of what was removed within one pound.



    Added mounting points for brackets. The final plans for this area include a side skirt for aero purposes that will also channel air from the front wheel well down the side of the car to continuously pull the heat of the exhaust away. I'm not making those yet since they aren't a priority to get the car up and running, but I've got them about 90% figured out in my head and now was the time to make the mounting considerations for them:



    Right about this point I was wishing this was a 4 cylinder. But no, it was time to do this all over again on the driver's side. When the other side was finished, I was 40+ hours in to the exhaust project... without having started on the exhaust

    Finally time to start making an exhaust...



    Lots of cutting and fitting (pic is cutting the exhaust tips):



    Here's one of the finished downpipes ready for final welding:



    All the pieces finished up:



    You'll also see two cats in the pic above. I wanted to be sure I could fit cats in the system, and since those would be the largest thing I might be trying to fit there I made those first to be sure they fit, and will make a pair of straight cat deletes later that can be swapped in. Cats do a good job of reducing volume, and V8R reports this is a loud motor when you're on the GO pedal so I'll likely also use the cats as an option when I need to bring the volume level down at certain tracks, etc.

    Installed, exhaust curves down quickly just like normal, but then makes a turn to head out towards the wheel well:



    The downtubes carry the exhaust from the engine down to the bend at the rocker, with a V-band flange pointing straight down the car from there so that the rest of the exhaust is modular. This allows me to easily make different straight sections if I want to test alternate resonators or mufflers.

    The exhaust tucks into the rocker nicely:



    Shot from below shows the full route well:



    From the perspective we'll be seeing it from more often, I'm quite happy with how it's tucked into the car. The exhaust won't ever be quite as exposed as it is here, since the side skirt will envelope it to direct air, but it will remain like this until it's up and running:



    Sent the downpipes off to get ceramic coated and while they're away I painted the rockers and added heat reflecting material:



    And that's about it for the exhaust. Yeah, it took about 70 hours total... but it's exactly how I wanted it
    Last edited by thepass; 10-17-2016 at 01:11 AM.
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    Ryan Passey
    Singulär Motorsports | Goodwin Racing

    #13 1990 Miata
    "The sport dedicating to the spirits of time attacking motoring" -Emilio

  20. #40
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    Awesome fabrication so far!

    Just a question on where the rocker cut finishes; is that angled at all or no? I can't quite tell from the photos.

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