Miata drivetrain swap - Focus Fanatics
Ford Focus Forum
HomeContact UsAbout UsGalleryDiscussion ForumsMarketplace


Go Back   Focus Fanatics > Ford Focus Tech Discussions > Engine & Transmission Swap

Engine & Transmission Swap The place to chat about any engine and transmission swap.

Search This Forum | Image Search | Advanced Search    
Ford Focus Tire & Wheels FocusFanatics Merchandise

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 07-09-2013, 01:03 AM   #1
MattDzx3
Focus Addict
 
MattDzx3's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2012
Fan#: 99676
Location: Bellingham, WA
What I Drive: 2002 Red ZX3

Posts: 628
FF Reputation: 2 MattDzx3 Good Standing Member
Buy-Sell-Trade Rating: (1)
Miata drivetrain swap

I have been thinking about this for the last couple days and I'm sure that it has been discussed before but I haven't been able to find much about it so I hope that I'm not beating a dead horse here.

One of the major downsides of the all the rwd swaps that I have seen on here is the live rear axle, giving up the independent rear suspension seems like it would take away much of the handling ability that the focus is famous for. And while a V8 would be awesome the lightness and gas mileage of an I4 are more practical. So why not use the drive train from a miata? It has IRS, parts for first gens are dirt cheap, and the cars are almost the same width.

As far a I can find out there is no bell housing being made that will bolt up to a zetec and the miata transmission so that would be a major hurdle, but it seems to be a viable alternative to the V8/live axle rwd option. Thoughts?


__________________
SVT header, SVT cat-back, H&R Cup Kit
Rally Revolution #78, NW Posse #44

Quote:
Originally Posted by brekkebooboo View Post
One does not simply "unstance" Their car
MattDzx3 is offline  
    Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 07-09-2013, 03:58 PM   #2
Buickboy
br/o/stang
 
Buickboy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Fan#: 28542
Location: Stratford, CT
What I Drive: 72 Skylark, '12 Mustang

Posts: 5,251
FF Reputation: 39 Buickboy Great Standing Member
Buy-Sell-Trade Rating: (29)
quad4rods makes bellhousings to mate a zetec or duratec to a T5- that'd probably be the easiest route http://quad4rods.com/

Then use the miata's rear suspension cradle and components. heres a pic of that mounted in a MGB:


have a driveshaft made to connect the T5 and the miata diff
__________________
==2012 Kona Blue Mustang V6==
==1995 Light Iris Neon Coupe==
==1972 Skylark==
Buickboy is offline  
    Reply With Quote
Old 07-09-2013, 04:02 PM   #3
Buickboy
br/o/stang
 
Buickboy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Fan#: 28542
Location: Stratford, CT
What I Drive: 72 Skylark, '12 Mustang

Posts: 5,251
FF Reputation: 39 Buickboy Great Standing Member
Buy-Sell-Trade Rating: (29)
oh, and if you look to the pricier 3rd gen stuff you could do a miata duratec with a factory 5 or 6 speed manual behind it
__________________
==2012 Kona Blue Mustang V6==
==1995 Light Iris Neon Coupe==
==1972 Skylark==
Buickboy is offline  
    Reply With Quote
Old 07-09-2013, 09:36 PM   #4
MattDzx3
Focus Addict
 
MattDzx3's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2012
Fan#: 99676
Location: Bellingham, WA
What I Drive: 2002 Red ZX3

Posts: 628
FF Reputation: 2 MattDzx3 Good Standing Member
Buy-Sell-Trade Rating: (1)
Using a third gen drive train with the duratec would defiantly be the easiest route, but it would be a whole lot easier and cheaper to find a junked first gen to pull parts from.
__________________
SVT header, SVT cat-back, H&R Cup Kit
Rally Revolution #78, NW Posse #44

Quote:
Originally Posted by brekkebooboo View Post
One does not simply "unstance" Their car
MattDzx3 is offline  
    Reply With Quote
Old 07-09-2013, 10:42 PM   #5
sailor
"Elder"
 
sailor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Fan#: 57268
Location: Williamsville, NY
What I Drive: 2004 Pitch Black ZTS 2.3 5spd.

Posts: 12,727
FF Reputation: 64 sailor Excellent Standing Member
Buy-Sell-Trade Rating: (0)
Moved to "engine & trans. swap" - more info on these projects in this area for ya!
__________________
"Rubber Side Down"

S.R. #275
sailor is offline  
    Reply With Quote
Old 07-09-2013, 11:20 PM   #6
mikebontoft
Toxx
 
mikebontoft's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Fan#: 58647
Location: SLC, UT
What I Drive: 5.9L Grand Cherokee ZJ

Posts: 25,890
FF Reputation: 76 mikebontoft Excellent Standing Member
Buy-Sell-Trade Rating: (3)
that's kind of the problem... those parts are so expensive when a live axle could be had for a few beers.
__________________
SR #127 | '02 Focus SE "Foci" (5.0 RWD - parting) | '90 Mazda 626 GT "Greenie" (2.2L turbo T3/T4 rebuild-sold) | '75 BMW 2002 "Carby" (resto-mod racecar) | '75 BMW 2002 (donor -sold) | '98 Jeep Grand Cherokee 5.9L (lifted and fast) | '99 BMW 328is (alt. daily).
Moderating General Chat Lounge, General Technical Chat, Ford Focus & General Car Chat, and Rocky Mountain Fanatics
mikebontoft is offline  
    Reply With Quote
Old 07-09-2013, 11:49 PM   #7
MattDzx3
Focus Addict
 
MattDzx3's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2012
Fan#: 99676
Location: Bellingham, WA
What I Drive: 2002 Red ZX3

Posts: 628
FF Reputation: 2 MattDzx3 Good Standing Member
Buy-Sell-Trade Rating: (1)
Thanks sailor I had forgotten about that section when made the thread
__________________
SVT header, SVT cat-back, H&R Cup Kit
Rally Revolution #78, NW Posse #44

Quote:
Originally Posted by brekkebooboo View Post
One does not simply "unstance" Their car
MattDzx3 is offline  
    Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-2013, 03:39 AM   #8
rawrfish
Focus Enthusiast
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Fan#: 109179
Location: Cynthiana, KY
What I Drive: 2001 malibu blue ZX3

Posts: 57
FF Reputation: 1 rawrfish Good Standing Member
Buy-Sell-Trade Rating: (1)
dont miatas and rx-7s have the same rear end? if so i heard somewhere they cant hold much power stock. cant remember why. but you can find a wrecked FC rx-7 for dirt cheap if you just want the rear end.
rawrfish is offline  
    Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-2013, 11:46 AM   #9
Driven5
Focus Enthusiast
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Fan#: 95835
Location: Seattle, WA
What I Drive: Building a Duratec powered Locost.

Posts: 73
FF Reputation: 1 Driven5 Good Standing Member
Buy-Sell-Trade Rating: (0)
If I wanted to do this, I would try to find a Duratec Focus to start with, since there are already OEM RWD transmission solutions that will bolt right up to the stock engine that came with the car. I couldn't tell you whether the rearward NC Miata shifter location or forward Ranger shifter location would be more easily adapted to a Focus installation, but I can tell you that Ranger transmissions do seem to cost about half of a NC Miata transmission. The NC Miata transmission does of course have more (any) aftermarket support though too, where as even a lightweight flywheel for the Ranger transmission is still in the 'maybe' phase.

On the rear suspension, I would be surprised if any RWD standard IRS subframe fit easily into the existing free space under the rear a Focus while maintaining correct geometry at the desired ride height and also having the correct width...Chances are that at least a bit of cutting and welding will be involved. But where is the enjoyment in a project like this, if you didn't get to use the fun tools too?
__________________
-Justin

You can follow my Duratec powered 'Locost' build at:
GarageOdyssey.blogspot.com
GarageOdyssey.tumblr.com
Driven5 is offline  
    Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-2013, 09:45 PM   #10
DoctorJ
Focus Enthusiast
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Fan#: 113834
Location: The Cornfields, IN
What I Drive: 2001 Twilight Blue sedan

Posts: 61
FF Reputation: 1 DoctorJ Good Standing Member
Buy-Sell-Trade Rating: (0)
IIRC, Miata rear ends aren't very robust. People tend to have issues when above 300RWHP. This could also be attributed to just how they drive it too. A popular swap is to use the "FC" Rx-7 rear end as mentioned above.


I fail to see the "point" of converting to RWD if you have any intention other than drag racing. In which case, a solid axle rear end makes the most sense. 8.8 or 9" being most logical.

Solid axle cars shouldn't be doomed though. It's not hard to set one up to handle the twisties. Many solid axles cars (and trucks), can pull over 1G on a skid pad. It's kind of a misconception that IRS is needed to make a car handle. People often forget the added weight of an IRS.

In my eyes, the only "swaps" I'd consider for a Focus would be:

Drag Racing swap: Aluminum blocked Ford V8, pick a tranny, 9" rear end.
AWD Swap: Several AWD drivetrains to choose from.

The reason most folks don't do either of these swaps? They crunch the numbers and realize it's just cheaper and easier to buy a Mustang, a EVO/WRX, or build a kit car from scratch.

Junkyard parts and a budget usually leave you with headaches, busted knuckles and a junky ride. Not to mention to never recoup your loses.
DoctorJ is offline  
    Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks & Social Networks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:20 AM.


Copyright 2002-2014 FocusFanatics.com. All Rights Reserved : Terms of Use : Privacy Policy : Advertise Information : Site Map

Focus Fanatics Ford Focus Forum offers many fun ways for you to engage with other Ford Focus Owners from across the world. Whether it be about the aftermarket performance modifications, technical how-to's, European tuned suspension or awesome fuel economy similar to the Acura TLX or Fiesta ST. You can find all Ford Focus and Focus ST related information here. Join our Ford Focus discussion forums and chat with local Focus enthusiasts in your area.