Sunday, March 20, 2022

Time for a Tune Up

 With 7 races under its timing belt, we finally were able to install an aftermarket engine computer (ECU) and get it professionally tuned. The ol' 1990, 1.6L Miatas make just under 100 horsepower from the factory. We've upgraded the exhaust system, have done a little porting of the cylinder head, and even found a fairly rare upgraded camshaft from another Mazda but knew we were still restricted by the factory intake. With the Mazda computer running the show, it just didn't have the capability to eliminate that restrictive intake and allow the engine to make a little more power. 

The NMS tow rig arrives for tuning.

With the aftermaket ECU plugged in, a few new sensors and a new air intake all hooked up, the car was rolled onto the trailer and trailered up to Mooresville, just north of Charlotte. Mooresville is a the home of a ton of many NASCAR teams and performance shops, all surrounded by miles of horse farms and country roads. We spent about 3 hours at the tuning shop getting everything dialed in on the dyno to simulate various driving conditions as well as a few full power pulls to gauge total engine power. 

The racecar is lifted up to the dyno for a tuning session.

We had hoped to see 110 horsepower with all of our modifications, but had no real idea what to expect since we've not had that car on a dyno before. To our surprise, we saw a solid 124 horsepower! Fantastic result. Its great to finally see how much (or how little) power the car is actually making. We're one big step closer to the Lemons race next month when NMS North will join in on the Miata racing for the first time. Big thanks to Adam for loaning the light weight trailer to take the sting out of nearly $5 per gallon diesel. 

It isn't a lot of power, but that's pretty darn good for the smallest engine the Miata ever came with!

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