Latest Project Miatabusa Articles

Project Miatabusa part 18, Research and Destruction

Project Miatabusa Part 18, Research and Destruction

by Dave Coleman

It has been so long since our last update that you could be forgiven for dismissing Project Miatabusa as dead and forgotten. It is not.

It has, in fact, moved forward in such complex bursts of productivity that there was little time to document it as it happened. And then, frankly, I forgot some of it. What follows is my best recollection of what the hell just happened. 


Project Miatabusa Part 17: EVO II is Finally Here!

by Dave Coleman

If you’re one of the 6 people in the world who isn’t familiar with this car, step back, go HERE, and read every word of the drama (or comedy, or tragedy, we won’t really know until the end) that is Project Miatabusa. For the rest of you who have been waiting to hear what we did about the sackfull of hammers trying to beat their way through the bottom of our car, wait no more:

Step 1: Redesign everything...


Project Miatabusa - Death Rattle Noise!

Project Miatabusa part 16: What's That Noise? 

by Dave Coleman

There's a complicated string of excuses explaining why you haven't heard from this project in a while. They involve lots of things that have nothing to do with Miatabusas, like buying 90-year old homes, filming zombie movies and machining medical devices, but there was one car-related issue that contributed to this big delay: a horrible, horrible noise.


Project Miatabusa part 15

Project Miatabusa Part 15: AEM Datalogging (& Some RC Plane Parts)

by Dave Coleman

As we inch ever closer to getting Project Miatabusa on a dyno, more and more unfinished business keeps revealing itself. Ok, the car starts and runs now, but it still has lots of disconnected hoses, gauges not working, and untested changes waiting to blow things up.


Project Miatabusa #14 the Home Stretch

Project Miatabusa #14: The Home Stretch!

by Dave Coleman

Hope you enjoyed yesterday's tasty donuts. Now here are a bunch of details that have delayed the making of stinky donuts


project miatabusa runs!

Project Miatabusa Part 13: Sweet Sounds and Donuts!

by Dave Coleman

Project Miatabusa has been dragging on for a long time. So long, that our comment section is filling up with impatient demands to hear this baby run and see some donuts. Well ok, then...  


Project Miatabusa Aluminum Exhaust lead

Project Miatabusa Part 12: Why You Can't Make Aluminum Exhausts... And Why I Did It Anyway

by Dave Coleman

From exhaust port to tailpipe, project Miatabusa's exhaust system fabrication has stretched well over a year and has followed a circular evolution from brilliant hack job, to exotic race tech, and back to brilliant hack job. From custom-fabricated race header, to a lightweight aluminum tail section, to scavenged RX-8 silencers and hangers made from an S13 power steering cooler, the exhaust system is as awesomely eclectic as project Miatabusa itself.

Project Miatabusa Shorai Lithium Iron LiFePo4 battery

Project Miatabusa Part 11:

Shorai Lithium Iron Battery (and Lots of Plumbing)

by Dave Coleman 

Shorai doesn't technically make any automotive batteries, but they have a full line of motorcycle batteries. I can't think of any reason why a motorcycle battery won't work in a car, and certainly not one powered by a motorcycle engine and charged by a motorcycle alternator. Shorai's direct replacement battery for the Hayabusa (theoretically all we would need to start a Hayabusa engine) weighs only 1.7 pounds!


Project Miatabusa part 10 tubular subframes and engine mounts oh my!

Project Miatabusa, part 10:

Tubular Subframes and Engine Mounts, Oh My!

by Dave Coleman

In July, 2010, we posted Part 2 of Project Miatabusa and proclaimed, in a very carefully worded headline, "the engine is in!" "In" was the operative word. Not "installed", or "mounted" or anything nearly as accomplished as that. In fact, we had kinda faked it, hacking away with a plasma cutter to see just what the engine wasn't going to get along with. Now, finally, the engine is actually mounted.


Project Miatabusa Part 9: Thank God We Finally Found a Starter

Project Miatabusa Part 9: We Finally Found a Starter!

by Dave Coleman

Somewhere in the great wide world of starters, there's surely something that will fit in the notch between the Hayabusa engine case and transmission case, line up with the Miata flywheel, have the right tooth pitch for a Miata, and have an unshrouded pinion, right? Sure, but where?


miatabusa gets the shaft lead

Project Miatabusa Part 8: Miatabusa Gets the Shaft!

by Dave Coleman

The idea was to take the Hayabusa's relatively fragile transmission and replace it with a shaft that holds a Miata flywheel. That's pretty simple to say, but actually doing it...

What are you waiting for? Holy crap, click on this thing!



Project Miatabusa Part 7 - Mounting the Gauges

by Dave Coleman

Last time we looked at cramming the Hayabusa's instrument cluster into the Miata housing, it proved to be a shockingly good fit. There was a very large unresolved issue of how to actually secure the Hayabusa cluster's circuit board, though. Here's how that project was finished:



Project Miatabusa Part 5 Wiring Job From Heck

Project Miatabusa Part 6: The Wiring Job From Heck...

By Dave Coleman


Yea, well, it wasn't really the wiring job from Hell, but it was damn near the wiring job from Purgatory, considering how long it took me to get around to mostly finishing it. Surprisingly, nothing about the complete de-wiring of the Miata's engine control system and the integration of the Suzuki Hayabusa engine harness was really all that complicated. 


Project Miatabusa depowering the miata steering rack

Project Miatabusa Part 5 - De-powering the steering rack the right way

by Dave Coleman

That's right; this installment of Project Miatabusa has nothing to do with putting the engine in the car. This may be the only Miatabusa strory where I don't mention the 11,000 rpm redline at least 3 times. Don't get used to it.


Project Miatabusa hayabusa wiring miata

Project Miatabusa Part 4.2 - Hacking the Hayabusa Harness

by Dave Coleman

Nothing on Project Miatabusa is finished, but plenty is happening. Prepare yourself for a barrage of updates on our unfinished business.


Project Miatabusa

Project Miatabusa Part 4.1 - It Goes to 11(,000 rpm)

by Dave Coleman

Nothing on Project Miatabusa is finished, but plenty is happening. Prepare yourself for a barrage of updates on our unfinished business.


Project Miatabusa attack of the weight weenie

Project Miatabusa Part 3 - Attack of the Weight Weenie!

by Dave Coleman

Our Miata's stock 1.8-liter weighed 296 pounds. The Hayabusa engine, without gearbox or header, weighed 135 pounds. So it looks like we should have 161 pounds shaved right off the bat. But on top of that, we've managed to save another 73 pounds just by discarding the parts of the car that are really only required by the kinds of people who wouldn't put a Hayabusa engine in their Miata in the first place.


Project Miatabusa Part 2 the engine is in!

Project Miatabusa, Part 2: The Engine Is IN!

By Dave Coleman

Holy crap, this is gonna work!

Wanna see this abomination in person? We're dragging it to the MX-5 Miatafest at Mazda R&D in Irvine, CA this July 17. Cliky the linkey for more info:




Project Miatabusa Part 1: What The Hell Are We Thinking?

by Dave Coleman

Today we bring you a very special Flashback Friday to Part 1 of Project Miatabusa. Why would we do this you ask?  It must be because Part 17 is just around the corner! So for those who aren't familiar with the project here's a chance to start at the beginning.  For those who are already familiar here's a chance to stroll down memory lane and get excited for the next installment.


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