alleykat
alleykat Reader
3/7/17 11:37 a.m.

I have been smitten by the idea of VTEC Miata for a while now. The swap is not cheap. In fact, a high mileage 3.4 996 is only a few thousand more.

What thoughts do you have regarding both options as fun weekend cars and track toys?

petegossett
petegossett UltimaDork
3/7/17 12:06 p.m.

In reply to alleykat:

What are your thoughts on maintenance and upkeep? I'd venture to guess a K-swapped Miata would be far cheaper to maintain/track/whatever than even the best 996, given similar starting condition and planned usage.

BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim MegaDork
3/7/17 2:13 p.m.

One thing to keep in mind - are you fine with debugging the swap, or do you just want to drive?

And yes, maintenance even on a swapped Miata is likely to be cheaper than on a 996. For starters, it usually doesn't need 10 quarts of expensive synthetic oil.

Duke
Duke MegaDork
3/7/17 2:45 p.m.

Speaking as somebody who drives both a car with a K24 and a boosted Miata, I'd love to have a K24 Miata. But I don't think for a second that it would compare to the visceral joy of driving a good 911.

Fitzauto
Fitzauto Dork
3/7/17 5:02 p.m.

Id say k24 miata but that may because im wanna build one.

Vigo
Vigo PowerDork
3/7/17 9:05 p.m.

I think that considering you'd never have a k24-swapped miata that was otherwise stock, you're going to end up with a MUCH more aggressive car than any stock 996 you could get for not much more (i own one). I wouldn't call a stock 996 c2 visceral other than nice sound and an eagerness to go to 7k rpm. But, that's small potatoes compared to what a k24 with a loud exhaust will sound like in a 2200lb car with no roof. As far as handling, it'll be a lot more likely to be screwed up in a modified miata than a stockish 996, but on the other hand if it's done right it would probably be better overall. Stock 996 c2 is pretty soft and roll-ey for a 'high end sports car'. If you're looking at it as a track car i'd say the only way you'd want the 996 over a bonkers swapped miata is if you just lose your mind in love of the way a rear engine car goes around a turn. Ultimately, a k24 miata with the same money in it will be faster and more thrilling in every other way. I'm assuming here that the k24 has the 'good' top end added and is not a stock drop-in from a CR-V (although that would still be fairly fast).

I always feel the need to add the disclaimer that i love my 911. I traded away a perfectly good NA even though i wasn't bothered by how slow it was. It just didn't do much for me in street driving. The 911 does a lot for me on the street while having a lot of track potential built in from the factory. Maybe one day i'll get around to using it. If that was the goal from the get go, i'd be money and probably thrills ahead modding the old miata i had.

Woody
Woody MegaDork
3/7/17 9:09 p.m.

^Porsche guy says K-Miata.

tripp
tripp Reader
3/8/17 5:00 a.m.

I used to have a 996 and a boosted miata (about 130hp to the wheels) at the same time, life before kids.

The miata was a ton of fun (had it as a challenge car 2009 I believe) it felt faster until I autocrossed both and looked at lap times.

The 996 was a fun car and was fun to autocross or for a DE day, especially a DE day.

That being said I took the 996 to the tail of the dragon and given a 10 hour day of mountain roads I was amazed how comfortable the car was for long trips.

Sounds like 2 different beasts in my opinion. Yes I think the miata can be faster with the k24, good suspension and good tires but the Porsche is going to be more "put together" being a factory built car with countless hours of engineering.

In my opinion it comes down to usage. Commuting and cruising the Porsche would likely win out due to comfort and being in my opinion nicer to drive. However for autocross and track the Miata I would expect to be more fun of not faster.

From my experience I would also expect to do an intermediary bearing on the 996 and maintenance costs will not be at all comparable to the Miata. Porsche rear tires can wear out in 6k miles of spirited driving and expected life on the front tires is about 12k miles of I recall correctly. Oil is expensive and the Porsche takes a lot of it.

alleykat
alleykat Reader
3/9/17 10:07 a.m.

I have a fairly well sorted out E36 325i for my street car. I also have a nice 94 M Miata and a track rat 90 that hasn't run in few years (damn kids take up all my time). I keep osculating between keeping the E36 for my DD and building a K24A2 Miata toy, or just selling the whole lot and buying a $15k-$20k 996 C2 (IMS included) and upgrading the suspension and exhaust to make it feel more responsive.

First world problems...

Trackmouse
Trackmouse SuperDork
3/9/17 10:19 a.m.

Cheap to repair engine, cheap to maintain chassis. Versus leather seats to wipe your butt, which you'll need when it comes time to pay someone else to repair the borscht.

tripp
tripp Reader
3/9/17 11:50 a.m.

So you are thinking of getting rid of the dd and miatas in exchange for the 996?

alleykat
alleykat Reader
3/9/17 12:53 p.m.

In reply to tripp:

Yes. One car to do it all. The 911 gives me back seats to haul the kids to school etc. Plus I happen to like the look of the 3.4 996.

I drove one with a Fabspeed exhaust and Bilsteins. It was way more fun than my MX-5 or the E36.

Vigo
Vigo PowerDork
3/9/17 4:41 p.m.

Have you driven an M3 yet? I've driven an E36, but not an E46 (at least, not driven as if i was considering buying one). I'd consider that possibility before zeroing in on a 996. It was one of my other major contenders when deciding what to buy, but some factors that have nothing to do with raw performance or overall usefulness swayed me very heavily towards the particular 996 that i bought.

I also like the looks of the 3.4 996. At least, i prefer it to the 3.6 models!

tripp
tripp Reader
3/10/17 5:31 p.m.

In reply to alleykat:

The backseat is useable but only for short drives. I had more fun in the Miata but that as also a factor of I could throw the Miata around without caring but knew the repairs for damage to the 996 were beyond my budget.

I am always a fan of a couple cars so I have a backup and can better tailor to the need but the 996 would be a lovely daily driver costs ignored.

alleykat
alleykat Reader
3/14/17 8:53 p.m.

In reply to tripp:

Well, cost is a factor so I guess I'll keep driving my old BMW and slap a K24A2 in my Miata.

tripp
tripp Reader
3/15/17 4:40 a.m.

The 996 is a great car that can be had reasonably but tires and oil are the killers for its maintenance.

I only,owned my 996 for a short period and the other work I did was reasonably cheap but fyi spark plugs and spark plug tubes are for contprionists on that car.

Worth a bit more research but I would lean towards a 2 car solution.

Flight Service
Flight Service MegaDork
3/15/17 5:18 a.m.

K-swapped 996?

alleykat
alleykat Reader
4/8/17 9:07 p.m.

In reply to Flight Service:

LFX swapped RX8 ;)

DirtyBird222
DirtyBird222 UltraDork
4/8/17 9:21 p.m.

K24z7 Miata. Most torque and HP in bone stock format from a K24 and sounds neat with the integrated manifold header thingy that you could coincidently bolt a t3/t4 turbo right to it.

alleykat
alleykat Reader
4/9/17 1:21 a.m.

Another interesting swap is a Chevy LFX 323 hp and 275 tq. That swap is the entire drive train. V8 Roadsters has a most of the parts you need to get it up and running

markwemple
markwemple UltraDork
4/9/17 7:05 a.m.

In reply to tripp:

The front 4 plugs are easy. The rears are best done pulling the exhaust of working from the bumper area. Under an hour. No worse than a lot of modern v8s and tons easier than a lot of v6s. Gawd, all those v6s that need massive extensions, elbows and still are impossible.

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