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MX5 Miata Tech Forum

[NC] Engine exchange after defect - Which engine fits best? What is important?

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ira32183 Ira Irada
Dresden, Germany   DEU
Hello Community,

I have the following request. My 2005 NC (2.0 machine) had an engine failure last year and I would like to have it repaired. Mazda himself wants about 8000€, which is much more than my budget. So I went with it to the independent workshop and they want to take care of it. At the beginning, however, they immediately had the problem that the NC was only introduced to the market in 2006 and that there were some identification problems with the designation of the LF engine. In the back and forth even Mazda was mentioned, who found this unusual.

Anyway, up to now the problem is that I or the workshop couldn't find a motor. At ebay and Co there are always some of them, but nobody is sure if the engines fit. Can anyone tell me how it looks with regard to the compatibility of the different engines (especially engine mounts, engine controls, clutch)? Do you have to be careful to get one of the first engines or do you have to take care of the facelifts? Or is there also a motor of the ND-series possible (I would doubt now, because it also has Skyactive and surely builds clearly different?

Cheers, Ira

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2018-01-21 10:36 AM by ira32183.

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davzway David W
Fort McCoy, FL, USA   USA
Email Flying Miata (Colorado, USA),, these are really good folks, and KNOW MIATA better than anyone. They may know someone in Germany who can do the work at more reasonable cost. Best I can offer, davzway

davzway David W
Fort McCoy, FL, USA   USA
NC and 2005 vs begin in 2006. Are you sure the engine is 2.0 NC motor vs 1.8 in NB Miata?

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wolfgangdieter Avatar
wolfgangdieter Gregory Seitz
Mary Esther, FL, USA   USA
I have a 2016 ND - love the 2L 155hp engine. It does mate to the older automatic transmission but uses a new 6 speed manual. I suspect using the ND engine would be near impossible with all the engine electronics that would have to be swapped over. Is intent to rebuild yours, go with short/long block or swap in a used engine? In US there are many fairly low mileage engines from wrecked vehicles or those from JDM. Not sure how plentiful they are in GE.

ira32183 Ira Irada
Dresden, Germany   DEU

and yes. I am sure. As said, the NC was started to build mid 2005 and by the end of the year one was able to buy them in Germany. According to some info from the inet, the US was the only country which had a release in 2006. My sources are


However, i am still not sure about differences of the 2.0L engines between the CBA-NCEC (the on i got, built from 2005 to 2008) and the DBA-NCEC built since 2008. Any chance to get some info about this on the net?

Cheers ira

davzway David W
Fort McCoy, FL, USA   USA
From what I got from Florida dealer, going to Skyactive tech and saving gas,, changed timing computer chip,, from 2009 engine was recommended , emphasis on RECOMMEND use of High Test (93+) octane gas VS Using Premium gas (93) was "REQUIRED" or as must (refer to EDMUNDS site, at for TWO Lists ,, One List has list of specific cars where Premium is MUST and Second LIst where recommended (optional) ,, the 2009 (or 2011 NC Touring owned by undersigned was optional. (FYI- 2011 on Premium obtained 30-33mpg and Regular would only reach 25-28 tops on only highway, plus RAN noticeably better on Premium,, when factoring in COST of higher price difference for Premium vs Regular vs mileage... COST was actually slightly BETTER on Premium and with Premium recommended by Mazda and running/handling... next TWO years my Stormy Blue Mica PRHT MX-5 Miata was fed ONLY Premium.

What I would do with ANY detailed technical questions is contact Tanner at Flyin Miata in Colorado, USA,, folks there are class act,, honest and NO ONE knows Miata than they do... ONLY ones who installed Corvette V-8 engine in Miata and end up with car that runs and handles like Miata was manufactured with V-8 from factory.

Personal Opinion: IF money was NOT and issue, looking for SERIOUS Performance, I would take a stock Miata and have Flyin Miata install V-8 (also listen to them and beef up frame, install better Shocks, Suspension pkg,, change out Clutch / Pressure plate ETC to complete the car exactly as Flyin Miata recommends... NO short cuts, or if ALL cannot be done in beginning UNDERSTAND and work on list remaining items.

NOT made out of money,, I would have FM install their latest Supercharger (plus improving Clutch/pressure plate if not already done, along with improved BRAKES,, going faster requires stopping even faster.

Changing engine with another Miata engine,, if Tanner says a 2008 NEEDS to have a 2008 or newer Miata engine.. I would LISTEN. All in all, their company are the most knowledgeable Miata experts on planet. PERIOD. Hope info helps,,,

rxdoc104 Avatar
rxdoc104 Richard Cimildoro
Mishawaka, IN, USA   USA
I have a 14 GT Touring with a 2.5 L engine from a ford fusion. AIM tuning of Indy did swap. Works very well, beefed up clutch, headers and exhaust, engine is slightly taller, fits fine under hood without plastic engine cover.

jjirish Avatar
jjirish Jerry Irish
Spencer, IN, USA   USA
2008 Mazda MX-5 "Christine"
I too had to replace my NC 2.0. After considering all options, I went with a Ford 2.5 liter. MX-5, Mazda 3, Ford, 2, 2.3, 2.5 are interchangeable. It does require reprogramming but the increase in performance is amazing. Cost: $3000.

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