MAZDA MZR LF

NZ Performance Car - - Doing It For The Bro -

No stranger to the MX-5 plat­form, hav­ing ped­alled his own ex­am­ple for years, Kieran Ste­wart has ended up at the nat­u­ral pro­gres­sion of chas­ing NA power. He went down the route of swap­ping the 1.6-litre-pow­ered NA for a 1.8-litre, and ran the car for years in that form, in­clud­ing com­pet­ing in D1NZ. A staunch ad­vo­cate of not stick­ing snails where they don’t be­long, Kieran wanted a fresh start in the form of a hy­per high­revver that could scream its tits off and re­main re­li­able.

He orig­i­nally leaned to­wards a Honda K24, but that would prove too dif­fi­cult due to the oil pump. Keep­ing it within the fam­ily, Kieran in­stead chose a Mazda MZR LF-VE two-litre, bet­ter known to some as the ‘Ford Du­ratec’.

“It’s slightly taller than the fac­tory mo­tor, so was a squeeze height-wise but per­fect in length and width,” ex­plains Kieran. “Hav­ing been af­fixed in east–west front-wheeldrive form in the Mazda 6 it was sourced from, it sits at a 10-de­gree an­gle in rear-wheeldrive con­fig­u­ra­tion, which helps with clear­ance.”

The con­ver­sion re­quired a cus­tom sump with a very small front sec­tion to clear the rack and sway bar and mod­i­fied oil pickup. The mounts are also cus­tom, along with the in­take and ex­haust man­i­folds, to suit the new con­fig­u­ra­tion — these are a tight fit due to the height re­stric­tions and the in­take be­ing on the op­po­site side to the fac­tory mo­tor.

The fac­tory five-speed has a front sec­tion from a 2007 NC MX-5 mated to it. This bolts di­rectly to the LF and means that the clutch, fly­wheel, and clutch slave are all fac­tory NC pieces.

Kieran has opted to carry over the Link ECU from the pre­vi­ous mo­tor, and makes use of 4A-GE in­di­vid­ual-throt­tle bod­ies. The pack­age makes 108kW at the wheels.

MZR LF-VE SPECS

ORI­GIN CHAS­SIS: 2006 Mazda 6 CA­PAC­ITY: 1999cc CON­FIG­U­RA­TION: Straight-four BORE/STROKE: 87.5mm x 83.1mm COM­PRES­SION: 10.0:1 FUEL: Gaso­line Di­rect In­jec­tion (GDI) FAC­TORY POWER: 108kW/182Nm (fly) WEIGHT: 178kg NOTES: Also known as a ‘Ford Du­ratec’; all-alu­minium con­struc­tion

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