MAZDA MZR LF
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