NZ Performance Car - - Doing It For The Bro -

When you know an en­gine in­side out, it makes sense to stick with it, which is ex­actly how a 4G63 ended up pow­er­ing Matt Rol­ley’s MX-5 NA. In his case, the block was sourced from a VR-4, while the head is off an Evo IV.

“They are the go-to four-cylin­der Ja­panese en­gine, and, with pre­vi­ous ex­pe­ri­ence tun­ing them, it made sense,” he ex­plains. “It fits quite well di­men­sion­ally — a lit­tle tall at the front, but that was solved by short­en­ing the oil-filler neck on the cam cover.”

Matt made a small cut-out to suit the cam-an­gle sen­sor and coolant out­let in the name of top clear­ance, work that he says wasn’t nec­es­sar­ily dif­fi­cult just time-con­sum­ing. The sump was changed from front to rear to sit the en­gine where it needed to be with­out mod­i­fy­ing the steer­ing-rack po­si­tion or the front sub­frame.

It’s backed by a CD009 six-speed that has been adapted from a Z33 Fair­lady, Matt say­ing this was a very strong op­tion that was cheaper than buy­ing an R154 or the like. The rear end has been con­verted to an Evo diff with Leg­num diff hat, Evo axles and drive flanges, and Ford Laser wheel bear­ings.

“It’s 1018kg now, which I don’t think has hurt the bal­ance at all. The run­ning gear would be at least 10 per cent heav­ier than the stan­dard MX-5 stuff. How­ever, it’s mounted low and rea­son­ably well cen­tral­ized. It’s a huge gain over a stock car; a solid per­former. It’s not for the faint of heart, and it just doesn’t have the race prow­ess that it would if I was run­ning a se­quen­tial box,” he says.


ORI­GIN CHAS­SIS: 1996 Mit­subishi Evo IV CA­PAC­ITY: 1997cc CON­FIG­U­RA­TION: Straight-four BORE/STROKE: 85x88mm COM­PRES­SION: 8.8:1 POWER: 206kW WEIGHT: 160kg

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