[Cortina-list] Tell me why I shouldn't

Stephen Wilson stevewilson at skybest.com
Thu Jan 12 14:12:30 UTC 2012

Well, there's a lot of debate about the Miata shortnose crank issue--some
knowledgeable folks (e.g. Keith Tanner of Flyin' Miata) attribute most of
the failures to improper torquing of the crank bolt during timing belt
changes. Certainly there are a lot of 150K+ (and 200K+) shortnose engines
still purring happily along. My own shortnose '91 was fine at 120K when I
sold it.

But you bring up a good point. A shortnose '90 or '91 MAY have a problem,
and a '92 or '93 is a safer bet.

There is also a problem with a smallish number of '99 and '00 Miata
engines: improper machining resulting in failure of the #4 thrust
bearing. The affected engines generally fail very early, by 10K or so. A
check of the crankshaft end play will reveal whether a particular engine
has the problem. Here's fuller info if anyone cares:

Steve Wilson
West Jefferson NC

> From: "Steve Wilson"
>> And you can't go horribly wrong with an earlier Miata engine--even the
>> 1.6
>> liter (1990-93) would be fine if you're going with forced induction.
>> The
>> 1.6 loves a turbo.
> Actually you can. The 1990 and first half of 1991 [short crank nose] will
> eventually break. [Woodruff key loosens, timing goes off, requires new
> crank] If you want a 1.6, go with the 1992-1993. Though not bullet proof,
> it
> is a great, reliable drive train, and if you could live with rear flairs,
> you could probably adapt the IRS as well.
> Andre
> Shoreline, WA  usa
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