Topic: MX-3/Miata oil coolers/general Lemons prep

I just bought a 1993 MX-3 I’m planning to take Lemons racing next year. While replacing the alternator, I noticed I had a good chance to easily install a (used) remote oil filter/cooler kit I got for my Miata a few years ago but never installed.

I plumbed everything up and ran the engine for a few seconds before mounting the parts and found it leaked pretty bad - which got me thinking, even if I solve the leaks now (which isn’t guaranteed as I don’t know who made the filter adapter or what size seal it needs), it’s adding more possible failure points to my engine. A quick check of found a bunch of guys claiming their track cars were just fine without oil coolers - but I also doubt many of them are running them for several hours at a time.

TL;DR: MX-3/Miata/anything else with a Mazda B engine teams, do you run oil coolers or not, and what sort of temperatures do you see? If I don’t end up with a definitive answer (or maybe even if I do), my plan is to install a temperature sensor and run some shorter track sessions this year to get a sense for how it handles the racing environment. If the temperature doesn’t stabilize or does so at an uncomfortably high level, add oil cooler.

Beyond that, can anyone offer any general tips for running a four cylinder MX-3 successfully?

Re: MX-3/Miata oil coolers/general Lemons prep

Keeping things cool is the easiest thing to do to keep Lemons cars alive.  We always run oil coolers on everything, and once we started running oil temp gauges we are glad we did.  It also helps with the total cooling load for the cooling system. 

I’m cold races you’ll need to block it off with cardboard or it will over cool.

Chris from 3 Pedal Mafia

Re: MX-3/Miata oil coolers/general Lemons prep

While getting harder to find in junkyards, RX7 oil coolers have a built in thermostat.

1990 RX7 "Mazdarita"  1964 Sunbeam Imp (IOE 2013 Sears Pointless) 2002 Jaguar x-type (Winner C-Class 2021 Sears Pointless)
Gone bye-bye
1994 Jaguar XJ12 (Winner C-Class 2013 Sears Pointless)  1980 Rover SD1 (I Got Screwed 2014 Return of Lemonites)

Re: MX-3/Miata oil coolers/general Lemons prep

We used to endurance race  a 1.6L Spec Miata.  Four hours straight of qualifying laps didn't bother the engine one bit.  No oil cooler present (or allowed).  We did have a very large aluminum radiator, though.

Re: MX-3/Miata oil coolers/general Lemons prep

We've run a handful of races in our 2000 Miata without any sort of extra cooling.  Even ran the stock radiator without ducting and had no  temperature issues. 

That said.

With the "new" Miata I put together I went further on cooling.  It has a large aluminum radiator that will have ducting and I did the cooling rerouted to the back of the head.  Also, I have always really REALLY discouraged the team from revving over 6,500 and had shift light that would blink an angry red when the RMPs were over 6,200.

6 (edited by nimblemotorsports 2021-05-24 05:17 PM)

Re: MX-3/Miata oil coolers/general Lemons prep

You can view my youtubue channel Murray Madness, it has videos on my oil cooler install, the manual rack conversion, and the big brakes I put on my 2.5L v6 MX3 (now sold) It stopped having any overheating issues once I put in the RX8 oil cooler.

btw, the front brake pads on these cars are TOO SMALL and will wear out race pads in less than one day.  Very front heavy cars.