LS3 Swapped MX-5 Turns Heads: All About Project Thunderbolt

Project cars are some of the most rewarding projects a gear head can work on though they may be a bit frustrating at times. When most people think of project cars, they might think a little restoration needed, or maybe a few performance upgrades. But one Mazda MX-5 owner took it to an extreme level with his project car. Dubbed “Project Thunderbolt” this MX-5 got a monster LS3 engine, and some other go-fast upgrades.

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The big engine little car concept is one that’s worked out magically in automotive history. So this MX-5 project was promising from the start.

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Beginning with a tear down and removal of the original engine this project took place over several weeks.

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The engine drivetrain had to be removed from the car for the conversion.

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The build got completely new guts during the build.

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A lot of modification went into simply getting the power train and drivetrain to fit in the car.

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The results of the LS3 swap in a light car are well worth the effort.

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The payoff is a lightening fast car, and you can barely tell by looking at it that anything was changed.

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In fact, the GM LS engine looks stock in this Miata.

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However, most people who see what’s under the hood aren’t going to want to mess with this car anymore. It has the power of an American beast, in a small nimble package and not much else is going to be able to keep up!

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This is one build that raises the standard for project cars everywhere.