Suped-up Mazda Miata micro machines. There is no ignoring their potential, although they are not built for everybody (both aesthetically and proportionally speaking, of course…). All one must do is take one of these light-footed little convertibles and flop a beefy GM V8 beneath the bonnet of the stealthy little sports car.
But before you begin serving up smiles for miles atop a burning pile of smoldering tires, a few considerations must first be weighed. Let’s start with the engine build itself. The sheer dedication of time, money, resources, and annoying-ass modifications that must be made to a Mazda Miata for it to function under LS-power can be a bit of a burden.
This leads us to our discussion with Moroso and brand Product Manager Brett Corriveau. In the past, Moroso has relied upon a few core crowd faves to keep fans of the Japanese small sports car satisfied. Now, these people have even more reason to appreciate the platform.
According to Corriveau, Moroso’s LS Miata Swap Race Oil Pan (item #21172) ticks many boxes, with the following high points from our conversation being the most pertinent.
I Guess It Actually is a Small World After All
The first nut to be torqued on this topic is a bit of praise pointed at Moroso. Crafting a race-oriented oil pan for Mazda Miata platforms packing LS swap power is a much-needed asset to certain drivers.
Low-ground clearance swaps like a Miata LS conversion require a shallower pan. Up until now, this required a dry sump swap. By accommodating a shallow wet-sump setup, there is no need to convert to a dry sump system to achieve additional ground clearance gains.
How much more clearance, pray tell? Wrap your mathematical mind around a whopping 1-inch of additional ground clearance compared to Moroso’s previous generation of race baffled wet sump LS pan. With its 4.875-inches of depth being but a shadow of the old 6.00″ deep tub. This LS Miata Swap Race Oil Pan is not just a far more shallow unit, but a much more multitalented upgrade.
GM and Mazda Benefitting Together? Not So Preposterous…
Since this pan’s dimensions are damn near identical to an OEM C6 pan, this aftermarket wet sump upgrade makes for a great alternative option for Corvette racers and enthusiasts. From spirited road course racing and drifting to canyon carving hill climbs. C6 and Miata owners alike will be pleased by the level of oil control this pan provides.
Furthermore, the pan also retains a stock spec spin-on 22mm filter mount. So there is no need to convert over to a remote oil filter configuration. Granted, this is still a possibility, with Moroso part #23707 providing drivers with that optional remote filter adapter if needed.
Engineered to provide an upgrade option for C6 owners, Miata owners converting to LS power, or anyone else that needs a performance oil pan with more ground clearance than a typical swap pan can provide. —Brett Corriveau, Product Manager for Moroso
Additionally, this pan will work with a multitude of LS-swapped Mazda Miata roadster setups. The pan covers more modern applications like the NC and ND chassis.
Both of these vehicles have a specific set of design constraints that in the past have made oil pan allocation points an issue. Here, we pass the mic back to Mr. Corriveau, for we feel he explained Moroso’s solution best with the following insights.
The position of the motor in these [Mazda Miata NC and ND] platforms in particular… requires cross-member/steering rack clearance [that] dictates a shallower pan… This pan is extra shallow up front as well to help achieve that [clearance]. —Brett Corriveau
The majority of all oil starvation issues stem from a single scenario. Stock oil pans tend to act like a sloshed uncle at a holiday cocktail party. Things can get really messy and truly dangerous in a heartbeat.
With four trap doors, an anti-slosh baffle, and included spin-on filter mount, this 6-quart pan is an excellent choice for any build.
Just note that some accouterments will go with this stealthy wet sump setup. So be prepared to purchase the needed items to round out that bottom end of your C6 or Miata build.
As for Moroso, it fully recognizes the fact that this LS Miata Swap Race Oil Pan fills a significant hole in the brand’s LS-pan lineup. Fortunately for them, it has not been very well executed by competitors over the years.
Will a wet sump slim oil pan make your minuscule Mazda Miata or sleek C6 all that much faster? Probably not. But it will provide increased levels of track safety and operational reliability. Additionally, it greatly reduces the risk of oil-related heating and lubrication issues from occurring so frequently.