Wrenching Hero Adds DIY Koenigsegg Freevalve Tech to a Junkyard Miata Engine
One of the world’s most common engines receives the same ultra-lightweight groundbreaking technology as the upcoming Koenigsegg Gemera.
The same groundbreaking freevalve camless engine technology that allowed the Koenigsegg Gemera's engineers unprecedented control over fuel consumption, exhaust timing, emissions and more finally went onto something a little more accessible: the 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine out of a later NA-generation Mazda Miata.
Wesley Kagan, who previously added freevalve tech to a 6.5-horsepower Harbor Freight engine, is now testing it out on a full-size car engine. Freevalve technology (which Koenigsegg off-shoot Freevalve explains in detail here) controls the opening and closing of its valves with pneumatic actuators instead of with a turning camshaft. Everything involving fuel combustion can be timed so you can add just the amount of fuel you need at the right time, reducing fuel consumption.
Naturally, since we're working with technology out of a brand new, one-of-300 $1.7-million Koenigsegg hypercar, Kagan picked up the most warped 1.8-liter Miata head I have seen in quite some time out of a junkyard.
Kagan's freevalve design is meant to be entirely bolt-on—with no modifications to the head—so that if he wants to swap back to cams, it should be easy. (Well, at least in theory.)
Before he fabricates the main parts for this system out of pricier materials, he's 3D-printing prototype parts out of plastic to test out how they fit and work together. It's a more complicated build than the previous one with dual-acting pneumatic cylinders as opposed to the Harbor Freight engine's single-action cylinders. This lets him both push the valves open and pull them closed.
Because the Miata people are many, he also has a 1.6-liter Miata head to tinker with. Clearly, he's going for mass appeal with this highly custom build.
This is just part one of this project, but it's exciting to see DIY freevalve technology going onto a real, commonly accessible engine. You can follow along with Kagan's progress on his YouTube channel here.
Got a tip? Send us a note: email@example.com
MORE TO READ
DIY Genius Grafts Koenigsegg-Style Freevalve Tech Onto 6.5-HP Harbor Freight Motor
The engine is for a Porsche Boxster-based open-wheel race car he also masterminded himself.
This Guy Turned a $2,500 Porsche Boxster Into a 1960s F1-Inspired Race Car
One man’s junk Porsche Boxster is another man’s dream track car.
These Are the Five Versions of the Koenigsegg Gemera That Could’ve Been
Designer Sasha Selipanov knows how to elicit a “wow.”
4-Seat, 3-Cylinder, Twin-Turbo Koenigsegg Gemera Does 0-60 in 1.9 Seconds
Did we forget to mention the 1,700 horsepower and 2,581 pound-feet of torque? Silly us.