Solving the Ticking Noise with an Oil Cooler

After each track day, we’ve noticed that the engine would develop a pretty loud ticking noise. We would flush the engine, rebuild the 96’ Miata’s Hydraulic Lifters, and replace the oil with Mobile 1 10W-30 Synthetic and that would get rid of the ticking noise for a while. However, it would only last until the next track day.

What we noticed was that the oil coming out of the engine after day at the track was almost pitch black and was gunking up the Hydraulic Lifters every time. We concluded two things from this: 1) The motor oil we used was probably breaking down at the higher temperatures we were running. 2) The oil temperature was probably getting really high and was making the viscosity of the oil way too thin.

So to solve the temperature issues, we decided to invest in getting the Flyin’ Miata Oil Cooler Kit. We mounted it right in front of the steering rack and routed all the oil lines accordingly. The supplied lines were a bit long for the Exocet so we had them resized at a local shop.

And finally, we switched our motor oil of choice to Shell Rotella T6 5W-40. This motor oil should perform much better on the track as it should be able to better withstand the higher temperatures of racing.

After having run this setup on a couple of track days, the results are pretty amazing. The oil still looks clean and we are no longer getting that ticking noise from the engine.

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