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The Blackbird Fabworx Morpheus Miata!

by Mike Kojima

 

The cars created by Moti Almagor of Blackbird Fabworx have always caught our attention. More for less has always been the theme his creations. The Blackbird Fabworx cars have always eked amazing speed out of stock, very low powered engines. Lightweight, meticulous care in chassis setup, balanced brakes and carefully thought out aerodynamics have had a harmonious interplay in developing incredible speed from very little horsepower.

Moti hails from Israel, and growing up as a little boy, he always had a love for traditional sports cars of the small, two-seat, open top roadster variety. However, in Israel, there is a 140% tax on new cars, so most people's choice for transportation centers around versatile and practical machines. Sports cars are frivolous and people don't want to pay the huge vehicle tax for something that is a toy to be only driven for pleasure. 

In 1998 Moti bit the bullet and bought a used NA 1995 Miata to fulfill his dream of sports car ownership and fell in love with the lightweight and nimble platform. In 2000 Moti moved to America and purchased another 1995 Miata, since he was familiar with the platform. Soon, Moti got bit by the track day bug and started modifying this car- soon to be known in the Miata world as the Blackbird.

Moti's skill as a driver, fabricator, and mechanic grew, and soon Moti bought a newer NB Miata to both sharpen his driving skills and to experiment and develop it into something faster. Thus, Creampuff was born. Creampuff soon became a very sharply honed weapon. With only 101 wheel hp, Creampuff was able to negotiate Buttonwillow's Configuration 13 CW at an amazing 1:59.6, faster than many cars with more than 3x the power! With Creampuff, Moti also developed Blackbird Fabworxs into a viable full-time business building and maintaining race cars. 

Although Creampuff was fast and well developed, it was not the end. Moti wanted a new car, a car that he could apply all the tricks he had learned from Blackbird and Creampuff to develop a new platform that had the headspace for more power and blazing serious speed.  So was born Morpheus, Blackbird Fabworx latest creation.

 

Morpheus is the god of sleep and dreams in greek mythology; Morpheus the car is both a dream machine and a sleeper, a 1999 NB MX-5 sporting a nearly stock 1.8 liter BP-4W engine that is factory rated at a minuscule 140 hp.

Morpheus is fast. Fast enough to best BW #13 CW time of the finely honed Creampuff, turning a 1:59.3 time on its second outing with no development or tuning of the suspension, dead tires and not having a clean lap. 

 

The sole major engine modification of Morpheus is this Racing Beat 4-1 header. Other minor tweaks to the engine include milling the head 0.010" to slightly raise compression (estimated to be 0.25 points), adding Supertech valve springs and titanium retainers, and ARP head studs.

There is a Blackbird Fabworxs custom cold air intake as well as a phenolic heat isolating intake manifold gasket. The coolant flow has been reworked for better cooling and a Setrab oil cooler keeps the lubricant at the proper temperature. Morpheus rocks a lot more power than Creampuff's 101 whp, holding down a whole 131.6 whp and 122 lb/ft of torque! The power is transferred to the stock 6-speed transmission via an ACT 4-puck clutch and Prolite 9 lb flywheel.

 

An aluminum SuperMiata crossflow radiator keeps the engine cool.  Custom ducting to the radiator helps with the aero for both drag reduction and for more downforce. 

Engine management is handled by an MSLabs Megasquirt MS3 ECU monitored by an Innovate LC-2. The tuning of the Megasquirt is handled by Shawn Church of Chuch Automative Testing. Everything else is stock!  We are pretty sure that Morpheus was the lowest powered car entered at last year's super lap battle!

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Comments
Chilicharger
Chilichargerlink
Monday, April 17, 2017 1:17 AM
Moti is an absolute artist!

One small correction, though. On page 7, the wheels are Advanti Storm S1's, not 949 Racing 6UL's.
Dan DeRosia
Dan DeRosialink
Monday, April 17, 2017 8:05 AM
Awesome feature - would have liked to see the rear cage/shock integration, but I know how it goes. I know a lot of MIQ writers aren't big on the Miata platform but there's a lot of cool stuff going on in the community.
MDR
MDRlink
Monday, April 17, 2017 2:03 PM
Incredible build. So nice to see all the work going into everything BUT the engine whereas most builds are power first, everything else second.

The front brake ducting plates look like they should have a 3" hose attached. But where does that hose connect to? Or does he just run it like it is in the pictures?
Moti@BlackbirdFabworx
Moti@BlackbirdFabworxlink
Monday, April 17, 2017 2:40 PM
@MDR - you are correct, the brake ducts are missing a piece, but I'm unlikely to route a hose to the nose and instead will be testing a small elbow that will be aimed at feeding off of the front diffusers.
If that works for keeping temps under control we're probably going to keep things this way in order to avoid putting holes in the nose for lower drag.
Keep in mind that at this time the brakes don't even require any ducting, but of course will change with the new engine swap we're going to do shortly.
humjaba
humjabalink
Wednesday, April 19, 2017 1:23 PM
Awesome car. Just thought I'd point out that those aren't 6Ul's in the picture. Look like Advanti S1 Storms - another awesome, inexpensive lightweight wheel. Which I also have in 15x9 for my Miata.
engineered
engineeredlink
Thursday, April 20, 2017 9:08 AM
Love articles like this. Pretty cool to see this kind of work on a Miata. No doubt for me what car it is when you see the head and tail lights.
One thing though, those APR carbon pieces should be called floor extensions, since they are horizontal attached to the original floor. Bargeboards would be vertical components used to move air to the outside of the car. They are somewhat plow shaped.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bargeboard_(aerodynamics)
Or parts 1,2,3 in this image (4 is the floor) https://maxf1.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/renault-rs17-f1-2017-bargeboards-and-sidepod-side-zoom-foto-renault-maxf1net.jpg
Dennis
Dennislink
Friday, April 21, 2017 10:25 AM
Great article and a fantastic build!

Moti, you don't mind me asking, what diameter are the front rotors? I was looking at the off-the-shelf Stoptech kits but am not sure it will fit behind 15" Storm S1s. Thanks!
Moti@BlackbirdFabworx
Moti@BlackbirdFabworxlink
Monday, April 24, 2017 10:29 AM
@Chilichrger & Humjaba - you are correct, the wheels in the pic are of course the Advantis, Morpheus has multiple sets of wheels including 6ULs and the S1.

@Dennis - Those are the 11" rotors supplied with the StopTech kit, used with STR42 calipers on Morpheus.
The performance of the StopTech BBK on Morpheus is mind-blowing, I'm still trying to come to terms with how deep I can run into braking zones, you can push the braking so deep, you pretty much touch the brakes only when god appears...
BEAVIS Motorsport
BEAVIS Motorsportlink
Tuesday, April 25, 2017 4:36 AM
I am very excited to read this article.
As a fellow miata (well, MX-5) owner, I am trying to employ a very similar philosophy with my own time attack car. I cannot begin to imagine the hours spent designing and engineering some of the intricacies here, in particular the DRS setup which is something I would love to develop on my own car.
Great to see more miata's getting the recognition for what they can be and how quick they can be driven.
I have details on my own build at my site: http://www.beavismotorsport.com/cars/NB/
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