Video: How to build a 1000hp Barra on a budget

In this episode of Carnage, Scotty throws together a fresh Barra mill for our MX-5 on the cheap

Videographers: Matt Hull

You’ve all heard the noise about how a Barra is the cheapest and easiest way to get into the 1000hp club, so in this episode of Carnage, we decided to test the theory with the new engine for our MX-5.

Regular viewers will have seen that in the last episode, Scotty found out exactly where the oil pressure was escaping from with the MX5’s stock-bottom-end LPG Barra. The oil pressure relief valve had wound itself out of the pump, explaining why we saw 0psi of oil pressure on the Haltech iC-7 dash not long after it ran a PB of 9.26@147mph.

While we got lucky that the engine didn’t throw a leg out, there was still a good chance it could be hurt, and we were at the limits of the SBE components anyway. So, cue a fresh Barra build!

Scotty found an untouched standard petrol (non-turbo) Barra at the back of the workshop, and after a quick chat with Barra expert Zane Heath from Maxx Performance, a plan was formulated for a cheap but bulletproof combo capable of 1000rwhp.

Scotty goes through all the juicy details in the video above, but essentially the idea was to throw a set of new aftermarket H-beam rods, FG turbo pistons and ARP studs throughout the ‘new’ engine. Zane has seen similar combos reach 650rwkW (1000rwhp) before, which should land our MX-5 in the eight-second zone.

In true Carnage fashion, Scotty only gave himself a few days to completely build the engine, drop it in the car and get it tuned before another test day at Heathcote Park Raceway to hopefully see the Mazda into the eights. So kick back and watch Scotty throw together a mean engine, and next week you’ll see it dropped into the car before heading back to the track.