Engine swaps make the world a better place -- there’s no question about that. Have an old Mazda Miata and want to go fast? Easy! Slap a V8 under the hood and you’ve solved your performance problem. Hell, even a turbocharged, LS-swapped Winnebago is a beautiful accomplishment. Of course, some swaps aren’t as common or sensible -- like stuffing a Harbor Freight Predator engine under the hood of a Mazda Protege. 

After installing four tiny turbochargers and plumbing a bottle of nitrous oxide directly into the air intake, the folks at the Life OD YouTube channel decided to swap out the original Mazda engine entirely in favor of a 420cc single-cylinder Harbor Freight Predator engine. Yeah -- the same engine you might buy to build a go-kart or swap into your generator is now powering a Mazda. 



As advertised, the engine makes 13 hp and 18 lb-ft of torque, so it’s not exactly a slouch as small engines go. It is down on power compared to the Mazda engine it replaced, and the team mated the two by welding the output shaft of the Predator engine to the input shaft of the Mazda transmission. Obviously, that means the very useful clutch is now on a shelf somewhere and the engine is fixed directly to the transmission. 

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