I’ve had my 1991 1.6L Miata for about 4 years and it didn’t take long to realize I was going to upgrade and eventually turbo it. I started out long ago intending on street driving only, but it will see autocross and maybe some track days eventually.
I knew next to nothing about the car or mechanics starting out, so I did a crap ton of reading this site while picking up parts here and there. I should note that this research all occurred after I had already owned the car a year or two. It ended up being one of the 1991.5 long nose 1.6s… which was bittersweet since it’s still a 1.6. It was and still is a blast to drive pre-turbo. This makes me wonder what the 1.8 does to the car, especially after boost.
This is my very first picture of the classic red (pink) car, right before purchase many moons ago at 155k miles.
Another photo right after purchase, because part time car detailer. It is surprising what some wax will do to old paint.
The interior was actually pretty gross and neglected. I took about 3-4 full car details for the crud to dissipate. There’s something gross about someone else’s filth being in your car, let alone 6+? years worth of it.
3 years ago, the car cleaned up even better after a much needed rust repair, new top, and bumper repaint thanks to jeep owners not paying attention.
See my thread for rust repair details and pictures here: Rust Repair Pictorial
1.8 BIG BRAKE KITTT omg
I had an ACT street clutch put in around the same time, fantasizing about actually going turbo one day.
Years back, I thought 15x7s were wide due to lack of research and pronounced disposition towards being cheap as hell back then.
Next to 14x6 seven spokes I never ended up using as an upgrade from daisies.
Despite the narrower width, I do LOVE the Yoko S.drives (195s). They’re good in the dry and absolutely killer in wet conditions.
I picked up some used Koni Sports to go with the new wheels on the car. This isn’t an optimal suspension setup, but it is still a night and day difference from stock.
M2 Sport DD to save my noggin.
Then the real bug bit me last summer and I started prepping for future boost!
I nabbed a 4.1 Torsen swap for a good deal.
Got some outdated technology, but it is easy to work with for this noob.
Dirty old SR20 t25:
Finally I pried it apart after hours of PB blaster and intense wrench action.
Lightly used begi manifold:
Charge piping with a TiAL BOV included for a GOOD deal.
Tuning during LC-1 and MS installation:
I’ve got to say that I love me some tuning. It’s so much fun to tinker with the engine parameters and see what improves and changes, especially after getting over the learning curve and while N/A. The info on this site really made it possible and sound realistic enough for me to take the plunge. I highly recommend MS installs while N/A for those new to tuning. I did it without knowing a thing. It has made the car noticeably more lively and fun to drive and I understand the car’s inner workings so much more. However, cold start tuning blows massively.
Rebuilt the snail:
Big thanks to the MT members who I bought stuff from used and saved cash. The savings allowed for this full 3" Artech stainless exhaust system:
5x11x22 muffler for stealth DD
I debated a while on getting some of the super cheap used begi setups on the classifieds. After reading and comparing the cost effectiveness, I went with this Artech 3” glory with 5x11x22 magnaflow V-band goodness with a cat for whenever I might need it.
Also, some expensive extruded space metal to hold my crap together forever.
As well as 650cc FICs
“Enjoying” stock for a little while longer. Still running strong at 187k miles