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Old 05-14-2016, 04:36 PM   #1
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Default Turbo'ing my (t)rusty MX5

Unlike my name suggests, I don't have a Jaguar. My car is (obviously) an MX-5 (Euro spec). It has the 1.6, it has ricey accessoires, it has rust and it WAS cheap. Cheap until I decided it was a good idea to turbo it. My thought process: "Yeah €1000 will probably be enough if I don't want huge power."
And yet here I am, about €1500 in, typing this post on miataturbo.net so you can all see me fail, or not, I haven't decided yet. That said I will probably be too stubborn to follow up any of the expert's advise, thinking "ferk it, that'll cost too much".
Side note: I'm a 20 year old student and I work every Saturday to satisfy my completely unrealistic desire for a boosted car, therefor commenting things like "Part X is going to be **** and break within 2 days, buy Part Y (worth 1200 dollars) instead!" is completely unnecessary unless you like to sponsor me. At least I'm not asking about/getting an eBay manifold :')

I have always learned "Power, Reliability, Cost. Pick two." That's why my first goal is a rather conservative 140-150whp. From there I'll see what I can do to raise that. After a new clutch (and maybe other stuff) I'll go towards 170-190whp, but I'm thinking I'll stick with that for a while. End of the day I have only had my drivers license for 2 years and I've only been driving daily for 1 year, so too much power will probably significantly shorten my lifespan.

Photo time! That's her, I'm pretty satisfied with how she sits right now. Maybe a ducktail in the near future but that might be all the mods I'll do visually.




Can someone please tell me if it's possible to resize a picture, the picture being as big as the car itself bothers me.

What I've done to the car:
- Cheapo coilovers because the old suspension was rekt (probably gonna receive hate for this)
- Cobalt Catback exhaust system
- Cat delete
- Gotten some BBS RZs from a friend for cheap. (In desperate need of a paintjob)

What I've done, turbo wise:
- I've been smart for once and got myself a DIYPNP, which now runs the car pretty well, some minor quirks but nothing bad.
- Bought a T25, which to my surprise was a Saab unit, which means getting a downpipe flange for it is nearly impossible. Also used Nissan T25s are pretty hard to come by here and importing anything from the US means you've gotta pay up because import fees 'n stuff
- I got a stock 1.6 manifold, to cut it up and use it as a flange (believe me it was cheaper than getting a flange from the US)
- Steel bends for the manifold
- The turbo flange, which thankfully is just the normal T25 flange.
- An eBay intercooler kit from Toyosports, don't know the performance yet but it seems to be good quality, none of the **** from the shitty ebay intercoolers from the "how to ebay intercool" sticky
- Oil feed, water lines, oil drain stuff is on the way as well as a tap.
- Probably more, but I can't recall.. I'll have to check my receipts for that


This is how it's sitting right now, nipple on line to the right of the water pump broke so I need to replace that, and the coolant lines because I had to cut them loose.


While I had the perfect opportunity to install it (read: the engine bay was relatively empty, I went ahead and interfooled my car... At least it's a 'stealth' intercooler so no one will notice, hopefully.

Side note: Please, no comment on how rusty everything is, I KNOW ALRIGHT?! *bursts out into tears*

Okay that's it, I have filled my time this evening, too dark and too cold to work on the car so I decided this was a good idea. (I have yet to find out if I was right) I'll update this post along the way, if I don't forget it's existance.
Attached Thumbnails
Turbo'ing my (t)rusty MX5-80-18bda91b95_344ea638395fa8662e0ab506e0cf616f428a827c.jpg   Turbo'ing my (t)rusty MX5-80-23125391b0_68ceff875a003127e48edeaee527b29dafb23fb0.jpg   Turbo'ing my (t)rusty MX5-80-6ef6370eea_331876392486610b73eea1519e086f08b4329b39.jpg  

Last edited by JaguarJay; 05-27-2016 at 06:17 AM. Reason: Pictures apparently didn't work
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Old 05-14-2016, 04:42 PM   #2
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Pics no work. Entertaining read though.
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Old 05-14-2016, 04:54 PM   #3
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Pics no work. Entertaining read though.
Tried to fix it, if they still don't work I'm out of software based knowledge to properly fix this (I tried unplugging it and plugging it back in). In that case, RIP pictures, gone but not forgotten.
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Old 05-14-2016, 05:04 PM   #4
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They work. Oi. Rust :P

That's quite an intercooler mount.
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Old 05-14-2016, 05:17 PM   #5
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Sounds like you have done your homework. Good for you. Get some injectors, and a clutch. Shoot for that 170 right off the bat. You will succeed with your build, I'm sure.

Edit: wait! New driver! Build for 170, drive 150 for a year or more. Take some auto x lessons. Don't drive like an *** hat on the street. That way, you will live to drive 200+ hp.
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Old 05-14-2016, 05:18 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by turbofan View Post
They work. Oi. Rust :P

That's quite an intercooler mount.
I'm not even going to reply to any comment about rust, from now on :P
Can't seem to figure out if the thing about the ic mount is good or bad.. It's in there quite solid soooo... :') it had to be cheap so some threaded rod (or whatever the hell it's called) and some nuts and bolts and it's in there, the question is for how long, judging from your reply. Gotta stick with what you have, and since I don't have a welder I'm pretty much stuck using these things.
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Old 05-14-2016, 05:20 PM   #7
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Sounds like you have done your homework. Good for you. Get some injectors, and a clutch. Shoot for that 170 right off the bat. You will succeed with your build, I'm sure.
Thanks! It means a lot coming from someone I've already seen passing by a couple of times on the forum. The problem with me is, when I build for 170, I'm sure as hell going to run 170, so that might not be the best idea :P As much as I appreciate your advice, I think I'm going to stick with 150 hp on stock injectors and clutch (if even possible on stock injectors, I remember I have read some threads about people running up to 7 psi of boost with stock injectors without FPRs but I could be wrong) Also autox is not really a 'thing' over here, and it's a pain in the *** to get to a track or something like that. Most of the time I just look for desolate back roads to do my spirited driving. The only naughty thing I do on normal roads is accelerate hard to the speed limit, apart from that I like to think I'm a really safe driver.

After I am fully used to the 150whp, I'll start to upgrade for more, and so on.. It's probably, eventually, going to end up with a built 1.8, but that's way up there in the future. I have always vowed to keep my first car for the rest of my life and I have not yet changed my mind, so the time will come for more power, I'm not in a hurry. I have once seen a youtube video "The Life Long Miata Project". I think that that's what my car is to me; A life long project. Bottom line is my situation needs to be really, really shitty for me to sell my car.

Last edited by JaguarJay; 05-14-2016 at 06:02 PM.
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Old 05-15-2016, 07:33 AM   #8
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Update time! (Already? It's been like not even a full day you *insert insult here*)

Been looking at the manifold today. Laid all the pieces right how I want them to go.

This is the flange I cut off from the 1.6 manifold, don't worry, I'm not yet done with smoothing it out.

Then I laid the bends on there right about how I want them to go. Again, I'm not finished yet as they obviously need trimming. Also the bends need to be pressed down on one side so that they align with the flange better.

And this is how it should somewhat look finished, the T25 flange might be connected to the runner with a rectangular tube, as I don't really trust this setup. Also it'll be welded on at kind of an angle, so the turbo will sit a bit above the manifold.
It would probably have been easier if I just ordered a somewhat better fitting kit from the US, but what's the fun in that!? (read: I'm too cheap to import things from the US because of the aforementioned import fees and the exorbitant shipping rate some companies like to charge)

Also since the only way I can seem to get a pre made downpipe flange for my turbo is to get it from a US company who likes to ask $100 for shipping to the Netherlands on a $20 part, I decided to apply my engineering knowledge I gathered at school to design one myself.
This is it in SolidWorks, measured everything at least 3 times to be sure to 'get it right the first time'


Since we can 3D print things for free at school, I decided to make a test piece, to make sure my measurements would fit.


Despite my godly measurements, it still doesn't fit (by like a fraction of a millimeter, damnit!) Guess who's going back to the drawing board :/

So that's where I'm at, had most of this already but I figured it would be fun to post it. If I ever get the flange fitting I could send it to whoever is in need of it (my idea was to get it cut out by a company, don't know where yet, but I'll find out :P) because Saab flanges are a pain in the buttocks to find pre made.

That's it for now, if anyone knows a place where I can get a flange for my turbo that doesn't charge $100 for shipping to the Netherlands, please tell me because that will save me some time/effort.
Attached Thumbnails
Turbo'ing my (t)rusty MX5-80-622ce3993b_e91327cd45443b2541428aa8feb8253b1b871df2.jpg   Turbo'ing my (t)rusty MX5-80-ddc3ccea6b_1cdf0358b80bdcd85968d7d59400735b5e81c69f.jpg   Turbo'ing my (t)rusty MX5-80-2d0e246a0f_6d95d1250b6c81d8518bc7929a8727a128544f28.jpg   Turbo'ing my (t)rusty MX5-80-1de9494b3c_ce86a8231baeac3ff3cead65156a83fd7d40d8a3.jpg   Turbo'ing my (t)rusty MX5-80-13415e70d4_b5c6aad59a72e8a4aa4cb40b68fc4d032f934fe1.jpg  

Turbo'ing my (t)rusty MX5-80-14cf2db5db_593d4fa701ca38b88bd4755787493b7af9d95dc9.jpg  
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Old 05-15-2016, 07:46 AM   #9
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Those els look really thin. Don't do it. Buy a flange online, or have one made with .500 material. Then buy the stainless weld els off ebay. I think you can even get them as a kit now. Don't get in a hurry now, and waste time and money on a thin, crack prone, manifold.

Lots of threads around explaining the size pipe, material and place to buy them.
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Old 05-15-2016, 08:04 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ryansmoneypit View Post
Those els look really thin. Don't do it. Buy a flange online, or have one made with .500 material. Then buy the stainless weld els off ebay. I think you can even get them as a kit now. Don't get in a hurry now, and waste time and money on a thin, crack prone, manifold.

Lots of threads around explaining the size pipe, material and place to buy them.
I looked it up, these are supposed to be just as thick as the SCH10 Stainless weld els you get with the kits. (for example the mazworks kit) The wall thickness on the bends is 2.65 to 2.70 mm and on the straight pieces it is around 3.20 mm (those are measured dimensions) According to most charts the SCH10 304SS 1 1/2 inch tubes have the same wall thickness (2.7 mm / 0.109 inch) so I figured it had to work.
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Old 05-15-2016, 08:07 AM   #11
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Cool. Pics made them look thin. Carry on.
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Old 05-15-2016, 08:39 AM   #12
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If time isn't a concern, just make the flange. A hole saw spun really slow with lots of oil, will slice right through. 500 thick steel. Spin it agonizinglyslow. Like 60 rpm, and it will cut it like butter. Then just jigsaw the outer shape. Drill and tap the holes, carefully. Maybe even do that first. That way if you screw them up, you aren't 3 hours into it.

Edit : Fix those edge distances around your bolt holes. Apply your engineering skillz. You don't need 1.5 x's the diameter, but more than that shred you left.
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Old 05-16-2016, 07:55 AM   #13
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If time isn't a concern, just make the flange. A hole saw spun really slow with lots of oil, will slice right through. 500 thick steel. Spin it agonizinglyslow. Like 60 rpm, and it will cut it like butter. Then just jigsaw the outer shape. Drill and tap the holes, carefully. Maybe even do that first. That way if you screw them up, you aren't 3 hours into it.

Edit : Fix those edge distances around your bolt holes. Apply your engineering skillz. You don't need 1.5 x's the diameter, but more than that shred you left.
Yeah I know the edges are thin, didn't really show up on the 3D CAD model as good as it did with the 3d printed model. I already ordered a 3-bolt T3 flange for next to nothing which according to the image had the same ID, bolt holes diameter and the distance between the bolt holes is the same.. Didn't receive it yet but for the price I had to try it. The only thing that I know for sure is different is the chamfered edge, maybe if it doesn't fit I'll just modify it so that it'll fit, otherwise I'll continue with the 3D CAD model.
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Old 05-18-2016, 03:15 AM   #14
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So, little update because of the lack of updates.. The car still hasn't run since last Friday and I'm getting more and more sad that I can't drive it every day. Since most used parts dealers here don't have Miatas and therefor don't have miata waterpump inlet pipes as well, I'm gonna have to come up with a somewhat haggard solution.
So this is it, and if you know what a decent one looks like, it has a hose fitting on the left side of it... As you can see mine isn't there anymore.

Here you can see what I mean.. just a random pic from the internet. The hose fitting on the left of the inlet pipe broke off on mine.

So here's what I was thinking... I'm gonna drill out the hole on mine to a size that's suitable for screwing a fitting in there, then I'm gonna get a barbed fitting so that I can put the hose back on. It's either this or I need a new part (cost €131,50) and since I'm too cheap to buy that right away, I'm gonna try this first. If I **** this up I need a new part as well so either I save €131,50 for now, or I need a new part anyway. The hole is 7.70mm right now so it's already too big to tap an M8 fitting in there.. The diameter of the area around the hole is 18mm, so that should give me plenty of room to drill it out to about 8.3-8.5mm and tap an M10 fitting in there. Also an M10 fitting should be pretty close to the stock ID, so the flow won't really be restricted (hopefully). Fingers crossed this works because otherwise I'm not as close to finishing my turbo build as I thought I was :P Will update this again if/when this works.
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Turbo'ing my (t)rusty MX5-80-fac04911b1_b7bd56250d6a519e41785e38d9c1482ff20f5ee2.jpg   Turbo'ing my (t)rusty MX5-80-a76b2ea832_8c6a35a2ecf7ef32b826b51cd0d73117edddc325.jpg  
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Old 05-18-2016, 07:59 AM   #15
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I heated up the casting, twisted mine out, and tapped it for a npt fitting. Wasn't hard. Just don't melt it.
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Old 05-18-2016, 09:17 AM   #16
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I chopped off the end, rotated it about 45*, took it to a radiator shop and had them weld it back together for $30.



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Old 05-18-2016, 03:28 PM   #17
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I heated up the casting, twisted mine out, and tapped it for a npt fitting. Wasn't hard. Just don't melt it.
That's exactly what I was thinking of doing (and what I'm doing right now), only mine came out without heating it :')
Tapped it for an 1/8" NPT fitting, right now I'm sitting here waiting for a 1/8" NPT > 8 mm barbed fitting to come in the mail.. God why does nobody have the things I need in stock. >:(
Right now it's half assembled and waiting for the part, then I'll fully assemble it. Damn I really miss driving it, partly because it's a lot of fun (even without a turbo), partly because I'm stuck with public transport atm
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Old 05-18-2016, 04:47 PM   #18
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Okay so just a couple of minutes ago I suddenly decided I needed injectors, so I literally just bought a set of RX8 yellow body injectors. I'm still kind of shocked I did this so suddenly but it'll all be for the greater good I guess. All I need now to be most of the way prepped for more than 150hp is a clutch... So I'm keeping myself from NOT buying it because 170hp in a miata right away probably won't end well :')
Figured I could afford it because I saved some money by not using up petrol this week. Realistically I won't be driving much this month at all considering my bank account is kind of empty till my next paycheck. I guess I need to find an extra job to support this car hobby of mine :')
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Old 05-19-2016, 08:52 AM   #19
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I have a 5 hour flight layover in Amsterdam on Sunday morning, June 19th. Do you need anything I could bring in my carry-on bag? I won't have any checked luggage so it will need to be small and not considered dangerous. They would likely consider a head flange a slashing weapon.
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Old 05-19-2016, 11:31 AM   #20
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I have a 5 hour flight layover in Amsterdam on Sunday morning, June 19th. Do you need anything I could bring in my carry-on bag? I won't have any checked luggage so it will need to be small and not considered dangerous. They would likely consider a head flange a slashing weapon.
Thanks a lot for the offer! For now I'm good, if I come up with anything small within a reasonable amount of time I'll consider this as a 'shipping' method (sounds a bit weird :P) and I'll PM you
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