K24 Miata dyno day - we find 233whp N/A by testing headers, cams, and more - Miata Turbo Forum -Boost cars, acquire cats.

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Old 09-19-2016, 12:05 PM   #1
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Default K24 Miata dyno day - we find 233whp N/A by testing headers, cams, and more

Last week we did a full day of independent dyno testing that I want to share. Mikey from MSpec Tuning in Schaumburg, IL was gracious enough to give us 12+ hours on the dyno to do back-to-back testing. The goal was to show off what can be done with a stock K24A2 engine (2004-2008 TSX) in the Miata chassis, as well as test out a couple new parts. All tunes are done with the common 50 degree VTC intake cam gear swap instead of the 25 degree stock TSX unit. Each combo was fully tuned, we weren't just bolting on parts and doing dyno pulls.

The best part is that the first two tunes are going to be available pre-flashed into a stock ECU at a very reasonable cost. There will be more info on that in the coming weeks.

First, we did a baseline tune with the stock K24A2, our Street header (the 4-1 design), and the Skunk2 Ultra Street manifold we now carry. Ignore the RPM signal loss that spiked the torque figure up a bit. Here's the graph showing 222whp and 182wtq, revving to 8000 rpm.




Next, we pulled the car off the dyno and swapped on our Race header (4-2-1 design). As you can see, this header smoothed out the midrange dip in power, and carried a similar powerband up top (You can see that the 2 hp difference is just from that little 8000 rpm spike in power on the 4-1 tune). The 4-1 header has 1.75" primaries, and the 4-2-1 has 1.88" primaries, so even with the huge primaries it does well on a stock motor. The Race header really flexed it's design more when we tested it earlier this year on a K20/K24 combo with some big cams, where it made more power over all other headers by about 3 hp.

Also, we removed the torque plot on the graph because rpm signal loss. We had the same peak torque but did pick up some midrange in the same area that we increased hp.



Next, we wanted to test a possible new product. Skunk2 sells some small spacers for their Ultra line of intake manifolds. For the Ultra Street, their spacer only increases the plenum volume by 0.5L. Considering that the manifold with no spacer is only 1.81L, we knew we wanted to bump the volume up considerably, as other big plenum manifolds have shined on this car before. Instead of stacking $400 worth of Skunk2 spacers, we had a 2" thick test spacer machined, bumping up our total plenum volume to 3.2L:



So, did it make power? On a stock K24A2, not at all! The red line is with no spacer, and the green line is with the spacer added. This was pretty surprising to us.



Next, we pulled the car off the dyno to swap in some different camshafts. After speaking with our friend Jeremy at Drag Cartel, he recommended that we test a set of his 3.2 cams. Cams were installed, and a proper valve lash adjustment was done before strapping the car back on the dyno. We previously installed upgraded valve springs in this engine because we knew we'd be testing some different combos. The results were interesting. Although we lost a little midrange, from 6000 to 8200 rpm, the top end screamed and we gain 13whp. Torque stayed the same around 180.



I think a set of the smaller 2.2s may be a better fit for this engine with the K24 head, as I'd like to see a bit more midrange, but the car feels fantastic in this configuration and will be a faster car for any form of racing. Based on an engine we tested last year, I think a simple K20 head swap and these 3.2 cams should easily put the power output to 240+whp.

Lastly, as a test control, we pulled off the manifold for the last time and removed the spacer. We knew that the spacer wasn't giving us gains with stock cams, but we were curious to see the difference with the cam swap. Red is with the spacer, blue is without. You can see, the spacer is giving us about 3 hp the entire time the engine was in VTEC. Again, I bet the difference would be even more significant with a K20 head, and certainly with a built engine.



Based on this test, we can reasonably conclude that the more air our engine can move, the more helpful that additional plenum volume will be with this manifold.

This last graph shows the power gains from the day. The blue line shows how it rolled in, and the red line shows how it left.



Overall, we're really pleased with the results, and I think this gives customers some nice options and data to help plan out their builds. We do plan on testing a K20 head on this engine. The K24 head seems to be holding us back a bit, and K20 heads are readily available on the cheap.

Thanks for reading!

Last edited by KMiata; 09-19-2016 at 03:37 PM.
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Old 09-19-2016, 04:02 PM   #2
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Solid numbers. Looking forward to how it does with the K20 head.
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Old 09-19-2016, 06:55 PM   #3
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An "easy button" tuning solution coming soon and the new entry level header are making this harder and harder to ignore. Keep it up David!

I've been pondering an ST/PT4 junkyard K24 Miata ever since driving Emilio's.
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Old 09-19-2016, 09:14 PM   #4
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A couple questions. Why is the X axis in MPH instead of RPM? And if it's redlining at 103-ish mph, does that mean you were dyno-ing it in 3rd? Why not the 1:1 gear?

--Ian
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Old 09-19-2016, 11:00 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doward View Post
An "easy button" tuning solution coming soon and the new entry level header are making this harder and harder to ignore. Keep it up David!

I've been pondering an ST/PT4 junkyard K24 Miata ever since driving Emilio's.
Thank you, and yes that's the goal as this fall: a K series swap package that is comparable to a nice turbo kit, and can make the same or more power, with less complexity, weight, and heat.

I was thinking of ST/TT3 for the test car next year, but the new ST/TT4 option could be really fun and low cost. I suppose it will depend on where the competition is.
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Old 09-19-2016, 11:03 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by codrus View Post
A couple questions. Why is the X axis in MPH instead of RPM? And if it's redlining at 103-ish mph, does that mean you were dyno-ing it in 3rd? Why not the 1:1 gear?

--Ian
We were actually dyno-ing in 4th gear. The car has a 6 speed and 4.10. Redline is 8200 so the closer gearing is great on track. We switched it over to mph because the rpm signal was patchy so when viewed in that way the lines aren't all complete. It's an issue they have had with the dyno with a few cars lately. As a point of reference, 75 mph is 6000 rpm, which is where we see the DC cams overtake the TSX cams. Hopefully that helps find your bearings on the graphs.
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Old 09-19-2016, 11:51 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by K Miata View Post
We were actually dyno-ing in 4th gear. The car has a 6 speed and 4.10. Redline is 8200 so the closer gearing is great on track. We switched it over to mph because the rpm signal was patchy so when viewed in that way the lines aren't all complete. It's an issue they have had with the dyno with a few cars lately. As a point of reference, 75 mph is 6000 rpm, which is where we see the DC cams overtake the TSX cams. Hopefully that helps find your bearings on the graphs.
OK. Why 4th then? Isn't 5th the 1:1 gear, and thus the one with the least drivetrain loss?

--Ian
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Old 09-20-2016, 12:04 AM   #8
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OK. Why 4th then? Isn't 5th the 1:1 gear, and thus the one with the least drivetrain loss?

--Ian
Not sure, I'm not the tuner. Seems he always uses 4th, but that is a good point, I'll ask next time I see him.
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Old 09-20-2016, 02:31 AM   #9
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i dont think dynojets care if you are in 3-4-5 iv tried this once in 4 and 5 and it showed 1hp difference. a dynapack on the other hand will ruin your numbers and dreams if done in the wrong gear.
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