So. This being my first real post outside of my intro, and after looking at my post count vs. join date, I've been a lurker here for a while, absorbing all this hive-mind has to offer, including tons of searching - I also talk with the Flandereseses over at m.net. I haven't, though, been fully able to correlate what I've learned with some of my specific questions, thus, I present to you my queries for you to cogitate
A little bit of background: the car is a super-clean '99 10AE that I've owned for almost two years. Almost all of the money I've spent on it in that time has been maintenance, and its been a dead reliable toy/no-longer DD with 96k on it currently. I bought the car because I liked the trim/color of the 10AE (yeah...) without even realizing that it was a great base for boost (motor, 6spd, torsen, etc.).
It has things like stiff motor mounts, poly diff bushings, Koyo rad, HD bar, and waiting to install FM suspension, Sparco seats and harnesses, and planning to get 9" 6ULs.
I'm still trying to swallow the pill that you can spend more on turbo parts for these cars than what you paid for the car itself without batting an eye. But, I love what its done for me so far, how simple and (so far) cheap they are the work on, and its my "size" of car so, even if I put absurd amounts of $ into it, it would still be cheaper than an Elise or 'Vette or something that would be exorbitantly more expensive to have fun with.
I'm OK/still learning with a wrench, nothing stellar but I can do all the fluids, did the brakes, little maintenance stuff here and there.
What I want out of the car
is to have a nice, reliable
all around-er and that I can fart around in on the street once in a while, auto-x, and eventually do HPDE's in. The first two are easy, but the last one is where I'm hung up. Interestingly, the best discussion I've yet read came from here:
You'll see some familiar names in there. The most interesting thing I took away from that thread was
If you were trying to build a reliable turbo car 2 years ago, you were doing your own R&D - in 2011, a track-reliable 250whp will be an off-the-shelf item. That's progress.
Now (flame suit donned), but given that I'm not a super-ridiculous mechanic or fabricator, I'm looking hard at the FMII/Hydra kit. I'd likely forgo the Hydra if there was a '99-compatible MSPNP (any word? I know there are parallel/custom solutions, but still) though I like the idea of full vendor support, and I know from experience that they're awesome at that.
Would you say that such a kit is an example of Savington's theory?
(With a brace of supporting hardware like the optional locking hardware, exhaust brace, my Koyo rad, a possible reroute, oil cooler/ducting, vented hood etc) I know tracking a car is hard, but I'm led to believe that it can be done reliably. I look at Absurdflow and ARTech **** everyday, but I think such exotic hot parts are a little beyond my needs right now.
Finally, if you have done this, would you say its worth it?
I know what I said earlier about comparative costs, but its still not chump change we're talking about. A turbo kit on track would definitely benefit from nice, expensive coilovers, big brakes, etc etc. that adds to the costs. I know the formula - take what you think it'll cost you, then double it. How rewarding was the experience of turbo'ing your car for you? Is the performance-per-dollar on par with the grins it gives you?
I've poked around and ridden in a turbo Miata or two, but I just want to get some real world perspective before I spend megabucks on a cheap little Japanese car. Thanks