I have been reading the forum quite a while now and thought I would introduce myself. Before I get the turbos, let me tell you my miata story.
Two years ago, I was driving in on my commute and realized it was sucking the life out of me. I had a í93 Honda Accord; a solid car that I had driven for ten years. Get in, put it in D, and get from point A to B. Listen to the radio or make phone calls (hands-free of course), but otherwise the time was lost. I realized that I wanted a vehicle that I would enjoy and would breathe life into that time. I also wanted a car that I could work on with my son.
I researched all sports cars from 1960 onwards. Obviously, I found that the Miata is the best value for performance sports cars of the last 30 years. I found a base í99 miata for a good price. It was a bit tired, but mechanically sound at 120K miles. It had spent most of itís time in Florida, so had substantial UV damage as well as a number of interior aesthetic issues. I replaced fogged headlights, repaired minor collision damage, buffed the paint, replaced torn seat upholstery door panels. I also obtained a hard top for the bad weather months. I addressed some deferred maintenance issues: clutch adjustment, shifter rebuild, installed Bilstein shocks, sport springs, shock tower brace, and 15Ē wheels and rubber. This effort turned back the clock on the carís appearance, and really improved the base handling.
My son really enjoyed all this work. The best moment was when I had the car up on jackstands one day, working on the alternator with my son, and I went in the house to get tool. When I came out, I heard a the disembodied voice of my son from under the car explaining everything to my neighbor who had come out to walk the dog. Since my son is only 7, his explanations were not exactly accurate, but he was full of confidence and enthusiasm.
Having fixed most of the big issues, I have cast my eyes on the engine. The engine runs great, uses very little oil, and has decent compression. I actually think that Mazda hit the power levels about right for an affordable sports car. However, I do think that what is great can be made even better within a given budget. When I first got the car, I saw an old Car & Driver article about supercharging a í99, and liked the performance figures. I also read that Leno has a supercharged Miata. Supercharging seems a reputable way to go, and I even talked to Gary at Track Dog. However, turbocharging has an appeal to me from a basic physics perspective.
Turbocharging is a big commitment, and I want to thank this forum for the wealth of information. I believe that I understand the basic budget/mechanical needs at different power levels. Iím also pretty handy with a soldering iron, so my first step will be to get engine management sorted out. If I can actually build something and run the engine with it, then the rest will follow. Also hope that I can connect with folks in my area that could share their turbo Miata experience