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Old 05-13-2014, 09:41 AM   #1
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Default I lied a bit

Hi Guys and Gals

Not sure why or how, it was all a bit sudden.... only just the last few days really. A friend of mine was selling a very old American spec Miata, it has 200 and odd thousand on the clock and rust to match. I live in Malta and the prices of used cars here (even rust buckets) is stupid, so I got to looking up the equivalent prices in the UK. What became quickly apparent was the incredible value for money that seems to be out there. I own a Triumph Tiger 1050 which I have just breathed on a bit, and for the first time in my life I got involved in remapping the ECU. The result just blew me away (I am on the Tiger1050 forum with the same name). About 25 years ago I built a formula27 kit car the hard way, by cutting metal from incomplete plans. It was a bit easier then, because I had CAD, CNC machines and an ace welder about me, but even so I made pretty much every bit myself. I am getting a bit long in the tooth and not sure how much longer I will be riding bikes, but the thought of supercharging a little MX5 as my next project, somehow lit my fire, (always assuming that I can fit myself in one). So being a bit of a pedant, brace yourselves for some silly questions, particularly if you have already done one yourself. Sourcing bits is a nightmare here, so I have to check it out thouroughly first, then buy it mostly online. Shame really because the bit I most enjoyed about building the kit car, was going down to the scrappy

So my plan is

1 See if I fit in my friends rust bucket, all bets are off if I don't.

2 Look out for a Mk2 with a good history, no major chassis rust, probably 1.8? should have ABS and limited slip diff ideally, LHD might be a bonus for touring outside Malta.

3 Get the bits together for supercharging, I fancy going down the Mercedes route

Oh yes, the lie, well as you gather I don't even own an MX5 yet, but I had to say I did just to join up and pick your brains. So hope I am forgiven, because I will be pleased to hear any advice from you guys (and gals).
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Old 05-13-2014, 09:48 AM   #2
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you will find very little love for superchargers here.

most people will fit in a miata with a bit of ingenuity. cutting foam out of the seat, cutting the rear humps to drop the seat lower, etc.

Welcome to the forum.
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Old 05-13-2014, 10:09 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Track View Post
you will find very little love for superchargers here.

Welcome to the forum.
And that's the main reason why I joined, I am interested in finding out why? I am just a piece of blotting paper at the moment, so I'll go off and read until I know enough to be dangerous and can make an educated decision on which way to go.
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Old 05-13-2014, 11:11 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by bigrog View Post
And that's the main reason why I joined, I am interested in finding out why?
Mostly because we're a bunch of crotchety old bigots who are set in our ways.

Actually, there's not one single answer.

Probably the largest contributing factor is political. Historically speaking, those companies which are best-known within the MX5 aftermarket for supplying turbocharger systems have gained strong positive reputations for being run by people who are technically competent, well-versed in engineering, electronics, engine management, mettalurgy, etc., and are just generally good people to work with.

By comparison, the supercharger market within the MX5 community has tended to be populated by bullshit artists who outsource all of their engine-management design, don't have an especially good understanding of the product that they are selling, over-hype their claims (and, in some cases, lie outright), and are in general just better at marketing than engineering.

As a result, supercharging, as a general concept, has picked up some of that slimy reputation.

Then, there is some technical justification as well. Superchargers, especially positive-displacement blowers, do have a performance edge in drag racing owing to their instantaneous off-the-line power delivery. Of course, drag racing isn't really acknowledged as a legitimate motorsport by most of the MX5 community, partly because we're elitist ******** and partly because our cars aren't very good at it. We tend to look at the efficiency and performance of forced induction systems across a rather broader range, and here, the greatly increased efficiency of an exhaust-driven turbocharger places it well ahead of a comparable supercharger system in terms of HP-per-dollar, torque-per-BMEP, and so on.

There's a lot more that can be written, but that's basically the short version. Turbochargers are slightly more efficient than superchargers (more power per dollar spent), and the companies which have historically sold supercharger systems to the MX5 community (especially those based on the Eaton M45 / MP62) have tended to be kind of sleazy to deal with.
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Old 05-13-2014, 06:58 PM   #5
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+1 for best written thupercharger v. turbocharger response I've ever read.
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Old 05-14-2014, 01:22 AM   #6
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bigrog, congrats on signing up at the best site on the web!
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