Six months ago I bought an '04 MSM as a reward for winning a big business deal. I've put about 3K on it, and just hit 60K. I'm on the north shore of Boston. I used to work in the car biz, sales then general sales manager at Charles River Saab, years before GM croaked them ('01-'06 or so). I like to think I was one of the good guys in the business, and I think (hope?) most of my customers would have agreed! I've been out of that for 9-10 years now. I had been driving a modified '97 Saab convertible since new, which died of a cracked oil pan last March at 187K. That car started down the slippery slope of performance enhancements with a cat-back exhaust and eventually had an ECU reflash, custom turbo, IC, downpipe, springs, poly bushings, and limited slip. It was replaced with a leased Ford Explorer for work as I need to tow sailboats (I'm now marketing & sales for a racing sailboat builder). The MSM is a nice anti-SUV, which I was desperately craving. My 16 y.o. daughter got her learner's permit in February and is learning to drive a manual gearbox in the Miata:
I've been taking care of the necessary power bolt-ons for the MSM after devouring the Mazda-speed.com forums. So far: Joe's MAF relocation intake with MBC, eBay IC, and currently the car is in the barn on jack stands, soaking up PB Blaster and waiting for a warm day in MA to install a new Flyin' Miata downpipe and eBay FM catback. While I have the underside apart I'll drain the gear oil and put in the Ford unicorn tears. I've got tools and I'm not afraid to use them! I'm looking forward to wearing out these tires so I can put something better on. I did pick up a $200 set of D-Force 15" spec Miata wheels which I might use, though 1 or 2 need to be straightened. They were intended as winter wheels.
A high-value, fun, quick, reliable road car is the goal. My girlfriend doesn't understand the car addiction but she humors me, as long as I don't do anything too racecar-y. No plans for track, probably no autox. I'm a divorced single dad with 2 kids, so budget matters. I'm $1300 into mods and $9500 into the car, or 14% of the purchase price on mods. With these bolt-ons, others have shown WHP and WTQ in the 190s. I'm not looking to make too much more power, but I would like to safely tune out the hesitation in the stock MSM ECU and maybe break into the 200 club. I don't need to be pushing 250, the low end of in between will be fine.
Because I'm "frugal" I've just today picked up an Xede piggyback from another member here, for a whopping $225. I know it's not state of the art, but I really have a tough time justifying the cash for a Megasquirt 3 at 10% of the cost of the car. So I'm going to be looking for some help with the Xede, once I add a wideband and plug it in. There doesn't seem to be a lot of info out there on the ECU boards. But if I can get even 60% of the MS performance for 20% of the price, I'll be quite satisfied. If it sucks or I can't make it work, I'll flip it again. I have a buddy about an hour away just finishing installation of his own AWD dyno in his garage, he's offered to help me with tuning.
Stand by for questions!