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Old 05-10-2016, 09:51 PM   #1
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Default Scott's 2004 VR MSM

Hello! Time for a proper introduction - I'm Scott, currently living in Irmo SC (10 min North of Columbia), and I joined the Miata club a few weeks ago with a 2004 Mazdaspeed in Velocity Red, just shy of 80k miles. I'm a car nut through and through, and have had a variety of cars but I can't resist the siren song of turbocharged cars...which is how I settled on a Mazdaspeed as my first miata!

This particular car came to me mostly stock - it had 17" Momo Corse wheels, a hard dog roll bar, ractive muffler, double din radio, and an unbranded aftermarket shift **** (can anyone ID it?).
Plans: I'd like to end up somewhere around 225 rwhp and keep it mostly stock looking. I've been quietly lurking through the forum for the past few weeks reading up on all the typical mods and I'll likely follow the path laid out by many others on the forum - intake, exhaust, intercooler, ecu, and injectors. I would even love to switch over to ethanol down the road, though it's not easy to find here.

I had the fortune of meeting a few of the Flyin Miata guys at the Mitty at Road Atlanta a few weeks ago and all I can say is wow! Looks like they supply some great quality parts and have done their homework on plug and play solutions. I even got to ride around the track in a ND with their big brake package - it was impressive!

So that's my long winded welcome! I look forward to contributing soon but for now I'm content with lurking - someone has likely asked any questions I have at this point

Attached are a few pics of the car as I purchased it.
-Scott




Attached Thumbnails
Scott's 2004 VR MSM-scxkb7.jpg   Scott's 2004 VR MSM-1690pld.jpg   Scott's 2004 VR MSM-snjxg2.jpg   Scott's 2004 VR MSM-nmmb0z.jpg  

Last edited by scottaj1unc; 05-10-2016 at 11:05 PM.
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Old 05-10-2016, 11:02 PM   #2
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Default Mod #1 boost gauge

First mod for the MSM - a proper boost gauge. While I love the look of the speedhut gauges, I went with a more budget friendly alternative. I followed some posts from the forum here and mounted it on the center driver side eyeball vent. I went a little heavy on wrapping the gauge with electrical tape so it wouldn't move, and now the vent doesn't lock in, but otherwise I think it came out great!


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Scott's 2004 VR MSM-2mfhwrs.jpg  
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Old 05-11-2016, 05:38 PM   #3
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Default Mod #2 stock wheels

Since I bought the miata, it's been riding on some 17" Momo Corse wheels.

A bit of an origin story - I was originally introduced to the Mazdaspeed Miata back when they first came out, when my girlfriend at the time bought a new Velocity Red one. I loved the fact that it came with nice looking wheels from RacingHart from the factory.

I've always liked how the MSM looked with stock wheels, so I wanted to return mine to factory wheels. I picked up a set that need a little love, but I think they look much better than the Momo wheels, if only due to their darker color. So back to factory appearance for now!


Attached Thumbnails
Scott's 2004 VR MSM-o0ueti.jpg   Scott's 2004 VR MSM-6hkv15.jpg  
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Old 05-11-2016, 06:05 PM   #4
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Default Mod #3 FM full intake kit

Finally time for a bit more noise! I purchased the full Flyin Miata intake kit and installed it - it probably took more time to disassemble the stock intake than to install the new parts.
And wow does it deliver! It sounds so much better, and with the boost turned up to 9.5psi, it's got some extra oomph as well. Doesn't hurt that it looks good to boot. I'm really impressed with how it sounds, it's much more in line with how I think a performance oriented turbocharged car should sound. Makes me smile just thinking about how great it is!

Stock:


FM intake installed:
Attached Thumbnails
Scott's 2004 VR MSM-xfc4s5.jpg   Scott's 2004 VR MSM-9v8iro.jpg  
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Old 05-11-2016, 06:36 PM   #5
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So what's next for the Miata? I recently picked up a full turbo-back FM exhaust, so that will be the next mod to get installed. I'm looking for an intercooler and a Hydra to round things out. After those get purchased and installed it should be a riot to drive!
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Old 05-11-2016, 08:20 PM   #6
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The MSM definitely NEEDS an aftermarket ECU but you should consider a Megasquirt instead, you'll get much more support here and the MSefi.com MegaSquirt Forum - Index page forum.
~5 years ago the Hydra may have been a good choice but that's not the case today and you're relying on a single vendor for support.
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Old 05-11-2016, 10:00 PM   #7
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Thanks for the recommendation - I certainly have a lot to learn about ECU's. The Hydra appeals to me based on the self learning type feature and being more plug and play. But the biggest issue is that I'm afraid to tune my own car - in my mind it's easy to turn a car into a large paperweight by trying to tune it myself. If I can find someone local to me that knows more about the MegaSquirt I'd be much more comfortable about using one.
Looks like I have some more research to do!
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Old 05-11-2016, 10:07 PM   #8
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Rule of thumb with aftermarket ECUs, especially if you don't intend to do anything yourself, is to find a good tuner and use whatever ECU they recommend.

Try and find a tuner who has worked with Miatas before too (it helps if they know the quirks of the car as well as the ECU).
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Old 05-11-2016, 10:21 PM   #9
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Sound advice. I met a local guy running a full big enchilada who has a local Hydra tuner, but would love to meet someone running a MS with some knowledge or the name of a tuner in the area.
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Old 05-28-2016, 10:12 PM   #10
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Default Mod #4 FM intercooler

The latest part to go on is this Flyin Miata intercooler. Took a few hours to install but it looks great and help with the high temps we see here in the summer.
I ended up ditching the horn mountbracket and mounting the horn to the frame right where the bracket used to mount. For the passenger side mounting of the PS lines I ditched the bracket, flipped the PS line mount upside down and mounted it to where the bracket used to mount. For the drivers side I flipped the PS line mount and reused the bracket, mounting it to an unused tapped hole in the radiator support.
Mounts up super solid and really fills out the bumper nicely!

Comparison of the stock IC to the FM one:


Install pics:




More to come! Still need to get my turbo back exhaust installed - hopefully that will be the next installment!
Attached Thumbnails
Scott's 2004 VR MSM-2196ffb.jpg   Scott's 2004 VR MSM-s6nddy.jpg   Scott's 2004 VR MSM-2e5nuo6.jpg   Scott's 2004 VR MSM-jgmm3p.jpg  
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Old 08-15-2016, 11:18 PM   #11
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Default Mod #5 new wheels (again)

It's been a while since I last updated the build of my MSM, so the next few installments will come in quick succession.
I've heard a lot about how much better our cars ride with smaller diameter wheels and a bigger sidewall so I decided to switch things up with a dedicated set of "fun" wheels and tires. I went with 16x7 Rota circuit 8 wheels and Toyo Proxes tires. The combination looks great and handles much better! I put these on just before making the trip to deals gap for the annual Miatas at the gap meet. The tires provided much more grip and the ride was quite a bit better.



Looking good! I'll have a write up soon on the full turbo back exhaust, deatchwork injectors, and ecu install.
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Old 08-19-2016, 12:45 PM   #12
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Thank you for ditching those ugly wheels that the car came with (Momos). The rotas are really 16s? They kinda look like 15s. Nice start.
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Old 08-20-2016, 09:52 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MiataMan00 View Post
Thank you for ditching those ugly wheels that the car came with (Momos). The rotas are really 16s? They kinda look like 15s. Nice start.
Yes they are actually 16x7 - I think the short spokes and lip on the wheel make them look a bit smaller than they are. I'll snap some more pic of the setup at today's cars and coffee. The Proxes are 205/45/16.
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Old 08-20-2016, 10:20 PM   #14
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Snapped a few more pics of the new wheels at this morning's Columbia cars and coffee


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Old 08-20-2016, 10:22 PM   #15
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Default Mod #6 Hydra and tune

Finally had a spot open up at a local shop to install my flyin miata 2.5" turbo back exhaust and Hydra nemesis 2.7. Shout out to Panic Motorsports! I had them put the car on the Dyno before the mods they were doing, and below are the results. For this, the only mods were: full FM intake, manual boost controller set to 9.5 psi, and a no name catback. See below for "stock" run charts but it made 155hp and 144tq on a Dynomite.

The car came with a muffler shop special exhaust system - a mix of 2.25" and 2.5" pipes, race spec with crush bent curves a no name muffler, and a ractive oval tip. To their credit it actually sounds good! But I'm glad to see it go. In its place went a Flyin Miata downpipe and catback. It's certainly not loud , doesn't drone, and sounds like a grown up tuner car, something that could have been factory.
While the car was in Panic's care, they also installed Deatchwork 750cc injectors, removed the MAF and replaced it with a piece of tubing, and installed new plugs (NGK ZFR7F-11 which made more power than the FM recommended colder 6F plugs on my car, proven on the Dyno).

The big day is finally here! The car was strapped down to the Dyno to dial in the tune with some power pulls.


"Stock" results 155hp 153ft/lb tq:


Tuned HP comparison to "stock" +24rwhp:


Tuned torque comparison to "stock" +29ft/lb tq:


End results: the MSM made 179hp and 173ft/lb tq to the wheels on 11psi of boost. I'm very pleased with that and it feels like a whole new car! It should've come from the factory like this! The torque curve is amazing, with a gain of almost 20ft/lb in the mid range. This makes it a whole lot more fun to drive around town and it pulls like a freight train. Boost builds rapidly and holds through the revs.

One interesting note is the shape of the hp and torque curves - the turbo clearly runs out of steam around 6300-6400 rpm. Initially I wanted to raise the rev limiter to 7000 but after seeing the data, there's no more power to gain, so I've kept the rev limiter at 6500. A bigger turbo might be in the works in the future but for now, I'm content with the new power levels!

Last edited by scottaj1unc; 08-20-2016 at 11:18 PM. Reason: Double post
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Old 08-20-2016, 11:46 PM   #16
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Default Miatas at the gap

I had the pleasure of attending the 20th anniversary Miatas at the Gap event this year, and boy was it a blast! I've already made reservations to attend next year. Below are some of the highlights, but this was one of the most fun Motorsports events I've ever been to. It was great meeting other fellow Miata enthusiasts and talking about their experiences upgrading and owning Miatas. There was everything from drag to drift setups, with some interesting motor swaps (Honda k series, GM ecotec, Honda v6, GM LFX and LSX). It was a great event, and the roads in the mountains of NC/TN were a blast. If you ever have the opportunity, you should go!

Annual Dam photo


Beautiful drag prepped Miata


My group at the scenic overlook on the Dragon


On top of the Fontana Dam:


Overall it was a great trip, and I got to meet Turbo Tom who brought Thunderbolt, the LS3 MSM, which is the cleanest swap I've ever seen! Looked factory it was done so well. I can't wait to go back!
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