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the_enginear 04-03-2016 10:12 PM

Budget Build ~250hp review of parts/services/longevitiy/costs
20 Attachment(s)
I'm going to try to keep this updated regularly in case anyone is interested. Will try to be as thorough as possible in describing the build and problems I've encountered. This being my first boost build, maybe I will address some concerns that a potential new person might have.

Started with: Bone stock 1990 NA, 170k miles. Included was Tein Street flex coils, FM frame rail braces, a set of new toyo t1r 195/45, and some 15x8 XXR wheels. Price: $1600



Stuff I acquired immediately thereafter:

-MSPNP2 from Begi
-750cc injectors from Begi
-Wideband setup from begi

total: $1404

I have nothing but great things to say about begi. The parts were fairly expensive (in my opinion) But I immediately received personalized emails containing confirmation of payment, tracking numbers etc. All three packages arrived 1-2 days later with no issues. The high quality on BEGI products was evident, as each thing came with great instructions, flow charts, specifications, invoices etc.

- Garrett M24 locally (150$)

Got this from a friend, found that it had a small amount of shaft play and was unable to free the housing bolts or snap ring to clock it, which made it useless to me. Later sold on ebay for $200 in favor of the CXRacing turbo.

-intercooler kit from cx racing
- turbo manifold from cxracing
-GT2554 rep turbo from cxracing

total: $737

The CXRacing manifold is in my opinion the best deal on the market right now as far as turbo manifolds go. the welds are great, it's reinforced where it should be, and it's thick (don't remember actual ga.) Don't use the supplied gasket. However, the turbo has left quite a bit to be desired, as well as the customer service. The gasket is atrocious, the "5 bolt exhaust flange" is a unique bolt pattern which no other company manufactures, and CXRacing doesn't sell a downpipe for the 1.6 unless you purchase an entire turbo kit, nor do they sell a flange other than the one supplied. The flange supplied doesn't have a spot for the wg to open, so the airflow would be extremely inefficient. CXracing supplies no documentation with any of their products other than that it passed their quality check. This means that in order to figure out what each thread size is on the turbo and anything else they sell you (no bolts/nuts are usually included) you have to take a trip to the local hardware store, where they probably don't have the metric size you were looking for etc. Huge pain in my opinion. It took 5 calls and 3 days of not getting called back to talk to a tech at cxracing who was able to provide me with the thread sizes and specs on the turbo (oil restrictors etc). I had no complaint about the intercooler kit other than the clamps supplied are pretty junky quality but seemed to work fine. I would NOT buy anything from cxracing ever again except a manifold, and even that might be a gamble.

The first thing done was install the coilovers. Getting the front coilovers off was kind of a pain for me and I ended up cutting them off, knowing they would never be used again. There were some great tutorials explaining the most efficient way to go about getting them off if this is not an ideal approach for you. I initially had the car lowered too much, but ended up raising it up in favor or a more fun driving experience.


Removed the p/s and a/c lines, and associated equipment and did a loop on the ps pump. Stripped interior. Removed the dash, heater core, stereo, etc. Attempted to clean up the wiring some and only include what was necessary.



Installed the mspnp2 & the afr guage, and got the car set up and running. No problems there to mention. Very simple installs.

Ordered a cheap $20 switch plate off ebay and wired up a keyless ignition using 3 relays (can find my schematic if anyone is interested)


Installed a cheap ebay steering wheel. I wouldn't recommend doing this, and if hadn't made the foolish decision, I would have purchased a more expensive wheel in the $200 dollar range in favor of higher quality. The ebay wheel is the worst quality I have ever seen from an ebay product. Cost was $63.

Ordered Kirkey aluminum seats from Summit. 15 wide, 10 fixed layback angle. I find the seats to be pretty comfortable, as long as you install some foam on the butt part. - total $254. Have yet to fabricate up a bracket for the seats.

Installing all the parts from the cxracing stuff went well. Picked up braided hose locally and ordered fittings for the turbo. The only way I could find to do it with the weird thread on the block's oil outlet was to go from m10x1.5>AN4, to ad AN4 double female line, to an AN4 to 1/8npt female, to an 1/8npt to AN4 .050 restrictor. The problem was finding an AN4 to AN4 restrictor.

This is what's happened over the past 6 months. I have only a few hours a week to really work on the car, so it's been going slow and I haven't taken many pictures. I made this thread as an attempt to start logging work done better and maybe someone else will take interest.





Things that need to be done before the car is really up to snuff and will be followed in this build thread are:

Custom 3" exhaust
welding rear diff
gauge installations
more durable clutch
frame rails
coolant reroute

Will of course be posting dyno sheets when completed.
Total cost to date everything included: $4,445
Target HP is 250whp.

Comment with suggestions, criticize my work, and let me know what you guys think. Thanks for looking.

Savington 04-03-2016 10:26 PM

The best deal on the market is an MKTurbo setup. CXRacing makes nothing but garbage.

the_enginear 04-03-2016 10:38 PM

I have to disagree with you, but only with regards to the manifold. If you were to examine it in person, you'd definitely agree it's not that bad! That's part of the reason I started this thread though. Another fellow I know is around 11k into his build using quality parts, so it'll be interesting to me to document the actual longevity of this setup, since I'm sure most people on here will give it a hard time.

90 Turbo 04-03-2016 10:41 PM

Sounds like it will be a fun car.
The 1.6 is going to have to be pushed hard to make 250whp.
I would guess you will need a garrett 2560 or larger.
could maybe pick one up that's Journal bearing for cheap. Will probably need forged rods too
I am not sure what your end use is for the car but if it is the track people sure talk good about the track speed inconel studs for the turbo. You might search ebay for a used cast manifold from fm or begi.
Start slow on boost psi.

the_enginear 04-03-2016 10:51 PM

You can tell just by handling and looking that the CXracing turbo is of terrible quality. If (when) its life is over, I'll be upgrading to a name brand turbo. There is no specific end use for this car. I'm just doing it as a learning experiment. My goal is to push 250hp and have less than $5000 into the car total and have it's sole purpose being fun to drive. I think it will be a challenge to make the budget though. I did initially look at used cast manifolds from begi/fm, they were a few bucks more than the cxr one. I did quite a bit of reading about the cxr manifold, that it has been improved in the past few years etc and decided I would just give it a shot. Using personal knowledge of welding, machining etc, it does look pretty good. If 250hp kills the 1.6, that's no problem either, and I'm half expecting it. I would like to build the internals at some point anyway.

acedeuce802 04-04-2016 09:48 AM

Your pictures don't work for me. Is this the manifold here? cxracing.com: CXRacing Turbo + Intercooler kit For 89-93 Mazda Miata 1.6L Engine

If so, it's junk. It's not been improved, it's not going to last. Their newer 1.8 manifold seems decent, but it's not been proven out yet.

shuiend 04-04-2016 09:51 AM

Yeah the fact that you don't actually post any good pictures of the manifold and downpipe is a bit sad.

Pictures are also not working this morning. Last night they were loading for me, but nothing today.

Also can you get better pictures of the turbo and the sizing on it? I got a CXRacing t3 turbo last week and based on the measurements I took it will spool horribly on a 1.8 and I would be scared to see what it does on a 1.6.

18psi 04-04-2016 09:53 AM

dumb people always pay twice

pdexta 04-04-2016 10:28 AM

Interested to see where this goes. For a budget build you're dropping a lot of money in places I'd try to save on and saving in places I'd spend on.

Don't go buy the most expensive frame rails available and spend $350 buying a coolant reroute when you can piece one together much cheaper. Then buy a $89 Stage 7 Ebay clutch which will hold just long enough to explode your welded 1.6 diff.

18psi 04-04-2016 10:36 AM

You can make your own bad choices. Just don't try to make a how-to about it

aidandj 04-04-2016 11:09 AM


Originally Posted by the_enginear (Post 1320656)
I have to disagree with you, but only with regards to the manifold. If you were to examine it in person, you'd definitely agree it's not that bad!.

HAhahahahahhahaha fuckin idiot. Please don't post useless bullshit drivel again. Learn to not be retarded ad come back.

I had a cxracing manifold crack in 3 places on a 4 hour drive.

shuiend 04-04-2016 11:19 AM


Originally Posted by aidandj (Post 1320733)
HAhahahahahhahaha fuckin idiot. Please don't post useless bullshit drivel again. Learn to not be retarded ad come back.

I had a cxracing manifold crack in 3 places on a 4 hour drive.

Was it the newer style? I don't know if they redid the 1.6 along with the 1.8. Still haven't seen pictures of what he got, so I don't want to pass judgment until I see some pictures. Him just saying it is good though is just drivel.

the_enginear 04-04-2016 01:06 PM

Hey guys, I appreciate the feedback, even the negative comments. I do not appreciate being called an idiot though :) I will definitely be taking some pictures of all the components, as it's coming off to plumb lines and make a a wastegate bracket. I'm not sure if that's the same manifold or not, but it looks similar. All I have to say about the manifold is that having a bachelors in mech. engineering and quite a bit of welding/machining experience, it seems solid. Definitely not super high quality, but there aren't any glaring flaws in the work. I will be completely accepting of the situation if it does crack, and then will upgrade to the appropriate manifold.

Also, I just want to reiterate that this is an experiment, and I am expecting have problems and replace parts if they fail or aren't up to par either way. To Pdexta, the frame rails, coilovers, wheels & tires were all bnib included with the car, and I definitely do not plan on purchasing any sort of kit to reroute coolant. Will get it updated with pics when I get a chance.

When the stock clutch takes a dump, the FM happy meal is what will be replacing it. When the rear diff takes a dump, a welded 1.8 open will be taking it's place.

aidandj 04-04-2016 01:09 PM


Originally Posted by shuiend (Post 1320738)
Was it the newer style? I don't know if they redid the 1.6 along with the 1.8. Still haven't seen pictures of what he got, so I don't want to pass judgment until I see some pictures. Him just saying it is good though is just drivel.

You mean the bundle of snakes that cord is running? That thing is like $500+ dollars. This guy got his turbo+intercooler kit+manifold for $700. Which means its the junk one.

the_enginear 04-04-2016 01:22 PM

Yeah I do not have the bundle of snakes. This is the shitty one. There's conflicting information as to whether or not it was updated several years ago. This one in particular is made with 15 gauge 304

shuiend 04-04-2016 01:24 PM

I am betting he got this one. The one with the IC is a few hundred more.

18psi 04-04-2016 01:25 PM

good luck with that. I would think a MECHANICAL ENGINEER would know how to spell ENGINEER, but I'm just a dumb person in health care

aidandj 04-04-2016 01:25 PM

15 gauge is nothing. Thats less than half the size of the standard schedule 40 used for manifolds.

18psi 04-04-2016 01:27 PM

but bro. he inspected it. he's an enginear

aidandj 04-04-2016 01:31 PM


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