Frank_and_Beans '90 Cheap-Ass Penny Pincher Build - Miata Turbo Forum - Boost cars, acquire cats.

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Old 10-22-2012, 07:52 AM   #1
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Default Frank_and_Beans '90 Cheap-*** Penny Pincher Build

Hi Guys,

Thought I'd start a build thread here.

Some background: Bought a California car (no rusty Michigan POS for me) last year, and have DD'd it ever since. Write up on the road trip from LA to Detroit in a $1400 22 year old car here: https://www.miataturbo.net/general-m...ad-trip-62378/

I'm an engineer by trade, and have done several Honda builds in the past (N/A and supercharged - this is my first turbo build).

As listed in the title - I am really cheap. If I can do something myself and save some buckskis, I will. Even if I have no idea what I am doing.

Parts Scrounging:

-Bought a 96 miata with bad rod bearings for $100
-Bought a good condition 95 Escort GT motor for $200
-Have a brand new Mitsubishi TD04L-14T turbo from Mexican 2.4L Stratus.
-Bought a Shitty Ebay exhaust Manifold $120
-Bought a '99 head on here but got fooked on that deal: https://www.miataturbo.net/miata-par...-%24100-66768/
-Bought an '03 VVT head instead. Did some porting/polishing/matching on it myself, then sent to machine shop for valve job and head skim.
-Bought some shittty Ebay Rods.
-Bought a brand new OEM oil pump from someone on here.
-Bought some Chevy LS truck ignition coils
-Bought some RX-8 Yellow top injectors (420cc)
-Bought a Walbro 255 gph fuel pump
-Picked up a crappy ebay remote mount fuel pressure regulator. This thing looks really sketchy - does anyone have a better (yet still really cheap) suggestion?
-Picked up a 1.6L 6 puck clutch kit from Corksport for $80 on ebay.
-Picked up a front mount intercooler with 2" inlet/outlet from ERAT on here.

The Plan
-Use 96 miata block as Escort block showed more bore wear at the top of piston stroke. Machine shop cleaned and honed the block for stock piston bore.
-Use Escort GT crank, as the Miata crank was boogered up from the bad rod bearings, and the crank keyway was also blown out - maybe the famous loose crank bolt caused the demise of the rod bearings??.
-Use Escort Pistons, as the Miata ones were slightly domed instead of dished. Lower compression.
-Slap in new King bearings.
-The plan is to get the engine in the car, and running with a standalone in N/A trim. I'll drive it for a while like that, then do the turbo swap. I will continue to scrounge more turbo parts in the meantime.

Well, I finally finished slapping the motor together last week, and a friend and I shoehorned it in the car this weekend.

Car is presenting itself and is randy for insertion:


Many, many hours of degreasing leads to a much cleaner (yet still really F-ing dirty) engine bay:


Pic of the engine prior to ramming it into it's hole:


Crap, running out of time. Will post more later.
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Old 10-22-2012, 12:56 PM   #2
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MegaSquirt...
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Old 10-22-2012, 04:01 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RyanRaduechel View Post
MegaSquirt...
+999999

Looks like a pretty cool setup, after all that motor work you should protect your investment.

Good job!
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Old 10-23-2012, 08:11 AM   #4
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Hey guys,

I am aware that engine management isn't a good place to save pennies. I will be using essentially this ECU hardware, but with my own custom software: ECU’s » ProEFI

I am a controls engineer for my day job, so this engine build stuff is a fun distraction.
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Old 10-23-2012, 02:45 PM   #5
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Wait what? You want to save money so you are using a $2000 ECU?

Have you checked the for sale section? Last time I argued with someone there were 4 megasquirts for around $250 there.
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Old 10-23-2012, 03:39 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by thenuge26 View Post
Wait what? You want to save money so you are using a $2000 ECU?
LOL! You mean a $2000 controller in a $1400 car is a bad idea?

The actual controller I will be using is this model: ECM-5554-112-0904-F-M 112 PIN FLASH ENGINE CONTROL MODULE (0904) Detail Page

It has MS3x like features, but for the price of a MS2 (my cost - due to my day job). It is also a fully validated ECU (hot, cold, vibration, etc.) so you won't have to worry about it frying like an MS.

Controls plan:

-36-2 crank wheel from a protege (already installed - just ground off one tooth from the stock 36-1) with stock '96 miata VR sensor.
-VVT control using stock '03 Hall effect sensor (2 + 1 configuration)
-Sequential fuel (already added the extra two wires into the injector harness - just need to run them inside to the ECU connector).
-LS truck coils in sequential mode.
-2 step launch control with a dial potentiometer to adjust the 2 step in real time.
-Mustang MAF sensor for easy tuning.
-Electronic boost control (VS, gear, rpm based).
-Intake solenoid control (I'm using a '99 intake on the '03 head 'cause I bought a '99 intake at the same time I bought the '99 head that I got screwed on).
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Old 10-23-2012, 04:16 PM   #7
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Your time must not be worth very much $$ if you're planning on writing a complete ECU from scratch. Is it really worth saving like $100 by not buying a MSII and v3.57 board? DIY has them on sale built and fully tested for $444.00 right now and someone already took the time to write all the software...


Interested to see the outcome either way.
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Old 10-23-2012, 04:20 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elesjuan View Post
Your time must not be worth very much $$ if you're planning on writing a complete ECU from scratch. Is it really worth saving like $100 by not buying a MSII and v3.57 board? DIY has them on sale built and fully tested for $444.00 right now and someone already took the time to write all the software...


Interested to see the outcome either way.
My supercharged Honda civic is already running using this same ECU, so no probs with the software.

I am intrigued with maybe assembling an MS3 someday just for the experience, but can't justify spending the money for reduced functionality over what I already have available.
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Old 11-02-2012, 06:05 AM   #9
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More updates.

Prior to actually fitting the engine in the car, I decided to make a sweet bracket to hold the GM LS truck coils.

Heres some pics of it:







However, now that the engine is in, I realized that the top of the coils hit the hood. So, gotta start over on the brackets. Crap!
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Old 11-02-2012, 06:17 AM   #10
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Here's some pics after my friend and I just wrangled the motor into the car a couple weeks ago.

Gotta love that front fender huh?


Motor is in - finally sitting level. Had a bitch of a time installing the engine using the MazdaComp engine mounts. Those things are so g*damn stiff that it took forever to line the studs into the subframe. Once they were in the right holes on the subframe, the whole engine was still listing to the side like the Titanic! I had to jack it up from the bottom and try and tilt the engine back to level.


Other side fender also f*cked up.


Engine in the car. Looks like the throttle cable isn't going to work, and I need to come up with a new bracket to hold the GM 3 bar Map sensor. Crap.


Other side of the engine.
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Old 11-02-2012, 06:47 AM   #11
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Moar Pics.

Here's a good shot of what I am planning on using for an oil feed for the turbo. I have a 96 block, so the normal plug on the drivers side of the engine isn't drilled from the factory. Had to come up with a different idea. So, I drilled a hole in the top of the VVT oil fitting, and brazed a steel JIC -4 fitting on it. Looks like it should work well. I'll probably run a stainless hardline from it over to the turbo. Just has a cap on it for now as I'm going to get the engine running N/A first.


Started on the wiring. Lots of extra wires to run. Had a '94 harness to steal some connectors from. Note that I found a plug that fit the VVT solenoid on the '94 harness. Might be the purge valve connector? Coolant re-route also noted in this pic. I used the GM truck upper hose. Doesn't fit all that well - as it's rubbing in a couple spots. I might redo it with something else.


Pic of the front of the engine. I had to replace the IAC and TPS connectors with ones from the '94 harness. The TB is also from a '94. You can also see that I added the VVT solenoid connector here as well. Also note that I moved the coolant temp sensor from the back of the engine to the front due to the coolant re-route. I was going to buy the BEGI coolant blockoff plate for $25, but they wanted another $18 to ship it. Homemade one instead - used 1/4" aluminum and an angle grinder.


Here's the g*y part: stock exhaust manifold for now. Painted with some cheesy parts store ceramic paint. I'm sure it will look like butt 30s after turning the engine on... Also note the wideband O2 sensor in there for tuning.


The ground wire from the engine to the chassis wasn't long enough either, so I went to the parts store and bought a crappy aftermarket generic starter cable. In true form - I forgot to measure the actual length that I needed before going to the parts store, so now it's way too long. Boo for me.


More wiring mess. I was pulling random wires from the '94 harness to extend the wires with the correct colors. I still haven't figured out the best place to run all these wires through the firewall. Gotta figure that out soon.


Better pic showing the GM truck hose for the coolant re-route. I'm not super happy with it.


I had to extend the CAS wiring to get it to fit. Also stole a ganged ground lug from the '94 harness in order to extend the harness grounds in this area. Bolted them to the VVT fitting. Hope it's a decent ground. I still need to wire up the Cam sensor. I had to buy some new Yazaki connectors for the Cam, 'cause I couldn't find a plug on the '94 harness that would fit. I have a coulple extra Cam sensor connectors if some needs one.
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Old 11-02-2012, 09:50 PM   #12
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I just bought a diff and axles from '95. Already bought a clutch type diff from a fellow SCCA rallycrosser (rallycross is the reason for my supercharged Civic). Gonna check out the diff and make sure the clutches look decent, then slap it in the miata housing. Still need a driveshaft though. Anyone got one for less than $100 for this cheap *** penny pincher????

The transaction for the diff was really weird. Dude had an ad on the local craigslist. I called about it a few weeks ago, left a message, and never got a return call. Waited a couple weeks, then noticed the craigslist ad had been renewed. Called up the dude and he wanted $250 for everything (including the driveshaft). Then he said he couldn't find the driveshaft. WTF? How can you lose a driveshaft, I asked. Well he said he has a few acres of car parts, and he lost it. More WTF. He claims the parts only have like 60k on them. I offer the dude $170 for the diff and axles. He balks a bit and says the lowest he can go is two-hundo. I say I'll think about it, but the dude keeps talking. This is where I know he'll go lower. He blabs on about how miatas are worth lots of money blah blah blah. I say $170 is it. Eventually he caves and says come and get it.

Well apparently, this dudes multi acre lot of sh*tty car parts is only like 2 miles from my (also very sh*tty) neighborhood. So, I drive over there in the rain. Dead end street in a very run down/industrial area. I pull in to what looks like the worst organized junkyard I've ever seen. There are random parts everywhere from cars from the '50s to the 90's. And, for some strange reason, an extremely rusty MGB with a hardtop with a forsale sign on it right in the driveway. Bizzare.

There is a toothless junkyard flunky there who apparently can't answer any questions about the diff, and says "I got to wait for the boss". Did I mention it was raining? And 45F? I check out the MGB. It's red/rust colored and looks very out of place in a Detroit junkyard. But wait - this really isn't a junkyard. It's just a bunch of random car parts on a piece of land. Very strange. In any case, the MGB looks like the tinworm has done permanent and unrecoverable damage.

So, after 15 minutes hanging in the cold rain, the "Boss" shows up. Sporting a Mullet, 5 day stubble, and this sweatshirt:



The perfect dude to buy miata parts from, right?

More blah blah blah from this dude. I am not impressed. Just gimme my parts. We finally make the deal, and "Boss" and flunky put the diff in my car. Holy crap, that was weird.
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Old 11-04-2012, 11:12 PM   #13
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Enjoying the build, every time i look at a picture of the engine in the car i see the yellow wires and think you circled something, and I stare at it confused for a few minutes before i realize its a wire.

You mentioned having to move the MAP sensor, why?
Why dont you move it to the back of the manifold and utilize that nipples you have blocked off.
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Old 11-05-2012, 07:20 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Opti View Post
Enjoying the build, every time i look at a picture of the engine in the car i see the yellow wires and think you circled something, and I stare at it confused for a few minutes before i realize its a wire.

You mentioned having to move the MAP sensor, why?
Why dont you move it to the back of the manifold and utilize that nipples you have blocked off.
LOL - I see the problem with the yellow wires now.

As for the MAP sensor - I had made that bracket last year to fit my previous '93 Miata. That car was completely stock, SUPER RUSTY, and I put a standalone controller on it. SO, I added a MAP sensor and bracket to the 1.6L intake in roughly the same spot you see in the pics above. Unfortunately, it looks like the MAP will interfere with the throttle cable on the '99 intake.

So, new bracket is required.

Here's a couple pics of that previous car. It was a Michigan car all of it's life and saw a bunch of harsh winters. The lower rockers were completely missing, the lower framerails were completley missing, and there was a huge rust hole in the floor. I'm really surprised the car didn't just fold in half. So, I rallycrossed it. (The rustiness of this car also explains why I went to the trouble of buying a California car for this build).

Here you can see it getting a little sideways:


First gear WOT with a 1.6L - still hard to spin the tires in dirt:
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