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Old 11-08-2014, 09:09 PM   #1
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Default Gutted Rusty Beater (with a Heater) Build

So here begins the story of a college student who wants to go fast, spends too much money, and has too much fun.

picked up this innocent looking 1991 Miata w/ 161k on it from some old guy in twin cities in November 2013.








sure there was some rust on it in the typical spots on the quick glance when i bought it, but it had a hardtop so for what he was asking I figured "ehh the rust cant be that bad".




first things first. The mazdarati (as it has became known by all my friends) needed some maintenance work. New Plugs, wires, VC Gasket, and while I was at it I cleaned up the bay and painted some things.. deleted the A/C (that leaked throughout the entire history of the car from its records), and deleted the PS.. I also tucked a few things out of the way and removed some unneeded brackets





for a while I was content. the car was running better with the new plugs/wires and the engine bay was leagues better than it was before in terms of appearance.. still slow as hell, but progress none-the-less




that is until my buddy suggested.. "hey lets do a entire wire tuck".. I drunkenly responded with a "thats a great idea".. then it led to this





*insert about 20 hours of screwing around with wiring and swearing later*




and my engine bay now looked like this.. there are things I'd do differently, but for my first tuck ever.. I'll take it





at this point, the term "screw it, i dont need this anymore. Its weight reduction because racecar" became an ever more common term being thrown around at this car, but to become a racecar i also realized it needed to get faster




so then I got a deal on this.. and by some stroke of god, my ghetto rigged fuel system of a boost setup didnt blow up the motor for the 2 weeks I had it installed..





from my previous boosted car experience, i used my better judgement and sold the M45 kit for a profit because well... you'll see in a simple scroll of a mouse




turns out its normally nice having a good handling car before you make it fast. This car had a conglomeration of head-shaker's going on under the body.. we had a broken endlink in the rear, two broken springs in the rear, mismatched front struts, a blown rear strut, and a new spring installed on the front drivers side.. needless to say, at that point in time I'd compare it to driving a yacht. it would seem pretty logical to just buy a suspension kit for the car and install it before making the car fast.. so thats what I did.. FM had a good deal going on for the holidays on their Koni package, so I took them up on the offer..





in the meantime when I was waiting for the items to ship, i was enjoying the winter weather with my RWD toy






once parts arrived, I went to go loosen the bolts underneath the car and pretty much instantly regretted the "eh the rust cant be that bad" portion of my decision making on the car





long story short, doing what should've been a simple job turned into this expensive mess. There was a lot of cutting involved sadly






the bright side was, the underbody coating seemed to be doing its job well.. solid metal is a rare sight on this car, but its there where I need it






the quick suspension build turned into a rather extensive refurbish of nearly everything under the car..





insert a month of working on the car in my free time around class and work along with way too much money and viola!








figured while I was at it I could play with some appearance ideas, so i shaved the tails, tinted them, and painted the finish panel






so then for the first time since there was snow, I was able to drive the car. Wow was the difference in handling night and day between the suspension and brake work.. I had to take some celebratory pics of the mazdarati







*insert a few months of being happy the car runs again*





decided I needed some tires to go with my suspension setup.. found these TR C1's for sale on craigslist with new Z2's for a price I couldnt refuse.. they were purple, but hell its a girls car anyways might as well rock the look full force.







again, the handling dynamics of the car was changed full swing for the better from what was 8 year old all seasons. considering the all seasons were that bad, i decided to finish them off. what's the point of having a beater if you dont beat on it!?





pretty sure the VLSD hates me, but it can suck one.




while I was working over the summer, I also knew that the car would one day become fast again.. so I decided to go the correct (non-ghetto) route and build this.. got it up and running on the car N/A so I had something to do during my 1.5 hour round trip commute to work. Yay tuning






spent the rest of the summer going to AutoX events and lapping days while still DD'ing the car about 700 miles a week. Can anyone say best beater ever?! Not only did I have to put angry eyes on it to make it look more aggressive, but I also decided to cut the rear bumper to look better as well. I mean, just look at that rusty stock rustoleum silver catback







summer sadly came to an end, so back to college i went for my final year. Everything fit! who says miatas arent practical







after talking with some college friends, I now managed to track down a nice desk ornament






and the current work is working on removing all the optional equipment for a Daily Driven car.. getting close but not quite done removing things. It still has heat, so as a Wisconsin daily driven car thats all I need.






more updates to follow, hope keep learning from you guys on here. MT has been a flipping amazing resource for when I'm confused or frustrated and in need of a laugh while still being educational. Now if one of you would just give me a deal on a T25 setup (minus ECU and Turbo) that'd be great..
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Gutted Rusty Beater (with a Heater) Build-9_zps8111747f.jpg   Gutted Rusty Beater (with a Heater) Build-20131027_100145_richtonehdr_zps044f0f24.jpg  
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Old 11-08-2014, 10:46 PM   #2
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I like this thread!

And thanks for the input on the wire tuck, I was considering trying over winter
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Old 11-08-2014, 11:13 PM   #3
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I like this thread!

And thanks for the input on the wire tuck, I was considering trying over winter
Thanks!

I can honestly say I would do it again, but there are a few ways I'd change how I routed some of the wiring given the chance to do it again. I did about 95% of it in the course of a weekend and had the nightmare case of it not starting after I was done only to figure out I accidentally pulled the injector fuse instead of airbag.. talk about a relief..
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Old 11-23-2014, 08:51 PM   #4
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don't mind the mess of wiring that I need to clean up yet, but I finished up some interior work.


tombstone blanking plate installed
new upper and lower shift boots
deleted all unnecessary wiring from the dash harness (radio, illumination, cruise control, etc)

Still have heat and power windows for that Daily Driven convenience factor




still need to delete the antenna wiring
need to wire up the blower motor and power windows to toggle switches as well.

any clever ideas on where to mount the megasquirt? currently debating bolting it along the trans tunnel near where its pictured above, but I guess I dont see that as being ideal. The heater core still being installed limits some good places that I've typically seen it mounted.
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Old 11-23-2014, 09:01 PM   #5
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any clever ideas on where to mount the megasquirt? currently debating bolting it along the trans tunnel near where its pictured above, but I guess I dont see that as being ideal. The heater core still being installed limits some good places that I've typically seen it mounted.
Why not behind the passenger seat like on later years? You could even get the molded carpet to cover it if you wanted to hide it.
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Old 11-23-2014, 10:55 PM   #6
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I thought about moving it behind the seat, but that would require extending all the wires which would suck some serious dong..
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Old 11-24-2014, 10:14 AM   #7
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Quote:
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I thought about moving it behind the seat, but that would require extending all the wires which would suck some serious dong..
We're all about that here.

Welcome to the forum. You seem to be a DIYer so I'm sure you will do well here. Great intro, but you forgot something.
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Old 11-24-2014, 02:32 PM   #8
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touche sir

I think i may try welding a little bracket onto the dash bar above where the glovebox use to be and use that for mounting purposes to keep everything tucked up and away.

currently working on 3D printed HVAC blanking plate design so I can use that as my switch panel for the blower motor switch, power window switches, easy access MS USB port, Volt readout, EBC switch, and dual USB charging port. I'll be printing off a few other various brackets and blanking plates more than likely as well. In-house 3D printing FTW.

forgetting something? that's impossible

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Old 11-24-2014, 04:58 PM   #9
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In-house 3D printing FTW.
Those are revolutionizing manufacturing. Lucky guy...

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forgetting something? that's impossible
I'll give you a hint, it's one of the symbols of our forum.
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Old 11-24-2014, 09:39 PM   #10
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Here kitty kitty....
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Old 11-27-2014, 11:40 PM   #11
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Turbo Manifold and Downpipe bought, should be here by Monday.

Any recommendations for which BOV and IC "kit" to buy? I'm on a fairly tight budget, so it doesnt need to be anything fancy or bolt-on. I'm perfectly fine with doing some DIY. I am thinking of just using a universal cxracing IC kit and modify the piping appropriately to make the hotside and coldside each 1-piece parts (if possible). As far as BOV is concerned, not really sure what to run. Anyone have some recommendations?

Past that, I'm just planning on picking up some 460 or 550 RX7 injectors then making a quick 3" SS exhaust and I should be pretty much set.. well, until my clutch starts slipping and I blow my VLSD lol
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Old 11-27-2014, 11:49 PM   #12
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I'll give you a hint, it's one of the symbols of our forum.
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Old 11-27-2014, 11:56 PM   #13
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I was able to piece individual bends together cheaper than an intercooler kit, since we really don't need all that many. I could have made the cold side in one piece, but I think the hotside is a lot more serviceable as two parts.

Be careful with those ebay intercoolers too, you can easily waste a lot of money returning expensive paperweights. I went through three of em till I found one I liked.

My $35 36mm ebay v-band BOV seems to work awesome, too. It's got a little adjustability, but it seems to do fine at the 130-150kpa I'm currently at, hardly any flutter.

I'd look into newer injectors, too. Seems you can get newer tech than the RX7's for less money nowadays.
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Old 11-28-2014, 01:22 AM   #14
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I was able to piece individual bends together cheaper than an intercooler kit, since we really don't need all that many. I could have made the cold side in one piece, but I think the hotside is a lot more serviceable as two parts.
I just like the idea of having less failure points with making everything one piece. I have a small hatred for couplers I dont have PS or AC, so once installed there really shouldn't ever be anything that needs servicing once you get the charge pipe installed from the bottom up. After looking through your build and where you clocked your compressor housing, I should be able to clock my compressor to exit straight down which should make a one-piece unit easier to make

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Be careful with those ebay intercoolers too, you can easily waste a lot of money returning expensive paperweights. I went through three of em till I found one I liked.
Was it all from one buyer and luck of the draw? or did you have a buyer that ended up being best? any links?

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My $35 36mm ebay v-band BOV seems to work awesome, too. It's got a little adjustability, but it seems to do fine at the 130-150kpa I'm currently at, hardly any flutter.
How much boost are you planning on running? I'm looking to run stock WG pressure initially, then just give no cares and run like 14-15psi until this old beaten 1.6 says nope. Keep me posted on how that BOV works out for ya.

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I'd look into newer injectors, too. Seems you can get newer tech than the RX7's for less money nowadays.
newer injectors such as? I like the PNP aspect of the RX7's, but I'm open to budget friendly ideas for newer tech
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Old 11-28-2014, 01:42 AM   #15
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I understand not wanting failure points, I'd of done my cold side in one piece if I'd ordered one more 2.5" 90 bend. That lower 90 on the cold side can be a bitch...

Lots of the ebay sellers are the same guy under different names, and they list pictures much better than the **** they ship. Check my thread, there's a good fitting cheap option there. I've seen a few guys since me order from the same seller recently get the good one.

I plan to run 7-10psi pretty steady, but if the BOV doesn't surge under low boost I can't see it ever being a problem under more boost. And it stays closed on idle, so the spring must be matched about right. The sellers know jack about them, nothing about spring selection or if they are adjustable. I bought it expecting to have to trim the spring or shim it like crazy. I got lucky, it just works lol

The RX8 injectors are a little newer, smaller, but can be had cheaper. There's a thread going on about ford EV14's that are even bigger than the RX7's, possibly even cheaper, or closer to the RX8 prices. They are both pretty PNP, the RX8 is 100% PNP even.
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Old 11-28-2014, 03:17 AM   #16
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Its looking like the CXRacing universal IC kit from ebay isnt a terrible deal FWIW. <$200 for all the bent aluminum 2.5" piping I think I'd need, the IC (although probably not the most efficient), way too many clamps and couplers, and a BOV with necessary flanges. I'll probably chance it with that. worst case scenario is the IC is really inefficient and I can upgrade that later. should be fine on the initial 8psi.

Good catch on the RX8 injectors.. completely blanked while looking at the miataturbo wiki page. After browsing the forum for the last hour I'm fairly positive RX8's are the way to go without a doubt. cant believe i missed that

need to wire in a variable TPS as well yet.. still running everything off MAP, which is about as awesome as waking up as big spoon in prison. It's better than little spoon, but still gay.
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Old 11-28-2014, 07:29 AM   #17
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I'm running the green RX8 540s on my 90. It was as simple as buy, clean, install, adjust Req-Fuel, and autotune.
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Old 11-29-2014, 03:46 AM   #18
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You can get rx8 injectors from rock-auto pretty cheap too.
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Old 12-02-2014, 01:29 AM   #19
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I got a deal on RX7 460s that I couldnt refuse so looks like I'll be running those once they come in the mail.



In the meantime, it seems as though the car decided it didnt like its starter anymore. I'm not getting a click or anything when I turn the key forward. I've been having some cold start issues on the MS, which has been making for some rough starts namely during cranking. I tried giving it some more cranking PW to see if that would help, and I think my cranking advance is too advanced because the car "kicks back" a bit. This "kickback" seems to be a somewhat common cold start problem from what I've researched thus far, but that still doesnt help me get the car back on the road in the short term. I have to track down what may have went wrong.. yay beaters!
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Old 12-03-2014, 04:27 PM   #20
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I've diagnosed it to being a starter issue. The signal wire to the starter solonoid is getting 12V when the key is in the ST position, but the starter does not make any noise. I've tried bypassing the solonoid via the "screwdriver short" method and the starter doesnt do anything either. Pretty sure that fairly conclusive evidence the starter decided to quit life

this is going to be a fun replacement. I'm half tempted to just pull the motor
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