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Old 11-21-2010, 01:54 PM   #1
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Default Larimer's unbuild/rebuild/turbo/masochism thread

I'll start off by introducing the car. It's a 1994 Miata R package that I bought a couple years ago which was in sad shape from crappy a crappy previous owner. I bought it to serve as a street/track car as I wanted to start doing track days. Some pics.



I redid the top, all the maintenance, and cleaned it up to have a good base to start with. I added a roll bar, seats, and coilovers and put some Azenis' on it, along with some good fluid and HP+ pads. I did my first track day with it and had a blast, quite literally when I moneyshifted going from 3rd to 2nd on the straight at Putnam. So that's about 10k rpm on a stock engine... I drove the car home (I was 200 miles from home) making a terrible noise that I assumed was the bearings and made it very close to home (~1 mile) when the clutch no longer worked and it felt like I was towing a boat. I dropped the trans and this is what I found.



The actual failure was the flywheel bolts loosened which also let the flywheel flop around and destroy/make sweet love with the input shaft and machine the bell housing (resistance I felt) as pictured below. Who knew the ring gear teeth would make such sweet cutting tools?



The bolt holes in the crank were ovalized from the clutch assembly being able to move around like that so I just bought another engine and transmission. I found a low mile junkyard Escort GT engine to throw in, and a used trans from craigslist and was off and running again.

I'd been eyeballing used turbo setups from people parting them out since I got the car since it was a bit too slow on straights. They didn't seem to pop up very often, but then I found a car on here that I couldn't pass up. It has all the parts on it that I was looking to add almost to the letter.

https://www.miataturbo.net/cars-sale-trade-6/1996-mazda-miata-mx5-%245000-obo-52981/

So I flew down to Florida, checked out the car and then bought it. I drove it back 11.5 hours in the same day to Cincinnati sans cruise control (wasn't hooked up) and it was actually a blast since I'd never been in a turbo Miata. It seems like it should be enough power for what I'm looking for.

There was one problem though. I already have a Miata, so why not just sell it and put my parts on this one? I like the color of mine better and the body/paint is in better shape, and my rear seat mounts are hacked off already on the 94, sold the stock seats, drilled for the roll bar, etc. so it would be a pain to part out and sell. So instead the plan is to strip this car down of all the turbo goodness, put it back to stock, then sell it. Yes, this is completely retarded and anybody else reading should probably not do this. The way I see it is that I've got the time and the know how, so I can get a turbo setup for nearly free after selling the stock car/wheels. It's just getting there that's going to be a lot of work, but it'll keep me busy. My goal is to get the 96 back to stock and running before the end of the year, throw some stock wheels on it and sell it (if it doesn't sell it'll sit until spring). After that I'll move over to the 94 and build a harness for the megasquirt and upgrade to MS2 and install. If that goes well I'll keep adding parts incrementally (injectors, COP's, turbo) until everything is swapped over. Other plans over the next couple months include:

1. Send the manifold and turbine housing to begi to be ported and fitted with the inconel studs
2. Ceramic coat them by a local guy
3. Install 5/6 point harness
4. Redo seat mounts for better safety
5. Sell/trade TE37's for some nickel 15x9 6UL's
6. Add an oil cooler
7. Buy a hard top, eventually

Overall I'm hoping to have a bit over 200 hp when it's all said and done and hopefully stay on the reliable side. It'll probably be mostly used for track duty and nicer days in the spring/summer/fall.

The build should go pretty quickly as long as I can stay motivated. I've got enough free time to make it happen, but we'll see how that works out with the holidays coming up. I just bought a cheap camera to document the build and made the thread to help keep me motivated on it.

I apologize to Clay in advance for bastardizing his poor car.
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Old 11-21-2010, 09:39 PM   #2
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Thought I'd just go ahead and copy the mods over that are coming to the 94.

Bell Engineering Turbo manifold
Bell Engineering Stainless Steel downpipe
Garrett T25 Turbocharger .80 A/R compressor housing, .64 A/R turbine housing, .60 turbine trim
Bell Engineering Turbo heat shield
CXRacing intercooler. 28x5.5x2.5. Front painted black so it’s not visible from the front
Flyin Miata Stage 1 clutch
Mandrel bent intake piping, silicone couplers, T-bolt clamps, Bosch BOV, K&N Filter
Coolant reroute
2.5” mandrel bent exhaust from Turbo all the way back
Magnaflow muffler
Toyota Coil On Plug (COP) conversion
Innovate LC1 Wideband O2 with gauge

Also I stole the shift boot since it was brand new and swapped it with mine. Onto yesterday's and today's progress.

Started disconnecting the coils and some of the things wired to the MS for removal.


Ripping out the MS and wiring for the wideband...


Wideband stuff on the driver's side coming out.


Fixing the wiring. I was a bit scared when I found the harness had been cut into, but it wasn't near as bad as I first thought.


Buttoned back up, hopefully it works correctly once everything has been pulled off from the megasquirt and reconnected...Wiring is probably my least confident automotive skill, unfortunately. I won't know for awhile if it works...Also should there only be 3 connectors for the 96 ECU? It looks like there's a slot for a small 4th plug but I didn't see a male plug or associated wiring so I'm guessing not.


Leftover stuff, the casualty pile. Zip ties, wire wrap, crimp connectors, etc.


Shift boot comparison.


And now installed on the black car.


Anybody looking for a shift ****? I'd trade this one +cash for a stock **** to put back on this car. It's pretty heavy and has a nice feel, but it appears the clear coat is cracking somewhat. I'd just prefer to sell the car completely stock looking and I actually prefer the stock one on the 94.


Interior was then put back together. It's too nice to destroy by putting in my seats/rollbar.


I then moved to the engine bay to start removing more stuff. Removed COP's and harness, intake, VC breather, heat shield, and loosened up the easy to get to T bolt clamps.


Parts pile is growing.


At the end of today.


Also I drained the oil and coolant to prepare for taking off the turbo lines and the reroute parts, and removed the under tray and poked around at the intercooler install. It looks like it's mounted pretty low so it clears the A/C dryer and I may look into moving it up a bit so the entire core is getting fresh air. As for now part of it is sticking below the bumper opening.



It's a pretty short core but maybe it's better as is since the radiator still gets decent flow to it. Thoughts? Also where should I start thinking about adding an oil cooler?
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Old 11-22-2010, 03:04 AM   #3
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Old 11-24-2010, 11:28 AM   #4
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No problem on bastardizing the car... I'm just glad I didn't have to go to the trouble of putting it back to stock. It is weird though seeing my car and it's parts in various stages of disassembly, but it will be fun to watch. Hope it works well for you.
And that shift boot is brand new. It's one of that last parts I replaced to help sell it as the old one looked awful. Both rubber shift boots are new as well.

I think I have a couple of spare shift ***** somewhere. I would have thrown them in if I could have found them.
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Old 11-24-2010, 03:30 PM   #5
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No big deal, you gave me plenty of parts to drive back home with. haha. It'll be a lot of work but hopefully it'll pay off in the end.

I'm working on getting a coil harness now to swap the stock coils back in and pick up a couple pieces to make the megasquirt a standalone, upgrade to MS2 and make a new PNP harness for the stock ECU connectors. Brain confirmed that the only place that I can find that sells the 64 pin connector will only do a minimum order of $35, so I'll probably order a few of them (3 extras or so) to sell to members here within the next couple weeks once I pull the trigger and order the parts. I'd like to have MS2 running on the 94 by Xmas so I can pull the other misc. stock parts off the 94 (exhaust manifold) to swap onto the 96. Work is getting a bit busy so that may not happen as quick as I'm hoping.
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Old 11-26-2010, 09:13 AM   #6
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Bought a used coil harness and that should be coming in the mail, and need to order the connector for the MS2 and the other stuff to make it a standalone. I'll probably tear more stuff off over the weekend while waiting for that stuff to come in.
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Old 12-03-2010, 06:22 PM   #7
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[Continuing the conversation with myself ]

I got the coil harness, and the other stuff I need for converting the MS to standalone. I'm going to leave it as MS1 for now since I'm already poor enough. Also had to buy 4 of the ecu connectors, so I have 3 for sale. I think they're about 10 or 11 bucks on the site after shipping but there was a minimum order, so I'll sell them for $13 shipped if anybody is interested.



This weekend I'm hoping to find my soldering iron and get this thing installed as long as I can figure out what all needs to be added and removed. I want to add Joe's spark mod and do the A/C fix but I may just try and get it working first off and then do that stuff later. I'm just hoping I don't brick the thing in the process.
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Old 12-03-2010, 07:16 PM   #8
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Old 12-15-2010, 11:34 PM   #9
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Removed the boost control stuff on the board and installed the fan mod and PWM mod. I may eventually install it again and do the Joe P. spark mods but I just want the car running at this point. Speaking of which, I installed the ecu and started the car for the first time with MS1, and it's doing some funny stuff. No tach, smells horribly rich, and I'm pretty sure I don't have the fans configured right in Megatune.

https://www.miataturbo.net/showthrea...623#post669623

The temporary install of the intake piping for the GM AIT sensor was kind of funny though at least.

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Old 12-20-2010, 11:29 PM   #10
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Finally got off my *** and did something. I took off the hot side IC pipe, turbo, manifold, and downpipe. Man, some of those downpipe nuts are a pain as well as the manifold to head ones on the bottom. Luckily the ones for the manifold to turbo just needed cracked loose then spun off with my fingers. I had a hell of a time snaking the downpipe out and off the studs, and the same issue with the exhaust manifold and dipstick. I'll be lucky to get them both back in the other car.






The ever growing parts pile.



Reference pics for the cuts I'm going to have to make for the turbo install on the 94.

So far the plan is to remove the rest of the stuff from the 96 (catback, injectors, oil feed line, IC) except the clutch, and make sure it runs with all the stock parts first. Then I'll remove the clutch and swap in a stock one. Then the 96 will be pretty much ready to sell after I clean it up a bit. Once that's done, the 94 will be ready to receive turbo goodness. The stock exhaust manifold and full exhaust are going from the 94 to the 96 so it should be stripped of that stuff at least in the process.

I'm going to get the manifold ceramic coated before it goes back on and throw in some inconel studs since I like to do track days occasionally. I still need to buy some little stuff for the install but am waiting for my tax return and will do other stuff in the mean time. Plenty still to do, and not enough motivation to do it all...

Also if anybody has any stock shocks for sale locally I'd be interested. Then I could pull the koni's off the 96 and sell/keep them for my other car.
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Old 12-30-2010, 02:27 PM   #11
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It is at this point where I'm moving down the path of regret for taking apart this car. :( It was well put together and just needed paint, suspension swapped, and interior & roll bar swapped with my other car and it would have been much less work for me. Oh well, I must press on.

Today I took off the I/C which was super easy because I didn't take off the front bumper, just the shrouding in front of the I/C. Also I removed the cat back and under body bracing, and injectors. Also I started to get the 94 ready to remove some parts, I'm going to have to move some stuff around the cramped garage and make some room with all the turbo stuff sitting around already.

I/C off.


Shroud that's trimmed to fit the I/C.


Rx7 injectors.


And an unfriendly reminder to relieve the fuel pressure before taking off the fuel rail...



Because of this I had to call it a day after only an hour or two. The fumes were getting pretty intense and I had a headache.
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Old 12-30-2010, 02:31 PM   #12
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Also, can anybody tell me what this is? Sorry for the blurry pic, but it's right next to the hood latch in front of the rad and condenser, and there's a plastic cover over it. I didn't investigate it very much since I was about to die from gas fumes.


It's on my 94 but not the 96. I just wonder if it's going to interfere with the I/C bracket. It plugs into the blue and orange plugs on the driver's side of the engine bay by the air filter I believe.
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Old 12-30-2010, 03:47 PM   #13
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That thing by the hood latch is one of your airbag sensors. Any time you see tandem blue & orange plugs under the hood or up under the dash, unless you know otherwise with great certainty, you should assume they are part of the airbag wiring. I like to disconnect the battery before I touch those plugs, which in my case is an annual annoyance because I have to temporarily replace my nice Sparco wheel with the stocker + airbag so I can pass inspection.

I dribbled about 5% of that amount of gas onto the floor when I changed my fuel filter, and in a confined space with poor air flow even that was enough to get me "heady." That's a pretty good amount of gas there. Leave the garage door open and crank up a fan to disperse those fumes.
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Old 12-30-2010, 05:05 PM   #14
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That makes sense, I should have made the connection after taking off the airbag once before and seeing those plugs. Thanks for that.

I wouldn't have spilled nearly that much gas had I been actually putting in some injectors rather than just pulling them and leaving the rail to drain out all over everything. Ugh. I'll remember to do it on the other car now at least.
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Old 12-31-2010, 02:27 AM   #15
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You have done a lot of work. Is it okay to turbo a 1995 stock engine without modifying the internals?
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Old 01-02-2011, 08:25 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bonitaapplebum View Post
You have done a lot of work. Is it okay to turbo a 1995 stock engine without modifying the internals?
Yes. Usually they're said to be ok below 225-250 whp before the rods let go. I'm only shooting for 200-225 in hopes that I don't have to build it or go to a 6 speed right away. Eventually, maybe.

Anyway, I did some more today on the green car and it's almost fully stripped of the parts I'm needing. I dropped the transmission today in about an hour (new record for me after doing this twice already, but the exhaust was already off) and pulled the Flyin' Miata clutch out. It just had to be purple since it's a girly car.





And another mess. Shouldn't have tried to rush it and just drained the fluid.


Flywheel still has the machining marks on it from being resurfaced, so I'm not going to bother doing it again. No heat marks either so it's obvious this clutch wasn't abused or used for very long.


Stock clutch back on.


I stopped here as I was soaked in gear oil and very frustrated. Doing this with jack stands is a pain in the *** to get it back up in the tunnel by yourself when you can hardly move. I'm going to try and enlist the help of a friend for the next go round. If that takes awhile to get some help, I'll start pulling parts off the black car and remove the last stuff from the 96. Only thing left is to take off the coolant reroute bits, then back to stock it goes. I'd be a lot more productive if I didn't only do this in 2 hour spurts. Oh well. I just hope it's done by spring for track duty.
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Old 01-05-2011, 10:37 PM   #17
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Update for tonight. Worked for another couple hours after work and made some good progress. This being my 3rd miata clutch job, I'm getting the process down pretty well.

Seeing as I had the most access to the reroute parts due to the engine being able to tilt forward, I took them off. First time I think I've ever had to use a 13mm socket on anything. Have a blurry picture of some reroute parts.


I need to read up on the wiring things that need done for the reroute since I'm putting this back to stock. Overall it didn't look too different than the 94.



I also realized I didn't take out the clutch switch eliminator thing that makes it so you don't have to press the clutch in to start it, so I yanked it out. In hindsight, this was stupid. I didn't know where it was exactly and looked around for the switch and pressed the clutch in a few times while the slave cylinder wasn't connected to the fork (trans still on the ground) so the rod flew out and leaked fluid everywhere. I've gotta bleed it and minimum and replace it if I blew a seal on it. I am dumb.

Pressing on, I tried to put the trans back in by myself, which I've never had luck with. I got it up in place and had the PPF holding up the rear (no bolts, just in the channel), a jack on the front of the oil pan by the steering rack, and put the driveshaft in the back. Twisted the driveshaft a bit and wiggled the trans and it magically went right in place.

Hopefully that little tip helps somebody. For one person it's a lot easier than spinning the crank pulley or rotating the trans to get the input shaft lined up with the disc. I finished up by putting the shifter and console back on and cleaned up my tools that were everywhere.

Current parts pile, with (I think) everything removed from the 96 that I plan on using. (cat back is sitting under the car to take up less space)


Why my neighbors probably hate me (this is supposed to be a 4 car garage for 4 people in the building).
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Old 01-06-2011, 10:15 AM   #18
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Clay, if you're reading this can you confirm that you drilled the head for the heater line in and the sensor? Since I'll be doing this on the car I'm going to have to drill the spacer I believe if I'm reading everything right. And then cap off the stuff you drilled on the 96 or cap off the housing that I take off my 94 since it'll probably be easier.

Nevermind, found this little gem.

https://www.miataturbo.net/showpost....23&postcount=3

Last edited by Larimer; 01-06-2011 at 03:50 PM.
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Old 01-07-2011, 01:40 PM   #19
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Sorry, I'm just now reading this. Yeah, that post pretty much sums it up. The plug that was in the head where I mounted the sensor is probably in the plastic parts bin I gave you. Look for a very short bolt/plug with a copper washer. You can kindof see the plug that was in the sensor location here:


Yeah, if you move the coolant reroute to your engine and don't want to drill your head for the heater line, you'll need to drill/tap the spacer. If you do that though, you will need to machine a groove in the spacer and move the thermostat to the aft side of the spacer so you will have coolant flow through the heater core before the thermostat opens. I didn't have the means to machine the spacer so I put the heater port in front of the thermostat by drilling/tapping the head.
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Old 01-07-2011, 03:17 PM   #20
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Thanks for the reply. I appreciate that you're still answering questions about this stuff even though the car is no longer something you should have to worry about. haha.

What you say makes sense though. I'll have to have a look at it and see if I can get somebody to machine it for me. I doubt I'll have the room to get to the head with it still on the car. It probably would just be easier to install everything by pulling the motor but I don't have a hoist to make use of right now and the ceiling in my apartment is too low to really do it. I only know this because when I was pulling/reinstalling the engine after I blew it I had to push the car and hoist just outside the garage and finish it.
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