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Old 08-07-2014, 03:35 PM   #1
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Default Modest '99 daily driver

Well, here we go. I posted some rough ideas in the Meet 'n Greet forum a few weeks ago, but now, after a bunch of research, I've just about refined my plan for this car, and I've started to buy parts, so I guess it's time to start documenting it over here in a build thread. I'll be posting all my pictures over in this photo gallery, but notable photos will be posted here in the thread too.

I bought the car completely stock, with 98k miles. My eventual goal is roughly 200 rwhp, but I'll be starting with maybe 160. I'd just like the car to offer at least comparable performance to the 2011 Mini Cooper S it's replacing.



I know my Enkei wheels aren't the lightest, and unsprung weight makes a big difference on Miatas, but since I've got the wheels, and I had just put new tires on all four wheels before finding the Miata for sale, I went ahead and moved the wheels over to the new car.



I'm going the MegaSquirt route, and as everyone recommends, I'll be tuning the car naturally aspirated first, before moving on to the turbo kit. I'm splitting my upgrade plan into phases to help mentally keep track of things, and I'm calling the MS3 install "phase 1" of the project. I ordered a Basic MS3 from Reverant a few weeks ago (with the serial wideband module he offers), and hope to receive them in another week or so. In the meantime, I also ordered an AEM wideband and installed that.





I also dug around in the attic and found the old Greddy boost gauge I had left over from my Supra 10 years ago (hell yeah, hoarding!). I went ahead and installed that too, because I expect that having a way to see what the vacuum is doing will help me tune the car. Hopefully I won't look like too much of a ricer driving around with a boost gauge in an N/A car.



(I've got a RoadsterTech DIN gauge plate on the way too )

So that's where I am so far. I've already run a vacuum line in through the firewall to the driver's footwell (capped off so far, of course), so once the MS3 arrives, I should be able to just plug it in and start tuning.

"Phase 2" is going to consist of the FM no-electronics turbo kit with the 2560, hard oil/water lines, and the inconel studs, along with the FM stage 1 clutch kit. I'll also do the timing belt, water pump, and front and rear main seals, while I've got everything off. I'm planning to run at wastegate boost to start, with the stock injectors. My understanding is that the factory injectors are good for around 6-7 psi of boost at 80% duty cycle, which is right around what I should be seeing at the manifold after intercooler losses with the 2560, right?

Once I've gotten the car running smoothly and reliably that way (and after the wallet has recovered a bit), I'll be moving onto "phase 3", which will involve ordering injectors (most likely ID 550cc or 725cc) and the DIYAutoTune EBC solenoid, to raise the boost to maybe 9-10 psi. If I've been struggling with cooling, then I'd add a radiator upgrade as well.

Later still (call it "phase 4"), I'll probably upgrade the exhaust, since I know the stock exhaust is quite restrictive and will be hurting my spoolup etc.

So here we go. I know it's not the craziest build on here or anything, but it should be exciting. Join me on this adventure! Follow along as my well-structured "phases" hilariously fall apart! No plan survives contact with the enemy!
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Old 08-07-2014, 06:10 PM   #2
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Combine Stage 2 and 3.

Sounds fun, though!
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Old 08-07-2014, 06:18 PM   #3
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Yeah, if funds were unlimited, that'd certainly be the route I'd take. And actually, I just saw that Amazon just dropped their price on the ID725's from $480 to $445... That's a big chunk of change, though, and it's going to push the turbo back even farther if I do that.

On the other hand, I definitely like the idea of doing things the conservative way, laying the groundwork and doing all the supporting mods BEFORE the "fun" stuff you really want to do. Although it's not as fun

I'd feel less conflicted about doing RX7 550's -- I see them in the $120 range on eBay, and then $109 to get them cleaned at RC puts it under $250. Much better. But I know that injector spray technology has improved in the last 15 years, and the ID's would be "better." I'm just not sure how much better, and whether it justifies the doubling of price. I've seen the mentions of EV1 and EV14 etc, but don't understand exactly what that means, and what category the 89-90 RX7 injectors would fall under. More research to do, I guess.
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Old 08-07-2014, 06:24 PM   #4
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RX7 injectors are EV1s.

A good middle ground if you can't do the IDs now would be RX8 Yellow 420cc injectors. Dirt cheap brand new on Ebay (Less than $200) and should keep you going to 12psi or more with the FM2 2560 setup.
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Old 08-07-2014, 06:44 PM   #5
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Think of EV1 as a turkey baster full of fuel dumping into the cylinder. EV14 is more like a nice fine mist in a tuned spray pattern.

Don't think that the waste gate will give you spot on boost numbers. Take into consideration boost creep. You can easily over run those stock injectors into static flow quick fast.

Porting the turbine housing is a good start but most still see boost levels over the waste gate rating.
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Old 08-07-2014, 07:03 PM   #6
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Good points. Ok, you've convinced me -- injectors before turbo. And thanks for the explanation on the spray patterns.

I hadn't looked at anything smaller than 550s -- RX8 injectors sound like a great intermediate option. If I got the RX7 550s, I'd have a hard time justifying the upgrade later just for the improved flow pattern and slightly increased capacity.

On the other hand, I've got a "turbo fund" I've been building up, so I DO have the funds for the IDs -- it would just push the turbo farther back. But I think I'm leaning towards that option -- do it right the first time and not have to worry about it again.
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Old 08-07-2014, 07:08 PM   #7
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There's 550cc-ish RX8 injectors as well. Everyone just buys the yellow tops.

I wouldn't mess around with installing them while n/a. Doesn't take much to scale a map to account for injector changes, and you'll have to re-do the map at that point for turbo anyways.
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Old 08-07-2014, 11:37 PM   #8
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Well, at this point I think I'd prefer to go with new RX8 injectors for now, but I haven't had any luck finding those sub-$200 ones you mentioned -- at least not ones that look like they're genuine Denso. I see stuff like this:

Complete Set of Brand New Fuel Injectors for Mazda RX 8 | eBay

Which says it's "built to meet or exceed exact OEM specifications," but I don't know if I'd expect it to have the EV6 spray pattern etc. Are those the kind of thing you were referring to? That's certainly a great price for a solution that'll cover me for a while, if I can trust them.

As far as ID's, it appears the ID1000's are available a good bit cheaper than the smaller sizes -- I guess because they're so popular? Amazon's got them for $398, which is cheaper than I see them sell for used a lot of times:

http://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B...=A9RDENN5BCAU5

But is it dumb to go with 1000cc injectors on a 200 rwhp car? I know our power goals tend to stretch over time, and I'm sure I'll be no stranger to that, but I can say with 95% confidence I won't ever want to take it to the point where I'm building up the internals etc. I know these EV14 injectors can idle very well, even in the larger sizes, I just wonder if I'm being silly considering something so big when I'm pretty sure I'll never use even half of its capacity.

While the Tim Taylor in me is tempted to go with the id1000's and be done with it, it's going to take a very real $450 chunk out of my turbo fund (between the injectors and the adapter pigtails), which will take me another month or two to make back up. If those $160 RX8 injectors will give me the performance and factory-like idle I need, it's kinda hard to justify spending 3 times as much. Thoughts?
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Old 08-08-2014, 02:50 PM   #9
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Well, after a bunch of internal debate, I decided that the whole point of upgrading my injectors preemptively is to give myself the peace of mind of knowing my system will be protected even if I accidentally overboost or something. I couldn't convince myself that those RX8 injectors of unknown origin would give me that peace of mind, so I pulled the trigger on the ID1000's. At least this way I know I won't need to buy another set of injectors for this car.

Of course, they'll just sit on a shelf for now, until I get the MS in the car and tuned reasonably well. Now I'm just dying for Rev to finish with my MS3 so I can get started
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Old 08-09-2014, 04:47 AM   #10
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I like this noob. He uses his brain.

Trust me, you will never regret purchasing proper ev14's.

You would have DEFINITELY regretted getting crappy old rx7 ev1's
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Old 08-13-2014, 05:53 PM   #11
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Injectors arrived. So pretty!









I found a good deal on the injectors on Amazon, but there wasn't an option to add-on the PNP pigtails, so I had to source them separately. I searched and searched and couldn't find anywhere who sold them for less than $60 or so on their own, which is so much to pay for some wires. There's cheaper options on eBay, but I'm wary of going there for anything crucial like injectors.

I thought I was clever when I found a set of 8 adapters for $57 shipped on Amazon -- I could use 4 and sell the other 4 for like $40. Aww yeah!



...Except these are backwards -- I needed female EV6 to male Denso, but this set of 8 was male EV6 to female Denso. So much for my clever plan.

So now I've ordered a set of the proper pigtails on eBay. I picked a vendor that seems reliable, and I'll examine the adapters when they arrive to be sure they look like they'll stand up to the elements.
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Old 08-15-2014, 12:10 AM   #12
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The 3-gauge DIN place from RoadsterTech arrived, and was quickly installed. Ahh, no more floppy gauges. This is a nicely machined piece, and it looks great. Very solid.



The battery voltage gauge is just there to fill space for now. Eventually I'll get something more useful -- most likely EGT or oil pressure -- but in the meantime I just threw whatever I had in there, to avoid an ugly empty hole.

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Old 08-15-2014, 03:05 AM   #13
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I really, really, really like my Roadster Tech panel. Its damn near my favorite thing in the interior of my car
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Old 08-15-2014, 10:49 AM   #14
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Voltage is useful on an NB, in my opinion.
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Old 08-15-2014, 11:04 AM   #15
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how much do those bad boys run? (RT panel)
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Old 08-15-2014, 11:14 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EO2K View Post
I really, really, really like my Roadster Tech panel. Its damn near my favorite thing in the interior of my car
Yep, Rick was great -- lots of communication, and letting me provide him exact measurements of my car so he could make everything fit clean and flush. I'm quite happy with it. My radio DIN sleeve isn't held quite as securely as it was in the plain Metra dash kit I had it in before, but that's just a consequence of the way the Miata's dash opening works. I don't know how I could improve on the design at all, so it's certainly not a shortcoming of the RT plate.

Quote:
Originally Posted by concealer404 View Post
Voltage is useful on an NB, in my opinion.
Hmm, is there something particular to NB's that makes voltage more important to monitor? I haven't come across anything like that in my reading, so if there are any quirks related to the electrical system, I'd certainly like to be aware of them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 18psi View Post
how much do those bad boys run? (RT panel)
Here's the page: NB Miata Gauge Plates

They have various options at different price points. I paid $50 plus $6 shipping for mine.

I've also been realizing that now that the car will have a standalone, big injectors, and a clutch, there's little reason to keep my goals "modest". I guess that happens to all of us, eh? I definitely still want to keep the car reliable, civil, and streetable (for fairly conservative values of "streetable" -- not "6 puck clutch and no A/C" streetable), but it sounds like 220-ish rwhp would still be comfortably below the range where I have to worry about breaking stuff. So I guess that's my new target. Of course, I'll still be going in stages -- get the car tuned on the MS while N/A, then install the turbo and get the car tuned on mild boost, and then finally cranking the boost.
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Old 08-15-2014, 11:18 AM   #17
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your clutch will absolutely not hold up past 200tq
otherwise pretty much yeah, good plan
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Old 08-15-2014, 11:19 AM   #18
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Alternator output is controlled by ECU, and the alternators themselves don't seem to be as long-lived as the NA units. When going standalone, if you keep that same control system, it's nice to be able to glance and see what's going on.

While actively tuning, not a big deal, since you'll be logging voltage anyways. The rest of the time, it's not the worst thing in the world to be able to glance over and see what's up.
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Old 08-15-2014, 11:21 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 18psi View Post
your clutch will absolutely not hold up past 200tq
otherwise pretty much yeah, good plan
I may have forgotten to mention it above, but when I install the FM turbo kit, I'll also be installing their level 1 clutch. FM rates it at 318 ft/lb, so I think that should cover me (until the day I inevitably change my mind about the "no upgrading engine internals" thing ).
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Old 08-15-2014, 11:25 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by concealer404 View Post
Alternator output is controlled by ECU, and the alternators themselves don't seem to be as long-lived as the NA units. When going standalone, if you keep that same control system, it's nice to be able to glance and see what's going on.

While actively tuning, not a big deal, since you'll be logging voltage anyways. The rest of the time, it's not the worst thing in the world to be able to glance over and see what's up.
Ahh, gotcha. That's a good point -- I'll consider retaining some sort of voltage readout if I replace that cheapo voltmeter with something different.
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