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Swanpuppy's low boost NB build

 
Old 12-07-2018, 02:56 PM
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Default Swanpuppy's low boost NB build

Hello all. I have been lurking on here for years, I mainly have been absorbing information. I have had Miatas for approximately 7 years, a few NAs, a few NBs, and roughly 3 years ago I bought my current NB2. It started out 100% stock with roughly 80,000 miles on it. Since then I have built it completely n/a to be my HPDE car that can be daily driven if required. Up until recently it had:

- DIY bilsteins with 450/300 springs, ISC rear hats,
- Large racing beat front bar with reinforcement blocks
- stainless lines, rebuilt calipers and stop tech sport pads
- Blackbird Fabworx roll bar
- Advanti Storm wheels with Federal 595 RS-RR tires (love these on the track)
- eBay intake
- DIY catch can
- eBay axle back exhaust
- I found a beat to crap hardtop with multiple colors on it for $400 dollars and had my brother work some magic on it
- I fixed a few things like AC, windows, switches, belts, end links,

When I bought it.


After wheels and coilovers.





For track days I install a beat up corbeau seat with 6 point harness, Zamp neck brace, and hit the track. The car has been rock solid reliable, so I figured it was time to ruin that. Pics below are the past few years lapping.

Hardtop carnage.









I added a Blackbird Fabworx wing last year, that coupled with the hardtop dropped my times by 4-5 seconds a lap alone. At this point the car looked great, worked great, I had no issues. I ended up moving and lost my two 2 car garages plus wood shop, and had to shove myself into a standard 2 car garage. Luckily, there was a tandem shop in this house, so I tore a wall out to make room for my car.








There was just enough room in the shop to get a little work done. I also ordered new tires this winter. I also noticed my AC stopped working again, so I took out the AC and power steering as this was becoming more and more a track only vehicle.





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Old 12-07-2018, 03:11 PM
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I have always looked for, bought, and flipped cars. Crown Victories and miatas have always been good money makers. This winter I found a silver NB a few hours away with no description and only a few crummy photos.

Original ad photos:






Hmm, well it peaked my interest. Turns out it has a lot of modifications done to it, but most importantly, a turbo. Goal is to boost my car for effectively $0. So I bought it and brought it home. Car has roll bar, coilovers, full body bracing, roadster angled shifter, COPs, wilwoods on 4 corners, stainless lines, wheels/tires, etc.



Turbo kit is comprised of: Begi mani and DP, custom 2.5" exhaust to magna flow muffler, braided lines, china charger, FMIC, mainly hard piped, and powered by a 5X timing wheel and PooPoo box. Wideband and boost gauge. In an effort to keep costs as minimal as possible, the goal is to simply swap the entire system to my car, learn to drive and track on a 5psi system, and sell the donor car. I am aware megasquirt is the holy grail, and I will get to that point, but this is an exercise in low boost for no money, and I want to see when its all said and done just how cheap I can do this once I sell the donor.

Up to this point, I have pulled the radiators, intercooler, exhausts, ecu, timing wheel, and have begun swapping parts. I have new motor mounts ($108), Bosch BOV($25), piping($9), drill/tap ($40), oil bung, ready to go on the car. Over the course of winter I hope to complete the install. I should also note, this winter I have already installed new 550/350 springs, ELBJs, and ordered new tires for next year. I will try to keep a tally of all the little things I buy and try to break even with the sale of the donor and misc parts.





List of things completed:

-EGR tube swapped, radiator done, fans rewired, intercooler mounted, poopoo box wired, oil feed piping ran.
- donor car has rad installed, fans installed, stock ECU rewired, vacuum all plumbed,

Last edited by Swanpuppy; 12-07-2018 at 04:14 PM. Reason: adding info.
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Old 12-10-2018, 08:58 AM
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I started to work on a few other things this weekend. I started to wire up my gauges. I think I am going to go for a dual dash mount, and run the wires down through the dash hvac duct to the footwell.



Then I started to work on the transmission. In reality dropping the transmission was not as bad as I thought it was going to be. The Car Passion channel on youtube has a nice video detailing the main steps.


Ahhhh FM goodness. This was installed on the donor car roughly 3k miles ago, so this will be directly swapped over.


Holy F batman, the rear main seal on my car (donor was fresh, so I won't touch it) was horrible to get out. I tried picks and screws with pliers, I ended up punching myself in the face when the screw pulled out. I finally did get it out, however the new seal tore itself apart when I tried to put it back in. If you look close the outer and inner edges are tearing apart. Does anyone have recommendations on getting this in? I now need to order a new seal to try again.

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Old 12-10-2018, 08:58 PM
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An FM rear main seal install tool makes it ezpz. It can be done without the tool, I can do it, 18psi could too but he wouldn't waste his time.
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Old 12-10-2018, 09:39 PM
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Nice car. I'm digging those headlights.
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Old 12-11-2018, 10:14 AM
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Thanks, the headlights I believe are similar to 'protuninglab' lights for Miatas. They have halos etc. They give it a nice look at night but more importantly the blacked out lights looks fantastic with the color scheme of the car.

My main issue I ran into yesterday was the rear main seal shredded itself. I ordered a new seal, and read about an old trick from a few years ago where someone mentioned to soak it in oil. I don't know if that was it, but this one slipped right in, and a few light taps it was all set. I wrapped up last night by getting the clutch installed and everything torqued.



Hopefully this evening I will get the throw out bearing in, clean out the inside of my trans, and start looking to reinstall both transmissions. I have a rear and front transmission seal in bags, is it worth replacing them as a 'while youre in there' thing? My car isn't super high mileage, and I have a feeling ill punch myself in the face again like I did with the rear main seal.
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Old 12-14-2018, 11:13 AM
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Throw out bearing is installed, transmission got a wipe down. Pic shows starting progress to clean some of the gunk out. At this point I have my transmission installed, just finishing a few bolts. This weekend the donor car will get its transmission fully bolted back in. Next step is motor mounts. I also started drilling and creating my bungs for my BOV. Plan is to use this new hard connection on the TB inlet, then run a radiator hose or similar to the silicone intake elbow to the turbo.

So far I have spent about $105-$110 on the turbo build (obviously not including the car or my up grades like motor mounts/ELBJs). Costs include grease, JB weld, BOV, bov fitting, gauge pod, drill and tap, assorted clamps, rear main seal.

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Old 12-17-2018, 08:55 AM
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What a rough weekend.

I replaced my motor mounts with Mazda competition mounts. In general it wasn't too bad, but for whatever reason, I forgot to re install the metal cup, so I had to do everything a second time and of course it no longer fit easily. Once those were in, I reused my stock mounts to replace the driver's side mount of the donor car. The donor car came with solid mounts which made it unbearable to drive. I hope by softening the driver's side it will be tolerable.

The rest of the time I had to work was used to reinstall the exhaust and chassis bracing on the donor car. Exhaust is all in and 90% of the butterfly and rear end bracing is back in the car. I also quick mounted up the turbo set up on my car to see how it fits. I ended up having to notch out the shelf with my new handy dandy 3" grinder from Harbor Freight.
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Old 12-19-2018, 09:54 AM
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Fixed all the wiring, installed a new radio and center console in the donor car. Gave it all a quick clean. It actually looks pretty darn good once its stock looking and put together. I hope today to get fluids in and see if it will all fire up.



I was a bit busy getting my 3 year old's Christmas present ready for him. These come with a single speed on/off controller with a top speed of something like 14mph. Im converting it to variable speed throttle with a speed pot to limit the top end until he learns to control it better. Apparently there is a huge market for electric bikes and scooters. Who knew?

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Old 12-21-2018, 09:00 AM
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Donor car runs/drives and works. Solid motor mounts are no joke, they are horrid to drive on. Spent last night working on my car. I had to remove the turbo/manifold in order to slip the downpipes into place and bolt it up. Then the full 2.5" exhaust was bolted in and hung, all under chassis bracing was put back minus the stock NB2 butterfly brace due to exhaust location. Will having this brace removed be extremely detrimental? Will it be felt?

Hooked up EGR, started plumbing the intake, routed the intercooler hoses (had to get creative and lengthen some runs due to my RB sway bar being in the way) and installed my BOV.

Weekend Goals:
-drill/tap pan and get oil bung in
-tap BOV return line to intake elbow
- Get new water hoses for turbo
- Effectively finish all work in the engine bay if possible. I still need to figure out how and where to run my vac lines for BOV, boost gauge, and voodoo box.




BOV location

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Old 12-27-2018, 11:31 AM
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Christmas update. I completed the turbo install, put in new plugs, primed the turbo, and fired it up. I had a few water leaks where hoses were not tight enough, and an exhaust leak. My Wideband is reading something like 17 AFR, so ive got a leak somewhere that I need to tighten down or install a new gasket. I also turned down the turbo pre load, this was running about 8psi, however with it now going on an NB2 I want to start around 5 or so to be safe so I can watch AFRs. Drilling and tapping the pan was relatively easy, Mark a spot, start drilling, always use lots of lube and protection:



I had to redo my gauge idea, I can't fit the Wideband and boost line through the dash HVAC near the window without drilling massive holes and in general fubaring up everything. So right now the gauge pod is to the left of the steering wheel and just floating on the dash until I figure out how/where I want to mount it. Now for the fun part. I went to drive the car..... it doesnt drive.

I think with the ELBJ, lowered ride height, something, the front tires are so mis aligned the car bounces left and right as they fight each other. You can see the skid mark going down my driveway. So I didn't get a chance to actually drive it, and I need to figure out how to do a garage alignment so I can at least get this thing to a shop. Does anyone have any ideas what else it could be besides some serious camber/toe causing this issue? The only suspension work I did was the ball joints and replaced the springs. Or if there are suggestions of how to do a DIY alignment really quickly to get it at least even.



Things that are left to do include figuring out the alignment, exhaust leak, gauge locations, and actually going for a test drive. The rest of winter I will work on building a heat shield, wrapping all required lines, and building my splitter I plan to add for next season. I am honestly shocked that both cars fired up and seem to function properly as I have never done a clutch job before, and I had to wire in the voodoo system. The weather is somewhat decent still in our area, so if I can figure out the alignment I hope to get a quick test drive in before we get hammered with snow.

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Old 12-27-2018, 12:13 PM
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Nice progress!

I did a super noobish "alignment" myself on the garage floor with two jackstands, a long nylon string and my girlfriend.

https://www.miata.net/garage/alignment/ -> this is what i did and my car is driveable. I even went full homo and just put every bolt with the center mark in the middle of the alignment marks on the subframes.
It's good enough to roll around a bit, let the pro's do the rest
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Old 12-27-2018, 12:49 PM
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Just get two tape measures, and two piece of wood the same length. Put them against the wheels, and measure the distance between the front of the boards, and between the rear. The difference in these is your toe. Make it zero, and you're good.

If you want to save time, you should be able to eye ball nearly zero toe by comparing it to the rear wheels. Enough to get it to a shop at least. But adding the ELBJ is going to SIGNIFICANTLY change the toe, so it definitely needs to be done before trying to drive it.
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Old 12-27-2018, 12:55 PM
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Curly, thanks for that explanation. Alignments are not something I have really dived into before so its a bit foreign yet to me. "But adding the ELBJ is going to SIGNIFICANTLY change the toe, so it definitely needs to be done before trying to drive it." This is what I was not sure about, but if its going to mess up the toe then thats definitely what I am experiencing and explains whats going on. I will try to play with the toe settings so it can at least move down the street.
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Old 12-27-2018, 05:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Swanpuppy View Post
I think with the ELBJ, lowered ride height, something, the front tires are so mis aligned the car bounces left and right as they fight each other. You can see the skid mark going down my driveway. So I didn't get a chance to actually drive it, and I need to figure out how to do a garage alignment so I can at least get this thing to a shop. Does anyone have any ideas what else it could be besides some serious camber/toe causing this issue? The only suspension work I did was the ball joints and replaced the springs. Or if there are suggestions of how to do a DIY alignment really quickly to get it at least even.
I can confirm it is the toe causing this problem. I had the same issue when I installed my ELBJs, but I changed so many things (hubs, wheel bearings, axles, you name it) that I wasn't sure which was the problem. After double and triple-checking everything I looked at my car head-on and noticed the insane toe-in. I can't remember exactly now, but it was in the neighborhood of 1.25" toe-in. I did a quick garage alignment as outlined by Curly, the problem went away, and I promptly drove it to the alignment shop.
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Old 12-27-2018, 06:18 PM
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Perfect information. I just played around with the toe and got some basic measurements made up to get it almost lined up. Ill see if I can get out for a shakedown before the snow hits to see if that remedied the issue.
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Old 12-27-2018, 07:16 PM
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Car runs and drives now. I turned the waste gate preload way down, so the car was only making 3-4 psi according to my gauge. AFRs seemed to bounce all over the place. One minute they would be right around 14 at cruise, then a few minutes later it showed 11 at cruise. Some pulls it would drop right to 11.5, other pulls it would sit at 12.5. It didn't seem very consistent. Car most likely is going to be not driven until spring anymore.

Things left: There were a few rattles where the exhaust is contacting somewhere, need to figure that out. Need to build a splitter. Final torque check of all bolts and get my interior back together. Locate final place for all gauges. I think there might be a small oil leak from the oil drain line where it goes into the turbo. Ill have to investigate further. Then come spring I will get new tires, alignment, and hopefully verify the Wideband is reading correct, then up the boost.

With the NB2 and voodoo box, is it a worthwhile upgrade to get the green supra injectors as a safety factor? Whats the best procedure to diagnose a Wideband that was not constant? It seems odd to me that every 2nd gear pull would read differently, or perhaps this is normal? The Flyin Miata manual simply states turn up the boost, do a few pulls and check AFRs, then turn it up until you start to see it lean out to 12 or so. Any other tips (besides ditching this and going full stand alone?).

EDIT: This Voodoo Box came off a NB1 miata, I just found FM's tuning instructions for Voodoo (https://www.flyinmiata.com/support/i...Voodoo_Box.pdf). It looks like I should go back in and start from scratch to set this box up properly and dial in the AFR and boost numbers. Should be able to clean up the numbers and get to a comfortable 6psi or so in spring.

Last edited by Swanpuppy; 12-28-2018 at 11:18 AM. Reason: New info
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Old 12-31-2018, 09:38 AM
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Over the weekend I got a little more work done. The snow finally came so the car is now off the road until spring.

1. I had a massive oil leak from somewhere. The day after my test drive the bottom of the motor and the floor was absolutely covered. I could not pinpoint a spot, and in the past few days there have been no new drips.... so It must be only leaking while the car is operating. Oil was only on the turbo side of the motor, I assume the oil drain is spewing somehow.

2. I have a very annoying exhaust rattle.... Think I found it? I am debating on using something like an aluminum chunk on either end of the brace to effectively lower it a few mm's for clearance. Thoughts?



3. I quick made a heat shield using some HD racing metal I got for a few bucks. Bolts into factory holes, and coated with high temp grill paint. I am not sure if I like the oil feed line IN the shield, but I didn't see another way to run this.






4. My gauges were in a dual pod and supposed to sit to the left of the steering wheel on the dash... They didn't fit, at all. I cut the pod in half, and wired the boost gauge up into the air vent (I slit the duct back a few inches so the boost line and wires could turn and bend up into the gauge instead of pinch), then wired the Wideband down through the dash vent. I had to cut a single rib out of the vent, which is unfortunate, but I did not see how else to make this clean. This set up should give me good visibility while on the track but still keep it somewhat stealthy and clean.





Things left: Run car and find oil leak. Final check of bolts. Wrap all lines for safety. Fix exhaust rattle. Build splitter and duct the radiator. In spring I will tune, new alignment, new tires, and open it up.
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Old 01-01-2019, 05:55 PM
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I ended up getting some aluminum stock and hacking some pieces ghetto style together. I used these as spacers to lower the cross brace about 1/4" and give enough clearance I don't think the exhaust will hit anymore. 1 thing to cross off the list.



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Old 01-03-2019, 01:50 AM
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like the updates so far. sort of reminds me of my budget NA6 turbo build I did in college 4 years ago. Ironically enough, i saw the ad and considered buying that NB1 to flip too LOL

Nice to see another WI member. I live around the south end of Milwaukee and there's a decent group of miata guys i typically go AutoX with during Miwaukee SCCA events. Feel free to drop me a line and we should meet up at an event sometime! looks like you did a Milwaukee mile event if i'm not mistaken? We also head up to shawano and RA for events on occasion.

Last edited by Padlock; 01-03-2019 at 02:14 AM.
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