1.8 swap worth it on a budget? And correct me if my plan is mistaken. - Miata Turbo Forum - Boost cars, acquire cats.

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Old 10-09-2015, 04:50 AM   #1
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Default 1.8 swap worth it on a budget? And correct me if my plan is mistaken.

So, if you've seen my recent post I am looking to turbo.

My ending budget that I'm going for is hopefully no more than 2500$ and I will be doing this over 6ish months while I finish out highschool. '

I guess the main question is, if I'm on a budget, and don't have any experience with pulling a motor and wiring a harness or anything. Is it worth the money to swap to a 1995 1.8. I don't think I'll be able to keep it under 2500 though. It's not a matter of waiting to get more money, I have enough money to go 1.8, I just don't have more than 2500 for the car. The rest is going for college and I refuse to spend more.

Here is what I plan to do as far as a game plan if I don't go 1.8.
1. Buy megasquirt pnp w/afm delete. Buy wideband, then install them and learn my way around megasquirt. Roughly $1000
2. Buy larger injectors, probably rx8 yellows. $120
3. Get a intercooler setup going hooked up to my intake so that I can minimize undrivable time. Probably drive it for a month or two that way til I get a bit of money up for a turbo. $100-300
4. Think I'm looking at a dsm turbo and rebuild it, buy a ebay manifold that has a downpipe and midpipe, and reinforce the welds (if that's a usable idea?). Buy a boost controller with it and run maybe 6-7 psi, tune it correctly, get some dyno time, bump it to 10-12 psi, tune it, hopefully run a reliable 10psi. 1000$

$2220-2420 + dyno is 125 an hour and 200 an hour for tuning if I can't figure it out.


Does any of this sound reasonable? Or am I thinking this will be too easy. I have many friends, family, and connections to get this thing installed correctly and teach me tuning. So that's not an issue, but the pricing, game plan, and ideas are the thing I want your feedback on.
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Old 10-09-2015, 07:45 AM   #2
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That's not the worst noob plan I've read to be sure.
If I were in your shoes, I would focus on reliability and drivability.
What I mean by that is keeping it NA, spending money on suspension bits and learning to drive it well as is.
A 1.8 setup is almost always worth it in the long run, but it will blow your budget if you stick with turbo plans.
You may not be thinking about supporting mods like a 94+ diff and stronger clutch.
That's half your budget right there.
For my money in your situation, I would do a 1.8 swap, upgrade exhaust, megasquirt, build eBay suspension and enjoy the 140ish HP.
Pick up mad dudes at college.

Last edited by Monk; 10-09-2015 at 09:44 AM.
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Old 10-09-2015, 09:09 AM   #3
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I turboed my miata in high school and ended up selling it because I got tired of working on it and being unreliable. And I spent around $4000 on that. Keep it 1.6, do suspension first, maybe a torsen. Do a track day and never get a turbo.
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Old 10-09-2015, 09:15 AM   #4
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Welcome to miatanoturbo.net.
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Old 10-09-2015, 09:32 AM   #5
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if dyno tuning was $200 an hour, I wouldn't tune.
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Old 10-09-2015, 10:29 AM   #6
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Your timeline looks good, but your wallet is in for a shock. The unanticipated costs will hit you fast and hard. The worst is rinky-dink stuff, like plugs and wire and hoses and fasteners and gaskets and clamps and tools and bits and blades and fittings and fluids and...

You should handily bank on another $1000-1500 for unlisted and unforeseen costs and be able to back it up with another $1000 in case anything goes south.
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Old 10-09-2015, 10:42 AM   #7
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Also plan for $400 for a clutch and then another $250-750 for a 1.8 rear end.
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Old 10-09-2015, 03:50 PM   #8
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I completely forgot to mention the work I've already done to the car, my appologies.

It has an FM Clutch that's rated to 318ft/lb, has a 1.8 flywheel that I put on when the OEM went out, and the dif to my knowledge is a 1.8 open dif (what the guy told me). So I believe that's handled. As for the suspension I have some used VMaxx coilovers I picked up locally last month. It also has a 2.5 inch exhaust with a magnaflow muffler and magnaflow high flow cat. So there I should be good as well.

That's why I'm considering going turbo as there's not much more I can do. Maybe go for a built N/A, but that will be just as much as a turbo and not yield the same performance.

So knowing that does it change your guys suggestions? The engine is a late 1991 and doesn't have the short nose crank, it has near perfect compression, and the only leak it had was the valve cover gasket and that has been addressed and it currently has 0 leaks. From what I know it was a grandma owned car, then bought by a guy that side swiped a freeway barrier, the next guy bought it and fixed it, then the last guy bought it and did the rear end, put roll cage in it, and spray painted it in which he panned on making it a track car. I then came along, bought it for 900$ due to the paint being garbage, it having bondo all down the side of the car, and the tires being bald. I then put 3500 into restoring it to how I wanted it and bought a hardtop.


When I bought it



How it sits today


As you can see the dedication is real, so if I go turbo, it will be done lol.
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1.8 swap worth it on a budget? And correct me if my plan is mistaken.-80-46f6kmlbm_5502dfe63386ec26c58465f29a6168dd529dfde8.jpg   1.8 swap worth it on a budget? And correct me if my plan is mistaken.-80-6a294c20b57e6f27ef252a1684b97e8d_d7e965a237ad20a75ef52c435807ece62b6a4d11.jpg  
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Old 10-09-2015, 04:03 PM   #9
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I bought a 1.6L with plans to turbo. I did all the maintenance items to get things running and instead of doing a timing belt, I went HAM and swapped/turboed/blew a built bp4W. More then 10 grand into the project later, I'm slowly fixing up the loose ends on most recent 1.8L and counting the days till it dies again. Then again, I was in grad school while I fucked my life over.

Enjoy the car as it is, then do a v8. Reliable. Powerful. Efficient.

Last edited by psyber_0ptix; 10-09-2015 at 04:26 PM.
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Old 10-09-2015, 04:04 PM   #10
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There's nothing wrong with turbo 1.6, so long as you are aware it's not the pinnacle of miata motor. It will be more fun than it is now, and it can be pretty reliable.

The only manifold you should consider wasting money on is the cast iron ebay ****, with e-bay turbo. T3 is all you get, so go with the turbo Brainey, underdog, MKturbo and I use. I bought everything you need for less than $1800 bucks.



If no can weld, just buy a mkturbo kit.
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Old 10-09-2015, 04:19 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psyber_0ptix View Post
I bought a 1.6L with plans to turbo. I did all the maintenance items to get things running and instead of doing a timing belt, I went HAM and swapped/turboed/blew a built bp4W. More then 10 grand into the project later, I'm slowly fixing up the loose ends on most recent 1.8L and counting the days till it dies again. Then again, I was in grad school while I fucked my life over.
I figure for my expectations the boost will be low enough not to be a problem.

Quote:
Originally Posted by deezums View Post
There's nothing wrong with turbo 1.6, so long as you are aware it's not the pinnacle of miata motor. It will be more fun than it is now, and it can be pretty reliable.

The only manifold you should consider wasting money on is the cast iron ebay ****, with e-bay turbo. T3 is all you get, so go with the turbo Brainey, underdog, MKturbo and I use. I bought everything you need for less than $1800 bucks.



If no can weld, just buy a mkturbo kit.
There is currently a turbo, manifold, and downpipe for 400$ (Think he'd take 300) right now locally. It's a second gen dsm ihi turbo. Is that a good deal? I might just go pick it up and hold onto it til I get ready for it. Looks awfully like a megan racing manifold and downpipe. Are those any good?

My vote if I get "new" stuff is a china charger, and a cast manifold (read about non cast cracking, welds ruining turbos, etc) and an ebay intercooler kit. Does that sound like it would be good? Or should I go for a turbo off a sr20, ej25, 4g64?
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Old 10-09-2015, 04:22 PM   #12
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Probably not, because it's probably a shitty as **** ebay manifold. I just told you the only 1.6 manifold worth wasting money on is a 1.6 cast tacotaco manifold for a reason.

A tacotaco and brand new t3 is ~$300. New. My car has over 20K on it, and it's never been down more than a week since turbo, so...

Don't waste money on a good turbo and downpipe, because if you ever 1.8 it's all useless. Unless you buy MKturbo, like you probably should.
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Old 10-09-2015, 04:29 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deezums View Post
Unless you buy MKturbo, like you probably should.
And when you blow up your 1.6L you can pick up a 1.8 manifold from Lars + 1.8 engine and reuse the downpipe back.
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Old 10-09-2015, 04:33 PM   #14
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Since you have the supporting mods of diff and clutch out of the way, I would look seriously at the MK Turbo 1.6 package and sell the exhaust you have now to recoup some costs. And get a good used deal on a MS, wideband, and injectors. It's what I would do, and I'm pretty cheap and practical.
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Old 10-09-2015, 04:41 PM   #15
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Is this your only car? If it is, don't do it.
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Old 10-09-2015, 05:20 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deezums View Post
Probably not, because it's probably a shitty as **** ebay manifold. I just told you the only 1.6 manifold worth wasting money on is a 1.6 cast tacotaco manifold for a reason.

A tacotaco and brand new t3 is ~$300. New. My car has over 20K on it, and it's never been down more than a week since turbo, so...

Don't waste money on a good turbo and downpipe, because if you ever 1.8 it's all useless. Unless you buy MKturbo, like you probably should.
Quote:
Originally Posted by bahurd View Post
And when you blow up your 1.6L you can pick up a 1.8 manifold from Lars + 1.8 engine and reuse the downpipe back.
Quote:
Originally Posted by sixshooter View Post
Since you have the supporting mods of diff and clutch out of the way, I would look seriously at the MK Turbo 1.6 package and sell the exhaust you have now to recoup some costs. And get a good used deal on a MS, wideband, and injectors. It's what I would do, and I'm pretty cheap and practical.
Since the 1.6 TacoTaco manifold is not available, I endorse all these posts. Mostly because I just gave Emilio all my money, so now I need more. Otherwise I would 100% endorse doing the 1.8 swap.
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Old 10-09-2015, 05:28 PM   #17
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Xida price drop too hard to pass, right?

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Old 10-09-2015, 05:31 PM   #18
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Quote:
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Xida price drop too hard to pass, right?

Well I finally got some 6UL's this week. So I had to get some Xida's to match and the price drop helped. Since I am spending that much I might as well get the BGK, which is what I really wanted. Well that is only a little bit away from the orange club. So YOLO I joined the orange club.
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Old 10-09-2015, 05:36 PM   #19
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I did not need to know that was a thing.
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Old 10-09-2015, 10:58 PM   #20
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I love when a price drops a few hundred bucks AFTER you buy something, before you even have a chance to install it.
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