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DIY Turbo Discussion greddy on a 1.8? homebrew kit?

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Old 07-06-2007, 09:52 PM   #1
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Lightbulb First time advice

I have posted before, but Im more serious about it now. Ok, so I want to turbo my miata. It is a 1991 JDM. Im looking for 200hp, super realiable, and I would rather "buy quality parts once", rather than replacing the motor every 6 months. Im capping the budget for everything at around 2000$.

Here is my deal, I have never really worked on my car, aside from changing oil. Im going to get some basic tools for my birthday (Sept) and wanna do the install myself. I took Braneaks advice and ordered "Maximum Boost". I want to take appart the engine, clean it out and replace all the gaskets to insure everything is ok and as a learning experience on wrenching. Then at this time I will install the turbo.

Here is what I understand, I need a turbo (preferrably with a smaller a/r, under .7 for quick spool), a manifold (this goes in place of the header. A downpipe which connects the header to exhaust and also turbo non restrictive exhaust. will also need intecooler, upgarade the injectors and fuel pump and also fuel management.

Now here is my dillemma. This is my dd, and this will be my first big undertaking. So would it be a better idea to save the headache and just get a Greddy kit? I assume this will be easier to intall than a DIY kit. But I know to get 200hp it will be at its max.

I also have made a DIY list, but I have a couple of questions. Corky Bell states that pretty much there are no bad quality turbos. Does this mean most likely I will be ok with some cheap *** 300$ ebay turbo with a t3 flange? It seems most are oil cooled (not as good), i didnt find too many that are water cooled. Also, how would I tune the car, Im not aware of any local shops, and I know the rates are killer. Would it be possible to tune it myself somehow? Finally, again I dont know of any local tuner shops, and it seems I would neex custom downpipe/exhaust...what should I do here. Anyway, here is my list:

OBX 1.6 Manifold (seems decent)
Some T3 turbo, point me to a decent one?
180 Walbro fuel pump
Greddy Emanage
Larger injectors (supra, rx-7)
Downpipe/Exhaust (not sure about this)
Ebay IC kit (will it be hard to fit this on?)

Also as this is my dd, I prob will wanna do this all in one go, with max 2 week downtime, I could get my friends to help me wrench. So what would you guys suggest, DIY? Greddy? Remember, I have never really worked on cars (I want to and am willing to learn), and I want a bulletproof setup that can handle a lot of abuse. What should I do? Thx in advance
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Old 07-06-2007, 10:04 PM   #2
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Start reading up and saving. That is the best advice that I can give you right now. You need to do the homework first and learn where everything is going to be located and the different things that you will have to get first for the minimum amount of downtime. The intercooler kit is going to be a diy project and depending on your level of common sense and engineering ability, could be a real pain in the *** to get on there.
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Old 07-07-2007, 12:45 AM   #3
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if the obx is the same as the megan stuff, you'll need a dsm mitsubishi turbo, i found out after i bought it
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Old 07-07-2007, 01:20 AM   #4
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Do yourself a favor and stay away from OBX and Megan hardware.
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Old 07-07-2007, 02:00 AM   #5
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Yo, it's a jdm miata... just get 2 big bottles o' NOS.

Not all Ebay turbos are created equal. Some are better than others. However good cheap sub-$200 turbos exist. Like this one below, purchased today for $199. It doesn't spool super quick, but it's a .63 A/R stage III T3 turbine with a .50 A/R compressor and a 57 trim compressor wheel. It did make 296 RWHP at 17 PSI though.

Mark
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Old 07-07-2007, 02:14 AM   #6
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holy **** that snail could eat my snail!!!
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Old 07-07-2007, 03:15 AM   #7
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You've set good goals for yourself, but to be honest, they don't seem very realistic.

A bulletproof 200whp turbo setup will cost you more than 2k. Subtract bulletproof and you might be able to do it. It sounds like you've done a fair amount of research, but I wouldn't try to rush your first turbo job.

best advice would simply be to try to be around turbo cars and people who have owned them/worked on them a lot. A greddy kit that's not running to the max sounds like a good idea for you. Keep in mind this is your first real experience working on a car so a nice relatively simple kit would do wonders to help you understand how a turbo setup works and is installed.

This way, after a year or so you can start to upgrade your setup with a lot more confidence.


Oh, and Corky Bell is smart and all, but there are BAD turbos out there! lol
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Old 07-07-2007, 06:38 AM   #8
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I was thinking it would be easier to do Greddy as well. But it seems when people get it, they find it is weak and are dissapointed with it? 2000$ Maybe a bit low I guess, I definately could invest more eventually, I just want to start with that.
Hmmm, lol, this will be tough, but I will get through it
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Old 07-07-2007, 04:43 PM   #9
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Is this any good guys? Seems too big for a miata? http://vancouver.craigslist.org/pts/364591663.html
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Old 07-07-2007, 08:59 PM   #10
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That is a little big for a miata. But, if you can deal with the lag, that thing will pull real hard.
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Old 07-07-2007, 11:59 PM   #11
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Ok... It seems hard, but my thought process is, if I read everything carefully and follow the Corky and FM instructions, obtain all my items in one go, I can do it. I dont think 30hp will be enough, I want the Miata to really pull hard. In fact if I could just get a list to buy and put together I would do that, but Im not sure exactly what im looking for.

Question for the intercooler. There are many ebay kits, can I just get one of those and put it on. Do you need to weld it?
Something like this: http://cgi.ebay.ca/2-5-Turbo-Interco...QQcmdZViewItem
http://cgi.ebay.ca/FMIC-TURBO-INTERC...QQcmdZViewItem

And about the manifold:
The OBX one says its for Garrett or Hybrid T3 or T3/T4 turbos
So any garett, T3, T4 flange is supported? Or only T3 with T4 compressor?
Also this doesnt seem to have any cuts in the manifold for thrmal expansion, does a miata not generate enough heat to have that as an issue or is this a quality issue?

There is also the t25 manifold for 150$ on ebay. They have a 1yr warranty so it cannot be that fragile? Which are the t25 turbos, is that the disco potato ones? I cant remeber.

Sorry about all the questions guys, but I truly appreciate the help and advice.
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Old 07-09-2007, 06:11 AM   #12
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you have a 1.6 rigth get the megan racing stuff a rrfpr and a 16g turbo, and a basic devils own kit, a F1 racing stage 3 clutch 8 psi 200 whp no other mods needed runs just fine all day long and pulls like a ************. there i did all the leg work for you just have the local muffler shop bend up a crossover and you are done. Works all day long and is reliable. Also it has room for growth.
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Old 07-10-2007, 01:53 AM   #13
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Seems like a decent setup, is this what you are running?. But is the turbo not too large? I do not want something that will spool only by 4k. And why do I need the devil kit? It seems excessive for now. Also wouldnt I need to upgrade my injectors and fuel pump with an IC unit? As long as this is reliable I would do this kind of setup. I was also looking at a BEGI manifold/downpipe and T3 turbo setup.

Honestly I would rather spend a couple of extra hundred for better parts. I have heard of emanage blue but not vortech FMU, will this be comprehensive and easy enough to tune? However if this will suffice I will use this kind of setup.

Last edited by curves; 07-10-2007 at 01:55 AM. Reason: didnt as
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Old 07-10-2007, 02:16 AM   #14
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$2k isn't going to get you a bombproof turbo setup, sorry to say. If you want truly bombproof, you're going to spend a thousand bucks on just the turbo, manifold, and downpipe, and if you're frugal you might be able to get a custom exhaust in that number as well. Then you'll need fuel injectors, an intercooler, IC piping, oil and water lines for the turbo, and a quality BOV, and that will quickly eat up the other $1k, and you haven't even bought a wideband, gauges, or any sort of EMS yet, not to mention things like a radiator, a clutch that will handle 240lb.ft forever, or the suspension/tire to handle such a car. If you want a truly bombproof setup, expect to spend about $4k when you're all said and done.

Having said that, I spent about $4500 on my T25 setup, and the budget swelled at the last minute to accomodate my time crunch to get the car done. I started the car for the first time on a Saturday night, tuned the idle in on Sunday, hooked up the exhaust Sunday night, had the car tuned on Tuesday, and immediately drove it 220 miles south to San Luis Obispo on Wednesday night, then 100 miles east to Buttonwillow on Friday night. The car ran pretty much flawlessly at Buttonwillow in 108-degree heat, enduring two drivers on both days with only one minor issue - a popped-off intercooler hose that was easy to fix. I then drove the car back over to SLO, and I'm driving it home on Friday. Not too shabby for only running for a week before its first hard track day.
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