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DIY Turbo Discussion greddy on a 1.8? homebrew kit?

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Old 03-03-2013, 11:47 AM   #21
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If you do a Begi kit, they offer a stainless 3in exhaust that they can mate to the 2.75in downpipe via a 2.75in to 3in tapered test pipe.

I ordered a log manifold/2560 kit last week with some special options. Mainly, I deleted stuff like the cold air box, air scooper, fuel system, and FMIC. Here's how I did it and what it cost me:

I ordered a FMIC core from a user on this site. $300
I'll build my own piping with pieces from siliconeintakes.com. $100
That right there is about half the cost of the Begi FMIC in the kit.

The exhaust was right around $550 and it will bolt straight up to the kit. No problems, no worries. They also have a smaller diameter for a bit less.

The above cost just under 3k.

I did a MegaSquirt from Braineack, FIC 650 injectors, and Innovate wideband and boost gauges for right around $1000.

I'll need a clutch but my intent is to keep boost as low as possible while I make sure everything works and try to delay the inevitable.

So, from what I've seen over the past year, engine management/clutch/injectors seem to be pretty close in price. Exhaust could prob be built for less if you wanted to take the time and have a welding hookup, otherwise the Begi 3in seemed like a decent price. Turbo systems could be had for less if you piece together stuff like the turbo, downpipe, and manifold. Being somewhat less experienced when compared to other users on this site, I felt like a bare bones kit was the way to go for myself.

Not trying to nut swing on Begi, but they have had excellent customer service with me thus far. They offer nice things like hard lines as standard, allowed me to customize things in the kit that I didn't need/want/thought I could do without.

If you read Erats thread youll see he had a boost creep issue. Begi ports the part of the turbocharger that supposedly contributes to boost creep... for some that might be an easy thing, but I have only minor porting experience and id rather leave stuff like that up to the pros, especially when it is standard on the kit. I haven't received the kit yet, but I'm sure it'll be nice stuff. If its not then there is a warranty that I can fall back on which is another point that reinforced my kit decision.

Note:
Some of the above is regurgitated info I've learned by lurking on this site for over a year before starting my build. I have not installed this kit on my Miata... I haven't even seen it in person yet, so take that into consideration when you read this.
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Old 03-03-2013, 11:51 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by gelkins View Post
The question was asked whether my Miata is a DD. No, it doesn't have to be. I have a truck I can use to get to work if need be.

As I think more about this, more questions come to mind. With the car nearing 60k, it may be good to do the timing components - something I think I would get the mechanic to do.
Timing belt wouldn't be the worst idea but you can certainly do this yourself. Our motors are non-interference which means you won't slam valves into pistons if you do it wrong. There are some good write ups around. Same with the clutch. There is a current thread here discussing the best way to do this (engine in or out). Buy a transmission jack with a small percentage of the money you were going to pay the mechanic to do the work. In general, investing in tools>paying shop labor.

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Originally Posted by gelkins View Post

So, is the following the right sequence?

1. Order kit, timing components, clutch (recommended clutch????), and exhaust (recommendations preferably under $400???). Any other essential items? (mr_hyde suggested ECU, injectors and megasquirt)

begi or VooDoo II???
A Megasquirt is an ECU - probably the most affordable solution that functions well. FM Stage 1 is a good clutch for a modest build. The downpipe off the turbo should probably come with the turbo kit but the exhaust behind that can be custom (good thing to invest in shop labor).

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Originally Posted by gelkins View Post

4. Mechanic fine-tunes it and I'm good to go
It's not really fine-tuning. You need a tuner. A basic repair shop will not have a dyno or the experience to do this. You can get by on a base tune for a while if you have a wideband and go easy with autotuning but it is best to get it done right ASAP.
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Old 03-03-2013, 12:01 PM   #23
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I strongly recommend that YOU do the timing belt and waterpump as a first step on this journey. It will get you into the engine, and is pretty easy (a lot easier than a heater core, I assure you).

The second step should be to mount an ECU (Megasquirt). Get a notebook computer and learn to tune it. This is probably the steepest learning curve item of the entire installation, and doing it on a stock car is, IMHO, the best way to do it.

Third step would be to calculate the size injectors you need to support your HP goal (I used 350cc to support a 200HP goal). Install and tune those.

Now . . . get the turbo kit. By this time, you may be comfortable enough to just DIY from components instead of paying for the kit. That's what I would do now, call ARTECH for nice components instead of only using 1/2 of a Greddy kit.

I started this journey in 2008. It's a journey, don't rush it.

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Old 03-03-2013, 12:03 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gelkins View Post
The question was asked whether my Miata is a DD. No, it doesn't have to be. I have a truck I can use to get to work if need be.

As I think more about this, more questions come to mind. With the car nearing 60k, it may be good to do the timing components - something I think I would get the mechanic to do.

So, is the following the right sequence?

1. Order kit, timing components, clutch (recommended clutch????), and exhaust (recommendations preferably under $400???). Any other essential items? (mr_hyde suggested ECU, injectors and megasquirt)

I suggest you do all of the work yourself including the timing belt and clutch. It will take a bit more time but to be honest you learn a lot about the car. A timing belt is not hard to do and there is no reason to pay a mechanic to o it.

While you will need an exhaust at some point I am pretty sure you can get away with just a downpipe for now to bring that out of your initial budget and add a good exhaust later.

A megasquirt is an ECU and I would suggest that and injectors be your first purchase. Install these first and get a base map from someone on this site so that you can learn a bit about it before you boost the car. It makes the whole thing simpler and will prevent headaches down the road


begi or VooDoo II???
Do not get the VooDoo box. A no electronic starter kit from either BEGI or FM would be a good start.

2. Mechanic does timing belt and clutch

I addressed this above.

3. After he's finished, I begin the turbo install. Hopefully I can do it in a full week. I should add that I have basic tools, nothing highly specialized. Any special tools that I need?

You can do everything you need to do with basic hand tools. If you know someone with air tools that you can use that is always nice though.

4. Mechanic fine-tunes it and I'm good to go

Not a mechanic. A reputable tuner. This is not even really necessary if you get a good base map and you are willing to learn to tune yourself. This is what I am doing and it is really rewarding not to mention much cheaper and when something goes wrong I have a good idea as to what it is.

Is this the right order? Am I leaving out anything?

Thanks guys! This forum has inspired me to give it go!
This all may seem a little daunting at first but with patience and effort you can do it all by yourself. I had never done more then brake pads, plugs, and oil changes before I got my MSM and I have not had to take it to a professional once. It is also my only car so that should tell you something.

I have had a good bit of help from Sixshooter and I suggest you make friends with someone local that has experience because it is very nice to have help when you need it.
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Old 03-03-2013, 12:10 PM   #25
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Gosh, everybody's giving the exact same advice independently. This is interesting.
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Old 03-03-2013, 12:33 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hornetball View Post
3. Make sure it's not your only car. I think you've got that covered. A turbo Miata can be a reliable DD, but I assure you once the mods start, you're going to get the itch every six months or so to tinker some more.
This times eleventy-billion, see my sig. Its not so much that it will become unreliable, its just that you are going to want to take your time, research, check things, read some more, try to wrench on it, something won't look quite right, you will want to ask questions... Another vehicle and some patience are going to go a long way with your personal sanity and satisfaction with the project. Trust me.
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Old 03-03-2013, 12:59 PM   #27
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I don't know if I would say a timing belt is easier than a heater core. I did my heater core in an hour by cutting the pipe's and just sliding it out. Didn't have to take anything apart.
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Old 03-03-2013, 12:59 PM   #28
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Hyde, Hornet and Ryan hit you with some of the most helpful and honest information you will ever get from anywhere.
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Old 03-03-2013, 01:06 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by BTMiata View Post
I don't know if I would say a timing belt is easier than a heater core. I did my heater core in an hour by cutting the pipe's and just sliding it out. Didn't have to take anything apart.
The full-fledged heater core replacement (Not the cheater shortcut like that) is way the hell more difficult than a turbo install or a timing belt replacement.
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Old 03-03-2013, 01:07 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by blaen99 View Post
The full-fledged heater core replacement (Not the cheater shortcut like that) is way the hell more difficult than a turbo install or a timing belt replacement.
Not denying that... I guess it all depends on how he did the core... I don't believe he specified one way or the other. And I guess you could call it cheating, but hey.. work smarter not harder right
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Old 03-03-2013, 01:18 PM   #31
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We are all giving the same advice which is because this is a simple question - Yes you can do it yourself for $4k if you follow the 'path'.

One dissenting opinion. Oversize your injectors a bit. You can tune big injectors down but you can't (properly) shoot more fuel through smaller injectors. The cost difference isn't that big and it will save you from doing it twice as you add supporting mods to crank out more safe power.

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Third step would be to calculate the size injectors you need to support your HP goal (I used 350cc to support a 200HP goal). Install and tune those.
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Old 03-03-2013, 01:59 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by mr_hyde View Post
One dissenting opinion. Oversize your injectors a bit. You can tune big injectors down but you can't (properly) shoot more fuel through smaller injectors. The cost difference isn't that big and it will save you from doing it twice as you add supporting mods to crank out more safe power.
Wouldn't even call that a dissenting opinion. With gen1 injectors, this wasn't such a great idea. But these days, with ID1000's idling smoother than OEM 235's . . . absolutely.
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Old 03-03-2013, 02:22 PM   #33
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Im not sure if everybody will agree with this, but I personally would have a hard time trusting a random tuner at some speed shop. So I suggest doing extensive research on how EFI/EMS works and learn about tuning theory. Youll know then if youre up to the challenge of tuning it yourself (with the support of MT of course), or at least youll have a better chance of finding a good tuner who knows what theyre talking about.

There are several resources for this, such as the Megasquirt Megamanual.
My favorite is a Honda specific library that gives a good walkthrough on how speed density tuning works, found at PGMFI.org. Then you can get into the gritty details of megasquirt from there.

Like noted above, proper maintenance and a new clutch is a good idea.
The next step would be to get the car running on megasquirt with some larger injectors.
Once its running around NA on MS, then its a simple task of updating the tune from there when you turbo it.
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Old 03-03-2013, 03:11 PM   #34
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You are in NE Georgia. Get in touch wih DIY Autotune, they will get you started with Megasquirt and they can tune the car indyno once evereything is buttoned up.
Get Garrett 2560 Turbo, good exhaust manifold which is not prone to cracking, front mount intercooler, piping and big injectors 550 cc or greater,and that should get you close. Limit boost to 8 - 12 psi and this will keep most of the reliability and heat load in daily driver territory.
I would not count out some used parts to keep costs down.
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Old 03-03-2013, 03:52 PM   #35
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Tools needed - for the clutch, if you do it with the engine in the car, you will want the aforementioned transmission jack (mine was $60 from Harbor Freight, totally worth it for even a one-time use) and a good selection of extensions/ujoints for your socket set. And make sure you have 6-point sockets, not 12. The 12's can easily round a nut off.

And when you do the clutch, put in a stainless steel clutch line as well, available from several of our sponsors. It gets rid of the curly-q line at the bottom, but more importantly, a couple of fiddly brackets are no longer needed which can be a PITA when putting the trans back onto the car by yourself. They like to shift around, get in the way, no longer be oriented how they're supposed to, etc.
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Old 03-03-2013, 08:03 PM   #36
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Wow, you guys are amazing! I've gone from thinking that not only can I do the turbo, but maybe even the clutch and timing belt.

So, it looks like I have lots to research and think about. I would like to get started on some of the tasks during spring break (March 18-22). I will keep you updated on the progress.

Someone asked about how I did the heater core replacement. I had a 96 Miata with cracks on the dash. I found a replacement dash at The Parts Group in almost mint condition. So, I removed the old dash and instrument cluster. Someone suggested that I replace the heater core while I was at it, so that's how I did it - I found a heater core in good condition, installed it, and then replaced the dash. It took me a couple of days to the dash and heater core, but I tend to plod along when I do these things to make sure I get it right the first time.

Someone else asked if I live in NE Georgia - yes, I do!

Also, I checked my odometer again and noticed that I have 53k on it, not 55k. Should that make a difference on whether to mess with the timing belt at this stage. Or is 53k close enough to go ahead and replace it while I am at it?

Last edited by gelkins; 03-03-2013 at 08:09 PM. Reason: To add something
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Old 03-03-2013, 08:04 PM   #37
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....

I'm completely serious when I say this.

You'll have no problem doing a turbo install, clutch replacement, or timing belt if you did that with no problems. Pulling and replacing a dash is a way bigger pain in the *** compared to any of those.
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Old 03-03-2013, 08:12 PM   #38
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Yes, the dash job was definitely was a pain! Wouldn't want to tackle that one again.
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Old 03-03-2013, 08:17 PM   #39
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Yes, the dash job was definitely was a pain! Wouldn't want to tackle that one again.
Wow huge props for doing the dash/ core! Thats huge and I definitely would say your are capable of doing the clutch/ timing belt/ turbo set-up install
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Old 03-03-2013, 08:18 PM   #40
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The timing belt on the miata was my first stab at anything of the sort.

Basic mechanical knowledge and a toolbox, along with the help of this forum and you can do just about anything to these cars.

Do yourself a favor though. Don't piece together a DIY kit for the IC pipes. Just call FM and order the silicone kit and be done with it. Just my knowing from experience.

Good luck!
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