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DIY Turbo Discussion greddy on a 1.8? homebrew kit?

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Old 04-22-2012, 06:04 AM   #1
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Default I've got my flame suit on...

First off, I bought the car boosted and I don't know the first thing when it comes to engine internals or tuning. My current motor is on it's way out, gonna compression test it to confirm and then take it out. She's smoking bad, burning oil, and running lean. Not exactly sure what caused it but we're not going to focus on that, I just want to get rid of the piggyback and have a fresh start. I bought another car to daily while my Miata goes under the knife.

My current set up:
1996 1.8 stock motor/rear end
GT2554R @ ~10psi
305cc Supra Green Top Injectors
AEM Fuel/Ignition Controller
BEGI Adjustable Fuel Pressure Regulator
2.36" OBX Exhaust

It dyno'd 190whp and 200whp when it ran good 2 years ago.


Now that we have a background, here's my questions.
  • I want to make 250whp, is that plausible on the GT2554R?
  • Since the motor is getting pulled, should I buy and swap in a stock 1.8 from the local junkyard with 64k miles and good compression, or rebuild the current one? I don't know the first thing about rebuilding a motor but I'm willing to learn if it'd be cheaper. I was linked to THIS kit, stay away? I'm on a college budget, so the less money to spend to get and handle 250whp is best. I'll be calling the junkyard to get a price on the used motor.
  • Next, fuel and tuning. I'm not sure how hard it will be to convert to Megasquirt and get rid of the piggyback/BEGI AFPR. I can swap 550cc injectors in easy enough. I'm assuming I could get THESE and swap them straight in? But what about the plumbing of the AFPR and the Megasquirt? No one around here tunes them, so I feel as if I'd be on my own.
  • Oh yeah, heard about coolant re-routes, but not really sure if I'd need to do one?

Like I said, I love to have a reliable 250whp. Could I do it easy enough? I'm sure with the above and a larger exhaust, I could get close. I have time so I want to post this up here and get some opinions/confirmation. Not looking to get trash talked, but either way I'm willing to learn.
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Old 04-22-2012, 10:29 AM   #2
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If your willing to learn, then use the search button. For a reliable 250 whp, you are going to have to upgrade the internals, get a ligetimate tuning solution, swap in a 6 speed sooner rather than later, and effectively blow your "college" budget in an extremely short amount of time.
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Old 04-22-2012, 11:16 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by _spyder View Post
I was linked to THIS kit, stay away? I'm on a college budget, so the less money to spend to get and handle 250whp is best.
I'd stay away. Just from a glance, the head gasket is graphite instead of MLS like the OEM which is an inferior technology. If they did something obvious like that, I'm sure corners were cut elsewhere to cheapen it.

Way cheaper to do it right once instead of having to redo it to fix mistakes (as you already know).
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Old 04-22-2012, 11:24 AM   #4
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http://www.importperformanceparts.ne...ts-mazda1.html

For $75 more, you can get yourself a decent rebuild kit with a MLS gasket. Why ---- around with cheap eBay ----? However, it is highly likely you can find a engine at a junkyard a lot cheaper - $200 is entirely possible with our 1.8s.

Yes, you definitely need to get a megasquirt or some other way to handle fuel/timing. Period. It's not an option at 10psi.

A coolant reroute should run you $50, and if you have the engine out, it's so worth it.
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Old 04-22-2012, 05:48 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glade View Post
If your willing to learn, then use the search button. For a reliable 250 whp, you are going to have to upgrade the internals, get a ligetimate tuning solution, swap in a 6 speed sooner rather than later, and effectively blow your "college" budget in an extremely short amount of time.
I've search and found a lot of good information, answered previous questions I had prior to posting this. I've heard a stock motor with good compression and transmission can handle ~250whp, am I wrong?

Quote:
Originally Posted by njn63 View Post
I'd stay away. Just from a glance, the head gasket is graphite instead of MLS like the OEM which is an inferior technology. If they did something obvious like that, I'm sure corners were cut elsewhere to cheapen it.

Way cheaper to do it right once instead of having to redo it to fix mistakes (as you already know).
Gotcha, good point. Seems like the kit linked below is good.

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Originally Posted by blaen99 View Post
http://www.importperformanceparts.ne...ts-mazda1.html

For $75 more, you can get yourself a decent rebuild kit with a MLS gasket. Why ---- around with cheap eBay ----? However, it is highly likely you can find a engine at a junkyard a lot cheaper - $200 is entirely possible with our 1.8s.

Yes, you definitely need to get a megasquirt or some other way to handle fuel/timing. Period. It's not an option at 10psi.

A coolant reroute should run you $50, and if you have the engine out, it's so worth it.
I'll get the pricing on that low mileage motor from a local yard and see what happens, but great find on the rebuild kit. Happen to have a link to a coolant reroute kit for around $50? Or were you referring to a homemade kit?

Also, I plan to Megasquirt it for sure with the bigger injectors.

Anyone have any idea how much horsepower 15 PSI on a GT2554R would make?
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Old 04-22-2012, 05:54 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by _spyder View Post
I'll get the pricing on that low mileage motor from a local yard and see what happens, but great find on the rebuild kit. Happen to have a link to a coolant reroute kit for around $50? Or were you referring to a homemade kit?
Moss Motors spacer: $15 (Alternatively, BEGi for $93 with all the bells and whistles you could want)

Trackspeed water neck blockoff: $20

GM water hose: $15

That's what it ran me to do my 1.8 reroute. You may have to get the BEGi blockoff plate instead, however, at ~$25 instead if you need the front water neck. Throw in a new thermostat for $5 or whatevs, gaskets for a buck, etc.

P.S. Look for low mileage protege, ford escort, kia sephia, etc. motors instead of Miata. Miata carry a price premium, but are the same motors you see in other cars.
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Old 04-22-2012, 09:40 PM   #7
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Stock motors are effectively good to 230 wtq. Not a Hp limit, but a torque. At that point too, your 5 speed is just a ticking time bomb.
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Old 04-22-2012, 10:22 PM   #8
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Get a 2560. You can find them on ebay, brand new and usually under 800 bucks. The 2554 will not do 250whp on our motors.

Yes, as others have stated, around 230-250wtrq is the limit before your start venting block.

If you buy a rebuild kit, open your motor and don't install H-beams, I will KILL you.

Sell off all your crap to pay towards new glory.
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Old 04-23-2012, 06:02 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by viperormiata View Post
Get a 2560. You can find them on ebay, brand new and usually under 800 bucks. The 2554 will not do 250whp on our motors.

Yes, as others have stated, around 230-250wtrq is the limit before your start venting block.

If you buy a rebuild kit, open your motor and don't install H-beams, I will KILL you.

Sell off all your crap to pay towards new glory.
Gotcha. I think I'll stick with my 2554 and bump the boost up to 15 PSI. Whatever power I end up with should be good enough and reliable.

However, I just called the junkyard with the 64k motor and they want $1,000 for it. That's too much for me, so it looks like I'll have to rebuild her. I've never dealt with internals and don't know squat about the inside of an engine compared to most of you guys. I'm on a limited budget, but it's got to be fixed. I'm looking at the kit from the ImportPerformanceParts website, not sure if that's everything I'll need. If anyone knows of stuff I should for sure get, let me know. Otherwise, I'll just go with the flow and take it slow. Hopefully I can get a Megasquirt and tune it with the 550cc's and rebuild the motor.
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Old 04-23-2012, 06:07 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by _spyder View Post
Gotcha. I think I'll stick with my 2554 and bump the boost up to 15 PSI. Whatever power I end up with should be good enough and reliable.

However, I just called the junkyard with the 64k motor and they want $1,000 for it. That's too much for me, so it looks like I'll have to rebuild her. I've never dealt with internals and don't know squat about the inside of an engine compared to most of you guys. I'm on a limited budget, but it's got to be fixed. I'm looking at the kit from the ImportPerformanceParts website, not sure if that's everything I'll need. If anyone knows of stuff I should for sure get, let me know. Otherwise, I'll just go with the flow and take it slow. Hopefully I can get a Megasquirt and tune it with the 550cc's and rebuild the motor.
Why not talk to renown performance on the forum?

That guy always seems to be making deals and getting you every part needed to make the rebuild possible.

At least its a better start than going with some random online merchant IMHO.
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Old 04-23-2012, 06:21 PM   #11
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I see an engine available in Eau-Claire for $300 with 64k miles. Kenosha and Prescot have ~100k for $250. Milwaukee has a crap-ton for $275....etc. etc.

Something's wrong for $1k.
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Old 04-23-2012, 06:24 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Vashthestampede View Post
Why not talk to renown performance on the forum?

That guy always seems to be making deals and getting you every part needed to make the rebuild possible.

At least its a better start than going with some random online merchant IMHO.
Sounds awesome, I'll check 'em out.

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Originally Posted by blaen99 View Post
I see an engine available in Eau-Claire for $300 with 64k miles. Kenosha and Prescot have ~100k for $250. Milwaukee has a crap-ton for $275....etc. etc.

Something's wrong for $1k.
Please fill me in on the Eau-Claire one. I've used Craigslist and Car-Part but don't see anything like that. If you could link me to some of them via PM that'd be awesome.
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Old 04-23-2012, 06:26 PM   #13
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Please fill me in on the Eau-Claire one. I've used Craigslist and Car-Part but don't see anything like that. If you could link me to some of them via PM that'd be awesome.
Stop looking for Miata engines first off.

The Ford Escort GT 1.8 is a Miata engine. Buy it, swap manifolds/sensors, profit.

Kia Sephia 1.8 from...94-97 is also a Miata engine.

http://www.solomiata.com/BP8.php

That's a link of various compatible engines. Same engine that went in the Miata. One of the major reasons I finally upgraded to a 1.8 from my 1.6 is due to this - I'm able to pick up low mileage engines for $200-$250 locally.
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Old 04-23-2012, 06:39 PM   #14
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With the MLS head gasket, the surface prep of the block and head will have to be about perfect to have effictive sealing, personally, I would add ARP head studs. IDK what the regular recipe is on the board is for 250 or if ARP is needed at that level.

I have seen other platforms run 30 psi and 500 dyno'ed hp on a Composite head gasket and ARP. Here again IDK if that will work on the 1.8l.

Ring gap will also be important, you will need to run a "Boost spec" ring gap.
Run too small of a ring gap, and the ring ends will bit, thn flex, then bust ring lands.
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Old 04-23-2012, 07:49 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by BogusSVO View Post
With the MLS head gasket, the surface prep of the block and head will have to be about perfect to have effictive sealing,
The OEM gasket is a MLS so the existing surface should be fine. If it needs machine work, every machine shop worth a ---- can prep to a 30ra.
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Originally Posted by BogusSVO View Post
I have seen other platforms run 30 psi and 500 dyno'ed hp on a Composite head gasket and ARP. Here again IDK if that will work on the 1.8l.
Couple things:
1. As you hinted, all engines are not the same. Head geometry, fastener size, fastener load, etc. all impact how much a gasket can seal.
2. All composite is not the same. There are some really shitty materials out there if you start scraping the bottom of the barrel and I'd bet that gasket doesn't have a wire ring armor.

My main concern was it's a step backwards which means they did it to cut costs. MLS is expensive to produce but it is the new standard because it is a much better technology. Does he need it? Maybe not, but why risk it? A few extra bucks for a decent head gasket is worth it IMO to be sure I won't have to do it again.
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