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Old 06-01-2012, 05:45 PM   #1
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Default Noob requesting advices on turbo setup

Hi all!

I'm a new member here, you can see my introduction thread here: https://www.miataturbo.net/meet-greet-40/hi-canada-66162/

I have bought a used turbo kit, which consists of a Greddy TD04, with the 19T compressor upgrade and a T28 wastegate.





The kit came with the Greddy cast manifold (with the recessed slots to prevent cracks), a 2.5'' downpipe, intercooler and piping, 1.8 tan top injectors, MSD box, BEGI adjustable FPR, some gauges (air/fuel, EGT, boost...) and a few other goodies.

Previous owner used to boost up to 13 pounds reliably with this setup.

I plan on ditching the FPR and replace it with a Walbro 190hp fuel pump and the adjustable Powercard. I will also replace the air/fuel gauge with a wideband. I don't want to run a standalone for now due to budget limitations, but it is something I am interested in.

I have a limited budget and don't want to boost too much for now, I don't really want to exceed 180whp for this season. Reliability is very important for me. I have a new upgraded clutch to install beforehand and will do all the required maintenance so that I boost on a safe base.

So since this is my first turboed car, I have a LOT to learn. I would appreciate comments on my kit, and suggestions as I know people here have a lot of knowledge on forced induction applications. I know people here bash a LOT on bandaid setups and prefer full standalone systems, but please be constructive in your critics.

Cheers!

Michael
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Old 06-01-2012, 08:14 PM   #2
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I know people here bash a LOT on bandaid setups and prefer full standalone systems, but please be constructive in your critics.
I think that is because it is a false economy - if you looked at the time/effort plus outlay, a brand new standalone can be had for the same price as a brand new FPR... so the only really saving is less reading and understanding... the FPR is good if you want to do the least to get going. You wont save money and you will be back replacing it, or adding some other device to combat another part of what is can't do etc.

FPRs were the only way when ECUs were in the several thousands to buy... now they're under $200 and really shouldn't be passed up unless learning isn't your thing.
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Old 06-01-2012, 08:23 PM   #3
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I think that is because it is a false economy - if you looked at the time/effort plus outlay, a brand new standalone can be had for the same price as a brand new FPR... so the only really saving is less reading and understanding... the FPR is good if you want to do the least to get going. You wont save money and you will be back replacing it, or adding some other device to combat another part of what is can't do etc.

FPRs were the only way when ECUs were in the several thousands to buy... now they're under $200 and really shouldn't be passed up unless learning isn't your thing.
I do know that standalones ECUs are cheaper than before but still, the kit came pretty much complete, I only have to replace the FPR with a Walbro fuel pump and a JR programmable Powercard, plus add a wideband for added security, which is a necessity in my opinion whether you run standalone or piggyback.

At first I wanted to run an AEM EMS but they are extremely expensive and impossible to find anyway. I'm looking into getting a Megasquirt, but this is my first turboed car and I've never ever tuned a car. Tuning on a dyno means lot of $$$$$$$ that I don't necessarily have right now.

Anyways, the previous owner ran this kit at 13psi for 2 years and did lapping with his car with what I could consider ''inferior management''. With the added piggyback I have, I think runnin 8-10psi reliably is doable. I won't be making the most power, but it sure will bring me a smile when I drive the car!
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Old 06-01-2012, 08:26 PM   #4
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Don't disagree - just that the cost of a new FPR and Walbro fuel pump = MS2.

The only difference is the learning. You don't need to visit the dyno to tune as you can tune yourself using the software that is available for MegaSquirt. After all, if you are happy with letting the powercard approximate the fuel needs then you aren't chasing a perfect tune anyway.
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Old 06-01-2012, 08:33 PM   #5
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Don't disagree - just that the cost of a new FPR and Walbro fuel pump = MS2.

The only difference is the learning. You don't need to visit the dyno to tune as you can tune yourself using the software that is available for MegaSquirt. After all, if you are happy with letting the powercard approximate the fuel needs then you aren't chasing a perfect tune anyway.
I thought a MS2 would run me closer to 1000$. The Powercard and fuel pump cost me about 400$ together!

And you are right, as of now, I am not aiming for ''the perfect tune'', but something reliable that will get me some decent power compared to stock. I'm aware a lot of people here run incredible setups with LOTS of money in them, but sadly it's just not going to happen with me and my student budget lol.
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Old 06-01-2012, 08:46 PM   #6
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First, welcome.

Second, you're wrong on a few things. First of all, the fuel pump and power card won't do squat for your fueling needs. The adjustable fuel pressure regulator that your kit came with looks at the amount of boost your turbo is producing, and pinches off the return fuel line, raising the fuel pressure, therefore delivering more fuel. Your new walbro fuel pump will deliver NO extra fuel, it'll only be new, and capable of higher pressures, IF it's told to deliver said higher pressures, by something like the fuel pressure regulator. From my limited understanding of the powercard, there's no pressure reference, so even if you could design a map to work, any time you raise your boost, lower your boost, drive at part throttle, or cruise, your map would be way off.

Thirdly, a wideband is an air/fuel gauge, so make sure you know what you received. If you mean you only got a narrow band, then yes, ditch it for a wideband.

Fourthly, the new generation megasquirt plug-and-plays (MSPNP) are amazing and $800. First generation MSPNPs can't be found online anymore (I think), and ended their life at around $500. Kits can be bought for ~$275 and built for free if you know how to solder, or around $400 will buy you a kit and have someone build it for you.

Fifthly, you don't need a dyno to run a MS. I myself built and tuned my bandaid setup, then built and tuned my MS setup. I would never run bandaids again and will never suggest it, and feel perfectly comfortable tracking my current, no dyno, MS tune.
Yes, it's a steep learning curve, but it's possible and the idea shouldn't be dismissed.
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Old 06-01-2012, 09:02 PM   #7
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First, welcome.

Second, you're wrong on a few things. First of all, the fuel pump and power card won't do squat for your fueling needs. The adjustable fuel pressure regulator that your kit came with looks at the amount of boost your turbo is producing, and pinches off the return fuel line, raising the fuel pressure, therefore delivering more fuel. Your new walbro fuel pump will deliver NO extra fuel, it'll only be new, and capable of higher pressures, IF it's told to deliver said higher pressures, by something like the fuel pressure regulator. From my limited understanding of the powercard, there's no pressure reference, so even if you could design a map to work, any time you raise your boost, lower your boost, drive at part throttle, or cruise, your map would be way off.
Well I've been told by my friend who runs the new JR adjustable Powercard coupled with a Walbro pump that you can adjust the fuel delivered to the injectors depending on the rpm (idle to 2800rpm, 2800rpm to 5000rpm and 5000rpm to cutoff, or something along those lines). The Powercard does has an inlet for the amount of boost and can adjust fuel with boost data.

So far so good, my friend says he loves the way his fuel is delivered, the car idles perfectly and he makes a reliable 160whp with his TD04 Greddy turbo.

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Thirdly, a wideband is an air/fuel gauge, so make sure you know what you received. If you mean you only got a narrow band, then yes, ditch it for a wideband.
The previous owner used to run an A/F narrowband gauge with his setup, which I decided to ditch right away for a wideband.

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Fourthly, the new generation megasquirt plug-and-plays (MSPNP) are amazing and $800. First generation MSPNPs can't be found online anymore (I think), and ended their life at around $500. Kits can be bought for ~$275 and built for free if you know how to solder, or around $400 will buy you a kit and have someone build it for you.
There are two local guys with Miatas and Megasquirt units, one is turbo, the other runs ITBs. Both cars run like complete ----, and they have been tuned by a well reputed guy on a dyno. Yes, Megasquirt scares me. I try to read the most I can online and perticularly on this forum, but I can hardly see myself jump the gun right away and tune a car. But I agree that 800$ for a MSPNP is relatively cheap.

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Fifthly, you don't need a dyno to run a MS. I myself built and tuned my bandaid setup, then built and tuned my MS setup. I would never run bandaids again and will never suggest it, and feel perfectly comfortable tracking my current, no dyno, MS tune.
Yes, it's a steep learning curve, but it's possible and the idea shouldn't be dismissed.
I've been in two turboed Miatas as of now, one with a basic Greddy kit with MSD box and FMU pushing 140whp and the other with a TD04 and a Powercard running 160whp and I can say they are real fun to drive. I think I'll just run the car with piggybacks for now, learn hot to tune, and switch to a standalone next season. Yes I will have lost a few bucks along the road, but I still think I will enjoy driving the car with the hardware I have.
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Old 06-01-2012, 10:31 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by curly View Post
I would never run bandaids again and will never suggest it, and feel perfectly comfortable tracking my current, no dyno, MS tune.
Yes, it's a steep learning curve, but it's possible and the idea shouldn't be dismissed.
This, 1,000x this. I just moved from BandAids to a DIYPNP (MS2) and the difference is like night and day.

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Originally Posted by 4frnt View Post
Yes, Megasquirt scares me.
It scared the hell out of me too. I sat on my MS2 for almost a full year (after I paid someone to build it for me) before I zipped up my man suit and installed it. I see now that the last year was a complete waste of "development time" for me and the car.

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I try to read the most I can online and perticularly on this forum, but I can hardly see myself jump the gun right away and tune a car.
Why? Now is the BEST time, and by "NOW" I mean before you get boost on the car. You have to TRY to kill a BP or a B6 when naturally aspirated. These are tough little motors and the best time to learn is before you can really screw things up (ie: with boost.) If you learn to tune and troubleshoot NOW you can add the turbo with confidence later. As Curly said above, he tuned it himself, and he's like 500 years old! He probably knows how to adjust the jets on his dinosaur when the seasons change so he can get it to idle properly and he somehow managed to get a Megasquirt working in a 1.6 Miata with a Greddy! (I'm just messing with you Curly )

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Originally Posted by 4frnt View Post
But I agree that 800$ for a MSPNP is relatively cheap.
DIYPNP is currently $425 US and a wideband o2 can be had for under $200 US. I paid $650 for mine in total to have it purchased and built, but I now feel I could have easily done it myself with my (now) XX year old highschool soldering skills.

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Originally Posted by 4frnt View Post
I've been in two turboed Miatas as of now, one with a basic Greddy kit with MSD box and FMU pushing 140whp and the other with a TD04 and a Powercard running 160whp and I can say they are real fun to drive. I think I'll just run the car with piggybacks for now, learn hot to tune, and switch to a standalone next season. Yes I will have lost a few bucks along the road, but I still think I will enjoy driving the car with the hardware I have.
And I spent a year driving on the same type of band aids solutions and telling myself "It's fine, my wiener is huge, no one would ever doubt my prowess." You really need to get a ride in a car with a full stand alone ecu (MS, AEM, etc) thats even halfway tuned to appreciate it. Christ... we have guys on this forum with naturally aspirated 1.8 cars that have common bolt-ons + ECU making 140hp.

My car now runs stronger out of boost than it ever did before. The optimization of AFR and timing has REALLY woken things up in my case. The factory timing table is garbage. Its designed for emissions compliance and nothing else. The AFR tuning has already yielded something like 5-6 MPG increase in fuel economy. Why? Because in classic band-aid fashion, all it did was dump fuel to make up for additional air.

TL;DR: Save your money until you can afford a MegaSquirt or some other stand-alone ECU, buy/build/install/tune, THEN install your turbo and get into the boost.
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Old 06-01-2012, 10:39 PM   #9
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Another small benefit is the fact that with an ECU like MS2 you get a fully logged view of the engine including air temp, clt temp, manifold pressure/boost, rpm, spark, afr, throttle position, plus a ridiculous number of other things you can't possibly ever wish for... and if you ever want to add COPs you can (without another bandaid dwell reducer) or go fully sequential injection you can... there is just way more scope to do it right, and the cost is still in the $400-$500 and the learning requirements are similar.
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Old 06-02-2012, 04:07 AM   #10
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Yes, Megasquirt scares me.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aprilcurly'sGF View Post
Tell him to stop being a -----
Seriously, that's what she just said. If its what you have, go for it, but as it's been said, $400 can buy you a fuel pump and a power card or it can buy you a DIYPNP. You're being smart and buying a wideband either way, so that's a moot point with either argument.
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Old 06-02-2012, 04:41 AM   #11
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Michael, this is Josh. We talked on the chat earlier.

As I figured, everyone in here has repeated what I told you verbatim.

I've been around MS for a while, but even with a brand new system in my car, I was comfortable driving my car to work the same day I installed it.

You can do it too, man. When I get my subscription figured out I'll send you a PM about the MS-PNP I am selling and maybe we can work out a deal and get you running in the right direction.

Oh and welcome to the lion's den. You're doing well so far.
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Old 06-02-2012, 02:19 PM   #12
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Oh well, it just seems like I'll have to find a buyer for my newly acquired PC :(

And on to my new quest: buy a used MSPNP!
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Old 06-02-2012, 02:26 PM   #13
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Michael, this is Josh. We talked on the chat earlier.

As I figured, everyone in here has repeated what I told you verbatim.

I've been around MS for a while, but even with a brand new system in my car, I was comfortable driving my car to work the same day I installed it.

You can do it too, man. When I get my subscription figured out I'll send you a PM about the MS-PNP I am selling and maybe we can work out a deal and get you running in the right direction.

Oh and welcome to the lion's den. You're doing well so far.
Josh, thanks a lot for the talk we had. I'll be looking forward to receive your PM regarding the MSPNP.

So far, I find mt.net has a lot of knowledgeable poeple, so it somewhat gives me hope that I can tune the car using MS and your help.

Thanks to everyone!
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Old 06-02-2012, 07:15 PM   #14
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So yeah it happened. I'm about to pull the trigger on a used DIY MS2 built by Brain here, guy says it comes with IAT sensor and cord (I assume it is what plugs into OEM harness).

400$ for such a unit, what do you guys think?
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Old 06-02-2012, 07:47 PM   #15
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It would depend on the condition and specific things it comes with. The plain ms2 kit itself is only $278 new in parts that is kit assembled. If it is a DIYPNP then they are more but it is more plug-n-play etc.

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Old 06-02-2012, 08:51 PM   #16
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It is a DIYPNP. So just bought it. Where should I start to learn more on tuning using a MS? Since the guy previously used this MS to run his turbo setup, will I be able to just plug it and it should start on these maps, or should I download a baseline map and then begin tuning.
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Old 06-02-2012, 09:40 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4frnt View Post
So yeah it happened. I'm about to pull the trigger on a used DIY MS2 built by Brain here, guy says it comes with IAT sensor and cord (I assume it is what plugs into OEM harness).

400$ for such a unit, what do you guys think?
Generally "cable" refers to the cable that connects the laptop to the MS. "Harness" refers to the park that connects the OEM ECU plugs to the MS, if it's not a MSPNP, since those units plug directly in.

You'll need to run a vacuum T from the stock fuel pressure regulator to the MS, and mount the AIT sensor somewhere in your intake tract and wire it in. That kind of info can be found here:

https://www.miataturbo.net/megasquirt-18/super-important-megasquirt-threads-17498/

In that first "make and install" thread.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 4frnt View Post
It is a DIYPNP. So just bought it. Where should I start to learn more on tuning using a MS? Since the guy previously used this MS to run his turbo setup, will I be able to just plug it and it should start on these maps, or should I download a baseline map and then begin tuning.
Generally fuel maps are what make it run good or bad, spark maps are what can make more power, but if done wrong you'll blow the thing up.

If it's a MSII, you have bigger spark maps and fuel maps than I'm used to, 20x20 instead of 16x16, or something like that. Anyways, make sure you're getting a MSII map instead of a MSI map, try the link in this thread:
https://www.miataturbo.net/showthrea...light=msII+map

Then tune from there.

Search around a lot here for air/fuel ratio target tables. That's a 12x12 (again, might be bigger for you) table where you tell it what AFR you'd like to be at which RPM and boost point. So high RPM with no boost you don't need as much fuel as higher RPM and lots of boost. Get it?

Anyways, with that, you use either Tunerstudios (a tuning program) to autotune, which looks simultaneously looks at your current AFR and your target, and adjusts fueling on the fly to bring actual closer to the target. I suggest this method.

Then there's MLV (Mega Log Viewer) tuning, which takes logs of runs and you run it through a filter to get your new fuel table, after the drive.
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Old 06-03-2012, 10:11 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by curly View Post
Generally "cable" refers to the cable that connects the laptop to the MS. "Harness" refers to the park that connects the OEM ECU plugs to the MS, if it's not a MSPNP, since those units plug directly in.

You'll need to run a vacuum T from the stock fuel pressure regulator to the MS, and mount the AIT sensor somewhere in your intake tract and wire it in. That kind of info can be found here:

https://www.miataturbo.net/showthread.php?t=17498

In that first "make and install" thread.



Generally fuel maps are what make it run good or bad, spark maps are what can make more power, but if done wrong you'll blow the thing up.

If it's a MSII, you have bigger spark maps and fuel maps than I'm used to, 20x20 instead of 16x16, or something like that. Anyways, make sure you're getting a MSII map instead of a MSI map, try the link in this thread:
https://www.miataturbo.net/showthrea...light=msII+map

Then tune from there.

Search around a lot here for air/fuel ratio target tables. That's a 12x12 (again, might be bigger for you) table where you tell it what AFR you'd like to be at which RPM and boost point. So high RPM with no boost you don't need as much fuel as higher RPM and lots of boost. Get it?

Anyways, with that, you use either Tunerstudios (a tuning program) to autotune, which looks simultaneously looks at your current AFR and your target, and adjusts fueling on the fly to bring actual closer to the target. I suggest this method.

Then there's MLV (Mega Log Viewer) tuning, which takes logs of runs and you run it through a filter to get your new fuel table, after the drive.

Can't thank you enough for all these valuable infos.

Another question: will I be able to keep my cruise control?
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Old 06-03-2012, 11:32 AM   #19
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of course.

Dann
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Old 06-03-2012, 06:02 PM   #20
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Dang it. This thread just convinced me to go MS. The previous owner has run the band aid set up for years reliably and I'm just now learning how it all works thanks to the DIY thread on this forum, but I really want to make it more reliable and more powerful.

I just need to find that thing called INCOME again.
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