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DIY Turbo Discussion greddy on a 1.8? homebrew kit?

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Old 06-20-2015, 05:37 PM   #1
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So I'd like to modify a early 90s miata, I'd like to make it lighter, turbo, and do any accompanying reliability mods needed. I'm not experienced, home wasn't an environment where we worked on cars during the week & race on the weekend to say the least. Ido like to know what the big ticket tools are needed to do this job. I'd like to keep my total spend around $6k. This includes the car & parts needed. I searched the thread but didn't see anything on tools needed. Also anything you'd care to add in regards to what I plan to do is welcomed. Haven't purchased a car yet but am shooting for early 90s. Thanks
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Old 06-20-2015, 05:54 PM   #2
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The best advise anyone can give is to read, read, read. The "useful saved posts" and the DIY FAQ: All your answers in one big post thread. Once you find your car start slow with it; brakes, new fluids, wheels, tires, suspension are a great places to start getting yourself comfortable messing with the car before jumping into something major.

Miatas are very simple to work on and really don't require a ton of tools. A 3/8th inch ratchet and basic metric socket set and wrenches will take most of the car apart. Pretty much every bolt on the car is 10mm, 12mm, 14mm, 17mm so make sure those are included. Then get a couple screwdrivers, some plyers, extensions for the ratchet and the rest you'll collect as you come to it.

As far as the car, buy a 94+ miata with a torsen lsd rearend.
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Old 06-20-2015, 08:15 PM   #3
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go visit miata.net. read all of the "garage" section
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Old 06-20-2015, 08:57 PM   #4
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Best tools in the box is a credit card and beer.
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Old 06-20-2015, 11:49 PM   #5
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Flyin' Miata tool kit is always a good purchase if you have plans of long term ownership. They'll pay for themselves pretty quickly.
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Old 06-21-2015, 01:11 AM   #6
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Decent torque wrench, Socket and ratchet set (including extensions and maybe a universal or two), beer, and internet access in garage are about all I need.
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Old 06-21-2015, 01:32 AM   #7
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One thing I would say gets overlooked a lot is a quality light. We use one of these extensively, and it's the ****.

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Old 06-21-2015, 09:57 AM   #8
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I wanna say that I don't use much other than 10,12,14mm wrenches and sockets, couple screw drivers, there's really not much to these cars... a trip to sears with a couple hundred bucks ought to get you covered for the most part.

Obviously electric impact drivers, pneumatic tools, etc are great and make work easier, but not really necessary. When doing a turbo install, I find myself working in contorted, tight spots that you can only fit a wrench in anyways...
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Old 06-21-2015, 11:32 AM   #9
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And an 8,17,19 mm wrench and sockets. Go to Harbor Freight, go nuts with like 500 bucks and be set for life. A lesson I have also learned is that HF tools don't get slolen or lost.
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Old 06-24-2015, 01:15 PM   #10
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$6k is about the price to buy the new parts to reliably turbo an already-well-sorted N/A Miata.

It can be done for less, but not when you're a noob to working on cars.

For a $6k budget, shoot to buy a nice, well-maintained car - you won't get a pristine example for that price, but pretty nice - and buy the tools to get the maintenance up to scratch. Things even well-cared-for older Miatas usually need include tires, shocks, radiator (use the opportunity to upgrade to a bigger one if you plan on going turbo in the future), gear turret boots, and timing belt. This is in addition to the typical issues you'll get on a second-hand ~20 year old car.

As your skills and savings build, then research adding a turbo. Doing it right isn't something you just do on a whim, especially if you need to rely on this car for transportation. In addition to the turbo kit and engine management, you'll need to budget for a clutch, motor mounts, and the whole thing won't be much fun without a Torsen diff (if the car you bought didn't have one), upgraded suspension, possibly brakes, and wider wheels and tires.
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Old 06-29-2015, 02:56 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ryansmoneypit View Post
A lesson I have also learned is that HF tools don't get slolen or lost.
So true lol
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Old 06-30-2015, 04:11 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by ryansmoneypit View Post
A lesson I have also learned is that HF tools don't get slolen or lost.
They often don't work, either.

Or if they do, they don't do it for long.
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Old 06-30-2015, 09:47 PM   #13
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Buy a quality cordless "rattle gun" and impact sockets. Impact sockets are 6-point sockets and tighter fitting than many sockets so you wont round off any nuts&bolts. The rattle gun makes many jobs a million times easier (eg. changing your shocks - did mine WITHOUT one but never again).

If you need smaller sockets, buy yourself a small socket kit that includes the matching impact wrench and screwdriver handle. I have a small Fuller set that gets way more use than I ever expected for small jobs.

For the larger sockets, use the impact sockets and buy a quality ratchet to fit, along with a few extension bars, a flexi-joint and 3/8->1/2" adapter; later, consider wobble bars.

These days, many large socket sets use 12-point sockets and if you're working with stubborn nuts/bolts, you're just going to round them off.

ie. My point here is DON'T buy a large socket set, while it may look impressive you may not get much use from most of it (from my Kincrome socket set, I only ever use the ratchet since all of it's sockets are 12-point sockets).
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Old 07-01-2015, 03:35 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by huesmann View Post
They often don't work, either.

Or if they do, they don't do it for long.
A wrench is a wrench, as are sockets, screwdrivers and pliers. I have six or seven ratchets and my HF one is at the front. The stripped out craftsmen are behind them. I have had great success with all of the air tools as well. Their torque wrenches have been proven to be just as accurate as anything else.
Electric tools are a different story.

What did you purchase that didn't last long?
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Old 07-01-2015, 07:00 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by huesmann View Post
They often don't work, either.

Or if they do, they don't do it for long.
We actually have a whole thread here on the forum dedicated to reviews of HF tools.

I have a combination of both HF and "other" tools. My primary socket wrench set is Craftsman, and I've had it for decades. Good stuff. But any time I need a socket that isn't in that set, including impact, I go to HF. My breaker bars are all HF, as was my jack, air compressor, angle grinder, etc back before I sold off the contents of my garage prior to moving to NYC.

My rule is this: if it's a tool I'm going to use all the time, I buy quality. (Eg: porter-cable cordless drill.) If it's a tool I'm going to use occasionally, I buy HF.
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Old 07-01-2015, 02:45 PM   #16
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I don't disagree that HF tools are what you should target when you need something you'll only need once or occasionally. But they're often made of pot metal, or poorly built. My HF angle grinder broke. Well, the switch broke. To be fair, after I repaired the switch myself, it's been reliable. I did have a HF ball joint tool bend, such that the threaded rod would not meet the opposite end of the C. Had it replaced by HF. The 250 ft-tb torque wrench I only use for occasional hub nuts? HF is fine. The everyday tools I use, like my ratchet? Craftsman. From when it was US-made, anyway. Not sure I'd buy Craftsman today, since it's not all US-made.
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Old 07-02-2015, 01:49 AM   #17
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Hard to beat the light weight aluminum floor jacks. An infrared laser temp sensor is cool to have. A good battery powered drill and a set of drill bits. A few select metric taps and a ratcheting tap handle. Some PB Blaster and a roll of paper towels. $10 worth of quarters to spend at the local car wash. And............... a 2' x 4' throw rug rather than a creeper.

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Old 07-02-2015, 03:43 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Perez View Post
We actually have a whole thread here on the forum dedicated to reviews of HF tools.

I have a combination of both HF and "other" tools. My primary socket wrench set is Craftsman, and I've had it for decades. Good stuff. But any time I need a socket that isn't in that set, including impact, I go to HF. My breaker bars are all HF, as was my jack, air compressor, angle grinder, etc back before I sold off the contents of my garage prior to moving to NYC.

My rule is this: if it's a tool I'm going to use all the time, I buy quality. (Eg: porter-cable cordless drill.) If it's a tool I'm going to use occasionally, I buy HF.
Joe, you never sold off your garage. You gave it all away for free, with me taking the majority of it. BTW, your tools are getting a **** ton of use. Festivus bar has gotten some use too.
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