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Old 01-31-2010, 05:49 PM   #1
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Default Turbo reliability: What has broken? How can you prevent it from happening again?

I had a turbo Miata in the past, which was known for its tendency to sit around broken...

I'm thinking of starting down that path again, but I'm not sure. I know at least one person who has given up on turbo and gone back N/A for this reason.

So, what have you broken? How can you stop it from ever happening again?
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Old 01-31-2010, 06:02 PM   #2
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Don't cheap out on important parts.

It's all in the tune.

Mechanical Empathy.

Check your **** frequently, once you mod a car, it is no longer a "set and forget" deal.
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Old 01-31-2010, 06:17 PM   #3
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No problems here. Just make sure you do it right.
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Old 01-31-2010, 06:47 PM   #4
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Do it right the 1st time around with good parts and take your time putting it together so you don't forget stuff. Tune it well and don't dare beat on it til its tuned flawlessly. Know your setups/engines limits.


Or be a giant ***** and go back to n/a
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Old 01-31-2010, 07:03 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 18psi View Post
Do it right the 1st time around with good parts and take your time putting it together so you don't forget stuff. Tune it well and don't dare beat on it til its tuned flawlessly. Know your setups/engines limits.


Or be a giant ***** and go back to n/a
I don't understand how anyone could go back to a NA setup after going turbo. If anything, the only way to go would be to a completely different car.

That or a v8.
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Old 01-31-2010, 07:11 PM   #6
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I had a supercharger for three years, about 170rwhp... it was one issue after another. got tired of having to screw with it and decided to build an N/A motor. don't have to touch it unless I want to and its an absolute blast to drive.

While not a turbo, I could see why someone would go back N/A. It's a fraction of the power many of you have, but still have little opprotunity to use it all on the street. It's certainly not slowing me down.
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Old 01-31-2010, 07:35 PM   #7
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...but still have little opportunity to use it all on the street.
This.

If you actually think about it, a decent turbo system on our cars (200hp), 1st and 2nd are near worthless, and you can use 3rd gear for what, 2-3 seconds before you're driving over 90% of the speed limits in the country?

Not that I'm saying I never drive over the speed limit or at least accelerate like hell up to it, but I could definitely see why someone would go back to N/A. I am right now while my injectors get cleaned, and although I have 5psi way up at red line, it's still a blast. For the track I'd STRONGLY consider N/A, I consider it a pretty big mistake going turbo on my track car. Too much money is required to make a reliable turbo miata track car. Kinda too late now though.
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Old 01-31-2010, 07:39 PM   #8
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With that logic we should all buy civic hybrids and Priuses so we can "USE IT ALL ON THE STREET"

No thanx
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Old 01-31-2010, 07:51 PM   #9
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Yes, you could probably floor it through most of the gears on a Prius and a cop next to you wouldn't even notice. And obviously turbos are still really fun on the street, I love mine. However, in order to realize the full potential of a turbo, you must either be an idiot on the street, or take it to the track. That's where there's a huge jump in budget required, that's all I was trying to say.
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Old 01-31-2010, 08:20 PM   #10
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Once you add a turbo, you also have to add the discipline of restraint. People don't like discipline.
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Old 01-31-2010, 08:30 PM   #11
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Neither of my turbo miatas have been less reliable than the n/a miatas I had before them.
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Old 01-31-2010, 08:37 PM   #12
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Quote:
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Neither of my turbo miatas have been less reliable than the n/a miatas I had before them.


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Old 01-31-2010, 09:20 PM   #13
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Stealth, reliablity issues from a S/C kit? .......... damn (thats not a knock on s/c kits, just haven't seen many issues with them)

I fully believe a street driven turbo car with quality parts and a good tune can operate just as reliable as a N/A car. But like they said, it's not a set it and forget it system anytime you mod a car.

I believe if my engine would of been assembled correctly my car would be running fine. Kind of ironic I've got some ITBs sitting in my garage lol. I think I'll end up giving them to my dad who loves the old school ITB theme for his weekend toy. I can't stop thinking about my next turbo system, how much it'll cost, how and when I can obtain it, and the next local track events lol.
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Old 01-31-2010, 10:01 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by curly View Post
Yes, you could probably floor it through most of the gears on a Prius and a cop next to you wouldn't even notice. And obviously turbos are still really fun on the street, I love mine. However, in order to realize the full potential of a turbo, you must either be an idiot on the street, or take it to the track. That's where there's a huge jump in budget required, that's all I was trying to say.
Ah, well that makes a lot more sense.
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Old 01-31-2010, 10:06 PM   #15
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oh hell yeah. Comes from running a JRSC at 11 psi when intended for 6. it was a belt shredding, idle dropping machine. The only things it did well is smoke tires and scream like a banshee. I loved the sound and the power, but I just want to drive the thing. It's actually a hell of a lot more fun to drive NA... yeah, I would not believe you if you told me that either.
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Old 01-31-2010, 10:17 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stealth97 View Post
oh hell yeah. Comes from running a JRSC at 11 psi when intended for 6. it was a belt shredding, idle dropping machine. The only things it did well is smoke tires and scream like a banshee. I loved the sound and the power, but I just want to drive the thing. It's actually a hell of a lot more fun to drive NA... yeah, I would not believe you if you told me that either.
Coming from the person running a supercharger :P
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Old 02-01-2010, 02:33 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nagase View Post
So, what have you broken? How can you stop it from ever happening again?
Well, let's see:

1: My left door speaker has stopped working recently. It may be due to the rather significant amount of water I intentionally blasted past the seal and into the inside of the door to clean out whatever road salt may have gotten down in there. Haven't yet disassembled it to inspect.

2: One of those white plastic things that are stapled to the carpet to hold it onto that ridge at the rocker panel finally tore off. It'd been loose for some time, and the last time I pulled up the carpet to access the ECU, it came off entirely. Not sure how I'm gonna fix that...

3: The larger of the two rubber boots around the shifter is torn... again. I doubt that I can ever stop this from happening entirely; just keep replacing 'em.

4: I snapped off one of the two bolts that holds the thermostat housing to the head. Not a big deal as that hole is capped with a freeze plug now, but it still annoys me to know it's there. No fix is possible on this one, as the broken bolt also has part of a bolt extractor broken off inside of it.

That's just about it, really. This car has been turboed for about four years now, currently running ~ 14 PSI. The clutch just recently started slipping, but that's hardly surprising as it's only an ACT HD in the 1.6 size. It's a wear item that's worn out.

Apart from that, no drivetrain difficulties. Engine and transmission are bone stock. If you take care of 'em and don't do anything stupid, these little bastards will surprise you with how tough they are.
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Old 02-01-2010, 04:42 AM   #18
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Mechanical empathy is pretty much everything. I've broken basically everything on my car, but I also beat the everliving **** out of it. Use quality parts, check them often, keep up on your maintenance, and always upgrade if something does break.
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Old 02-01-2010, 05:51 AM   #19
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Apparently no one has ever preventably broke anything on this forum. Well, hopefully this will be useful for someone to read.
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Old 02-01-2010, 07:56 AM   #20
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What they are all trying to say is that if your running 20 psi on a stock engine, your gonna break stuff, 10 psi done correctly not so much. 10 psi with bandaids, you will break stuff. How much stuff you break is up to you. You never did specify what your goals are, perhaps being more open in that area would help us tell you what you need to beef up.
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