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Old 03-06-2012, 06:37 PM   #1
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hi all, i'm in the process of learning about turbos and i am wondering if my car is "boostable". 197K miles (gotta replace timing belt/water pump) and showed ~150 across all cylinders on the compression test. aside from the tranny and body..can i put 5-6psi into this motor (greddy or begi-s/shanghai-s)???

btw, previous owner took crap care of this car and i question whether its ever had the timing belt replaced...at stock 10deg timing the car feels like it had the e-brake on when driving...i'm running 87oct gas and bumped it to 18+degrees and runs perfect no pinging at all..i should assume that would be the belt eh?

btw, name is mike..phx,AZ 2nd miata, ex tiburon owner
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Old 03-06-2012, 06:42 PM   #2
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Check into a book called Maximum Boost by Corky Bell. I bought it for about 20$ on ebay but amazon has them cheaper. Well worth the money, it will explain all the basics of turbocharging and how to read compressor maps to see what turbo suits your needs best.

Truth be known, I probably wouldn't bother boosting a motor with that many miles unless your just throwing on random/free parts you have laying around on it.
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Old 03-06-2012, 06:56 PM   #3
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Why not? With low boost and a safe tune, you won't significantly reduce the life of the motor. Unless it's a DD and you can't be without it - and let's face it, it's nearly reached the end anyway - slap a small snail on it and have fun.
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Old 03-06-2012, 07:00 PM   #4
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i do DD it but i still have my 07 tacoma that i keep safely in the garage what do you think about the timing issue i'm having? corrected with new belt?
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Old 03-06-2012, 07:02 PM   #5
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I'd boost the ---- out of it with good parts, then just swap a motor when it dies. I would run lots of boost through it for fun.. =o
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Old 03-06-2012, 07:42 PM   #6
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I'm at 193K.

In your situation, you should buy and install a timing belt/water pump kit from Rosenthal Finish Line. Has EVERYTHING you need to get your water pump/cam timing, etc. up to snuff, comes in one box and is a great value. You didn't mention a year, but if it's an early car like mine, you'll also want to take a look at the crankshaft bolt. That will be part of the timing belt job.

Assuming body, etc. is in good shape and the car is worth keeping? In that case, boost away. Worst that happens is you blow the motor and get a rebuild. That was my plan, but I've failed to do it thus far.
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Old 03-06-2012, 07:50 PM   #7
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mine is a 91'..body is in good shape( needs fender) thats all..and besides the timing belt issue..seems to run great..got all the fluids changed (diff,tranny,engine,coolant..etc) and have been give her love here and there..has new paint (uhh someone got maaco)..i have looked into the crankshaft issue and my miata is a late 91' (high vin) and doesnt appear to have the crankshaft issue (style of crank pulley)
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Old 03-06-2012, 08:48 PM   #8
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You've definitely got a booster there!

Long nose cranks can have issues too. If you get that kit from Rosenthal, it will include the front crank seal (and cam seals, and pulleys, and fanbelts, and . . . . ). You'll need to pull the crank sprocket to put it in, and that will give you a good chance to inpsect. When you re-install the crank bolt, you'll use locktite, a good torque wrench, and be good to go.
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Old 03-07-2012, 04:56 AM   #9
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Well if I go turbo... It's down to shanghai kit or greddy. Don't like the idea of a china charger but don't lie the idea of a cracked manifold either ... Hmm
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Old 03-07-2012, 09:06 AM   #10
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Greddy manifolds are OK as long as you make the relief cuts. My main beef with the Greddy is how little of it I actually used -- I still did a lot of fab (which was OK with me, I like to fab). But, in the end, I only used the manifold, turbo and downpipe -- nothing else. And, I'm planning to ditch the downpipe.

If you want something more turnkey, definitely go with BEGI, do the FPR delete and substitute a Megasquirt. I think it's less money too, since Greddy's have been creeping up in cost as supply runs out. The real economy option is to buy off the FS section here, but if this is your first rodeo, that might be hard. Maybe watch the FS area for a couple of months while you do basic maintenance/body work? If nothing pops up and you're ready to turbo, give BEGI a call?
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Old 03-07-2012, 10:56 AM   #11
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Boost that shiz.

Just to keep the budget under control... start with the Shanghai"S" non-intercooled at 6psi. You've gotta step up to 91/93 octane, whatever AZ has... but you'll be fine.

The only recommendation I make to guys running a basic system and starting with a high-mileage car is to have the fuel injectors cleaned/flowed (if 1.6, step up to 1.8 injectors), get a new fuel filter, and upgrade fuel pump to Walbro 190lphHP (be sure to get the HP model). It's a $200 investement that is well worth it not only for now, but when you upgrade to more power down the road.

Also, there are several locations in the fuel system that are rubber lines. Coming out of the fuel pump itself, where the fuel filter connects, and inside the engine bay connecting to the rail. Replace all of those lines with new stuff.

HOWEVER... it would be remiss of the forum not to give you the "standard" advice even though you didn't ask for it. If you're in this for the long term... ie, you're looking forward to many happy years of boosted Miata'ing, then you should have a long'ish term plan to power.

The first step in the road to power is having a good platform. This mean doing all the standard preventative maint the car needs. A new timing belt is a crucial step, as well as a few small supporting mods that we always recommend. For the Arizona heat, a cooling upgrade is almost mandatory... I'd start with a DIY reroute. If you still have the original radiator the car came with, it's been on borrowed time for about 70k miles. There are dozens of alternatives for an aftermarket radiator... Godspeed comes to mind... or you can go with an OEM all-metal radiator for an automatic trans Miata that is a larger better design than the manual tranny one.

There are also dozens of options for oil-coolers that somebody living in SoCal might not need to worry about, but again, in AZ, it's money well spent.

But the real advice starts here... before you spend any money on go-fast boost parts, get a real ECU, injectors, and wideband. A "can't go wrong" setup is Megasquirt/RX7 550's/LC1. You can learn to tune while you scour the classifieds and assemble the hot parts you need for boost. It's really self-defeating to begin a boost project with bandaids. You spend more money and get less results in the short-term and long-term... it's just not worth it.
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Old 03-07-2012, 11:30 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikemiata2323 View Post
Well if I go turbo... It's down to shanghai kit or greddy. Don't like the idea of a china charger but don't lie the idea of a cracked manifold either ... Hmm
Speaking from experience, you can still have fun with a chinacharger. And if you break the turbo, it won't mess anything else up, then you can upgrade. That's my plan at least. Spend the money where it matters. I was able to get my setup put together including an FM clutch, injectors, ebay rad, and megasquirt for a little less than $3500.


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But the real advice starts here... before you spend any money on go-fast boost parts, get a real ECU, injectors, and wideband. A "can't go wrong" setup is Megasquirt/RX7 550's/LC1. You can learn to tune while you scour the classifieds and assemble the hot parts you need for boost. It's really self-defeating to begin a boost project with bandaids. You spend more money and get less results in the short-term and long-term... it's just not worth it.
+9999999

I really wish I installed my megasquirt, injectors, and wideband whilst naturally aspirated. If you change everything at once, it is very tough to trouble shoot the small issues you are bound to run into. Also, tuning a N/A car is much more forgiving than tuning a F/I car (I blew my first VVT motor ).

Or if you are keen on replacing that motor soon, just run all of teh boost and blow that bitch up in a blaze of glory.
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Old 03-07-2012, 12:39 PM   #13
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+1 on megasquirt/wbo2 first. I made the mistake of going bandaids when i first boosted my car back in 07, keep in mind megasquirt PnP wasn't an option yet at that time though.

In my opinion build up a solid turbo kit that won't fail you, that way the only thing your replacing down the line is your motor once you blow it up. My motor has similar compression numbers (150's dry, 160's wet) and were consistent on all cylinders. I've pulled this motor to maintain it(t-betl, waterpump, front/rear mains, etc) - but i'm actually putting it back in the car because it ran so well. (at 10psi I yanked on a 260whp/360ftlb tuned wrx by 4-5 cars, destroyed a bolt on/gears s2k, etc) I'm planning on maxing out my greddy kit this summer to see what it will really do, and hopefully go out in a blaze of glory.

However i kind of doubt the motor will blow. I learned how to tune on this motor, ive had it ingest dirt/rocks when my intercooler fell off(yeah i was a noob), and i ran this motor on bandaids with a horrific tune for a few thousand miles, oh then i learned how to tune it myself with my MSpNp. That might give you an idea of how strong these damn motors are.
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Old 03-07-2012, 04:08 PM   #14
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However i kind of doubt the motor will blow. I learned how to tune on this motor, ive had it ingest dirt/rocks when my intercooler fell off(yeah i was a noob), and i ran this motor on bandaids with a horrific tune for a few thousand miles, oh then i learned how to tune it myself with my MSpNp. That might give you an idea of how strong these damn motors are.
yeah, this is why i went with my first miata 2 years back..motors seem fairly indestructable..waiting to see what kind of cash i have in the next few weeks, if i get what i am thinking..i may just get the begi shanghai...i dont have the money right now to do MSpnp..so if i get turbo, will work with fuel that i have...line upgrades,filter,pump,fpr,rx-7 injectors..etc...then move up from there MSpnp..makes sense to do it otherway first...however i'm 27 and i go with the excuse "i'm part of the...i want results now...generation"
this would be my first boost build and i am terrified as i have only done N/A bolt on mods..but i have access to a full garage of tools, and a bro in law and father in law that have basically built cars from scratch and only live 1/4 mile away!!!
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Old 03-07-2012, 04:13 PM   #15
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makes sense to do it otherway first...however i'm 27 and i go with the excuse "i'm part of the...i want results now...generation"
On this forum, you are allowed, even encouraged, to be smarter than the norm of your generation. Most people in every generation are pretty stupid.
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Old 03-07-2012, 04:44 PM   #16
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heres a few pics of her..came looking like crap..has some fenderside damage..so new fender in a few weeks..headlight work in progress (all bent up, new motor)
other than that..suspension is in good shape (GOTTA CHANGE..boo oem)



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Old 03-07-2012, 04:49 PM   #17
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On this forum, you are allowed, even encouraged, to be smarter than the norm of your generation. Most people in every generation are pretty stupid.
damn you and and your good points~~~!!!
yeah, i try to set myself aside...hence the tiburon/miata instead of honda/acura..never did like mainstream anyways

even ifi dont turbo (if not enough cash) i will still continue to learn and prepare for the inevitable..boost -boostington mcboosterson III
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Old 03-07-2012, 05:07 PM   #18
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That car is clean besides the fender! How much did you get it for??

Also, you would be suprised at how much fun a car can be naturally aspirated when you throw a megasquirt on it.
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Old 03-07-2012, 05:34 PM   #19
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got it for $1500 2 months ago..I wouldnt mind N/A at all...been thru 3 cars with only bolt on N/A never an engine management though.. just wanna try F/I but scared of the unknown..ya know..like death! lol!

but ya, the fender is hideous..front bumper is chipped to hell from rocks..(maaco paint) and a few cracks nears the air dam...but nothing that cant be fixed and repainted temporarily till i can get a real paint job..

Last edited by mikemiata2323; 03-07-2012 at 05:36 PM. Reason: adding info
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Old 03-07-2012, 05:35 PM   #20
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Seriously man, go MS first. Trust us. And if you DO decide to go band aids(you shouldn't), get a WbO2 before you apply ANY boost at all. I ran my car on bandaids for a few thousand miles, threw a wbo2 on it, and was shitted when i was rocking 13 afrs in boost.
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