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Old 05-11-2011, 08:51 AM   #1
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Default Has your turbo Miata ever stranded you?

This is a question mainly to help me decide wither or not I can count on my Miata to be my daily driver once I turbo it.

What is relevant (I think) is in what way it failed, mechanical or electrical for instance, and if it was a tinker or tow away situation.

Also, we all know when we are "pushing it" with our builds. If your Turbo Miata stranded you, how aggressive were you with your build? Were you already on a bad clutch, or were you trying a new part or fuel map when it failed? Did you have any clue prior to the failure that you were on borrowed time? Is it a DIY build or is it a kit? Are there any things you would do differently now that you have experience to make it a rock solid build?

Maybe it’s just my insecurities… I am getting closer now to starting my build and while I am not trying to get anyone to talk me out of the turbo, I want to learn as much as I can to do it right the first time.

<< For information’s sake: My commute is about 36 miles each way, about 85% highway. I am weeks away from buying a MS3 and wide band – which will be my first install>>
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Old 05-11-2011, 09:08 AM   #2
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The responses are going to vary EXTREMELY widely on this topic... Just a heads up. Too many variables from build to build... We talking DIY turbo setups or kits???
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Old 05-11-2011, 09:08 AM   #3
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No (knock on wood). I daily drove a 91 turbo with MSPNP for about a year with your same commute.
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Old 05-11-2011, 09:10 AM   #4
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Oh yeah: Oil lines falling off, blown engine, broken 5spd, turbo falling off, blown tire, etc.
That's just the process for a maturing track car.
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Old 05-11-2011, 09:17 AM   #5
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Stranded, no. Completely frustrated and having to do parking lot repairs, yes.

I take that back - I've blown my motor once and had to get towed home. That was about it as far as stranded.

The next runner up would be a day I went to 7-11 on a lunch break. Couldn't restart the car. This was back on MS-I after I just fit larger injectors...turns out I didn't have enough fuel for cranking at high coolant temps. I probably could have got it to run, but I had newbsauce come with a laptop and we added a bit of fuel and I was on my way.

Honorable mention is when my driveshaft fell off.
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Old 05-11-2011, 09:22 AM   #6
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Nope, and I race the car hard, monthly.
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Old 05-11-2011, 09:30 AM   #7
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To be fair, even my N/A Miata has "almost" left me stranded because of a failed main (EGI) relay...twice.
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Old 05-11-2011, 09:34 AM   #8
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It depends on your level of expertise, experience, and budget. If any one of these are lacking - the probability of being stranded goes up dramatically. Year, condition, and mileage of car obviously has a big impact.

That being said, I have never been stranded. But I know that I have been lucky....and I have a back-up car, just in case.
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Old 05-11-2011, 10:30 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Braineack View Post
Stranded, no. Completely frustrated and having to do parking lot repairs, yes.
Yep.

Had to limp home from blowing couplers off before, with a MS it's "just drive slowly when that happens". With an AFM it's "find a way to connect the pipes, or you're not going anywhere"...

Driven my Miata from Monterey, CA to Jacksonville, FL and then on to Fayetteville, NC. Had problems but they could have been avoided. In AZ my COPs started frying themselves (accidentally loaded map with stock dwell settings) and just outside of Jax my WGA bracket broke.

If you're doing your EMS first you're already on the right track.
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Old 05-11-2011, 10:32 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Braineack View Post
Honorable mention is when my driveshaft fell off.
It did not fall off, there was still one bolt holding it on.
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Old 05-11-2011, 10:34 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shuiend View Post
It did not fall off, there was still one bolt holding it on.
true.
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Old 05-11-2011, 11:02 AM   #12
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The one time mine left me where I needed a tow I was 1.5 miles from my house. Unknown engine failure.

When the turbo **** the bed I was able to drive it home.
I did do a big cross-country trip with a track day in the middle. Pounded the **** out of my car for nearly 2 weeks and almost 6k miles (mostly out west). Not a single flinch the whole time.
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Old 05-11-2011, 11:05 AM   #13
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Numerous alternator belts broken. (stock/turbo)

A dip into a lake that formed in the front on my house which cause the motor to hydro-lock. (stock)

Blown head gasket on the highway. (stock)

Returned line went off the turbo in its first drive

The cables for the MAP that connect to the MAF pigtail came lose while the car was running, which caused a short which burned my cooling fan cables and miscellaneous relays. This later left me stranded as I did not find out the fan was not working till I drove it and overheated.

Lastly, I blew the motor Amtraking a Volvo at about 120 mph

I used to have a fail smiley... Idk where it went
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Old 05-11-2011, 11:21 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Braineack View Post
Stranded, no. Completely frustrated and having to do parking lot repairs, yes.
I'll quote this one as well. I had the OE clutch line fail on a summer Sunday afternoon in Biloxi, MS, fortunately there was an Advance Auto Parts close by. Made a temp. hardline and was on the way. But that's not actually turbo related, the car handled trips and daily driving just fine.

I did bend a rod (never was able to pinpoint a cause), but it happened when I was in my driveway so I wasn't stranded. Gave me a good excuse to build the motor and upgrade the turbo components.
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Old 05-11-2011, 11:25 AM   #15
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once but it was a stock cam sensor failure.
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Old 05-11-2011, 11:57 AM   #16
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these failures aren't really due to the turbo nature of a miata though. Any and most of these failures could happen to a stock miata.
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Old 05-11-2011, 12:00 PM   #17
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oh yeah one time a fitting broke on my Prop valve. I was able to limp home using the e-brake, repair it in my parking lot, bleed the brakes, and was only 30-45 minutes late to work.
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Old 05-11-2011, 12:10 PM   #18
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I've never been "stranded", but I've limped to a gas station after seeing my temp gauge nearly pegged - put coolant back into it and off I went, except without A/C. Had I not seen the temp gauge, engine would have made itself irrepairable. My coolant temp gauge gives me a warning when it gets hot now. Heat extraction hood makes sure it never overheats for the same reason again. Pulled into the garage at home once, got out of the car, went inside, came back out to the car to get something out of it 30 seconds later, and the lower radiator hose blew off just after I walked back into the garage. Replaced radiator cap. Forgot to empty catch can in the winter, lines froze up and car began to burn oil like a ****. Figured it out within about 60 seconds, pulled the dipstick to vent the crankcase while I let the engine idle to warm up enough to thaw out the lines.

So no, the turbo has never left me stranded. I HAVE been stranded twice though - gearbox stuck in reverse once, and slave cylinder came off once. - Neither turbo related
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Old 05-11-2011, 12:13 PM   #19
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The Turbo part of my Miata has never left me stranded. The adding of a Megasquirt has. I have fried 2 sets of stock coils in a day because MS randomly decided to invert my spark on me. I have also ran on 2 cylinders and randomly getting the other 2 back because of bad wiring in the db37.
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Old 05-11-2011, 12:26 PM   #20
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The miata broke down on me a good number of times over the years, but luckily I've always been able to fix it and get it running again. I keep certain key spare parts in the trunk along with a carry on sized toolbox full of wrenches, sockets, cutters, extra wire, nuts/bolts/washers, etc.

The good thing about doing all the work yourself means you know how to fix it when it breaks! lol
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