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Old 08-08-2014, 03:41 PM   #1
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Default Is a Mazdaspeed Miata not the best choice for me?

Hey all,

So if you go through my history you will see I used to have a 93' that I turbocharged back when I lived in PA. I now live in CA with a stock engined 94', so I think I have a decent handle on what I am doing .

I want a faster car that I can continue to do track days with, so my options are a really nice turbo kit or a Mazdaspeed.

The big issue is CARB and reliability. I know from previous experience, to be reliable with HPDE's, I would have to drop about 5-6 grand on a turbo kit (including a 6 speed, clutch, ECU, fuel injectors, and engine refresh (the engine is leaking oil and has a stripped spark plug)). So that would put me about $10000 into my 94' (excluding the BBK and suspension I currently have) with the big kicker, there is no way I could pass CARB which would be a huge PITA.

The Mazdaspeed, on the other hand, would cost me around $12000, I would get a much newer and better looking car, and would give me about 50 more horsepower from now. I could swap over my BBK, sell the suspension, swap over my 6ULs, and spend about a grand for an intercooler and exhaust. That would put me near 200whp for about $12-13k all said and done.

So for $2-3k more, I have CARB approval, shot-peened 6 speed, diff with the larger half shafts, and a nicer car with better looking body that can reliably do HPDEs.

Everyone seems to hate on the Mazdaspeed, yet I cannot see where I am at fault. Maybe if I was in a non-CARB state it would be different, but am I missing something?

Does my logic sound reasonable?

Thanks!
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Old 08-08-2014, 03:58 PM   #2
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In stock form, terrible power band and 6400 rpm rev limiter. It's the worst driving Miata Mazda made, but with the best specs. If you drive one, you'll see. If I had to chose between a stock MSM or a modded regular NB2, I'd take the NB2. But add mods to the MSM, and it's no contest. Replace the intake, intercooler, exhaust, injectors, and ECU, and they become pretty fun. Not as awe inspiring as a legit aftermarket turbo system, but very capable and fun to drive.
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Old 08-08-2014, 04:04 PM   #3
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I have built megasquirts before so I would pretty quickly do a Megasquirt and intercooler setup. Probably a 3.9 or 3.636 diff ratio too as I know how horrible a 6 speed with 4.1 is from my last turbo car.

I just don't see how else I could get a 200whp miata for around that price and CARB OK.
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Old 08-08-2014, 04:25 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cardriverx View Post
I just don't see how else I could get a 200whp miata for around that price and CARB OK.
That's the real challenge.

Bell technically has an EO up through '99, but they no longer sell a lot of the parts spec'd by the EO, and of course you can't install the system on a CA-spec NB in the first place, as it doesn't accommodate the forward catalyst that the '99-'00 cars used.

The Miata aftermarket seems to have more-or-less given up on California, which is sad. So far as I'm aware, the only forced-induction systems in current production which are actually, fully CA legal are the MP62s. Several other companies have made promises, none have yet delivered.
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Old 08-08-2014, 04:34 PM   #5
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I've beaten this dead horse in my head at least 5 billion times.

And I'm still driving an NB2, in CA no less.

You know why? cause stock the MSM blows chunks. Once you mod it, there goes your CARB legality. For all the bolt on crap you'd have to remove and re-install to pass smog on a MSM yearly and still make a proper 200whp, you'll be a couple hours away from doing the same with an aftermarket turbo kit on a NB2. And that kit would absolutely pee in the MSM setup's cheerios.

I can't even explain to you how many times I've considered what you're talking about lol


*EDIT: and yes, like Joe said, FFS is pretty much your only option if you want an actual legitimate CA forced induction setup outside of a stock MSM
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Old 08-08-2014, 04:48 PM   #6
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In my experience, most smog shops don't know one turbo from another, or one intercooler from another (or if it is supposed to have one or not, etc.) so I would think the MSM, if done right without a bunch of anodized and blingy visible parts, would be a lot easier to fly under the smog radar in a modified form since it was supposed to have a turbo. The other car you basically have no choice but to pull the whole turbo system off to have a chance at smog.

That's just smog though, the bigger question is what do you tell the cop who pulled you over and asks you to pop the hood? Because if they send you to the ref, THAT guy checks every vacuum line. The Mazdaspeed wins here. Again, painting things black and using understated looking stuff could pass most cop's scrutiny.

Drive either one like a grandma on the street like I do though, and you might not have the cop issue. I do at least have the almighty CARB sticker in my engine bay, despite it having nothing to do with what's on the car anymore...

Personally, if I was seriously looking at boost in an OBDII miata in this state, I think I'd go MSM.
-Ryan
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Old 08-08-2014, 05:16 PM   #7
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Exactly X100. I could swap the turbo, get a new downpipe, etc etc on the mazdaspeed and the chances of it ever being noticed is very low. If I get pulled over, even less of a problem.

I COULD get a turboed NA/NB passed because if you pay enough anything can happen. But that is $300-$400 every two years to pay for that "service". And as said, if I ever get pulled over I am so screwed.

I love CA, if it wasn't for this policy and a couple small things it would be perfect.

Either way it seems MSM is the way to go. I don't want a 300+ hp car yet, i'll save that later for a 911 or Stingray corvette whenever I can afford one .




Quote:
Originally Posted by ThePass View Post
In my experience, most smog shops don't know one turbo from another, or one intercooler from another (or if it is supposed to have one or not, etc.) so I would think the MSM, if done right without a bunch of anodized and blingy visible parts, would be a lot easier to fly under the smog radar in a modified form since it was supposed to have a turbo. The other car you basically have no choice but to pull the whole turbo system off to have a chance at smog.

That's just smog though, the bigger question is what do you tell the cop who pulled you over and asks you to pop the hood? Because if they send you to the ref, THAT guy checks every vacuum line. The Mazdaspeed wins here. Again, painting things black and using understated looking stuff could pass most cop's scrutiny.

Drive either one like a grandma on the street like I do though, and you might not have the cop issue. I do at least have the almighty CARB sticker in my engine bay, despite it having nothing to do with what's on the car anymore...

Personally, if I was seriously looking at boost in an OBDII miata in this state, I think I'd go MSM.
-Ryan
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Old 08-08-2014, 06:00 PM   #8
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Suit yourself. I know plenty of people that got busted by cops and turned away at smog with modded MSM's but maybe my county is way crazier than other CA counties.
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Old 08-08-2014, 06:45 PM   #9
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What kind of mods?

Quote:
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Suit yourself. I know plenty of people that got busted by cops and turned away at smog with modded MSM's but maybe my county is way crazier than other CA counties.
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Old 08-08-2014, 06:59 PM   #10
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intake, shiny fmic core, hard piping, downpipe. it doesn't help that they were all shiny and aftermarket looking, but I mean not every single cop and smog shop is a moron.

I'm not talking you out of it btw, its not a bad idea at all, I just think an NB2 with a proper turbo setup is better. Mods for the msm are quite pricey if you stick to brand names.

Just something to consider.
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Old 08-08-2014, 07:03 PM   #11
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Basically this is about living with the inferior car for 729 days for 1 day of potential convenience, amirite?
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Old 08-08-2014, 07:08 PM   #12
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Inferior car is a stretch, they are great cars IMO, I just think that too much stuff needs to be upgraded to make it track ready and putting down 200whp. fmic, hardpiping, bpv/bov, inco studs, dp, exhaust, mbc, and ms3 and you're already talking about 3-4k in mods.

and then when you want to make more power, you either get one of those BNR upgrades or have to basically scrap the setup cause not much else will fit the manifold.

I dunno. I was kinda tempted to do this actually, but just didn't make sense.

If you found a killer deal on an MSM.......would probably be cool
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Old 08-08-2014, 07:13 PM   #13
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I get it. We had one, Vteckiller2000 has it now and loves it.


Teh Funnies: I bought it in CA because smog had become a serious issue with it with pretty much the exact list you had there. Because of this, i got a screaming deal on it for the time.
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Old 08-08-2014, 07:25 PM   #14
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So then next question, what would be considered a killer deal? It seems the average going price for a good example is around $13,000. Is 10-11k a pretty solid deal?

The way I look at it is a good NB with sport package and 6 speed goes for around $7-8k. With 200whp turbo kit adding another $5000 for total cost of $12-13k. So a MSM for $11-12k seems like a good deal. That sound right?
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Old 08-08-2014, 07:30 PM   #15
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I see clean ones for 10.
Ed picked up his clean/built/ABSRURD setup and modded to the teeth MSM for 12.

I guess location would dictate price more than anything though.

Clean NB2 could be found for 6. Not so clean ones can be found for 5. Uber clean cherry low mile ones are 7-8k
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Old 08-08-2014, 08:06 PM   #16
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Swapping bolt on parts is easy but how do you plan on dealing with the **** poor ECU on the MSM?
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Old 08-08-2014, 08:50 PM   #17
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Swapping bolt on parts is easy but how do you plan on dealing with the **** poor ECU on the MSM?
My intuitive reaction is that he has three fundamental options, none of which requires removing bolt-on parts.

1. Most of the bolt-on goodies which FM sells for the MSM can be handled by the stock ECU. Sandblast the shiny bits and have them powder coated an OEM-like finish.

2. He could do #1, plus add a competent ECU, leaving the stock injectors in place. Thus, swapping the stock ECU once every two years is a pretty trivial task.

3. Realize that it only takes about an hour to swap injectors, and that you only have to do it twice a year.
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Old 08-08-2014, 09:02 PM   #18
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Do certain counties in Cali not have emissions? Register it there.

Here in Chicago I have emissions once a year but it's just an OBD2 check and cops couldn't give a **** about mods.

But in a neighboring county they have no emissions so I used a friends address at his apartment and went to a currency exchange and had it registered there. He just forewords the mail if I get anything. If you go to a DMV they ask for 2 proofs of residency, but currency exchange gives no *****.

If a cop pulls me over and asks why my car is registered in another county but my license says I'm in this county, I just say I haven't updated my license or I own 2 houses. Or the car was registered under my parents address. If legall they need me to prove it, I just ask my buddy for some proof. My car hasn't had emissions in 2 years.
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Old 08-08-2014, 09:09 PM   #19
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#3 is what I am looking at. Swapping ECUs takes about 5 min and the injectors I can do in less than an hr if I tried hard .

Yeah basically just paint all aftermarket stuff black so it all just blends in.

Mazduh - As far as I know that would be nearly impossible to do.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Perez View Post
My intuitive reaction is that he has three fundamental options, none of which requires removing bolt-on parts.

1. Most of the bolt-on goodies which FM sells for the MSM can be handled by the stock ECU. Sandblast the shiny bits and have them powder coated an OEM-like finish.

2. He could do #1, plus add a competent ECU, leaving the stock injectors in place. Thus, swapping the stock ECU once every two years is a pretty trivial task.

3. Realize that it only takes about an hour to swap injectors, and that you only have to do it twice a year.
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Old 08-08-2014, 09:11 PM   #20
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Quote:
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you only have to do it twice a year.
once every 2 years
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