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Old 05-03-2011, 02:10 PM   #1
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Default n00b needing perspective in the world of turbiatas

So. This being my first real post outside of my intro, and after looking at my post count vs. join date, I've been a lurker here for a while, absorbing all this hive-mind has to offer, including tons of searching - I also talk with the Flandereseses over at m.net. I haven't, though, been fully able to correlate what I've learned with some of my specific questions, thus, I present to you my queries for you to cogitate

A little bit of background: the car is a super-clean '99 10AE that I've owned for almost two years. Almost all of the money I've spent on it in that time has been maintenance, and its been a dead reliable toy/no-longer DD with 96k on it currently. I bought the car because I liked the trim/color of the 10AE (yeah...) without even realizing that it was a great base for boost (motor, 6spd, torsen, etc.).

It has things like stiff motor mounts, poly diff bushings, Koyo rad, HD bar, and waiting to install FM suspension, Sparco seats and harnesses, and planning to get 9" 6ULs.

I'm still trying to swallow the pill that you can spend more on turbo parts for these cars than what you paid for the car itself without batting an eye. But, I love what its done for me so far, how simple and (so far) cheap they are the work on, and its my "size" of car so, even if I put absurd amounts of $ into it, it would still be cheaper than an Elise or 'Vette or something that would be exorbitantly more expensive to have fun with.

I'm OK/still learning with a wrench, nothing stellar but I can do all the fluids, did the brakes, little maintenance stuff here and there.

What I want out of the car is to have a nice, reliable all around-er and that I can fart around in on the street once in a while, auto-x, and eventually do HPDE's in. The first two are easy, but the last one is where I'm hung up. Interestingly, the best discussion I've yet read came from here:

http://www.trackjunkies.org/index.ph.../page__st__100

You'll see some familiar names in there. The most interesting thing I took away from that thread was

Quote:
If you were trying to build a reliable turbo car 2 years ago, you were doing your own R&D - in 2011, a track-reliable 250whp will be an off-the-shelf item. That's progress.
- Savington

Now (flame suit donned), but given that I'm not a super-ridiculous mechanic or fabricator, I'm looking hard at the FMII/Hydra kit. I'd likely forgo the Hydra if there was a '99-compatible MSPNP (any word? I know there are parallel/custom solutions, but still) though I like the idea of full vendor support, and I know from experience that they're awesome at that.

Would you say that such a kit is an example of Savington's theory? (With a brace of supporting hardware like the optional locking hardware, exhaust brace, my Koyo rad, a possible reroute, oil cooler/ducting, vented hood etc) I know tracking a car is hard, but I'm led to believe that it can be done reliably. I look at Absurdflow and ARTech **** everyday, but I think such exotic hot parts are a little beyond my needs right now.

Finally, if you have done this, would you say its worth it? I know what I said earlier about comparative costs, but its still not chump change we're talking about. A turbo kit on track would definitely benefit from nice, expensive coilovers, big brakes, etc etc. that adds to the costs. I know the formula - take what you think it'll cost you, then double it. How rewarding was the experience of turbo'ing your car for you? Is the performance-per-dollar on par with the grins it gives you?

I've poked around and ridden in a turbo Miata or two, but I just want to get some real world perspective before I spend megabucks on a cheap little Japanese car. Thanks

Last edited by GDSpeed; 05-03-2011 at 03:52 PM.
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Old 05-03-2011, 02:22 PM   #2
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I think that Savington is referring to releasing his own kit.
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Old 05-03-2011, 03:46 PM   #3
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My

I wouldn't use a hydra or any FM engine management again ( I had a LINK) because I would be afraid that the uber expensive EMS would get replaced and no longer be supported like the LINK.

My perspective may be jaded because I bought my car with a LINK at the end of its lifecycle. In all fairness to FM, they did offer chip upgrades, and I believe the ecu came out in the mid 90s. So the fact that there are people still running them is a testament of the build quality. It was also a truly PNP setup that worked fantastic.

I would pay Braineack to build me an MS3 with a diybob to make it nearly PNP. It's new and I think it will be supported for a long time to come.

I can only speak for ARtech stuff, but I think you will see that you get more for your money, and it isn't more expensive than going with FM or BEGI.

Finally, I would get a T3 divided flange manifold and an external wastegate. Lots of neat cheap T3 turbos out there that are capable of big power if you decide to go that route.
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Old 05-03-2011, 06:45 PM   #4
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I'm definitely not part of the hive mind here, and basically was in your shoes a very short time ago. I bought my 2002 NB used with 68k on it. The longer I had it, the better I liked it. I'm lucky in that I live about 20 miles from BEGI. I took it to them, and now I have a PNP toy that I'm having a blast with.
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Old 05-04-2011, 11:43 AM   #5
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Thanks for the replies all. I guess the main question I'm posing myself is, is it worth it to me to try and save a few bucks by going some sort of DIY route. Given that I don't think I have the skill/patience for that, I'm leaning to "no".

Which then brings up the question, is it worth it to "spend the car" all over again on turbo'ing it, and if I do that, can I rest assured that it can survive a track day or two/generally not be a unreliable POS?
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Old 05-04-2011, 12:50 PM   #6
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Depends on what "a few bucks" equates to, and that is all relative to how much expendable income you have. I'm definitely to the point where I pay to have my car worked on a lot more. I'm capable with a wrench, so saving 2G is plenty of incentive.

Here is the route I would go if you have a bit of cash to spend in order to make life easier.

1. Have ArTech build you a manifold, DP, and exhaust. Top notch quality and will fit perfectly if he builds it.

2. Have brain build you a PNP MS3. With things you may feel like wiring up in the future, (sequential spark and injection since it is very easy) I think even the hydra requires a little bit of wiring for IAT and WBO2.

3. Buy the FM or BEGI intercooler with all piping, this gives you least installation hassle.

I think the above will get you as close to a full BEGI or FM kit as far as ease of installation goes.

4. Price out the above, and compare it to FM and BEGI kits

Oh, and buy a turbo
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