NA Miata questions, also anyone look at this Miata - Miata Turbo Forum - Boost cars, acquire cats.

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View Poll Results: Which path?
Low mileage 1.8L and take time to boost it 16 66.67%
Already boosted 1.6L and fix any mistakes 1 4.17%
Cheap-o 1.6 and go at it... 7 29.17%
Voters: 24. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 06-24-2008, 11:57 AM   #1
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Default NA Miata questions, also anyone look at this Miata

Hello,

As stated before, I am in the market for an NA Miata, that will ultimately be boosted.

However, I am having issues finding the "right" car, and wanted some of your opinions on which of the following paths makes more sense to follow:
  • Buy a more expensive, lower mileage 1.8L, take a bit of time before I can boost it/afford to boost it
  • Buy an already boosted 1.6L and fix anything the previous owner f'ed up
  • Buy a cheap 1.6L and boost it right off the bat

What do you guys think?


Lastly, there is a Miata I found on CL for sale, but its not local. According to the seller, he bought it turboed from the PO. He claims to not know much about turbos and/or cars in general. I have talked to him through email, and the car needs some definate TLC, but I noticed no major rust (there is some on the trunk lid, but whatever, that's easy).

I have attached a few pictures because I cannot for the life of me figure out what turbo components he used, and was hoping some more Miata-knowledgable people could point some things out...what do you think? It looks like a DIY IC setup, knock-off Blitz BOV, but I can't really tell what's up with the manifold...
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Old 06-24-2008, 12:13 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by BradC View Post
Hello,
  • Buy a more expensive, lower mileage 1.8L, take a bit of time before I can boost it/afford to boost it
  • Buy a cheap 1.6L and boost it right off the bat
Brad,

Consider the two options above my picks, depending on what you want. Mileage is not ultimately a deciding factor, but you need to decide if you want a good looking miata or a track ****. More often then not, there is too many skeletons in the closet. I would look for a good bodied 1.8 OBD-I (94/95) or if its a track ****, any 1.6 with boost will do. Keep in mind, the 1.8 brakes and rear will need to be swapped into your 1.6. I would NOT buy a previously boosted car.

Edit: The car above sounds like a crudely put together hunk of ****.
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Old 06-24-2008, 12:28 PM   #3
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yeah, that car sounds like a shitbox.

Go with whatever is cheaper after the torsen swap, the 1.8 or 1.6. The 1.8 has better brakes and TPS. The rest comes out in a wash.

If I could do it all over again, I'd stay with the 1.6 because the swap has turned into a bit of a headache.
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Old 06-24-2008, 12:36 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Newbsauce View Post
Mileage is not ultimately a deciding factor, but you need to decide if you want a good looking miata or a track ****. More often then not, there is too many skeletons in the closet. I would look for a good bodied 1.8 OBD-I (94/95) or if its a track ****, any 1.6 with boost will do. Keep in mind, the 1.8 brakes and rear will need to be swapped into your 1.6. I would NOT buy a previously boosted car.

Edit: The car above sounds like a crudely put together hunk of ****.

Thanks for the opinions. Originally, I had it nailed down that I wanted a 94/95 (as I do want OBD-I), but I keep only finding 1.6's for sale. I do know about swapping the later brakes and rear over to a 1.6, and have counted that in my budget.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hustler View Post
yeah, that car sounds like a shitbox.

Go with whatever is cheaper after the torsen swap, the 1.8 or 1.6. The 1.8 has better brakes and TPS. The rest comes out in a wash.

If I could do it all over again, I'd stay with the 1.6 because the swap has turned into a bit of a headache.
Thanks for your opinions too.

I do agree that the one shown looks like a shitbox...good call. No more thoughts on that car, lol.

Thanks so far guys!
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Old 06-24-2008, 12:48 PM   #5
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Pass on that car. I see a poorly thought out DIY kit. First big warning sign is hose-clamps and a plastic VTA BOV. I also see a Vortech'ish FMU but it looks chrome and I've never seen that. I can't tell what manifold or turbo is on it, but doesn't appear to sit high enough to be a Greddy. I also see some sort of sensor mounted in the TB inlet pipe (might be an IAT sensor) and it appears he's JBWelded the IAC hose to the silicone coupler somehow. In any case, it's not worth it.

What you want to do IMHO, is look for a decently maintained 94-95 with a few (other-than-turbo) mods already done to it... like some shocks/sways/wheels/rollbar/exhaust and buy that. Make sure it's in good mechanical shape and perform a full round of preventative maintenance or whatever it needs and ensure the motor is healthy. Full fluid change, motor-mounts, fuel filter, clutch, etc...

Continue to do homework on this forum and purchase used pieces as they pop up. Start out with a low-boost (6psi) setup using the stock injectors and fuel pump. Forego the Bipes and O2clamp that used to be bandaid tools-of-the-trade and instead save up for an MS. I say this to keep you from hacking the factory harness. When you've got it all nailed down and all the hardware is perfect... save for MS/550's/LC1.

Call this guy and talk him down to $5k: http://philadelphia.craigslist.org/car/718982610.html
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Old 06-24-2008, 12:54 PM   #6
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What you want to do IMHO, is look for a decently maintained 94-95 with a few (other-than-turbo) mods already done to it... like some shocks/sways/wheels/rollbar/exhaust and buy that. Make sure it's in good mechanical shape and perform a full round of preventative maintenance or whatever it needs and ensure the motor is healthy. Full fluid change, motor-mounts, fuel filter, clutch, etc...
Yes. Exactly. If someone has maintenance records, that is superb. You just want to find one that has been well taken care of. Doesnt really matter if it has 150k miles on it. (besides if it blows, then you can build the motor )
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Old 06-24-2008, 01:02 PM   #7
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Thanks for all the suggestions so far guys.

I do plan on doing a routine sweep and PM of the car when I get it, no matter which route is taken.

A Megasquirt will be done when going turbo, I did piggybacks on my last car and it was a PITA. I want something with real control.

I've contacted the lady with the black R in the link, but I don't think she's dropping that far. I've been trying though, but I would like an OBD-I car, so...

There is a semi-local 1.6L I found dirt, dirt cheap, that is in good shape beside mileage, tried calling them too but no luck yet.
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Old 06-24-2008, 01:02 PM   #8
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I did option A, but originally I never intended to turbo charge the car. I just wanted to spend more and be sure that I was getting a car that was taken care of and wasnt going to break down. Then after a while I wanted more power and starting with a car I knew was sound was pretty reassuring.

Newbsauses comments about buying used turbocharged cars makes me nervous when it comes time for me to sell mine though.
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Old 06-24-2008, 01:12 PM   #9
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Sounds like you are taking the right precautions, that's half the battel when buying your next toy car, it shows you've been around, so welcome to the Miata world. I have a 94 and love the fact that it is OBDI and here in NC we only do safety inspections on those. So MS full standalone for the win. I am biased though, there are lots of happy 1.6 car owners, but I prefere the 1.8 so I don't have to swap the rear and the brakes and just call it a day.
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Old 06-24-2008, 01:12 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Saml01 View Post
I did option A, but originally I never intended to turbo charge the car. I just wanted to spend more and be sure that I was getting a car that was taken care of and wasnt going to break down. Then after a while I wanted more power and starting with a car I knew was sound was pretty reassuring.

Newbsauses comments about buying used turbocharged cars makes me nervous when it comes time for me to sell mine though.
But judging from your parts list, your's isn't cobbled together. If I looked at one that the owner didn't have his head you know where, I would buy a pre-boosted car. Sell me yours, now, for a buck
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Old 06-24-2008, 01:13 PM   #11
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You will ALWAYS be fixing stuff on a shitbox.

Start with a nice 94 or early 95.
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Old 06-24-2008, 01:14 PM   #12
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That is one half *** looking DIY turbo set-up.Spend the money and do it right the first time,stay away from cars that people are trying to dump off as problem vehicles.
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Old 06-24-2008, 01:15 PM   #13
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Newbsauses comments about buying used turbocharged cars makes me nervous when it comes time for me to sell mine though.
I'd buy a turbo car from a competent seller. Unfortunately the people who sell turbo miatas at this point are usually the owners who bought the car from the original person who did all the work. These people generally do not know **** about the car, drive it until something breaks (or is damn near about to), then sell it. Classic case: There is a black turbo miata that has been floating around the MA/CT area craigslist for the last 3 months. Someone bought it from the turbo'er.. drove it.. sold it without disclosing to the new buyer of a huge oil issue, and now its back on CL w/ an "oil issue".
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Old 06-24-2008, 01:37 PM   #14
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Damn, two more nice ones that are already sold. I wish people would take the ads down once a car sells :(
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Old 06-24-2008, 02:19 PM   #15
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Keep looking Brad, you'll find the right car. I looked for a few weeks nationally before my '94 popped up on the local Craigslist. I paid $1500 for mine and its a California car with only 1 winter. The caveats were that it has a salvage title from an old accident and it needs some tlc (heater core leaking, radiator leaking, huge dent on drivers fender, cracked turn signal lenses, misc scratches and dings, and very blad tires on the stock wheels). Its runs fantastic and the price was right so I snapped it up:



I bypassed the core, put a radiator barn radiator in, added some new smoked signal lenses, and threw an extra set of wheels with good tires on so its good to go for daily use now.
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Old 06-24-2008, 02:55 PM   #16
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Thanks man, I'm still on the hunt.

Details on the Classic SE-R turbo?
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Old 06-24-2008, 07:44 PM   #17
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*thread hijack* What wheels are those?

To the OP: that car's bad juju. The BOV is on the hot side of the turbo so the pressure has to build up all the way from the throttle body, through the IC and through the pipe to the BOV. It'll more than likely cause your turbo to surge at that point.

Also, Galvanized heatshield FTMFW!
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Old 06-24-2008, 07:52 PM   #18
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I've always been of the school of spend more up front and do it once and right. I'ld pick up a more expensive lower mileage 1.8 in good condition. In fact that's exactly as I did with my 52k 1996 miata!
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Old 06-24-2008, 07:57 PM   #19
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Also, Galvanized heatshield FTMFW!
You know that's hot man, c'mon. Betcha $20 that'll be the new thing for summer '08, lol.
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Old 06-24-2008, 08:00 PM   #20
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Shhhh, don't spill the beans on my new hotness. Otherwise my huge stack of galvanized sheet and my metal brake is for naught! Do you think it'd be bad to put the Mazda emblem on them in purple Sharpie?
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