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Old 11-15-2008, 12:29 AM   #1
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Default NB, here I come!

My ’93 was awesome, but it’s time for an NB.

Intentions and the CAR:
This car will be a 99% daily driven street car in San Diego. It must be as simple as possible, have a reasonable ride, and be capable of ludicrous speed. I can live without amenities… no PS or AC, no power anything, no leather, ie, a base model. The ’99 was the last year of the available “optionless” Miata. Starting in ’00, all of that crap I can live without comes standard, so a ’99 is the ticket… plus they are significantly cheaper than even the ‘00’s.
Ideally, my perfect ride would be a ’99, white, base model w/sport package. Also ideally, the car would come with some basic suspension/wheels/safety modifications like sways, shocks, wheels, rollbar. I would like an even 200whp on wastegate, and as close to 300whp as possible on EBC. I value spool and driveability over top-end. I hope to be able to buy everything used and I have the blessing/curse of my Navy timetable… only gonna be here through July and then gone for 6 months. I’d like to get all non-turbo specific items purchased/installed, then buy turbo parts while I’m gone, for an immediate install upon return about this time next year. I don’t know what the budget is yet, but I will be stalking every Miata classified I know of daily, so used parts will be key to keeping the budget down.

Tires/Wheels: silver 15x8” 6UL’s and 225 RS2’s. At an even $1k for this package, I don’t think I can beat it. I figure about 8-10k miles on a set of tires with timely rotations and religious pressure-checking.

Suspension: my weak area. KYB’s and RB sways served me fine for the life of my ’93, but I never touched the adjustability except for autocross. I will not lower the car, so if springs are suggested, they must be stock ride height. I was thinking of the easy route… Koni’s and RB Sways. I’m all ears for the benefits of control arm bracing, shock tower braces, and other hardware.

Brakes: Goodridge or similar braided steel lines, Hawk HPS or HPplus, and OEM blanks… probably from Goodwin. Please let me find a car without ABS!

Rollbar: being a tall guy, it has to be one of the “layback” models. I don’t need to worry about hardtop clearance because hardtops are for pussies. The BF Maxx fits the bill.

Cooling: Either the Godspeed or Mishimoto (still looking for more data on which one is better) and a set of 12” fans, plus a DIY coolant reroute. I may suck it up and get the BEGi stuff, but I kinda want to go with a stealth approach… make it invisible within the engine bay.

Fuel: You’re gonna love this… full return conversion. M-tuned rail, NA regulator, factory return hardline (from a salvage car), Walbro 190, RX7 550’c. I’ll run NA 1.8 injectors until I get an ECU in there. I know guys out there have made 300whp on 550’s with high duty cycles, but I don’t want to spend the money for RC’s, so we’ll see how far they go.

Ignition/Timing: I’ve heard the stories about NB coils, so I’ll go with a Toyota COPs swap. I went 20k on a single set of Autolite 1-step colder plugs, no brainer there. I’m doing homework now on adjustable cam gears… seems like one on the exhaust cam can show significant torque gains. I’ll stick with OBX.

Clutch: For 300whp, every bone in my body says ACT-XT, but I have thread after thread of people saying the HD will be enough. I really need to drive the XT to decide if the pedal effort is gonna be a problem. And it’ll be the street-disc, no pucks… no, not even a sprung 6puck.

Tranny/Rear: Torsen of course. For a street car, the 5spd and 3.636 ring&pinion(already have) gives the best (on paper) numbers. I know the power limits of the 5spd are in question, but I managed to get my 6” dif to last 20k boosted miles, so I hope with some good fluid and drivetrain management, I can get the 5-spd to last on the street for a reasonable time. If I’m wrong, 5-spds are $200 each.

Engine: The motor will remain stock until I blow it up… then 949 rods, stock ceramic coated pistons, upgraded rings, billet oil-pump gears, mild head-work, ARP hardware, and maybe a fancy intake manifold.

Fun Stuff: BEGi S4 Mani/DP or hold out for Absurdflow production and ensuing showdown. I’d really like to stick with “production” parts here… not interested in having an exhaust shop “fab up” something. 3” piping all the way should go without saying.

Turbo: Internal gate, and don't try to convince me otherwise. Here’s the debate: 2560 vs. 2860. I’ve been over the specs and compressor maps several times. I’ve read the threads and I know the 2560 will out spool the 2860, but the bigger turbo has a lot more overhead and it doesn’t generate the heat. Does anybody know of any fitment problems with an S4 and 2860? With a tubular mani and 3” exhaust, I think I can still get the spool I want on the bigger turbo. Talk to me.

Oil feed: Either sandwich plate or tap off the pressure sender? Which is a better option?

Intercooler: CX Racing, big but not crazy and 2.5” piping. I’ll be going around the radiator… with no AC or PS, doesn’t make any sense to go anywhere else. I’m looking for a QUIET BOV. My Bosch unit was flawless but would look out of place on this build. I thought about some sort of silencer setup, but it wouldn’t be as clean as a simple recirc pipe. Need suggestions. No rice!

Intake Manifold: I know that there are guys who swap a 1.8NA intake mani to get around all the VICS crap. Is there a performance advantage to either manifold and what is the process?
Has anybody ever proven a gain to porting the stock throttle body?

ECU: This is the biggest decision. Since I really don’t need this part for a whole year, I’m willing to wait and see what the industry comes up with. Clearly, I’d like a Hydra, but the price hurts. Xede does not have the functionality I want. Perhaps somebody will be selling a PnP MSII setup using all stock sensors by then. I applaud you guys who build your own MS’s, but I’ll stick with buying built ones. There are several promising “import” ECU’s out there, but those companies don’t seem interested in a US marketplace. Right now, I’m buying a Hydra unless MS is turnkey, or somebody wants to give me an import ECU in exchange for guinea-pig’ing.

I am all ears to opinions and suggestions. So now I just need a car. Y’all need to help me find one… and the parts. Let's get to work.

If you read this whole thing, you get to look at one of my favorite Navy photos ever, click HERE!
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Old 11-15-2008, 12:47 AM   #2
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thats a helluva nice plan of attack you got..I am very happy to see these kinds of threads because they help me organize my own build and offer tips.

I wish you the best of luck sam, and please document everything as thoroughly as possible, I will be reading it all

btw, craigslist san diego is jam packed with miata's (at least when I was looking a while ago) so shouldnt have a problem there...

as far as engine management I got myself a fm voodoo box and will run that to start off with (the easiest to install/tune) and just keep waiting for a pnp ms for us nb folks, or something of that sort....such a damn shame the zoom3 did not prove to be what we were waiting for

for i/c while cxracing is a good option, I went with a different one, and got a 27x6x2.5 from fleabay...fits the bumper hole flawlessly and looks really clean. also went with fleabay piping, and the whole i/c setup is ending up costing me around 150 total.

I will be trying the "over the top" routing, it seems to be the best/cleanest/shortest way to take in the engine bay, and unless I find a major flaw with that routing Im sticking with it.

suspension wise I have the kyb's as well, on fm springs. feels ok to me, and handles awesome. if you retain the stock springs Im sure your ride comfort will be even better while having good cornering capabilities.


sorry to ramble so much, you know this **** way better than me, just sharing
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Old 11-15-2008, 12:48 AM   #3
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a few comments!

Suspension: go bilstein. hate konis, hate kyb. everyone loves the bils. but sup to you.

clutch: you are the perfect guinea pig for the 949 twin plate setup. you dont get more street friendly than stock pedal pressure and organic disks that hold 400 rwhp.

turbo: 2560 external gate. just ask paul... fastest spooling 300 rwhp turbo around. external gate because lots of people report spikes/creep. it'll save your *** when you need to run wastegate pressure. plus it's *****. tap oil feed off sender is easy. just get the right adapters and a -AN to -AN with pipe thread tee for a gauge.

engine management/fuel: skip returnless, get a MS and 550+ injectors. you dont need a hydra for ANY reason. you gain almost nothing over the MS on the 99 car. except sequential injection which is a "so what" advantage. and the fuel return line is just a hassle. and honestly for the one-time hassle of building a 'squirt, it seems to have better day-to-day functionality than the hydra. I still have no idea what my battery voltage is or how to correct it.

intake mani: 99 is probably the best option. keep the VICS--it DOES improve the power band and is not an obstruction.

exhaust: 3" with bullet resonator, cat, and huge muffler. I love mine.
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Old 11-15-2008, 12:57 AM   #4
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Cooling-stock fans are badass. Don't downgrade IMO.

Fuel- 190HP or 255HP. I'm going 255HP when I do my returnless setup.

Clutch- I suggest a disk w/ strong PP vs. a puck setup.

Engine- It won't blow up if you keep the balancer on there and don't rev it to 7500+. They're are beast. ARP bolts won't do anything.

I say external gate. You couldn't convince me otherwise. But if you like battling EBC when the temp changes 20* go for it. And overboosting. And adjusting little rods that rattle. And porting them and hoping it doesn't leak and I think it's shut or maybe it's leaking but not much.

Turbo- I say go big when in doubt. Make up for lag with headwork and other goodies later. Maybe when you see how my 99' w/ headwork spools a 3271 you'll understand.

Oil feed- TunerToys sells an adapter that goes in where the sending unit goes for 22 bucks. Some other site has it cheaper and it's the same part. I bought a sandwich plate, then pulled my head out of my ***, sold it, and bought the adapter. I could just see the sandwich plate failing or spinning off when changing the oil filter. 1.8's already have an oil cooler spun on there that the oil filter spins on to. So adding another failure points didn't arouse me. SS feed and drain.

Intercooler-I'm doing my IC routing a bit different than most. Read, never done this way on a NB before. Around the top of the radiator near the headlights. 20x12x3 core. Simple and short pipes.

Intake manifold- I've talked to POPSTOY on m.net and he swears hogging out the top of the factory manifold on the 99's to convert the VICS resonance chamber to another set of ports feeding air to the engine helped his top end a TON. I'll be doing this soon for sure.

ECU-Hydra. No contest.
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Old 11-15-2008, 11:01 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 18psi View Post
for i/c while cxracing is a good option, I went with a different one, and got a 27x6x2.5 from fleabay...

suspension wise I have the kyb's as well, on fm springs. feels ok to me, and handles awesome. if you retain the stock springs Im sure your ride comfort will be even better while having good cornering capabilities.
CXRacing is ebay from what I can tell. I had that same size in my '93 and want something a little bigger... it will still cover the entire opening in the nose, but be in the 12" high range... proabably 3" core as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by y8s View Post
a few comments!
Suspension: go bilstein. hate konis, hate kyb. everyone loves the bils.

clutch: you are the perfect guinea pig for the 949 twin plate setup.

turbo: 2560 external gate. just ask paul... fastest spooling 300 rwhp turbo around.

tap oil feed off sender is easy. just get the right adapters and a -AN to -AN with pipe thread tee for a gauge.

engine management/fuel: skip returnless, get a MS and 550+ injectors. you dont need a hydra for ANY reason. you gain almost nothing over the MS on the 99 car.

intake mani: 99 is probably the best option. keep the VICS--it DOES improve the power band and is not an obstruction.

exhaust: 3" with bullet resonator, cat, and huge muffler. I love mine
That's all huge advice.
One of my main reasons for internal gate was availability/affordability. If I go external, I'm pretty much stuck buying the mani/DP/turbo new. I haven't seen any of that **** go used ever... and I can't imagine what BEGi charges for a custom S4 mani external gate w/3" v-band divorced gas DP. I know the exetrnal works better/flows better... but the budget may be the determining factor here. A good wastegate port job and moderate SoCal temperatures should make it easier.

As for the clutch... $1200... are you serial?

Both Enthuza and the new FM pieces are basically $1000 for a 3" exhaust. For guys who have had custom exhasust made... what are the costs I'm looking at?

Quote:
Originally Posted by patsmx5 View Post
Cooling-stock fans are badass. Don't downgrade IMO.

Fuel- 190HP

Engine- It won't blow up if you keep the balancer on there and don't rev it to 7500+.

Turbo- I say go big when in doubt. Make up for lag with headwork and other goodies later. Maybe when you see how my 99' w/ headwork spools a 3271 you'll understand.

Oil feed- TunerToys sells an adapter that goes in where the sending unit goes for 22 bucks.

Intake manifold- I've talked to POPSTOY on m.net and he swears hogging out the top of the factory manifold on the 99's to convert the VICS resonance chamber to another set of ports feeding air to the engine helped his top end a TON. I'll be doing this soon for sure.

ECU-Hydra. No contest.
I think I want new fans for the look more than anything. I've been on the lookout for a perfect-fitting slimline shroud to mount 2x12's in... bigger rad, reroute, moderate temps... should mean I don't have any major cooling issues to start. Still more homework to be done.

Stock balancer good... probably lower the rev-limiter to 7000rpm like I did on my '93 for longevity. Still in debate 2560/2860

Sending unit question solved.

I will contact Popstoy unless you have a link to a thread... I hope he took good pictures.
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Old 11-15-2008, 11:28 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samnavy View Post
That's all huge advice.
One of my main reasons for internal gate was availability/affordability. If I go external, I'm pretty much stuck buying the mani/DP/turbo new. I haven't seen any of that **** go used ever... and I can't imagine what BEGi charges for a custom S4 mani external gate w/3" v-band divorced gas DP. I know the exetrnal works better/flows better... but the budget may be the determining factor here. A good wastegate port job and moderate SoCal temperatures should make it easier.
that's a fair answer. it's not cheap. the ETD/M-Tuned mani is $545 with ewg flange. but I guess I built my own downpipe so it was less painful. and if you can weld, you can build the exhaust too...

Quote:
As for the clutch... $1200... are you serial?
I am serious. Plus I just saved you that much by getting the MS over the Hydra. And really, the difference is more like 800. But keep in mind how much you use the clutch! It's the biggest driver interface to the awesome power of the turbo miata there is.

Quote:
Both Enthuza and the new FM pieces are basically $1000 for a 3" exhaust. For guys who have had custom exhasust made... what are the costs I'm looking at?
since you'll be in San Diego, get aluminized steel. it wont rust in 10 years. it'll at least save you material costs.
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Old 11-15-2008, 12:09 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samnavy View Post
I think I want new fans for the look more than anything. I've been on the lookout for a perfect-fitting slimline shroud to mount 2x12's in... bigger rad, reroute, moderate temps... should mean I don't have any major cooling issues to start. Still more homework to be done.

Stock balancer good... probably lower the rev-limiter to 7000rpm like I did on my '93 for longevity. Still in debate 2560/2860

Sending unit question solved.

I will contact Popstoy unless you have a link to a thread... I hope he took good pictures.
There's a few reasons I say wait on changing the fans, looks aside of course. Several people on this forum have "upgraded" to slim fans and immediately started overheating. Usually because the new fans don't move enough air and/or they didn't install a shroud with the new fans and/or the shroud/fan assembly they just installed to "upgrade" wasn't as good as the factory fans w/ shroud built into them. I have a pair of 12" fans sitting here I'll never use. Bought them to upgrade, then realized the stockers kick ***.

Popstoy has NEVER taken a picture of anything. The man has done so many badass things to a maita and never shows pics. I asked several times for pics of the manifold work. He never even recognized that I asked him. So GL there... I could post the few PM's I had with him if you want. He didn't really elaborate though on what was done. He had a shop mill out the "ceiling" in the upper manifold. Tell ya what, give it a couple days. I may have pics of this mod.

+1 on 7K rev limit.

and +1 to a reroute. I'll be doing a DIY reroute on the CHEAP this summer.
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Old 11-15-2008, 02:15 PM   #8
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planet miata has the best deal for brakes 80$ and you get 2 rotors and hawk HPs pads.

so for 160$ you have your brake set-up - the stainless lines

and they sell a stainless line kit for anotherr 100$ so 260$ you're set
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Old 11-15-2008, 05:05 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by y8s View Post
that's a fair answer. it's not cheap. the ETD/M-Tuned mani is $545 with ewg flange.

I am serious. Plus I just saved you that much by getting the MS over the Hydra. And really, the difference is more like 800. But keep in mind how much you use the clutch! It's the biggest driver interface to the awesome power of the turbo miata there is.

since you'll be in San Diego, get aluminized steel. it wont rust in 10 years. it'll at least save you material costs.
Had considered ETD, but lack of matching DP turns me off. I want a mani/DP combo built on a jig with no slop and perfect fitment. I don't know if that product even exists... which is a shame. I know for a fact that if I order a product like that and it doesn't fit, I'm gonna have a few words to publish. OK... an external wastegate is not completely out of the question... but gonna take a little more convincing about the "product".

There's no way I'm spending $1200 on a clutch for a Miata.

So, assuming my DP stops at the factory connection at the mid-pipe, how much does the average shop charge to fab up a decent 3" exhaust with a name-brand muffler?


Quote:
Originally Posted by patsmx5 View Post
Several people on this forum have "upgraded" to slim fans and immediately started overheating. Usually because the new fans don't move enough air and/or they didn't install a shroud with the new fans and/or the shroud/fan assembly they just installed to "upgrade" wasn't as good as the factory fans w/ shroud built into them.

Popstoy had a shop mill out the "ceiling" in the upper manifold. Tell ya what, give it a couple days. I may have pics of this mod.
I'll let you know if I find an aftermarket 12" fanshroud that looks the business. The fans are a piece I'm really interested in getting to complete the "look" of the engine bay. If they really suck, I won't be out much... but I gotta give it a try.

I am all ears on the manifold mod's.

Quote:
Originally Posted by disturbedfan121 View Post
planet miata has the best deal for brakes 80$ and you get 2 rotors and hawk HPs pads.
so for 160$ you have your brake set-up - the stainless lines
and they sell a stainless line kit for anotherr 100$ so 260$ you're set
Forgot about PM... definitely looking into that. I bought my 1.8brake upgrade from them about a year ago.

This advice/discussion is critical to a solid build for me. I'm taking everything on board, believe me. I added up the new cost of all the **** I really wanted and ended up with a $12k list of sweetness. Buying used and being patient... we'll see where this thing goes.
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Old 11-15-2008, 06:44 PM   #10
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I paid $350 for my 3"down back pipe exhaust with a magnaflow muffler.
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Old 11-17-2008, 11:44 AM   #11
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sam, if you wanna come to NY/NJ area there is a 99 here for 5500. red and tan. i'll link it if you want. the North east is a good/bad place to get a car

bad cause we have winters and lotsof rain therfore rust is more common.

good tho because we drive a convertible thats a summer car, and its now winter so the price is gonna drop.
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Old 11-17-2008, 12:03 PM   #12
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Thanks for the offer... I've got plenty of contacts in Socal who are in the "biz" and are keeping their eyes open.
I hit all the "local" Craigslist venues several times daily... San Diego, Orange County, LACounty, Inland Empire, Imperial County, Las Vegas, Arizona.

I'm confident I can find a car that works for me... it might not be the stripper I really want, and I'll flex a little on the color, but red is not happening. I've already contacted a few likely candidates but the hunt will really start when I get back there in a few weeks.
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