Turbo or suspension? - Miata Turbo Forum - Boost cars, acquire cats.

Welcome to Miataturbo.net   Members
 


General Miata Chat A place to talk about anything Miata

View Poll Results: Turbo or Suspension?
Wait on the turbo and splurge on the suspension. 7 18.92%
Wait on the turbo, but clip the suspension budget back. RACE = overkill. 11 29.73%
Turbo it now. 220rwhp cures all handling woes. 19 51.35%
Voters: 37. You may not vote on this poll

Reply
 
 
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 12-19-2006, 01:26 AM   #1
Supporting Vendor
Thread Starter
iTrader: (31)
 
Savington's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Sunnyvale, CA
Posts: 14,357
Total Cats: 1,322
Default Turbo or suspension?

I posted this same thread/poll at M.net. I thought it would be interesting to get this forum's opinion as well.


I have a '94 C-package that I'm preparing for street and open track use. My original plan was to spend a healthy sum of money on a great track suspension (KONI RACE/GC coilovers) and then save money later on to add a turbocharger to the car. My final goal is to be running 220+rwhp at 12psi. Streetability and NVH are non-issues. I will not sacrifice track prowess for street comfort. I have considered other setups like JIC, TEIN, etc. but I feel that for the price, the RACE/GC setup is the best track-oriented bang for the buck. It is most of the performance of a set of Koni 28 series shocks at 1/3 the price.

However, I have been poking around this forum (miataturbo.net) a bit over the past couple of days, and I quickly realized that I can build a 220rwhp car for far, far less than I previously thought I could. I'd estimate that after getting a used turbo, manifold, eBay intercooler, piping, Bosch BOV, downpipe, and a piggyback ECU, I'd be out somewhere around $2500, perhaps $3000. That is less than the $3000+ I thought I would be into for the 170rwhp FM kit, and FAR less than the $5000 I would be paying for the 250rwhp kit. (I am budgeting $1500 for clutch, flywheel, and exhaust upgrades on top of this. My car has the 7" Torsen already.)

I'm starting to think that a $2200 track suspension (The original plan was KONI RACE shocks, GC coilovers with 700/450 rates, an FM butterfly, and a big RB tubular up front) is a little absurd for my current situation, and perhaps I could forego the RACE shocks for a set of Yellows and use the money to turbo the car a bit sooner.

The other option is to stick with my stock suspension for now, do the DIY turbo first, and then focus on getting the suspension knocked out this summer. This doesn't sound like a great idea to me, though.

In my situation, knowing you only had the opportunity to make another $4-5k before the money dried up, what would you do?
Savington is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-19-2006, 01:36 AM   #2
Elite Member
iTrader: (12)
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Central-ish VA
Posts: 4,449
Total Cats: 16
Default

I personally bought my suspension before I bought turbo stuff. However I installed the turbo before the suspension. I haven't really done anything other than spirited driving in the car. The turbo though so far is the greatest thing I have done. For driving around town, which is what I do the majority of the time, its is the best upgrade. On a second note though, my suspension is KYB AGX's with old FM springs and it is also amazing. I have the shocks at full stiffness, and it is outstanding in turns.

So the moral of the story is that there is no moral. It depends on what you think you will be doing most of the time. I personally would do turbo first.

Brian
neogenesis2004 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-19-2006, 01:36 AM   #3
Elite Member
iTrader: (3)
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Houston
Posts: 2,904
Total Cats: 4
Default

If i had a chance to do it all over again I would do suspension first turbo 2nd.

Oh wait i have. The NB i bought has the suspension sorted out for autoX and I am have a blast with out my turbo
Pitlab77 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-19-2006, 01:47 AM   #4
Senior Member
iTrader: (2)
 
SamS's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 1,251
Total Cats: 7
Default

Last spring I had given up on my turbo dreams, and decided to spend my money on wheels/tires and suspension. A month later, my dad gave me a turbo and intercooler, the rest is history...

I'd probably never set aside the money for suspension if I got the turbo first.
SamS is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-19-2006, 02:00 AM   #5
Elite Member
iTrader: (5)
 
akaryrye's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Central California
Posts: 2,526
Total Cats: 0
Default

I would say do the major suspension work you want done first and put off some of the icing on the cake types of things like bushings and endlinks. I would suggest getting your shock spring/coilover choice, wheel/tire setup, and an agressive alignment first. While you are at it, get a clutch and some better brake pads. This way you will not be too deep into your suspension/drivetrain and you will better understand and appreciate the changes you make once you get to know your car better. At this point it will be ready to go turbo without any major shortcomings.
akaryrye is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-19-2006, 10:35 AM   #6
Elite Member
iTrader: (7)
 
samnavy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: VIRGINIA BEACH, VA
Posts: 6,020
Total Cats: 175
Default

It sounds like you've got a place to work on the car and are going to do all this work yourself. In that case, how about this:

Look for a set of used shocks/springs/sways in the classifieds. Used Koni's or KYB's and Racing Beat springs/sways can probably be found for under $500 total. Go ahead and install those for the time being. But you've said nothing about tires/wheels. What do you plan to run for rubber? A brake upgrade would be advisable... at least braided lines$100 and new pads$100 (don't go crazy on the Wilwoods yet).

Once you've got that basic upgraded suspension for cheap, start your turbo build. Like you said, 220rwhp is quite doable with quality parts for $2500... you could probably even buy everything new. A T28 and emanage would get you there easy.

I would do the clutch before the turbo, and have the exhaust standing by. For 220rwhp, you can get away with a (pick your brand) Stage II. Over to you on the flywheel, but I'd drive a turbo Miata with and without before you commit to one. Shaving a stock flywheel produces the same results as an aftermarket aluminum one and you'll never have to replace it.

To do it right the first time, budget for a 2.5" exhaust. 3" would be the power upgrade, but it's gonna be louder and for just 220rwhp, maybe a little overkill. Going catless will help a lot with spool if you're not a hippy tree hugger environmentalist.

Once you've got the suspension in, clutch in, turbo tuned and the car is driving good, upgrade the suspension as you see fit, while selling the original parts back in the classifieds for what you paid for them.

It might be a little more work like that, but if you don't have the cash immediately for the good stuff new, it's a nice upgrade progression, and you get enough suspension to handle the new power even if it's not top-of-the-line.

Again, don't bother doing anything until you've got some decent rubber and stronger stoppers under there.
samnavy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-19-2006, 11:21 AM   #7
Boost Czar
iTrader: (61)
 
Braineack's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Chantilly, VA
Posts: 72,835
Total Cats: 1,786
Default

I wouldn't spend any money on springs that are softer than the FM spring rates.

You can piece together yourself a cheap spring/shock combo. Hell I can hook you up with AGXs or Illuminas. FM springs are what $240 shipped, S-techs are cheap as hell on ebay, even e-bay coilovers are 400/300 spring rates... You're looking at close to $400-500 then just throw on a front sway bar and call it a day.
Braineack is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-19-2006, 11:38 AM   #8
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Holiday, FL
Posts: 563
Total Cats: 0
Default

turbo! its just so much more worth it RIGHT NOW
Fritch is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-19-2006, 11:57 AM   #9
Senior Member
iTrader: (3)
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Northern Michigan
Posts: 898
Total Cats: 0
Default

I really wouldn't bother with used stuff (especially wear items), unless your buying it from a trusted source here. I have never regretted doing something right with new parts, and often regretted half assed. That said, Turbo it first, get it running smoothly, and then upgrade suspension. It will be much more rewarding to change the suspension on a miata with some power. It will go from scary to scary fast. Just more fun like that.

My plan is to get my car tuned perfectly at about 7psi, Hawk pads, a simple suspension upgrade (illuminas and maybe lowering springs, I really want the car to look stock and not racer, want some springs?) , sway bars, clutch, then intercooler, rims/tires, and finally a 7 inch rear end.
rotaryjunky is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-19-2006, 01:42 PM   #10
Senior Member
iTrader: (14)
 
brgracer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Ambler, PA
Posts: 1,275
Total Cats: 1
Default

Kind of depends on what you plan to use the car for. If you are thinking about competitive auto-x or lots of track days, I'd probably opt for a really nice suspension first with lots of seat time to learn how to drive well and then add the power.

FWIW, it's what I wished I had done.
brgracer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-19-2006, 02:09 PM   #11
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Edmond, OK
Posts: 473
Total Cats: 0
Default

all cones must diiiiiieeeeee, go for teh suspension first. turning is way more addictive, than anything else, except of course sex
Rage_Kage is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-19-2006, 02:22 PM   #12
Junior Member
iTrader: (8)
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Lansdale, PA
Posts: 426
Total Cats: 0
Default

If your car is down for the winter, I’d say start your turbo build. Depending how you approach your project, it may take several months to complete. You don’t want to be working on your car when it’s nice outside. You can install shocks and brakes in a day.

If your car is a DD, I say go for the suspension first.

Either way, you’re going to want to upgrade your suspension. I wish I did this when I purchased my car 3 years ago. It really does transform your car. Last summer I was driving with Mach929 and I could not keep up with his 6psi greddy system. I was making much more power than him but my tires, shocks and brakes were all shot. Needless to say, the next day I ordered a set of azenis tires, axxis brake pads and finally installed the shocks that were given to me for a Christmas present. These upgrades are a must in my opinion if you plan on installing a turbo.
Stripes is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-19-2006, 02:29 PM   #13
Boost Czar
iTrader: (61)
 
Braineack's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Chantilly, VA
Posts: 72,835
Total Cats: 1,786
Default

I've autoxed my miata for 3-4 years n/a. Always done fairly well with Konis and F/R sways. Never the fastest but I held my own.

After the turbo I ran a few and noticed i had significantly more body roll, had more speed in a lot of turns and squated out of them. I overheard a lot of by-standers saying "if he would of had a suspension he would have kicked ***." and they were right. Suffice to say I ordered FM springs the next day. Noticable improvements. It's not the best setup but it works. Still want to tinker around with the suspension, but the $$$ has to get evenly distributed.
Braineack is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-19-2006, 03:03 PM   #14
Senior Member
iTrader: (3)
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Northern Michigan
Posts: 898
Total Cats: 0
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by braineack View Post
I ordered FM springs the next day. Noticable improvements.
Did you install the rear shock mounts also?
rotaryjunky is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-19-2006, 03:14 PM   #15
Tour de Franzia
iTrader: (6)
 
hustler's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Republic of Dallas
Posts: 29,114
Total Cats: 351
Default

get the gc kit with 440/350 and bilstiens. You will probably never overdrive that set-up. Spend the money on corner weighting before you quadruple the spending on sway bars.
hustler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-19-2006, 03:43 PM   #16
Boost Czar
iTrader: (61)
 
Braineack's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Chantilly, VA
Posts: 72,835
Total Cats: 1,786
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by rotaryjunky View Post
Did you install the rear shock mounts also?

no. no bother. got the FCM bumps, ride height is 13/13.35". good all around setup...
Braineack is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-19-2006, 04:19 PM   #17
Elite Member
iTrader: (5)
 
Atlanta93LE's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Marietta, GA
Posts: 2,198
Total Cats: 1
Default

Aside: I've been thinking of doing FCM bumps, but haven't been able to decide whether to grab some FCM mounts as well...otherwise I like the 93LE/R package suspension setup. I'm hoping it'll do alright once I'm turboed!
Atlanta93LE is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-19-2006, 04:39 PM   #18
Tour de Franzia
iTrader: (6)
 
hustler's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Republic of Dallas
Posts: 29,114
Total Cats: 351
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Atlanta93LE View Post
Aside: I've been thinking of doing FCM bumps, but haven't been able to decide whether to grab some FCM mounts as well...otherwise I like the 93LE/R package suspension setup. I'm hoping it'll do alright once I'm turboed!
i think the fm mounts help, but i've only had them, never not had them.
hustler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-19-2006, 04:43 PM   #19
Boost Czar
iTrader: (61)
 
Braineack's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Chantilly, VA
Posts: 72,835
Total Cats: 1,786
Default

With the FCM bumps and the ride height at my level I barely bottom out, only are large bumps, springs help significantly in corners.

Nothing close to running 12"/12.75" on stock springs.
Braineack is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-19-2006, 06:30 PM   #20
Elite Member
iTrader: (9)
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Concord, North Carolina
Posts: 4,172
Total Cats: 5
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by braineack View Post
With the FCM bumps and the ride height at my level I barely bottom out, only are large bumps, springs help significantly in corners.

Nothing close to running 12"/12.75" on stock springs.
I don't know about on the track, but on the street I don't think I've ever bottomed out running old school FM springs, Konis, and the FCM mount/gc bumpstop combo. I'm at like 11.75 rear/11.5 front I think. Only on the one speedbump entering my friend's appartment do I have to be real careful b/c it is ginormous.



I'd def go w/ the suspension so you can safely put the power down...its what I'm doing
miatamania is offline   Reply With Quote
 
 
Reply

Related Topics
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Project Gemini - Turbo Civic on the Cheap Full_Tilt_Boogie Build Threads 57 07-19-2017 05:11 PM
WTB MP62 (Hotside) (NB2) Rick02R WTB 3 01-03-2016 08:18 PM
Expected intake temps on the track? tazswing Race Prep 20 10-03-2015 12:04 PM
ISO 1.6 turbo cast iron manifold cale saurage DIY Turbo Discussion 16 10-01-2015 12:25 PM


Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -4. The time now is 10:25 AM.