Anyone else have issues with pieces from Bell Engineering (BEGI)? - Miata Turbo Forum - Boost cars, acquire cats.

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Old 08-30-2007, 11:24 PM   #1
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Default Anyone else have issues with pieces from Bell Engineering (BEGI)?

I posted a thread a little while back about a total ghost issue, where my car would not produce more than 3psi, period. I was swapping turbos back over to my old T25 from the new GT2554R, and as soon as I cracked off the DP the wastegate snapped from "closed" to actually closed. Turns out the flapper arm was contacting the air separator on the DP that keeps the two exhaust gas flows separate (this is a divorced-wastegate SS BEGI 3" DP). Obviously, I'm not really thrilled about a piece I paid nearly $500 new after shipping and options for, but I can deal. It's a DIY kit, and I have to deal with DIY issues.

I cannot deal, however, with the other issues I've had with this DP.

I ground the separator down, so it would clear the flapper arm, and re-assembled the setup. I took the DP apart into its two pieces, took the turbo off the manifold, and mated the two out of the car, pushing the DP as low as possible on the studs so everything would clear. I then threw the turbo back on the manifold (also a BEGI).

-The wastegate divorced tube touches the EGR fitting in the manifold
-The wastegate divorced tube will not mate to the second piece because it interferes with the transmission
-The bolt that's supposed to squeeze the two parts of the DP together will not go in at all because it interferes with the transmission

A 10mm spacer between the manifold and the turbo would solve all of this, but frankly I'm a little pissed off. I cannot reassemble my car until this issue is solved, and the car's been down now for 10 days needlessly because of this stupid little issue. I've spent countless hours removing parts, pressure-testing, and I was ready to send the car to a shop to pay someone else to diagnose the problem, because I simply could not find out what was going on. Between the stainless material, the custom step up to 3" piping through the flex section back to the flange, and the second o2 sensor bung, I paid nearly $500 new including shipping for this part. When I send a company $900 of my hard-earned dollars for a manifold and a downpipe, I expect the **** to fit. If I had welded this stuff myself, or I had tacked it up and had someone else weld it, I could deal with someone massaging the pipes and the flange to make it all fit. I chose BEGI parts for the DP and Manifold so I wouldn't have to do that.

Corky, I really want to work this out. My name (Andrew) and phone number (650.79x.xxxx) are on your desk right now. Please give me a call tomorrow morning so we can start working on how to solve this issue for me. The parts are beautiful, and extremely well made, and if they fit properly, I'd be a very, very satisfied customer. Let's see what we can do.
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Old 08-30-2007, 11:51 PM   #2
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I hope all my **** fits.
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Old 08-31-2007, 01:34 AM   #3
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The holes on the DP flange where it mates to the turbo are purposely not the exact size of the studs to give you wiggle room. My '93 has no EGR, so can't help you there. Are you following the assembly instructions WRT order of connection. I think you've got to start at the cat and work your way forward... but the directions are VERY SPECIFIC about the order you install/tighten bolts... it even goes so far as to say THINGS WILL NOT FIT RIGHT if you don't do them in the right order.

The only problem with my Begi was the opposite of what you've got... it cleared the tranny just fine, but I didn't have as much room as I'd wanted on where it almost touches the inner fender lip. I thought it might touch a little when the engine rocked over under power. A couple dremel wheels fixed that.
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Old 08-31-2007, 01:42 AM   #4
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So the DP fit BEFORE you removed and reinstalled it?
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Old 08-31-2007, 02:01 AM   #5
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It took me a little bit of wiggling and tightening and loosening and wiggling and tightening again to get my setup to not rattle against anything, but now that I have it right it is working great. Although I dont have EGR or divorced wastegate or any of that fancy stuff.
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Old 08-31-2007, 02:27 AM   #6
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So the DP fit BEFORE you removed and reinstalled it?
No. It caused a 10-day witchhunt for a boostleak when the first flapper arm stuck open on the downpipe. Then, the second turbo flapper arm stuck open on the same downpipe. I know the holes are large, and that's good because I'm able to grind on the DP and then push it all the way down to make it clear the flapper arm.

But when I do that, it doesn't clear the transmission. I get one or the other: Either I don't get to make boost, or I don't get to have the vast majority of my exhaust system.

There's PLENTY of room on the other side; a simple 15mm spacer between the turbo and the manifold or rotating the DP flange 5 degrees counterclockwise would solve the issue completely. It's just frustrating to have to deal with this, on a product that I really expected to fit perfectly.
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Old 08-31-2007, 04:52 AM   #7
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All right, I got it working. The flapper arm still hits the divider, but it's not too bad. It'll work until I can have the spacer made. I had to loosen the upper DP from the turbo, then slide the two together, then push the DP against the transmission and hit it from the top with a hammer to gain the door clearance I needed.

My god, boost feels good.
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Old 08-31-2007, 08:05 AM   #8
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I hope my whole kit works out good..... you people are getting me worried
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Old 08-31-2007, 11:40 AM   #9
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If you get a kit from them, I seriously doubt you'll have any issues. Their manifold-their turbo-their DP is a known entity; throw in an unknown turbo and you may start to see some issues, as I've seen.

I spoke with Corky this morning, and we went through the installation step by step. He said I could send the DP back to go on his jig to check the measurements, which I'd do if I weren't leaving in all of 9 days. He also offered to make the spacer I talked about, which will definitely solve all the issues. I think the current setup will work so I can drive the car before I leave for school, and then I can install the spacer when I'm back for Christmas.

Thanks for the call, Corky. I will make absolutely certain I really do have the room for a 15mm spacer against the steering column and everything else down there and send you an email. Another satisfied BEGI customer here.
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Old 08-31-2007, 11:54 AM   #10
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I just think it's impossible to manage all the variables when doing this stuff. I remember making a race exhaust on totally stock Miata so I could bolt it up to the race Miata which also had a stock header. When I got around to bolting it up, it hit the car in two places- one of which required some cutting and rewelding on the tubing. Total PITA for something I thought would bolt right up.
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Old 08-31-2007, 11:58 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m2cupcar View Post
I just think it's impossible to manage all the variables when doing this stuff. I remember making a race exhaust on totally stock Miata so I could bolt it up to the race Miata which also had a stock header. When I got around to bolting it up, it hit the car in two places- one of which required some cutting and rewelding on the tubing. Total PITA for something I thought would bolt right up.
I agree. The clearances are so tight down through there, and the slightest rotation of the turbo-side flange will make a huge difference.
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