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Old 01-26-2007, 08:56 PM   #1
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Default Hello!

I'm new here, been reading the forum for a couple of weeks, mostly for sale ads, but decided to finally join up, introduce myself, and start posting all the questions that I can't answer after searching for them.
Little bit about myself, I live just south of Atlanta, for now I work at a Ford dealership as a tech, I'm going to college for a Criminology degree.
At the moment, I don't have a car because my turbo'd 2002 Saturn just got totaled on the 8th of this month, someone decided that ramming me while I was stopped for traffic was a good idea. Prior to that I owned three RX7s, an n/a '86 GXL, a '91 TII Convertible, and a '94 R2, and I decided to come back to Mazdas, just not a rotary at the moment 'cause the budget can't handle it. lol But I do have the boost bug, so it's time for a new project.
Anyway, in September '05, I bought my mom a '97 Miata STO, and she's loved it, and every time I've driven it, I've had fun with it. I've done all the maintenance on it, so I've got a good feel for the car already. But she won't sell it back to me, so I'm out shopping for another first gen Miata, more precisely, a '94-'97, hopefully in all black.

So I've been trying to cram as much reading in as possible concerning buying and boosting a Miata, so I have a few probably common questions.
What are the weak spots in these cars? For Saturns, welding the diff pin was a must, and anything over 220whp pretty much required forged internals.
Reading up, it appears 99+ heads flow better, but can they be easily swapped onto a 1st gen block?
How much power can the stock internals and drivetrains handle if they are in good shape?
What are common problematic areas to be on the lookout for when looking at a Miata?
Who are the most trusted vendors for aftermarket parts, manifolds, exhaust, etc.? I've seen Flyin' Miata, seems a lot of people have mixed reviews on that company though, but I'm swayed to get at least their manifold/dp setup since I was using a GT2560R on my Saturn, and I kept it. And I only glanced at BEGi, but it seems they have good heads on their shoulders. Who else is out there?
What's good for fuel management? I had an 034EIC on my Saturn, much better than SDS' product, but we had the option of additional injectors, MegaSquirt, or full standalone. I liked the sound of Flyin' Miata's Voodoo II box at the moment, because I do just want to start out low and work up from there.
Any other forums besides this one and miata.net that are good, reliable sources of info and help from other owners? We had quite a few Saturn forums, but only about 4 of them were reliable for good, fast information.

And if anyone can think of any other good starting points, please feel free to add them.

Thanks!
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Old 01-26-2007, 09:49 PM   #2
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1. Yes, you can throw it on a 94-97 block.
2. People have had good succcess at 250rwhp, and bad luck at 200rwhp. Tune it right and you're good to go. The word "bulletproof" comes up a lot.
3. Too much fun? They are very reliable cars that love boost.
4. Take a bit of closer look at BEGi. Read the owner's book "Maximum Boost"; discover that he designed all FM's prior turbo kits. Both company still use a GT2560R or GT2544R. They are the two top dogs in turbos. You'll see this board prefers BEGi and M.net prefers FM.
5. Emanage (blue and gold), Xede, Link, Megasquirt, Tec III, etc.
6. I wouldn't call M.net good per say
7. I think you'll be disappointed with the voodoo box, you'll build a low-boost kit and then want to rip it off so you can fuel more.
8. Everything you need answered can be answered by the folks here, post the same topic at M.net and compare results

Have Fun.
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Old 01-26-2007, 10:56 PM   #3
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And that braineack is the man....



welcome, ^^ he did a great job answering your questions
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Old 01-26-2007, 11:10 PM   #4
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yeah he doesnt call himself braineack for nothin
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Old 01-26-2007, 11:13 PM   #5
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+1 for not getting the Voodoo box. Bought my car with one, soon to be ripping it out.
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Old 01-26-2007, 11:33 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adbradley View Post
yeah he doesnt call himself braineack for nothin
I dunno, I can't even spell it right.
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Old 01-26-2007, 11:39 PM   #7
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Quote:
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I dunno, I can't even spell it right.
i've wondered that. braineack is still a good name for a brainiac.
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Old 01-26-2007, 11:46 PM   #8
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i sounded it out....teachers taught me that in like 2nd grade.
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Old 01-27-2007, 12:10 AM   #9
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braineak = my god
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Old 01-27-2007, 12:33 AM   #10
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braineack = my personal Corky Bell.
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Old 01-27-2007, 12:54 AM   #11
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there is a black miata on here for sale.. i am sure you've seen it but yeah, just letting you know..

i hope to have a black miata one day with black wheels and a red trim on the lip.. that would look sooo secksi (i know it look sgood because i use the miata in GT4 lol)
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Old 01-27-2007, 01:18 AM   #12
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welcome, i think you will fit in much better than our last noob

my only advice is to not discount Miata.net just because lots of people here dont like em, nor flyinmiata. Miata.net is a good place to find lots of little stuff about interior work, suspension, maintenance, and little this or thats. Flyin Miata has good stuff, but I think some of it is inflated in price and hyped. Ive bought maintenance stuff from them because they dont ship out any ol beck n arnley part, they send out japanese manufactured stuff from what ive seen.

Anyway, good luck and dont overlook that suspension
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Old 01-27-2007, 02:21 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shuiend View Post
braineack = my personal Corky Bell.
I'm gonna pause and laugh for a minute...

OK, back.
Rotornut, first, congrats on doing what appears to be a good amount of homework prior to posting. You've got the preliminary decisionmaking down and now it's just a matter of three questions.
How much power do you want?
How much money do you have?
What kind of skillz you got?

Set a power goal (remember, it's a 21000-2200lb car).
With the turbo you already have, an EMB, injectors, and basic IC setup, and decent quality DP/Mani, 250rwhp is perfectly doable. Forget the Voodoo Box.

Set a budget. Having already purchased the most expensive item, I'd say:
EMB+accessories: $450
IC and piping: $300
Injectors: $50
BOV: $50-$100
Misc hose and fittings: $50
Begi Mani: $439
Begi DP: $285

Now just add another 50% more money and you'll be right on target.

Your skill level will depend on how much you'll need to buy or make. If you've got a basic set of tools and a garage, you're ahead of the game. If you're a decent mechanic, nothing about building or installing your own turbo kit should be hard.

This thread documents my 1.6 buildup over a couple months... it should help you out with some theory stuff and show you the things that popped up in my build I didn't expect:
https://www.miataturbo.net/forums/showthread.php?t=4455

Don't forget tires/wheels/shocks/brake lines and pads/rollbar/swaybars/exhaust/and air horns.

Welcome to a great forum!
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Old 01-27-2007, 04:13 AM   #14
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Thanks everyone for the welcome! I'm trying not to be the annoying noob... I may actually go away if I can't find the right Miata soon. lol I'm very picky and OCD.
I actually read Maximum Boost before I even had a car, but that definately puts a new perspective on things about him and the kits you use. Something to consider anyway.
Seems common opinion is to not ignore the suspension. Never fear, I learned on my GXL to make the suspension the first thing that I build on any car. The main road in my neighborhood (and I live in a bumf***ville little town, so no traffic) has some great curves, so testing tolerances out is never a problem.
Power Goal? I avoid setting a power goal (saying that I want such and such whp), it's more of I want to have a quality, reliable system, presently formatted around constantly running anywhere from 5-8psi, and moving on from there, and seeing how much power I can plant on the pavement. Easier to plan with starting small and working up. That's why I'm more concerned about the tolerances of the engine and tranny, and how much boost and whp they can commonly handle before things start breaking down.
Money? I won't skimp on any part when it comes to FI, so if I don't have the money for it right now, I will wait until I do. It took the better part of a year to piece together the turbo kit for my Saturn, and I had just gotten it installed and tuned in the last week of December, so it was barely enjoyed.
Skills? C'mon! I turbo'd a Saturn... lol Actually, I'm in the process of learning to weld when I have any spare time, after that, I may actually be able to fabricate my own stuff, but I'd say I have fair skills. But there is always something new to learn.

OK, few more questions for the night/early morning...
1. Instead of asking what's good for engine management, I should have asked, what's commonly used?
2. Anyone toyed with an Extra Injector Control system? I still have it, and it worked great on the Saturn, (Info on it here), but basically based partly on your programming, it adds fuel through additional injectors right before the TB based on RPM and MAP boost.
3. Does anyone use the water-cooling (if equipped) on their turbos here, and what's the typical way of routing coolant? I just tapped the coolant reservoir on my Saturn and had it looped into return of the radiator, but I've seen some systems that use a separate cooling system.

Thanks again!
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Old 01-27-2007, 07:12 AM   #15
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ok to answer the best I can:
1. depends on your budget, power goals, skill, and ultimately how precice your tuning must be. Link ecu is $$ but will be easy to install and great for tuning. Megasquirt is cheaper, but requires patience and skill for the install. AFPR tuning is cheap but not precise and is pushing it at 10psi.

2. extra injector was used with older Flyin Miata turbo system and seemed to work well enough. If you have the setup, I would say go for it to get into boost and go from there as you wish.

3. My turbo is water cooled and plumbed into the engine cooling system. I dont know of anyone who has a separate cooling system for their turbo.
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Old 01-27-2007, 08:49 AM   #16
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pssst there are wonders to be acheived with abit more FP also WI is the **** to have trust me. It seems you have read up pretty well on the hardware, Our clutches will need to be replaced even on some low boost apps depending on the driving and driver, also there have been sevral 300whp stock internals miatas. Also get a torsen equiped miata, you will love yourself for it later
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Old 01-27-2007, 08:52 AM   #17
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Ohh and also if you didnt figure it out before i am a postwhore and will be on all the time so when you get your post count up so that you can pm drop us a line, (cept Markp he likes to show off) :gay:
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Old 01-31-2007, 02:58 AM   #18
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Hello all again,
I've been shopping around, and I found a Red (I know, not black like I wanted) 95 R Miata that is already loaded out with an FMII Link Turbo kit running a constant 15psi, and a lot of other toys. I wanted to post up in the FS section, but I have not enough posts yet.
I'm looking to sell my GT2560R turbo with less than 20k miles on it. It's in perfect shape, no shaft play, spins freely, even had the turbine housing ceramic coated. I know I probably won't get what I paid for it, but I'd like some serious offers, so hopefully by selling it and all the other parts I have for Saturns, I can make up the difference between the settlement I got on my totaled car and this nice nice nice Miata.
If I can't get that Miata, I'll just save the turbo to build up another Miata.
Thanks all! (And if someone, mainly mods/admins, gets upset cause I posted something for sale in the complete wrong place, please feel free to be mad at me, set me straight, or whatever else happens for justice around here.)
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Old 01-31-2007, 03:11 AM   #19
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95r with fm2 + a lot of other goodies boosted folks like to add = much better deal than buying stock and building up. Good choice mate, you get the 1.8 rear end and brakes, real oil pressure gauge i think, obd1 ftw, and you are already boosted so no 9 - 12 month wait like I had while likely spending more. The Link ecu is probably the best one out there for reliability, price, and knowlegebase ... unless you are dead set on all the extras like sequential injection, batch fire, anti-lag, etc ... Plus, its standalone.

Good luck and post pictures of the car if you get it
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Old 01-31-2007, 03:16 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by akaryrye View Post
95r with fm2 + a lot of other goodies boosted folks like to add = much better deal than buying yourself. Good choice mate, you get the 1.8 rear end and brakes, real oil pressure gauge i think, obd1 ftw, and you are already boosted so no 9 - 12 month wait like I had while likely spending more.

Good luck and post pictures of the car if you get it
Yeah, it's a much better deal than paying the ~$23k he invested in it. I added up everything that he sent to me regarding parts, and then he showed pictures of them installed in the car, so it all added up.
I'm short just a little under $2k of his asking price (and it's driving me up the wall to be so close), but I have about that in Saturn performance parts to sell, just no one biting until tax returns get back, and it'll be too late by then... Anyone want to send some money as a loan?! lol
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