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Old 08-30-2010, 01:09 AM   #1
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Default My new addiction...finally

After selling my Talon this past week, I finally got my hands on a Miata. The seller held it for me over the weekend, and I picked it up today. I now know what all the hubub is about lol, and with another 100hp (eventually) it'll be a ridiculous kick in the ****.

$3300
'92 Mariner Blue
A Package (I think...a/c, manual windows, and manual steering that I'm pretty sure is a depowered rack...need to get a closer look)
100086 miles
Raceland coilovers
Konig Daylites
Kumho Ecsta AST 195/50/15
Oil pressure and temp, water temp gauges in the vents
Ridiculous sounding axle-back exhaust with a Magnaflow muffler


First order of business is to get the filter isolated so I'm not ingesting 200* air. Then sell the "style" bar and install a proper rollbar. I'm also going to sell the wheels/tires in favor of some Panasports/Rewinds/similar with some stickier tires. I'd also like to swap out the rear springs for 250's based on what most folks were stating in the Riceland thread. Eventually I'll get the trunklid painted, but it's not horribly offensive at this point so I can live with it. And the seller still had the stock muffler, so that's going back on, too, until I need an exhaust for the turbo setup.

I've got a couple goodies for my turbo conversion already, and I'll start that in the next few months I hope. On hand is a Mitsu Evo3 16g, 550 injectors, and a 1st Gen DSM ECU to use as a standalone. Hoping for 200-225whp ultimately.

I need to get used to driving a RWD car again for the time being.
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Old 08-30-2010, 01:14 AM   #2
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good straight car.
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Old 08-30-2010, 01:19 AM   #3
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Clean car. Put on your list a 1.8 differential. Also, could elaborate on the ECU you plan to use? Remember Megasquirts are cheap standalones with awesome support in the community.
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Old 08-30-2010, 01:23 AM   #4
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Damn clean. Good job for $3300. Every time I see a car like this I kick myself in the *** for not holding out for a better deal.
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Old 08-30-2010, 01:49 AM   #5
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congrats.
clean car. with your plans to "clean it up" it will get even better.

this is in the wrong section though
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Old 08-30-2010, 02:08 AM   #6
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Thanks guys. Looks clean from 10', any closer and the hood reveals its speed dimpling from a hailstorm. And there's blue painters tape over the former antenna hole lol. But overall I'm really happy with it for sure, especially at that price. Soft top/boot and interior are also in great shape.

ECU from a 1st generation Talon/Eclipse/Laser. Factory fuel/timing/airflow maps that work pretty well for the OEM turbo application, and an amazing tuning program available for it called ECMLink that gives full control over the ECU. Underdog is using the same type of ECU in his car, see this post in his build thread: https://www.miataturbo.net/showpost....4&postcount=51

I went ahead and started a new thread here as opposed to updating the uber lame intro thread I made a few months ago when I started seriously lurking around. Please move it wherever it needs to go.
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Old 08-30-2010, 02:42 AM   #7
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What exactly do you need to do to run those DSM ECUs? The low cost is seriously appealing.
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Old 08-30-2010, 01:10 PM   #8
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Well, I'm going to be figuring that out at some point lol, just don't know yet. Underdog is using one, and gives a decent overview in his build thread that I linked above, or you can see it all on his website here < that's the specific page where he mentions it. If my funds don't run out, I'll be using ECMLink to manage everything and capture data, so I'll have plenty of room to grow. If I go bust lol, then I'll use a custom mapped chip like he's using. There is just so much flexibility in those ECUs, even with just a custom chip, and I'm familiar with them since I'm a former DSMer. With the full version of ECMLink, there is a huge amount of control, as well as control for external hardware triggers (like meth injection). The ECUs can usually be had for ~$200, and will probably work great stock up to about 26-28lb/min of airflow.
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Old 08-30-2010, 02:34 PM   #9
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Very nice smurf, d00d! $3300 for a clean car like that with the hardtop is a good buy.
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Old 11-29-2010, 08:26 PM   #10
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Thought I'd update this now that I've made a few changes, and am getting closer to the turbo install. Figured out it's a Base with a/c added. I finally got a proper roll bar in there (HD Sport), picked up a blue trunk lid from a local partout, sold the Daylites and picked up the '96 M Edition wheels/tires for cheap so I'm going to use them until I run out of traction...they don't look too bad IMO. I raised the car about an inch to 12.5F/12.75R and adjusted the camber back to a less CR-looking amount. Installed a stereo and speakers, checked that the TB has been replaced (thankfully yes), made a shield for the intake, and probably a bunch of other stuff I'm forgetting. Still on the list is the rear springs, but I disconnected the rear sway so it's a little more manageable back there.

I pretty much have everything for the turbo swap except the piping to make a catback exhaust and a few nuts and bolts. The IC setup I just picked up from astroboy here was the last major part. I thought about going over the radiator, but for the price I'll go around the sides for now. I picked up a copy of ECMLink, so I'll be using that in speed density mode for engine management along with the DSM ecu. Probably going to be a big tuning curve to get over this way, but in the long run should be totally worth it.

So far I'm thrilled with the car, but I'm really looking forward to having more horsepower lol. I hope to get it torn down sometime in January or February and back together/tuned by March. I did do a baseline pre-turbo dyno session a few weeks ago, and to my surprise it made 93whp/85wtq up here at 6000ft.

Anywhoo, here's a couple of photos I took yesterday before it started to snow

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Last edited by matthewdesigns; 11-29-2010 at 08:57 PM.
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Old 11-29-2010, 09:33 PM   #11
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Congrats! I saw the PO's posts on CR and they were OK for a good laugh. Hopefully you will be a more educated owner
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Old 11-29-2010, 09:36 PM   #12
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DSM ECU, interesting. Following this.

You'll run out of traction soon enough, lol. Don't forget to replace that 1.6 diff!
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Old 11-30-2010, 12:33 PM   #13
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DSM tune? Oh boy this will be good. Speed density is awesome, and can work MIRACLES 'if you know how to tune it properly. Just remember to do clean up tunes when the environment changes. Temp and elevation can impact the speed density in small ways. I'm sure that you know since you've been rocking the talon. From AWD to RWD is a bit tricky, but these little miatas are a blast either way.
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Old 11-30-2010, 02:06 PM   #14
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Just so we can get a feel of megasquirt vs. using the dsm ecu, how much work was involved and how much did it cost for everything you needed to get it running?

I know you dont have it running on it yet but im pretty sure you've figured out what you need/ need to do
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Old 11-30-2010, 02:35 PM   #15
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Mariner blue FTW!!

Nice purchase! You'll love it 10x more once boosted. That's when the addiction becomes permanent.
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Old 11-30-2010, 03:12 PM   #16
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Thanks guys. Yeah the PO was a nice enough guy, but headed in the wrong direction with the car IMHO. The guy before him would be good for a laugh or two if I could find him...I keep finding more **** he did under the dash every time I look under there. The best so far has been discovering that ALL the ventilation ducting was removed, presumably so he could install 3 aux gauges in the vents

I'll definitely be upgrading the diff, but I figure I'll just run with all the stock driveline stuff (trans/diff/clutch/etc) until something breaks. I'm also going to be looking into the trans at some point to see if anything in there can be improved upon. I know they are relatively cheap used, and best I can tell the 6 speed is what most higher HP street guys are using, but if there's any way to make the 5 speed a better unit then maybe I can start offering that service. But I'm thinking way ahead at this point lol.

Yeah, the DSM ecu will be interesting. As I said earlier in the thread, I'm not breaking any new ground here (Underdog is using one), but since it's familiar to me and proven to work I'm going to give it a shot. And, I work part time for a DSM/EVO shop here in Colorado Springs called Jacks Transmissions (www.jackstransmissions.com), and they've built and tuned cars for years on those platforms...GTRicky you may know about them already as they are one of the Big 3 tranny builders for DSM and EVO cars in the US. The tuner there, Kevin, is already assuming he'll be the one getting it running lol. I'm going to give it my best shot though before I enlist him.

Versus Megasquirt:

Hardware - I paid $100 for an already socketed DSM ecu, but they typically go for around $200. I picked up an engine harness for $80, and a DSM throttle body with factory variable TPS for $30. It turns out the CAS in both cars outputs a similar enough signal that it will work with the DSM ecu, so no crazy workaround is needed there (meaning more $$). I bought a good used knock sensor for $10, as the DSM ecu has a built in knock/timing retard feature. So I'm at $220 before the software, with a lot or wiring ahead of me to swap this over cleanly. Frankly, the car would probably do fine on a stock DSM ECU/ DSM 450cc injectors/DSM MAS at up to about 200hp, as that's what it's designed for. But there's no datalogging unless you spend another $50-100 for a Palm or PC setup which is nowhere near as good as the datalogging in ECMLink. And just to be complete here, the '98 and '99 DSM ecu's can be had for $225-250 and are being flashed/logged with a $35 program and $75 cable, so it could be done that way as well. Full timing/fuel adjustments there.

ECMLink software - For the brand new Version3 it's $495 for the full program and $375 for the Lite version (fewer features - no dual maps, no external triggers, etc...but can run SD). I've seen used copies of V2 go for $2-300, and it's essentially like V3 Lite but not configured for SD iirc. I have the full V3, but only because ECMLink cut me a huge deal on it after I told them what I was up to. I think they are wanting to see their software used as a standalone, so that certainly helped my cause. Otherwise I'd be looking for a used copy of V2.
Here's the site for ECMLink: www.ECMTuning.com
Here's a short vid of a datalog used while making a timing adjustment just to illustrate a fraction of the program for you guys: http://www.ecmtuning.com/demos/basictune.html
^^^ This kind of usability is another reason I went with ECMLink...it's been in development for close to a decade, is constantly being upgraded, and is ridiculously friendly for semi-noobs like myself. Though to be fair I don't know a thing about MS, how it looks on-screen, it's user friendliness, etc., but I know it's a great program as well. And there are DSMs out there on MS, too, so ECMLink doesn't even appeal to everyone on that platform.
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Old 11-30-2010, 03:24 PM   #17
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Really sounds like a good option, especially if you are already familiar with that ecu/tuning platform. Sounds pretty closely priced to a diy megasquirt

Although I don't think that I could go without the datalogging option.
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Old 11-30-2010, 03:32 PM   #18
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Yeah, that's a drawback to just using the ecu. With ECMLink you get the control and an amazing logger that ties directly to the adjustment tables, which really makes things easy to see and compensate for.
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Old 11-30-2010, 04:17 PM   #19
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might be just the EVOs, but i could have sworn that datalogging was in the ECU... but then again, I may wrong about that too.

I also could have sworn that the open source flashers can do data logging and run SD. I'm not positive since my SD tune comes when I do my E85 tune on the EVO, and the parts needed just the OMNI 4bar map sensor and the GM Intake Air Temp (IAT) with pigtail along with the fuel system upgrades for that.

If you get it working without too much pain, i would love to see the end result and even the mess of cables when you do it. I might even do a DSM ecu conversion since I know tons of DSM owners. Those guys are always parting their cars out.
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Old 11-30-2010, 05:00 PM   #20
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The open source flasher EvoScan can flash those later DSM ecu's, but last I checked the earlier ones weren't working all that well. There's definitely a logging app in that software, too...I actually tried it with my '95 ecu but they didn't play nice. So for less than $400 you could have a '98-99 flashable ecu and software, then you'd just need the harness and a couple of sensors. My hesitation with that route is that the GUI is nowhere as good as ECMLink, and there's still code to be wrenched around even as good as it is. I just don't want to deal with code, I'd rather have pretty pictures lol.
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