Would you buy an already modded Miata or mod it yourself - Newb dilemma - Miata Turbo Forum - Boost cars, acquire cats.

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buy modded 15 33.33%
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Old 07-06-2007, 11:06 AM   #1
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Default Would you buy an already modded Miata or mod it yourself - Newb dilemma

Hiya alll

Greetings from Sunny South Africa ! I am and will always be a car nut ! I have built many very potent Subarus and Evos and I feel the need for something lighter ! more nimble ! brute force and ignorance only go so far ! this has lead me to look at the Miata / MX 5

I have a dilemma here !

I have found a decentish standard car and I have also found an already modded one !

Which to choose !

the modded one has the following:

1991 with 32k miles

BBR turbo kit (from the UK) with fmic / 5th injector / piggyback ecu / forged pistons of unknown make and compression ratio / bilstein shocks / upgraded bushes / thicker anti roll bars / BIG aluminium radiator / wilwood brakes / rims / some chassis bracing / roll cage that looks like a TT bar - comes with hardtop and softop

Car has had AC and PS removed but comes with the car and a race seat and harness.

The owner has tracked it a few times and is a TVR owner as well - so he is a bit of a car nut on a more serious level

the std one is well a 1996 std at 100k miles

the modded one is double the price of the std one

Now my first thoughts were to buy a std one, buy a spare std motor, strip that motor and build it properly and add a GT28RS or GT3071 to it with FMIC - standalone ecu etc, then add brakes / suspension and so on over time - now this modded one presents a different oppurtunity (but at double the price) with most of the mods being done its an awesome foundation to build from, but there are a few things I dont like in the modded one-the BBR kit has "squarish" pipes and it runs the afm, I think I would first change the ecu and put normal round pipes in unless some one can convince me square pipes pre afm are good but then if i fit a proper ecu I wont worry about it ! but thats all I could imagine changing on the modded one and then probably working out what the actual compression ratio is and then adding a turbo to make up my 250whp goals

so what would you do ? buy the std one ? or buy the modded one
and does a modded miata typically trade for double a stocker in the USA ?
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Old 07-06-2007, 11:18 AM   #2
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Mod it yourself: You know exactly what has been done, how its been done and any shortcut you took yourself. Also if things break or screw up, you probably have a better idea how or why it happened.

Buy premodded: About a billion times cheaper as modded vehicles are worth less then stock ones, and you don't have to buy the go-fast bits. But there's always something hanging over your head, did the last person cheap out somewheres that I can't see. I've modded my own, and would probably try premodded next time because $35grand disapears so fast into these things.
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Old 07-06-2007, 01:11 PM   #3
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the BBR kit is weak man. Throw a Avo or other hell even DIY kit on the 96. No esp weak *** BBR miatas. You will make more power with a modern kit and no need for a motor build unless you absolutly feel you want more than 300whp. If the stocker drives strong and, has good compression etc. go for it. I dont know if you guys got OBD2 on your side of the equator but it is a simple work around and since i also dont know what kind of emmisions standards if any, you have in Johburg i can't give advice there either. Still your choices are as follows buy the Weak BBR with small turbo and restrictive system overall, or build/buy a modern kit for the stocker. 1.8 diff and brakes is a big + for the 96. I would root around here and see what some of us have accomplished with 1.8 miatas, esp the 96-97 ones, wait it is a 1.8 right not a 1.6. You guys had the option i believe to keep the 1.6. Anyway more info is needed on your part and abit more sight seeing will soon have you pointed in the right direction. As a wonderfull australian author once said "First with the head and then with the heart that is how Small (motors) can beat big" :gay:
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Old 07-06-2007, 01:20 PM   #4
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Hiya

Thanks for the info

as to OBD either 1 or 2 its not a requirement at all - and there are pretty much no emission laws as such - they may fail a car with a smoky exhaust when it changes hands - our roadworthy is only required when cars change hands - so we can go wild !

As to the BBR kit - why do you say it is weak ? if I put a GT 28 rs or better on wont it be the equal of a modern kit ? the zorst is pretty much 3 in all the way from the turbo back.

I hear you about the brakes etc the std one is a 1.8 for sure

the 1.6 std and 1.8 std are very limp for my liking ! I think this may be why the modded one has favour ! I am used to all wheel drive traction with about 250whp and loads of torque - I am hoping the light weight of the miata means it does not need as much torque !

The other problem we have here in South Africa is our petrol - our best at the pumps is equal to your 89 !!! so we have really lousy unturbo friendly petrol ! to run even moderate boost on the stock internals would mean either a very rich AFR or very retarded timing which brings about high egts - so forged internals and lowered compression and a bit of toluene in the tank will do the trick - with this in mind is the 1.8 still a better buy ?

I have been lurking and reading posts for a while - learning and theres loads more to learn so please dont stop - if I am on the wrong track stop me
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Old 07-06-2007, 02:34 PM   #5
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buy the 1.6 car and upgrade whatever you need to.
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Old 07-06-2007, 03:03 PM   #6
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would a gt28rs on the bbr kit achieve my goals of 250whp ?
to start with
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Old 07-06-2007, 03:17 PM   #7
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I bought my car modded. But i'm redoing the things i don't like. ie. I don't like the heavy wheels and tires, so i'm selling them to buy different ones. I don't like the turbo and manifold, so i'm changing them out. I didn't like the stereo or enginemanagement so I sold it all to get new stuff. If you can get a deal it's nice to have a car that's already turbo because its easier to swap stuff out than it is to start anew sometimes. Even if only so you can physically see how things are on the car.

This is only valid if the car is going for a good deal, which mine was.
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Old 07-06-2007, 03:42 PM   #8
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I bought mine modded because I got a killer deal. I paid less then most stock miatas go for around here for one with a turbo, springs, roll bar, and a hardtop already installed. All the stuff I was planning to do anyway.
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Old 07-06-2007, 04:21 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 3barboost View Post
would a gt28rs on the bbr kit achieve my goals of 250whp ?
to start with
I have no idea what the BBR kit consists of.
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Old 07-06-2007, 04:35 PM   #10
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it comes from the UK and was a factory option a few years ago - this car has the intercooler in front of the radiator - so I presume it to be the phase 11 kit - the ecu has also got a perfect power piggybackto control fueling and so on - and the fifth injector - pre throttle body

heres a pic of what the kit includes

and a few links to other pieces of info on it

http://www.mx5-3rdgenerationlimited.com/bbrturbo.htm
http://www.cryton.demon.co.uk/mx5/p-bbr.html

the modded car has wilwood brake calipers and two piece disks and team dynamics rims (apparently the lightest money can buy) - the exhaust post turbo is literally a 3 in pipe all the way - no resonator / silencer at all
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Old 07-06-2007, 06:56 PM   #11
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I bought mine with suspension and body work done to it, no engine work. It all depends on what was modded. Modded cars generally were driven to hell too. In this case at least it is low mileage and comes with a bunch of stuff.
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Old 07-06-2007, 07:01 PM   #12
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I've never bought a modded car, but I wouldn't be really biased against it. You can pick and choose which parts to keep or sell off.

But I'd would want to know as much info on the modded car as possible to see if the previous owner maintained it well enough. A lot of the danger with a modded car is when it's either an old modded car or a highly modded car. This is because stuff will eventually fail and you won't see it coming because you don't know whats old and new.
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Old 07-07-2007, 03:36 AM   #13
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I'd have to have a long conversation with the seller before buying a modded car. A few things here or there, like suspension and stereo, is fine. But if he's been into the engine and claims to do a lot of the work himself, I want to make sure he knew what he was doing. And if he tells me he did all this work, and the car was "never raced", then he's a liar and I'm not buying from him.
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Old 07-07-2007, 03:37 AM   #14
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Buy the car, sell what you don't want.
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Old 07-07-2007, 04:37 AM   #15
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I recently purchased a modified car from a member of this forum. I bought the car unseen, as I am in Iraq. I was able to go back threw the former owners posts and get an idea of what, and how things where done. I had intended to make my own changes e.g., ECM and fuel management. So I was not concerned with making this purchase.
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Old 07-07-2007, 04:48 AM   #16
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On this forum, I'd make an exception

Milton, welcome and thank you! We're watching your six down here in Kuwait!
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Old 07-07-2007, 07:40 AM   #17
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Well upon looking further it seems the bbr is a standard t25 right, if that is the case then go for it but. What are the wheels and brakes worth to you. The wheels are most likely 1500$ + retail brakes maybe 400+ but you will still most likely need a 1.8 diff to keep the power from blowing pinion gears at 250whp and agressive driving. Twice the price is a stretch dude look at what it has vs what it needs and then consider what you like and need. If the stnd 1.8 with a Kit or custom setup will work for your needs then go for it both should have no problem hitting 250+ whp and the motors staying vibrant. A bigger FMIC might be in order for the BBR or some WI cuase the stocker looks abit small. wiegh on price and apeal.
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Old 07-07-2007, 08:19 AM   #18
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this is the modded one - I think you will see the appeal
it has an aftermarket lsd.

my other concern is importing parts - as an example a manifold from begi for 800 usd will cost me the equivalent of 1250 usd by the time its in my hands - with shipping / customs charges and vat all added - so whats cheap on your side of the world is expensive here. and I am trying to "build a kit" for cheaper than the price difference between the two.

How important are the brakes ? what power levels kill the 1.8 brakes ?

I am leaning towards the 1.8 std one and modding that.....
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Old 07-07-2007, 09:10 AM   #19
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i am runing sloted rotors and good pads on my more than 250whp turbo 1.6 in stock 1.6 sizes. LSd is not the weak point on the 1.6 the gears breack becouse they are small and weak. So make parts yourself or find someone local who can help. I am sure somewhere in the Big country of South Africa there is another person or group of people who have felt the urge to turbo a miata. It is a rather simple and straightforward process.
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Old 07-07-2007, 12:36 PM   #20
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i bought my car modded and I ended up spending about as much money fixing the previous owner's mistakes as it would have cost me to simply mod it myself from scratch.
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