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Old 01-11-2009, 04:58 PM   #1
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Default Hello, I'm new.

Hello everybody, I posted recently without knowing I needed to post here first and I apologize, my bad.

I'm 17 and I drive a 1990 MX-5 as my daily driver and I'm looking for some power. I was considering a V8 conversion after I saw the monster miatas in Cali, but for the $17,000 they charge for it, it only gets you about 250hp. I've read through posts on here about guys making 300+hp with their turbo kits on their stock engines with nothing more than a Fuel Management System and bigger injectors.

In short, I WANT THAT! With some of the small things I've done to it already (K&N 57i induction kit, new clutch) it already puts my head back in the seat when I jam the gas, so I imagine a 300+hp setup would make it pretty hard to move my head forward at all when under throttle.

This is my first car and I plan on owning it until the day I die because this is the ultimate car if it had a little more power.
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Old 01-11-2009, 05:43 PM   #2
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Well, you've been mislead or didn't understand what you were reading. Nobody makes that kind of power on an FMU... and 300whp is the absolute upper limit of the stock motor. Most guys running that kind of power have a significant time and money investment... so lets start with a more attainable goal on the budget/experience of a 17yr old.

Lets just say 150whp for starters... start small, buy quality parts that are easily upgraded, learn to drive, use good tires, don't let your friends tell you anything about anything on any subject, and remember that if you run into anything bigger than a mailbox in your 1990 Miata, you're gonna be dead without some basic safety devices.

I'd start with making sure the engine is healthy enough for boost. Do you know how to perform a leakdown/compression check?
Your first mods should be geared towards making sure the car is ready for double/triple stock power. Do you know the 90-93 brakes are really small? Do you know the stock differential in the 90-93 cars is a timebomb above 200whp? Rollbar? Suspension? Those are the things to do first. Throwing anything more than about 200whp at a bone-stock Miata 90-93 Miata is asking to wreck.

How are you fixed for tools? A place to work? What are your mechanical abilities? Do you have any experience working on cars? What has the maintenance of this car looked like... regular oil changes, how old is the timing belt, fuel filter, fluids, etc... Exactly how much money do you have and what is your timeline? Are you OK is the car is up on jackstands for 1-2-3-4-5 weeks after you blow the motor? Do you have the money for a new motor? Stock rebuilds including labor are around $1500-$2000.

There are a lot of things to think about. If the car is BONE STOCK right now, I highly recommend your first mods are a set of decent tires and some used swaybars. That's about $500.

You're in for an enormous education over the next few weeks if you stick around and REALLY try to understand what the whole "turbo" thing is about.

Welcome to the forum!
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Old 01-11-2009, 05:55 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by energyracing View Post
Hello everybody, I posted recently without knowing I needed to post here first and I apologize, my bad.

I'm 17 and I drive a 1990 MX-5 as my daily driver and I'm looking for some power. I was considering a V8 conversion after I saw the monster miatas in Cali, but for the $17,000 they charge for it, it only gets you about 250hp. I've read through posts on here about guys making 300+hp with their turbo kits on their stock engines with nothing more than a Fuel Management System and bigger injectors.

In short, I WANT THAT! With some of the small things I've done to it already (K&N 57i induction kit, new clutch) it already puts my head back in the seat when I jam the gas, so I imagine a 300+hp setup would make it pretty hard to move my head forward at all when under throttle.

This is my first car and I plan on owning it until the day I die because this is the ultimate car if it had a little more power.
Yeah, basically what Sam said. There's a lot to do before actually bolting a turbo on. And most come here saying "I want 300, or 350 whp" and then realize that 200 or 250 whp is A LOT MORE than they thought. After all, your car only had like 100whp stock. 200 whp is DOUBLE that. Just to put that to work, you need to address a lot of other things, many of which Samnavy just mentioned.

Welcome to the forum. Start reading around. Read all the stickies in each sub-forum and read the usefull-saved-post section too. Then when you have questions, start searching. There's a lot to learn if you want to do it right the first time and have a fun, reliable, fast car. Even more to learn if you want to have all that and keep a low budget.
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Old 01-11-2009, 07:55 PM   #4
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welcome

I'm glad you corrected your mistake and started off on the right foot.....Search around and you will do great here....the two guys above me KNOW THEIR ****, take their advise and you will have a quick/reliable turbo miata yet....
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Old 01-11-2009, 08:21 PM   #5
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You just need to sit back and read here a bit, read the FAQ, read the vBgarages of some of the members here and see what they've done. Several of us have very straightforward setups making more than 200whp, which is nothing to scoff at in such a light car. There are several ways to go about it, but I think everyone will agree that a pretty simple recipe is:

- A turbo kit (or pieced-together "kit" if you know what you're doing) The Begi-S is considered a good start for the money

- An intercooler or other means of cooling the charge

- An EMS (Megasquirt is popular) and injectors

- A free-flowing exhaust

- Some method of boost control

- a cooling system that can keep up

- the patience to understand that not everything is "plug-n-play"

Last edited by kotomile; 01-11-2009 at 08:58 PM.
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Old 01-11-2009, 11:55 PM   #6
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Thanks for all your advice guys.

To SamNavy: All the other things you listed to get before the turbo have been on a wishlist on miatamania.com for the past few months lol so I was already heading for the suspension upgrades. I already have 16" Dunlop tires on it and they are very grippy (except in rain or snow, but most people aren't crazy enough to drive their miata in the snow like I am.) and i have also changed the shocks already. Thanks

To kotomile: I went on to the Begi site and looked at their turbos. Their are a bunch of options on the Begi-S that you can include with it. I had a few questions about some of the options if you don't mind.

1. The turbo size: I don't know if this is a very simplistic approach but I would assume bigger turbo=more power. But is the power increase from upgrading from the GT2554 to the GT2860 worth the $200?

2. Begi Fuel System vs. MegaSquirt (I looked up MegaSquirt and I'm still unsure of what it is.)

3. Heat shield? need it? Keep temps down?

4. Stainless Braid coolant line?

5. Separated gases downpipe?

I'm starting to lean towards the S1 or S2 because they are closer to my hp goal (200) and I dont want to end up doing this twice for two turbos. Thanks again everyone.
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Old 01-12-2009, 12:37 AM   #7
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-with a stock block 1.6 you want the 2554 or possibly the 2560
-megasquirt is hands down better than any fmu or piggyback setup out there.
-up to you
-up to you, but stainless is way better imo
-up to you as well, increases flow

If I were you and not really educated turbo-wise, I'd go with an entry level begi kit as well, and upgrade down the road. they make good products
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Old 01-12-2009, 01:31 AM   #8
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If you only want 200 and really like quick spool, the 2554, if you'd sacrifice a smidgeon of spool for more power, the 2560.
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Old 01-12-2009, 01:35 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by energyracing View Post
To SamNavy: All the other things you listed to get before the turbo have been on a wishlist on miatamania.com for the past few months lol so I was already heading for the suspension upgrades.

1. The turbo size: I don't know if this is a very simplistic approach but I would assume bigger turbo=more power. But is the power increase from upgrading from the GT2554 to the GT2860 worth the $200?

2. Begi Fuel System vs. MegaSquirt (I looked up MegaSquirt and I'm still unsure of what it is.)

3. Heat shield? need it? Keep temps down?

4. Stainless Braid coolant line?

5. Separated gases downpipe?

I'm starting to lean towards the S1 or S2 because they are closer to my hp goal (200) and I dont want to end up doing this twice for two turbos. Thanks again everyone.
If you'll put a short list of your current modifications in your signature, nobody will waste time suggesting things like shocks/sways/etc... Miatamania is way overpriced for almost everything on their site. I highly recommend checking out the wares of the forum sponsors here. Just about everybody is cheaper than Miatamania... aka: Moss. There's also the classifieds both here and at Miata.net... you can build an entire car from what's available on a daily basis.

1. A very easy initial power goal is 200whp. The GT2554 is right smack dab in the middle of it's efficiency there. It's the perfect turbo for 200-240whp. The GT2560 is the optimal choice for between 240-300whp. Above that, your stock 1.6 goes boom.

2. The Begi Fuel System is a small round mechanical device that splices onto the fuel return line to the fuel tank. You plug a vaccum line into it, and when there is boost, a small diaphragm clamps down the flow of fuel back into the tank... thereby raising fuel pressure in the rail. It's a very basic AFPR/RRFPR (adjustable fuel pressure regulator or rising rate fuel pressure regulator depending on which term you like).

Megasquirt is a full standalone (some guys run it in piggback mode) engine computer. Don't let the name of the thing confuse you... it's just a computer... like the Link/Hydra/AEM/Tec/etc... Megasquirt is cheap and easy to use. It can be ordered as a kit and soldered together on your kitchen table... but it's got all the bells and whistles and functionality of the hi-dollar ECU's on the market.

3. Most guys around here run a heat shield of some sort. Hang around for a week and you'll see enough engine bay pictures to get an idea of what's available for purchase or that you can make. Ceramic coating is very popular, as are turbo blankets, and various types of wraps for heater lines and other meltable underhood components.

4. Braided coolant lines are nice, but expensive. Getting water to cool the turbo is very simple in a Miata... the feed/return lines are already engineered in to the stock cooling system, and all you really need are some rubber coolant lines and a couple banjo-barbs stuck in the CHRA.

5. A separated gasses downpipe is all the latest rage. The basic idea is that wastegate gas flowing back into the main turbine gas flow disrupts the flow... and that disrupted flow is worth some power. So, separating the gasses and re-introducing the wastegate gas as far downstream as possible to minimize the disruption improves flow which equals more power. We're talking about small percentages here... nothing to sweat over if you come across a great deal on a non-separated DP.

The BEGi "S" series 1 or 2 are great kits with quality parts. I wouldn't expect 200whp from a 1.6 on just the AFPR... you'll need some timing help in the form of a Bipes, and some AFR help in the form of an o2 clamp to get that high. For the ridiculously low price of Megasquirt, there is no reason not to get it. They're easy to install and un-install once a year when you need to go to the smog guy... if you need to.
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Old 01-12-2009, 02:40 AM   #10
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Welcome - I too am new to the Miata thing - you've at least got one, I just want one. But I do remember one thing about being 17. I was into car stereo back then, and some friends were into go-fast cars. One friend was on the verge of uninsurable - like $5000 per year just in car insurance. My first ticket ("failure to complete a stop") at age 22 caused my premiums to DOUBLE. So whatever you do, do it responsibly, otherwise your insurance will cost you far more than the car and the mods you've put into it.

~Mitch
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Old 01-12-2009, 10:00 AM   #11
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I like how even after "we" mature professionally with great paying jobs, everyone here is driving the same cars as 17-year old highschool kids. lol
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Old 01-12-2009, 10:11 AM   #12
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I like how even after "we" mature professionally with great paying jobs, everyone here is driving the same cars as 17-year old highschool kids. lol
except most high school kids are driving STi and EVOs.
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Old 01-12-2009, 10:32 AM   #13
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except most high school kids are driving STi and EVOs.
maybe one day I can "date" their girlfriends, lol.
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Old 01-12-2009, 10:45 AM   #14
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maybe one day I can "date" their girlfriends, lol.

One can dream!
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Old 01-12-2009, 03:58 PM   #15
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thanks again for all the help guys, I really appreciate it. I hope to get this total project done by the time I graduate college in 5 years, sound doable? lol
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Old 01-12-2009, 04:16 PM   #16
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hey energy, thanks for being a good sport about our policy of keeping this place high class and technical.

wait.

I mean low class (hustler) and technical.
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Old 01-12-2009, 07:20 PM   #17
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what?
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Old 01-12-2009, 08:36 PM   #18
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what?
nevermind
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Old 01-12-2009, 11:14 PM   #19
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thanks again for all the help guys, I really appreciate it. I hope to get this total project done by the time I graduate college in 5 years, sound doable? lol
lol. Projects are never done, just resign yourself to that fact now. I bought my car when I was 17, turboed it at 18, and I just turned 20, and I'm still not done. Get all your suspension stuff out of the way first, then start with a basic kit like the BEGi-S that will get you a little power to start off with. Once you have that, you can slowly upgrade the kit with an exhaust, intercooler, ECU+injectors, etc.

edit: Then you get addicted to HPDEs, then you'll need a 2nd set of wheels, coolant reroute, built motor, wing, brakes, a better job, etc.

Last edited by Savington; 01-12-2009 at 11:39 PM.
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Old 01-13-2009, 12:46 AM   #20
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just dont rush into any purchase yet, read, read, read, then go read some more, and when you think youve had enough, read some more.

after like a month of reading everyday, you will be able to truly decide what you want as for a complete kit and its details
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