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Old 07-14-2009, 04:50 AM   #1
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Default Hello from Southeast Texas

This is my initial post, although I have been watching and reading for some time. I am located in Vidor, Texas, 8 miles east of Beaumont and 90 miles east of Houston. My primary reason for joining is to learn the best ideas for safely turbocharging my 2002 Miata. I bought the Miata this past January mainly for my wife, but with the condition that I would turbo it for my fun too. A few years ago I read Maximum Boost in preparation for an engine project and learned a lot. Now I have read about Miata turbocharging in this forum until my head spun around. I think I have absorbed enough to move forward with the Miata.

I am a retired (early) civil engineer with a pretty good understanding of engines and power modifications. I have turbo'd three other engines previously from scratch - two VW's (one blow-thru dual carbureted and one dual TB at about 225 rwhp) and my current long-travel dunebuggy engine, a Honda 3.5L V6 w/T4 turbo, intercooler, BEGI RRFPR, otherwise bone stock, including computer with no timing mods or revised engine management and making an estimated 350 rwhp at 8 psi on race fuel/pump gas mix in a 1600 lb car. The Honda is so simple and powerful and purrs like a stocker that it spoiled me. I am learning that the Miata must receive a lot more attention to engine management and other details to make good HP and survive.

Also, all the Miata turbo equipment has to fit under a hood and in an engine compartment, something I am not used to in an open dunebuggy. On the off-road cars my after-turbo exhaust consisted of a 3" 90 deg bend. No cat, no muffler (and I still drive it on the street here in Texas). The Miata turbo project will be far more complicated.

I have always fabbed all my own components, but for this more complex project, and at 56 years old, I have about decided to buy a turn-key kit, probably a complete BEGI S3 or S4 with 2560 turbo and their Xede EMS. Plans include a stronger clutch, a 3" exhaust with no cat that I will fab myself (no exhaust emisions testing here), and water/alcohol injection. I am looking for as much power as I can safely extract from the 1.8 with stock internals, and still maintain wife-pleasing drivability, which I gather will be about 230-250 rwhp. I have driven Stephanie Turner's '02 and a Houston Miata Club member's modified '05 MSM (200 rwhp +/-), and I'm hooked on the extra power. We participated in Miata World II in Fort Worth with our stock Miata in May, and I know I must have more HP.

Sorry for the long first post, but I will only be posting rarely when I can't find an answer by searching.
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Old 07-14-2009, 09:16 AM   #2
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Welcome Norm!

I just so happen to know where Vidor is...I grew up in Mauriceville.

You don't happen to ride an orange Goldwing do you?
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Old 07-14-2009, 09:20 AM   #3
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Good first post Just the kind of member we need here.

Seems like you have done your homework. With your experience it should go smoothly. Good luck!
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Old 07-14-2009, 11:10 AM   #4
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Welcome ot the forum.



incidentally, the work involved in DIY vs a turnkey kit is not very different. a bunch of us are building our own exhausts (not manifolds--those are hard) and sourcing parts from wherever we like best. it's worth looking into and not a huge amount of effort. plus you can take pride in a job well done.
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Old 07-15-2009, 01:48 AM   #5
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No, gospeed81, I don't ride an orange Goldwing. I ride a silver Harley Road Glide. Good to know I have a fellow SoutheastTexan to consult with.

Y8S, you just had to post a picture of Norm from Cheers! I'd rather think I look like General Swartzkoff - ha! Funny, though. I will be doing some DIY such as the exhaust system and water injection. I just think that fabricating and installing a complete system vs. just installing a prefabbed system will cause the car to be out of service for a much longer period of time. I can fabricate almost everything I would need, but I'm not fast at it. My wife loves to drive the car to work almost daily. I would be in deep stuff if I took it out of service for any longer than necessary. The scariest part of this project is the engine management. I read all the time about the troubles guys have with their ems. That is the part I know the least about and dread the most. Anything less than stock driving manners for daily driving will not be satisfactory. The more I read, the less confident I become that I could select and install a DIY ems that will drive large injectors smoothly at idle and low rpm operation. But enough digression, I'll save this topic for a future post.

Thanks for the welcome.
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Old 07-29-2009, 09:30 AM   #6
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Norm, I replied to your PM. I didn't know that you could send them with less than 10 posts, or maybe you can't receive them with less than 10. In any case, if you didn't get it, please post here.

Welcome to the forum.
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Old 07-31-2009, 11:36 PM   #7
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Welcome. Excellent first post You definitely have some great experience that will come in useful.

Do not worry too much about figuring out an ECU. It seems pretty daunting when you first read up on it, but once you dive in and start tuning you will have it down in no time. Consider the Adaptronic since you have an 02. You will not have to add a CAS like you do with the MS (though I think there may be some new work arounds) but more importantly the Adaptronic can control VVT.

Go for the S4, or at least the exhaust manifold. You will be glad you did.
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Old 08-01-2009, 12:13 AM   #8
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ZX-Tex, thanks for the welcome and for the encouragement about ems.

With regard to the S4 manifold, I had considered it but wanted to use an external wastegate. Can an S4 manifold be set up for EWG? Are you running EWG or not? I did not ask BEGI directly about S4 w/EWG, but I may inquire. Corky had expressed some concern about controlling boost with the integral WG in conjunction with the 3" exhaust with no cat that I plan to build. What is your experience/opinion about the ability of the GT2560 turbo integral wastegate to control boost in the 10-11 psi range with and without EBC or MBC? I may want to change my order to an S4 manifold.
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Old 08-01-2009, 12:36 AM   #9
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I never ran the 2560 with the S4 manifold, just the GT2871 that I have now with the IWG. But, I am not having boost creep problems at all. I suspect you will be fine with an IWG on the 2560 with the S4. Just be sure to get the wastegate ported, which BEGI will do for free.

The 2560 will spool like a **** with the S4 and a no-cat 3" exhaust, especially if you use an EBC or an MBC on it. Mine spooled great with a cast manifold (BEGI) and a 2.5" exhaust, with a metallic cat (EBC, open loop). Since you are going with stock internals, the 2560 is all you need and the S4 will give you great low rpm response IMO. Be careful though, above 12 psi with the 2560 you are getting into the danger zone. And believe me, you WILL be tempted.
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