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Old 10-19-2013, 05:22 PM   #1
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Hey all,

My name is Matt and I'm looking at buying a 1990 miata with a stage 2 BEGi garret turbo kit. There are 150k miles on the body. The car has no body/frame rot. It has a borla catback, tokico shocks, alpine sound system (i could care less about the sound system but, its there). From what i can tell, it needs a tune badly, and appears to have no engine management at all. It is running with the stock ecu and it has a boost control issue (you have to ease into boost otherwise it will spike or it wont reach peak boost, you cant simply stand on the gas.) It runs fine but not the way it should be running.

The guy is asking 3000, and considering the turbo kit costs nearly that much and the car is in fairly good shape, I feel like it is worth it. However I have no clue what I'm doing when it comes to tuning. But my thinking is that this can be a great way to learn. My wife has wanted a miata for a long time and I think this could be a really cost effective solution.

I just wanted to get some more experienced opinions as well as seeing if there are any people in the Kittery, ME or Portsmouth, NH area that i could meet up with (if i got the car) to see what I have and point me in the right direction for tuning. I really want to learn how to do it, its a skill that i think could prove quite useful.

I have a 2011 STi that I have had tuned by ECS Performance in Connecticut and I'd love to have more intelligent conversations with my tuner so this could be a great stepping stone to that lol.

Any input would be appreciated greatly, Thanks guys!
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Old 10-19-2013, 06:36 PM   #2
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compression test? If the body is clean it's worth that, as long as you're willing to replace the engine or something if it's already toasted.

The experienced guys will tell you to remove the turbo, add standalone ECU (megasquirt most recommended), learn to tune, then re-add turbo.
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Old 10-20-2013, 09:03 AM   #3
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Welcome to the site matt.i, thanks for joining up!
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Old 10-20-2013, 09:58 AM   #4
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Hey I am new here myself. On my local Craigslists, miata's go for cheap not uncommon for $900 to $2000 all day. So unless you know that motor isn't already hammered. Most times your better off not buying a molested car. It's always better if you do the work yourself then you know what's been done and how it's been done. Plus being a 1990 it's got the potential for bad crank issues. I personally would steer clear but again that's me!! Good luck, no matter what you chose.
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Old 10-20-2013, 11:16 AM   #5
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How much wrenching experience do you have? That really determines a lot. I definitely would not recommend a non-stock car to someone that has to rely on others to work on the car.

I'd imagine that rust-free cars this age are not common in Maine. So it's probably worth a bit more up there because of that.

If I were to do it over, I'd start with a 1994+. To bring this car up to snuff (assuming you do the work), you're going to need at least:
1. MS ($500+)
2. Injectors
3. Diff ($600+)

If you DIY the tuning (recommended) then MS is the way to go. If you farm it out, your tuner will probably want to use something like AEM.
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Old 10-20-2013, 07:39 PM   #6
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Thanks for all the input guys. We have decided to let this one go. I really want to get into a miata but I have no way of knowing a lot of things about the car plus I don't have the knowledge to DIY tune it right now. I think when we get one we will go 94+ just to make it a bit easier on us.
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