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Old 05-06-2009, 05:23 PM   #1
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Default New to Miatas, looking to learn

Hello Everyone,
Everyone wants pics and specs, I don't have any pics of the miata. It's a 03 babied since new(40k miles now, and a nice day car only) by my dad. Base package, 1.8, totally stock, only oil changes and tires since new. He's looking to turbo it so I'm doing some research. I'll end up doing 99.5% of the work as well.

Little background first, then I'll tell you the plans.
I'm a bit of a gear head: 98 Jeep Buggy thing: 347 Ford, C4, Atlas, D60's blah blah, probably chinese talk around here.


My newest buggy build: 5.3/700r4/60/9" (not quite done, hence all the straps and lack of paint)
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I drive a 03 WRX daily(18g, gears,blah blah), and tow with a 01 Powerstroke (lots of power goodies). So, I'm not totally new to turbos.

Back to the miata. Basic plans are 210-240whp. (probably the low side of that) Looking for reliable to take out on nice days, and the occasional track day.

From my reading for the past few days, I've only really come to one conclusion. I'll be using Adaptronic. Still researching options for turbo, IC etc. I'm willing to fabricate a bit, but being dad's build I'd rather spend a little more to save a bit of time. We are in no rush to get this done, and the car can have some downtime.

Looking at around $3000 or less budget. My initial reaction is to cheap out on the turbo ( shanghai) and get it going, then I can always move to a bigger/smaller garrett depending on how it feels later. I'm unwilling to cheap out on EM,WB02, so that basically a third of the budget. Not too mention all the little things with every install like this.

Any suggestions, things you would have done differently? I've still got lots of planning and researching to do, really just saying hi.

Flame away, I'm right at home giving and taking ****. (not that way you sick ....s)
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Old 05-06-2009, 05:30 PM   #2
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Welcome to the forum
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Old 05-06-2009, 05:35 PM   #3
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Nice first post. Given your goals, budget and all, it will be close. Better factor in a clutch at that power level, plus better exhaust/cat/muffler and at least a DIY intercooler. If you aren't fabricating parts, you will likely bump up to $3500 before it's all said and done.

Mine was a true DIY budget build but new Adaptronic, new ACT HDSS clutch and pretty much everything else used or fabbed and I'm at about $2,500, not counting the radiator.

Damn you for finally making me add it up. I never really knew before today.
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Old 05-06-2009, 05:43 PM   #4
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Stein, good stuff, I'm not too far off. Budget is a goal more than a set limit. I'll end up fabbing the exhaust, probably wait till I'm done, stick it on the lift and see what fits, thats pretty simple. Are guys getting away with 2.5" for mid 200 range hp?

Not too interested in fabbing the manifold, I know what hapens when I start fabbing stuff. It'll end up external waste gate, custom DP, etc. I'd rather make this a leisurely mostly bolt on affair with Dad.

Thanks a bunch for the Adaptronic writeup! I was getting a bit frustrated with no MS options for this year miata. I'm not a big fan of piggyback units.(plus, correct me if I'm wrong but all but the xede($$) limit to pretty mild boost and don't meet my goals.)
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Old 05-06-2009, 05:46 PM   #5
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Forgot about the clutch comment. I'll leave that out of the budget. Dad knows well enough they are a wear item. I'll worry about that once it runs(and I find out I have to pull the tranny for a clutch...before I'm even done tuning LOL)
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Old 05-06-2009, 05:46 PM   #6
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blah blah, probably chinese talk around here.
Maybe to some........wheelin is my other hobby. Are you a member on Pirate4x4? I don't recall seeing you over there. You have some cool builds. That jeep looks like it was done well (from a distance). Do you have a build thread anywhere for it? For the buggy? I'm sure that you'll do a good job on the miata. There is a wealth of information here to help.
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Old 05-06-2009, 05:51 PM   #7
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Lugie_98tj on pirate Team 419 XRRA, Team 14 KOH. There is an old build thread on there. and a newer one for the buggy(under EasyXJ, guy I share the shop with, buggy is his mom's, TJ is mine). That was one of the first D60 TJ's. Built 6 or so years ago. Still going good.

LOL, just looked at your screenname. I followed your build in chit chat. Good stuff man!
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Old 05-06-2009, 05:52 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lugie View Post
Forgot about the clutch comment. I'll leave that out of the budget. Dad knows well enough they are a wear item. I'll worry about that once it runs(and I find out I have to pull the tranny for a clutch...before I'm even done tuning LOL)
It's not a wear item, but a necessity at that level. Best people can live with is about 150-160whp and even then you can kill them. North of 200? Might as well bite the bullet.

I'm still on 7psi wastegate, but I figured, if it's down for the install, I'm doing it all at one time. If you have a lift, it's a piece of cake. The tranny is only 75 lbs. Pick it up and stick it on.
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Old 05-06-2009, 05:57 PM   #9
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It's not a wear item, but a necessity at that level. Best people can live with is about 150-160whp and even then you can kill them. North of 200? Might as well bite the bullet.

I'm still on 7psi wastegate, but I figured, if it's down for the install, I'm doing it all at one time. If you have a lift, it's a piece of cake. The tranny is only 75 lbs. Pick it up and stick it on.
small cars still amaze me, I'd love it if all my transmissions were 75lbs. I haven't got a look at the flywheel on this thing, can I get away with resurfacing? or do I have to budget that as well?
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Old 05-06-2009, 06:03 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by lugie View Post
small cars still amaze me, I'd love it if all my transmissions were 75lbs. I haven't got a look at the flywheel on this thing, can I get away with resurfacing? or do I have to budget that as well?
Resurfacing is no problem and is recommended. Lightweight or repalcement flywheel is not needed, if that is what you are thinking. Some machine off some/most of the weight ring on the back and that knocks off 2-ish pounds. That said, I didn't do mine because I had no bluing or hot spots. Scuffed with a scotch brite disc in my die grinder and all has been well.
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Old 05-06-2009, 06:05 PM   #11
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Resurfacing is no problem and is recommended. Lightweight or repalcement flywheel is not needed, if that is what you are thinking. Some machine off some/most of the weight ring on the back and that knocks off 2-ish pounds. That said, I didn't do mine because I had no bluing or hot spots. Scuffed with a scotch brite disc in my die grinder and all has been well.
Scotch brite...check I like cheap and easy. I doubt this one will be bad, this car has probably seen cruise set at 65mph for 95% of it's miles.


Rugger, how is the Muncie in that car? I always thought they drove my dump trucks in rigs, let alone a small car.
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Old 05-06-2009, 08:22 PM   #12
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Rugger, how is the Muncie in that car? I always thought they drove my dump trucks in rigs, let alone a small car.
It's good to see you on here. I'll keep an eye out for you in ChitChat. The Muncie is a fine transmission. I'm using the Centerforce dual friction clutch and Howe hydraulic throwout with an '86 Landcruiser master. I love the combo. The six speeds of today are a much superior driving experience all around. However, I'd put the Muncie against them in reliability.....especially with the abuse that I give it. I have the torque to pull the gears, so the 3.27:1 gears that I run are acceptable as well. I can downshift to 1st at about 30mph. I believe that will be useful on the track. Also, I never have to get out of 3rd in the quarter.....It runs me up to 108mph. The only downfall is that I'd like lower revs on the highway for better mileage. That the six speed would give me.
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Old 05-06-2009, 08:30 PM   #13
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It sounds like you're a man who does his homework. I highly recommend reading the sticky's in the BS and DIY forums, also check out the USEFUL SAVED POSTS forum and catch a look at what goes on around here for fun.

The 2 main competing companies are Bell Experimental Group - BEGi and Flyin' Miata 1 800 FLY MX5s. Check them out, compare and collect data on the parts you think you'll need to buy.

There are a few other smaller companies making a ****-ton of parts applicable to a turbo build... but the main guys who make manifolds and downpipes are those two. You can check out a local named TurboTim who custom builds manifolds, and there's always making your own.

220whp will be cake. For simplicity and cost, I suggest a BEGi cast manifold, GT2560, 2.5" exhaust, Xede, LC1, CXRacing intercooler setup, knockoff BOV of your choice, Mishimotor radiator, DIY collant reroute, FM Stage1 clutch.

Your 2003 will need an ECU that will control the VVT if you're going standalone. Hyrda or Adaptronic are the only ones we're running round here. If you can stand a parallel install, Megasquirt, or piggyback an Xede.

Let us know when you get stuck.
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Old 05-07-2009, 05:28 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by samnavy View Post
It sounds like you're a man who does his homework. I highly recommend reading the sticky's in the BS and DIY forums, also check out the USEFUL SAVED POSTS forum and catch a look at what goes on around here for fun.

The 2 main competing companies are Bell Experimental Group - BEGi and Flyin' Miata 1 800 FLY MX5s. Check them out, compare and collect data on the parts you think you'll need to buy.

There are a few other smaller companies making a ****-ton of parts applicable to a turbo build... but the main guys who make manifolds and downpipes are those two. You can check out a local named TurboTim who custom builds manifolds, and there's always making your own.

220whp will be cake. For simplicity and cost, I suggest a BEGi cast manifold, GT2560, 2.5" exhaust, Xede, LC1, CXRacing intercooler setup, knockoff BOV of your choice, Mishimotor radiator, DIY collant reroute, FM Stage1 clutch.

Your 2003 will need an ECU that will control the VVT if you're going standalone. Hyrda or Adaptronic are the only ones we're running round here. If you can stand a parallel install, Megasquirt, or piggyback an Xede.

Let us know when you get stuck.
Sam, I see you suggested a cast manifold, which is definately the cheaper option, but I also see you looking for a S4 manifold. What kind of gains should one expect? I'm assuming a little quicker spool, maybe a little torque? is that about right? How is dealing with heat from a cast to tubular? Are the cast manifold and the tubular taking up basically the same space? (ie. are the same downpipes working for both manifold types?

Still reading up on IC's, I'll get back to that.
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Old 05-07-2009, 10:51 AM   #15
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Lugie -

Welcome aboard! From first glance it looks like you're going to fit in well here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lugie View Post
small cars still amaze me, I'd love it if all my transmissions were 75lbs. I haven't got a look at the flywheel on this thing, can I get away with resurfacing? or do I have to budget that as well?
With your listed previous build experiences, I am suprised it is not routine for you to resurface your flywheels. - Anytime I replace the clutch and pressure-plate I resurface the flywheel. Attribute it to borderline OCD, but I want a clean surface for the platters to grab, without worrying about old hot spots, etc...


Quote:
Originally Posted by Stein View Post
Damn you for finally making me add it up. I never really knew before today.
Stein - Less than $5K and you're complaining? You don't want to see the stack of receipts for my build! (Internals for the block alone were north of $1700...)


- L
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Old 05-07-2009, 11:59 AM   #16
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Welcome, great first post! Good to see people that do their homework before they decide to jump into something (and ask stupid newb questions).

My Miata is an older NA, so I can't make too many suggestions, but I will point out one thing that no one has said thus far.

You WILL eventually want more power. Plan on it.

I started out thinking I wanted 180-200, then quickly did what I could to get over 200(including a stupid aggressive timing map), and now I've already got an excel sheet for what it will take to get past 220.

I've been boosted less than two months. It's addictive.


I'm sure you can handle the build, just look into the options that give you more headroom, especially with the engine management.
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Old 05-07-2009, 05:58 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by l_bader View Post
Stein - Less than $5K and you're complaining? You don't want to see the stack of receipts for my build! (Internals for the block alone were north of $1700...)


- L

Nah, not really complaining, just never knew. I thought I was still under $2K. More tongue-in-cheek than anything.
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Old 06-02-2009, 06:41 PM   #18
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Getting closer, I'll probably start a build thread soon, just need to find my camera cable.

Got the car basically torn down. Still have lots of parts to source.

Basic Parts list as of now:

Ordered:
Adaptronic- Boundary Engineering
Cxracing intercooler 28X7X3 ( worried I might want to go bigger) picked up a piping kit/bov(against my better judgement) too
IAT- diyauto


Still need:
Manifold- FM most likely
Downpipe- FM or Begi
Turbo- 2560r most likely
injectors- 600CC deatschwerks
Clutch - FM1

Parts I haven't really thought about:
Oil to turbo
Oil from turbo
Water to
Water from
Exhaust

So anyway, I'm still at the point where I could go with a kit/chinacharger etc. The budget is looking to be a bit over

I don't have the parts in hand yet, but the hot side intercooler piping looks like a bitch. I've read a ton, but I think I'm still missing something. Does a coolant reroute/different radiator hose help here?

Speaking of cooling, should I just go ahead and budget a Cxracing/mishimoto radiator now? I don't want to hand dad a car that overheats in traffic/needs monitored constantly. I went with a short IC to hopefully help with flow :maybe: .

I know exhaust seems overlooked, but I'll throw something together, I've got some 3" mandrel bends from the last project laying around. Who needs a muffler

Here's to this thing running by July And THANKS to everyone on here, Specially Stein for his writeups, and Travis for allowing me to bounce ideas and ask a thousand questions. Anyone looking for Customer service, Travis has been TOP notch!

~Pete

Last edited by lugie; 06-02-2009 at 06:51 PM.
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Old 06-04-2009, 08:12 PM   #19
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lugie, I try my best to not give mechanical advice but; you mentioned buying an FM manifold. I like FM and I have purchased a few things from them but when it comes to manifolds, I'd never change my Begi cast coated one for any other. It's been really sturdy.

Just my 2 cents.

BTW, welcome aboard and very nice introduction!
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