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Old 10-02-2009, 05:40 PM   #1
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Default Researching a 1999-2000 turbo Miata purchase

Hello fellow drivers. Here is my story. I am waiting impatiently for my super slow 2008 Hyundai Accent commuter to be paid off, hopefully with our tax returns. My last 2 cars were a 2004 Pontiac GTO 6speed and a 2005 Subaru Legacy GT (tweaked to 300hp at the crank).

I have decided that I am willing to drive that Hyundai turd for a while if it means I can finally drive on some road courses. I am on here researching turbo Miatas, and have been for a while.

I want a nice looking car that is as fast as the GTO (straight line, up to 120mph) and that I can afford to drive on a road course 3 or 4 times a year. The top two cars are a 1999+ turbo Miata and a 1997-1998 Corvette. The C5 will be as fast as I want, stock. I can get a loan for the full value of the car, but the track consumables will be quite a bit more expensive.

The expenses saved from driving a Miata would probably allow me to run an extra 1 or 2 driving events each year. That makes the Miata the winner. I'm thinking an equivalent to a BEGi S3 would get me to the power levels I want. The only problem with the Miata is the fact that I may not be able to get financing for the full sale price of a turbo'd Miata. I could dip into savings to get that extra cash, but my wife would go ballistic. I also don't want to wait a year saving up to buy a used kit.

Anyway... I still have time to try and get all of my numbers added up.
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Old 10-02-2009, 09:22 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by spacejunkiehsv View Post
I am on here researching turbo Miatas, and have been for a while.
I'll say- two years to first post.

What sort of budget are you looking at, specifically? I'd expect a '99-'00 in reasonable condition to be had for anywhere in the $4k to $6k range, generally.

Figure on $400 for the clutch, whatever you want to spend for the exhaust system, maybe $3k in turbo hardware (including intercooler, lines, etc) and I'd be gracious and budget another $900 - $1000 for ECU, injectors, WBO2, etc.

Realistically, what's your comfort level for wiring and electronics? This can be a place to save some money if you're handy with an iron. The DIYPnP (A Megasquirt-II in a convenient semi-PnP package) would be a stellar choice: DIYPNP MegaSquirt by DIYAutoTune.com
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Old 10-03-2009, 10:15 AM   #3
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If you really want to save you can also cobble together or make your own turbo kit.

What level of fabrication (welding) are you comfortable with?

Even if not...good use of the classifieds forum and local junkyards can get you there at about half of the $3K turbo kit price. I personally could not go out and drop this much, but got lucky on a great deal on a used kit. I've seen very decent power level kits going for $1800-2500 recently.

The great thing about turboing a car is that it doesn't have to all be done at once. You can take care of the supporting parts (clutch, ECU, injectors, WBO2) long before you slap on a turbo...and then once you put on your mani/turbo/downpipe combination you can do exhaust and intercooler later.

Very easy to take it step by step when you can't drop all the money at once.


EDIT:

Speaking of deals...the first two items here may be of interest.

https://www.miataturbo.net/forum/t39813/

Last edited by gospeed81; 10-03-2009 at 11:38 AM.
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Old 10-03-2009, 11:06 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Joe Perez View Post
I'll say- two years to first post.

What sort of budget are you looking at, specifically? I'd expect a '99-'00 in reasonable condition to be had for anywhere in the $4k to $6k range, generally.

Figure on $400 for the clutch, whatever you want to spend for the exhaust system, maybe $3k in turbo hardware (including intercooler, lines, etc) and I'd be gracious and budget another $900 - $1000 for ECU, injectors, WBO2, etc.

Realistically, what's your comfort level for wiring and electronics? This can be a place to save some money if you're handy with an iron. The DIYPnP (A Megasquirt-II in a convenient semi-PnP package) would be a stellar choice: DIYPNP MegaSquirt by DIYAutoTune.com
I was trying to talk the wife into two car payments, about two years ago! She took a pretty hard line on just having one payment. That's one reason I didn't get a Miata then.

My budget is about $250 for a car payment financed for 4 years, about $10,000 financed. On top of that $250 I will be getting an extra $100 per month out of the family budget. After going out for lunches during the week, I probably have $80 free money to blow every month right now. If I spend less than $250 per month on a car payment, I'll have that much more for mods and tracking the car.

As far as comfort level for wiring goes, I can't solder well at all. I can make AN electrical connection with some solder, but I'm sure it is a terrible solder job. As far as tuning goes, I tweaked some tuning on my 04 GTO and also on my 05 Legacy GT. I also found out that the guy who bought my Legacy GT blew the engine after running it out of oil, within two months of buying it from me! It was fine when I sold it to him though. Anyway...
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Old 10-03-2009, 11:20 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gospeed81 View Post
If you really want to save you can also cobble together or make your own turbo kit.

What level of fabrication (welding) are you comfortable with?

Even if not...good use of the classifieds forum and local junkyards can get you there at about half of the $3K turbo kit price. I personally could not go out and drop this much, but got lucky on a great deal on a used kit. I've seen very decent power level kits going for $1800-2500 recently.

The great thing about turboing a car is that it doesn't have to all be done at once. You can take care of the supporting parts (clutch, ECU, injectors, WBO2) long before you slap on a turbo...and then once you put on your mani/turbo/downpipe combination you can do exhaust and intercooler later.

Very easy to take it step by step when you can't drop all the money at once.


EDIT:

Speaking of deals...the first two items here may be of interest.

https://www.miataturbo.net/forum/t39813/
I have never welded anything in my life. I don't have any equipment either. My mechanical work on cars is limited to just a few things: installing a transmission cooler, dropping my GTO's transmission a few inches to install a shifter, removing and reinstalling a downpipe, spark plug changes, opening a rear differential to add fluid, and oil changes and other little things. If the tool required to do a job isn't extremely expensive, I prefer to try it myself. I just like to tinker if I can do it on my own.

It seems to me, that I would be able to save more money by buying a car that is already modded, if I can find one. We have two year old twins that we are potty training right now. So, I wouldn't have time to do much tinkering for several more months.
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