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Old 09-03-2011, 02:52 AM   #1
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Default Should have bought an NA?

HAI GUYS new purple Miata here ! but seriously....

A little about myself. I'm 24, went to school for mechanical engineering, and currently work as a mold & die designer. I've been around cars a lot, my dad was a Vette guy and he restored a C3 and a C4. When I was 14 my dad's friend got into Spec Miata racing and I was "pit crew". After the first day at the track I decided to buy and race a Miata. 10 years later I graduated and did just that, bought a Miata and started autoxing like mad.

I've been lurking here since I bought my 03 Special Edition in 2009. It's basically an LE in a super fabulous purpl...err...blue color. I've spent hours reading and learning, I'm even halfway though reading Corkey Bell's Maximum Boost! Although I must say Hustler's diatribe about booty bumps was more entertaining and in ways more educational. I know you guys take good information seriously and I didn't want to clutter the forum by being retarded. The info is so good here, I didn't need to post anything to find what I needed! Seeing as I wasn't going turbo at the time I felt I should wait, educate myself and post when I'm seriously considering FI, so here I am.

Unfortunately for me the more I learn the more I think I bought the wrong car. I mean my car has all the super bitchin' stuff NA's never got...
-6speed- strong, Sav hasn't had many problems with his
-VVT- hooray for more torque!
-M2 NB's look really, really cool (stupid sentiment I know)
-Better steering geometry
-they fit larger tires easier
-more bracing to get me stiff
If I wanted to do a big money 300+hp build this sure as hell would be a good car to start with, but I don't. I want a 220-250whp Miata that's it. People do that every day around this forum, I'm nothing special. I know the older BP's can do that all day long but I'm not sure if the newer VVT motors can take it. Every ecu capable of running vvt hovers around the $2000 price point and you need them so you don't blow the car's higher compression motor sky high. The 6 speed is nice but I'm not a huge fan of drag launches and smokey burnouts. The 5 speed should hold up just fine for my intended use of autox and street driving with some track days/HPDE's someday. Another bonus the 6 speed SUCKS to autox with. I could go on and on but you guys already know the pro's and con's better than I do and I'm rambling.

I see it like this.....
03 miata $13,000
existing wheels / tires / suspension set up $3000
FMII, FM clutch happy meal, Coolent reroute, radiator, other **** 7-$8000
total for 240ish whp miata $24,000 <--can't afford now, student loans suck

or

03 miata $13,000
Existing wheels etc. $3000
Reverant MS PnP $800
begi starter, 949 racing rx8 yellow injectors, ebay intercooler, enthuza car enhaust, stuff I'm missing because I'm a noob $4-5000?
total 21,800 <--better but the money still comes out of my student loans/paychecks

OR!

Cut my losses, and learn my lesson about buying my racecar off the showroom floor...
Return my car to stock
Sell 03 miata (hard to do, I really like this car) - $10000-$12000
Buy literally any 94-95 miata in good shape - $5000 - $6000
Add suspension / wheels / rollbar / diff etc. that I already have
Now I have at least $4000 to spend on begi s3 no electronics, brain MS, boost/wbo2 gauge, clutch, timing belt, general repairs, rx7/8 injectors, enthuza exhaust, ebay intercooler done? I can't see that costing much more than $4-5000 if I shop around. Plus my 03 I'd like to keep nice, an NA can be a gutted, unconformable and loud monster for all I care, so I could potentially recoup costs selling parts. I can always add a 6 speed, vvt head, build the motor and just get silly whenever that time may come.

Sorry for the long first post, I'm trying to not sound noobish as hell here, but I'm really stuck. I'm looking for advice from people with experience in this. Move to an 94-95 NA, Big money NB build, if someone knows how to DIY my NB to meet my goals on a NA budget, all the better!

Lastly here's some pr0n of my car...











Sorry about some of the pics being links. Now I must ask... ohh fabled cruel denizens of MT.net...did I do a good cherry-poppin' post?
Attached Thumbnails
Should have bought an NA?-285568_583049352680_41904071_32232083_5407198_n.jpg  

Last edited by Joe Perez; 09-03-2011 at 01:58 PM. Reason: Fixed those images for you.
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Old 09-03-2011, 03:02 AM   #2
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Hi zoomheep, enjoy your stay :)
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Old 09-03-2011, 04:06 AM   #3
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Sounds like you have a lot to decide. Personally I like the NA. The only real downside I see is they are like 15 years old, so they are a bit tired.
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Old 09-03-2011, 05:39 AM   #4
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NB is lightyears better than NA but I'm a bit biased and don't track my cars

Welcome.
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Old 09-03-2011, 08:34 AM   #5
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My brain would tell me to stick with the NB as it is the better car, but my heart would scream at me to buy an NA.
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Old 09-03-2011, 08:42 AM   #6
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Welcome,

I dig that color, very nice. What do you owe on the car? If you own it outright, keep it and mod it; none of us will ever get all our mod money back on these things anyway. If you still owe a bunch of money on it, sell it and get a '94 or '95. No OBDII, 1.8, cheap.
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Old 09-03-2011, 01:36 PM   #7
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(Posting from my phone.)

Id take an NB over an na in a heartbeat.
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Old 09-03-2011, 01:49 PM   #8
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NB looks better (inside and out IMO), apparently it's lighter and it's more powerful out of the box. Plus you've got the 6 speed and "all the bitchen stuff the NA's never got". You'd be crazy to trade in for an NA.
-NA owner
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Old 09-03-2011, 01:53 PM   #9
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As a two-time and current NA owner, keep the NB.

Honestly, there aren't a lot of mechanical differences. Mostly, the NBs are just newer, in better shape, have slightly more rigid bodies, and don't have the aerodynamic profile of a barn when the headlights are on.


Quote:
Originally Posted by zoomheep View Post
I know the older BP's can do that all day long but I'm not sure if the newer VVT motors can take it.
There's not a huge amount of difference. The CR is a bit higher on the later engines, but the internals are all fairly similar. Some people believe that the VVT engines are not as well suited to extreme high-RPM operation, and while I have no actual data on this point one way or another, it's not really relevant for a turbocharged engine.


Quote:
Every ecu capable of running vvt hovers around the $2000 price point
The VVTuner is $199.

Also, integrated VVT control is in alpha testing on the MS3, and that ECU runs about $650 for the assembled package, $450 if you build it yourself.


What does your smog test procedure consist of in Hartford? This weighs on the ECU decision slightly, as no aftermarket unit will return OBD-II codes. There are ways around this (parallel install), it's just something to be cognizant of up-front. And, if you do go the parallel route, VVT becomes a non-issue as the stock ECU will still be there to control it.


Quote:
Now I must ask... ohh fabled cruel denizens of MT.net...did I do a good cherry-poppin' post?
Hahaha. I like this one. He will do well here.
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Old 09-03-2011, 02:11 PM   #10
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First off, I'm a noob too, but I might have some light to shed on this dilemma.

A) IMO, stick with the NB. Hands down. I've owned both.
B) Reverent hasn't said how much they will be, but he did say there will be a group buy on his MS in the next few weeks, this should help with price.
C) I would say piece together a kit for your '03 spending the money where it matters (manifold, megasquirt, etc.). I am planning on running a sr20 turbo on my '04(cheap, reliable, easy to find), ebay intercooler, ebay clutch, etc. According to the budget I made, I shouldn't be spending more than $2000 on everything including EMS, gauges, oil/coolant lines, etc. (I'd be happy to share it with you if you like)
Quote:
I know the older BP's can do that all day long but I'm not sure if the newer VVT motors can take it
I wouldn't be too concerned with tuning your VVT. Now, I do not know much at all, but I have always understood (someone please correct me if I'm wrong) that the VVT on '01-'05 miatas is there to help with emissions not performance. If you are interested in tuning your VVT, VVT tuner is $200 (http://949racing.com/VVTuner-miata.aspx) on top of the MS.

Bottom line, I think you could have a fully tuned, ~200whp turbo setup for under $3k EASY that would be a great starting point to upgrade in the future.
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Old 09-03-2011, 02:13 PM   #11
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Lol, it took me too long to type my reply...
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Old 09-03-2011, 02:58 PM   #12
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Adaptronic can also control vvt without the vvt tuner. i'm selling one for 750 so buy my ****

but jokes aside i feel the same way since you dont really care if u gut 5k car vs a 13k car.
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Old 09-03-2011, 03:00 PM   #13
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i dig the color.
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Old 09-03-2011, 04:06 PM   #14
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Awesome! So far no one has called me a *** and demanded I leave!

I forgot about the VVT tuner! But the $640 is for just the ecu yes? I'd still need to build a wiring harness and some sensors to get it up and running in my car right? The $450 seems attractive but I need to research more megasquirt building threads. Being an ME I love reading about people fabbing up intercoolers, downpipes, turbo selection, the mechanical stuff etc. I haven't researched MS as thoroughly as I should. I'm sure finding base maps for the MS3X wouldn't be a problem here.

Adaptronic I've considered but I think boundary wants like $1450, and I was cursing that because the MS PnP is like half that cost.

Triple 88a, your Adaptronic, why are you selling it? I was thinking about MS because it's cheap and everyone here runs it so the support is there. but for $750...hhhhmmmm...how many people run adaptronic here, could I still get help?

PalmTree I read your intro post and dig your car. It looks like we're trying to accomplish very similar goals. I'll be watching your progress.

I own the car outright, and everyone has pretty much confirmed that NAs enjoy a wider, cheaper parts base but the NB is newer and I've already gone though every nut and bolt on the car. Last thing to do is a timing belt and water pump when I install the turbo. Why buy something unknown and go though all that again when I can turbo what I have. Another bonus it's a Florida car so it is immaculate, no slushy, salty winters.

I guess my main problem is I get carried away with all the technical stuff. Like GT series with their ball bearings vs an old nissan T25 with it's journal bearings etc. etc. I want all the super awesome **** but I also doubt it's necessary for my goals.

If there is anyone in the New England area that can give me a ride and show me their set up that would be awesome. Also I just moved to CT 2 months ago, I'm originally from MA. If anyone knows CT's emissions laws that would be very helpful.

Last edited by zoomheep; 09-04-2011 at 02:53 PM. Reason: grammar
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Old 09-03-2011, 04:18 PM   #15
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I really dig the color. Keep the car. I have an NA and wish I'd sprung for a newer NB.
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Old 09-03-2011, 04:51 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zoomheep View Post
Adaptronic I've considered but I think boundary wants like $1450, and I was cursing that because the MS PnP is like half that cost.

Triple 88a, your Adaptronic, why are you selling it? I was thinking about MS because it's cheap and everyone here runs it so the support is there. but for $750...hhhhmmmm...how many people run adaptronic here, could I still get help?
Well the main reason I went with Adaptronic is for emissions and autotunning. Travis told me Adaptronic will pass obd2 emissions.. well that aint happening since the stock ecu tosses few codes such as map pressure too high and i dont need the vvt control since i'm running vics so i think the MS world will suit me better especially since now i'm experienced enough to tune the damn thing.

Theres few people that run it with good charts but i cant seem to get it right so mine dies when high electric loads spike. Thats why i'm thinking of switching to MS and giving that a shot.

Support for Adaptronic is low for miatas as not many are running it however it seems to be more put together as there is less information so its not overwhelming like MS.

Yeah Boundary engineering are selling them for 1350 and like 1450 for the new expensive unit.
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Old 09-03-2011, 05:57 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zoomheep View Post
Awesome! So far no one has called me a ***...
well, i mean, you own a purple miata...it's assumed.
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Old 09-03-2011, 07:54 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zoomheep View Post
:
Every ecu capable of running vvt hovers around the $2000 price point and you need them so you don't blow the car's higher compression motor sky high.
:
See Adaptronic 440 ECU, $1450: http://boundaryengineering.com/drupal/node/124
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Old 09-03-2011, 08:04 PM   #19
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Old 09-03-2011, 09:14 PM   #20
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Deal with your existing car. If you really badly want an NA you can always buy a second miata and do all the dirty things you dreamed and feared.
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