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Old 03-13-2016, 11:38 PM   #1
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Default Total Noob-Turboless-White NA-San Diego

Hello to all Miata freaks!

I'm a 25 year old graphic designer with a newly bought white 1990 Miata. I was in need of a car and searching around, when my girlfriend's mom told me she was selling her Miata. Never really got into cars, but driving this car around for a couple days sparked my interest to say the least. Then I started reading like mad and seeing all the cool things people have done to these cars, now im hooked!

Things done to the car so far:
*professionally installed*
-new ball joints
-timing belt (and everything that usually goes along with one)

*done myself*
-Tein coilovers
-NGK plugs and wires
-pads and rotors
-Konig wheels with Kumho ast tires
-new thermostat (broke head off a seized bolt on the thermostat housing pipe neck, decided
to completely replace it so I basically learned how to do a timing belt.

*things to do in no particular order*
-upgrade diff (need to read up on this more)
-upgrade clutch
-replace all bushings
-roll bar
-sway bars
-eventually turbo

My goal for the car is too expand on what the Miata already does best and focus on handling. Eventually adding some speed while still keeping it as a DD. 180-200whp sounds good for how little the car weighs I think. Im having fun learning and taking my time as money and experience is limited. Looks like the Miata has a good community behind it, which makes it even more exciting to work on this fun little car.


(sorry for the filtered looking pic. Just bought a new fancy camera and
i'm a noob at that as well..)

-Thanks for reading!
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Old 03-13-2016, 11:53 PM   #2
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Looks like you're off to a good start, other than starting with a 1.6 car.
What neighborhood in San Diego?
I wish I had been into miatas when I lived in San Diego.
I could have gone back to the Midwest with a clean car for the same price I paid for my basket case.
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Old 03-14-2016, 12:01 AM   #3
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Carlsbad/Vista area. Yea to me its the perfect car for SD. Love being able to cruise with the top down basically 24/7. You think its worth it to swap in a 1.8 when I eventually want to turbo it?
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Old 03-14-2016, 12:43 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thewolf View Post
Carlsbad/Vista area. Yea to me its the perfect car for SD. Love being able to cruise with the top down basically 24/7. You think its worth it to swap in a 1.8 when I eventually want to turbo it?
Yes. Turbocharging the car will cost in the $4-5000 range, and swapping to a 1.8 will cost $6-800 or so. It's definitely worth the small investment first so that you don't have to replace any parts you already purchased when you later realize that 1.8 is the way to go. A 1.8 will spool a given turbo about 1000 rpm sooner than a 1.6.
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Old 03-15-2016, 01:00 AM   #5
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Hmmm then a 1.8 might be in my near future. Hopefully the swap would be easy enough enough to do over a weekend as I intend to use it as a daily, but i'm sure I have a lot to learn before I attempt something like that.
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Old 03-15-2016, 01:43 PM   #6
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Don't turbo your only means of transportation, or you're going to have a bad day.

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Old 03-15-2016, 06:50 PM   #7
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haha thanks for the advise. Is this because of the lack of reliability of a turbo miata? I have no problem taking the bus haha. Anyways, I have a while to figure it out.
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Old 03-15-2016, 09:12 PM   #8
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Not a turbo Miata specifically, but a vehicle that's been entirely changed from it's production state. Turbo Miatas can be made extremely reliable, but the sad truth is it takes experience to get that far. Which may take a blown motor or a turbo rebuild to achieve. Not doubting your skills individually, but it's just the nature of tacking such a large project. Especially if your goals are anywhere over 200 whp (which they should be), your tune will be essential to reliability.
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Old 03-16-2016, 11:27 AM   #9
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I had my miata as my DD from 2005-2008 while I was in college. It was nerve racking knowing that whatever I did Friday night had to be finished by Sunday night so I could get to work and school. I finally broke down and bought a DD and it made life so much better.

Yes you can make a turbo miata reliable, it just takes time and effort or a large pocket book. For example if you wanted to turbo in a weekend and have the car running Monday morning the only vendor I would recommend would be FM. They are the only ones where you will get every little piece you need guaranteed in the first shipment. You pay a bit of a premium for that though.
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Old 03-16-2016, 11:39 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thewolf View Post
Carlsbad/Vista area.
Best place in the universe to own a Miata. I lived in Carlsbad (Aviara) for 8 years, and worked in Vista right behind the Target off San Marcos Blvd.

While there, I turbocharged my '92, which was my only car. I bought a motorcycle to use as a DD during the process, but never wound up really needing it. And in later years, I wound up bicycling most days. Pretty much the mark of a true Californian.
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Old 03-16-2016, 01:58 PM   #11
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Quote:
Best place in the universe to own a Miata. I lived in Carlsbad (Aviara) for 8 years, and worked in Vista right behind the Target off San Marcos Blvd.
Dude, I live right there off Alga and work down the street from that Target ha. I would agree its f kin awesome driving around here, even though I never owned a miata anywhere else I lived haha.

And thanks for the advice guys, I'll probably end up getting another DD so I can take my time with this build. Maybe even another miata haha
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Old 03-16-2016, 02:04 PM   #12
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I would agree its f kin awesome driving around here, even though I never owned a miata anywhere else I lived haha.
Well, given that I've owned nothing but Miatae since about 2003, I've had them in Ohio, Florida, NorCal and New York as well. None compare.


I presume that the Taco Train is still in business and doing well?
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Old 03-16-2016, 03:50 PM   #13
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I presume that the Taco Train is still in business and doing well?
Taco train is still going strong! In fact, i'm going there for lunch in a few minutes haha.
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Old 03-16-2016, 03:59 PM   #14
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Funny how everyone seems to know it by that name. Those guys had some of the best fish burritos I've ever had...
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Old 03-16-2016, 04:57 PM   #15
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I like San Diego. I should look for a job there.
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Old 03-17-2016, 02:15 AM   #16
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I like San Diego. I should look for a job there.
Couldn't imagine living anywhere else. There are some nice canyons near by ima check out once I get the car in decent shape.
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