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Old 04-28-2015, 03:14 AM   #1
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Default A Turbo Miata is in my Future!

Howdy guys. My mane is Dan, I am a 39yr old, ceramic artist and teacher by trade, but my new hobby is working on cars.
A few years ago I bought a 05 RX-8 and it wet my appetite to start working on cars again. I did most of the work on my early cars when I first started driving, but the years of mundane driving around in boring sedans and minivans squashed any desire to spend time and effort working on them. But now that my interest has been renewed I wanted a car that would be inexpensive, easy to work on, with a lot of community support, and with a lot of available parts, and most important Fun! Logical conclusion, A Miata.
After doing some research I decided that I wanted a turbo miata and I wanted to learn through the process of getting there. I decided that I wanted a '94 because it has the 1.8 and as I live in Utah, where we have to deal with the emission laws, my hope is that it will be easer to pass those tests without having to deal with the OBD2 stuff. After looking for months I found one and it was only $1500. What a deal right? I rediscovered that you usually get what you paid for and I spent the next few months, and spent more than that much again, getting a good start on my education by trying to get it running right. It had worn ball joints, the clutch master cylinder went out, the coil packs went bad and at the same time it started having electrical issues stemming from a bad main relay and that made tracking down the coil problem difficult. But I got it running in time to have many great fall time drives through the canyons with her.
At the end of the fall I found a guy selling a used engine out of his '94 that had lost compression in the #4 cylinder so I picked it up for $200. I figured if nothing else it would be a good experience for me to tear it apart, but with the real plan being to rebuild it.
So far I have taken the whole engine apart, have had a valve job on the head, have had the cylinders bored out to 1mm over (taking care of all the scoring), and have ordered many new parts. My build will be; Manley forged rods, Supertech pistons, ARP head and main studs, ACL race bearings (assuming I can find some before July), Boundary Oil pump, ATI harmonic balancer, new water pump with 3D cast impeller, and all the other stuff you would replace when rebuilding an engine. That will hopefully give me a bulletproof bottom end fit to be turbo charged.
I will also be upgrading the radiator and will do the coolant reroute to it. I will also be giving it a new clutch that will withstand the future HP that I will be putting through it.
After all that I will have burned through my budget for the year so unfortunately the turbo will probably have to wait until next year. But I figure that it will probably be a good thing giving the new engine build time to be broken in all the bugs worked out of it first anyway.
Having no experience with turbos my plan is to bite the bullet and go with the FlyinMiata FMII kit and learn from that. I know that I could put a kit together myself for less but I am thinking that for a first timer the kit would be a good way to go, but I have some time before I will be buying it to be convinced otherwise.
Thank you all for being part of the support system to give me the courage to take this project on.
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Old 04-28-2015, 10:00 AM   #2
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tldr

Sounds like you've done some homework! Which is more than many!!

Any photos of miata or ceramic art?

Last edited by Girz0r; 04-28-2015 at 11:00 AM.
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Old 04-28-2015, 10:11 AM   #3
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Welcome,
It does sound like you've done your homework and started off on a pretty solid path.
I'd suggest a FM non-electronics kit + Megasquirt instead of the FM2 because you won't find much support for the Hydra and it's overpriced like crazy.
Also this gives you a chance to buy it beforehand, learn to tune it, tune it, and be ready for boost.
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Old 04-28-2015, 10:57 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Girz0r View Post
Any photos of miata or ceramic art or cats?
FTFY.
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Old 04-28-2015, 11:01 AM   #5
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Pics of cats and ceramic art!
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Old 04-28-2015, 11:58 AM   #6
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Welcome to the site, that was an awesome first post. Sounds like you're planning to do everything right.

Pretty much everyone here will echo what 18psi said on the electronics. It works out perfect that you're planning to wait a little bit for the turbo. You can buy the megasquirt beforehand and get everything sorted out. It's a lot easier to take care of that before the turbo goes on rather than doing it all at once.
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Old 04-28-2015, 12:01 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erat View Post
Pics of cats and ceramic art!
Pics of ceramic art cats?
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Old 04-28-2015, 01:14 PM   #8
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Megasquirt over Hydra.

Welcome to the forum.
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Old 04-28-2015, 06:55 PM   #9
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Welcome, DanFineArt!
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Old 04-29-2015, 02:55 AM   #10
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Thanks all for the warm welcome. Sounds like I will be doing some more homework looking into the mega squirt. From the little I have looked into it it looks cool. I like that you can buy it as a kit that you solder together yourself. My last hobby was messing around with electronics and building 3D printers, so that would be right up my alley.

Sorry to say I don't have any pictures of cats, or of art cats, or ceramic art cats. I do have pictures of some of my ceramic work.

And here are some pictures of the Miata.

And I remembered a few other things I had to replace/fix on it to get her going. Replaced the shifter boots, speedometer cable, Catalytic converter and cat back exhaust and O2 sensor. And because a previous owner had replaced the exhaust header with an aftermarket one and had not shelled it, it had melted a hole in the intake air box. They fiberglassed over the hole and shoved a bunch of Ceramic fiber cloth between them to protect it, and as much as I appreciate ceramic fiber cloth, it does not work that well after it gets wet. So I replaced the the air intake with a cold air intake kit as well. Also the left rear emergency brake got stuck in the on position so I had to tear that apart and fix it also.
This car has been, and will probably continue to be, a fun journey of discovery.
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Old 04-29-2015, 09:48 AM   #11
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Opened those art picture on my phone and thought they were ceramic ******. You will for in fine here.
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Old 04-29-2015, 09:51 AM   #12
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This one is called "The Concealer"
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Old 04-29-2015, 10:06 AM   #13
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Old 04-29-2015, 02:04 PM   #14
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Monk "The Concealer" is about 2 1/2 foot long, so good luck concealing it anywhere. Yes i have had that impression that they look phallic when looking at thumbnail images of my work.
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Old 04-29-2015, 02:08 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanFineArt View Post
Monk "The Concealer" is about 2 1/2 foot long, so good luck concealing it anywhere.
Yes, but what is the girth?
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Old 04-29-2015, 02:12 PM   #16
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he obviously doesn't get the joke, but that makes it even funnier

OP,
"Concealer" is a member here. You can figure out the rest.
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Old 04-29-2015, 02:17 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 18psi View Post
he obviously doesn't get the joke, but that makes it even funnier

OP,
"Concealer" is a member here. You can figure out the rest.
Yes, he's very into things like this.

You might say it's right up his alley.
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Old 04-29-2015, 02:44 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Monk View Post
This one is called "The Concealer"

That's.... really quite fitting.


Can we change my screen name to "The Concealer?" I'd also like to have that as my avatar.
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Old 04-29-2015, 03:14 PM   #19
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Old 04-29-2015, 04:05 PM   #20
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This is my favorite place.
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