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Old 03-16-2014, 12:01 AM   #1
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Hey everyone,

I'm Mike. I'm a long time lurker, 1st (or 2nd) time poster.

I'm a 27-year-old engineer who works at a nuclear power plant. I live up in Syracuse, NY; and have owned my '99 NB for a little over 3 years.

I've done some mods to my NB (see sig), but I think the most interesting/uncommon thing I've done to my NB so far is install a projector retrofit in my headlights:



It has made my car much faster on back roads at night. I'm no longer afraid that a bear, child, or idiot who doesn't realize that daytime running lights aren't tail lights is going to suddenly appear in front of my car thanks to the NB1's horrible headlights.

My car has a BRP Supercharger on it, and that's what brings me to this forum. I'm a long time user of Miata.net, but I've decided to take the plunge and upgrade to miataturbo.net. I intend to setup a custom intercooler and want to get an MS3 up and running; there is a whole lot more knowledge of that here than there. Most of the SC people on that forum are using piggybacks (which my lurking shows you call AIDS here). Please help me cure my aids, MT.net.

Although this may all be moot because, apparently, winter isn't ending this year.

-Mike
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Last edited by canyonarrow; 03-16-2014 at 12:02 AM. Reason: Grammar.
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Old 03-16-2014, 12:22 AM   #2
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Welcome.
its only a matter of time til we talk you into selling the thupercharger for a turbo
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Old 03-16-2014, 12:28 AM   #3
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Welcome Mike!

Be prepared to have a think skin about the MP62, but you are absolutely in the right place for info about the MS3. I know we have a couple guys running this combo who can probably help out (Godless Commie and jeff_man immediately spring to mind)

I don't know why but I really like the small side skirts and little shorty lip on the NB1 nose. Beautiful NB, post more pics!

You and Joe P should get together and dish about nuke power
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Old 03-16-2014, 01:22 AM   #4
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Quote:
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Welcome.
its only a matter of time til we talk you into selling the thupercharger for a turbo
"RESISTANCE IS FUTILE. YOU WILL BE ASSIMILATED"
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Old 03-16-2014, 01:39 AM   #5
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As an engineer, you are going to LOVE MS3.
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Old 03-16-2014, 02:33 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by EO2K View Post
You and Joe P should get together and dish about nuke power
True story:

"Hmm. Somebody who undoubtedly knows *way* more than I do about civilian nuclear power, and who, quite possibly, may hold even stronger opinions about it."

(First things that went through my mind when I read that.)

True story.

Still cursing Mitsubishi, mourning the death of SONGS, and marveling at the overall stupidity of the whole affair... In the end, I was so frustrated that I had to leave SoCal and move to a place that still supports fossil-free, emissions-free power generation at baseload-scale.
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Old 03-16-2014, 03:42 PM   #7
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Welcome to the site canyonarrow, thanks for joining up!
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Old 03-17-2014, 12:39 PM   #8
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As an engineer, you are going to LOVE MS3.
Yep; that's why I'm headed this route. My car is meant to be a science project!

Joe P, I see you're now in NYC. Did you take a job at IPEC? SONGs was ridiculous, I actually wanted to move out there. Good thing I didnít. My site VP (Pete Dietrich) left here in like 2010 for SONGS and Bob Sholler followed him to become the Director of Maintenance. Sholler and I were good friends and I was planning to make the jump with him as a reference.


And yes, I know the Thupercharger is pretty unpopular here on MiataTURBO.net (go figure). But, running stock internals and a 5-speed, the MP62 can definitely get me to the limits of what my drivetrain can handle. I realize there will always be 10-20 whp that Iím missing out on because the SC isnít as efficient as a turbo, but I like the SC. I prefer the SC torque curve for DDíing, and I like the obnoxious noises they produce.
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Old 03-17-2014, 12:45 PM   #9
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Welcome to mt.net! We're always accepting of new intelligent and well read members. Make sure to get a build thread going so we can **** on your SC there too!

Quote:
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I prefer the SC torque curve for DDíing
Show us your mp62 dyno graph and we will show you a turbo one that outperforms it in every way
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Old 03-17-2014, 01:37 PM   #10
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My torque curve is darn-near flat from 3700 to redline. Super track and DD-friendly.

My main gripe with a SC is that it stresses the crank nose, which is already a known weakpoint on the Miata engine. I know several that have been burned by this. Other than that . . . .
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Old 03-17-2014, 01:40 PM   #11
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Joe P, I see you're now in NYC. Did you take a job at IPEC? SONGs was ridiculous, I actually wanted to move out there. Good thing I didn’t. My site VP (Pete Dietrich) left here in like 2010 for SONGS and Bob Sholler followed him to become the Director of Maintenance. Sholler and I were good friends and I was planning to make the jump with him as a reference.
What, me? Nah- I'm no nuke, I work in TV. I'm just an ordinary engineer with an abnormal fascination with civilian nuclear energy.

I used to live in Carlsbad, CA, a few miles south of SONGS right on the coast. Really bummed me out when they bungled the steam-generator retrofit so badly and then decided to just kill the whole plant rather than fix it. Like we were giving up on the idea of fossil-independent clean energy and letting the hysterics win. I was speaking metaphorically when I said I had to leave because of it, the two events just happened to coincide in time. I assume that it kind of shook up the industry a tad.

I assume you work at Nine Mile, judging by your location. What do you do up there?

Last edited by Joe Perez; 03-17-2014 at 02:34 PM.
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Old 03-17-2014, 02:09 PM   #12
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I don't know why but I really like the small side skirts and little shorty lip on the NB1 nose. Beautiful NB, post more pics!
Thanks!

I don't have a lot of them and the car's in storage, but here's a few:





My car mid-hollowfication (anyone here watch Bleach???)


The day I installed 6UL's:


lastly, the day I brought it home:
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Old 03-18-2014, 12:00 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Fireindc View Post
Show us your mp62 dyno graph and we will show you a turbo one that outperforms it in every way
I'd actually be interested in seeing that. Challenge accepted:





Joe, I actually work at FitzPatrick, which is on the same plot of land as Nine Mile. We were supposed to be Nine Mile 3 originally but that changed as ownership changed. Today, we're owned by Entergy (who also owns IPEC) and Nine Mile next door is owned by Exelon. I'm a System Engineer; I do plant monitoring, problem solving, cause analysis, operability evaluations, long range planning and component inspection/assessment.

I like it quite a bit, but I've actually been applying to jobs as a powertrain engineer at Mazda and Ford. Just have to make sure they don't find out I thupercharged my car.
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Old 03-18-2014, 12:07 AM   #14
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I'd actually be interested in seeing that. Challenge accepted: .


don't make me dig up the 6758 e85 version of this plot. lol. it will make you sad
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Old 03-18-2014, 12:23 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by canyonarrow View Post
I'd actually be interested in seeing that. Challenge accepted:
Be warned- the folks around here are going to totally destroy that. 300 HP & 250 ft/lbs is no longer uncommon.


EDIT: I see that it's already begun.






Quote:
Originally Posted by canyonarrow View Post
Joe, I actually work at FitzPatrick, which is on the same plot of land as Nine Mile. We were supposed to be Nine Mile 3 originally but that changed as ownership changed.

Today, we're owned by Entergy (who also owns IPEC) and Nine Mile next door is owned by Exelon. I'm a System Engineer; I do plant monitoring, problem solving, cause analysis, operability evaluations, long range planning and component inspection/assessment.
Aaah, I gotcha. So you're a BWR man, then. I gotta be honest- those things freak me out just a little. The rods are all on the wrong end of the kettle.

But seriously, that's pretty cool stuff, especially for someone as young as you. Did you come up through Naval Propulsion, or are you totally civilian? Systems work is near and dear to my heart; I spent the first ~15 years of my professional career doing integration, commissioning and troubleshooting for multi-station broadcast groups, which involves a lot of very large-scale electrical engineering. These days, I routinely deal with multi-million dollar projects in the world's biggest media market, and yet I'd still absolutely love to have the opportunity to work with something that has the real-world significance of a base-load plant.

I'm kind of surprised to hear you wanting to jump ship into the real of the automaker. Honestly, I think you're in a much better position (from the POV of long-term career planning) with Entergy. The OEM world is highly cutthroat, with extremely high turnover as class after class of new ME grads enter the workforce for pittance wages.
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Old 03-18-2014, 01:52 AM   #16
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Ah Entergy ... I did some work for VY a while back.
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Old 03-18-2014, 01:15 PM   #17
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I like that headlight, nice mod!
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Old 03-18-2014, 11:35 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by 18psi View Post




don't make me dig up the 6758 e85 version of this plot. lol. it will make you sad


He said I'd see turbo plots that are better than mine in every way. That torque curve is nowhere near as flat as mine. You lose.



Quote:
Originally Posted by mrdos View Post
I like that headlight, nice mod!


Thanks! I was going to do a swap to 01+ headlights, until I looked at them up close and realized how fugly those headlights are:







And doing that swap properly requires you to buy a new front bumper cover, so you're looking at $1000, and a headache trying to make paint match. The retrofit into the NB1 housings cost me around $250; click the link in my sig for the full writeup (complete with beam comparisons).





Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Perez View Post

Aaah, I gotcha. So you're a BWR man, then. I gotta be honest- those things freak me out just a little. The rods are all on the wrong end of the kettle.



But seriously, that's pretty cool stuff, especially for someone as young as you. Did you come up through Naval Propulsion, or are you totally civilian? Systems work is near and dear to my heart; I spent the first ~15 years of my professional career doing integration, commissioning and troubleshooting for multi-station broadcast groups, which involves a lot of very large-scale electrical engineering. These days, I routinely deal with multi-million dollar projects in the world's biggest media market, and yet I'd still absolutely love to have the opportunity to work with something that has the real-world significance of a base-load plant.



I'm kind of surprised to hear you wanting to jump ship into the real of the automaker. Honestly, I think you're in a much better position (from the POV of long-term career planning) with Entergy. The OEM world is highly cutthroat, with extremely high turnover as class after class of new ME grads enter the workforce for pittance wages.
Nope, no Navy. Got my degree in Mechanical Engineering from Cornell. At a career fair my senior year, I saw a guy wearing a BMW M shirt at one of the stands. I stopped to ask him about it and he talked to me about Entergy and nuclear power. Before that, I had never heard of Entergy. He hired me the next day. That was almost 6 years ago now. He still owes me a ride-along in his M3 at Watkin's Glen (he's an instructor; I hope to take him in my Miata the weekend of May 28th, the Porsche Club will be there. You should drive out!).

I do have a nice stable job, but our turnover rate is high here, too; and getting higher. My engineering department of about 60 engineers has had 92% turnover in the past 5 years.

I have to carry a pager for the plant, I'm on call 25% of the time for any emergent issues that need support. And during those weeks, you usually get called a lot. No paid overtime for it (since engineering is salaried), even if you get called in on Christmas day, and you often get rolled to 12 hour night shifts. 6 or 7 days a week if the issue takes a while. And they will call you in even if you aren't on call. Last year, the entire plant worked Thanksgiving. Our plant is now 40 years old, and equipment issues are pretty much taking over our lives.

We're also constantly changing management and department layouts, and we've had two rounds of layoffs since 2007 (one was just last November). I know I will never get cut, but it still shows that the company isn't exactly flourishing. Natural gas prices up here are killing our profitability, which is why Vermont Yankee is shutting down permanently this year (I'm sure you're aware). Stock prices were $140/share when I started here. Now they can't get out of the $60's.

What this means to me, personally, is that raises and bonuses have been pretty dismal for the last 4 years. I'm now at 5 years with the company, which means I'm vested and my pension and 401K are locked in.

I can't really say whether my job is better or worse than most engineering jobs; since this is the only one I've had. And I'll never know until I try a different one! I always planned to get into the auto industry, but 2008 (when I graduated) was terrible timing.

Still, the plant is the best paying engineering job within 6 hours of where my family lives, and I'm not in a hurry to leave it. It definitely has its perks; and occasionally is very interesting. But I'm still hoping to land my 'dream job' one of these days.

edit: Oh, and BWR's are great! More efficient than PWR's, and fewer parts. Way easier to moderate. No Boron. No Pressurizers. No Steam Generators. No Davis-Besse Reactor Head Events. No Three Mile Islands. Much cheaper to operate!

Grand Gulf in Mississippi recently became the largest Nuke Plant in the USA, thanks to a power uprate. They're a massive BWR. That plant prints money.
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Old 03-19-2014, 01:00 AM   #19
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(You should drive out!)
Joe does not own a car anymore, let alone a Miata. In for pics of Joe on a bike in jorts at Watkin's Glen

Yeah, out of that whole post, that's what I focused on
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Old 03-19-2014, 09:20 AM   #20
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I can see where gobs more power from 2500 to redline would scare you. Most people who choose Roots type blowers for a Miata aren't looking for real power gains. They are just tired of being left behind by four cylinder Camrys in traffic. Congrats, you are as quick as a Camry.

A coal-fired power plant that buys machinery from me was trying for several months to hire any ME for $80k a year before they finally found someone. They are in a rural area where the cost of living is low. But coal has been almost completely shut down by The Administration so the plant has just undergone a tens of millions of dollars reconfiguration to begin burning wood (???) for power generation. They say it is "green energy" but at 80 tractor trailer loads of wood mulch per day, they are going to run out of trees from new development pretty quickly. The plant has only been operational since the first of the year and it is taking most of the land clearing tree debris from a three hour radius to keep it supplied. It is unsustainable unless they start cutting down trees for the sake of powering it. Meanwhile, 45 minutes to the north a nuke plant at Crystal River, Florida has been shut down by Duke energy permanently.
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