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Old 07-31-2015, 04:34 PM   #1
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Default Winter project in Netherlands.

Hi everyone. I'm a Miata n00b, currently living in the Netherlands, it's in Europe, often called Holland. I was born in Iceland but I've lived here for quite a few years.

I am looking for a winter project and while browsing Youtube I got this great idea that I could buy old Miata and rebuild it to nearly new standard plus increasing the power a bit using a turbo. Although I've never done anything this big I have helped friends with car repairs and in the immortal words of the old Top Gear crew "How hard can it be?"

So I started some research. Watched some Youtube videos and read lots of posts on forums. The Youtube "TheCarPassionChannels" video "How To Turbo Your Miata!" is one of the most informative I found. Most forums have the standard extremes of n00bs asking stupid questions and the veterans speaking in code (it took me some time to figure out what, among other acronyms, the FM was that the veterans were always talking about being so good (FlyinMiata)). The veterans have literally dozens of stickies that contain 500 posts and some get upset when the n00bs don't read or don't fully understand all of the posts. MiataTurbo seems to have pretty good moderators that keep things under control without being too strict.

Anyway. My plan, if I choose to accept it, is to purchase a first generation 1.6 Miata, 94-96 (I understand that there were some mechanical improvements in 94 and after 96 the price starts to go up too much). I am searching for one with little rust, milage doesn't really matter since I'll most likely be rebuilding the engine completely and installing a stage 1 or 2 clutch. By rebuilding I mean that I will disassemble the engine and take the block and head to be honed (bored out if needed) and new valve seals installed, then assembled with new bearings, piston rings, gaskets and other small items (and pistons if needed). I'll update the suspension with fully adjustable suspension and replace most rubber mounts with some that are slightly stiffer than the 20+ year old ones. Next is to install an improved engine computer. It looks like MegaSquirt is the most popular option. It seems that in 2010 you could buy one for roughly 300 dollars but now I have hard time finding one for less than 1000 dollars (that is about 25% price increase every year) so I'll be looking at other options too. Injectors are next, RX8 injectors are apparently good size (440) and straight swap for the originals. Then I'm going to buy an Ebay turbo kit and install. That exactly what most veterans say you should not do. Apparently you can mix and match your own components much cheaper or buy from FM or similar. The problem with that is that the FM kit is 3-7 times more expensive than Ebay and mixing and matching is pretty much impossible due to lack of knowledge and most used parts sellers opinion that they are doing you a favor by selling you out worn parts at almost new prices, or as someone said in one of the sales threads "you are selling rust, not gold". Since I usually have to go to the post office to pick up packages I'd much rather get one large package than 10 small ones.
I have most basic tools needed except for welding machine. I even have torque wrench.

I have this test track about 2 hours drive away from here called Das Autobahn, that is a good place to test the maximum speed of the car and thereby getting good indication of what power is being produced by the engine.
Power aim is roughly 150 hp. I understand that that is reachable with 6 bar (correction, PSI) boost and that the stock engine block will handle that.

Prices in Euros (multiply by 1.1 to get dollars):
Miata = 2000
Suspension package = 1000
Engine rebuild = 1-2000
Engine computer =1000
Ebay Turbo Kit = 1000 (including shipping)
Extras, miscellaneous and small items = 1-2000
Renting garage = 150/month.

Time 12 months.

If someone in NL has Miata in fair condition for sale, feel free to contact me.

Last edited by Andsetinn; 08-01-2015 at 08:11 AM.
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Old 07-31-2015, 04:41 PM   #2
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<p>It's not that often you see people from Holland over here, let alone from my hometown. What are the odds...</p><p>Welcome</p>
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Old 07-31-2015, 07:27 PM   #3
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Two Hoopdorfers on one forum? Craziness! And we have a couple of Icelanders here as well.

Welcome to the forum.

The 1.6 cars here had smaller rear differentials that break easily, but I don't know about the Euro market cars. 1.6 also had smaller brakes.

Good luck!
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Old 07-31-2015, 10:03 PM   #4
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Groeten, Andsetinn!

I had no idea the exchange rate had gotten that low. Last time I visited The Netherlands (Groningen, via Schiphol and Dusseldorf), it was more like US$1.5 / 1. Hopefully you don't have to order too many parts from this side of the world.

Did you mean 0,6 bar? Because 6 bar is an insanely high level of boost. I don't know a single person who has ever run that much pressure on a Miata engine.
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Old 07-31-2015, 10:36 PM   #5
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70psi

I like where this is going
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Old 08-01-2015, 08:06 AM   #6
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Even with 8 billion people it is a small world.
I have continued reading and some of my earlier assumptions are clearly wrong and my dyslexia shows again. Bar or psi, whats the difference?
I won't really know what the weak points are until I find a car. I have made an offer for a 94 model in very good condition with less than 100.000 Km. That should save me an engine overhaul but do I want to take car in such a good condition and tune it up or keep it completely stock as a collectors item. Maybe I'll have to buy 2 cars.
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Old 08-01-2015, 08:15 AM   #7
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Welcome, Andsetinn. Check out the Miata Gallery and post up some pics!
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Old 08-01-2015, 09:05 AM   #8
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<p>If a daily driver, I would recommend starting with a good condition vehicle. Not fighting rusted bolts is a good thing as well. You're goal should not be to ruin it, but rather to improve it.&nbsp;</p>
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Old 08-01-2015, 09:12 AM   #9
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I'm still curious about the differential...

In North America, the 1.6 engine was only offered from 90-93, and all cars with 1.6 engines also got a 6 inch differential which is known to be quite fragile. Even moderate levels of boost can result in the destruction of the ring & pinion gears. This changed to a much stronger 7 inch design in 1994, when the 1.8 engine became standard.

Thus, in Canada and the US, we tend to think in terms of "All 1.6 cars have weak differentials."

I've never heard any definitive answer as to whether the smaller differentials continued to be used in 1.6 cars elsewhere in the world, or whether they all switched to the larger differential even though the 1.6 engine remained available.

Last edited by Joe Perez; 08-01-2015 at 03:59 PM.
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Old 08-01-2015, 10:58 AM   #10
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Default Winter project in Netherlands.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Perez View Post
I've never heard any definitive answer as to whether the smaller differentials continued to be used in 1.6 cars elsewhere in the world.
It would be good to know from the standpoint of offering advice.
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Old 08-02-2015, 07:54 PM   #11
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From what I've read the 94 model comes with 4.10:1 diff that is an update on the 4.30:1 that came with the original car. I've not seen anywhere that the diff is different between 1.6 and 1.8 after 94. But I probably find out, sturdier diff can be bought if needed.
In good news I have found a supplier that has the Megasquirt 2 for about 500$ with shipping so that looks better than what I first found.
In bad news I have looked at 6 MX5 in NL. I was seriously outbid on one and the other five had either been badly repaired after a heavy collision or had severe case of what I affectionately call Tin Worm, better known as rust. There is a much bigger selection of cars in Germany and they are about half the price but the NL government has intentionally set laws that make such an import very expensive. At least if I want the car road legal,,, hmmm.
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Old 08-02-2015, 08:57 PM   #12
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Default Winter project in Netherlands.

Maybe waiting for the right one is best. Our community might help.
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Old 08-03-2015, 12:18 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Perez View Post
I'm still curious about the differential...
Thus, in Canada and the US, we tend to think in terms of "All 1.6 cars have weak differentials."

I've never heard any definitive answer as to whether the smaller differentials continued to be used in 1.6 cars elsewhere in the world, or whether they all switched to the larger differential even though the 1.6 engine remained available.
Somewhere after 1994 the Euro 1.6 cars also switched to the bigger differential. All NB 1.6 use the bigger differential as well as far as I know.
The 1.6 in the NB engine also uses the same trigger / ECU setup as the NB 1.8.
Also an interesting difference between USDM and EUDM cars is our NB's retained the fuel system with return (and the regulator in the engine bay).

Another great advantage of EUDM cars is the use of 3.6 rear ends for all 6 speed NB's, which is a great match for a turbocharged cars.

My advice would be to search for a rust-free car, this is the most important thing. My NB had the dreaded frame rail rust (please check for this!!) and is completely taken apart for repair. The rust is now gone, but I have some other priorities at the moment (moving to another house) so the project is postponed. In general the MX-5 is very prone to rust and if it is driven through salt in the winter (which is common in NL and Germany/DE), then walk away.

From a technical point of view the NB with a torsen and 6 speed is nice, but those parts can be retro-fitted to any MX-5, but it will cost you around a 1000 euro's to get all the parts.

Importing a car from Germany is not too bad I think, it will cost a few hundred euro's to get done, but that can be well worth it. If you are seriously thinking about it and struggling with Dutch: let me know! My car is also from Germany.
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Old 08-03-2015, 12:33 PM   #14
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Why do I suddenly feel as though we're being overrun by the Dutch?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaWaN View Post
Somewhere after 1994 the Euro 1.6 cars also switched to the bigger differential. All NB 1.6 use the bigger differential as well as far as I know.
Good to know

When you say "after 1994," this is to be read that the 1994 models all had the smaller differential, and the change occurred no earlier than the 1995 model year?



Fun fact: Here in New York state, we have many towns which have the word "kill" in their name. Examples include Fishkill, Catskill, Peekskill, and so on.

I've oft wondered from whence this naming convention derives.

Over the weekend, I learned that this comes from the Dutch word 'kille', which means creek (as in a small river.) This makes since, given the large Dutch population which originally settled the area. In fact, as any fan of the band They Might be Giants can tell you, New York was originally called New Amsterdam.
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Old 08-03-2015, 01:55 PM   #15
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IIRC there were no Euro 90hp 1.6 in 1994, it would not surprise med if they were introduced at the 1995.5 OBD-II switch.

1998-2005 are speced as 110hp and have NB electronics and solid lifters. Unsure if the 01-05 have return fuel (as EU 98-00) or returnless as the VVT 1.8, hard to find clear pictures.
All 94 cars having 7" rear ends sounds reasonable, the EU NB 1.8 all had LSD, but I assume the 1.6 were sold with open diffs.

But assumptions are the mother of all fuckups
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