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Old 02-05-2009, 02:50 PM   #1
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Default Bad turbo seals?

I am in the market to sell my 2000 base miata for an NA that is already boosted. Would like to do it all myself but more cost effective to get it done already. I am looking at one that is runnin a BEGI kit that's puttin down over 200whp. He said the compression before and after the install was good on the engine. He said the turbo seals may be going bad because it smokes out the exhaust a little at WOT. I don't have any experience with turbos but learn quick and that's what the internet is for right. How difficult would it be and costly to rebuild the turbo and or replace seals?

This forum is
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Old 02-05-2009, 03:01 PM   #2
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Welcome.

My car smoked until I replaced the pcv valve with the one for the 323GTX. Takes about a minute to replace. Could also be poor drainage in the oil drain line.

You might want to give a lot more information and post your car in the for sale section really cheap and with free delivery so I can steal it from you.
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Old 02-05-2009, 03:08 PM   #3
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if its a journal bearing turbo then you can get it rebuilt on the cheap.
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Old 02-05-2009, 03:15 PM   #4
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...and read the stickies, make an intro thread, post your location, and don't forget to answer the $64,000 question.
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Old 02-05-2009, 03:33 PM   #5
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turbo seals dont smoke at wot. they smoke at idle.
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Old 02-05-2009, 04:15 PM   #6
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Correct!!
Unless it is completely shot to ****..
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Old 02-05-2009, 04:31 PM   #7
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The owner is either trying to snow you or he himself doesn't know anything about forced induction. The majority of aftermarket turbo owners at some point have some sort of a smoking problem... and it's very seldom caused by "blown seals". More than likely, it's a crankcase overpressure issue.

As said, a journal bearing turbo rebuilt kit is $80 and you can do the work yourself with a cresecent wrench, small philips screwdriver, and a dental pick. Or you can send the turbo to a pro and he will overhaul the turbo for about $400.

Ball Bearing turbo's cannot be rebuilt at home and the price for a pro to do it usually makes it more cost effective to buy a new turbo... especially the small ones we typically use in Miatas.

Aside from that, any reason you didn't link the ad so we can look at the car too and maybe tell you something else the owner is wrong about? If there's no ad, maybe you can give us more details about the turbo kit, miles, age, other modifications, etc...

Also, if you're going to hang around here and ask more questions (which is completely welcome), go to the Meet&Greet forum and read every NOOB intro on the first page to get a good idea of how you should make yourself known to a new forum. Read sticky's, use SEARCH, post location in profile, put something in signature... that kind of thing. Then start your own NOOB thread in the Meet&Greet.
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Old 02-05-2009, 05:11 PM   #8
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Where are you at? I might want to trade. My car never smokes. Or better yet. I have a FM3 1.8L manifold and downpipe I'll sell you. Turbo your car! use a Tial wastegate and a GT2871, Wicked Fast!
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Old 02-05-2009, 08:50 PM   #9
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This is the miata in question.
1994 turbo miata

Since we are in CA there are some parts that will not pass smog but he says he knows someone that will do it before the car is sold. Pretty nice setup if you ask me, granted that's assuming it runs great. Based off the price I would think there may be some loose ends somewhere so to speak.

If anyone else has something they are thinking about trading this is my car.



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Old 02-05-2009, 09:46 PM   #10
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I hope I'm not screwing somone. But dude that is a nice car. Don't trade it for a old car. Buy a begi S kit, You will be turbo'ed buy the end of the day. For real.
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Old 02-05-2009, 10:35 PM   #11
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225whp at 11psi on a 2554? Numbers seem a bit high to me, but I may be wrong... good looking car otherwise.
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Old 02-05-2009, 10:41 PM   #12
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I know the guy selling the black car. Not a friend of his but he is the person that got me into miata's in the first place. Great guy and I'm sure he wouldnt lie about anything. That said its really easy and common to say "bad turbo seals" when in fact its not. I say you have someone knowledgeable check the car out and give you a good rundown. Otherwise the car is great, I've seen it in person.

Where are you located btw?
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Old 02-05-2009, 10:43 PM   #13
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"he says he knows someone that will do it before the car is sold."

Don't bet on it. Turbo your car, then you know its history. You might be able to find someone in Ca that can put a turbo on a miata...
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Old 02-05-2009, 11:34 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rotaryjunky View Post
"he says he knows someone that will do it before the car is sold."

Don't bet on it. Turbo your car, then you know its history. You might be able to find someone in Ca that can put a turbo on a miata...
or buy something clean like a few people on here including myself. Not that my car is for sale...but you can usually assume that if a car looks perfect under the hood, every wire it wrapped, and it drives well...then it might be worth the car.
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Old 02-06-2009, 12:25 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toddcod View Post
I hope I'm not screwing somone. But dude that is a nice car. Don't trade it for a old car. Buy a begi S kit, You will be turbo'ed buy the end of the day. For real.
Thanks I do love this car. Just seems more cost effective to get it with the kit and all the stuff that it has on it. I just know it's going to be a pain in the *** to convert it back to carb legal status.

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Originally Posted by 18psi View Post
I know the guy selling the black car. Not a friend of his but he is the person that got me into miata's in the first place. Great guy and I'm sure he wouldnt lie about anything. That said its really easy and common to say "bad turbo seals" when in fact its not. I say you have someone knowledgeable check the car out and give you a good rundown. Otherwise the car is great, I've seen it in person.

Where are you located btw?
Thanks for the advice, know of any places around there to get it looked at. I am in the Sacramento area as well. I am hoping to see it either sat/sun. Tried to PM you but my post count is too low. Ever have time over the weekends to give me a ride in your car. Never been in a F/I miata before. Bring you some beer or buy ya food or something.
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Old 02-06-2009, 12:31 AM   #16
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OK, that's more like it.
I have been following the used turbo Miata scene for about 3 years now. I make it a point to search Craigslist across the county a couple times a week for them... so I know the market.

If the reason that car is smoking is a bad PCV valve or is maybe simply in need of a catch-can (ie, the motor is healthy and just needs the problem properly diagnosed and fixed), then it is perfectly priced. The parts list is rather good and overall the whole package matches. It looks to be well thought out by a guy who knew what he was doing. If it had a hard-top, it would be sold already.

[email protected] on a 2554 is doable... but it's tough to swallow on a 2.5" exhaust and Cali 91 crap gas. Most guys need 1-2psi more on 93. All dyno's are not created equal, so it would be nice to know where he tuned it.

There are only 2 other things that stand out... and they really stand out.

#1: There is no mention of mileage. When a guy specifically doesn't mention the mileage, it's usually a lot... and in this case, it's a good bet the engine is getting a little long in the tooth. Why would he mention the compression is good, but not the mileage... not very credible.

#2: His email. No grownup I know has an email like that. Hint: tranny's and dif's take a beating while ********.

On the bright side, SoCal is a neverending land of salvage yards. There's a collection of them down by the border where that I hit once a month and there's always 10-15 cars of all years. Replacement motors are dirt cheap and a rebuild with forged guts is just over $2k.

If he'll smog it and come down to $5k, it's worth it keeping in mind the motor might need a rebuild soon (soon could be 10k miles or tomorrow). But you'll also need to smog it every year and there's no way that's happening.

As for your post count, go back to POST#7 above and read the last thing I said. Saying thank you in this thread will kill at least one more, and every NOOB's intro thread is worth 3-5... throw down in some of the threads in the BS forum and you're there.
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Old 02-06-2009, 12:32 AM   #17
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Dude, that's a stupid clean NB. Keep it and turbo it. You will NOT regret it, I promise. The NB has a few things going for it already that will make it cheaper to reach your power goals. Turbo NB's rule!
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Old 02-06-2009, 12:36 AM   #18
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I bet that the seals aren't bad. If you are concerned ATP will test it for free just to be sure. But the three I have sent in all came back OK.
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Old 02-06-2009, 12:41 AM   #19
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"Thank you" samnavy I appreciate it. It has 144k miles, but it seems like compression is a better indicator of health than miles. But as you said, with high miles and smoke, could be tomorrow that money will be needed to bring the engine back to life. Damn if I could just get this college thing out of the way I could have a NB and an NA.

Side note, can you put together a DIY setup and have it be carb legal. All the parts themselves would have to have a carb # and i don't know enough detail on them to know if it's possible.

I can do some car things myself but have not jumped into the world of F/I although I'd love to. I'm usually pretty busy between work/college so it's hard to start a project knowing I may not be able to finish it and need the car.

Appreciate the input!
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Old 02-06-2009, 12:46 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Emberghost View Post
Thanks for the advice, know of any places around there to get it looked at. I am in the Sacramento area as well. I am hoping to see it either sat/sun. Tried to PM you but my post count is too low. Ever have time over the weekends to give me a ride in your car. Never been in a F/I miata before. Bring you some beer or buy ya food or something.
I'd love to but my car is actually torn apart at this very minute getting its healthy helping of turbo....
In the next week or two (assuming I have it tuned by then) I'd be happy to give you a ride. Nice to know at least SOMEONE on here is in my immediate area.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Emberghost View Post
"Thank you" samnavy I appreciate it. It has 144k miles, but it seems like compression is a better indicator of health than miles. But as you said, with high miles and smoke, could be tomorrow that money will be needed to bring the engine back to life. Damn if I could just get this college thing out of the way I could have a NB and an NA.

Side note, can you put together a DIY setup and have it be carb legal. All the parts themselves would have to have a carb # and i don't know enough detail on them to know if it's possible.

I can do some car things myself but have not jumped into the world of F/I although I'd love to. I'm usually pretty busy between work/college so it's hard to start a project knowing I may not be able to finish it and need the car.

Appreciate the input!
I highly doubt it, and have yet to see it done.
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