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Old 02-24-2009, 07:45 AM   #1
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Red face BEGi S4 vs. FM II Hydra

I have a question about which turbo kit I should install on my '93 1.6L.

My goal is to run up to 12psi on stock internals, but I would like to have some recommendations and past experiences with the BEGi S4 vs. the FM II Hydra kits.

I apologize in advance if this is a post that has been done to death, but I searched for a couple of hours and found no answer.

Thanks y'all.

Last edited by Braineack; 02-24-2009 at 10:16 AM. Reason: font.
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Old 02-24-2009, 07:56 AM   #2
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Go into detail with both of the vendors and compare the two against each other. If youre going to be shopping for their flagship systems, its not a simple answer of what is better, but finding out which system with all its parts and upgrades, would cater to your upgrade path.

In other words... dude just call both of them if youre serious.
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Old 02-24-2009, 08:51 AM   #3
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Red face I am serious.

I am serious; execpt for about a year of saving left to go for all the necessary upgrades e.g. clutch and flywheel, exhaust, Torsen LSD, etc...

I have been to both websites to drool over both kits, but it seems that this forum is BEGi centric I just wanted some feedback as to the installed operation of both. At 12 psi on stock internals is where I want to go with this Miata. No more upgrades after the 'flagship kit' with this one because it is my daily driver.

I also wanted some pros and cons of each company, and yes, I have read about the problems people have experienced with BEGi in regards to shipping and custom fabrication. Those posts did not scare me away from BEGi.

This would be my first turbo install (yes I am a true newb, but not a novice to auto repair) and need to purchase and read some material on the general subject of forced induction.

Not to be a smart ***, but I would prefer not to just 'call up' both companies and ask "Why is your system better than your competitors' system". That is why I posed the question here on the forum.

Thanks y'all.

Last edited by Braineack; 02-24-2009 at 10:17 AM. Reason: more to add. Admin edit: font.
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Old 02-24-2009, 09:52 AM   #4
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It actually isn't a bad idea to ask them in just that way. Then you will have their point of view on their competitors strong and weak points.

Most of the fellows here are not straight "kit" guys. They might have bought a basic kit at some point, but have modified and will continue to modify their creations. It is the greater part of the allure of doing it yourself to continue to tinker and adjust your creation. That is a large part of why they are here. Seldom does anyone bolt-on a kit and say "I'm done now." They say "What can I do next?"

A kit is the sum of it's components, not just a whole. Were I you, and I realize clearly that I am not, then I would spend a few months hanging about on this site before spending that kind of money on either one. I would watch for discussions regarding the Hydra and other engine management solutions, the manifolds, the fuel systems, the BOVs, wastegates, and see what floats to the surface. Many times the subtleties are quite a bit more important than you first envisioned.

And if you don't yet have the money gathered together for a good clutch, then you have quite a bit of time on your hands to contemplate the intricacies of the two systems in detail. Consider doing that instead of jumping in with an initial thread regarding something that you are clearly not ready to buy anyway. You will surely not like to hear the truth that I am about to share with you: A couple of hours is not enough time searching and you should expect some flaming to ensue as the workforce comes on line this morning.

More importantly, there will certainly be additional options revealed to you before your year is up anyway. Kits change and evolve. So do noobs.

Good luck with your endeavor.
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Old 02-24-2009, 10:16 AM   #5
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Tit for tat, the BEGi S4 will have the edge due to the exhaust manifold and downpipe design.

It really comes down to things like: quality of the components, price, engine management, and other odds and ends. It could also come down to time frame and ease of installation and even customer service.

If you were comparing an S3 kit, then I'd say it comes down to just the little things.



Off topic: I'm about to disable your ability to change fonts and sizes :P
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Old 02-24-2009, 10:37 AM   #6
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Talking I expect and want a good thrashing.

I expect and want a good thrashing.

I have only searched for the answer to my question for a couple of hours, I but have been on the forum reading for hours upon hours a day since I joined.

My personal preference is to install a modification and then go drive and enjoy it. As opposed to tinkering all day and driving only on the off chance that I have completed a step or two. That is why I am going for a kit rather than a DIY system. Especially cosidering that this is my daily driver I do not want it to be in my garage on jack stands all the time.

I realize that the majority of people on this forum are DIYers and love cooking up new and fun ways to boost their Miatas. Maybe I am just too much of a simple man? Not simpleton.

Bye the way, I plan on using the GT2560 turbo on either system I choose.

Thanks y'all

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Old 02-24-2009, 11:12 AM   #7
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Then you'll more than likely be best to go with the FM hydra. They are a little more set-and-forget and the parts are cookie cutter....
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Old 02-24-2009, 12:15 PM   #8
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I would have to disagree. I am all about the do it once and forget it to. The only things replaced on the car - in four years - were the upper radiator hose and PWS pump. Both of those were stock failures and not turbo related. The tranny is slightly hurt, but I expected that as it is a 5 speed. But then again, I don't beat the crap out of my car. I put alot of miles on it though.

First of all, let me say you are comparing apples and oranges. A cast manifold to a stainless header one. If you were comparing an S3 to an FM II, that would be more fair. But, on an S4 kit, the only thing that might give you trouble is the Manifold. Yes, it is icky to get to. But we have not replaced one for a 90-04 Miata yet, in 3 years. And it also has a two year warranty on the manifold in case there is problems.

The advantage goes to the manifold, downpipe, engine management, and intercooler. Since you have a 1.6L, the Hydra is not an advantage as the MegaSquirt is much less expensive. The S4 manifold provides more low end torque when compared to a cast manifold, and still maintains good top end power. The downpipe is messier to install than the FM one, however the wastegate vent tube allows for smoother spool and acceleration. The intercooler is also appropriately sized for the intended horsepower and will work with air conditioning, largest to smallest.
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Old 02-24-2009, 04:41 PM   #9
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I hate these threads, but like to get in on them before they turn to ****.

I selected BEGi because of the heat shielding, SS lines, metal pipes (durability), and other stuff I'm forgetting. They also did all the custom stuff I wanted, for remarkable prices.

I finally finished my car on thanksgiving day, and I've driven it 3000 miles since. I haven't had it on the road course yet, but so far I have not touched one bolt. I haven't put a wrench on it one time. I'll do a double-dip-****-fit if this car makes it through a track session without getting the tools out.

BEGi cars make more test. I'm more fertile and lifting more weight since installing my kit.
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Old 02-24-2009, 06:10 PM   #10
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I don't like telling people why NOT to buy someone else's turbo kit, only the benefits of our own. And it's the sort of conversation that works best over the phone, where we can make sure that all of your questions are answered. It's a free call, drop us a line and we can help you make sure you get the best setup for your needs.
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Old 02-24-2009, 06:28 PM   #11
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Its also really cool to see the quality levels in both offerings. You can't really go wrong with either one, and I don't know of anyone who regrets their purchase from either company. I've never heard, "I wish I had gone with x company, rather than Y."

This was not the case with the old VW turbo companies. It was total dog-****. My BEGi was good enough that I'd give them my money all over again...we'll see what happens on the track. If the turbo bolts come loose, I'm going to incessantly bitch about it and safety wire them. Then I will suggest they safety-wire in the shop as an option.

I need to take pics of the cool, custom stuff BEGi did for me.

BEGi and I had one fundamental difference that I wasn't happy with. I didn't like their coolant-reroute idea...but it was really close. I have a superiority complex and feel that if they'd copy my current set-up, they'd have a coolant reroute that could be used on any motor, in any swap, and I think everyone on the forum would agree. Now...I don't know if they'd make any money on it to persuade this forum, but it would be a definitive "yes this coolant reroute works."

Its also cool to be able to pick up the phone and say "hey, Tim or Stephanie, make this obscure adapter fitting for me," and its done with reasonable prices.
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Old 03-02-2009, 12:52 PM   #12
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I started with an out-of-the-box Greddy kit many years ago, as it was all I could afford. It was less than reliable and all sorts of things cracked, broke or popped off under boost. Since I wanted more power anyway, I started tinkering, adding components that allowed me to turn up the boost. I ended up with a fairly reliable 200+ rwhp for several years of four-wheeled fun.

I'd pretty much tapped-out the capability of that kit and the power bug was biting again. Unfortunately, work was cutting into my tinkering time, so I too looked for a turn-key solution. I've always had good service from Flyin' Miata and their kits are well-designed, IMO. Several people in our local club have some variation on their kit and everybody is pleased with both performance and reliability. In any case, I made my choice and am amazingly happy with the results (see introductory thread at https://www.miataturbo.net/forum/t31237/).
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Old 03-26-2009, 11:40 AM   #13
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Personally, for a first time install I would go with the FM. That said, the S4 does have many advantages.

I ran an FM2 setup for about 7 years and the only things that needed replacement in that time was a single coolant line & a cracked downpipe (which they sent me the newer version immediately at no extra charge.)

The BEGI system I have mixed feelings about. The system seems well thought out and designed. However, my personal experience has been a bit of a nightmare. Lots of wrong, missing, or simply forgotten parts.
Here's a list of just some of the errors I experienced...
-Unfinished turbo modification (no diverter for wastegate, holes were not drilled out properly, & inlet was not modified as it should have been)
-Wrong throttle inlet tube with incorrectly BOV bung and lack of IAT bung (twice which took over 4 months to receive the correct one)
-Wrong turbo inlet tube (2 or 3 times... I lost track)
-Wrong length bolts in a few places
-Faulty downpipe (O2 & EGT bungs in wrong place which precluded them ever being usable, was simply poorly constructed and aligned... the wastegate pipe was never cut flush when it was inserted into the downpipe to be welded and so was blocking about 25% of the flow)
-Replacement downpipe had a rough wastegate dump tube hole that caused the wastegate door to stick until it was ground down and smoothed, was missing the EGT bung, hit the stock bracing (which had to be modified with a hammer to fit)
-A water bypass pipe with a bung was sent with the bung not drilled out.

That's not counting the rather massive delays I experienced. In all it's been almost 5 months and I'm still waiting one one final part to be done correctly. Initially I was told it would take 3 weeks to have everything done. Since then thing have spiraled into a comedy of errors. That said, whenever I've brought up a problem or issue to them they have always done their best to try and get it resolved and have never been anything but kind and friendly even though I know they must hate hearing from me now. The problem for me hasn't been in lodging the issues but in the manufacturing, or rather, the quality control. It seems to me to be a wonderful idea plagued by inconsistent and forgetful fabrication.

That said I have faith they can get their issues taken care of, and in my personal opinion they have a very thorough setup that works very well. However, as I said initially, for a first time install I'd recommend going with FM simply because, in my experience, they have have superb quality control and a very respectable product. In terms of fundamental design, BEGI has the edge but from what I've seen is lacking in other departments and would be better suited for someone experienced and patient since it may require sending parts back or doing some small modifications to them to get them to function properly. The FM design is definitely a bit more simple and straight forward.

I'm not trying to bash or detour anyone from either setup. They both have their own strengths and weaknesses. I have been told my experience with BEGI has been a bit of an oddity, and I certainly hope that is the case. However, it is hard for me to believe I've experienced so many issues back to back and it's an isolated incident. In the end, I'm happy with my choice of the S4 design even if I haven't been super happy with the actual quality delivered. I'd still do it again in a heartbeat, but it is a mixed bag.
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Old 03-26-2009, 01:12 PM   #14
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The S4 maybe has advantages but they are not major enough to matter. Are you planning to set record HP levels? Are you planning to squeeze every last drop of power out of your engine? Probably not. In the grand scheme for guys like you and me, the difference in the kits dont matter. What does matter is you want to buy it, install it, and enjoy it. Not wait on parts, return parts, deal with **** not fitting and etc etc.

My vote goes to FM, set it and forget it, you will thank yourself later. Trust me.
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Old 04-02-2009, 03:27 AM   #15
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After reading this thread, I'm pretty much set with which company's kit will suit me best.
Thanks for the infos. guys.
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Old 04-02-2009, 04:21 AM   #16
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I have experience wrenching on both kits, so I'll drop my pair of pennies.

The BEGi parts are better designed, no doubt. The S4 manifold is either the best or damn close to the best flowing manifold available (AbsurdFlow and ETD Shorty might beat it, but not by much). S4 kits consistently produce seriously impressive numbers.

Having said that, they are a bitch to install. I would rather replace a diff than pull my downpipe, it's so awful to get to. They'll also ship your kit late; expect them to be 4-6 weeks late on pretty much anything you order. I would never trust BEGi to get me a part in time for an event. It sounds harsh, but they'll probably tell you the same thing themselves.

The FM kits are the yang to the BEGi ying. Not quite the ultimate engineering, with the cast manifold, non-SG downpipe, silicone IC piping, etc. but everything fits and it's all easy to install. I'm confident that I could take a complete FM kit and assemble it, with an assistant, in 8 hours without breaking a sweat. They'll also get your kit out on time and complete.

If you want a cookie cutter, set it and forget it style setup, FM is absolutely the way to go. This is not a cookie cutter, set it/forget it forum so we favor BEGi. I have BEGi parts on my own car.
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Old 04-02-2009, 05:27 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Savington View Post
I have experience wrenching on both kits, so I'll drop my pair of pennies.

The BEGi parts are better designed, no doubt. The S4 manifold is either the best or damn close to the best flowing manifold available (AbsurdFlow and ETD Shorty might beat it, but not by much). S4 kits consistently produce seriously impressive numbers.

Having said that, they are a bitch to install. I would rather replace a diff than pull my downpipe, it's so awful to get to. They'll also ship your kit late; expect them to be 4-6 weeks late on pretty much anything you order. I would never trust BEGi to get me a part in time for an event. It sounds harsh, but they'll probably tell you the same thing themselves.

The FM kits are the yang to the BEGi ying. Not quite the ultimate engineering, with the cast manifold, non-SG downpipe, silicone IC piping, etc. but everything fits and it's all easy to install. I'm confident that I could take a complete FM kit and assemble it, with an assistant, in 8 hours without breaking a sweat. They'll also get your kit out on time and complete.

If you want a cookie cutter, set it and forget it style setup, FM is absolutely the way to go. This is not a cookie cutter, set it/forget it forum so we favor BEGi. I have BEGi parts on my own car.

I think Savington summed it up perfectly.
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Old 04-02-2009, 05:47 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Savington View Post
They'll also ship your kit late; expect them to be 4-6 weeks late on pretty much anything you order. I would never trust BEGi to get me a part in time for an event. It sounds harsh, but they'll probably tell you the same thing themselves.
To their credit, though I know it is not much like most people's experience, I called Stephanie and ordered the downpipe on a wednesday. At that point what was to become my downpipe was raw materials. I told her I needed if at all possible by the next friday to install that weekend. She said her guy would start welding it up Friday or early the next week and she would do everything she could. I assumed it would not get here. On Tuesday I had a tracking #. On Friday I picked it up from UPS. BEGI can be perfectly on time... just

-Ryan
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Old 04-06-2009, 07:34 PM   #19
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This is a painful thread to read............... Apples to Oranges... but I too was here two years ago!

I think that both have very good selling points. I have FM duals and I love the construction and detail put into the parts. I also have a BEGI S2 kit and I love many things about it, even though it is a little more rough around the edges. However maybe its because Im 3hrs away from them, but they feel like family, and they have helped me out several times from non kit related issues.

So for customer service BEGI really is Number 1.

If you are close by pick BEGI 100% they have excellent install prices and will test out everything so all you get is fun back. If you are going to install it your self the BEGI kit is some what a pain even for an experienced Garage mechanic with all the tools required to get the job done.

I speak only of the S2 kit, the S4 doesnt have any of the parts I had trouble installing.

And dont think 200 at the wheels is no fun, the t2554 can easily put you in low 13s. For what the kit lacks in top end HP it well makes up for in low end.
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Old 04-06-2009, 07:47 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saml01 View Post
The S4 maybe has advantages but they are not major enough to matter. Are you planning to set record HP levels? Are you planning to squeeze every last drop of power out of your engine? Probably not. In the grand scheme for guys like you and me, the difference in the kits dont matter. What does matter is you want to buy it, install it, and enjoy it. Not wait on parts, return parts, deal with **** not fitting and etc etc.

My vote goes to FM, set it and forget it, you will thank yourself later. Trust me.
Pretty dumb *** thing to say. But maybe the fact that I have more usable torque than Doppleganger's 02FMIIH with VVT biases my opinion. Same turbo, BEGi S4 vs FMIIH (sorry to call doppleganger out, he's just got the only FMII VVT car I've been in).

90-95 I'd take a Hydra 8 days of the week over the Xede, especially if money is not an issue. If you're on a normal budget, MSPNP is about 90% of the Hydra functionality-wise for about 40% the cost.
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