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Old 02-07-2013, 01:23 PM   #1
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Default Cost of third party installation of a reputable (like Flyin' Miata for ex.) turbo kit

Just looking for a ballpark figure to add on to the cost of the kit itself, understanding that there are a lot of variables (type of shop, area of the country, ability of the installer, etc.) I searched but didn't really find a thread with an answer.

I had a '99 for about 5 years until it was stolen. I'm getting ready to get back into Miata and am thinking about doing a turbo with whichever Miata I get. I'm trying to get a handle on final costs including installation as there's NO WAY that I'm going to do it myself <chuckle>.
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Old 02-07-2013, 01:47 PM   #2
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Why NO WAY do it yourself? Turbo kits, especially with a kit from Flyin Miata or the like, are a bolt on affair.
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Old 02-07-2013, 01:52 PM   #3
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My experience has been that a 'good' shop will charge $95/hr for labor.

If you find a skilled garage/home shop mechanic, you can probably get the work done for more like $30-$50/hr.

No idea how many hours of labor they would charge. I would think that, if everything is ready to go, they could do it in 8 hours or a long day.

I guess I would recommend that you find a way to do it yourself and save a lot of money. It seems like, once you get in there, you may find additional things to do, like heat shielding, replacing miscellaneous lines i.e. coolant, swapping motor mounts, etc. Either that or find a really slick shop that can make those recommendations for you although it may add cost.

If you want it done with a good shop, I would budget $1500 for the labor and misc. parts and things they might do while in there. You could always call one that has done turbo kits before and see what they typically charge.
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Old 02-07-2013, 02:05 PM   #4
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Why NO WAY do it yourself? Turbo kits, especially with a kit from Flyin Miata or the like, are a bolt on affair.
Yes, but my head is a bolt on affair <g>.
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Old 02-07-2013, 02:07 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by mc85 View Post
My experience has been that a 'good' shop will charge $95/hr for labor.

If you find a skilled garage/home shop mechanic, you can probably get the work done for more like $30-$50/hr.

No idea how many hours of labor they would charge. I would think that, if everything is ready to go, they could do it in 8 hours or a long day.

I guess I would recommend that you find a way to do it yourself and save a lot of money. It seems like, once you get in there, you may find additional things to do, like heat shielding, replacing miscellaneous lines i.e. coolant, swapping motor mounts, etc. Either that or find a really slick shop that can make those recommendations for you although it may add cost.

If you want it done with a good shop, I would budget $1500 for the labor and misc. parts and things they might do while in there. You could always call one that has done turbo kits before and see what they typically charge.
Thanks. That's sort of what I was looking for (mostly time needed). The reason I don't want to do it is that a. I'm a bit of a klutz, b. I have no garage, c. I'm a bit of a klutz.
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Old 02-07-2013, 02:08 PM   #6
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Call FM and ask them how much it would cost for a turn key FM2?
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Old 02-07-2013, 02:15 PM   #7
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Call FM and ask them how much it would cost for a turn key FM2?
I'd rather do it locally. The Northeast is a loooong way from Nashville!
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Old 02-07-2013, 02:24 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by teleburst View Post
I'd rather do it locally. The Northeast is a loooong way from Nashville!
Why not?!?!?

1) Maybe they have a car already that is ready for you. Fly down and buy it.
2) Buy a car. One day down, one day install, half a day to drive back (see what I did there?).

You could probably find somewhere decent in the NE, but why not a road trip?

ALSO, regarding time needed - I was just throwing that out there. I would *think* that a guy that knows what he's doing can do one of these kits in a day. Maybe not, if there are things like mounting/trimming for FMIC, boost/AFR gauges, etc. Someone with skills can get a LOT done in a day, though, especially if they have a helper.
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Old 02-07-2013, 02:24 PM   #9
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Who is in the NE or Nashville? FM is in Colorado last I knew.

Flyin' Miata will give you an idea on what a "name brand" (for lack of a better term) installer will charge you. Or you could call up these guys I heard about from a friend in VA PBC Automotive | Welcome! and ask.
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Old 02-07-2013, 02:31 PM   #10
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One other thing - you may want to factor in a clutch job with this. You may slip the stock one if you don't swap it out. Would add a couple hours for the job, since unfortunately the work/disassembly is separate from the turbo kit.
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Old 02-07-2013, 03:08 PM   #11
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Why not?!?!?

1) Maybe they have a car already that is ready for you. Fly down and buy it.
2) Buy a car. One day down, one day install, half a day to drive back (see what I did there?).

You could probably find somewhere decent in the NE, but why not a road trip?

ALSO, regarding time needed - I was just throwing that out there. I would *think* that a guy that knows what he's doing can do one of these kits in a day. Maybe not, if there are things like mounting/trimming for FMIC, boost/AFR gauges, etc. Someone with skills can get a LOT done in a day, though, especially if they have a helper.
Yes, but I'm in the South. I wouldn't mind a road trip, but not to take a car to get a turbo put on, especially one that far. If they already had one, I would consider going there to buy it, but, I'm a little leery of buying something sight unseen, even though I know that they know their stuff. I'd like to save the road trip for the finished project, especially when I'm buying a used car. Maybe if I wait a year to see how the actual car shakes out. But it's still a long way to go to have a turbo put on. We have some motorheads here in Nashville (Grooms Engines for example is here, not that they do that sort of work, but it's just an example of wrench turners here).

As far as time, I'm just spitballing here. Not looking for exact numbers. Just some rough numbers. I'd add additional hrs/labor per hour, etc. to any figure, as it usually costs more than anticipated.
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Old 02-07-2013, 03:12 PM   #12
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Honestly, if you don't turn wrenches, you're much better off with a stock car. Unless you're Jay Leno and keep a staff.
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Old 02-07-2013, 03:23 PM   #13
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If it's brand new, the parts are all correct, and there's no funny business in the electrical/engine compartment, I'd probably install an FM kit on a perfectly running car for about $800, clutch $200. My work is neither warranted nor insured. All prices are subject to change if something breaks during the install and you want that fixed too. The base FM tune will be more than adequate to get it to your dyno tuner of choice.
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Old 02-07-2013, 03:26 PM   #14
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Honestly, if you don't turn wrenches, you're much better off with a stock car. Unless you're Jay Leno and keep a staff.
I've considered that as well. If I went turbo, I'd be going 1.6 (I had 1.8 before). I would keep the boost around 5psi because I don't want tear 'em up speed, just a bit more power. But it's certainly worth considering. I thought that 1.8 was pretty good for my needs, but could just use a touch more umph. I suspect that it would be even more so with the smaller engine. I've never driven the 1st series.
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Old 02-07-2013, 03:30 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Sploinkin View Post
Who is in the NE or Nashville? FM is in Colorado last I knew.

Flyin' Miata will give you an idea on what a "name brand" (for lack of a better term) installer will charge you. Or you could call up these guys I heard about from a friend in VA PBC Automotive | Welcome! and ask.
Even worse <g> (although I'd love to go back to Colorado as I lived in Co. Springs for a year). I didn't see an address for them on their site, but they were recommending NE installers, so I probably just made an assumption that i shouldn't have. I'm in Nashville.

Maybe I'll give 'em a call. I'm getting the idea that it will cost somewhere in the neighborhood of $1000 give or take $400 (but not on the downside - maybe a hundred or two on the downside).

VA is doable.
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Old 02-07-2013, 03:31 PM   #16
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The 1.6 cars (89-93) had smaller rear differentials that broke easily, smaller brakes, and less engine. Buy a '94-up car of some kind.
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Old 02-07-2013, 03:32 PM   #17
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If you don't want a crazy fast car, get an MSM and save yourself the trouble.

1.6 sucks *****.
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Old 02-07-2013, 03:32 PM   #18
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Are you in new england? If so, call Lester at apex, he's a bit of an odd ball but the best miata general mechanic in the north east. Last time I was there to get an alignment he had a gutted and caged NA with a duratec in the engine bay in the shop. After that, call Flatout motorsports, Sarah will probably pickup, they charge 95 bucks an hour for pretty much anything, and have a dyno in the shop. Normally a spec miata shop with some rx7s and s2ks mixed in. Between the two you should get two reasonable quotes and they're the only 2 shops in New England I would trust my car with.
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Old 02-07-2013, 06:03 PM   #19
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Quote:
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If you don't want a crazy fast car, get an MSM and save yourself the trouble.

1.6 sucks *****.
This. DO THIS.
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Old 02-07-2013, 07:44 PM   #20
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Yes, because the MSM is an AWESOME turbo setup, and I've heard NO complaints about it.

It's a shame you're not in the NW area. I'd love to install a turbo kit and get paid for it.
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