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MK Turbo Review

 
Old 05-19-2018, 04:59 PM
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Thumbs down MK Turbo Review

I would like to share my experience with my mkturbo kit install. So far it has not been a very good one, in that it took a very long time to receive the kit. I understand it is just Lars working on the kits but i feel it should be advertised the amount of time it could take to get the kit to you. I started emailing Lars beginning of december 2017 asking questions about his kit as my miata, an NA with a built 2000 1.8, large swaybar and bracing and large rad, has different challenges over a kit build for a stock 1.8. My main concern was clearance for the AC pump and piping contacting the swaybar. I was assured there would be no issues and everything else was addressed. Lars even took the time to source a 1.8 throttle body for me as i had the adapter to run the 1.6 with the swap. All was well and i sent the deposit.
A couple months go by and i have been emailing Lars and receiving updates, inclement weather, his wedding. and other issues was keeping him from moving forward with the kit as fast as we would have liked but i understand life gets in the way of some things. March i begin having concerns with the time as i had to leave my area for work beginning in april, I live in canada and Lars was shipping to a border pickup service, which is a couple hours drive away. Thankfully lars was able to get the kit shipped and i was able to pick it up a couple days before i left.
Once i received it I gave it a quick lookover and started installing bits and pieces, this is where my issues start. My concerns about clearance were well founded as there was no way with how Lars built the kit for the intercooler piping to fit between the radiator, sway bar, AC or engine. I have ended up having to remove my AC, which is not a huge loss for me but still frustrating. Even with that out there was hard contact between piping and the swaybar bracing.
There was also hard contact between the piping and hood with the hood closed so the intended routing was not going to work. I ended up modifying my power steering supply line to allow for me to clock the turbo outlet downwards and welding some of the intercooler piping to fit.
Once i got to mounting the intercooler I ran into another issue. Lars should explain the need to remove the factory bracing surrounding the hood latch as i was not impressed with removing structural support pieces to fit the kit. I have since made a new bracket to fit around the intercooler.
Next is the weld between the intercooler piping and BOV flange.....it seriously looked like the hole was cut with a jigsaw and a drunk toddler blew snot to weld the pieces together. I had to grind away in multiple spots pieces of aluminum that were just barely hanging on that would have went through my engine eventually. There were pinholes throughout the weld and when i put pressure to it the weld leaked from two spots. I would have preferred to start with a new flange and pipe but was frustrated at this point and just dropped new metal to seal it up. Lars' weld was also very dirty, had poor penetration and was all around disappointing. I really recommend not using mig to weld aluminum and investing in a tig.
Once i got all of that sorted I started clamping the pipes...Lars sent a few 51-59mm clamps. which just barely fit over the cold side piping(which is slightly larger than the hot side piping) but mostly sent 50-58mm clamps which with copious amounts of lube would still not fit over the couplings. I also noticed that beads that were rolled onto the ends of the intercooler piping seemed to be missing on two pipes. and very small or just slight tooling marks on the rest. So i went out and bought some 60mm clamps which actually fit the piping and put pressure through the system. It will not hold more than 13 PSI. Having a built engine i was hoping i would be able to max out this turbo with Lars' setup but unfortunately i will have to redo all the piping to do so.
ONTO THE EXHAUST
the downpipe did not have an O2 bung welded in for the wideband Lars supplies. nothing more to say.. there was just no bung. So again i had to drill and weld this in. more disappointment. there was also hard contact at the rear subframe that was solved through manipulation of the hangars Lars welded on but now the tip looks dopey and sort of angles downwards. The disappointment continues.
The cone filter setup runs into the headlight motor so Im not using the elbow and just running filter on turbo. whatever not a huge deal just have to reroute my air ducts from the turn signals to get a bit more flow there.

Now the kicker on this is that I emailed Lars with some concerns before I left town beginning of April. He replied and said he was on the road and that he would get back to me on [tuesday]. If not i should email him again.
I left town and forgot to email back. surprise so did Lars. Once i get back to town I begin work again and decide to just figure out the issues myself as Lars doesnt seem interested. Well once i run into the exhaust and clamp issues i email Lars again. wait a few days and no reply. email again. getting a little angry this time, few days later no reply. one last email saying how i am blown away he has not replied and now i have decided to share this with the forum.
I know Lars and his kits are very popular here. I also see Lars has been active on the forum in the last few days so I know he is not away from his computer.
I am trying to be factual with this post and not attack Lars but to be honest I am quite frustrated. I went with Lars kit over an eBay kit simply because of his popularity and raving reviews and that because he is a smaller operation i probably wouldnt have all these issues and for the ones that I did I would be able to get service to help. That really seems to not be the case.



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