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Total Newb - FM Stage I or Other Kit?

 
Old 07-12-2019, 01:10 PM
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Default Total Newb - FM Stage I or Other Kit?

Hi all,

I am 54 yrs old and have a 2000 SE 6-speed that is stock, with the exception of a FM front sway and Koni Sport shocks, that I've owned for two years - and it now has about 88k miles on it. I haven't done a compression check on it, but it runs flawlessly with no CEL, no oil consumption, etc. I daily drive it 80 miles round-trip and have autocrossed it for the past season and a half (using a second set of wheels/tires).

I would like moar powah, so I'm considering turbocharging it. Nothing crazy... just a FUN power level that is safe for the stock internals/transmission/rear end (for now). My state does not have emissions testing, so a CARB-legal kit is NOT a requirement - although the Flyin' Miata Stage I kit (which of course IS CARB-legal) seems to be a solid choice. I know SQUAT about forced induction (other than a few YouTube videos I've watched on the basics)... never had a vehicle with it... but I am pretty mechanically inclined and do most of my own work on my cars & motorcycles. I don't think I'd have too much trouble installing a kit like this given the good instructions and available technical support. Since I will continue to daily the car, the primary goal shortly behind FUN would be reliability. Would that kit be the best way to go for my situation - or are there better/cheaper options?

Thanks!
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Old 07-12-2019, 01:57 PM
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I think it comes down to how much work you want to do. FM is pretty much plug-n-play, fire and forget, but with it you leave some power on the table. Pretty much anything else will require tuning, and therefore fiddling for reliability (if you can even get it).
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Old 07-12-2019, 02:10 PM
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I reccomend Mkturbo setups but I am a bit biased.

More then that I reccomend making sure you have a backup vehicle. Having a turbo miata while they can be reliable, sometimes you need downtime longer then a weekend. So knowing you don't have to worry about getting to work Monday makes everything less stressful.

Also how do you feel about learning to tune?
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Old 07-12-2019, 02:54 PM
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That stock life sounds nice. Since my car hasnt ran in 7 months
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Old 07-12-2019, 03:01 PM
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If you want reliability and a complete kit. FM is the answer. It comes with everything you need to have a fun street car. Great instructions and support.
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Old 07-12-2019, 03:29 PM
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Originally Posted by shuiend View Post
I reccomend Mkturbo setups but I am a bit biased.

More then that I reccomend making sure you have a backup vehicle. Having a turbo miata while they can be reliable, sometimes you need downtime longer then a weekend. So knowing you don't have to worry about getting to work Monday makes everything less stressful.

Also how do you feel about learning to tune?
Hey man... thanks for the reply! I didn't realize you were in Charleston, SC. I live in Camden/work in Cayce.

I hear you on the backup vehicle... and I actually DO have one - though my daughter is using it right now. It's a base model 4-banger '09 Toyota Tacoma - which was my daily for about 8 years before I bought the Miata. I should have it back in a month or two. I was planning on waiting until I had it back before starting on this project - IF I even decide to do it. Still very much in the early stages of looking into it.

I'm a computer programmer, so I'm not opposed to the idea of tuning - would probably enjoy it - but I have to say some of the appeal of the FM kit is that it is supposedly plug-n-play... no tuning required - although I understand that the trade-off for that convenience is leaving some power on the table. I also understand that I could upgrade that kit later by going to a stand-alone ECU, upgraded fuel system, etc - at which point, tuning would of course be necessary. Also, Panic Motorsports is 10 minutes from my work, so I figured I could get help from them if needed.

That said... I'd certainly be open to considering MK Turbo options - or others.

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Old 07-12-2019, 03:57 PM
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MK Turbo is the hands down answer. Lars hand delivers the kit and is much more reasonable and a really nice guy. Additionally, the megasquirt MS3 is a far better fueling solution and is great fun to tinker with.
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Old 07-12-2019, 04:14 PM
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I have the mk kit. The base tune gets you running. I've used autotune to tune with results that made me happy. I daily drive the car and have only had the car laid up for a day a couple times in the past two years. Miatas are fun to own. A 200whp Miata is crazy fun. Try the mk kit, I think it's the best deal out there.
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Old 07-12-2019, 05:24 PM
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If you live close to Lars, MKTurbo is a no brainer. There is an initial learning curve with MS, but youíll have a much easier time getting help with it because thatís what just about everyone here is running. If youíre mechanical and have a programming background, it shouldnt be hard at all.
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Old 07-12-2019, 05:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Raven65 View Post
Hey man... thanks for the reply! I didn't realize you were in Charleston, SC. I live in Camden/work in Cayce.

I hear you on the backup vehicle... and I actually DO have one - though my daughter is using it right now. It's a base model 4-banger '09 Toyota Tacoma - which was my daily for about 8 years before I bought the Miata. I should have it back in a month or two. I was planning on waiting until I had it back before starting on this project - IF I even decide to do it. Still very much in the early stages of looking into it.

I'm a computer programmer, so I'm not opposed to the idea of tuning - would probably enjoy it - but I have to say some of the appeal of the FM kit is that it is supposedly plug-n-play... no tuning required - although I understand that the trade-off for that convenience is leaving some power on the table. I also understand that I could upgrade that kit later by going to a stand-alone ECU, upgraded fuel system, etc - at which point, tuning would of course be necessary. Also, Panic Motorsports is 10 minutes from my work, so I figured I could get help from them if needed.

That said... I'd certainly be open to considering MK Turbo options - or others.

I am off exit 199 on I26. So straight shot to my place, there is a discount if you drive and pick up parts. [email protected] is a great guy. I used to go out and help him with his spec miata's some at CMP. Also used to get a ton of parts from him, before I ended up with a million parts cars myself.

Being a computer programmer I highly recommend getting a standalone and learning to tune. It won't be harder then what you get paid to do. While there is a learning curve, there are a ton of videos online now of how to do the hardest parts. Realistically you won't need to get on a dyno to tune unless you really want to eak out that last few percent of power.

Just for a reference if you start with a FM CARB kit and you end up deciding that you want more then it provides you will be in for everything about twice price wise what my complete setup sells for.
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Old 07-12-2019, 06:36 PM
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^Truth. Lars is so helpful it would be crazy to go elsewhere. And 90% of us use Megasquirts.

By the way, the biggest annual Miata event in the world is happening the first weekend of August in the mountains of NC/TN at Deal's Gap/Tail of The Dragon/Fontana Resort.
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Old 07-13-2019, 06:39 AM
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Originally Posted by sixshooter View Post
^Truth. Lars is so helpful it would be crazy to go elsewhere. And 90% of us use Megasquirts.

By the way, the biggest annual Miata event in the world is happening the first weekend of August in the mountains of NC/TN at Deal's Gap/Tail of The Dragon/Fontana Resort.
Sounds great! Yeah, it's starting to sound like Lars/MK is the way to go.

I've been to "The Dragon" (and all over the NC/TN mountains) many times on bikes over the past 15 years and a couple of times in the Miata. Awesome place - though it's gotten a bit crazy/crowded the last several years since it's gotten so popular. I've seen lots of coverage of Miatas at the Dragon on miata.net and on Killboy's website/FB page, but haven't attended yet. Would love to.
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Old 07-13-2019, 07:02 AM
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Originally Posted by shuiend View Post
I am off exit 199 on I26. So straight shot to my place, there is a discount if you drive and pick up parts. [email protected] is a great guy. I used to go out and help him with his spec miata's some at CMP. Also used to get a ton of parts from him, before I ended up with a million parts cars myself.

Being a computer programmer I highly recommend getting a standalone and learning to tune. It won't be harder then what you get paid to do. While there is a learning curve, there are a ton of videos online now of how to do the hardest parts. Realistically you won't need to get on a dyno to tune unless you really want to eak out that last few percent of power.

Just for a reference if you start with a FM CARB kit and you end up deciding that you want more then it provides you will be in for everything about twice price wise what my complete setup sells for.
I agree... Steve and all of the guys at Panic are awesome! I've talked to him some and got him to do my alignment for autocross... bought my extra set of wheels from him (for a VERY fair price), etc.

Price is a pretty big factor, though I want to do it right. I've been eyeing the FM kit since I bought the Miata two years ago, but haven't pulled the trigger due to the cost - and then lack of a backup vehicle after my college-age daughter wrecked her car and "borrowed" my truck shortly after I bought the Miata two years ago. She graduates and will be off my payroll in a couple of weeks, so I'm getting serious about this now. I have also been considering selling the Miata and going to something else with more power (like a C5 Z06) for autocross/track days, but I just enjoy driving the Miata so much, I'd kind of like to give boost a chance before moving on. I've already watched several install/tuning videos on TheCarPassionChannel on YouTube... doesn't look bad at all.

Lars, if I decide to buy your setup (and I'd certain be up for driving to you for a discount), how much lead time, if any, would you need to deliver it? We can take this up in PM if you prefer. Just trying to get an idea of when I need to make a decision by, As I said above, I won't be ready to start this project until I get my truck back in another month at least - possibly two - so there's no huge rush.

I appreciate all the input, everyone!
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Old 07-13-2019, 08:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Raven65 View Post
I agree... Steve and all of the guys at Panic are awesome! I've talked to him some and got him to do my alignment for autocross... bought my extra set of wheels from him (for a VERY fair price), etc.

Price is a pretty big factor, though I want to do it right. I've been eyeing the FM kit since I bought the Miata two years ago, but haven't pulled the trigger due to the cost - and then lack of a backup vehicle after my college-age daughter wrecked her car and "borrowed" my truck shortly after I bought the Miata two years ago. She graduates and will be off my payroll in a couple of weeks, so I'm getting serious about this now. I have also been considering selling the Miata and going to something else with more power (like a C5 Z06) for autocross/track days, but I just enjoy driving the Miata so much, I'd kind of like to give boost a chance before moving on. I've already watched several install/tuning videos on TheCarPassionChannel on YouTube... doesn't look bad at all.

Lars, if I decide to buy your setup (and I'd certain be up for driving to you for a discount), how much lead time, if any, would you need to deliver it? We can take this up in PM if you prefer. Just trying to get an idea of when I need to make a decision by, As I said above, I won't be ready to start this project until I get my truck back in another month at least - possibly two - so there's no huge rush.

I appreciate all the input, everyone!
Go price out consumables for a C5 Z06 and compare those to the miata. It will most likely make your decision of which platform to stay on much easier if you want to get on the track.

Shoot me an email to [email protected] to go over other things.
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Old 07-13-2019, 07:14 PM
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Don't forget you will need to do a clutch for whatever kit you get. Other than that the MK turbo kit comes with all the things. Being local to Lars definetly makes that a no brainer.

The FM kit is a solid easy install, but if you decided you wanted more power you would eventually need to do fuel injectors (320? From flow force) an MS (800 or 1200 depending) a wideband ($175 for an aem UEGO) and then an exhaust from the downpipe back (however much the exhaudt shop charges?)
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