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Old 06-10-2013, 03:41 PM   #1
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Default Turbo Kit Longevity

I'm still a noob here - looking over the various build threads and posts to get me up to speed before I start my build. I've learned a lot in a short time!

As I indicated in my first post, I'll likely use a BEGI or FM kit, and I have a MSPNP2 and AEM WB to get me started tuning before I need to decide which kit to use.

Before I install the MS, however, I want to do routine maintenance and to deal with some of the car's weak points. I long ago replaced the original coil pack with a "Splitfire" (no, not the goofy spark plugs) COP kit, which has worked well since. I have a timing belt/water pump kit coming, new belts, parts to do a coolant reroute, and a 50mm Mishimoto radiator. I haven't had any overheating problems up until now, and I don't want to start.

My goal is to have a build that is reliable over the long term, and to get it as close to correct as I'm able, on the first try. I'll upgrade suspension and exhaust after the turbo build. I consider the clutch a wear item and I'll upgrade it when it needs replacing.

I've seen an unsettling number of build, break, rebuild, re-break, part-out threads in this forum. I've been there/done that myself, over the years, but mostly with motorcycles. For racing and street rodding, that's to be expected, but I'm looking to build something that will be fun to drive and still be reliable for a very long time. I'm not a racer anymore (it hurts, just a little, to admit that).

Forums, being what they are, tend to focus on problems and their resolution, and success often doesn't get as much coverage. How long have some of you had your builds together, without reconfiguring? What long-term use issues have you encountered?
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Old 06-10-2013, 04:00 PM   #2
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You see things going wrong here because people like to push the envelope, and there's also a lot of custom setups.

Much as i don't think the off-the-shelf options offer a huge amount of bang for the buck, there's not much that's a whole lot more bulletproof than an FM2 setup, for example. Is it cutting edge? No. Is it the best performing setup you can put on a motor? No. Is it brick simple and does it hold together? Yes.



The big question is: How much power are you wanting?


Myself, not really an equivalent, but my 04 MSM has had the FM "Big Enchilada" kit with an upgraded turbo since 2006, around 26k miles as far as i can tell. Previous owner replaced the clutch.

That's... about it. Hasn't been any issues.

Of course, i think the setup kindof sucks for performance overall, but that's the compromise we make.
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Old 06-10-2013, 04:01 PM   #3
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make sure the car is 100% tip top condition and all maint is done
get a quality kit.
install properly
don't cheap out on the supporting mods.
stick to realistic goals (under 250whp if stock internals and 5sp)

and you'll have a very reliable turbo miata.
99% of the broken cars on here result from not following one or more of the above
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Old 06-10-2013, 04:37 PM   #4
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Comments so far are encouraging!

I don't plan to push beyond what the stock internals are capable of, at this point. I'm seeing 8-10 PSI as a target, with 10 being considered the "service limit" in forum posts here, and that's fine. Horsepower (200 or less) is great, but I'll tune for best performance and set limiters to keep out of trouble.

I'm the car's original owner and have maintained it well. I've used good synthetic oils and the engine has none of the dreaded crankshaft end-play syndrome. No bad noises or other troubles. The engine has never used any oil between changes. I'll do a leak-down check and remedy any problems before boosting.

I realize a kit isn't the most cost-effective way to do this, but a kit "is" the best way for a relative newcomer to get a good-performing and proven system from a company with support. If nothing else, it's a good starting point, with decent resale value for parts I might upgrade in the future.

Thanks for the replies!
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Old 06-10-2013, 04:40 PM   #5
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For your purposes, i'd probably just get an FM2 kit with no electronics, order an MSPNP from Reverant, and be done with it.
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Old 06-10-2013, 04:44 PM   #6
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Remember that the BP block was designed to be turbocharged from Mazda. As long as you aren't going for a wild build, and stay in a conservative power range there is no reason your car wouldn't last as long as it would naturally aspirated.

There are several people I know who have had the same turbo system on their daily driver Miata's for 5+ years with no problems.

Echo just getting a Begi or FM kit and being done with it. They are designed for what it sounds like yo have in mind.
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Old 06-10-2013, 05:56 PM   #7
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I'm at 2+ years and 25K miles (drive a bunch). Only real issue I've had is manifold to turbo bolts creeping/breaking.

Keep it to a realistic torque level, coolant reroute, decent Inconel connectors, you'll be all set.
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Old 06-10-2013, 06:14 PM   #8
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I have a begi s3 kit that I've been running for four years starting at ~230whp and more recently~280whp (which slowly crushed my stock rods). It's driven daily and is reliable for road trips but became less reliable at the higher power level (rods, oil pump, various studs stretching).

Its like everyone says <250whp you're good and above that you need to go into the block if you want longevity.

Cliffs: Rods are the weak point and will begin to buckle >250whp, rest is good.
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Old 06-10-2013, 06:33 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 18psi View Post
99% of the broken cars on here result from not following one or more of the above
2x. Usually it's either because of the fueling or the timing because people are using some hacked up rats nest of wires bullshit fuel/timing control or not using one at all.
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Old 06-10-2013, 06:45 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by concealer404 View Post
Much as i don't think the off-the-shelf options offer a huge amount of bang for the buck, there's not much that's a whole lot more bulletproof than an FM2 setup, for example.
Quote:
Originally Posted by 18psi View Post
get a quality kit.
install properly
don't cheap out on the supporting mods.
stick to realistic goals (under 250whp if stock internals and 5sp)
Quote:
Originally Posted by concealer404 View Post
For your purposes, i'd probably just get an FM2 kit with no electronics, order an MSPNP from Reverant, and be done with it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by dieselmiata View Post
Echo just getting a Begi or FM kit and being done with it. They are designed for what it sounds like yo have in mind.
Notice the theme?

The only thing I can add here is that you DO NOT WANT any of the cheap-o off the shelf entry level Power/Super/Voodoo piggyback fuel or timing management "card" solutions for whatever kit you buy. Don't even waste your time with "I'll just do this for now and get the stand-alone later." Save the cash and get stand alone management.

If you are comfortable tuning it yourself:

Get your ECU FIRST and learn to tune it while the car is still NA. If you are OK with the community based nature of the beast, the Megasquirt is a great option. Off the shelf you can get a MSPNP2 for the 99-00 from someone like 949Racing and chances are it will start up on the first crank... or at least with very little work. If you don't mind waiting a bit, you can also drop Reverant a line and talk to him about an Enhanced MS2 https://www.miataturbo.net/ms-labs-m...out-now-72244/ for a 99/00. $700 is a damn steal for that feature list.

If you would rather pay someone to tune it for you:

Take a look at the AEM EMS-4 from someone like Trackspeed Engineering. The Trackspeed unit will include a PNP harness that makes things pretty painless as far as install goes, and the AEM is pretty common when it comes to finding support. There is a whole army of tuners out there who are already familiar with the AEM so you can use that to your advantage.

Like 18psi said, its not just about the kit itself, a lot of the reliability can be found in the supporting mods.
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Old 06-10-2013, 07:30 PM   #11
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Thanks for the feedback, everyone. I feel pretty good about my chosen course of action after hearing from you.

I received coolant reroute bits from BEGi today, and timing belt kit and radiator will be here in a few days. I've already received my MSPNP2, EBC, and IAT sensor, and AEM WB.


Originally Posted by sixshooter:
Renesis 18:12 "Fuckest thou not with thine daily driver when thou hast neither a vessel to **** into nor a window through which to cast it"

Words to live by!! I'll be putting a new timing belt kit in my daily driver before I even think about taking the Miata off the road!
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Old 06-11-2013, 04:33 AM   #12
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Also making a car bulletproof on the track is a lot harder than making a bulletproof street car. Very different requirements!
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Old 06-11-2013, 06:01 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LumptyLump View Post
I don't plan to push beyond what the stock internals are capable of, at this point. I'm seeing 8-10 PSI as a target, with 10 being considered the "service limit" in forum posts here, and that's fine. Horsepower (200 or less) is great, but I'll tune for best performance and set limiters to keep out of trouble.
10? pfft

Depending on the turbo, and how good your supporting mods are. You could probably go higher.

I've been on 14 with a stock engine for a while now.
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Old 06-11-2013, 09:28 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erat View Post
10? pfft

Depending on the turbo, and how good your supporting mods are. You could probably go higher.

I've been on 14 with a stock engine for a while now.
14? pfft. I bet you could run 20 on a GT12.
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Old 06-11-2013, 09:29 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leafy View Post
14? pfft. I bet you could run 20 on a GT12.
Maybe for about a 300rpm window.
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Old 06-11-2013, 09:33 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by concealer404 View Post
Maybe for about a 300rpm window.
Obviosly, it would be from 1200rpm to 1500 rpm, and taper to 4 psi by redline, techsalvager turbo.
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Old 06-11-2013, 09:43 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leafy View Post
Obviosly, it would be from 1200rpm to 1500 rpm, and taper to 4 psi by redline, techsalvager turbo.

I bet it would make almost 180wtq.

My dyno plot would probably make Techsalvager moist.
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Old 06-11-2013, 09:54 AM   #18
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Time for a diesel bp?
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Old 06-11-2013, 10:13 AM   #19
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I've had my car boosted for 5.5yrs now. I have had my share of things to replace, but they have all had obvious root causes*. Turbo CHRA started making noise after over 100k of use- replaced. Had problems with turbo studs- upgraded to 10mm, no more problems. But other than that, other hings have just been maintenance. Generally, you won't have problems with the kits out there. I prefer the FM stuff and dealing with FM is always a pleasure....ALWAYS. I also really like the silicone charge pipes they use insted of the heavy metal piping of other kits. Mind you, I did autoX and track days a lot when I first got the car...been too busy for that the past couple of years :(

*Replaced engine at 100k due to unknown failure. Died after 3-4 shift when "goosing" it. Pulled head and pan off, no signs of failure. Did compression test before pulling, numbers should have allowed engine to fire. Timing was checked and re-checked.
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Old 06-11-2013, 10:15 AM   #20
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Time for a diesel bp?
I think skyactiv D swap would be easier.
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