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Old 09-10-2010, 03:25 PM   #1
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Default Direction needed for 1st time turbo street/track car

I'm a looking at possibly turboing my car as it's very slow on straights and I'm using this thread to plan the setup and get some feedback for something track reliable yet still somewhat quick/fun. I'm looking to keep the engine internals stock, run a smaller turbo, and get 200-225whp or so which seems to be a good compromise for reliability and power from what I can tell. It will be driven to/from the track, not trailered so reliability is fairly important.

Currently the car has a HD rollbar, Sparco Sprint V seats, stock R package bilsteins on GC sleeves with 450f/300r springs, an RB solid front sway and removed rear sway, and FM rails. I'd like to keep AC but the car has no power steering (not depowered, it's a 94 R package).

With that said, here's what I'm looking to put on eventually:

Turbo: GT2554 or GT2560
Manifold: Cast Begi or FM (thoughts vs. vband?)
IC: Ebay most likely
Clutch: FM or ACT (ebay? have heard mixed reviews)
ECU: MS2 PNP

I'd also assume I'd have to do a coolant reroute and do some ducting work for cooling (AC will make this a PITA I'm assuming?), as well as tons of heat shielding around the turbo. I'd probably also need some 6UL's and wider rubber with the increased power and some better brake pads (XP8 or 10's).

Any suggestions/recommendations/modifications to this list or corrections to any misconceptions I've got?
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Old 09-10-2010, 03:33 PM   #2
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Adding a turbo basically makes you change every single thing related to the drivetrain and engine aside from the axles and rear end...although you'll want a proper diff. Bring your wallet because you will break everything once and blah blah blah.

If I could do it all over again, knowing what I know now, and understanding how much time I've spent on my car...I'd have a 2100lb racecar, a 150whp 99 motor on a 6-speed, a w/4.10R&P, with 949 XIDAs and I'd probably be just as fast as I am now. You can essentially read my "list of regrets" thread and see why. You can do it, and its awesome to crush expensive cars, but its not fun like it was before.
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Old 09-10-2010, 04:03 PM   #3
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I'd have a 2100lb racecar, a 150whp 99 motor on a 6-speed, a w/4.10R&P, with 949 XIDAs and I'd probably be just as fast as I am now.
buy wag's car
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Old 09-10-2010, 04:04 PM   #4
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buy wag's car
No money and too far in to back out. I'm leaving it as is for a long, long, long time.
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Old 09-10-2010, 04:06 PM   #5
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You've certainly done your homework. What's your location?
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Old 09-10-2010, 05:10 PM   #6
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Put your location in your profile.

Contact Wayne_curr, Abe, or Turbo Tim for manifolds. I think those are in order from cheapest to most expensive too. Abe and Wayne only do 1.6 stuff as far as I know, but check them out anyways.

You have a very decent chassis, I'd leave it alone. If you're not liking the v-band setups available, go with FM or Begi for reliability. Brace your turbo, that'll help with stud issues as well.

Look long and hard at your cooling and brake setup, that's what generally fails on turbo cars. My one suggestion would be to get a BBK if you can afford it, and get that along with your coolant reroute+bigger radiator dialed in before doing anything with a turbo. After 2-3 track days and some street miles, throw in the MS2 and do the same thing. THEN blow the money on the turbo. The next track day after that will probably be 12x later that you expected.
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Old 09-10-2010, 06:41 PM   #7
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I am working on a very similar setup for the past 3 years. I was hoping to go with a slightly modified MSM setup with Begi intercooler and MS. Right now I have dedcided to upgrade my 91 to the rebuilt and ported/polished 1.8 first and then after a track day or two, add the turbo. I love the fact that my bullitproof 1.6 has surviveed several track days even though it has over 200k on the clock and some of the track days had me and my dad driving the car back to back. I don't want to have to be under the hood every other session. I have had to deal with that on almost every single other car I have driven on the track and its not fun.
Ideally I wish I could have a easily swapped turbo that goes on and off in an hour or two, just like a cartoon or something. So I could simplify things for the track. But then even if you could do all that I know I will be going down the straights on NA power wishing I had boost.
It's so hard to decide what you want some times. Thats why I have been working 3 years on my miata turbo aspirations.
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Old 09-10-2010, 08:02 PM   #8
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I'm in Cincinnati and have done a couple track days and am enjoying the car but not so much on the straights. Haha. Definitely sounds more fun, but also more expensive and potentially more hassle. I want to have my cake and eat it too I guess.
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Old 09-10-2010, 08:16 PM   #9
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You're on the right track. If you can bear the wait, talk to Tim or ARTech about building you an AC-compatible manifold/downpipe - the spool and power benefits are significant over cast units.

There are a lot of other things that you need to address - send me an email through the TSE website and I can get you lined up. A reliable 200whp is not cheap, but it has gotten significantly easier in the last year.
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Old 09-11-2010, 02:09 AM   #10
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I vote with Hustler on NA powered, with all the money on weight, tires, and suspension. I would put in a JDM VVT, Xida's, and Hoosiers.

Reliable=Fun
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Old 09-11-2010, 02:38 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Savington View Post
A reliable 200whp is not cheap, but it has gotten significantly easier in the last year.
Thanks to you and I bleeding money everywhere.
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Originally Posted by jacob300zx View Post
Reliable=Fun
Hell, I've never had a reliability problem since buying Tim's hot-parts, but there's always something. It can be done, but you better bring your wallet because the hot-parts are cheap in comparison to the total package. Then again, I'm making changes for tenths here and there, I could have left the car as-is and tracked the car with no rush.

I'll let you know if I have the same opinion next weekend after I go back to Hallett with some major changes.
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Old 09-11-2010, 02:58 AM   #12
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Quote:
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I'll let you know if I have the same opinion next weekend after I go back to Hallett with some major changes.
I am guessing 2-4 seconds faster lap times. That is, if the driver can be consistent.
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Old 09-11-2010, 11:20 AM   #13
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I know there's 2-seconds in my old set-up, Sixace showed everyone that 4-seconds could be achieved too.
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Old 09-11-2010, 11:42 AM   #14
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I am still NA powered and loving the fact that I can drive my car to and from the track without a problem. Once you go turbo so much has to be done to support the extra power on the track even on the street in some cases. Just remember its all about the driver on a track day. I have been given point bys from m3's,sti's,evo's etc... Hell my car is not even light It weights in at 2600 with driver. Its your call either way but just know a NA track car that is cheap and easy to keep running is just as fun as a turbo car that cost lots of money.
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Old 09-11-2010, 12:39 PM   #15
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Sent you an email Sav. There's probably not a ton more weight I can take out of the car unless I want it to be stripped. It's already lacking most of the optional stuff (power, cruise, etc) and weighs 2460 w/driver. Guess I should lose some weight and take off some more little stuff here and there. haha. I'm happy with how the suspension performs on track but I'm sure it could be better of course. It's very neutral but with some more power I'd have to see if that changes. I'm not looking to be the fastest car out there, I just miss having a turbo car and wouldn't mind having a bit more "ooomph."
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Old 09-13-2010, 04:59 AM   #16
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I'm going to jump in with a newb question of my own here, hopefully it's not too much of a hijack. I had been wondering the same things as the OP, and this thread just about has me convinced to buy an NA car instead of a turbo. So, is there a power level where a turbo car can stay pretty reliable on the track (maybe around 150-170whp), without a huge risk of something blowing up every track weekend?
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Old 09-13-2010, 02:25 PM   #17
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Also curious about that, so that's a fair question. I've been looking into a MSM setup and reading up on that currently. Still don't know what to do, I'm making the car a bit more comfortable for driving to/from the track currently by trying to fix the A/C and adding cruise control (I'm at least 2-3 hours from any track nearby, until Bluegrass opens in 2023).
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Old 09-13-2010, 05:19 PM   #18
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Put a stock rear sway bar on. Its better than no rear sway at all. Without it, the car will want to lift the front inside tire on turns.
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Old 09-13-2010, 10:02 PM   #19
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Honestly it feels pretty good as is. I may put it back on sometime to see if I like that better, though.
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Old 09-13-2010, 11:38 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 02semiata View Post
I am still NA powered and loving the fact that I can drive my car to and from the track without a problem. Once you go turbo so much has to be done to support the extra power on the track even on the street in some cases. Just remember its all about the driver on a track day. I have been given point bys from m3's,sti's,evo's etc... Hell my car is not even light It weights in at 2600 with driver. Its your call either way but just know a NA track car that is cheap and easy to keep running is just as fun as a turbo car that cost lots of money.
This and what Hustler said. Don't stick your nose up at a 150rwhp NA miata. Stock internals 99 with headwork I'm sure. Then spend money on suspension.

Boost is addictive, then you want more. You spend an *** ton of money to get more boost, and then you say, OMG this car is f***ing fast. Maybe too fast. Ask me how I know.

The miata is most fun on the parts of the track that you can't go fast. I spent too much money so I could keep pace with the expensive cars on the straights. It is fun around town though.
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