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Old 12-17-2010, 09:18 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by Scrappy Jack View Post
Assuming:
  • a willingness to spend money to "do it right the first time"
  • an understanding that what is reliable for street pulls at .4 gees is not the same as reliable at 1+ gees on NT01s
  • a willingness to sacrifice power in order to not have to build the engine
  • a preference to drive the car to and from track days

What specific components should I be looking at? Complete v-band ABSURDFlow manifold and downpipe set up with a TiAl v-band GT25 turbine housing?

Or have the inconel stud kits + inconel safety wire proven durable enough that something like an ARFab manifold and downpipe with a standard turbine housing should prove reliable for the goals outlined in this thread?

GT2560R with .64 A/R turbine?

Can a low mileage 5-speed in good condition reliably handle the 200 - 225 whp power levels being discussed?
If you want a tire to drive to and fromthe track on, then get the Hankook RS3.

ABSURDFlow is one of the best options out there right now. I haven't kept up but Abe at ARTech may be doing V-Band as well. Either way you really can't go wrong and both make great stuff. If you plan on making this a serious track car in the future I would definately go V-band and skip the studs.

For the turbo I would do a 2860RS with an .86 housing. It will leave you with a fair amount of headroom and has a V-band housing available.

The stock 5-speed can handle that kind of power for a little while, but you have to have a degree of mechaincal empathy. If you have the funds I would step up to a 6-speed. If you are patient and kepe tabs on local junk yards, they come up fairly cheap.
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Old 12-17-2010, 10:40 AM   #22
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A 250whp Miata will outrun a C6 Corvette in a straight line. A 350whp Miata will drag away from turbocharged Porsches and get from a dead stop to 150mph in ~2You're also going to be stuffing that power through a 225mm-wide tire, unless you defecate gold bullion and can afford to keep the car shod with 275mm-wide Hoosier autocross tires.
You're being a little conservative on the drag race figures. Also remember that you're going to have lots of exit speed compared to the idiots on track.

I feel ya on tires, Hoosiers mock me. I'm 1.5 seconds behind the top Miata time at HHR and I'm competing with a lesser tire...I look forward to putting my name up there with "R-comps".

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Originally Posted by Scrappy Jack View Post
What specific components should I be looking at? Complete v-band ABSURDFlow manifold and downpipe set up with a TiAl v-band GT25 turbine housing?

Or have the inconel stud kits + inconel safety wire proven durable enough that something like an ARFab manifold and downpipe with a standard turbine housing should prove reliable for the goals outlined in this thread?
Do you want "the best" or do you want "good enough"? I went from making 250wtq-4500rpm-16psi to 240wtq-3300rpm-11psi with the AF kit. Something magical happens between 225-249whp and when you get over that, things change from "zippy little Miata" to a sum greater than it's parts. It's pretty sweet to have 3300-7200rpm of tire smoking w/ the 6-speed/3.63 and gives you gearing options on the track which I use frequently to short shift and avoid shifting mid corner or over-revving.

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GT2560R with .64 A/R turbine?
If you are building a motor it does not make sense to run such a small turbo, do a gt2860rs w/ the .86 turbine (also the smallest turbo TiAL makes a housing for). I built my car to make 300whp on the track, and I've tracked it from 200whp all the way up. I currently have it on an 11psi spring and loving it at 250whp/240wtq (Mustang Dyno). There is a balance of power, money, tires, fuel, money, wow factor, and money. My car is capable of running down C6Z's on Hoosiers on the front straight at TWS touching just north of 150mph (or the highway) and still really tame in the slow, slick corners thanks to the manifold design and tuning. I can also get 10-days on a set of tires, but can still lay stripes in 3rd on the exit of Hallett #2. At 300whp brakes, tires, and fuel go very fast. At 250whp on the AST's it does all those supercar things that make jaws drop, gets drivers to unload off line when they see you coming, you get to post lap times with the rich people, and most importantly you get a huge smile which nothing in this world can duplicate.


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Can a low mileage 5-speed in good condition reliably handle the 200 - 225 whp power levels being discussed?
There is some debate...do you want to find out if you will make it home? the 6-speed/3.63 gearing is better than sex with a Koala.

Last edited by hustler; 12-17-2010 at 10:54 AM.
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Old 12-17-2010, 01:26 PM   #23
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You can do a 2560R, but the ceiling on that turbo is basically ~280whp. A 2860RS will make that power with less boost, and it will do it further away from the det threshold too.

It depends on whether you intend to build the motor or not - when I first turboed my car, I never intended to build the motor or push past ~220whp. I wanted an awesome street/track/autocross car, and that's exactly what I built - 217whp on a Mustang dyno with a torque curve that looked like you drew it with a ruler. I ended up popping the motor and building it, and then deciding that I wanted a lot more power, and it snowballed from there.

Unfortunately the ideal setups for a GT2554R/GT2560R car making 220whp and a GT2860RS/GT2871R car making 300whp are totally different. The only components left over from my original setup are the wideband, IAT sensor, boost gauge, and a few of the t-bolt clamps and couplers - everything else has been changed/redone.

Why the aversion to building a motor? In the scheme of building a car like mine or Hustler's, it's maybe 10% of the cost and 10% of the work.
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Old 12-17-2010, 03:12 PM   #24
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Why the aversion to building a motor? In the scheme of building a car like mine or Hustler's, it's maybe 10% of the cost and 10% of the work.
Or buy the one I am selling. $4500 worth of parts and machining for $2650
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Old 12-17-2010, 03:18 PM   #25
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It depends on whether you intend to build the motor or not - when I first turboed my car, I never intended to build the motor or push past ~220whp. I wanted an awesome street/track/autocross car, and that's exactly what I built[...]
I was previously pretty content with a ~300 WHP Evo8 and a ~300 WHP C5 in terms of power. Both were roughly 11:1 weight-to-power (without driver) and both about 108 MPH traps despite being about as different as you can get in terms of body, drivetrain and approach. I didn't have DAQ when they were on-track, so those are the only useful objective measures of speed I have.

I am confident (but not positive because I almost never say never) that I could be content with a ~220 WHP Miata. Using ~2350 pounds as a target weight (without driver), that puts it around the same 11:1 w-to-p. Granted, now that I type this... 300 WHP was practically stock for both of the previous cars and more power was easily accessible where as ~220 WHP on the stock 1.8L would be about the reliable cap.

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Why the aversion to building a motor? In the scheme of building a car like mine or Hustler's, it's maybe 10% of the cost and 10% of the work.
In fairness, I'm looking for the reliability you guys seem to have found, not necessarily the pure speed. Particularly as it relates to your car, Sav, I don't expect to run any significant aero, I am not looking for 300+ WHP, I'm not planning on rewiring the car or other "extreme" weight loss, etc.

My aversion to building the motor is threefold:
  1. R&Ring an engine may not be much work to you, but it's more work than I would prefer to do all else being equal (and they almost never are).
  2. In my years around modified cars, I've seen too many "built engines" with premature failures, even from reputable builders.
  3. Despite my claims of discipline above, I can suffer from ocassional bouts of whileyou'reinthere-itis.

Thanks for the input, guys. It's very helpful.


A big part of this for me is trying to make the decision to either initiate "Phase 2: Serious Business" or pull the plug and move on to another platform before I get too deep.
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Old 12-17-2010, 03:24 PM   #26
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I'd initiate Phase 2.
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Old 12-17-2010, 03:45 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by Scrappy Jack View Post
My aversion to building the motor is threefold:
  1. R&Ring an engine may not be much work to you, but it's more work than I would prefer to do all else being equal (and they almost never are).
  2. In my years around modified cars, I've seen too many "built engines" with premature failures, even from reputable builders.
  3. Despite my claims of discipline above, I can suffer from ocassional bouts of whileyou'reinthere-itis.
Day Custom Engine
401 S Sherman St # 117
Richardson, TX 75081-4012
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http://www.daycustomengine.com/DCE/

Buy Supertech pistons and rods from 949, then expect $1300 in machine work labor/seals/assembly. This guys reputation is unscathed, he's built tons and tons of Miata engines that are raced every weekend, and I don't think I've ever heard a negative word spoken about him. He built my engine in a month, it's reliable, and it was affordable...and didn't hustle me on "while-I'm-in-there's". I selected him because TDR has a 290whp supercharged car than runs 300*f oil temps, revs to 7500rpm, and it's been flawless for 100-hours+ on the racetrack and even loads of daily driving.
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Old 12-17-2010, 04:10 PM   #28
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How many miles are on your current shortblock? What kind of budget do you have in mind for the drivetrain on this car? (drivetrain = motor, turbo, clutch, cooling systems, ECU, injectors, anything else related to the motor)

The deal with a built motor is that your goals are right on the edge of needing it. If you were going to DD the car and do 4 track days a year, I'd never suggest a built motor for 220whp - but if you want to do 12, 15, 20 days a year in the car, I'd strongly recommend it. It's not expensive to do as Trey said - we can build a longblock for $2300+core. Once you get a good turbo kit, an ECU, injectors, fuel pump, wideband/boost/CLT/oil temp gauges, a big radiator, a good oil cooler, and all of the other little stuff you need to keep a 220whp track car healthy, the built motor isn't going to seem expensive OR difficult, and if you buy one prebuilt from John Day or us, it's going to be downright easy.

Last edited by Savington; 12-17-2010 at 04:21 PM.
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Old 12-17-2010, 04:56 PM   #29
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The order to which I would upgrade things if I was buying a car to track/dd for a planned 220-250whp:
Rollbar $400
Cooling system(Large Radiator and Re-route) ~$400-500
Good brake pads/stainless lines $350
Decent tires on stock wheels (Star specs or RS3 are great for DD/Track) $600
LSD(if you don't have one) $400
Coil-Overs(Don't stair step this too much. Buy something decent and used at first, but then save for a good setup like Xida Club Sports. That way you don't lose your *** when you turn around to seel them) $500-$2200
Good tires on larger wheels(15x9 with 225 NT01 or RS3) $1200
Poly Bushings $300
Upgrade front big brake kit $700
ECU, injectors, fuel pump, wideband/boost/CLT/oil temp gauges $1000-$2300 depending on ECU
Built Motor $2300
Oil Cooler $300
Trans/Clutch $1000-$1200
More better seat $300
Harness $100
Turbo Stuff (V-band setup Manifold,Turbo,Downpipe,I/C and piping, exhaust) $3000-6000

I know I left soemthing out, but someone I'm sure will point it out. I just did a mental checklist and it seems all there. Then again, I'm not all there.

That is the order to which I suggest to people who ask and I wish I was told from the beginning. I skipped a few steps a learned some bad habits, but I knew that and did what I had to do to correct them.

Your built motor may even be a built N/A like mine is. I ended up spending about $3000 with the machine shop doing the short block assembly and me doing the rest. I have a setup that will do about 160whp. My car also only weighs about 1900lbs.

Last edited by rharris19; 12-17-2010 at 05:14 PM.
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Old 12-17-2010, 05:15 PM   #30
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The cool thing about doing the motor last in a car with Xida shocks and 9" r-comps...you have a lot of time to post on this forum, flip people off, take phone calls, pour shots, and shoot the pistol between corners.
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Old 12-17-2010, 05:18 PM   #31
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The cool thing about doing the motor last in a car with Xida shocks and 9" r-comps...you have a lot of time to post on this forum, flip people off, take phone calls, pour shots, and shoot the pistol between corners.
I like to tweet what corner I'm coming up to
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Old 12-17-2010, 05:18 PM   #32
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I'd initiate Phase 2.
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Originally Posted by hustler View Post
Buy Supertech pistons and rods from 949, then expect $1300 in machine work labor/seals/assembly.
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[...] the built motor isn't going to seem expensive OR difficult, and if you buy one prebuilt from John Day or us, it's going to be downright easy.
This is quickly becoming like my time with the IMV Films/INTMO crew: a relationship built on peer pressure.

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What kind of budget do you have in mind for the drivetrain on this car? (drivetrain = motor, turbo, clutch, cooling systems, ECU, injectors, anything else related to the motor)
Honestly, that's a big part of what this thread was designed for (and is helping immensely with): determining the ballpark dollar figure needed to get to the goals of reliability and power.


The car has ~117k miles on it, original shortblock to the best of my knowledge. It has seen less than 5k miles of driving in the past couple of years. I would expect 6 - 20 track days per year with the miles driven going up if I am driving from Orlando to Barber or Homestead or Palm Beach.

Savington - you make some excellent points about the built shortblock. I suppose it is a lot like the v-band versus studs issue.
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Old 12-17-2010, 05:27 PM   #33
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I was not on a budget for my build because I essentially saved up a bunch of money for a car and it was either 50% down on an AWD turbo econobox or my car as it sits today, unfortunately I did not have the suspension/wheels/brakes/and general coolness that we have today.

Start with Xida-S and go from there.

Drivetrain:
built motor - $2400
absurdness - $1600
turbo - $1400
WG - $350
BOV - $225
random welding - $500
FMIC - $500
computer - $700
wideband - $200
radiator - $500
oil cooler - $300
heat sheilding - $200
wire wraps - $100
catch can - $150
DIYAutotune coils - $???200???
gauges - $300
marijuana?

clutch - $700
trans - $700
rear end - $500

Yeah, that's $12,000.00. Can someone get me a barf-bag please? Mine was a little cheaper in some places, more in others...and I BOUGHT TWO ******* TURBO KITS OMFG SOMEONE KILL ME OH MY GOD WHY DID i SPEND THIS MUCH MONEY ON A MIATA LOLOL SO IT CAN CRUSH RICH IDIOTS AND I CAN RAPE THEIR MOUTHS!!!

At first the $12k made me sick, but now I'm editing the thread because when it hit's the track, it's worth every cent; I drive a heap-of-**** $1300 Miata because I own the turbo car rather than something presentable like a lifted truck and a bro-cap or a Lexus. Take a look around, you're fighting with $70,000-300,000 cars. It felt pretty cool to share the garage with a handful of vettes and a 996 Cup car that both had a ton of respect for the green terror. I'm pretty sure the Vettes and Cup car driver experienced suspended disbelief when I tucked behind them, out-braked them coming onto the infield, and went around them at the first corner...thanks AST.
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Old 12-17-2010, 05:31 PM   #34
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Starting with a totally stock car, I would go in this order:
-rollbar, seat, harness (all at once)
-Good pads in stock brakes
-Decent street tires on stock wheels
-LSD (Torsen)
-Suspension (don't skimp, do it once and do it right. Xida Clubsport, revalved Bilsteins, or similar. Don't spend less than $1k on the shocks or $1800 on a full coilover setup. Upgrade the FSB at the same time.)
-Radiator and coolant reroute
-Wheels and tires (15x9 6ULs and 225/45 NT-01s)
-Front BBK, Wilwood prop valve, brake ducting, race pads all around

At this point, you basically have our rental car. Stop here and learn to drive it until you can lap within 2 seconds of the SM record consistently. Once you've done that:

-ECU, injectors, fuel pump
-Transmission (6-speed) and clutch
-Build a motor on the side, and install it with...
-...-turbo, full exhaust, intercooler, gauges, oil cooler (all at once). Break it in correctly, get it dyno tuned, and leave it alone.

From here, it's small alterations to taste. Radiator ducting, vented hood, bushings, alignment adjustments, data acquisition, OS Giken, etc. Keep front wheel bearings/brake pads/rotors around so you can swap them as needed, and spend your money on tires and track days. At 200whp you should be able to lap 5 seconds under the SM record at most tracks.
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Old 12-17-2010, 05:35 PM   #35
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Yeah, that's $12,000.00. Can someone get me a barf-bag please? Mine was a little cheaper in some places, more in others...and I BOUGHT TWO ******* TURBO KITS OMFG SOMEONE KILL ME OH MY GOD WHY DID i SPEND THIS MUCH MONEY ON A MIATA LOLOL SO IT CAN CRUSH RICH IDIOTS AND I CAN RAPE THEIR MOUTHS!!!

A list for the total dollar amount spent on my car in the last 4.5 years does not exist on this planet, because I'd probably have a stroke if I saw it.

There's $12k in mods to our rental car, and about $22k in mods to my black car.
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Old 12-17-2010, 05:45 PM   #36
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The cool thing about doing the motor last in a car with Xida shocks and 9" r-comps...you have a lot of time to post on this forum, flip people off, take phone calls, pour shots, and shoot the pistol between corners.
I have a buddy I used to set a benchmark time for my car at a local small track. I had to make sure he didn't bring any sharp instruments in to the car with him when he drove it for the first time, for fear he would commit seppuku on the back straight.

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The order to which I would upgrade things if I was buying a car to track/dd for a planned 220-250whp:
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[list]
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Originally Posted by Savington View Post
Starting with a totally stock car, I would go in this order:
This thread just went from good to great.

For what it's worth, here is how the car sits now.
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Old 12-17-2010, 05:49 PM   #37
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I have a buddy I used to set a benchmark time for my car at a local small track. I had to make sure he didn't bring any sharp instruments in to the car with him when he drove it for the first time, for fear he would commit seppuku on the back straight.
I remember driving my car at 86whp and even on small tracks thinking "Do I have thawed chicken in the fridge or should I pick something up? I had BBQ for lunch so that's out, and it's Sunday so my choices are limitted." Eventually I started thinking about work when I was driving straight at the track, then I immediately ordered $10k that monday.

Then, I finally installed everything after leaving the racetrack and a Prius was picking on me in traffic, lol. I could not get away from the Prius, lol.

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For what it's worth, here is how the car sits now.
If you have any money whatsoever to spend on your car, immediately order Xida-S and find a Torsen (Savingaids probably has one). Those two are enormous steps forward that you will use in either car. Also get AWR swaybar mounts, RB front bar, and FM rear bar. Once you get that, the only thing left is to freshen the rubbers on the suspension and do poly bushings. Now, suspension is buttoned up on your car and you can know that there is no way in hell you're leaving anything on the table in the corners. There's a debate on which way to go with the power plant, the road to suspension glory is paved with the aforementioned list-o-parts.

When you get the shocks on your car, do yourself a favor and start turning in earlier than anyone recommends, even the instructors. It took me 2-days to figure this out, it defies logic, but Xida/AST are magic.
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Old 12-17-2010, 06:05 PM   #38
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I was a dumbass and turbocharged my car after 2 track days, but I also spent 3+ years racing karts so I lived to tell the tale.
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Old 12-17-2010, 06:12 PM   #39
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the road to suspension glory is paved with the aforementioned list-o-parts.

+1. A really properly good suspension setup is almost comically formulaic on these cars now. The only folks who still talk about suspension are the people who a) cannot afford the following, or b) sell something other than the following:

-Xida Clubsports
-RB Tubular FSB/RB block kit (so you don't tear the mounts off the car)
-MSM RSB
-949 endlinks
-Energy Suspension poly bushings
-LE tierod ends and/or shim the steering rack to ward off bumpsteer
-depowered power steering rack
-ride height 4" to the pinchwelds
-3.0F/2.7R camber, 3.5 caster, 0 toe
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Old 12-18-2010, 04:27 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by Scrappy Jack View Post
I was previously pretty content with a ~300 WHP Evo8 and a ~300 WHP C5 in terms of power. Both were roughly 11:1 weight-to-power (without driver) and both about 108 MPH traps despite being about as different as you can get in terms of body, drivetrain and approach. I didn't have DAQ when they were on-track, so those are the only useful objective measures of speed I have.

I am confident (but not positive because I almost never say never) that I could be content with a ~220 WHP Miata. Using ~2350 pounds as a target weight (without driver), that puts it around the same 11:1 w-to-p. Granted, now that I type this... 300 WHP was practically stock for both of the previous cars and more power was easily accessible where as ~220 WHP on the stock 1.8L would be about the reliable cap.



In fairness, I'm looking for the reliability you guys seem to have found, not necessarily the pure speed. Particularly as it relates to your car, Sav, I don't expect to run any significant aero, I am not looking for 300+ WHP, I'm not planning on rewiring the car or other "extreme" weight loss, etc.

My aversion to building the motor is threefold:
  1. R&Ring an engine may not be much work to you, but it's more work than I would prefer to do all else being equal (and they almost never are).
  2. In my years around modified cars, I've seen too many "built engines" with premature failures, even from reputable builders.
  3. Despite my claims of discipline above, I can suffer from ocassional bouts of whileyou'reinthere-itis.

Thanks for the input, guys. It's very helpful.


A big part of this for me is trying to make the decision to either initiate "Phase 2: Serious Business" or pull the plug and move on to another platform before I get too deep.
i too have gone from 400+ whp dsm, 240whp 1900lb. crx, and now have my 200-215whp miata. i also have seen way too many "built" motors break for one reason or another. even the built motor in my car was a problem at first. my buddy that owned the car before me had the hassle of getting the motor taken back apart and fixed twice after the initial build. the shop did the labor for free but he had to buy the parts needed each time. since then though, the motor has close to 70,000 miles of street, drag, (my buddy), auto-x, rally-x, and almost 40 trackdays on it without a hitch. but i'm a firm believer in the "if the stock block can handle it, leave it alone" theory. although my built motor did save me a couple times when i mis-shifted at speed and over revved it off the tach! (9-10k maybe?) anyway's, have you seen how fast emilio's rental is? imagine if his rental had another 50-60whp! that would make it about the power i'm at now. it's also a rwhp that would be totally reliable for a long time.
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