Lettuce turbo a Miata

Since so many NICOclub staffers and members own a Miata, here's a spot to discuss the car Nissan wishes it had built!
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Re: Lettuce turbo a Miata

Postby PapaSmurf2k3 » Wed Apr 30, 2014 9:12 pm

Yeah.
I feel like the Miata is where the Megasquirt cut it's teeth, and for that reason it is obscenely cheap and well supported by the community.
That and its simple enough for just about any tuner to be able to pick it up and mess with it. I know I've gone to some tuners that say "well, I only really know ____ software/hardware", and its extremely annoying.
Hell, I think I gave Ray a rough street tune after we worked on his car in my parent's garage while I was were home for a long weekend.


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Re: Lettuce turbo a Miata

Postby Kompresshun » Thu May 01, 2014 4:35 am

Alright, injectors have been paid for and are on their way. Oh and James your money has been sent for the turbo too.

And the hunt continues, although it may be a few weeks before I buy anything else. If I buy stuff too quickly the wife may kill me :biggrin:

Oh and I think these decals will be a must when i'm done with it. RX7 Turbo II decals:

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Re: Lettuce turbo a Miata

Postby AZhitman » Thu May 01, 2014 8:27 am

Hell, I'd love to have that FC. Always thought that was an underrated style... and just like the FD, I'd put an LS in it. :)

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Re: Lettuce turbo a Miata

Postby Kompresshun » Thu May 01, 2014 9:02 am

Been there and done that - wish I still had it too :frown: :

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I never wanted to sell it but I let a buddy talk me out of it so I could finish up another project quicker. Aside from the Miata, it was probably the most fun vehicle i've ever owned. I will definitely have another one someday.

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Re: Lettuce turbo a Miata

Postby WDRacing » Fri May 02, 2014 6:41 am

I've always liked the FB. My uncle had one when I was little, I always loved how sporty it was.

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Re: Lettuce turbo a Miata

Postby Kompresshun » Fri May 02, 2014 6:50 am

I love everything FB-FD honestly. My wife's uncle has an 85 RX7 GSL-SE(13B FI motor with upgraded apex seals - fairly rare FB). I've been trying to get him to sell it to me, but no luck so far.

Looks just like this one, except very aged :frown:

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Re: Lettuce turbo a Miata

Postby AZhitman » Fri May 02, 2014 11:06 am

I'd like to have the rear end out of it for my Roadster. :)

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Re: Lettuce turbo a Miata

Postby Kompresshun » Fri May 02, 2014 8:46 pm

So I think I've run into a bit of a snag with the turbo. I'm using a WRX TD04 turbo and the flanges on it are unique in comparison to other turbos. It seems doable but it appears that I'm going to need to have someone fabricate a manifold for me with the correct flange.

Do any of you guys have any sources or know anyone that can help with the fab work. The last place I can find that offered an adapter was Bell Engineering and it appears that they no longer have it.

So I guess I need to figure out exactly how much it's gonna cost me to make this thing fit so I can decide if it's going to be cost effective or not.

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Re: Lettuce turbo a Miata

Postby AZhitman » Fri May 02, 2014 8:48 pm

I'm sure Jason could plasma up a flange and weld it to the mani. Hit him up. He'd need both parts, and probably would do it in exchange for some web work, but he's done that stuff before.

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Re: Lettuce turbo a Miata

Postby PapaSmurf2k3 » Sat May 03, 2014 6:44 am

That's what I did for my 240.
I just bought a log manifold from JGS and made my own flange -mocked everything up with PVC to get the turbo where I wanted it, then gave the PVC to a machine shop and told them to make it from steel.

I can't believe no one makes a manifold for the 1.6 with that flange. You'd think it would be a super popular option.

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Re: Lettuce turbo a Miata

Postby PapaSmurf2k3 » Sat May 03, 2014 9:02 am

Chris- if you want, I can send you the other turbo I have. I've never used it though. I bought it from FlatBlackIan for $150 and then found I couldn't use it with my setup because of the stud on stud problem:

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Re: Lettuce turbo a Miata

Postby Kompresshun » Sat May 03, 2014 8:31 pm

James, will that one bolt up easier for me then? What's the difference between it and the WRX turbo?

I'm ok with using the WRX turbo if I can get everything fabbed up but if the other one would be more of a direct bolt up then I might would be more inclined to go that route.

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Re: Lettuce turbo a Miata

Postby PapaSmurf2k3 » Sat May 03, 2014 11:04 pm

I'm not sure, I really haven't researched 1.6 manifolds, but I think Ray's turbo is similar to that. Its a bit larger than the WRX turbo. I'll try to get some side-by-side pics tomorrow.

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Re: Lettuce turbo a Miata

Postby WDRacing » Sun May 04, 2014 4:47 am

I would think ANY flange other than that f*** up WRX flange would be the way to go. I don't like using stuff like that because it's a PITA having to fab parts and upgrading is way more difficult. Also, if this turbo does die on you, you can't just grab another turbo real quick. The T25 flange opens your used turbo options by about 2.5 fxckloads.

Plus, if you use a regular T25 flanged turbo, you can shop around for the PERFECT size and trim package. Something with very minimal lag. Like a GT2530...

Whatever you decide, I understand being on a budget. I learned how to weld because I couldn't afford to pay other people to fab stuff for me. I bought and modded all kinds of stuff that required some tweaks in order to fit, like the 4.6 ford fuel rail almost has the same injector spacing as the KA. But almost is close enough if you make your own mounts.

You're in no hurry to boost the Miata right? It's fun as hell right now as is. I'd take this opportunity and start buying tools and whatnot so you can start fabbing your own stuff. Then you can actually build your own turbo Miata. It'll take longer, but you'll develop some serious gear head skills in the process. I can pretty much do any welding job if I have a decent oxy/propane torch setup and any 110mig welder. I prefer a mig that uses shielding gas instead of fluxcore wire, but mine does both. Which is good, because you run out of gas and it ruins your day.

Point is, I went from having no skillz to being able to make things reliably stick together within a pretty short time. Like a month. The welds weren't pretty, but you could hammer the hell out of them and they wouldn't leak. A really good grinder comes in handy...

I learned quickly because it's so fun I used to just stick stuff together just to do it. With 3 days of me getting my first welder there was no junk metal left for me to play with.

I don't really know what you have and don't. Point is, great excuse to expand your tool collection buddy.

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Re: Lettuce turbo a Miata

Postby PapaSmurf2k3 » Sun May 04, 2014 6:46 am

Brian there's plenty of subaru turbos out there, and they are usually quite cheap simply because the supply is high and the demand is low. The factory ones are also reliable as hell. If you blow one, you can pick up another one for $100-150. There's also lots of upgrades out there too, although it seems like brand new subaru flanged turbos are a bit more expensive than the garrett counterparts.

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Re: Lettuce turbo a Miata

Postby Kompresshun » Wed May 28, 2014 10:35 am

So here's what I have so far:

R33 GT-R Turbo which after research turns out to be a Garrett GT28
Miata 1.8L purple injectors
1.8L Mazdaspeed Miata clutch
1.8L XTD lightweight flywheel

I got an awesome hookup on the clutch and a 1.8 clutch will work on the 1.6, plus it's more stout. The problem is, you need a 1.8L flywheel and a stock 1.8L flywheel is heavier than the 1.6. I got lucky though and picked up the lightweight flywheel for $65 shipped.

So current total investment is about $200 with the parts above. Am I winning so far? :biggrin:

The car just got a new timing belt and tensioners, water pump, cam and crank seals, and thermostat housing two weeks ago. Then new brakes all the way around last weekend. So the engine should be solid and ready for boost once I gather everything.

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Re: Lettuce turbo a Miata

Postby audtatious » Thu May 29, 2014 9:19 pm

Funny how things change....Just the other day you said you were going to hold off :)

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Re: Lettuce turbo a Miata

Postby Kompresshun » Fri May 30, 2014 3:19 am

Yeah I did, but that never meant I was going to stop buying parts, especially if I get them at a good price. I will continue gathering parts until I have everything.

By holding off I meant I wasn't going to buy the Megasquirt anytime soon and things like that. Unless I find a Megasquirt cheap, that will set me back $500 minimum. The plan is to put it on hold until this winter so I can get it in paint this summer.

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Re: Lettuce turbo a Miata

Postby frapjap » Fri May 30, 2014 5:31 am

Chris- there is some good ignition stuff in this for sale thread at some great prices- jump on it!
http://www.miataturbo.net/miata-parts-s ... rts-78836/

Toyota cop parts $100 shipped
-4 Aftermarket oem quality ignition coils
-5 toyota ignition coil connectors
-capacitor

The ECU and other parts are 1.8, ignore those.

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Re: Lettuce turbo a Miata

Postby frapjap » Fri May 30, 2014 5:40 am

Also- a fair price for an MSPNP
http://forum.miata.net/vb/showthread.php?t=542671

Note that you don't need the ignition stuff in the previous post, its just kinda nice to have. I haven't done anything to upgrade mine aside from some better plugs.

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Re: Lettuce turbo a Miata

Postby MinisterofDOOM » Sun Jun 01, 2014 12:18 pm

WDRacing wrote:I really want a V8 Miata...
YES. THIS.

I wonder if one could cram an AJ133 with blower in a Miata enginebay...

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Re: Lettuce turbo a Miata

Postby PapaSmurf2k3 » Sun Jun 01, 2014 12:31 pm

One does not need a blower with a V8 in a miata.

That's hubris, and its what killed many a greek hero ;)

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Re: Lettuce turbo a Miata

Postby frapjap » Wed Jun 04, 2014 5:29 am

Cheap MSPNP. Offer him $400 and I bet he takes it.
http://forum.miata.net/vb/showthread.php?t=542671

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Re: Lettuce turbo a Miata

Postby AZhitman » Wed Jun 04, 2014 8:10 am

I often wonder about these guys that do even bolt-on mods to a LS in a Miata... At some point, it becomes silliness, an example of the law of diminishing returns (kind of like my 400+ hp S13 droptop).

I'm thinking for street use, anything over 300hp in a Miata chassis is just wasted, since it'd be damn nigh impossible to put that power to the ground (and I know my reflexes aren't fast enough to save it when it decides to do something sketchy).

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Re: Lettuce turbo a Miata

Postby PapaSmurf2k3 » Wed Jun 04, 2014 8:51 pm

^Yeah, I always get that.
"How much boost are you running?"
"About 14.5-15"
"You should turn it up!!!"
"Why? You've never driven the car... you have no idea"

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Re: Lettuce turbo a Miata

Postby Kompresshun » Thu Jun 05, 2014 6:29 am

Yeah I can't ever see a need for more than 300hp in one myself either. Honestly I don't think i'll ever need more than the 200-230hp i'm shooting for, because it already makes me happy being bone stock.
frapjap wrote:Cheap MSPNP. Offer him $400 and I bet he takes it.
http://forum.miata.net/vb/showthread.php?t=542671
That's a great deal but I probably won't buy a Megasquirt until fall at the soonest or possibly even next year. MS will probably be my last purchase, since it appears to be the biggest one. I've got other things I need to allocate my funds to at the moment :frown:

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Re: Lettuce turbo a Miata

Postby frapjap » Thu Jun 05, 2014 8:45 am

FWIW, I spent about $800 on an MSPNP new. Its worth doing it now and letting it collect dust. There aren't a lot of 1.6l PNP ecus out there on the used market, thats probably the second one I've seen in 2 years.

Id like a tad bit more power, maybe another 20-30, but what I have is perfectly enjoyable. Plus, I'm not stressing the power train right now.

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Re: Lettuce turbo a Miata

Postby Kompresshun » Thu Jun 05, 2014 9:14 am

Oh I don't disagree that it's a good deal at all - I just have better things to spend $400 on right now. Boost is not a priority and if it takes two years or more to get done, then it doesn't really bother me much. I'm perfectly content with how it performs right now. Boost will just be an added bonus.

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Re: Lettuce turbo a Miata

Postby WDRacing » Thu Jun 05, 2014 11:05 am

My 540 has 300ish hp/q and it's not slow by any means. Seeing as how the 540 outweighs a Miata by about 1500 friggin lbs, I'd consider a 300hp Miata to be pretty much a pocket rocket.

Chris, you're going about this exactly the right way. Plan, save, buy. Take your time and do it right the first time.

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Re: Lettuce turbo a Miata

Postby AZhitman » Thu Jun 05, 2014 1:20 pm

PapaSmurf2k3 wrote:^Yeah, I always get that.
"How much boost are you running?"
"About 14.5-15"
"You should turn it up!!!"
"Why? You've never driven the car... you have no idea"
Exactly. People don't have a clue what even a 20 hp bump does to a car this light.

You've driven the Roadster. 140 hp in that car is pure awesomeness.


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