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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Greenblurr93
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Re: Lettuce turbo a Miata

Postby Greenblurr93 » Thu Jun 05, 2014 4:17 pm

I'll be using an early EVO8 turbo (TD05HR) Twin Scroll with a custom Twin Scroll Manifold.

Ill Also be using an AEM Series 2 EMS and running a flex fuel setup.


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Re: Lettuce turbo a Miata

Postby WDRacing » Fri Jun 06, 2014 3:28 am

So a true flex fuel setup? That's pretty sweet if it works well.

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Re: Lettuce turbo a Miata

Postby Greenblurr93 » Fri Jun 06, 2014 12:00 pm

WDRacing wrote:So a true flex fuel setup? That's pretty sweet if it works well.
Yes, true flex fuel, GM Ethenol Content Sensor and all. the AEM will blend and adjust fuel, timing and boost dependent on E%

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Re: Lettuce turbo a Miata

Postby MinisterofDOOM » Fri Jun 06, 2014 6:27 pm

WDRacing wrote: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.
That's true. The 4,000lb Q was still fairly ridiculous with 350+ hp and torque.

The S/C'd AJ V8 just sounds so good, though. It should be the standard engine in all cars. Even lightweights like the Miata and FRS. It's pretty tiny by DOHC V8 standards so we can make it fit. :naughty:
Greenblurr93 wrote:
WDRacing wrote:So a true flex fuel setup? That's pretty sweet if it works well.
Yes, true flex fuel, GM Ethenol Content Sensor and all. the AEM will blend and adjust fuel, timing and boost dependent on E%
That's badass!

As much as I hate ethanolized fuel mixes in my normal cars, building to make use of ethanol's advantages is a whole different story.

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Re: Lettuce turbo a Miata

Postby Kompresshun » Sat Jun 07, 2014 11:03 pm

Well it looks like the turbo is definitely getting delayed now. The rear main seal decided to s*** the bed over the past few days and the car is leaking oil pretty good now. So I might as well replace the clutch and everything else while i'm in there.

The wife also found out yesterday that her hospital is cutting everyone's pay(well their bonus pay). It's a long story but it's completely stupid and everyone there is furious about it, because even though it's bonus pay it's going to drastically decrease everyone's paychecks. Luckily for her it won't hurt us too much and she only has to put up with this kind of stupidity for another year.

So in short - no major Miata upgrades for a while. I'll still continue working on it and replacing stuff, but things like a turbo and ect will be put on hold until after Kristen graduates next year and we get moved.

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Re: Lettuce turbo a Miata

Postby audtatious » Sun Jun 08, 2014 1:03 am

Sounds like the hospital your wife works at is doing the same thing the one my wife worked at did to her. Next they will lower the number of CNA's and expect the RN's to take on more responsibility.

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Re: Lettuce turbo a Miata

Postby WDRacing » Sun Jun 08, 2014 4:07 am

Expect the medical profession in the country to go through some major changes in the next 5 years. None of which will be good. Cause ACA.

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Re: Lettuce turbo a Miata

Postby Kompresshun » Sun Jun 08, 2014 7:06 am

Yeah Matt they are already going away from CNA's at all the hospitals around here. They will still hire them but they do not get priority and they'll only hire them if they agree to go back to school for their RN within 6 months.

The problem with her hospital is that they are bleeding money. They merged with another healthcare system because of that and they're still not doing well. Lots of layoffs already and s*** like this makes it obvious that they still haven't gotten it under control yet. None of the other hospitals around here are having problems. If she wouldn't have went back to get her NP she would've probably went back to UK a long time ago.

That's the light at the end of the tunnel for her though. She has less than a year left and she can split from that hell hole.

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Re: Lettuce turbo a Miata

Postby PapaSmurf2k3 » Sun Jun 08, 2014 8:17 am

That sucks about the rear main seal man :(

That sucks even more about the money situation.

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Re: Lettuce turbo a Miata

Postby Kompresshun » Sun Jun 08, 2014 8:56 am

Yeah I was pretty pissed when I got back from vacation and found oil under it when I moved it. I was hoping that the front seal just didn't get installed right or something but oh well. I didn't want to do it now but at least this gets the clutch and seal knocked out at once.

The money situation sucks but it's not that bad. We will still be getting by just fine. I chose myself to put the build on hold because the sensible side of me knows that it can wait.

Plus since I'm waiting I'll likely change the build plan some and spend some more money rather that'll doing it all on a budget.

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Re: Lettuce turbo a Miata

Postby PapaSmurf2k3 » Sun Jun 08, 2014 11:18 am

Top Gear Top Tip while replacing the rear main- make sure you pry from the top side of the seal when you're pulling it out. That way, if you f*** up and scratch the surrounding metal, it should be above the oil line and therefore not leak as much.

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Re: Lettuce turbo a Miata

Postby WDRacing » Mon Jun 09, 2014 5:01 am

THAT ^ is some pretty solid advice!

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Re: Lettuce turbo a Miata

Postby Kompresshun » Fri Jun 13, 2014 5:43 am

PapaSmurf2k3 wrote:Top Gear Top Tip while replacing the rear main- make sure you pry from the top side of the seal when you're pulling it out. That way, if you f*** up and scratch the surrounding metal, it should be above the oil line and therefore not leak as much.
That is quite useful advice. I think i'm also going to buy a seal pulley to be safe.

Because usually my unintentional method is: Measure it with a micrometer, mark it with a crayon, and cut it with an axe. :ohno:

It looks like i'm going to have to go with a stock clutch too, because I can't swing $350+ for an upgraded clutch right now and getting the Mazdaspeed Miata clutch to work isn't going to happen without some modification. So stock clutch it is.

I think i'm leaning more towards just leaving the 1.6l alone and driving it stock for a while longer, then finding a 1.8l to build in the meantime to boost.

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Re: Lettuce turbo a Miata

Postby AZhitman » Fri Jun 13, 2014 8:25 am

Crap - MSM clutch is already headed your way. :(

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Re: Lettuce turbo a Miata

Postby Kompresshun » Fri Jun 13, 2014 10:27 am

AZhitman wrote:Crap - MSM clutch is already headed your way. :(
Don't worry. I have other plans that may involve it later on anyways. I'm just going to store it with the other Miata parts for now. If you ever end up needing it back though i'll be happy to send it back.

I just started looking into what all I needed to make it work right, combined with the fact that I really needed a lightened 1.8L flywheel to make it all work right and decided that it probably wasn't a sound plan to put into action right now. Plus we both know that most modifications never end up being as cheap as planned.

I decided to opt for a $120ish stock clutch and play it safe so the wife doesn't kill me in my sleep. :couch

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Re: Lettuce turbo a Miata

Postby Kompresshun » Mon Jul 21, 2014 10:57 am

So the Miata still leaks oil at the moment. It's going back to my mechanic Thursday to find out if they put the rear main seal in wrong, or if it's something else. I replaced the O-ring on the CAS and cannot find oil coming from anywhere else, so I think they screwed up when doing the clutch and RMS. Or at least I hope so.

Basically I told my mechanic that i'm dropping it off and to not call me until it's not leaking any oil at all. Unless it's something serious like a head gasket, I just want him to sort it out and fix it.

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Re: Lettuce turbo a Miata

Postby WDRacing » Wed Jul 23, 2014 6:08 am

As long as they are reliable...I've become so damn leery of bad mechanics these days. A trustworthy mechanic is worth their weight in gold.

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Re: Lettuce turbo a Miata

Postby frapjap » Wed Jul 23, 2014 6:39 am

WDRacing wrote:As long as they are reliable...I've become so damn leery of bad mechanics these days. A trustworthy mechanic is worth their weight in gold.
Agreed. I've only got one and he's an RV mechanic! Granted, I don't use him for much of anything but its good to have the option, such as the case of my brake lines this past winter. Even the labor rate isn't a factor so long as the work is quality and is performed the same way (or better) than I would have done it.

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Re: Lettuce turbo a Miata

Postby Kompresshun » Wed Jul 23, 2014 7:12 am

I trust my mechanic pretty well and will be really sad that he'll be too far away to use when we move. He's treated me very well on pretty much every repair he's done for me and he usually turns them around quick.

I think the problem this time was that he was out on vacation and his flunkies did the repair without him there to oversee it. Basically they pulled the trans, replaced the clutch and RMS, then called me to come pick it up. They waited until I came to pick it up to inform me that it was still leaking oil, rather than calling me and asking if I would like for them to look into it further while it was there.

Since that happened while the owner wasn't there, I waited until he got back from vacation to arrange for it to go back.

I will still try to find a trustworthy mechanic when we move too, just for those things I don't have time to dig into. I hope that the next garage will be big enough that I can do more stuff myself though.

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Re: Lettuce turbo a Miata

Postby Kompresshun » Tue Aug 12, 2014 5:40 am

Well as a small update, i'm still waiting for them to get done with the car. Last I spoke with him he had some medical issues come up last week, but he said he would be pulling the transmission and replacing the RMS again because he can't find oil coming from anywhere else.

As far as the turbo build goes - I haven't given up all hope on boosting it yet, but I believe I won't be using the components i've purchased now. First I want to run the 1.6L stock for a while longer to see how well it's going to hold up and then i'll decide which route i'll go from there. I'm thinking the best route may be to run the stock engine for a little longer and do a 1.8L swap with boost once the 1.6L gets some more age on it. It's already got nearly 170k on it now.

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Re: Lettuce turbo a Miata

Postby WDRacing » Tue Aug 12, 2014 6:17 am

If you're going to do a motor swap, you should definitely price out a V8. A bone stock 302/5spd combo would be fairly cheap and more than enough power to give you traction problems.

Be a good car to advertise that dent removing bizz you mentioned too!

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Re: Lettuce turbo a Miata

Postby Kompresshun » Tue Aug 12, 2014 6:50 am

I've already done V8 swap research. It's INSANELY expensive and is in no comparison to boosting a 1.6L or 1.8L...

Just a DIY 5.0L V8 swap with all parts and swap parts would run about $7,500... An LSX would be $12,000+. You have to swap rear axles, then just the subframe and everything you need to put the engine in the car runs about $5,000. Oh and then you need a custom driveshaft and wiring harness too. Now sure you could probably do a hack job and save a grand or two, but I don't want a piece of junk.

In comparison, I could swap in a 1.8L and boost it with quality parts for around $2,500-3,000 then probably make 250ish hp. That's more power than a stock 5.0L makes.

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Re: Lettuce turbo a Miata

Postby Greenblurr93 » Tue Aug 12, 2014 10:53 pm

My budget is around 3k for my build, and there are some routes I definitely could've gone cheaper. I plan to have somewhere in the realm of 300-325whp when done

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Re: Lettuce turbo a Miata

Postby Kompresshun » Wed Aug 13, 2014 6:15 am

I definitely wouldn't be disappointed with 300+ hp, but i'm not shooting for that high of a number with this. I just want to add a little more fun factor to it, which gaining around 100hp over stock will definitely do that for me.

I have also tossed around the idea of not even boosting it and just going for an ITB setup instead. I obviously wouldn't gain as much power with ITB's, but the sound would be amazing and I would still gain a decent amount of power.

My end goal for the car is just a clean looking Miata that can be reliable but still fun at the same time if I want to go throw it around on the track.

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Re: Lettuce turbo a Miata

Postby frapjap » Thu Aug 14, 2014 4:55 am

Kompresshun wrote:I've already done V8 swap research. It's INSANELY expensive and is in no comparison to boosting a 1.6L or 1.8L...

Just a DIY 5.0L V8 swap with all parts and swap parts would run about $7,500... An LSX would be $12,000+. You have to swap rear axles, then just the subframe and everything you need to put the engine in the car runs about $5,000. Oh and then you need a custom driveshaft and wiring harness too. Now sure you could probably do a hack job and save a grand or two, but I don't want a piece of junk.

In comparison, I could swap in a 1.8L and boost it with quality parts for around $2,500-3,000 then probably make 250ish hp. That's more power than a stock 5.0L makes.
Shoot, I'll sell you a whole car for what you want to build your own for.

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Re: Lettuce turbo a Miata

Postby Kompresshun » Thu Aug 14, 2014 5:00 am

I can't say I wasn't tempted by yours when you put it up for sell, but my car has zero rust and already has a lot of the hard stuff done. Boost is the easy part at this point honestly, because the car really needs nothing else but paint at some point.

Right now i'd just like to have the darn thing back period. I haven't barely got to drive it at all in the past two months... :frown:


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