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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Lettuce turbo a Miata

Postby Kompresshun » Tue Apr 29, 2014 5:20 am

5/28 EDIT: Since we have a Miata forum, I figured it was time to move my build thread out of hiding ;)

ImageUntitled by K0MPRESSHUN, on Flickr

*****
So it looks like i've gotta start compiling a boost parts list for the Miata. I finally bought a turbo for it.

I was talking to James last night and he gave me a pretty good idea, but I think the things i'll need to figure out is what kind of injectors I need to run and if I need to make any other changes. James told me where to get the tune, i've found a cast iron manifold for the turbo already, and i'll need to figure out all of the piping.

I figure I need to pick your brain some too though Ray, since your car is almost exactly the same as mine. I'm going to be using a Subaru WRX turbo(TD05) and i'd like to shoot for 8-10psi for boost. It probably won't get installed this year, but I plan to acquire the parts this year.


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Re: Learned'd VIII: Less Bewbs, Same Nonsense

Postby WDRacing » Tue Apr 29, 2014 5:47 am

As far as a tune goes, if you're just going to run 8-10 psi and you're not aiming for a HP goal, you can usually browse the available ROM tunes and choose a combination that will provide just on the "more side" where fuel is concerned. Something like 440cc/42lb injectors, and a tune for that specific size. Maybe even 550cc...

Not sure where your factory MAF maxes out, so if that's a consideration, make sure the ROM tune is for the upgraded MAF as well as the injectors.

Matched sets, that's the key for tuning. The turbo parts are "dumb" and just do as they're told.

For piping and intercooler you can use almost any cheap ebay kit. Assuming there aren't a ton of negative reviews for fitment. It's just piping and a big heat exchanger. So save money here, and spend it on fuel control.

Things I consider essential for gauges are, wide band O2, vac/boost, oil pressure and water temperature. I also recommend a knock meter. It surprises me how few people use them.

Which reminds me, check out this over boost prevention thread. Something everyone should do imho.

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Re: Learned'd VIII: Less Bewbs, Same Nonsense

Postby Kompresshun » Tue Apr 29, 2014 6:15 am

I'm probably going to go for the same tune James and Ray have, because it seems to be an awesome tune for the Miata and it'll make stupid power. I'll look at some of the others as well though.

I was thinking about going with RX7 injectors(550cc) or more likely 1.8L Miata injectors. If I upgrade the MAF, i'll probably just use James's 1.8L MAF he still has but I may be able to get by with the stock one.

I'm glad to hear I can go with the cheap eBay piping, because that's what i've been looking at.

I'm not aiming for a specific HP goal, but i'd like to be at 200hp and any more will be a bonus.

Now, what about ECU's and stuff? Do I just go for a Megasquirt?

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Re: Learned'd VIII: Less Bewbs, Same Nonsense

Postby frapjap » Tue Apr 29, 2014 7:35 am

Kompresshun wrote:You're doing something wrong, because mowing the lawn requires at least 6.
:rotfl I didn't want to be sloshed when I came in the house on a Monday night.
Kompresshun wrote: So it looks like i've gotta start compiling a boost parts list for the Miata. I finally bought a turbo for it.

I was talking to James last night and he gave me a pretty good idea, but I think the things i'll need to figure out is what kind of injectors I need to run and if I need to make any other changes. James told me where to get the tune, i've found a cast iron manifold for the turbo already, and i'll need to figure out all of the piping.

I figure I need to pick your brain some too though Ray, since your car is almost exactly the same as mine. I'm going to be using a Subaru WRX turbo(TD05) and i'd like to shoot for 8-10psi for boost. It probably won't get installed this year, but I plan to acquire the parts this year.
Anytime man, anytime. The TD05 is set at 8psi for the internal wastegate. It spools pretty quickly, but I've seen faster in regards to initial spool. Either way, it won't disappoint you and there isn't any lag once its at full boost and you're changing gears.
Here is what I have so far
- 1.6l with approx 160,000 miles at time of install. 180k+ and climbing.
- TD05 turbo, 8psi
- Innovate Wideband 02
- 2002 purple top Miata injectors 265cc- courtesy of James. While running at 8 lbs, I still have room for more with those injectors and the stock fuel pump. I just need a better manual boost controller than can give me 10lbs and not create boost spikes. If you want to go install one, spend the money for a good one. 200hp is definitely within reach.
- Generic FMIC
- Piping kit from Ebay. Assortment of other couplers from siliconintakes.com They have EVERYTHING from connection couplers, increasers, reducers, etc.
- ACT ZM2-HDSS clutch- don't skimp on the clutch, you will cause a stock clutch to slip as soon as the transmission sees any boost.
- New stock copper radiator without plastic end tanks- a b**** to find though, so just buy a good aftermarket one. A radiator isn't needed, but I'd suggest it. FWIW, I haven't bothered with the coolant reroute. I haven't seen a definitive yes or no in regards to performance, so I'm probably never going to bother.
- MS2PNP9093, professional tune. MS2 or MS3 are both excellent.
Kompresshun wrote:I'm probably going to go for the same tune James and Ray have, because it seems to be an awesome tune for the Miata and it'll make stupid power. I'll look at some of the others as well though.

I was thinking about going with RX7 injectors(550cc) or more likely 1.8L Miata injectors. If I upgrade the MAF, i'll probably just use James's 1.8L MAF he still has but I may be able to get by with the stock one.

I'm glad to hear I can go with the cheap piping, because that's what i've been looking at.

I'm not aiming for a specific HP goal, but i'd like to be at 200hp and any more will be a bonus.

Now, what about ECU's and stuff? Do I just go for a Megasquirt?
Spend the money on a stand alone and a tune. Worth every penny. RX7 injectors are fine, and they're definitely safe. I was just on a budget build and James' old ones are working out just fine and required absolutely no modification to the connectors or pigtails- plug and play. Like I said, I still have room for more. As for the hardware- I'm a Megasquirt fan boy. Complete control without guessing is the key to reliable power. Megasquirt comes two ways: PNP or DIY.
I sucked it up and bought a PNP since I wanted to remove it from the equation if I ever had a problem. That, and I SUCK at soldering.

However, as a cost effective option, a user named Reverent on miataturbo.net will build you the DIY MS for less than the cost of a PNP.
If you do go MS, you will not need an MAF since you'll be converting to IAT. The sensor is cheap, $20-30 and defeats the need for an MAF.
You'll also need a blow off valve. I got a stock BOV from an Eagle Talon and let it blow to the atmosphere to scare small children and surprise Bros with WRX's. Flyin Miata sells an elbow that bends down off your throttle body and includes a bung for the IAT sensor, a connection for one of the intake vacuum hoses and a place for the BOV. Its part # 27 in the diagram in their website:
https://www.flyinmiata.com/support/inst ... turbos.pdf
I also used that exact install instruction kit the day I bolted all my stuff up.

You can also buy those one piece intercooler pipes from them, but without the FM turbo, I didn't want to buy them and opted to make my own using a generic kit and a Sawzall. Also check to see if the turbo needs a J pipe or if the inlet will mate to a coupler. Having a new exhaust manifold gasket wouldn't hurt since you'll be in there anyway.

Don't forget about your downpipe. If FM does't have one that bolts up, this guy names Sturovo over seas probably has something that will bolt up perfectly. His work was rough to begin with, but looks amazing now. He could be sure to weld in an 02 sensor bung for you, too.
http://www.miataturbo.net/diy-turbo-dis ... 926/page9/

One last thing- don't buy anything, and I mean ANYTHING from Bell Engineering. f*** that s*** excuse of a company. FM is the best, hands down. Even if you only buy a couple of things from them, their customer service and advice is open to all of their customers, big or small. Specifically, Jeremy helped me out quite a bit when I had a question and couldn't reach someone with turbo knowledge.

Oh- and if the turbo doesn't come with oil line fittings and coolant line banjo bolts,etc, I can likely help you out with buying the right hardware the first time so you don't have to trial and error like I did.

Finally (I know I said last thing like 3 topics ago) don't forget to get a oil feed and drain hoses as well as a fitting for the drain hose from Flyin Miata. You can borrow my tap so long as you mail it back- don't buy that. You can use fuel hose or coolant hose for the coolant lines to/from the turbo. Stock up on a collection of various sized clamps, too. The less trips to the parts store, the better.

Print these pages out!

Or- better yet, Copy and Paste the info into a new thread in the Others forum as a check list for yourself. If you shoot me your email addy, I'll send you my turbo spreadsheet. Its simple, but works.

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Re: Learned'd VIII: Less Bewbs, Same Nonsense

Postby Kompresshun » Tue Apr 29, 2014 10:17 am

This whole page is now basically a turbo bible for me. I'll definitely be saving it this evening, because this is awesome info. Thanks guys.

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Re: Learned'd VIII: Less Bewbs, Same Nonsense

Postby WDRacing » Tue Apr 29, 2014 1:58 pm

Just my .02, I wouldn't go the stand alone route with my first turbo car. Tuning isn't something to be taken lightly, no offense Chris. I know of way more people with poorly running cars that "they tuned" vs people that buy a trusted ROM tune.

What's cool is, the end result will be an entirely different animal. You'll go from fun to wicked fun all at once. Have I mentioned I miss my Miata?

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Re: Learned'd VIII: Less Bewbs, Same Nonsense

Postby Kompresshun » Tue Apr 29, 2014 4:03 pm

Oh i'm not offended at all. That's why i'm asking all of you guys, because you know a lot more than I do about boost. The only reason I said I wanted James and Ray's tuner to do it is because they both love theirs and James's car makes stupid power for what it is. I'm taking my time with this and doing it right, but without breaking the bank either so i'd rather try to get it right the first time.

I think I may move these posts to the mod forum where I can keep track of it and we can all discuss it further instead of it getting lost here.

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Lettuce turbo a Miata

Postby Kompresshun » Tue Apr 29, 2014 4:08 pm

I'm making this thread just to compile some information me, Ray, and Brian have discussed so far. That way it doesn't get lost while i'm working on my turbo build for the Miata and so we all can further discuss it. I may move it somewhere else later, but for now it's going to live here in the Mod forum.

So the basics are i'm turboing the Miata with a Subaru WRX turbo. I have a rough idea what I need to buy and the posts below are the information i've found out so far.

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Re: Lettuce turbo a Miata

Postby Eikon » Tue Apr 29, 2014 7:04 pm

So what's it cost to turbo a miata? Just curious...

I need a project just for the sake of having a project. Could I get a miata for $2k and put another $2k into a turbo kit and just have fun wrenching?

assuming I fit into a miata.. which I don't think would be very comfy because I'm not so svelt.

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Re: Lettuce turbo a Miata

Postby Kompresshun » Tue Apr 29, 2014 7:24 pm

Seth, funny you mention those figures because that's roughly what i'm shooting for here. I spent $2k on the Miata itself, with lots of nice goodies on it already. I've sunk maybe $500 in it so far in maintenance, repairs, new top, and new(used) seats. I'm thinking boost should run me $1,500-2,000 if i'm patient and careful with purchasing parts for the build.

I am leaving paint out of the budget right now, but i'm hoping to end up with $4,000-5,000 total investment in the car and end up with a fun, reliable car I can enjoy on the street and the track.

I'm pretty sure you're not much bigger than I am. I've put some weight back on and i'm probably back to around 270lbs plus i'm 6'3". I fit in my just fine and am fairly comfortable. I drive it 2-3 times per week and I never have a complaint about it other than I feel like a midget pulling up to a drive through window in it.

I feel ya on needing a project too. I was there before I ran across the Miata.

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Re: Lettuce turbo a Miata

Postby PapaSmurf2k3 » Tue Apr 29, 2014 9:38 pm

Seth- didn't you drive Ray's last year? If not, you can this year in Carlisle.

Chris- I'm pretty sure the stock 02 WRX turbo is a td04 13b, not a Td05.

Brian- eat a d!ck. Megasquirt is THE way to go for NA Miatas. Chris can pick up a full plug and play stand-alone for ~$550 with a base map that is fine for starting and cruising. After that, he can get a real tune, or send me the map and I can make it a bit more aggressive for him. Plus, then he can ditch the MAF all together, monitor injector duty cycle, get better fuel economy, etc.

So to summarize- the parts list I recommend are:
Turbo
Manifold
Downpipe
Wideband O2 (you can plug it into the megasquirt and pass-through to a gauge as well)
Megasquirt PNP
Clutch- FM sells a "happy meal kit" including flywheel and rear main seal (and re-do your boots and bushings while you're in there. Planet Miata sells a kit I believe)
All aluminum radiator - ebay is usually ok for this, just expect some fitment issues. You'll have to bend something here, notch something there... but you'll save a few hundred bucks over a Koyo
intercooler kit
blow off valve
oil lines

And then finally change your trans fluid, rear diff fluid, and engine oil over to synthetic.

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Re: Lettuce turbo a Miata

Postby PapaSmurf2k3 » Tue Apr 29, 2014 9:38 pm

In other news, I just started the ATI crank pulley damper install tonight.

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Re: Lettuce turbo a Miata

Postby AZhitman » Tue Apr 29, 2014 11:07 pm

This is sweet music for me as well, considering I'm probably doing to de-MSM mine and go with a setup like James has.

Hopefully I can sell off the MSM-specific parts to offset the cost of the other stuff (I already have a good IC, most of the piping, a good MBC, and some of the other bits).

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Re: Lettuce turbo a Miata

Postby frapjap » Wed Apr 30, 2014 5:41 am

Chris, here is a link to my spreadsheet. You can get by for around $2000 if you're patient and do it shop smart. I'll admit that I did not install my own clutch & RMS because I ran out of time and was traveling a lot for work, so that cost me a little extra. However, the tune is wrapped up in that line item, too. You can also knock off the MBC from Ebay- buy a better, more expensive one if you want to go greater than the stock turbo wastegate pressure. Also, don't cheap out on the serial to USB cable for the MS. Buy the good one from whoever you buy the Megasquirt from. The cheap ones will make the connection and drop it intermittently while you're logging or making changes. Worth the $ to not deal with the frustration and headache. MS3 might be all USB though, if you go that route. Once you can get a pro to tune your rig, you'll have much more power available to you and have better fuel economy than stock- assuming you can keep your foot out of the throttle. I can't. ;)

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B3E1t3 ... sp=sharing

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Re: Lettuce turbo a Miata

Postby Kompresshun » Wed Apr 30, 2014 6:17 am

James, I had forgotten it was a TD04. I got them mixed up. Crap, now i've gotta look at adapters again.

Everything sounds pretty good so far. Looks like i'm gonna have to increase the budget a little though. I wasn't planning on doing a clutch and the thought of doing one just makes me angry. I may plan on putting a good clutch in it this fall though and just wait until this winter to start digging into boost. I won't be able to buy everything all at once anyways.

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Re: Lettuce turbo a Miata

Postby WDRacing » Wed Apr 30, 2014 7:12 am

PapaSmurf2k3 wrote:
Brian- eat a d!ck. Megasquirt is THE way to go for NA Miatas.
No James. It's A way to go. I never said it wasn't a good method for tuning, I said beginners might want to be leery because tuning isn't something to be taken lightly, period.

Sorry dude, that's just fact. I'd go with MS, but I've been doing this for more than 2 seconds.

It doesn't make any sense to refer to MS as the ONLY solution for tuning.

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Re: Lettuce turbo a Miata

Postby frapjap » Wed Apr 30, 2014 7:47 am


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Re: Lettuce turbo a Miata

Postby WDRacing » Wed Apr 30, 2014 8:09 am

Are 265s big enough? I would run 370's at a minimum.

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Re: Lettuce turbo a Miata

Postby Kompresshun » Wed Apr 30, 2014 8:18 am

I posted up and i'll try to jump on them.

Brian, that's what Ray is running in his. They're pretty common to use for boosting NA Miata's unless you're going pretty big with the build. Usually after that Miata guys just jump up to the 550 RX7 injectors.

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Re: Lettuce turbo a Miata

Postby WDRacing » Wed Apr 30, 2014 8:24 am

It's a 1.8 liter motor right?

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Re: Lettuce turbo a Miata

Postby Kompresshun » Wed Apr 30, 2014 8:25 am

Negative. 1.6 liter. 1.8's didn't come in them until later.

If the 1.6 ever dies, I will likely swap over to a 1.8 though.

Oh and I bought those injectors already. Dude sold them to me for $60 shipped.

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Re: Lettuce turbo a Miata

Postby WDRacing » Wed Apr 30, 2014 8:27 am

My bad, I was thinking it was a 1.8 or 2.0. I haven't been a Miata guy in a long time and I had an old 89. I thought the 90 got better goods. What type of MAF do you have?

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Re: Lettuce turbo a Miata

Postby frapjap » Wed Apr 30, 2014 8:55 am

Kompresshun wrote:Negative. 1.6 liter. 1.8's didn't come in them until later.

If the 1.6 ever dies, I will likely swap over to a 1.8 though.

Oh and I bought those injectors already. Dude sold them to me for $60 shipped.
What a steal!!! The collection is starting
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WDRacing wrote:My bad, I was thinking it was a 1.8 or 2.0. I haven't been a Miata guy in a long time and I had an old 89. I thought the 90 got better goods. What type of MAF do you have?
90-93 were the 1.6 engine. The 1.8 guys hate on them, but I'm not sure why- its not that big of a difference, IMO. 90 and early 91 had the short nose crank issue, which wasn't an issue if the proper instructions were followed when the timing belt needed to be replaced. Trouble is, few were, even at the dealerships. Something about the key way being messy or something.

I ditched my MAF in favor of IAT.

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Re: Lettuce turbo a Miata

Postby Kompresshun » Wed Apr 30, 2014 9:36 am

Yeah i'm not sure why everyone hates the 1.6 so much either. It doesn't make that much less power and it seems like a perfectly capable engine. I have no complaints about mine so far, but if it were to take a crap on me i'd probably swap over to a 1.8.

I'm not sure what i'm doing with my MAF yet. James said I could get his if I needed it, but I may look into ditching it too if that seems to be the best route to go.

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Re: Lettuce turbo a Miata

Postby WDRacing » Wed Apr 30, 2014 11:28 am

frapjap wrote: I ditched my MAF in favor of IAT.
Is that intake air temp? If so, how does that measure load? I know its common to swap out the MAF for MAP, but I'm not familiar with using the IAT instead of the MAF.

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Re: Lettuce turbo a Miata

Postby frapjap » Wed Apr 30, 2014 12:40 pm

WDRacing wrote:
frapjap wrote: I ditched my MAF in favor of IAT.
Is that intake air temp? If so, how does that measure load? I know its common to swap out the MAF for MAP, but I'm not familiar with using the IAT instead of the MAF.
It uses the temperature of the air coming into the engine to help do complex math in the computer to help it calculate the correct amount of fuel for the temperature. The sensor itself gets wired into two of the pins outs on the existing MAF pigtail to send the right signal to the computer. It works in unison with an internal MAP sensor in the Megasquirt that is connected by running a vacuum line from the intake manifold, after your throttle body plate, into the computer. MS says the internal sensor is good to something nuts like 44psi.

For future reference, here are instructions for installing a Megasquirt PNPII. It takes about half an hour to install, even if you read and re-read everything while doing the work.
http://www.megasquirtpnp.com/docs/mspnp_g2_mm9093.php

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Re: Lettuce turbo a Miata

Postby WDRacing » Wed Apr 30, 2014 1:09 pm

A simple, works with the MAP sensor would have worked...lol. But thanks dude, I think that's awesome! The MS uses the MAP instead of the MAF for load and integrates the IAT to make better calculations. It's the same as any car that runs on a MAP instead of the MAF iirc. The IAT doesn't replace the MAF, the MAP sensor does. Manifold Absolute Pressure instead of Mass Air Flow.

Most standalones use a MAP sensor.

I really want a V8 Miata...

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Re: Lettuce turbo a Miata

Postby PapaSmurf2k3 » Wed Apr 30, 2014 2:26 pm

WDRacing wrote:A simple, works with the MAP sensor would have worked...lol. But thanks dude, I think that's awesome! The MS uses the MAP instead of the MAF for load and integrates the IAT to make better calculations. It's the same as any car that runs on a MAP instead of the MAF iirc. The IAT doesn't replace the MAF, the MAP sensor does. Manifold Absolute Pressure instead of Mass Air Flow.

Most standalones use a MAP sensor.
Teh Brian speaketh the truth.

The Megasquirt (and the Hydra) for Miatai are both speed density style ecus, and as such, both come with MAP sensors built in to them. You just run a vacuum line into your cabin.


Chris- I'll tell you what I told Ray- with the 265cc injectors, you might also want to look at an adjustable fuel pressure regulator just in case you want a little extra safety net as far as duty cycle goes. $60 shipped is a helluva deal though.

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Re: Lettuce turbo a Miata

Postby PapaSmurf2k3 » Wed Apr 30, 2014 3:06 pm

WDRacing wrote:
No James. It's A way to go. I never said it wasn't a good method for tuning, I said beginners might want to be leery because tuning isn't something to be taken lightly, period.

Sorry dude, that's just fact. I'd go with MS, but I've been doing this for more than 2 seconds.

It doesn't make any sense to refer to MS as the ONLY solution for tuning.
It really is the best option for NAs. Essentially in the base map you get that ROM tune you were talking about. In addition to that, you (or your tuner) have the ability to change things to better suit the car and make more power. You can also ditch the MAF. All that for a tiny bit more than the ECU re-flash.

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Re: Lettuce turbo a Miata

Postby WDRacing » Wed Apr 30, 2014 6:24 pm

It does sound bad a**.


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