Ownership Verified: 1.6 Liters of gayness... '90 MX-5

GaryC

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Yeah, I've thought of that, but I wouldn't be able to tell when it was full
 

thedguy

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Suspension + Turbo + Auto-X = AWESOME!
Meh, on the autoX. I never cared for navigating cones. Plus I have 5 race tracks, plus 2 cart courses (that are auto-X sized) that are open year round within a a couple hours drive.

Oh and I've decided this car will NOT get a turbo so long as I intend to keep tracking it. No such thing as a reliable turbo miata track car without spending money that could be better used in other places.
 

Lastsoul

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What are the most common problems with turbo on track? Overheating? Anyway, I guess that's good news, because I can't afford turbo kit and I'm going to drive on the track, so now I don't even have to think about it... :)
 

thedguy

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What are the most common problems with turbo on track? Overheating? Anyway, I guess that's good news, because I can't afford turbo kit and I'm going to drive on the track, so now I don't even have to think about it... :)
Overheating is surprisingly not an issue, largely because most owners (down here anyway) generally upgrade their radiators early on since we tend to race at tracks in the summer with 110F temps.

The problems are usually: cylinder 3&4 running hot due to a good chunk of fail in the Miata's variant of the coolant route (it was designed as a FWD/transverse engine). Exhaust manifolds cracking, high under hood temps, transmission/differentials blowing up (over 200hp on a 1.6 and 250 on a 1.8 driveline), brake fluid boiling because of improper insulation from hot exhaust parts, a general lack of space, and then when you solve most of that...

The fucking exhaust manifold studs back out constantly. The only fix is using $150+ set inconel studs. You could use Stainless Steel but they cost about the same and the inconel are better. IIRC the inconel ones only hold up for about 6 track hours before they start to have an issue. Nissan SR20DET cars have a similar problem and the factory fix was the same thing. Their kit is only $6 a stud though.

I just like the idea of being able to drive to the track (105miles each way) beat on my car, and drive home. And in between sessions I walk the pits and BS. Not constantly figure out why I'm running hot, or i'm not getting the right boost or burning oil, etc...
 
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Lastsoul

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Hey thanks, that's really good to know. Of course temperatures in Finland rarely go above 30?C/86F, but extra security is always comforting. I've too over 60miles to nearest track, so driving back is the only choice...

I guess stock 1.6 doesn't have any mechanical problems on track, except maybe brake fade with low quality pads, disks and fluid?
 

Polygon

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Meh, on the autoX. I never cared for navigating cones. Plus I have 5 race tracks, plus 2 cart courses (that are auto-X sized) that are open year round within a a couple hours drive.

Oh and I've decided this car will NOT get a turbo so long as I intend to keep tracking it. No such thing as a reliable turbo miata track car without spending money that could be better used in other places.
Overheating is surprisingly not an issue, largely because most owners (down here anyway) generally upgrade their radiators early on since we tend to race at tracks in the summer with 110F temps.

The problems are usually: cylinder 3&4 running hot due to a good chunk of fail in the Miata's variant of the coolant route (it was designed as a FWD/transverse engine). Exhaust manifolds cracking, high under hood temps, transmission/differentials blowing up (over 200hp on a 1.6 and 250 on a 1.8 driveline), brake fluid boiling because of improper insulation from hot exhaust parts, a general lack of space, and then when you solve most of that...

The fucking exhaust manifold studs back out constantly. The only fix is using $150+ set inconel studs. You could use Stainless Steel but they cost about the same and the inconel are better. IIRC the inconel ones only hold up for about 6 track hours before they start to have an issue. Nissan SR20DET cars have a similar problem and the factory fix was the same thing. Their kit is only $6 a stud though.

I just like the idea of being able to drive to the track (105miles each way) beat on my car, and drive home. And in between sessions I walk the pits and BS. Not constantly figure out why I'm running hot, or i'm not getting the right boost or burning oil, etc...
I would agree, the a real track is much better. I went back and watched some of your videos and they're pretty cool! I didn't know about the issues with turbo-charging them. For some reason I thought they took better to forced induction.
 

equiraptor

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I would agree, the a real track is much better. I went back and watched some of your videos and they're pretty cool! I didn't know about the issues with turbo-charging them. For some reason I thought they took better to forced induction.
They take turbocharging (and supercharging) well for street use. I had a supercharged Miata that was my daily driver. The only issue it had was actually the result of a cracked intake manifold and wasn't actually related to the supercharger. Others have had turbo Miatas with 200,000+ miles on them. So long as they stick to the use levels that happen on the street, they're fine. But the track pushes components on a different level, and it tends to be enough to break significant aftermarket mods, like turbos.
 

thedguy

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I would agree, the a real track is much better. I went back and watched some of your videos and they're pretty cool! I didn't know about the issues with turbo-charging them. For some reason I thought they took better to forced induction.
The motors themselves take to it great! Though, when you start putting the kind of punishment that 100F+ ambient temps, 20 minute full throttle conditions, and the cramped engine bay that is the miata together with a turbo... problems arise.
Drag or auto-X would be fine, same with street use. Personally I think the problem comes down to the exhaust manifold/turbo just not getting enough cool-ish air to move heat off it.

I've just been researching motor setups and come to the conclusion that the power goals I have for the car eventually can be had with a newer 1.8L engine with a factory short block and the right combo of machine work and mostly factory parts and tuning. About 150-160whp. That would put me around 180flywheel which is the most I'd want in a Miata. I think if I feel I want more in a track car I'd go to a different chassis.
 

thedguy

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[video=youtube;tpzMdIx13-I]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tpzMdIx13-I[/video]


 
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thedguy

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After waiting what felt like an eternity, I got my elise seats in! My buddy Rob (a.k.a. RyokuRob on cr.net) made me some 2 piece, 3 position seat mounts.

The result is super low seats that are "hella" comfortable and light. They have an air bladder in them for lumbar support and the perforated leather breathes nicely.

I went with these over random race seats because they won't restrict my car from fighting a bigger person. I dislike mismatching seats so running 1 sparco for me and a stock seat was not gonna happen either.







Oh and on a side note, I got a Megasquirt 2 waiting to come in ;)
 

argatoga

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Don't forget to buy a SBC to complement your MS purchase. :p
 

thedguy

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Oh it's on like Donkey Kong!



Installed it, with my megasquirt 2. Now the tuning can begin... or more precisely the blowing of the engine :p
 

thedguy

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MS2 built by Brain on miataturbo.net temporarily in it's new home.



Routing for the vacuum hose (still gotta put the grommets back on)





Routing for the wideband. Again with the grommets.







The body of the controller is tucked in the area near the intake inlet for now. The whole thing is put in so that I could fairly easily pull it to throw in another car if I chose.
It's ziptied to the clutch line to avoid moving around too much. I may extend the O2 sensor wiring to run inside and keep the entire control assembly inside the cabin.

 
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