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Forced Induction ideas and recommendations... and no flaming


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#1
Rev

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I am building my '01 VVT nb towards a high-quality forced induction street/track set up. Let me start by saying that I am well aware of the heat and maintenance issues that FI creates. I know the cons. But I love learning and trying new things - that's what this hobby is all about for me, and I've never tried FI of any kind. I'm excited to learn even if I end up eventually stripping it all out, selling it off, and doing an engine swap. Then I'll get to learn something else new ;-)

 

With that said, I'm interested in hearing any advice or recommendations you all may have. I have narrowed my options down to TDR's c30-84 Rotrex SC kit and Trackspeed's EFR6258 system. Both are track proven. I'm getting the car ready at the moment - completed full cooling system overhaul and installed CSF fully ducted radiator; adding wideband and oil temp gauge; adding MSPNP Pro. 

 

I lean towards the Rotrex b/c I prefer the dynamics of SC to Turbo - linear throttle response vs. lag and then kick in the pants. I've heard the rotrex kit is "like a larger displacement naturally aspirated motor."

 

Any recommendations? Do you think additional cooling will be needed: engine oil cooler and/or hood vents? Related question: Gary at TDR is telling me I ought to do the coolant reroute even though I have the VVT head gasket. That contradicts other advice I've recieved. Anyone confirm that?

 

Finally, if any of you have leads on parts for either build, let me know. I'll need intercooler, upgraded fuel pump and injectors, etc. The kits come with that, but I'd love to save money by buying used anywhere I can.

 

Thanks for the help! 



#2
Shuka

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If you're doing it for the fun and education of doing it, then more power to you.

 

BUT there's a reason you don't see a lot of FI Miatas at the track. They break. They run hot. They're hard to dial in. I know you think you know, but you don't know, really. Also, take whatever $$$ you've budgeted for this project and double it.

 

Start looking at threads on intercooler placement. Even with all of the mentioned cooling mods, a lot of folks still have trouble keeping temperatures down. Many resort to removal/modification of the front bumper support to hang an intercooler where it will see airflow.

 

Good luck!



#3
Dave

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This makes me think about any time I posted something like this. I've stopped btw, but the answer is always "So you think you're smarter than a team of BMW engineers?" Or insert whatever brand you like.  :biggrin:

 

I don't have any real input, just giving you an idea of what kind of responses you'll likely get. I will say I am in the "don't add FI to a NA car" camp. Because, well, I'm not smarter than a team of BMW engineers.  :cool:



#4
Matt93SE

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Pretty much what they said.. 

 

Unless you like pain and poverty.

 

But it could be a fun learning experience...   Sometimes you learn what NOT to do. ;)


And just because I'm a shitty driver doesn't make a miata any less slow.


#5
Double O 86

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#6
Double O 86

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The fastest Miata at the most recent NASA event was a supercharged '99, with no cooling problems.  It's hard to argue with success (or facts).

 

Yes, get the coolant re-route.  It's worth more than any other cooling mod you could buy or make.

 

I've had both a turbo and a supercharger on my Miata, and I much prefer the supercharger.  It doesn't get as hot, therefore it doesn't cause cracks on the manifold or other heat-related issues.  Plus, if you need help, Gary at TDR is a short drive away.



#7
Arro

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You also consider a flexfuel setup as E85 is "safer" for the motor to run on the track. I believe it runs cooler than gasoline. Also consider though, the local availability to the track or having to haul a bunch of it with you to the track.

 

IMHO, there are few car manufacturers than have turbo systems capable of reliable track use. That said, I believe a FI setup (even OEM) would lend itself to significantly more problems and risks associated with tracking the car. I like what @shuko said about not seeing many FI miatas at the track, and consider that's even with a TC'd MS miata produced (NB I think).

 

Engine swaps go a long way financially in the miata as compared with FI setups. I know with the S2000, there are only a few really track driven cars out there in the US that are FI. Usually an engine swap costs less than a capable FI setup and there's more reliable HP on offer.

 

If you're in it to learn than have at it! but here is a quick, dirty S2000 financial analysis:

 

FI setup:

track capable turbo system with cooling mods = $10,000 (conservatively, probably more like $12000)

if motor goes boom.....you/re out about $3-4000 for low mileage F motor for the rebuild

 

Motor swap:

motor swap with adapters, headers, etc. = $6000 (depending on V8, k swap, J swap, etc) @V6Donut !!!!

+ old motor and random parts to sell to recoup cost.

 

no flaming intended.

 

...and ditto what @Dave said.



#8
robertcope

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Paging @hustler.

 

robert


Robert B. Cope

 

#53 - 2003 Jetta (red)
#53 - 1999 Miata (silver) aka GONK: "She may not look like much, but she's got it where it counts, kid. I've made a lot of special modifications myself."
#94 - 2001 S2000 (red) aka Crisis

#XX - 1992 NSX (red)


#9
V6Donut

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You also consider a flexfuel setup as E85 is "safer" for the motor to run on the track. I believe it runs cooler than gasoline. Also consider though, the local availability to the track or having to haul a bunch of it with you to the track.

 

IMHO, there are few car manufacturers than have turbo systems capable of reliable track use. That said, I believe a FI setup (even OEM) would lend itself to significantly more problems and risks associated with tracking the car. I like what @shuko said about not seeing many FI miatas at the track, and consider that's even with a TC'd MS miata produced (NB I think).

 

Engine swaps go a long way financially in the miata as compared with FI setups. I know with the S2000, there are only a few really track driven cars out there in the US that are FI. Usually an engine swap costs less than a capable FI setup and there's more reliable HP on offer.

 

If you're in it to learn than have at it! but here is a quick, dirty S2000 financial analysis:

 

FI setup:

track capable turbo system with cooling mods = $10,000 (conservatively, probably more like $12000)

if motor goes boom.....you/re out about $3-4000 for low mileage F motor for the rebuild

 

Motor swap:

motor swap with adapters, headers, etc. = $6000 (depending on V8, k swap, J swap, etc) @V6Donut !!!!

+ old motor and random parts to sell to recoup cost.

 

no flaming intended.

 

...and ditto what @Dave said.

 

Do a V6 miata, I'm helping a guy with one now. Hes going to be running InlinePro's coolant crossover tube and water pipes.

 

More early Tq more time to party.



#10
Rev

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Wow - I have triggered more responses than I bargained for! I do appreciate you all's input on this. Here's the analysis that led me to favor FI. Please correct me anywhere I am wrong.

 

- I totally agree with you Nathan about the "double it" metric, but I assumed that rule applied to typical bargain turbo kits in the $2k range. I'm looking at $4500 kits (all inclusive) from TDR and Trackspeed that include all the very best components. These are double the bargain kits. So I am, if I understand correctly, starting with a doubled budget. Seems best to me to pay the money up front and buy the very best FI solutions on the market. Do you agree with that analysis, or is $4500 just the beginning of what I'll spend with either of these kits? 

 

- I would love to do an engine swap, but they're almost double what FI costs and you typically lose AC. I would do the K-swap in a heartbeat if it weren't for those two issues. KMiata puts the all-in price at $8k minimum. And in a car I still drive every weekend, no AC in College Station is quite uncomfortable much of the year. From the research I've done, high quality swaps are that same price ($8k) and up. Is this a correct assumption? If so, it's not in the cards this year... possible next year too. That's a long time to go without a project.

 

Anyways, thanks for the advice guys. I appreciate the strong opinions! I definitely don't want to do anything dumb. Just want to find a fun next project to keep me occupied this summer.



#11
Matt93SE

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How much power are you looking for?   Are you doing it "for the fun of it", or do you have a power goal in mind?


And just because I'm a shitty driver doesn't make a miata any less slow.


#12
cabowabo

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For those not aware, it should be noted that the Trackspeed EFR turbo kit is a no compromise kit made SPECIFICALLY for track Miata's. No Miata will be as bullet proof as a stockish HP naturally aspirated Miata, but that kit is as bullet proof as you'll get off the shelf on the turbo front. One of the advantages of rotrex is its disadvantage, it's a centrifugal torqueless wonder :). If I ever boost on Moonshine it'll probably be rotrex for simplicity (as far as FI goes).



#13
robertcope

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I agree, I thought about putting a Rotrex on GONK. It may not make the power a turbo does, but I think it would be a) easier to drive/less learning curve and b) easier on the motor.

 

robert


Robert B. Cope

 

#53 - 2003 Jetta (red)
#53 - 1999 Miata (silver) aka GONK: "She may not look like much, but she's got it where it counts, kid. I've made a lot of special modifications myself."
#94 - 2001 S2000 (red) aka Crisis

#XX - 1992 NSX (red)


#14
Rev

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How much power are you looking for? Are you doing it "for the fun of it", or do you have a power goal in mind?


I'm aiming for 210-220 hp and 180 lbft based on my desire to protect stock internals and transmission and leave a bit of safety factor.

#15
Arro

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Wow - I have triggered more responses than I bargained for! I do appreciate you all's input on this. Here's the analysis that led me to favor FI. Please correct me anywhere I am wrong.

 

- I totally agree with you Nathan about the "double it" metric, but I assumed that rule applied to typical bargain turbo kits in the $2k range. I'm looking at $4500 kits (all inclusive) from TDR and Trackspeed that include all the very best components. These are double the bargain kits. So I am, if I understand correctly, starting with a doubled budget. Seems best to me to pay the money up front and buy the very best FI solutions on the market. Do you agree with that analysis, or is $4500 just the beginning of what I'll spend with either of these kits? 

 

 

 

Well it sounds like you've done the research.

 

In addition to the aforementioned "double it" mantra, there's also the "buy it once" mantra where you don't cheap out on things to save a buck only to have to turnaround and buy a better replacement because the cheaper part broke/died/melted.

 

Sounds like these kits were assembled with both mantras in mind.  :wink:



#16
handsoffsam

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Colin used to run the fastforward SC with a lot of success (years) on the track (07-11). I've always been partial to the Kraftwerks Rotrex kit.

good luck! Have fun!

I was thinking of the immortal words of Socrates, who said, "... I drank what?"
#15 SM 94'


#17
hornetball

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Keith Verges loved his turbo Miata and flogged it often.  He once told me it was his favorite car -- and he had a lot of saliva-inducing cars.

 

I really enjoy my turbo Miata too, although it is mostly a daily driver (w/AC) where having that added torque makes it a joy to drive.  It's been running a turbo since ~'09 and it's well-sorted and reliable.  It runs hot on track, so I short-shift to keep temps in check.  I think adding hood vents would get me there, but I haven't done that due to its DD status.  I've thought of having a vented "track hood" that I could swap on for track days.

 

I mostly drive a normally aspirated Miata (stock US-spec VVT swap + header/intake/exhaust) on the track because my priority there is reliability and seat time.

 

My advice for adding FI to a Miata:

 

1.  You're already doing the first one . . . quality components.

2.  Get the MS installed first and learn how to tune it.

3.  Absolutely do the reroute and radiator.  If you get a chance, swap to the '94-'00 head gasket along with the reroute (this last part is more "nice to have" than "mandatory").

4.  Running AC and an intercooler is a tall task.  That's a lot of heat exchangers up in that nose and airflow really gets blocked.  Hood vents are the answer.

5.  Add an oil cooler if you are going to be pushing on track, whether you have FI or not.  It's RPM that drives oil temperature, not power.  See #4 regarding heat exchanger stacks though.

6.  Go to miataturbo.net and look at their stickies.  Some knowledgeable and experienced people over there -- with 'tude!

7.  My build threads might have ideas you can use.

 

Good luck.


Silver 90 1.6L Turbo Miata (Greddy + MSPNP, Cowl Induction, FCM) (Build Thread)
Red 95 1.8 Miata (949 Racing 95R Project Emulation) (Build Thread)


#18
Rev

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Thanks all - especially hornetball for the detailed list! I'll order the M-tuned re-route and get that installed asap while I'm installing and tuning the MS. I'll hold off on the oil cooler till I prove I need it. While turbos sound fun, I'm hearing from a number of you that the Rotrex is likely to be better on track, so I think I'll keep moving that way. If all works out, I hope to have it installed and tuned by the fall so I can run it a couple HPDE's before TWS is scheduled to close. Really want to break the 2 minute mark just for the fun of it! Hope to see a bunch of you at next weekend's PDS.



#19
handsoffsam

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Just to play devils advocate here: save yourself the trouble. pickup an S2000 ;)

I was thinking of the immortal words of Socrates, who said, "... I drank what?"
#15 SM 94'


#20
LibertyMKIII

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I personally feel that turbo would be the more reliable option. BorgWarner products are amazing... I was all about Rotrex untill I read about all the shaft issues.