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True Costs of a Turbo Miata

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  • #16
    I honestly don't think Nick's list is that extreme. A whole lot of that stuff could be deleted if you are talking about a street car---i mean, he's got a used turbo car listed there for a touch under 7500 if you build it yourself. That means you could buy someone else's build for probably $6000 grand if you shop around. As for the track car stuff, well, dedicated track cars get pricey---it's actually a lot more than that when you factor in the track costs themselves (200-350 a weekend, safety gear, more gasoline than an abrams tank uses, etc....)

    there's a lot of really useful information here. I spent about 6 weeks pricing out what it was going to cost to collect everything on that list (which i didn't have, but figured out on my own---wish this post existed in November!), then bought a car that had nearly all of it. That's the most cost effective way to go. well, I hope.
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    • #17
      Lots of good feedback above. Obviously everyone's build and priorities will differ - after all we aren't all trying to build the exact same car.

      The basis for the above was what I consider the "sweet spot" for a boosted Miata: 10-12psi resulting in somewhere between 220-250rwhp. You can plan to spend less on a low boost setup or on a built motor/ high boost setup.

      I often hear people talking about picking up a Miata for $2k and then building a turbo kit for another $2k and beating up on Porsches and 'Vettes. I'm not saying that can't be done, it's just not going to happen that way for most people. "Cheap, Fast, Reliable: Choose Two" is still alive and well in 2015.
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      • #18
        Originally posted by metalman View Post
        There is a good bit of over thinking and over kill in this thread.
        One can have a LOT of fun with a 150-220 whp FI MX5 for fairly little $ and still have a great reliability. Obviously wear is increased with power but driving style has much to do with that as well. Track cars that are beat to the edge of death are another matter, but a budget street driven forced induction Miata that provides fun and reliability isnt an over costly thing, and is wayyyyyyyyyyyyy cheaper and easier than any stupid motor swap.
        The problem is that many get bitten by the hp bug in search of ever higher numbers and when trapped by that mentality the costs and aggravation ever increase. The best money is spent on setting up your car to run well and be reliable, not putting down a specific dyno number or keeping up with all the hp fags & asshats on miataturdbo. I have seen (and owned) FI'd cars that had 170-220 whp run 100k with virtually no real issues. JRSC 1.6's can run virtually forever....UNLESS one starts adding all the crap. Keep it simple. Keep it simple. Keep it simple. Follow those three rules and there is much fun to be had. Break them and chase hp numbers and both your wallet and reliability will go out the window.
        While I have zero experience actually building a turbo Miata, I have definitely done my research related to the task (hours, countless). And after doing three times the research to Turbo charge a B-series in an Integra before I pursued that build, it didn't take long to figure out, 98% of the same concepts apply.

        I can FULLY agree with the above post.

        As we all like to think our Miatas are a "cut above", they are still an NA 4 cylinder, that we might decide to turbocharge (which yes, puts us in the same category as an, dare I say it, Integra turbo build). And then proceed to street/daily it or track it.

        And if this truly is a thread about the total cost of a Turbo Miata, I feel that all suspension mod costs should be absent. For what I see as an obvious reason.

        Lots of good input in this thread though, its nice to have the input, without having to fish through the BS that is all too apparent at a certain Miata turbo forum I know of.

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        • #19
          Originally posted by NBoost View Post
          And if this truly is a thread about the total cost of a Turbo Miata, I feel that all suspension mod costs should be absent. For what I see as an obvious reason.
          Funny that you mention this. Nick's point about each person's goals / build being different is key. I've had an ongoing debate about what the best bang for the buck in a Miata is.

          Perhaps we need a separate "bang for the buck" thread, but I think this info belongs along side the turbo discussion since it's often the same pot of money funding both. We'll never be straight line killers (at least at a reasonable price point). We can however have a lot of grip and improve some of the nagging design issues in the car.

          In my mind the 2 biggest enhancements for my car were Suspension - $800 and Driver Seat 2.5" drop - ~$Free. Sticky wheels and Tires are a distant 3rd. The turbo is fun but not nearly the same bang for the buck.

          We had a certain Mazda 2 driver at the last AMP even who reinforced how much bang for the buck is involved in suspension, wheels and tires...not HP.
          sigpic
          Current: 1994 Merlot (Turbo) Sold: Red '02 Turbo | 2010 - 2015 ~~~ 987 Boxster | 2012-2014 ~~~ Z4 ///M Roadster | 2015 - 2015 ~~~ Z4 3.0i (18k miles!)| 2018-2018 ~~~ 2006 Miata (Laci) | one track day ~~~ Exocet (Turbo!) | 2015-2019

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          • #20
            Originally posted by NBoost View Post
            And if this truly is a thread about the total cost of a Turbo Miata, I feel that all suspension mod costs should be absent. For what I see as an obvious reason.
            Again, everyone's build will differ. This list is a starting point for users to plan their build. Quite honestly it is one I wish that I had 5 years and $15k ago :)

            For what it's worth I have never seen a turbo Miata on stock suspension (except an MSM, and we are talking about boosting non-MSM Miatas here).
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            • #21
              Originally posted by nickt93 View Post
              For what it's worth I have never seen a turbo Miata on stock suspension (except an MSM, and we are talking about boosting non-MSM Miatas here).
              it makes for a great rally car :)
              "The MX5 has become the Civic/240 hacked turdbucket with a moron driver. Those who owned Miatas in the early 90s or even late 90s are likely much more aware of the magnitude of that change than others who 'discovered' the MX5 more recently of course. "

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              • #22
                I would be interested to see this same kind of chart done for super charging, I would think it'd be about the same perhaps a little cheaper
                Slip 'N' Slide

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                • #23
                  Figure very similar costs for supercharger (possibly more to get 6 rib pulleys, good tension-er and intercooler / water / meth injection). Based on experience with Fossil's and another that I almost bought, I'd avoid anything less than an MP62 and would strongly prefer an inter-cooled hotside setup for any real track use.
                  sigpic
                  Current: 1994 Merlot (Turbo) Sold: Red '02 Turbo | 2010 - 2015 ~~~ 987 Boxster | 2012-2014 ~~~ Z4 ///M Roadster | 2015 - 2015 ~~~ Z4 3.0i (18k miles!)| 2018-2018 ~~~ 2006 Miata (Laci) | one track day ~~~ Exocet (Turbo!) | 2015-2019

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                  • #24
                    Everybody I know who tried to track a supercharged miata either had reliability problems or went turbo for more power.

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by NA6R View Post
                      it makes for a great rally car :)
                      My friend, who picked up your ecu is going to be turbo with 185 street tires, koni yellows and stock springs. At least for the next month. It's gonna be silly fun. Should look into rallycross...

                      Alex is spot on the money, m45 + track was the demise of my old engine. And I swapped to turbo because of the torque load the S/C puts on the engine, in addition to whp.

                      Nick, awesome chart! I'm trying to follow the poor man's track car column.
                      Harrison -- I like modifying stuff. Current - White 92
                      Past - 96 Montego, 94 Red, 90 Red, 97 Black.
                      Everybody always need more of 2 things: Whp and Cowbell.

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by 91LudeSiT View Post
                        Everybody I know who tried to track a supercharged miata either had reliability problems or went turbo for more power.
                        Im not saying this is true for 100% of people, but it's 100% true of me. Of course, having to fix my car at every track event with the sc was an interesting learning experience. Also, the cataclysmic explosion was kind of cool.
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                        • #27
                          I honestly don't think I would ever go to a track export maybe autocross, how reliable is a street sc setup?
                          Slip 'N' Slide

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                          • #28
                            I ran a base Sebring/JR kit on my daily driver 1.6 for 3-4 years without any issues. Never tracked it, but I did drive as if it were stock and under warranty, no holds barred. The only thing that ever happened was the crank bolt coming loose about 3 yrs after I did the timing belt. How loose? It came off on the interstate, headed to qualifying at Rd. Atlanta of all things. I found the bolt in the under tray and reinstalled it on the side of the road using the OE lug tool. <--There are probably some lessons there. ;) I was completely OK with the power the SC made, probably because I was wrenching and racing cars at the time.
                            | 90 Miata | Turbocharged Stock Mazda FE-dohc 2.0L engine swap | 302whp 281ftlbs |

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                            • #29
                              I had a gorgeous NA with an early Sebring SC setup. It did not make a huge amount of boost (maybe 5-6lbs) and was running without IC and on a fuel card/ MSD timing retard device. Pretty basic.

                              Its was 100% reliable for the street and quite fun- it had been on the car for years prior to my buying it and its still logging miles for the new owner years later.


                              If you go for a low boost setup it can be pretty robust.
                              Sean O
                              2017 Ford Raptor, 1998 Wrangler, 2013 PRHT Club Edition 2.5/ Fab9/ Ohlins, KTM 1190 Adventure

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                              • #30
                                You can swap a VVT 1.8, make about the same power as a standard M45 based SC, and be dramatically more reliable.
                                DIYAutoTune.com

                                | 10AE-T | BEGi S4 | GT2560r | Enthuza | 6UL | MS3Pro PNP|
                                | 2001 Track Rat | Enthuza | Jenvey | MS3Pro PNP | Exocet in Progress|
                                | 1992 323 | Wrong-wheel-drive Miata Endurance Racecar|

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