If your Ford had a Matthew McConaughey, it would be a Lincoln

Miata update: IT WORKS!

That right there is a picture of the sort of thing that would make miataturbo.net have a complete fit: a super-budget turbo build done without a Megasquirt. Here’s what I did today:

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Bought a 7psi wastegate actuator, but due to the way the turbo has been clocked (and the fact it’s aftermarket) it doesn’t mount to this turbo. I improvised.

I got a PCV valve for a Mazda 323 GTX from Autozone and installed it with some new hose, put a breather on the exhaust-side valve cover fitting, teed off the FMU vacuum line to run the wastegate actuator which I *believe* might have been a mistake (not sure if it makes any difference), replaced the vacuum line running to my boost gauge which melted because it was some horrid chinese clear plastic garbage.

Went for a test drive and the car would reliably boost to 5psi, though it was PAINFULLY slow and didn’t seem to build boost quite right. It got slightly better the more I drove it (I don’t get how that happens every time with this car, it’s utter shite until I drive it for a little bit) but was only slightly faster feeling than I remember the car being stock. Huh. On the plus side, no pinging and the car never leaned out despite being on stock 1.6 injectors. No smoke out the back or weird smells except for a faint burning smell when I popped the hood.

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Oh. My exhaust is red hot. Huh. My best guess is the timing needs to be advanced a bit more. Base timing right now is set to 6 degrees BTC, stock is 10 I believe. Tomorrow I’ll put an intercooler in the system and advance the timing to 10 degrees and then back off 2 degrees at a time if there’s any pinging.

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Here’s where the intercooler is going. Since my car has both A/C and power steering my routing options are VERY limited so the intercooler, which is from a 3000GT VR-4, is going to be mounted just in front of the driver front wheel in the wheel well. Airflow won’t be stunning, but it’ll be better than nothing.

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One of these two radiators. Probably the one to the upper right side. Turn it on its side so the two pipes come into the engine bay just past the driver’s side of the radiator, from there it’s 6 inches straight up to the turbo or 6 inches across the engine bay to the charge pipe. Most of the after-turbo piping will be heat-wrapped probably though it never goes near the exhaust so I’m not sure how important that will be.

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