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Turbo or suspension?

  • Wait on the turbo and splurge on the suspension.

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Wait on the turbo, but clip the suspension budget back. RACE = overkill.

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Turbo it now. 220rwhp cures all handling woes.

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    0
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Discussion Starter #1
I posted this same thread/poll at M.net. I thought it would be interesting to get this forum's opinion as well.


I have a '94 C-package that I'm preparing for street and open track use. My original plan was to spend a healthy sum of money on a great track suspension (KONI RACE/GC coilovers) and then save money later on to add a turbocharger to the car. My final goal is to be running 220+rwhp at 12psi. Streetability and NVH are non-issues. I will not sacrifice track prowess for street comfort. I have considered other setups like JIC, TEIN, etc. but I feel that for the price, the RACE/GC setup is the best track-oriented bang for the buck. It is most of the performance of a set of Koni 28 series shocks at 1/3 the price.

However, I have been poking around miataturbo.net a bit over the past couple of days, and I quickly realized that I can build a 220rwhp car for far, far less than I previously thought I could. I'd estimate that after getting a used turbo, manifold, eBay intercooler, piping, Bosch BOV, downpipe, and a piggyback ECU, I'd be out somewhere around $2500, perhaps $3000. That is less than the $3000+ I thought I would be into for the 170rwhp FM kit, and FAR less than the $5000 I would be paying for the 250rwhp kit. (I am budgeting $1500 for clutch, flywheel, and exhaust upgrades on top of this. My car has the 7" Torsen already.)

I'm starting to think that a $2200 track suspension (The original plan was KONI RACE shocks, GC coilovers with 700/450 rates, an FM butterfly, and a big RB tubular up front) is a little absurd for my current situation, and perhaps I could forego the RACE shocks for a set of Yellows and use the money to turbo the car a bit sooner.

The other option is to stick with my stock suspension for now, do the DIY turbo first, and then focus on getting the suspension knocked out this summer. This doesn't sound like a great idea to me, though.

In my situation, knowing you only had the opportunity to make another $4-5k before the money dried up, what would you do?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Not a lot in cars. I've got 2.5 years of karting experience, including a year in a 125cc shifter kart that will run circles around my Miata. I've also got Skip Barber's 3-day racing techniques course, and I'm doing Dennis Hale's 3-day course in March at T-hill with the car. Most everyone who has driven with me has been impressed with my driving skill.
 

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I voted for suspension too. I'm still trying to drive my car as fast as i can in stock HP before putting more power.
 

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I'd say dial down the suspension a little bit, and wait on the turbo. I'd rather have a suspension that works great and have barely any power to put down than have a ton of power but no suspension. in my mind, having no power to save you after you fudge up a corner would help you be a faster driver. besides, having no power is what driving a miata's all about, right?

also, in the time you have between the suspension and the turbo install, you can also take the time to research more and possibly uncover any problems you may have overlooked.

you mentioned that you are budgeting money for clutch, flywheel, etc, which is a great idea. and pretty much a requirement for almost doubling the engine's output. just remember to budget a little more money for better brake pads so you can stop the damn thing. with better brake pads, you're probably going to be going through rotors faster (depending on the pad) too, so you'll need to keep that in mind if you're planning on eating ramen for a year to help pay for everything.

hope everything goes well for you.
 

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I can say with absolute certainty!
Nothing puts a smile on your face, more than a car that just handles and feels right. Power or not, when the car "feels" right, driving is just the best thing.

A turbo in a car that isnt' sorted Suspension wise, could still end up frustrating at times, though power is never a bad thing.

One thing to note, IMO when you have a surplus of cash, buy the BIG expense items first. Because those are hardest to save for. You can piece meal the other stuff together later.
 

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my 99 turbo is still on its stock suspension and my 94 beater has a full r-package swap and sticky tires. the 99 is more fun between lights, but the 94 is my daily driver. fun suspensions don't have to cost more than a grand and do nothing to increase the cost of maintaining your car. driving my turbo hard, i keep waiting for the day the noise in my tranny goes from annoying to death rasp and i have to shell out for $$ driveline work.
 

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I agree with everyone above.

I did the shocks / swaybars, braces etc with up-grade to the breaks (slotted / vented rotors , Hawk Pads) first.

This winter the BEGi S3 / Link goes in with a Frame Rails (also clutch/flywheel & Torsen).
 

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It will be in the shop for about a month or longer. (and yes that polished duece in the shop is mine)

Five years of savings are going into the car.

But to keep this 'On Topic' there is a lot of extra expenses on doing a turbo it is not just a manifold and turbo.

So watch when you do a DIY project the costs do add up.

The other thing I have noticed is the amount of used GReddy kits that are out there .... that must say something.
 

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Speed Tribe OG Member
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Turbo now. Miata already has awsome suspention. Tires+alignment > you.
Yes they do for the stock HP.

But add more HP you have to upgrade other parts (suspension, brakes & Torsen diff)

...and vise versa....

+1 for the turbo.

But I think you need to tell us what kind of driving you will be doing mostly. If it is track days or autocross then Suspension and just as important..... Brakes(which cost$$$ too). If it is just daily driving and you are a red light jumper then Turbo for sure. Keep the suspension stock for daily living and for the sleeper look as well.
IMHO...good luck!
 

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If you decide to go the turbo route,you also need to consider other expenses as well,like a stronger clutch and a freeflowing exhaust.

John I saw your polished duece(what a work of art)and I wanted to take it home with me,but Pete would not let me take it.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
My focus is on track performance. It will be street driven, but NVH is a non-issue. My plan at this point is to either stick with my original plan OR do standard Koni Sports for now with standard GC rates (or perhaps no GCs to start), then get the turbo up and running at around 6psi or so, then have the Sports revalved to Race specs and bump my rates up. Either way, I'll be budgeting $1500 for clutch and exhaust, and brakes will happen before anything else does.
 

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wait on the turbo and the suspension and save for a Super Combat Drift Kamikaze Samurai body kit!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :roll:
 
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