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Thread: To add power, or leave it stock?

  1. #1
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    Default To add power, or leave it stock?

    Kicking around the idea of finally adding some power mods.....my question (kinda of a weird one) is at what point does one add power to their car? My lap times are on my signature. Its driven to the track and back and it's legally smogged every two years. I feel like I've reached a wall and can't go any faster without adding some hp and tq. Is it time to mod for hp or grow a pair and drive it harder?
    Johns_EvoIXSE likes this.
    99 miata-tein flex, RB sway bars
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  2. #2
    http://www.trackhq.com/Banners/yellowsitesponsor.gif Blackbird's Avatar
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    How much does it weigh and what have you done for aero?

  3. #3
    The Real Captain Slow Red_5's Avatar
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    Do you have an '01 header instead of the pre-cat? That will save weight, make more power and prevent the eventual cat failure. Most cars still pass smog with them too. I would start preparing a new engine now, probably a VVT, get the plug and play stand-alone ECU so you're ready when your engine finally does go. With a Miata, I'd worry more about setup, suspension and weight than adding power. Reliability is a good thing.
    99 Mazda Miata SuperMiata #515 - AKA Sparky SOLD
    '91 Mariner Blue Miata project AKA Napoleon

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    As a datapoint for you.

    My car:
    -99 chassis
    -VVT motor, Megasquirt 3, racing beat header, square top, 2.5" exhaust with single cell cat, k/n carb intake
    -makes 155hp on church's dyno (originally made 165 but some ponies have escaped)
    -6speed with 4.1 torsen
    -205/50/15 rivals on x8's
    -xida cs2's
    -blackbird fabworx spm spoiler

    Easily does 2:04.5 without breaking a sweat at brp 13cw. Predictive says the car has a 2:03.8 in it, my grey matter does not.

    With aero (splitter and apr wing) and fresher rubber and a cool day I'm pretty sure I could break 2:00-2:01. Under 2:00 would be impossibru.

    My car is street driven to/from the track. I switch back over to the oem ecu at select times and a carb legal cat (vbands for the cat) and header. I'll let you figure out what those times are. It may or may not be every time I go to the track or it may or may not be once very two years.

    Regarding getting to this point... it has required elbow grease and a lot of reading. Especially so with the megasquirt. There are things like mat correction that keep your car from running lean, acceleration enrichment to keep your car from running like **** on maintenance throttle etc. A tuner will not tune these for you but will only tune the fuel and timing map. There is a noticable change in street drivability and fussiness of my car post megasquirt install. These things can be flushed out with extensive megasquirt knowledge and tuning time. I will get there eventually but it's a series of baby steps.

    My advice is decide if you enjoy going to the track and not messing with your car. I really enjoyed that... it's not that I don't enjoy the power. But now my car is well on it's way to needing to be paid attention to and fussed with. There are things on my mind now other than just driving as fast as I can.

  5. #5
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    RB header, intake, and 2.5" exh with stock ECU give the car noticeably more power. I pulled my ps and a/c for simplicity and weight reduction. The car is exponentially more fun to drive with the steering depowered. I do not plan on going the megasquirt route for the caveats mentioned above. If you want one, I have an MS2 for sale. I am really happy with my car so far, and I plan on doing some aero stuff in the future. I've also been doing easy weight reduction stuff as I think of it (ie speakers, headunit, antenna, airbags, washer bottle/motor), but nothing that will affect its streetability to a significant extent.

    edit: I forgot, I also have the bp5a cam as well.
    Last edited by eyeballs; 09-25-2015 at 11:06 AM.
    '99 miata

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by eyeballs View Post
    RB header, intake, and 2.5" exh with stock ECU give the car noticeably more power. I pulled my ps and a/c for simplicity and weight reduction. The car is exponentially more fun to drive with the steering depowered. I do not plan on going the megasquirt route for the caveats mentioned above. If you want one, I have an MS2 for sale. I am really happy with my car so far, and I plan on doing some aero stuff in the future. I've also been doing easy weight reduction stuff as I think of it (ie speakers, headunit, antenna, airbags, washer bottle/motor), but nothing that will affect its streetability to a significant extent.

    edit: I forgot, I also have the bp5a cam as well.
    While I have no doubt that in that configuration your car is fun... i would be concerned at what afr's you are running at. I had to run my car with no ecu for one event last year as I blew my ms3 injector circuit up and had to send it in for service. With a square top, intake and 2.5" exhaust the car ran very very lean at redline. Enough to burn valves with persistent use. ymmv.

    My personal opinion is either run the car with a catback and intake on the stock ecu or nothing at all. The racing beat header starts to throw the afr's out of whack on the stock ecu.

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    I had not heard that before, that's good to know (though not what I wanted to hear)! I guess I'll have to install a wideband to see where I'm at, and if things don't look good I'll have to either pull stuff out or run the MS2. I've probably run about 18 track hours on this setup so far. My next event is this sunday...would've been nice to get that in before hitting the track again. I only have stock gauges now.
    Last edited by eyeballs; 09-25-2015 at 01:49 PM.
    '99 miata

  8. #8
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    George, grow a pair and go turbo, 10" wheels with 245 RC1's, and MOAR aero!!! 200whp in your car with added tire and aero will be fast!!!
    bellwilliam likes this.
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    1:21.6X @ SOW CCW - 7/30/14 (400whp, Nt01)
    2:00.01 @ CVR CW - 9/28/13 (350whp, RS3)
    1:48.22 @ ACS - 11/23/13 (400whp, RS3)

  9. #9
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    Spend the money on coaching?

  10. #10
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    Depends, on things like how much money you want to spend, if you enjoy working on cars, have spare time, etc. If you just want to improve your personal bests, you can use stickier tires. Or, if you have some money and want a mostly stock car, you can get a faster car, like an NC or S2000 or Vette or RX8, etc. If you enjoy working on cars and/or need to spend money a little at a time, modding you car might be a good idea. You also might be able to find a good deal on an NA/NB that's already been nicely modded and sorted.

  11. #11
    Senior Member fatbillybob's Avatar
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    Often engine upgrades result in reduced reliability. Change the game. Try wheel to wheel.
    wagnerov likes this.

  12. #12
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    What he ^ said. Change the game. We all been there, it gets boring after a while doing track day.

    You might be the next Hamilton but don't know it, or you might be a blue group (doubt it from your fast lap time) driver and have a lot to learn. Point is you will never know till you try some form of closely regulated competition.

    Example. With our Supermiata group, we are all very friendly. Everyone shares data (data always helps, even at F1 level), video. We share setup info. Ask the fastest guy what pressure he runs, he will tell you. Go ahead and measure his ride height, no one will bat an eye. We jump into each other's car and try them out. You will learn a ton about setup. Just being fast don't get you the win unless you know setup and strategy. We honestly want everyone to go fast, more fun racing that way.

    Forget mods, what the point of extra 50whp ? Say you go 5 seconds faster. What does that mean ? May be with 50whp, you are suppose to go not 5 but 10 seconds faster. Without comparison, you will never know. And what's after 50 whip bump ? You gonna come back here and ask the same question: "What's next"
    Last edited by bellwilliam; 10-25-2015 at 09:44 PM.
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