Jul 24, 2017 update to the Mazda Miata project car

Project Turbo Miata: Hitting the Dyno With a Fresh Engine

Wayne Presley of Very Cool Parts checked the end play on the turbo. News was not good…

With a brand-new engine from Treasure Coast Miata installed in our turbocharged Miata, it was time for a checkup. We wanted to run the car in a controlled environment, someplace where we could break in the engine and monitor its vitals, so we headed over to Very Cool Parts.

Although this shop made its name assembling Factory Fives, it’s much more than just a fiberglass car factory. Owner Wayne Presley has years and years of racing experience, and he’s a pro at making cars turn fast, reliable laps. He’s also a great tuner, and Very Cool Parts even has an in-house Mustang chassis dyno.

We strapped down the Miata, gapped the plugs, set the timing, and checked for leaks and loose wires. After some gentle break-in driving to check the tune, we put the pedal to the metal and watched the dyno graph … wither and die.

Our Subaru Impreza WRX junkyard turbo was barely usable when we first installed it, and that last bout of overheating must have finished off its bearings. The car simply wasn’t making as much boost as it should, and we’ll replace the turbo before our next race. Even so, our Miata posted 168 horsepower and 139 ft.-lbs. of torque.

Our next stop? Talladega Gran Prix, where we’d put our first laps on the car’s new heart.

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View comments on the GRM forums
Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard Associate Editor
7/25/17 11:02 a.m.


We haven't blown up the new engine (yet).

Success! At least compared to our last two engines.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
7/25/17 1:39 p.m.

Yay, success!

PseudoSport Dork
7/25/17 1:52 p.m.

Are you going to dyno the car again with the new turbo before the next race?

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
7/25/17 2:01 p.m.
PseudoSport wrote: Are you going to dyno the car again with the new turbo before the next race?

Good question. First, um, we gotta replace a diff.

codrus UltraDork
7/25/17 6:03 p.m.

How did you break the diff? It's a '96, so it never had a 6" ring gear, did it?

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard Associate Editor
7/27/17 9:32 a.m.

Stay tuned for a future update.

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