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Welcome to My Turbo Miata Website!
This site is dedicated to my 1992 Mazda Miata MX-5 that I turbocharged and intercooled. Thanks for visiting and feel free to take a look around.

Update - July 2012
Differential Upgrade - Part Two In this update we finish up the task of strengthening Sunflower's rear end and tackle a bunch of other tasks "while we're in there". Watch the video and/or read all about it...

My 1992 Sunburst Yellow Miata: The History
I am a fan of just about anything with an engine and wheels. My fascination with cars started at a very young age since I grew up in my father's service station and was raised by mechanics. (Sorta like being raised by a pack of wolves, but wolves that know lots of car stuff.)

As I got older I grew more and more interested in performance cars, since my dad and uncles all had some sort of dangerously fast and/or cool vehicles in their garages. I subscribed to Car and Driver and Motor Trend at 10 years old. This was pre-internet, so car magazines were THE place that you got info, news and reviews on new models. I distinctly remember the first time I read an article about the all new 1990 Mazda Miata. In fact, I still have that issue! I was intrigued by the total package, but was most impressed with how a new car, built in Japan, could evoke comparisons to some of the greatest roadsters ever built. In our service station, we had a few customers with Miatas and I enjoyed driving them around the lot and looking them over while we were changing the oil or rotating the tires. Since then, other cars have caught my eye and consumed far more time than I care to admit, but all the while, I've had a distant appreciation for Mazda Miatas and was always "sorta" looking for a 1990-1993 model.

Over the last 9 years or so, I've been pretty heavy into the Mitsubishis and DSMs. I currently own a 1991 Eagle Talon Tsi AWD Turbo and a 1989 Mitsubishi Mirage with a 4G63 swap. I've also owned a 1991 Eclipse Turbo, 1989 Mitsubishi Starion (swapped a 4G63 in that) and a 2003 Lancer Evolution. All of those cars have been tons of fun and have taught me many new things about cars, how to work on them and how to get the performance results that you want by following a well thought out plan with a strict budget.

1992 Mazda Miata Sunburst Yellow
This is one of 1,519 1992 Sunburst Yellow Mazda Miatas produced. Of that, it is one of 519 that came with the factory hardtop. This is how it looks as of January 2011. Other than the wheels and the intercooler peeking out of the front end, it has no exterior mods, stickers, wings, etc. This is done to maintain the "sleeper" aspect and to fool the unsuspecting that have no knowledge of the turbo power under the hood.

The Find: Summer, 2007
When spring rolled around this year, I felt like it was time to try something completely new and different with the 'ole car hobby. Once again, I wanted a lightweight, reliable sports car that wouldn't break the bank and one car fit the bill more than any other. The Mazda MX-5 Miata.

I began seriously searching in late spring of 2007, but kept finding the same stuff. "Nice" cars, but with some major quirk that would turn me away. For example, I looked at a great 1991, low mileage, one owner, but the lady let her cat sleep in it every night. I opened the door to take it for a drive and was practically knocked out! The freaking car smelled like a dirty litter box inside! Bummer. I think she thought I was nuts, but I couldn't stomach it.

Over the next few weeks I looked at a handfull of cars that had all been beaten on and abused in some way. Just when I was starting to lose faith I came across a gem! I called immediately, went to see it later that evening, and picked it up a couple days later. I've never seen myself as a yellow car guy, but for some reason, it just looks right on a Miata. That and the fact that this was a rare beast with the factory hardtop made it that much more appealing. Only 1,519 were made in Sunburst Yellow and of that 519 wore factory hardtops.

1992 Mazda Miata Interior
The interior of the Miata is mostly stock save for a Sony stereo and (boost and wideband air/fuel) gauges that I installed to keep an eye on things.

This particular car was owned by a lady who had pampered it from day one. She was a great owner, keeping track of all the maintenance and even threw in the stock wheels/tires, stereo, car cover, tonneau cover and a few other parts. The car currently has a littler over 73,000 miles, is in superb condition inside and out.

More Power!
After driving my Miata around in its stock from, it didn't take long (a month, actually) for me to realize that I needed more power. I'm pretty sure this realization occurred at the exact moment that a new Toyota Camry pulled buslengths on me from a stoplight. This would never happen again. I will never own a car that gets beat up that bad by a Camry of all things. I had been doing tons of research on turbo Miatas, preparing for the day that I would finally take the leap. After much deliberation, I decided to pick up a Greddy turbo kit. The kit is very affordable, but is pretty basic out of the box. In fact it lacks an intercooler, blow off valve, etc. So "while I was in there" I decided to do a few upgrades that would allow me to turn up the power later on.

Adding a turbo to this car has made it infinitely more fun to drive. The power comes on strong when needed but it still drives like a stock Miata when you need it to and to top it all off, it gets 31-34 MPG! (I am still shocked by this.)

1992 Mazda Miata Turbo Engine
Miata's were made for turbos! I'm sure you'd agree that everything looks right at home in there.

What Next?
I want this car to be a great all around performer. I want it to handle well, accelerate quickly, stop short and all without sacrificing any of the utility or comfort that makes this car so enjoyable. According to the most recent dyno test (April 2011) this car put down 252 horsepower and 247 ft-lbs of torque to the wheels. Factoring in about a 15% drivetrain loss would mean the engine is putting out roughly 290hp. Since it weighs in at around 2200lbs, that gives it a power to weight ratio of 7.6 lbs per hp. How does that stack up? Take a look at this:

Vehicle lb/hp ratio
1992 Mazda Miata Turbo 7.6
2011 Porsche Boxster 9.0
2007 Honda S2000 12.0
2006 Subaru WRX Sti 11.1
2008 Pontiac Solstice GXP 11.6
2009 BMW 135i Turbo 11.5

I plan to keep this rare little car clean while enjoying the heck out of it. It's been a long time since I owned a convertible and I really missed it. What's more fun than putting the top down, finding a curvy back road, and listening to the turbo sing in harmony with the exhaust note at full wail? Nothing, as far as I can tell!

Sunburst Yellow Mazda Miata Turbo
Cute, no?