mgmike69
mgmike69
9/17/08 10:45 a.m.

I have a 91 mazda miata se 30k miles. I am interested in doing a few bolt on mods to bump the power a little and improve handling.Does a front shock tower brace help is it a worth while improvement?What are the most effective air intakes,or is the factory as good as anything else out their?Are their air intakes and / or strut tower braces that won't interfere with each other?Lastly exhaust are headers worth the hassle to install ? are their good exhaust systems out their any advice would be appreciated

Strizzo
Strizzo Dork
9/17/08 10:47 a.m.

www.flyinmiata.com

pretty much all you need, all in one place

John Brown
John Brown SuperDork
9/17/08 10:48 a.m.

Not to sound like an add or anything but you only need one website for everything:

www.flyingmiata.com

autolex84
autolex84 New Reader
9/17/08 11:22 a.m.
John Brown wrote: Not to sound like an add or anything but you only need one website for everything: www.flyingmiata.com

there's no "g" in flyinmiata, but yeah.

www.flyinmiata.com

I would do a header, exhaust, and bump the timing up.

www.miata.net can be pretty helpful too.

Good luck!

MCarp22
MCarp22 New Reader
9/17/08 11:24 a.m.

This guide is pretty well thought out and has dyno numbers:

http://members.aol.com/solomiata/CheapHP.html

John Brown
John Brown SuperDork
9/17/08 11:26 a.m.

How did that G get in there? stoopid brain spelling words properly while I am supposed to be working!

Someone else beat me to it anyway.

wreckerboy
wreckerboy SuperDork
9/17/08 11:40 a.m.
mgmike69 wrote: I have a 91 mazda miata se 30k miles. I am interested in doing a few bolt on mods to bump the power a little and improve handling.Does a front shock tower brace help is it a worth while improvement?

Generally speaking, no. The shock towers on these cars are not as highly stressed as the same points in a car with a MacPherson strut suspension. However, if your car suffers from "the dreaded 65 MPH shimmy" and everything else checks out, I have read reports of a tower brace helping. I've got one on the street Miata and have not seen any differnce.

What are the most effective air intakes,or is the factory as good as anything else out their?

The factory piece is good, but there are better. For street use something like the SP Induction piece is nice because it adds a fair degree of midrange torque. I had that on the SM and felt the difference over the JR CAI that was installed before. The JR part was worth 10+ HP when the car was dyno'd (with other mods) but it is very peaky, with all the gains coming above 4,000 RPM and with losses below that point.

Are their air intakes and / or strut tower braces that won't interfere with each other??

Yes, Flyin' Miata is your friend here.

Lastly exhaust are headers worth the hassle to install ? are their good exhaust systems out their any advice would be appreciated

Yes and no. The stock 1.6 manifold is a good flowing part. For general street use on a stock engine it is more than adequate. Most of the numbers in the Spec Miata world I have seen indicate at most 2-3 HP. However, I've got a Jackson header on the street car and it sure is purty. It does make access to that side of the engine compartment a little easier as well.

Installation (assuming no rust issues) is a breeze. It will take an hour, maybe less. However, if your motor mounts are iffy you may run into clearance issues. This would be a good time to replace the motor mounts as well. After 17 years it is a safe bet yours have seen better days if they haven't failed entirely. For some reason these cars seem to eat motor mounts. Must be all that torque or something.

For a street car DO NOT get the stiffer Mazda Comp pieces as they will make the car buzzy. Replacing the mounts is a easy job and may be covered in Keith's book as well.

As for exhaust systems, that is a whole 'nother can of worms. I run the Spec Miata exhaust on the racecar and will be upgrading the street car to it as well. It's loud, but not terribly so.

Keith will eventually post here - look around on his Targa Miata web site for the section where he built his own headers. There are some nice and effective headers out there, but generally speaking, modified cars are going to take the most advantage of them.

racerdave600
racerdave600 Reader
9/17/08 12:57 p.m.

On my recent '91, I did a header and exhaust, and it was money well spent. They worked great together, but not so good seperately, something to remember. I also went with the Flyin Miata suspension setup, and it also worked well. Coilovers are another option.

Kendall_Jones
Kendall_Jones New Reader
9/17/08 2:15 p.m.

Note, I've found after dyno-ing 30+ cars (and hundreds of pulls) - just bolting exhaust bits onto the 1.6L cars may hurt power. The more free flowing the exhaust gets, the richer it runs.

You've got to make a "tweak" to the AFM to calibrate the AFR to the new flow rate. I've seen an increase of 8-30 HP by just tweaking the AFM & Ignition timing after some bolting on some go fast bits.

Kendall detroitdyno.com

Junkyard_Dog
Junkyard_Dog Reader
9/17/08 2:18 p.m.

Adding braces-especially to 1.6 cars-can go a loooooong way towards curing the 65mph shimy common to these cars....and for $20 on eBay whats it gonna hurt?

thatsnowinnebago
thatsnowinnebago Reader
9/17/08 2:54 p.m.

Honestly I wouldn't even bother with any power mods unless you go to some sort of forced induction. The Miata motor doesn't really make that much more power with bolt on stuff. The suspension is where you will see the biggest improvements in performance. Some nice, light wheels and sticky rubber are good to have too. Definitely get a good performance alignment too. Look up the Icehawk alignment on Miata.net. I have that one and it was a night and day difference from stock. I've unintentionally chased down a newer 3-series (whose tires I could hear squealing) in my Miata on a curvy road with a bone stock motor and a decent suspension and some Azenis.

confuZion3
confuZion3 HalfDork
9/18/08 8:55 a.m.

Get good tires. Azenis RT-615s are fantastic and can be had for $65.00 a piece. I have KYB AGX shocks on mine. they're stiff, but they can be adjusted through 8 settings and can be made to be pretty comfy for normal driving. I have a racing beat intake on my 1.8, but I can't give you a before / after since I bought the car with it.

If you remove your sterio, speakers, and all associated wiring, you can shave off 30 pounds (maybe less since you probably only have door speakers). You also open your ears up to an entirely different experience when you don't have music ruining your drive.

Don't break your IAC valve. They're $800.00 from Advance Auto and $600.00 from Mazda and I don't know why.

This one is important. Get a roll bar, and get a good one.

MEGA-EDIT: Enjoy your new car!

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