low budget upgrades


charlottesville va, US
mazda miata
Hi, I'm Porter, I just purchased a 1992 miata and I was wondering if anybody had any advice for tuning and/ or engine modifications. I am a novice, but I have friends who know their way around a car. I'm looking to get a little more power out of it with a limited budget and any advice from owners of the car or anyone with an intimate knowledge of it would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you
Porter Bar
Hi there, which engine do you have? A set of fast road cams and a supercharger kit are the biggest and best mods you can do.
I have the 1.6 liter, and im getting a K&N fuel injection performance kit for christmas along with some new spark plugs, oil filter and fuel filter. I was reading reviews and they all said that both supercharger and turbocharger where extremely good modifications for the miata, but out of curiosity what is the benifit of a supercharger over a turbocharger, and would I need new pistons to lower the compression rate to prevent damage to the engine?
If you run lowish boost and high octane fuel you should be ok.

The turbo gives more power but IMHO it is more complex to install and setup. If you do lower the compression you can up the boost and really start to have fun.

I doubt a K&N induction kit will give any power gains and on the 1.6 it may even rob you of a bit of power. (See the thread in our general technical forum for more on this.)
adjust the timing from 10 to 14 degrees, add a k and n free flow panel filter and a 2.5" exhaust, (loose the cat if you can)
Take performance driving lessons and practice as much as you can. It's the best bang foir the money if you want to go fast :)

I also have a '92 and when I first started in the mods game, I added a OBX catback exhaust and a homemade cone type filter intake. I think it make about 5 whp more on a dynodynamics dyno before heat soak took it away LOL!
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For the Mk1, the cheapest mod is the exhaust/inlet cam change, will cost very little.
You will need an old 1.6 exhaust camshaft though, The exhaust cam has slightly higher lift than the inlet. It requires chopping off the cam sensor drive from the exhaust and drilling another hole in the inlet camshaft drive pulley. No other modification is required, can't be done as easy on the Mk2 though due to the solid lifters.
I just purchased and installed a new cat back exhaust. The SR-S N1 knock off from Ebay $183.99 (USD) shipped! I installed it myself. It was not that difficult. It's a cheap mod that gives a little power but sounds great :)

Here is a vid clip with the sound: http://youtu.be/2tAp1a_uhjY

And another one: http://youtu.be/ENShvXtjsLo

Hi, a cheap and effective upgrade is to look for and purchase a 1986-88 rd-7 MAF which is that flapper thing near air filter...it is plug and play and with a bit of tinkering solder in resistor as per hi kick racing tip...and you have more power above 6000 rpms...adds more air...need to get some headers also to allow engine to breath and exhale better..
Really, the upgrade you can make is to improve your driving skills. If you are already a fast driver and need more power, best get another car. I've spent thousands of dollars on 4 different Miatas (still have one). The most effective power mods are forced induction or NO2. None are low cost and all have some issues.... Everything else will not produce noticeable improvements. Of course, If you enjoy a louder or more "powerful" sound from your engine, Try a more open exhaust and some sort of after-market intake..

Best thing to do for power is to keep the revs up! If you keep the motor around 4K rpm, it will feel a lot more powerful (and will be more powerful).
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