Miata: Wish list

Just a place to note what I'd like to do over the life of the car.  At the end of the car's life, would be a great deal of fun to convert it to a V8, but for the sake of fuel economy, a turbo-four will always do better.  L/100 is completely relevant and important since we have a car budget, not a money tree.

Phase 1
Make car reliable and safe, bring maintenance schedule into line.  Fix oil leaks.  Fix rust.

Phase 2
Go MS!!  Get MS3x incl. GM IAT, MAP, WBO2. ~$1000

Phase 3
Gauges, additional sensors. ~$500

Phase 4
Find a donor car - 2001-2005, swap over drivetrain! ~$1000-2000

Old ideas...
Phase 1
Make the car 100% reliable and safe, bring maintenance schedule into line.  Get a feel for what 'normal' is (compression test/leakdown test).  Fix the rust issues (DIY).  Additional undercoating?  Fix oil leaks. (Pretty sure rear main is leaking again...do dye test)

Phase 2
Remove weak points such as the differential, ECU, injectors, MAF, coils (required only for turbo?).  Replace with 1.8 diff, MS ECU (IAT/MAP/WBO2), 550cc injectors, Coil-On-Plug.  LED dash conversion? (not expensive, just time-consuming)

Phase 3
Spend a calendar year learning the ins/outs of tuning the MS.  Add gauges - oil temp (& remote oil filter?), boost, WBO2 (Autometer Sport-CompII).

Phase 4
Debate about the 1.8 upgrade.  Debate about VVT.  Debate about built engine (rods/pistons/headwork).  Good time to pull engine and do a proper engine bay refresh.  Wire tuck?  Coolant re-route?  Radiator upgrade?  Debate 1.8 brake upgrade.

Phase 5
Debate about kit vs. DIY turbo solution.  Debate about 'just get a turbo' vs. 'build properly first time'.  V-band? Cast vs. mild vs. stainless manifold?


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