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I just finished installing the Little Enchilada onto my father's Mazdaspeed. I must say that for the most part the process was extremely easy. The intake and exhaust were exceptionally built and very simple to install. The intercooler upgrade was probably the hardest part of the whole job. Of course, it happened to be 1:00 in the morning (day of the driving school event we were going to) when I was installing it. That may have made things a little harder than they otherwise would have been.
I should tell you that my father is not much of a car guy. He bought a Miata because he wanted a fun little convertible. He really only bought the Mazdaspeed be because he liked the lava orange color! I am a bit of a miata fanatic. I have a 1990 that I just finished installing your clutch and exhaust into (also very nice). So when I drove his car, I was a bit underwhelmed. I had never driven a Mazdaspeed before, but it was not that fast and did not feel or sound like a turbo car. I started begging him to buy your upgrade kit, and finally he acquiesced when I told him I thought it might improve his gas mileage a little bit (what? It might, if he keeps his right foot under control!) .
At 1:30 in the morning, when I finished the install, we took it out to set the boost and give the car a shakedown. Dad was very freaked out by all the fun new sounds the car was making. "What is that whistling? It never did that before! Is that normal?"... "Yes, dad, that is the sound of your turbo. I know you did not hear it before because your car was being strangled to death by the stock intake. But trust me, that is a good sound!". Then he lifts, and the blowoff valve blows... "What was that? Is it supposed to chuckle like that?"... "Yes dad, that is your new blow off valve, that happened because you were building a little bit of boost. It is supposed to sound like that"... "What do you mean I was building boost, I was only at like 2500 rpm. The car never made boost that early before!"... "Dad, I told you, the new setup is more powerful and will spool up a lot more quickly. Trust me, you need to drive around a bit and just enjoy this. Everything is fine".
So we went to bed, and he took it to the driver school the next day. At the end of the day, he was so thrilled with the new setup he could not stop talking about it. He loved driving the car. He was very impressed with how much more linear the throttle felt, and how much more responsive the engine was to his inputs. He is currently on a 9 hour drive back from Ohio to Connecticut (he drove out so I could install the kit) and we will see what his gas mileage is like... hehe. However, his parting words to me were this. "We'll see if it gets better gas mileage on the highway, but I don't think I will be able to behave myself driving around town any more. The car is just too much fun to drive now."
The improvements in the car was so profound that I think he actually understands how a powerful car is supposed to feel now, before I think he just kind of putted around with it. I will start working on convincing him that he really needs a V8 now. He did test drive a Corvette before settling on a Miata, so who knows! Not sure if I can tell him with a strait face that a V8 will improve his gas mileage though...
PS from a follow up email: "By the way, on the drive out he got 31 mpg on the drive home he got almost 37 mpg."