Hello guys n’ gals and Happy New Year to all! Further to my post of a few weeks ago, I’m going down to Brackley to test drive a Stage 2 Turbo from BBR. I’m so excited! Anyway, despite that I’m trying to make sure that I make a proper, informed choice. I’ve read of other members’ issues following having FI installed and I want some piece of mind that I won’t encounter such issues after BBR have taken over 9 grand off me for the engine and suspension work required. I’ve heard of engine cut-out problems, fast tickover, leaks from the coolant system and poor customer care after the problem (s) start happening. Admittedly, none of these have been BBR-related, but nevertheless!! In addition to the above, I’m worried that as my NC is an early one, that it’s allegedly “soft” crank might collapse under 300 bhp.
Am I right or justified to be so concerned? I had a brief word with Neil at BBR and he said that they’d not encountered issues with the earlier engine version and the turbo, but it’d be good to hear from members with first-hand experience.
I think you have to be realistic in your expectations when tuning a 9 year old car by almost double it’s original output. If you drive it quickly then you are going to use tyres, clutches, oil and brakes at an accelerated pace.
BBR have a good rep ( apart from early manifold issues with track work ) and you should be fitting a well engineered and sorted solution.
I believe that you should have less issues than a home made setup but you cannot rule out future costs of anything up to and including an engine.
Good luck with the conversion.
Thanks for that. I appreciate that there will be more wear and tear. I won’t be driving the wheels off it - it’s just nice to know the power is there when turbo diesels try it on at the lights! Is there anyone out there who has had this done already?
Had st2 from BBR about 15/18 months ago on my 07 RC Sport, car has just reached 30k miles, clocked at 310bhp.
Had clutch issues just after install back to Neil a couple of times, changed it twice, seems to be ok at moment.
I have Racing Beat exhaust from front to back with no cats or silencers just the back box, tick over and under 3k revs is quiet as stock but sounds nicer. Flames often appear when above these figures lol.
Suspension is Meister coil over fitted and set up by WIM. Tyres are 225/45 Toyos.
Car is weekend toy and only been on track (Spa) once so far, just nice to wave bye to the peeps that think they going to beat from the lights now and again.
Needless to say I check all fluid levels etc before every trip.
Hey thanks for the feedback Brian! Thought folk had stopped looking at the Forum! I’ll be having a new clutch fitted as part of the job, but I suppose you did as part of your upgrade too? Hope mine doesn’t play up - it’s a hell of a drag from Nottingham to Brackley. I’m having the GT box fitted as I don’t want it to be too loud. It’ll be ready for collection after I get back from Australia in mid march. Can’t wait! Thanks again for your feedback.
GT back box is a good choice, I found the sports one far too loud and horribly boomy on the over run.
I’d stump up for the Ohlins suspension or go elsewhere as the BBR kit is far too low for daily use, speed bumps, etc. There is very little suspension travel especially at the rear where I’m sure the koni shocks aren’t working within their designed working travel as they offer no resistance against squat under acceleration causing excessive inner tyre wear due to the increased camber.
Hi Alec. Thanks for the information about the springs. Never heard of Ohlins! Have you had the BBR Koni fitted in the past and then replaced them subsequently with Ohlins? And do BBR fit them? This whole business seems a minefield!
BBR can supply and fit Ohlins. http://www.bbrgti.com/product/ohlins-road-track-coilover-suspension-mazda-mx-5-nc/
The other advantage of this set up is height adjustment. You’ll find that the optimum recommended ride height (centre of wheel to wheel arch lip) is 345mm front and rear. I have the BBR koni set up on my car and have tried two sets of replacement rear springs but they have all sagged causing excessive rear camber and resulting inner tyre wear. The front sits at 335mm which is manageable but even then the flaps in front of the front wheels often scrape on speed bumps etc.
Hmm that doesn’t sound too good! Thanks for the link to those other ones - think they’re just too dear I’m afraid what with the Stage 2 install as well. I’ll speak to Neil over the coming weeks to see what he has to say about stuff. You never know, he might come up with something. How long did the rear springs last before you needed to change them?
I hade the stage 2 and the Koni suspension on my 2007 car about a year and a half a go, i had a little trouble in the early days probably down to my fault, but Neil quickly sorted it out, i must said it does change the car completely and i am very happy with it so far
Hi Simon. That’s a bit more reassuring! Don’t fancy spending lots of dosh for a poor finish! At the end of the day I think I’m just gonna have to suck it and see. Thanks for your input. Tom ??
Could you give me some more details on what they did to the clutch? Completely changed it?
Mine’s a stage 2 also, and I’m not too happy with the clutch operation. I don’t do huge journeys as a rule, but when I do and the fluids are fully up to temp I find that getting it into first can be a pig, and fast 2nd to 3rd / 3rd to 4th shifts are difficult. It was fine at stage 1, only appeared after the stage 2 upgrade. All fluids changed, system re-bled etc and it’s no better.
Clutch was changed at turbo install by BBR to Exedy heavy duty version as standard clutch will not cope with the power, so I am told. I found that the clutch was hanging, not releasing properly. Made adjustments to pedal travel etc but no use. Would either not go into gear (1st & reverse) or would not come out. Went back too BBR and after a test drive they changed the clutch to an ACT which I had to pay for. Brackley is a 2 hour drive from my home and I am still getting the same problems but I am not going to spend a 4 hour round trip to pay for yet another clutch. So I am trying to find an alternative cure nearer home.
Also the car get incredibly hot under the bonnet so have louvres pressed into it to help cool it.
Had to change to Mobil 1 0-40 oil to reduce clouds of black smoke when accelerating hard.
What oil were you running before? BBR recommend 5w40 for the stage 2. I’ve run Shell Helix Ultra in this grade for over 5,000 miles since the conversion and had no problems. It does use a bit more oil than it did pre conversion but nothing too much.
I’ve had no problems with my clutch. No idea which type it has - I fitted the conversion myself but there were no markings I could see on the clutch.
Hi Dave, yes was running on that oil but when accelerating left big black clouds of smoke and running rich. By other posts who had same problem changed to current oil which has reduced the smoke cloud but not cleared. Can only assume BBR set to run rich rather than lean to protect engine. Uses almost no oil at all.
As part of the stage to conversion I had a new clutch fitted. It’s an Exedy clutch. Anyway I’ve done less than 1300 miles after and it started to slip so I’m in email conversation with BBR. Not sure where that’s going to lead to I’ve got a feeling they will try to blame it on me whereas I’ve never worn a clutch out In my 40 plus years of driving before!
This all makes very interesting reading. I won’t be going turbo in my lowly 1.8 mill but have been considering the 175 package from BBR. I doubt I’ll need a new clutch to cope with the extra power . The thing is, someone posted that apart from cracked manifolds on previous turbo’s, no issues, but now we have a few clutch problems? surely , BBR, who are fitting a variety of clutches, Exedy, ACT, whatever, should know the capabilities of these fitments? I’m now having my doubts about these guys. Might see what alternatives are out there for my car.
Why not speak to Paul Roddison? He does a ‘180’ bhp conversion for the mk3 2.0, so might get some not-too-distant figures with your glorious 1.8?
From what I remember it’s a cold air intake, decat manifold, sports cat centre and he gives the option for the ‘King Cobra’ backbox (plus remap) as most are too loud otherwise with the rest of the setup. Price-wise it’s comparable to BBR, if I remember rightly.
Currently I have a STG Performance (keep calling it a superflo or Powerflo, don’t know why ) manifold back system with 200 cell sports cat and their own back box. So manifold, air intake and remap would be all that was needed? The BBR includes camshafts though. Wonder what Roddisons could squeeze out of the 1.8 mill.