To charge not to charge that's the question

I have a lovely and solid well sorted little VR Limited that is a great wee car. Thing is I am drawn to the charging idea. Should I charge it and if so realistically what would that cost for the kit and someone to install it and set it up properly on a rolling road?
Might be best looking out for an already charged MkI where the work has been done and leave alone the VR Limited in all it’s standard glory?
But then I would have to sell the wee thing and it’s a great car.
A ball park idea of cost would be super helpful tho. I’m being lazy as I know this knowledge is on here but in my mind I was thinking the supercharger route (M62?) with intercooler too, megasquirt ECU unless better options and so the slippery slope of upgraditis starts…
Or do I leave alone? Dilemmas

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modifying a car is never a cost effective action. you do it because you want to and because you get the pleasure of doing so, ownership and use of said vehicle.

cost-effective action would be to buy something already done but then you risk - to what standard this was done to…

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Blowing an old engine is a terrific route…to blowing an old engine.
Much to consider first eg compression checks, are the bearings still ok, you know the list.
Then there is the chassis…the entire chassis eg brakes & suspension.
Putting circa 180/200 bhp through a standard old hack’s undercrackers (like mine too)…erm…no ta.
LSD? Old viscous or mechanical? There’s a few bob.
Also, likely as not, sooner or later bang…or is it blow…goes a lot of inherent OEM reliability.
It’s not just age…a good few ND pundits have/had issues with aftermarket grunt fests.
TBH, unless a car was modded at OEM production level, I’d not.
I would just get a car that’s quicker.
Call it 5k all in. 3k-ish to blow properly…sort of …and say 1.k to make sure you can stop 'n steer.
Just my view after reading stuff over 16 years mind.
Opinions differ, and there will be pundits here who have done it, and swear by it.
Some have done it on the cheap and it’s worked…sort of.
Some have done it not so on the cheap…and buer the thing.
MX5 Nutz had for many years screeds of posts trying to help unbu
er the totally bu**ered.

i am in a simular situation atm
i am 6 weeks away from finally being able to afford the charger from short-term savings
i have done all the work to get the car ready

I’m sitting here looking at all the rising bills and energy costs and wondering if I dare clear out my short-term savings on the charger!
sigh, I don’t know, maybe I am having last-minute jitters

I’ve just had the opposite dilemma, I.E. whether to un-supercharge my other fun car or not (a Liege with a three cylinder, one litre Suzuki engine). I’ve decided to revert to normal aspiration and am working on converting it to throttle bodies.

The cost of fuel is one consideration, the other being ease of maintenance.

The other dilemma is whether I keep my very low mileage NB or not….but that’s a different story. I was going to supercharge it but never got around to it.

However, if you need to source an almost unused (less than 1,000 miles) supercharger from a BMW Mini, I have one here.

We have all done it and had fun in doing so but you have to take a step back sometimes and ask is it worth it.
£5000 to sink into a boosted upgrade is a hell of a lot of money.
Would it not be more cost effective to do an engine swap?

£5000? Is the blower gold plated?

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the BBR charger for the NC with header and cables works out at about 6 and half thousand!!!

so yes i hope its made from solid gold :clown_face:

I read these posts with interest.
Clearly, the Turbo/super charged route is fun but can turn out to be very expensive and problematic perhaps. Certainly, on some of the latest posts on the forum.
IF I was going to go any further, I would go down the 2.5 Duratec engine route for cost, reliability and performance.
You can get great cost effective second hand ones or indeed brand new for reasonable money.
Each individual obviously has a different opinion.
PS I know you are talking MK1, but just an opinion re the NC as others have mentioned it.

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I know it’s a great idea in theory…
I guess I am drawn to the idea as this being a bit more of a reliable route to boosting a car because it has an engine based on the Mazda 323 Turbo. As I understand it the stock internals and compression ratio are ripe for charging as they are the same in that application.
Sure to even consider charging an old engine, a good health check would be vital first. I have a compression gauge so can do that initially as an indication of the engine health.
I haven’t looked at costs at all yet but wow I’m surprised it adds to that amount.
Stock may just be the way it stays. It is really good fun at moderate speeds and that was afterall what they were deigned for. Clearly the chassis can take plenty more power though.
Brakes are excellent on my Eunos, really strong in fact with good bite, new calipers, discs and pads all round. Same for the suspension, new all round a few years back and probably less than 5k kilometers on them. Bushes all excellent, recent alignment gave that a very thorough check too at an MX5 knowledgable place. So the car is in good health, compression check next…

*So the car is in good health, compression check next…*t

You wee devil you…

Genuinely, Good Luck and keep us posted. :innocent:

There is a jackson racing charger kit for sale on facebook marketplace in bristol for £1500.

A tvr Griffith 500 with our local tvr specialist is 20k and a chimera less. That is more than the 5k 6k on the blower but it will be considerably faster and in 5 years time both will likely be worth a lot more money than they are now. There is a low milage s2000 for 16k in the same garage which will be the same story.

They had a supercharged chimera in they could not shift for a long time and it was less than the unsupercharged one.

A blown mx5 will probably be worth a fair bit less than an unblown one in 5 years time because as cars age originality counts for an awful lot.

Everyone should do what they want but economically in the long term it’s the costly choice.

I’ve owned a Chimaera and although it was a total event of a car if I was going for a spirited B road drive I’d be in the Mx5.
Total events of cars but blunt instruments that can snap on you at any time.

You have to ask yourself what are your end expectations. Plenty of MX-5’s lost the “magic” because they have been messed with.
If it is performance, are you using everything it has got already. If it is grunt, it will never be a 718.


All great input folks, and helpful too. I am aware that fine balance and charm of the car could be lost messing with it. There is a joy extracting the performance from a good honest normally aspirated lump in a humble car such as the MX5 and on a twisty B road oh it flows with the chassis writhing beneath you. To be honest in those moments there is rarely a thought more power is needed.
I think you’ve all talked me out of it. Perhaps I should have a ride in supercharged car first. Now just to find one…

Don’t disagree with that but i could have cited the Exiges and Elises they sell as well as the s2000 I mentioned.

Economically you could buy that s2000, have a damn quick car and wouldn’t lose a penny using it 5000 miles a year for the next 4 years. But is is a hoot at 40 miles an hour down a twisty c road.

I think for me if you can keep it looking mostly stock and do a sympathetic charged conversion with no bling then it will be a lovely thing.
I enjoy my 1.6 but do often wonder what it would be like with a sensible Turbo conversion.

If I were to charge the little thing, stock look would be exactly the look I would keep. But yes original is where the cars hold their value better. That is one of the hesitations I have as it is a really nice example but then it is also very well sorted so a great base.
I think plan is to see if I can get a ride in a charged car is Step 1.
Then if I do pursue the charging route Step 2 look at options for charger kits. Or maybe that should come first so I have a real idea of costs of parts and install and set up… Sounds like many thousands tho…
Then I would need to find a specialist that can fit the kit and set it up. Step 3.
Then spend more as the extra strain on the car shows up any weak spots. Steps 4+
Mine has a Torsen diff with extra bracing being the VR Limited. Also front strut brace, lower final drive ratio and lightened fly wheel.
Damn just writing that list makes it sound ready for the charging conversion! :crazy_face:

Come the day it’s reversible anyway.
Worst to worst, an oil tight replacement mill from honest brokers is only 2/3 hundred on a pallet.
Don’t ask how I know… :shushing_face:

Hopefully a decently reliable180bhp-ish?
You’d feel the car , foot to the Wilton,pulling just about in 4th in the mid-ranges as much is it did in 2nd.
I’ve never done it, but I’ve been in a couple over the years, road and track as a passenger.
Frightfully good fun.
180bhp is what my “mighty in the day” 3 litre 6 pot Opel Monzas ( Coupe Senators) had…which weighed slightly less than the Bismark.