2″ MX5 Header Development

After a couple of months of development we finally have a finished product. We won’t bother reposting the FB/instagram feed here but you can follow along if you’d like: https://instagram.com/motoeast/

Basically we started off by mocking up a full sized jig on the back bench. We had a 2.0 motor, a 6 speed, and pulled the alternator and motor mount from our car to test fit. Then using the 2.5 in our car, we ensured there was enough clearance for a 2.0, 2.5, and 2.5 using lowered motor mounts.


What became very apparent is that to fit 2″ tubes, you need a minimum of 6″ block to frame clearance since the only way to get equal length tubes–you have to stack 3. A typical 1.625 header only needs 4.9″. The other consideration is being able to install it without having to pull the motor.

With this in mind we went to work. After a few days of trial and error, we ended up having something that was starting to look pretty good.


However as we test fit the header, there were some minor issues that would be a deal breaker for some. The clearance to the alternator was not sufficient, the collector was touching the trans on the 2.5, and we were hitting the subframe pinch weld would would have to be notched. Not quite up to our standards. So it was back to the drawing board. We adjusted our fixture to push the collector back just a bit, and rotated it about 5 degrees to match the motor’s tilt. This allowed for more clearance to the motor mount, got us away from the subframe, and gave more clearance to the transmission bell housing. This adds some time and cost as we have to use more pieces, but well worth it for the final product.


The near finished header above is what we tested on the dyno. We’re still waiting on the a-b tabs that will hold the tubes securely to the collector, so they are just tack welded here. One of the runners (#3) we also tweaked a bit after the picture to get a straighter exit from the collector and ensure tight sealing. Our testing so far has been leak free and sounds great.


Now, the results. We took a standard 2.5 motor that we rebuilt this winter and used the same cams from our build last year. After a very abridged break-in the motor performed identical to last year on the road. We put the header on at 5pm on a Friday, and hit the dyno Saturday morning. We only managed a brief 1/4 mile drive beforehand, and the power difference was readily apparent as it spun the wheels on gear change into 3rd! The amazing thing was the torque curve. There were no dips, no peaky nature as you might expect with a large primary header. It was there 2500 and up just like the stock motor, only more of it.

After about a half hour on the dyno we settled on the following results:



199.4 to the wheels! This is just 10-15 HP off of the World Challenge cars which use a 12:1 compression ratio and very aggressive cams. If we had more time we could have hit the magic 200hp number, but we had customer cars to do and it was running out of gas. But this shows you that you can have your cake and eat it too! In the near future we will have other upgrades that will complete the picture and perhaps we will finally get to the 250hp NA figure before the end of the year.

Posted in MX5, Products, Tech

2015+ WRX CVT Results!

While some platforms have struggled to make power on this variant of the 2015 DIT WRX, we had no problems here. Pretty much matches our  6MT results, an extra 30-40 torque and 30-40 hp! Plot shows a baseline average 6MT WRX (green), best stock (red,) and best tuned (yellow/green). (edit, there is a spike that alters the peak HP, ignore the peak numbers and note the change in the graph!)



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Posted in WRX/STI/FXT

NC MX5 Miata Intake – Updated Coating

For 2015 one of the updates we have is that our powdercoating options are much improved. We now offer a unique finish on all of our 2006+ Mazda MX5 Miata intakes. This is a silver powdercoat, with an additional step, a second clear layer. This gives it a unique 3d look which is much more durable than paint. We will continue to offer the double ceramic coat as well for those who race or are in hotter climates, but for those who aren’t after every last 100th of a second, the powdercoat is a very attractive finish.

cai-new-1 cai-new-2

Posted in MX5, Products

2015 WRX is Here

Rolling off the boat last week, we had this 2015 WRB WRX driven from half way across the state to get it here.

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Posted in Builds

We are hiring sales & support staff!

We are seeking a sales specialist for 2015.

The right candidate for this position will help new and existing customers discover the products and services offered by Moto East and be able to handle social media/print/online communication.

Must have:

  • Sales or related experience
  • Energetic and able to devote time to go to events
  • Automotive knowledge, particularly import
  • Outstanding interpersonal and networking skills
  • Motivation and desire to work in the performance automotive field
  • Thorough knowledge of aftermarket parts
  • Ability to work independently being accountable to your results
  • Commitment to customer satisfaction and quality

Helps to have:

  • 4 year degree or better, field doesn’t matter
  • Hands on automotive experience
  • Direct sales experience
  • Tuning experience/knowledge
  • A Subaru/Mazda/Nissan vehicle
  • Internet/development/magento experience
  • Graphic design
  • Desire to participate in local motorsports and travel to national level events (i.e. SEMA)

This is a part time to start opportunity; you will work from home when possible but be available locally if needed. Depending on experience and skillset, this will turn into a full time position. Pay is a combination of per diem, commission, and profit sharing. Our business model is designed around a low overhead, automated integration when possible, with a focus on our employees. The right person will have a high revenue potential without having to rely on high pressure direct sales. We are an equal opportunity employer. Candidate will be subjected to a background check.

Interested individuals must submit a resume and a bit of info as to why you will succeed in this position.

Inquiries are to be sent to contact@moto-east.com, no phone calls will be accepted without a submitted resume.

Posted in News

Initial Sprintex 335 Dyno Testing

We made some progress today, and caught a quick break to get on the dyno. Bear in mind our goal was to see if this could do double duty as a reasonable mid range system with upgrade potential, vs a maxxed out system right out of the box. All testing was done on e70, now that we have a sense of where the ignition timing is falling in, we will put pump gas in and watch the knock counts. For these dyno graphs, we added timing primarily to the e85 side as to make sure on pump we don’t run into issues. On with the show….

Strapped down and ready for action:


This is our initial baseline taking the 210 tune, and taking out some timing (a good amount…)


You can see that the power is super smooth and comes on EARLY. This is a torque curve of a strong OEM v8. Did I mention this is on the “low timing” map? Difference is about a couple degrees. Next step is to give it a bit more timing.


Picked up a bunch of mid range with just a small change. This is showing some potential. However, in light of the relatively “low” numbers (I’m brave until about 300 tq on the stock motor) we rolled back some of the cam timing changes so that it can generate close to full boost. This is the result of the subsequent run. Unfortunately the bypass stuck for a second or two, so all the subsequent runs will be best compared at 3500+.


Now we’re having some fun. You can see the gobs of torque we picked up, and this was a relatively minor change. We’re still not at the cam timings we used on the 210. Speaking of the 210, how does that compare on a dyno that reads about 5% higher than this one?

335-vs-210You can see the 335 absolutely destroys it. The 210 plot is on e85, full bolt ons, 70mm pulley, etc…the 335 run is on an 80mm pulley and a mostly stock car with a stock header and cat back on e70. We did change out the front pipe/overpipe since we had the trans off to get the clutch, but those won’t do a damn thing with a stock header and cat back. So there is still a whole lot left on the table. Our experience is that the 70mm pulley should generate about 15% more HP for a given boost level, and the stock header and cat back are surely a major restriction here. But since our goal was to see if a mostly stock car can handle it, this is exactly why we put it back to stock and wanted to test this way.

Now a few more comparisons. This is a 335 vs a turbo kit. Goes to show you that not all HP is created equal, and here particularly despite the equal HP, only one smokes the tires a gear early


We installed a 3 bar MAP sensor to see where the boost is. Drawing a line from the somewhat bumpy boost plot (due to the MAP source being close to the runner) we see that it peaks around 2.25 bar. Certainly a lot to ask of a stock motor.


Also as we transition to pump gas, this is some data we have from the ProECU datalogs. On the first image below, you can as the ethanol content drops (CPS voltage) from e70 to e30, the knock counts go up significantly. This is because of the fact that we’re running such high boost levels, that the standard timing difference for the two fuels is not enough. At 18 psi the FA20 is much more knock prone on pump vs e85.


However, despite going to full pump gas, re-working cam overlap and reducing ignition timing yielded much more reasonable knock counts.


Update 01/2015: Continuing to fine tune the pump gas tune. At this point the car is driving just fine on pump gas, we’ve been getting on it without any worry. With how much power it makes and the current cost of fuel, pump gas is actually a pretty reasonable option with the right tuning.


Also a comparison that shows how peak numbers have nothing to do with how a car drives. Only 13 peak HP apart, but what would rather have?



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Posted in FT86, Products, Tech

Sprintex 335 Installed & Tuned!

It is in! Here are some installed photos with our 3″ intake, and make sure to check out the YouTube link as well:






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Posted in Builds, FT86, News, Products, Tech

Sprintex 335 BRZ/FR-S Systems are Here!


This begins a new chapter for the Moto-BRZ. We’re adding an ACT XT unit to handle the torque, and we will see how far the stock motor will go with this unit!


Sprintex 335

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Posted in Builds, FT86

How Not to Do an MX5 Turbo

We try to highlight the nice things we see, but being a full service facility we sometime see some real train wrecks come in through the door. In this case, we had an MX5 that had all the tell tale signs that  it has been put in the wrong hands.

Customer called us, chief complaint being that despite a $6,000 turbo system, and thousands more in labor, final HP output was just barely over stock –166 WHP. Over 200 torque down low, but low HP. Thinking it was the “calibration” from another tuner, he brought it over. Our first instinct was that no matter how bad the tune, you simply cannot make less than 220-240 WHP on this car at 10 psi. So we went to work.

First, we checked the basics. Compression turned out fine, datalog showed plenty (too much…) timing, lean but manageable AFRs, and nothing that stuck out as causing a 100 horsepower deficiency. Next and final step was checking the cam timing. Sure enough–cams were out of phase by more than 5 degrees. Turns out the shop that did the installation sold him on a head stud upgrade as being “necessary,” whereas any MX5 expert would tell you that is absolutely not the case. As suspected, the crank bolt was never changed, there was no diamond washer, and the cam timing was off. After a few days we had the cam timing set, proper new bolt and washers installed, and with a quick re-tune the car was off making a good 100 hp more. In addition to the installation issues, there was quite a bit of other things we had to rectify to get it going correctly.

Mystery Hose

Mystery hose above is actually from the PCV on the intake side. Previous shop left it hanging towards the back with no catch can. After all, what can possibly go wrong when you spew oil all over the exhaust?

Dirty PPF

Chris holding the PPF frame–all that baked on oil was all over the back half of the car. We cleaned it as best as we could to reduce the fire hazard.


Clutch alignment tool

Here you can see us using a flywheel holding tool to keep the crank locked during the final bolt tightening. This motor was an oddball. No tool would fit in to the bind plug hole. For some odd reason, both the length and thread pitch of the bolt were different than any NC1/NC2 motor we have seen (including the forged crank!). We tried turning down a zetec tool, but it not only chewed through our lathe bits being tool steel, but also destroyed itself since it was hollow at the threads. Since we only had a few days with the car before it went cross country, we elected to pull the trans and lock it down the hard way to ensure 100% accuracy. Yes, more work. But worth every penny when you’re this far into it.

Does that look like a new bolt?

This is what third party shops do when they don’t know the mazda/duratec platform. Original OEM crank bolt re-used, no diamond washer. Even if it was timed correctly (which it wasn’t) it would have slipped possibly causing major damage. We put together all of our motors with new bolts and diamond washers as called for by the OEM in the updated service manuals. Crank bolts are stretch bolts, they cannot be reused.

Battery Bracket

We’ve seen some good kits, and some bad turbo kits. This one was awful. This “battery relocation bracket” is nothing more than a heavy u channel you’d more likely see at tractor supply than in a modern import. The “cross” plate was chewing into the BOV hose badly enough to slice it. We cut the tip of the plate off (pictured) to prevent further damage. I’m not sure how anyone could ever release something like this…but then again….



What you’re seeing here is a cheap plasma cut 1/4″ flange. Not just sloppy, but a 1/4 flange should never be used on a turbo flange like this. It warps and can crack easy, here you can see a leak already developed.

Not pictured is the grossly undersized K&N filter with a PCV fitting on the end. This caused pressure to pull down on it, and cracked the filter. The PCV then leaked tons of unburned fuel and oil vapors into the intake tract to make things worse. Luckily we were able to quickly make a baffled catch can and install one of our air filters to eliminate the source of contamination. And fortunately for the customer there was only a couple thousands miles on the car when he brought it over. So with that being the case, we were able to resolve many of the issues in-house and get him back on the road.

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Posted in MX5, Tech

A Brain for 79 STR




With the hardware portion nearly finished in the engine bay, the next step is to wire up the electronics. For this vehicle we’re using a MS2PNP that is set up for electronic boost control. Overall an incredibly easy to install unit, and the only wiring change (aside from the EBCS) is adding a post-turbo IAT sensor. This is easily spliced into the OEM harness, and with that we will have full timing and fuel control.

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Posted in Builds, MX5, Tech