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That's really what it comes down to. If I ever decide to go full send on my 124 with big turbo etc .... I will instead pocket that money toward an LS swap.. I know people hate the "ls swap the world" mentality, but it's the only real way to get large power out of the mx5 or 124 platform.

Of course there are also K-Swap and other options but you'd be 100% on your own making that work. LS Swap has off the shelf options with minimum fabrication required, if you are willing to spend the money.

And while I would love for a "250hp" build to be my thing, I've done that on my 500 Abarth already. I have also replaced the engine, replaced the transmission AND replaced the axles once and about to have to do it a second time. It's back on phase 2 with stock turbo for now, and honestly? It's still making too much power for me to be comfortable fulling giving it the beans on a regular basis. My 124 currently is on Phase 1 with mild mods, and I'm not even sure if I'm going to do Phase 2.
Ye...all of that 100%. Just me thinking aloud here mind, "but" This is my first MultiAir unit as I had no interest in Fiat UK anyway as they consistently hit bottom of the reliability tables in most motoring surveys, it was the "Mazda" connection along with the Italian Styling that won my heart and cash.....anyway, on to the but bit....should I wish to go down the power Super Highway I would NOT do it with the seemingly fragile Multiair engine unit. Yes Millions fitted since 2010 small engine of the year with most of them performing well, if correctly maintained, but once you start playing with this power unit it is clear that it can bite you back, very painfully in your pocket as it was NOT designed to be taken to extremes, so.......Porsche.
I would be tempted by the 911 but the Cayman really Rocks My Boat Force 9 Style so I would "try" to keep my little 124 Spider Sports car to play with and enjoy still but would opt to purchase "probably" the 2009-12 (a later than 2009 one) model and enjoy the 2.9 flat six unit or even push towards a 2007 era Aston Martin Vantage if I really wanted the power.....So there it is...whilst I love the 124 Spider for what it is I understand it's limitations (Good-Win Racing aside) in the hands of the ordinary gifted enthusiast. Cheers
ron
 
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Ye...all of that 100%. Just me thinking aloud here mind, "but" This is my first MultiAir unit as I had no interest in Fiat UK anyway as they consistently hit bottom of the reliability tables in most motoring surveys, it was the "Mazda" connection along with the Italian Styling that won my heart and cash.....anyway, on to the but bit....should I wish to go down the power Super Highway I would NOT do it with the seemingly fragile Multiair engine unit. Yes Millions fitted since 2010 small engine of the year with most of them performing well, if correctly maintained, but once you start playing with this power unit it is clear that it can bite you back, very painfully in your pocket as it was NOT designed to be taken to extremes, so.......Porsche.
I would be tempted by the 911 but the Cayman really Rocks My Boat Force 9 Style so I would "try" to keep my little 124 Spider Sports car to play with and enjoy still but would opt to purchase "probably" the 2009-12 (a later than 2009 one) model and enjoy the 2.9 flat six unit or even push towards a 2007 era Aston Martin Vantage if I really wanted the power.....So there it is...whilst I love the 124 Spider for what it is I understand it's limitations (Good-Win Racing aside) in the hands of the ordinary gifted enthusiast. Cheers
ron
I had a 13MY Vantage, lovely to look at, great engine (that noise…) but you would have to have the manual, the auto might be the worst gearbox I ever experienced. I also had a 13MY Boxster, 3.4S, best sports car I ever had. I’d love a 911, but I suspect money and time may not be on my side.
 

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Honestly? A 718 Cayman would be on my short list if I could afford one. However, working in education my budget doesn't reach that level. An older boxster would be an option, but for what I would spend on one I would either be back into an era where reliability becomes an issue due to age or other issues such as ims bearings, or I would be spending too much on a higher mileage example. The math just doesn't work for me unless it is purely a weekend/project. Except I needed to be able to pull daily duty if needed, thus I got the 124 instead of an older used boxster.
 

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Am super pleased with the 220 or so I get out of the ph 3 1446+ tune. Feel no need to have any more power for a canyon carver go kart at 2400 lbs. Next for me is the GTS 4.0 once I can get my hands on one. 394/3150 but I know it will feel bigger and heavier and there will be times I long for the low weight 124 again. So I'll keep it.....forecast selling the boxster in 3 to 5 years, but we will see how much I fall in love with that boxer 6.....
 
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Discussion Starter · #25 ·
That's really what it comes down to. If I ever decide to go full send on my 124 with big turbo etc .... I will instead pocket that money toward an LS swap.. I know people hate the "ls swap the world" mentality, but it's the only real way to get large power out of the mx5 or 124 platform.

Of course there are also K-Swap and other options but you'd be 100% on your own making that work. LS Swap has off the shelf options with minimum fabrication required, if you are willing to spend the money.

And while I would love for a "250hp" build to be my thing, I've done that on my 500 Abarth already. I have also replaced the engine, replaced the transmission AND replaced the axles once and about to have to do it a second time. It's back on phase 2 with stock turbo for now, and honestly? It's still making too much power for me to be comfortable fulling giving it the beans on a regular basis. My 124 currently is on Phase 1 with mild mods, and I'm not even sure if I'm going to do Phase 2.
Do you feel like phase 1 is enough for you? Driving around stock for me can feel sluggish at times especially when trying to full send it on highways. But maybe that extra ~20 horsepower is enough to smooth that out
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
Ye...all of that 100%. Just me thinking aloud here mind, "but" This is my first MultiAir unit as I had no interest in Fiat UK anyway as they consistently hit bottom of the reliability tables in most motoring surveys, it was the "Mazda" connection along with the Italian Styling that won my heart and cash.....anyway, on to the but bit....should I wish to go down the power Super Highway I would NOT do it with the seemingly fragile Multiair engine unit. Yes Millions fitted since 2010 small engine of the year with most of them performing well, if correctly maintained, but once you start playing with this power unit it is clear that it can bite you back, very painfully in your pocket as it was NOT designed to be taken to extremes, so.......Porsche.
I would be tempted by the 911 but the Cayman really Rocks My Boat Force 9 Style so I would "try" to keep my little 124 Spider Sports car to play with and enjoy still but would opt to purchase "probably" the 2009-12 (a later than 2009 one) model and enjoy the 2.9 flat six unit or even push towards a 2007 era Aston Martin Vantage if I really wanted the power.....So there it is...whilst I love the 124 Spider for what it is I understand it's limitations (Good-Win Racing aside) in the hands of the ordinary gifted enthusiast. Cheers
ron
Glad to see other Porsche enthusiasts on here. But also definitely an interest that's going to have to wait until after uni graduation
 

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Do you feel like phase 1 is enough for you? Driving around stock for me can feel sluggish at times especially when trying to full send it on highways. But maybe that extra ~20 horsepower is enough to smooth that out

That really depends on your definition of sluggish. It has noticably more power than stock. It does not have as much power as my phase 2 500 Abarth. I wouldn't call it sluggish.

That said, if your definition of "not sluggish" is 300whp, then of course it would.
 
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Am super pleased with the 220 or so I get out of the ph 3 1446+ tune. Feel no need to have any more power for a canyon carver go kart at 2400 lbs. Next for me is the GTS 4.0 once I can get my hands on one. 394/3150 but I know it will feel bigger and heavier and there will be times I long for the low weight 124 again. So I'll keep it.....forecast selling the boxster in 3 to 5 years, but we will see how much I fall in love with that boxer 6.....
Now "THAT" is reason speaking...You found the sweet spot "for You"....know the Spiders limitations so when to look elsewhere for more power and look towards Porsche to not just deliver that power but deliver reliability, so good it is used by many car enthusiasts as "Their Daily Driver" Perfect ! Cheers
 

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Do you feel like phase 1 is enough for you? Driving around stock for me can feel sluggish at times especially when trying to full send it on highways. But maybe that extra ~20 horsepower is enough to smooth that out
Phase 1 is good, but for me really 'woke up' once I put additional mods in the car. I think the biggest change was adding in a forge wastegate actuator (after the phase 1 tune) and surprisingly, a catch can. The upgraded wastegate really helped build boost and hold boost much better than the stock piece, it truly was a notable difference. And I think I was getting oil in the turbo via the PCV and the car was pulling timing, so the catch can prevented some weird hiccups I was getting.

All in all, I would say that to really get the most out of the phase 1, I'd get the DV+ or equivalent (maybe the forge is better, but phase 1 isn't building massive amounts of boost so the DV+ is absolutely fine), catch can, wastegate actuator, turbo blanket to keep the temps down (heat management is important!!), and gap those spark plugs to 0.023. Those were mods that I felt provided a tangible benefit. I do love my V2 intake but probably isn't doing much for me other than sound at this point in the game, and the heat soak isn't ideal. Of course, YMMV and all that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #31 ·
Phase 1 is good, but for me really 'woke up' once I put additional mods in the car. I think the biggest change was adding in a forge wastegate actuator (after the phase 1 tune) and surprisingly, a catch can. The upgraded wastegate really helped build boost and hold boost much better than the stock piece, it truly was a notable difference. And I think I was getting oil in the turbo via the PCV and the car was pulling timing, so the catch can prevented some weird hiccups I was getting.

All in all, I would say that to really get the most out of the phase 1, I'd get the DV+ or equivalent (maybe the forge is better, but phase 1 isn't building massive amounts of boost so the DV+ is absolutely fine), catch can, wastegate actuator, turbo blanket to keep the temps down (heat management is important!!), and gap those spark plugs to 0.023. Those were mods that I felt provided a tangible benefit. I do love my V2 intake but probably isn't doing much for me other than sound at this point in the game, and the heat soak isn't ideal. Of course, YMMV and all that.
Oh yeah last time I checked my air filter I saw a nice puddle of oil sitting there. Def going to need a catch can if I'm gonna do any tuning
 

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From lurking on forums, youtube videos, and tuning websites, it seems like you can add an infinite number of bolt-ons and tune them for your spider, but how far can you go before you reach the limit for the 1.4l multiair?

From my knowledge it starts off with your first tune, a larger diameter free flowing exhaust, 4C coil packs, spark plugs, intercooler, diverter valve, intake, bigger turbo, E85 conversion, smaller cats or even none at all, possibly even taking apart the engine and reinforcing it with stronger camshafts and pistons and so on.

short of swapping your motor out am I missing anything?
What's missing from my perspective is a mission statement. What's any driver's desired end state? If the aim is to satisfy an unquenchable thirst, then the rabbit hole extends to China. If you're a believer in "if it works, don't screw with it", and the "law of unintended consequences", then the rabbit hole may only be a divot. My end state is very mild by most members I'm sure. The Fiat designers had a typical driver in mind in the spectrum of the target audience and my picture may have been on the design sheet. The only real sense of mine that's lacking is the sense of hearing and a System One is on the Christmas list. Probably because my hearing was robbed by the Air Force and flying fighters for years. Acceleration is adequate and I don't want to get to the posted limit sooner so I can back off quicker, and the lateral g's are good for my age. I'll be copacetic with my stubby antenna and a better exhaust. But it's great fun watching what you guys come up with. Like watching a master work a blank canvas. Keep it up.
 

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Auto, 18" Ultraleggeras, Bilstein B8/ Eibach Prokit, aFe, Sportcat, Tork st.1 & Bluespark tuning box
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I realise I am about 6 months late to this thread, but I wanted to share my own belated perspective. On balance I would say it costs a lot of time, effort, patience and cash to modify this car beyond the reasonable capability that it was intended for and if you want a car that does 0-60 in under 5s and a 1/4 mile in the low 12 range, this is not your car, especially if it is your daily.
To date, I have spent about £20,000 ($28,000) on modifications and I am still not where I want to be. My own modification journey started about 18 months ago and has included the following:
18” OZ Ultraleggera wheels, multiple sets of trial-and-error tyres
Eibach pro-kit springs
Bilstein B8 shocks
Professional alignment work
Momentum GT intake
Sports cat down pipe and crosspipe (and the swap back to stock cat and downpipe due to inspection failure)
4c coils, GFB DV+
Tork stage 1 tune
Bluespark tuning box
At this point my dyno results were:
Rectangle Font Parallel Slope Pattern


Please keep in mind this is an over-honest dyno and this was a combination of the tune and the tuning box. I did manage to get a 13.7 1/4 mile (see driven district channel on you tube) with this level of power, but honestly, the combination of tune and box caused a major misfire (and I was very lucky to escape without burning out a cylinder exhaust valve).

I decided to continue and then have pursued the following:
wossner piston kit
MTD stage 1 cam
ec1446+ turbo
ported turbo manifold
Tork stage 2 tune
brisk plugs -rubbish - don’t - and replacements
forge wastegate actuator
Tork FMIC
390cc injectors
Tork multiair springs
berger tuning jb4 box (beta)
GT hard top (carbon fibre)
With the tork tune the boost is approx 28psi at redline
With the Tork tune plus the jb4 on map 1 the boost is 30.5psi at redline. More this this I am running out of injector and have my fingers crossed for the life of the turbo.
I rocked up to the dyno expecting big things….

Rectangle Font Parallel Pattern Slope

and this is what I got! WITH the jb4 (The red lines are without it). The upside is that the car is running very well with this set up. I figure I have I more stage to go before I have exhausted everything possible (short of a raise in red line, a stroker kit and the fitment of an undrivable cam - mine is my daily). This will be an even bigger turbo and much more injector - this will likely mean a 32psi at red line and a possible max on this dyno of 225hp. While I was hanging around with guys dynoing their cars the day I did mine some guys were saying how they got 420bhp from a stage 1 tune on their bmw 140i’s. I wanted to scream!

Now the upside is that the 215 compares with approx 240+ On a dyno jet dyno (so now approaching the Eddie number) but be warned that there is a limit to our cars and that limit is approached with a lot of money and commitment.

I am happy I have done this as I now have a unique vehicle, but starting over I am not so sure
Wheel Car Tire Vehicle Window
 

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A couple of thoughts to echo yours.
1. I've probably got half of the investment in that you do, and really like where the car is. On my recent devil's highway trip, I had all the power and acceleration I could want. If you aren't racing or drag stripping the 124, anything north of 200 HP for this 2400 lb go-kart is just vanity, and very likely detrimental actually.
2. 100 percent with you on the comment about different platforms. I'm going to be putting pretty minimal amounts into the 124 now and buying a boxster GTS 4.0 for the greater hp, accels, 0 to 60 feels, 1/4 mile etc. And frankly, I'm not convinced that I will enjoy it any more than the lightweight 124 sweet spot we are in around 200 HP. My money's on keeping the 124 longer than the boxster especially if resale trends hold.

Enjoy the 124 she's a beaut.
 
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