ND AVO Turbo Kit Install

Posted by Zachary Visker on

MiataSource has been giving the opportunity to be part of a really cool project. Customer had requested to have a turbo kit installed on his beautiful Soul Red Metallic '17 ND RF. 

2017 ND Miata RF

Like most Miata owners they love the cars but wishes it had a bit more power. This includes Jesse who decided to jump on a hardly used AVO Stage 2 Turbo Kit. The kit appears to maybe have been used for less than 1000 miles. Includes everything needed such as turbo, manifold, downpipe, intercooler, piping, water/oil lines, oil pan, and tuner tablet. Based on AVOs prediction running 5-6psi this should bring the output to 210whp and 210wtq on 91 octane. 

AVO Turbo Kit ND Miata 2.0 Skyactiv

As we got closer to the scheduled install date, Jesse suddenly requested to put in hold possibly as he just found something he might want to trade the RF for. Which was a stunning '18 Machine Grey Metallic ND Club. Fully loaded including Brembo brakes, Recaro seats, BBS wheels, Bilstein shocks, etc. A car that seemed much more attractive for the turbo install. 

2018 Mazda Miata MX-5 ND Club Brembo BBS Recaro Bilstein

Now that MiataSource had the car it was time to do the install. AVO estimates it will take between 7-8 hours. We will have the car for 4 days while Minnesota temps will be reaching -25 during this time. 

Day 1

I decided to dig right into after reading the install instructions, highlighting important tasks and ensuring all parts are in hand. Right away I decided to upload the stock ROM file to the tuner tablet.

AVO Power Plus Tuner Tablet Turbo Kit Miata ND 2.0

Once the tuner tablet has the stock ROM it is time to download the AVO Power + Program and download the file. Once the file is on the computer we email AVO the file which they will then use it to make us a tuned file to reinstall to the ECU. They claim it will take up to 48-72 hours so I wanted to make sure this was done ASAP. ND Miata AVO Turbo Kit Tuner ECU File

 I like to take before and after so here is what we are starting with a 2018 ND with only 4xxx miles on the clock. This will be a treat no rust, no corrosion, everything is clean this is the life!

ND Miata 2.0 Skyactiv MX5 Club

I skipped all the boring undertrays and fender guards as they are as boring to talk about as to look at. So the first step was to remove the header, this required removing the passenger engine mount while using a jack to support it. This has been claimed to be a very difficult process but lifting the engine a few pumps above the original location allow more than enough room to remove it. 

ND Miata AVO Turbo Install Kit 2.0 Skyactiv MiataSource

Next was to drain the coolant and remove the upper radiator hose, coolant reservoir, and airbox. The top section of the airbox will not be used and the AVO section will be used instead. The throttle body inlet hose was also removed to install the intercooler piping. We are also able to remove the sound tube as we will have some much more satisfying sounds coming from this engine. 

ND AVO Miata Turbo Kit Install

Now it was time to remove the bumper to allow installation of the intercooler and all the piping. Removal of the 2 radiator air guides was removed and the horn was rotated out of the way. 

Miata ND AVO Turbo Kit Install

Now that everything was out of the way you can see where Mazda seemed to possibly design space for an intercooler. It was almost like it was meant to be?

ND Miata AVO Turbo Kit Install

That wraps up day 1. Tomorrow I plan to get everything installed regarding hardware/intercooler/piping. This will allow for day 3 to be finishing touches/test drive. Stay tuned for boost!

Day 2-3

Welcome to Minnesota the land of the polar vortex I guess... Had to take a couple days off due to some insane temperatures. Recently we experienced -30-degree lows here in MN with the windchill of around -60! It was unfortuntly way to cold to work in the garage so stuck inside worked on inventory and organizing and waited until the weather turned around. This also allowed for Ross at AVO Turboworld to work on your map.

Day 4

Alright, it is about 60 degrees warmer and time to get back to work. So leaving off with basically everything was removed from the car it was time to install everything. First being the intercooler. Only parts that needed to be removed was the horn as the radiator air guides. The intercooler retained original holes on the chassis using new hardware.



ND Miata AVO Turbo Kit Install Intercooler Boost

Now the since the intercooler was fitted it was time to attach the adjacent intercooler piping. Here we start to understand the route the air will be traveling from the turbo to the engine. 

ND Miata AVO Turbo Kit Install Intercooler Boost Piping

ND Miata AVO Turbo Kit Install Intercooler Piping Boost

That was easy I made sure to adjust all the hose clamps so they will be easily accessible in case they need to be tightened or adjusted. Next was time to add some of the accessory sensors/fittings/etc. The AVO Turbo Kit utilizes an oil and water cooled turbo. So we need to fit an oil feed. 

ND Miata AVO Turbo Kit Install Oil Feed Oil Pressure

Using the adapter fitting we plumb the stock oil pressure sensor into the fitting which will then be installed into the oil pressure sensors original position.

ND Miata AVO Turbo Kit Install Oil Feed Pressure Sensor

Now it is time to install the turbo/manifold/downpipe combo. This is much easier to install as a complete unit since the bolts for the downpipe and turbo flange are very tight to access/thread even with off the car. When installing the turbo it is easier to have the engine mount removed as well as the engine jacked up and to the left side to give more room. 

ND Miata AVO Turbo Kit Install Turbocharger

 Once installed using the factory manifold gasket it was time to torque down the bolts. Per the instructions, it is recommended to tighten the center bolt first(very difficult) then to work to the outside bolts then the middle.

ND Miata AVO Turbo Kit Install Clearance Engine Installation

Once all tighten the car official has a turbo on it. Time to make it functional. 

ND Miata AVO Turbo Kit Install Clearance Installation

Here is where we stopped for the day, I had to go do some parts deliveries for some customers. But the next day should be in the 40s which for us is t-shirt weather. Seems there are about 2-3 hours left of the install. Ross from AVO got us our map ready to install. So we are on the home stretch!

Day 5

Today was the time to finish the rest of the hardware. To start off today I installed the oil pan. The most important part was to make sure the mating surface is clean. So using a razor blade and brake cleaner on a rag allowed to get all the old RTV off.

ND Miata AVO Turbo Kit Skyactiv 2.0

Then using Permatex "Right Stuff" we resealed the oil pan back. Then torquing all the bolts done and letting the RTV cure it would then be safe to add and start oil. 

ND Miata AVO Turbo Kit Skyactiv 2.0

While we wait for the oil pan to cure. We are able to finish the rest of the intercooler piping. Starting on the cold side of the intercooler here is how it is routed, under the steering rack. 

ND Miata AVO Turbo Kit Skyactiv 2.0

Then comes up from between the engine and subframe. 

ND Miata AVO Turbo Kit Skyactiv 2.0

Then with a slight modification with the AC line you are now able to connect the intercooler intermediate pipe to the throttle body. 

ND Miata AVO Turbo Kit Skyactiv 2.0

Next, the turbo inlet hose was installed. This tube also has your blow off valve which is a recirculating that goes back into the turbo inlet from the throttle body pipe. 

ND Miata AVO Turbo Kit Skyactiv 2.0

Here shows the crankcase hose that connects to the valve cover and before the turbo inlet which allows the turbo to create the vacuum needed. 

ND Miata AVO Turbo Kit Skyactiv 2.0

The airbox uses AVO custom top section which is fitted to connect to the turbo inlet. You also need to install the stock MAF. You use the factory cold air tube but remove the silencer by drilling out 2 rivets.

ND Miata AVO Turbo Kit Skyactiv 2.0

Once the airbox is ready its time to drop it in. I found it easier to lubricate the pipe with oil to allow the airbox to slide into the coupler easier. Once it is in make sure the cold air intake is connected. 

ND Miata AVO Turbo Kit Skyactiv 2.0

Next which wasn't pictured unfortunately due to time constraints as we install the water lines to allow us to tap in for the turbo coolant lines. This required a T-fitting which was plumbed in the heater hoses. As we finish the install we just had a few little steps, one being modifying the factory exhaust heat shield to fit over the turbo manifold.

ND Miata AVO Turbo Kit Skyactiv 2.0

Well we did we installed the AVO Turbo Kit for the 16-18 Miata. But we are not finished yet. Before we start it we have a few extra steps, one being regapping the spark plugs down to 0.6mm. 

ND Miata AVO Turbo Kit Skyactiv 2.0

Then since we drained the oil and coolant it was time to fill those so we can start the engine. For oil, we used Mobile 1 synthetic. As well as the factory Mazda oil filter. We choose the 10W-30 which is recommended for the turbo car due to the increased heat produced by the turbo. For coolant, we used Zerex Asian Formula.

Next, we trimmed the factory undertray to allow room for the intercooler piping. 

ND Miata AVO Turbo Kit Skyactiv 2.0 Intercooler

ND Miata AVO Turbo Kit Skyactiv 2.0 Intercooler

ND Miata AVO Turbo Kit Skyactiv 2.0

There we have it a complete turbo kit install. This kit really does look factory and to the untrained eye, I don't think someone would be able to tell it is modified. The install was very straightforward. There were no unexpected surprises to the install and the instructions were very helpful with some tricky picture descriptions. Ross of AVO TurboWorld has been very helpful with the tuning process, answering questions and fast communication. MiataSource is honored to be given the opportunity to do this install and thanks Jesse for working with MiataSource on their turbo install, hope you enjoy the car.

ND Miata AVO Turbo Kit Skyactiv 2.0

Now that the kit is installed and drove around, we noticed a few things. There seem to be a few bugs that AVO will need to adjust the map to make a smoother driving experience. We did a few datalogs and sent them over to get checked. As for maintenance, everything is to be the same, make sure that fluids are checked often for leaks and to also change them on schedule. As for upgrades that is to be decided. Jesse will be installing a turbo back exhaust after winter is over. Then just have to wait for the tune to get perfected. Stay tuned for more updates. 

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  • Would it be possible to vent the BOV to atmosphere instead of recirculating? I couldn’t tell where the BOV port and the MAF was before or after the BOV port.

    Simon on
  • I personally installed this kit on my car. You use an included tap to tap the port from the stock oil pressure sensor to install the oil feed line from the engine to the turbo. You then need to remove the oil pan to weld a fitting for the oil return line from the turbo to the oil pan. You can also choose to use an adapter that goes through the oil drain plug (like the BBR turbo kit) and put the oil return line through there, thereby not having to remove the oil pan. Pros/cons to each. I went through the drain plug and no issues so far.

    Josh on
  • The injectors are plenty as this is a direct-injected engine which utilize a very high pressure so upgraded injectors are not necessary on a simple kit like this.

    Zachary Visker on
  • The oil pan was removed to install the new oil pan that had a tube welded in for the oil dump.

    Zachary Visker on
  • Stock injectors???? No way that can give enough fueling for 70hp more

    SIDNEY on

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