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Old 05-24-2016, 08:36 AM   #1
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Making HP on the cheap...

I recently bought a 2003 GT with the 4.6. It has a Steeda air intake and that's it. What else can I do to squeeze more out of my engine on a budget? Appreciate any help.

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Old 05-24-2016, 08:56 AM   #2
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Headers, catback, and a tune

These 2V motors aren't big HP makers until you add some boost., unfortunately.

In my opinion though, they are the best sounding of the modular family.


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Old 05-24-2016, 09:04 AM   #3
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Nice thanks. Added to my to do list.

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Old 05-24-2016, 09:05 AM   #4
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Headers, catback, and a tune

These 2V motors aren't big HP makers until you add some boost., unfortunately.

In my opinion though, they are the best sounding of the modular family.


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What about making the engine red easier/faster?

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Old 05-24-2016, 09:07 AM   #5
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Full exhaust is the biggest one. CAI will do little to nothing. Plenum/TB will do a slight bump but for $279 for the TFS combo you'll have to decide if its worth paying that for like 2 or 3rwhp at most.


Besides that, tune, 4.10 gears and suspension. MGW or Steeda shifter if you are stick, J-mod and converter if you are auto. But the converter and install is not exactly "budget" if you can't DIY.


After that... nitrous.
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Old 05-24-2016, 09:17 AM   #6
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OK thanks. Yes definitely the entire exhaust will upgraded. I was looking at a lighter flywheel when replacing my clutch.

What would a tune run me? And what expectations would be the results.

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Old 05-24-2016, 09:27 AM   #7
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Tune is usually $400 including the tuner. Lighter flywheel would not be good for a stockish street car. Tune gives you better drivability and it'll just feel stronger.


Gears should be one of the first things you do if you haven't.
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Old 05-24-2016, 09:30 AM   #8
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Tune is usually $400 including the tuner. Lighter flywheel would not be good for a stockish street car. Tune gives you better drivability and it'll just feel stronger.


Gears should be one of the first things you do if you haven't.
4.10 Gears it is then. Thanks for the honest opinion.

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Old 05-24-2016, 09:36 AM   #9
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Yep no problem. To be totally blunt, there is very little "bolt on" power to be had from these engines. Exhaust is pretty much it. Then tune, gears and work on suspension. Suspension and a good set of tires is always neglected on these cars. People will put every damn bolt on they can think of and are rolling around on stock suspension and an AM rim combo with Sumis and can't hook up for ****.


Also as far as headers go... shorties are a waste of money and good longtubes are not cheap. I would leave the stock manifolds alone if they are not rusted out or anything, they are not restrictive like the 95-down factory headers were. Good mid pipe like the UPR/VRS X pipe and then a straight through catback like a Dynomax Ultra Flow which is one of the cheapest catbacks you can get while also flowing great and sounding great.
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Old 05-24-2016, 09:38 AM   #10
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The cost of a tune will be decided by the route you take in tuning the car. There are hand held tuners, computer programs, and dyno tuners. All have their place, and all have a different cost.

You could wait until an exhaust is installed to tune the car. That will give you the best option in regard to cost unless you go with Bama and their free tunes for life.

There is a positive in ordering a Bama / SCT programmer. You will be able to have several tunes on hand right now that will allow you to take advantage of your intake. The tuner will wake the car up a bit.

With an SCT you will also be able to read and clear codes, run a data log, install emailed tunes, and keep adding other tunes as the modification addiction takes over your life.

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Old 05-24-2016, 10:32 AM   #11
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All depending on your goals for the car, but sufficient weight loss can also make the car faster and more agile. Things like a fibreglass hood, new seats etc all shave weight, but at a cost. In the mean time you can look for little things on the car you can remove to help put your 2v on a diet.
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Old 05-24-2016, 10:37 AM   #12
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All depending on your goals for the car, but sufficient weight loss can also make the car faster and more agile. Things like a fibreglass hood, new seats etc all shave weight, but at a cost. In the mean time you can look for little things on the car you can remove to help put your 2v on a diet.
The composite hood they come with is not exactly heavy. I will say that even a Cervinis hood can be a touch off from stock having had one and they are the best in my book. Why I am going to find an OEM Termi hood for mine that is already silver. Missed one a month ago for $300 locally in mint condition... sumbich.

As far as the rest of the weight loss... not that much you can do before you start really taking away the streetability. Rear seats yeah... donut and jack yeah, kill some of the smog stuff up front... Racing seats... After that you are looking at deleting the AC, getting rid of the power steering and cruise, super lightweight wheels are $$$$, aluminum DS, remove interior paneling etc... K member... Personally I wouldn't mess with too much weight loss on a SN95. They are light enough already vs the stuff coming out today. Put the battery in the trunk, do a few of the small things to re-distribute the weight closer to 50/50 and then work on handling/suspension if you haven't already.
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Old 05-24-2016, 11:36 AM   #13
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Man! so much I want to do and so little money. I usually take my buddies supercharged Honda civic which is fast as **** and hit the track on weekends. I want my GT to handle more than power right now. I'm going to replace my HnR's with Eibach and so better shocks all around. Maybe coil overs on the front depending on the price.

Perhaps bar for sure in the rear. I have a kid who loves riding around in it so I'll keep the rear seats for now.

Will the upgraded 4.10 gears make my final drive rev higher and kill my fuel mileage?

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Old 05-24-2016, 11:54 AM   #14
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Man! so much I want to do and so little money. I usually take my buddies supercharged Honda civic which is fast as **** and hit the track on weekends. I want my GT to handle more than power right now. I'm going to replace my HnR's with Eibach and so better shocks all around. Maybe coil overs on the front depending on the price.

Perhaps bar for sure in the rear. I have a kid who loves riding around in it so I'll keep the rear seats for now.

Will the upgraded 4.10 gears make my final drive rev higher and kill my fuel mileage?

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Most people from what I hear have no real noticeable loss in fuel economy with 4.10's. Biggest factor will be how heavy your right foot is.

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Old 05-24-2016, 12:50 PM   #15
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I'm running full bolt ons with no suspension lol. But I do plan to start suspension upgrades soon.

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Old 05-24-2016, 02:39 PM   #16
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You say that you are looking for a fiberglass hood? There are 2 on ebay now! 1-glass and 1 carbon fiber, both around the $350. Mark. Hope this helps.
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Old 05-24-2016, 03:37 PM   #17
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You say that you are looking for a fiberglass hood? There are 2 on ebay now! 1-glass and 1 carbon fiber, both around the $350. Mark. Hope this helps.
That's before shipping and buying a hood off eBay is downright dangerous except from a few specific known shops.

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Old 05-24-2016, 03:56 PM   #18
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That's before shipping and buying a hood off eBay is downright dangerous except from a few specific known shops.

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The fit and finish is normally poor due to improper molds and curing. It is not unheard of to find air pockets, chips, and breaks from the manufacturer and shipping. You will have to put a lot of hours into making your new hood look good. Before it's over you could spend as much on body work as the hood itself.

Investigate the company you buy from. Ask questions of those that have purchased hoods from the company you are considering. Test fit the raw hood before you begin any work.

As with most things in life, you get what you pay for.

I am a bit critical. I am a perfectionist and expect the best.

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Old 05-24-2016, 04:33 PM   #19
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You buy a cheap eBay hood at best you'll pay more in the end to make it fit right. At worst it'll fly up and smash your windshield on the highway and get you or someone else killed. See Cobra Auto Designs\Cinncinnati Composites\Champion. Even the rags won't advetise them now and the rags are shameless in what they shill.

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Old 05-25-2016, 01:38 AM   #20
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I wouldn't waste time or money on headers...if you do, get long tubes. This will make maintenance on the starter, exhaust, and transmission a lot easier. I've been told from my neighbourhood exhaust shop our stock exhaust manifolds are actually quite efficient. First things first, have a final plan for the car. Can't go wrong with a tuner and a air filter (not necessarily the whole CAI). A throttle body is nice to have even tho it's not a power maker...the size depends on your plans

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Old 05-25-2016, 11:41 AM   #21
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Most places that sell fiberglass parts have a disclaimer that the parts are not bolt on and go parts. They require quite a bit of bodywork to look right.
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Old 05-25-2016, 12:24 PM   #22
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Most places that sell fiberglass parts have a disclaimer that the parts are not bolt on and go parts. They require quite a bit of bodywork to look right.
Which makes returning a bad product a hassle.

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Old 05-25-2016, 12:34 PM   #23
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I've had 2 Cervinis hoods, one I had installed and the other came on the car. First one the shop just had to paint it and drop it on. Previous owner of my second car said the same thing. Granted there were a few spots they probably could have laid some fiberglass and got a touch more level but the fit and finish was fine and both hoods survived 1/4 mile runs and fun on the highway without pins or anything and never moved.


But... again... will be going OEM Terminator for my hood and make the vents functional. Or if I can find a real good deal on a Mach shaker setup but not paying $1k for that when a $300 hood will work just as well and look great.
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Old 05-25-2016, 12:35 PM   #24
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I've had 2 Cervinis hoods, one I had installed and the other came on the car. First one the shop just had to paint it and drop it on. Previous owner of my second car said the same thing. Granted there were a few spots they probably could have laid some fiberglass and got a touch more level but the fit and finish was fine and both hoods survived 1/4 mile runs and fun on the highway without pins or anything and never moved.


But... again... will be going OEM Terminator for my hood and make the vents functional. Or if I can find a real good deal on a Mach shaker setup but not paying $1k for that when a $300 hood will work just as well and look great.
Cervini makes a quality product.

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Old 05-25-2016, 02:34 PM   #25
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Cervini makes a quality product.

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And they are an hour's drive from my house. Military discount and pay cash=win. Although their designs are getting kinda ricey...
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