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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Engine Mods...Which Scenario is Better?

Given that you are modding your stock mn12, which one of these temporary conditions would you prefer yours to be in if you had to choose? Let's say you can do one part, but have to drive the car like that for 6 months or more in that condition before you can do the other part.

-PnP'd heads + Comp cams, stock nPI intake and assembly
-PI intake swap + GT/other MAF + GT/other intake tube, stock heads and cams

Of course the goal would be to get it all done eventually, but you can't afford to do it all at once.

Also, which of these is best in price/performance for the average mn12 enthusiast who isn't an all-out drag-racer or track junkie? All using the PI Intake swap:

-Aggressive $1500+ PnP heads, Comp cams
-Aggressive $1500+ PnP heads, PI cams
-Less aggressive PnP heads, PI cams
-stock or mildy ported heads, Comp cams
 

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Formerly Fdawg97LX
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4point6r0x0rz said:

-PnP'd heads + Comp cams, stock nPI intake and assembly
-PI intake swap + GT/other MAF + GT/other intake tube, stock heads and cams
do it all at the same time. if you got money to do pnp heads and comp cams. just save up an extra $300 or so and get the 02 gt maf/airbox/intaketube (approx. $160) and a pi intake (can be had for $125 used). also you might want to factor in the price of a tune cuz you will need one with the new maf and the comp cams.

Frank
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
fdawg97lx said:


do it all at the same time. if you got money to do pnp heads and comp cams. just save up an extra $300 or so and get the 02 gt maf/airbox/intaketube (approx. $160) and a pi intake (can be had for $125 used). also you might want to factor in the price of a tune cuz you will need one with the new maf and the comp cams.

Frank
Ahhh, but that brings up one more scenario...

-remain a stock slug for another year while *trying* to save up some funds.

I evidently ruled this one out subconciously.

It's very frustrating because I've known what I've wanted to do to the engine since January, but I'm no closer now than I was then. I'm still in the dream stage, debating all these different scenarios in my head, but I can't decide. I want to get something signifcant done for performance. That's why I wonder which temporary condition would be better, while I save up more funds to complete the process.

I thought I'd try to put these thoughts out there and frame it in such a way that it can help all stock 4.6 mn12'ers in the process.

Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Well of course I plan on getting the car tuned with those mods when the time comes. That's a given. I am considering the tune first as well as getting a custom driveshaft made, but wouldn't it be a waste of money to get the car tuned, make the mods, then get the car tuned again? Isn't it better to keep the stock tune until you get the mods that actually require it? I don't know about spending $800 on two tunes when I can just wait and get one when needed at $400 or less. Less money spent on tuning could mean getting the heads done a lot sooner. I'm still at square one. Getting a tune right now would leave me at square one for another couple of months as far as getting the heads done. I guess I'm just frustrated at not being able to take my heads in for porting yet and it's been over half a year already since I made the decision to do that. <sigh> :(
 

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Discussion Starter #8
After spending about $500 for body and paint work, replacement rear sway bar end link bushings from the local stealership + labor, a replacement MAF, and the Civic tube, I am now back in save money mode. I CAN spend some money now and get some good stuff, but I would like to save up at least $2000 before I make my next purchase. I like to leave myself a cushion in case things come up. A $400 driveshaft + a $350 tune will prevent me from getting started on the heads. It will take a while to save at the rate I'm going.

And if I take the heads in, I'm going to want to purchase the PI intake, some '96 exhaust manifolds, the cams and springs and have the machine shop try to port match as best as possible.

I might just do what you guys suggest and get the driveshaft and tune and beat my head against the wall a few times while waiting to scrounge up enough for the heads. :bangwall: ARGHHH!!

Thanks
 

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What do you have for mods right now.....because I highly doubt you NEED a driveshaft now, unless you are rollin 3.73's or 4.10's and run at speeds over like 120mph often.

Also a chip will run you about 325 - 350 and That will be a huge change over your stock tune, it will be like night and day.

My advise is get the SCT chip and sit on the 400 bucks for the driveshaft until ya 400 is 2000+ and then do some headwork. The best thing to do is figure out where you want to be later and go from there. The 96 exhaust manifolds wont help much, save your money and timeon install, save the 600 for Kooks and when you can afford it get it done. Why pay for exhaust headers/manifolds twice......Not too smart if you are cost concious.

Hope this helps

Dave
 

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Formerly Fdawg97LX
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do the j-mod and get a chip. by far the best two mods i've done to my car. they can both be done for less than $500. also if you got 3.08 gears get a 3.27 pumpkin or get 3.73's and a trac lock installed in your pumpkin. if you go with 3.73's you will need to get the chip set up for them. 3.27's, u dont.

Frank
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
If I had known about the j-mod, it would have saved me megabucks last year. I was all ready to start modding the motor last summer when the tranny failed. I bought a kit off the net and had my uncle rebuild it at his tranny shop. Total cost was what Firestone quoted me for a stock rebuild, so I guess it's not *that* bad after all.

These are my mods so far:

-no air silencer
-K&N panel filter
-Civic tube
-3.73's
-PATC "Interceptor" updated 4R70W parts (http://www.transmissioncenter.net/aode.htm). This includes the Fairbanks shift kit: There are three performance settings. I picked the middle one.
-B&M trans cooler
-Mercon V

My 'Bird has vibration from 50-60mph which I presume is because of the effect of the 3.73's on the driveshaft. Also, I can do without the 85mph speed limiter. I want to have the custom driveshaft in there before the tune for safety reasons. My car has also started exhibiting other problems like squeaking when I let off the gas in gear. U-joints? And when I reverse, there is this strange noise while the wheels are rolling. I don't know what that could be...maybe brakes are rubbing even though I don't have them engaged?

You guys have convinced me to get the tune first and be content with that for a while. My only concern is...do these SCT tuners give you some kind of discount for repeat business or do they charge you $350 for every tune?
 

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350 for the chip and then a reburn is usually 50 bucks per time, give or take a few bucks.

your 85mph speed limiter is because of going from 3.08's to 3.73's with no chip. I am about to do this also, Do you top out at 85mph because you are running at high rpm's at that speed? What's your RPM's at 85 now?

Thanks

Dave
 

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Discussion Starter #13
DMcBrideBoston said:
350 for the chip and then a reburn is usually 50 bucks per time, give or take a few bucks.
What about SCT tuning and flash updates?
Do you top out at 85mph because you are running at high rpm's at that speed?
No, it's the speed limiter kicking in.
What's your RPM's at 85 now?
I don't recall the exact rpm, but it's in the 4000's somewhere by the end of the track.
 

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The high 4's sounds about right with the rev limiter at stock setting, I believe it's 4800 if memory serves, just that with the 308's your usually doing around 95 or so. I can't comment on the tranny work you have done but my ride with the Apten chip and Jmod for under 350 hp will hold shift points up to 5500 rpm, probably further but I haven't had the nerve to stay on it that long. You already did the rear end. I would say your money is going to best spent upgrading the torque converter/flex plate and kick the stock air box, upgrade the maf and get the chip. Oh yea, I would spend the money on the drive shaft first, that vibration would drive me nuts.
 

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Absolute best bang for the buck:

3.73 pumpkin, trans cooler, SCT chip. It will cost you about 1000 bucks and will have about the same effect for now as putting a headswapped motor in your car. You'll be amazed, plus it will add nicely with the other things down the road like your cam and head swap plans, giving you a kick in the butt now plus a lot more later for not a whole lot of cash.

Pete
 

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Discussion Starter #16
thndrchiken said:
The high 4's sounds about right with the rev limiter at stock setting, I believe it's 4800 if memory serves, just that with the 308's your usually doing around 95 or so.
When I was at the track, the rev limiter kicked in at around 5200-5300 rpms when I was manually shifting. That's about where it's marked on my tach as well.

I just read this artice, but it just makes me uncertain. The article says that 105mph is the speed limiter for a car with 3.27's at around 4400 rpms because of stock driveshaft safety issues. Mine was at 105mph with the 3.08's. With 3.73's, the 4400 rpm translates to about 85mph assuming the tc is not locked.

So, is the rev limiter 4400 because of driveshaft safety or is it 5200 like I experienced and is marked on the tach?
 

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Formerly Fdawg97LX
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speed limiter is in the 105-107 mph range. the rev limiter is in the 5200-5300 rpm range.

frank
 
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