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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
OK, I've read a bunch of threads with regards to warranties and aftermarket products, I've read threads about the Magnusson Moss Warrenty Act.

So I'm aware that if the part you install trashes your engine and they can prove it you're in for a big bill, and if it's not that parts fault it's still under warrenty.

So my question now is, as someone who is fairly risk adverse when it comes to warrenties on a car I've had 3 weeks (I have a wife that would kill me if I trashed the engine and got a bill for $5,000 just so you know the stakes). What aftermarket modifications are best.

Now before everyone says, if you don't want the risk don't do anything, I'm not fridged to the idea of some risk, I'd just like to know what the odds are that I'm playing with.

Some of you guys know a LOT about tuning, and I would be eternally greatful if you could teach me a thing or two.

Here's how I think it would be a good way to do this.

Modification Name.
Ball Park Part Cost [labor cost if you had it done at a mom and pop shop]
Ease of Self Install (out of 10)
Increase in performance (out of 10)
Risk to Engine if installed correctly (out of 10)
Comments.

So as an example (this is based purely on my readings from these forums).

Cold Air Intake
$300-$400 [$200]
Install: 2 out of 10
Perform: 2 out of 10 (if a real cold Air Intake, and not on short setting)
Risk: 2 out 10
The only real risk is from water being sucked into the engine if you drove through a big puddle and submerged the filter head. HP increases are probably marginal, although there could be some in terms of response above 4k rpm, MPG should increase. Similar results can be found by switch the stock filter with the style of filter used on all the CAI's. Sound is a big consideration, some are very loud, especially in 'short' mode.


I for one would be interested in hearing if that's accurate. I'd also be interested in seeing more knowledgable people do those for: Exhausts (each type, catback, full, etc), Headers, Flywheel, Turbos.... and anything else you can think of.

Thanks.
 

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Any turbo setup is going to greatly reduce not just the lifespan but will completely void your warranty (no ifs, ands, or buts about it... it'd be hard to NOT prove the turbo was the problem). With that said, if you want low risk this is what I suggest:

CAI
$300-400
Install is EXTREMELY easy
Performance increases are marginal at best
Little risk except for the water

Headers
Depends on where you buy, last I checked they were $300ish?
Install is also extremely easy
Performance increases are marginal on their own, combined with CAI you should notice
Possible CEL, dunno if this was fixed in the later versions

Exhaust
$100-$800
Install is also extremely easy if you get a full system (and not one of those cheap systems that require you to do welding and slicing on your own)
Performance increases are marginal... combined with CAI and headers you'll really notice something

Supercharger
$3k+, no set pricing as of yet
Install should be done by a dealer
Performance increases are definately noticable
No risk, covered by warranty
 

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Now if you went I/H/E with supercharger you'd be set
Than you can always get a smaller pulley to increase boost on the supercharger, get a lighter flywheel, etc... lots of other things can be done.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
OK, so for now the safest and probably only option (outside of potentially risky Turbos) is to do a combination Intake, Header and Exhaust. Only with all 3 will you get actual performace results.

And Am I still right in assuming that there's not much in those 3 that would screw with the engine. It'll still run fine as a daily driver, it'll still get the MPG's etc?

Sounds like a plan. I'd better start doing some budget calculations and reading up on which of those is best as a combination package.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I am surely tempted in a year or so to get the SC. I won't touch it for the first 6-9 months of it's release, I know enough to know that I'd rather have other peoples cars used as the test bed.

The wife said she'll get me something for the car fro our 5th anniversary in the next couple of weeks.

With I/H/E what's the best place to start if you want to add them in stages. I'm guessing getting the Header and Exhaust at the same time would be best in terms of getting stuff that will work as one.
 

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I did the I/H at the same time, and had the TRD muffler at another time.

Header (DC Sports) install with regular store tools and no lift was about 5/10 because of the fact that exhaust bolts/nuts tend to stick, there is a risk of stripping the O2 sensor thread, and working under a car jacked up only by the stock tire-changing jack is scary.

Intake (K&N full CAI) install was about 2/10, because it's a pain to take the wheel off just to get to the spot where the filter should be. Not complicated, but annoying.

Noise level went up about 40% compared to stock.

As far as performance goes with these two together - if anything - it was worse. Maybe it felt worse because I expected certain level of power at specific noise level and it was nowhere close, plus it's extremely hard to notice even a 7-8% increase in power when your car is screaming like it's about to blow up.

Then there is this whole emissions deal - since the first catalytic converter gets eliminated with the header - the car stinks. Second cat does not get the exhaust "clean" enough on its own. CEL is avoided by a $5 "anti-fouler" mod, but the smell is pretty foul still.

So all in all - you want to play with it - go ahead, but don't expect a miracle. SC should be the best bang for the buck, because you will actually honestly notice that the car is quicker.
 

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Lightweight Flywheel
~$450 + install
Install: 7 out of 10 for a novice
Perform: 6 out of 10 (instantly noticeable improvement)
Risk: 1 out 10

There is nothing you can do to the car that will be as noticeable (besides tires), have as little risk associated with it, and provide OEM quality reliability.
 

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Got other priorities right now. Just moved and need to buy furniture. I live an all cash life (except for work travel expenses), so I do things the old fashioned way: save first, buy later. I'll be doing it probably before going to ATL in September.
 

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lo bux, in speaking with a mechanic friend the other day, he expressed some concern over the long-term effects of a lightweight flywheel on engine life. However, most of his experience is with extremely high horsepower Camaros, Vettes, and 'Stangs. Do you have any insight into those possibilites?
 

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Not to step in front of Lance here, but I can't see any detrimental effects of a light flywheel, except if you put one on an engine with a radical camshaft profile (or profiles) you'll have idle quality troubles. If anything it would be beneficial in the long term due to the decresed inertia the engine has to overcome to spin faster. Since our engines are rev limited at a conservative RPM there's no chance of overrev damage from it spinning up too fast to react to. I'd call it danger free.
My two cents.
 

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i agree. i have heard nothing from any "tuner" that would lead me to believe there is any danger besides the extreme "what if..." factor.
 

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Originally posted by lo bux racer@Jul 15 2005, 12:09 PM
Got other priorities right now. Just moved and need to buy furniture. I live an all cash life (except for work travel expenses), so I do things the old fashioned way: save first, buy later. I'll be doing it probably before going to ATL in September.
When you do it let me know....I'd be interested in doing mine at the same time, or at least being there to watch/help so I can do mine on my own when I get to it.
 

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Can someone explain to me how a lightweight flywheel provides an increase in performance, aside from the weight-reduction factor? I know that it somehow makes the RPMs climb faster, but I'm pretty ignorant as to how it does this...
 

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It has less mass therefore it takes less time at the same engine power for it to reach a given rpm. In other words it spins up to speed faster than a stock heavier flywheel.
 

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The way I understand it it's a more efficient use of the engine's power. More power goes to driving the wheels rather than getting a heavy flywheel to start spinning. Therefore by replacing the flywheel with a lighter one you won't change the crank HP, but the HP at the wheels SHOULD increase.
 

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Sort of. You won't change the engine's ability to do work (hp), but you do change its ability to accelerate. Its the classic F=MA problem. F is unchanged, but if M is smaller, A has to get bigger. Yes, there is a downside to all this, but it has nothing to do with service life of the engine. The downside is you'll be a lot more likely to stall the engine if you don't apply the throttle sufficiently to launch the car.

To directly address the service life thing: some domestics have crank bearing issues from torsional vibration with light flywheels. Inline 4s and even 6s don't generally have this problem, especially Japanese engines because they typically over-engineer the crank to survive tremendous abuse. Just keep in mind, you can more than double the output of this engine without changing the crank in any way. The same cannot be said for the vast majority of domestics.
 
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