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Engine mods & Money, what a waste,,,,
Engine mods & Money, what a waste,,,,
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Old 03-04-09, 08:47 AM   #1
qwksti
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Lightbulb Engine mods & Money, what a waste,,,,

So I'm at home playing with my new baby boy, who I hope one day will grow up to be a gear head like me, when the US mail comes. Wow the April 2009 issue of Import Tuner Mag, sweet, and on the cover is "Sti vs Evo shootout". Now my day is getting better, so as I read through this article one thing really grabs my attention, no not the hot models, well maybe they grab some of my attention, but what really makes me think was the lap times vs hp some of these cars were putting in with very good drivers.

What is so special about that you ask? Well take a close look, go on ill wait, do you see it? Not yet, keep looking, well? Ok let me fill you in. Do you notice how the lap times are almost the same, maybe off by a few seconds from each other. Then take a look at the hp rating of all the cars. I know shocking isn't it. Some of these cars have big HP numbers and the lap times are not much better, some even slower, than the almost stock or cars with not very many engine mods done to them. So it seems a lot of this boils down to suspension & set up & driver, and not hp.


This brings me to my point, why spend all that money on engine mods when it really wont do much if anything for you, in some cases it will do the reverse of what you want, except cause you grief when you go to smog your car, or problems with the local police because your exhaust is so loud you wake up kids in the hood at 4am. We all want to brag about dyno numbers, but will this just show everyone how you are really good at wasting your money? The more I hear guys at club meets and at the track say "ya I dynoed at ( insert your own number here )" and realize what a waste of money time effort, and hassle getting it all to work right. Why is it all for not, well because %98 of the guys who spend tons of money and time on a car donít take it to the track or even car shows. If they do take it to the track, that extra hp is not getting them better lap times if any at all. They drive it to work or the store and thatís it. Maybe they like letting everyone know they put down big hp, only to use it on the way to work, getting stuck on the 405 in stop and go traffic.


You are much better off spending your money on proper suspension mods, good tires, and LOTS of driving lessons. Seat time, this will
make your car faster than any engine mod. I'm not even going to spend time talking about how guys spend tons of money on engine stuff and then the car is not reliable and it breaks down all the time, I could go on for hours about that. If you want 500 hp go buy a Ferrari, or if you cant afford that then go get a SC Mustang or a Z06 Vette, they are cheap and then you can tell all your friends you put down 500hp on the dyno. With out going to far off subject, I love working on my car, changing parts etc, I live for it, but at what point do you have to stop and say I'm wasting my money?


I have 2006 STI, stage 2 with a tune, its fast, is it as fast as an Enzo, no, not even close, but it does very well at the track, ive passed many a car that had way more hp than i. I've spent most of my money on suspension IE coilovers, sway bars, strut braces, H brace, camber plates and so on. That and R compound tires I put in some very good lap times. I've been doing track days and autocross for over 15 years now and I'm not bad behind the wheel. I'm not trying to put the after market shops and Mfgs out of business, but when it comes to spending your money I think most of the time it would be better spent on handling and driving lessons then on increased hp.

So going back to why im writing this, look at the times of all the cars in the lap battle, and then check it with the amount of WHP on each. If you compare closely you will find that spending a lot of money to get more hp is not always the best way to go, in fact most of the time it wont get you much at all. The all stock 2009 STI and EVOX only went 2-5 seconds slower than the cars that had 350+ to 500whp. The article even goes on the say that the fastest car bettered the stock version by 8 seconds, but for most cases the stock version was only 2-5 seconds behind most of the moded cars. I can only guess how much $ was spent on the moded cars engines. What do you think, $5,000 up to or more than $10,000K probly more? Now 8 seconds can be a lot on the track, if your in a competition, but for almost all of us we will never spend that kind of money on our cars engine, and if we did probly wont take it to the track.

Getting that big hp car will not get you a big improvement in lap times, even at the drag strip, If I remember right the basic for going faster is "H.P. = (.00426 x M.P.H.) to the third power x weight". Letís say your car weighs 3000 pounds and runs 100 MPH through the traps. Not accounting for the resistance, etc., our quickie calculation tells us you have approximately 232 HP. To go 110 MPH, the formula calculates youíll need 308.7 HP. 120MPH will cost you 400 HPís. Therefore, you needed 76.7 more HP to go 10 MPH faster and another 91.3 HP to go 10 MPH faster than that. The faster you go, the more is required to make the same increase in speed, but how little of a change is made after lots more HP has been added. Think about that and what it cost to go just a slight bit faster to add 10MPH. Here is a good web page on how power and speed are made and the comparison. You will even see how changing your engines power can actually make the car slower if you do it wrong.
http://craig.backfire.ca/pages/autos/horsepower

Unless you plan to build your motor from the ground up and do it right, IE spend $10-20k and have a proper built motor and supporting mods, and that still wont mean you will get better lap times if you donít know how to drive it or have the balls to drive it, itís a waste of time unless you just want to have a dyno queen for bragging rights. Other than a few basic bolt-ons you can better spend your money in other places when it comes to making your ride faster. Here is one to try, how about getting real light weight rims, get rid of those super heavy after market or OEM wheels that actually make your car slower, thatís right adding bigger wheels and tires will make your car slower. So congratulations, those hot looking wheels you just spent $2K+ on might look cool, but it just made your car slower. One of the best mods I've ever done to any of my cars, was putting on lighter wheels and losing rotating mass.

I guess when it all comes down to it, it just depends on what you want from your ride, and what you plan to do with it in the future. For me I got a sports car because I want to go fast, and do it at the track, not on the street. I donít see any point in spending a lot of money on engine mods when you donít plan to use it for anything other than basic daily driving. The return you get from all the money spent on HP increase is not worth the money to me.
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Old 03-04-09, 09:01 AM   #2
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Default Re: Engine mods & Money, what a waste,,,,

you're wasting money just buying a car to race, and any better aftermarket parts are a waste of money also then. you're avg dd will benefit from AP as much as he will from sways and aligment and tires for funner drives around town.

you're assuming that every person who mods their car is a competitive track junky, i imagine many people who go to the track / autox / drag strip just go to enjoy themselves and their cars.

maybe people dont care if their rims make them slower, basically what makes you vision of what you want in a car better than someone elses? as long as everyone enjoys their ride who cares. the return you get in grin power is worth it alone.
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Old 03-04-09, 09:08 AM   #3
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Default Re: Engine mods & Money, what a waste,,,,

It depends on what you want out of the car.

Yes, if I was track racing the STI then it would be more beneficial to spend the money on suspension, brakes, and tires before power.

...BUT, I DD my STI and will never track it. I have more fun in a street car when it has lots of power. It doesn't need a great suspension setup. So in my situation, I wouldn't consider power mods a waste.
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Old 03-04-09, 09:09 AM   #4
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Default Re: Engine mods & Money, what a waste,,,,

I took the turbo off my STI. no joke, look for a thread sometime this weekend lol. (car is running 11:1 cr now)
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Old 03-04-09, 09:21 AM   #5
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Default Re: Engine mods & Money, what a waste,,,,

2 to 5 seconds a A LOT when racing.


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Old 03-04-09, 10:20 AM   #6
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Default Re: Engine mods & Money, what a waste,,,,

Quote:
Originally Posted by jph View Post
2 to 5 seconds a A LOT when racing.
yeah. what did you expect OP? Twice the HP, half the times?

all cars limited to four tires, screaching against the laws of physics.

5 seconds is alot +1
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Old 03-04-09, 10:53 AM   #7
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Default Re: Engine mods & Money, what a waste,,,,

Personally, my car was real boring with the stock turbo. The day I changed to a 20g was the best thing I ever did. Everyone has there own thing.
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Old 03-04-09, 11:03 AM   #8
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Default Re: Engine mods & Money, what a waste,,,,

Wow, that was a pretty useless vent IMO. Everything said is pretty much in someones own opinion. And I also agree with 2-5seconds being ALOT, especially if all the drivers are of the same skill.

I think the main point the op forgot to state is BALANCE, you could have 600hp. Just as long as you have the suspension and driving know how to back it up. And I think the dyno statement makes no sense. If you take all you're time getting all the right parts, paying for dyno time and the tune (you deserve to brag) If you don't like it dont listen. You cant expect someone to spend 6k on their car and keep to them selfs, I mean common. Half the fun is comparing you're setup to other peoples(not saying one is better than the other, just shooting the breeze)
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Old 03-04-09, 11:05 AM   #9
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Default Re: Engine mods & Money, what a waste,,,,

A lot of people I've talked to have mentioned out of all their mods, suspension is their favorite.

The reason for me to mod engine and what not is because of that rush I get when I step on the gas. I baby my car and rarely do that, that way (in my own mind is beneficial) everytime I do it, it still feels exhilarating. That and once I started I couldn't stop. I swear it's crack in another form.

Yes I do plan on having an engine built, as I want to achieve 400whp. I don't feel like I am wasting my money on the engine or mods. It's fun, exciting, makes me grin, and gives one of my most favorite feelings in the world.(WOT) That and I'm not trying to prove anything to anyone. It's my car. It's a beast. I love it.
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Old 03-04-09, 11:06 AM   #10
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Default Re: Engine mods & Money, what a waste,,,,

Buying a STi in general was a waste of money.

The smart thing to do is to buy the cheapest car possible, figuring in depreciation, maintenance and fuel costs.

However, I enjoy the hell out of my ~$50,000 GD.

Last edited by Mack; 03-04-09 at 11:23 AM.
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