IW STi Forum banner

1 - 20 of 58 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
451 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
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 don’t 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 that’s 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". Let’s 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 you’ll need 308.7 HP. 120MPH will cost you 400 HP’s. 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 don’t know how to drive it or have the balls to drive it, it’s 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, that’s 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 don’t see any point in spending a lot of money on engine mods when you don’t 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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,713 Posts
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,082 Posts
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
878 Posts
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,210 Posts
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):wave:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,630 Posts
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.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
9,206 Posts
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
180 Posts
I really don't care if I spend a lot of money moding my car, as long as i keep getting enjoyment out of it and it keeps me happy, thats all that matters. The STI is not a practical car in the first place. As long as the car puts a smile on my face very time i get in it to go to work than thats all that matters.

What one guy spends his money on is his business and his personally choice! Yeah, someone that drives a preist would say the same thing why do you spend all that money just for a fast daily driven car? Why not get something with more MPG? I think you preaching to the wrong crowd about this!

IT'S BECAUSE WE LOVE, THAT WHEN WE THROW DOWN THE GAS THE CAR RESPONDS LIKE IT DOES AND THAT MAKES IT WORTH IT TIME AND TIME AGAIN. SPEED AND ADRENALINE ARE A DISEASE, ONE THAT I LOVE AND WILL NEVER STOP LOVING!:D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
329 Posts
I for one appreciate the OPs point of view and I don't think you have to entirely agree to appreciate it either. So much is made on these boards about power and I think the point of the post was to try and put that type of gain into perspective.

Sure, people love having high HP cars because they are fun to drive WOT on the street. But, if we put on our responsible hats for a moment, you really shouldn't be doing WOT on the street with your 400WHP sti, unless you shut it down at 60. And even then it can be dangerous and a violation of a couple of different laws. So, if we assume for a moment, (and this is a big assumption that I know a lot of people don't give a f* about) that someone with 400WHP is following all of the laws of the road, then they are not really using that 400WHP on the street. If they are not using it on the street, then they must be doing it for the track, dyno or fun/hobby/car show interest.

The OP was pointing out that the extra HP on the track isn't really netting many gains when considering $$ invested per seconds gained. Yes of course 2-5 seconds is a lot on the track but without a race license and several years of real experience your 400WHP built motor STi still won't get you within 15 seconds of a real driver.

So, of course if you like working on your car and bragging about power then fine. That is a fun thing that you are getting enjoyment out of. You are investing dollars in your hobby. Great. Is it making you that much faster on the track? No. Can you use that power on the street? You shouldn't be. That of course is not to say Stage 1 or 2 don't improve throttle response and DD ability. They do and are great easy mods. Even an upgraded turbo can enhance daily driver fun, but the OP brings up some valid points IMO about the diminishing marginal returns of engine upgrades in any car.

/zp
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,501 Posts
First off, a street car is not a race car. What works well for the street is often terrible on a race track and vice versa.

Even if you are building a track car out of an EVO or STI, you know that the cost of that next second of time off your lap is many times more expensive than the last. Worse, all the gains can be lost simply by having the driver screw up or a part break. When building a race car, you need to know what racing series you are running in, what cars best take advantage of the rules and what modifications are allowed under the rules. Then you build accordingly. You could build a car that kicks a ton of ass on a tight autocross, take it out onto a track with long straits and find yourself getting owned by the cars making more power. There is no one set-up that is optimal for all races on all tracks at all times.

So to make any conclusions about the relative value of modifications based on the outcome of any one particular race is silly. What you need to do is figure out what you want out of your car, and figure out what you need to get there. But to say modifications on a street car are pointless because a few big HP cars underperformed in one race is ludicrous.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
792 Posts
^^^ That and when I have done a track day we get 10-20 minutes of drive time or roughly 7-8 laps. 2-5 seconds a lap after 7-8 laps and I am 1/2 way around the track on you.On an Autocross course I have had neons with r- comp tires make me look silly. On a road track it would be the other way around.
I run with a guy that has a pretty tricked out* 05 Mustang. At the drag stip he has me by 1/2 a second and 7MPH. At a road track and autocross I have him.
Most people that race or track there cars are looking for every little advantage. I can install a larger turbo to match the mustang at the drag strip, but may hurt my track times with a laggier turbo.
Heavy springs and sways may help at the autocross event but throw things out of wack for a road course and really kill the ride for the street.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
566 Posts
I think the op put on engine mods and didn't get the results he was looking for.

Of course seat time is the best thing you could do for your driving. Of course suspension mods and tires are the best thing (with seat time) to do for road racing.

Learning to launch for drag racing is the most important thing. But then power. And lots of it. So your argument fails there.

I guess I don't understand the big rant. You could learn to drive fast with a ford focus. Will he pass me on the track, unlikely. Could he be a better driver, sure. The same cars (time attack) you laugh at for expensive engine mods have expensive suspension mods as well. When you are fighting for .01 of a sec everything matters.

I personally will be doing suspension before engine, but I want to use it at a road coarse and as a dd. I don't plan on racing wheel to wheel any time soon. Just can't afford it.

Carl S. you don't count, because your one of the few who are using the car for what it was made for.. :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,192 Posts
100% True....I should turn my boost down from 29Psi(645whp) to 15Psi(350whp)...
Yeaaa.. then you'll "only" be 5 seconds behind everyone else. :lol:
 
1 - 20 of 58 Posts
Top