Thursday, February 19, 2009

Part 3 - Plan of Attack

In this post we are going to figure out where we want to go with this project. Right now our engine probably looks something like the one in the picture on the left. Its probably stock unless you bought a car that the previous owner has modified. So its time to plan out what we want out of our car. To do this we have to ask ourselves a couple questions. One of which is how must do we want to spend. I've had friends who have had some pretty nicely modified and fast cars and only spent a couple thousand over the course of the time they owned it. I also had a friend who dumped fifty thousand into his Acura Integra Type R. Now if you're anything like me you don't have fifty grand laying around to spend on our car. Another question you have to ask yourself is how crazy do we want to go? Do we just want to get a little more power out of our car and give it a little more pep or do we really want to make it get up and go? We're going to start with some basic performance mods. Nothing crazy yet like forced induction (turbochargers and superchargers) but we will touch on that subject later on in this blog. One more question you need to ask yourself is if you have any mechanic ability. Can you install your parts and mods yourself and if not do you have someone like a friend or relative that can help you. If the answer to both of these is no then you have to find yourself a good mechanic who can help you. It pays to learn how to work on your own car. I can't tell you how much money I have saved doing this. Go and buy yourself a good service manual for the vehicle you own. Haynes and Chiltons manuals are ok and available at auto parts stores but your best bet is to try to find a factory service manual or FSM. So lets get started with our planning. Now, if you didn't already know this, more air flow and colder air flow to your engine allows it to produce more power so a good starting point and easy to install mod is a cold air intake. There are many companies who make these for many different types of cars. You can spend anywhere from $25 or so to $300 on one of these. A good place to find your performance parts and save money on them is eBay. I've bought intakes from ebay for $25 before for a couple different cars. Another mod we will want is a new exhaust system. More and better exhaust flow will also increase out hosepower a little bit. Both of these mods not only increase our horsepower but both will make our car sound nice and give it a good tone when you get on the throttle. We are going to start with these mods and talk about them and some other mods more in depth in my next post so look for part 4 of this blog.

Part 2 - Selecting a Car

In this post I’ll help you select a car, that is unless of coarse you already have one. I was never one that spent a lot of money on a car. I would buy cars that needed a little work or TLC because I would be able to fix what was wrong and save myself some money. Like I said I’ve had a lot of different cars. 10 of them were Hondas an Hondas are what I know the most about, so thats the car we’re going to go with. But don’t let the fact that you have or want a different type of car make you stop reading this blog. Most car’s have all the same type of parts in them so if you don’t have a Honda take the info you learn here and apply it to your car. Ok, so lets make our car a 1995 Civic Ex. The Ex and Si model Civics came with more stock horsepower than other Civics. They had a 1.6 SOHC (single overhead cam) Vtec engine that put out around 130 horsepower. Doesn’t sound like a lot does it, well you’re right it’s not but the advantage of these types of cars is that they are pretty light and because of that, the car still will get up and go nicely. But we are going to get some more horses out of that little engine. Since Hondas are a popular car to “trick out” the detailed info on the subject is plentiful. Also there are many many more performance parts available for them than there was when I got my first Honda which was back in 1999. Also your car insurance isn’t going to be as much as it would be if you were driving a Mazda RX7 or a Toyota Supra. And your car insurance also won’t go up if you modify your car with bolt on performance parts at least my car insurance never did. Now despite what some people think, putting a loud muffler, aluminum spoiler and decals on your car doesn’t make it a tuner car. There is much more to it than that and I’m going to tell you all about different aspects of “tuning” your sport compact car throughout this blog so look forward to Part 3 where we will put together a plan of attack for our project.

Part 1 - Introduction

Hello everyone. My name is Niko and this blog is to help people new to the custom auto world learn the basics about building a sport compact tuner car. I've been into sport compacts and tuner cars since I was old enough to drive 11 years ago. This was before the movie Fast and the Furious came out and America and the rest of the world saw an overwhelming increase of tuners and tricked out sport compact cars on it's streets. This is a hobby that I love and am passionate about. Its very gratifying to step back and see the progress I'm making on my new project car, whatever that car may be at the time. I want to share my knowledge of this hobby with anyone else with who has the same interest in this hobby or wants to learn about it.