APtuned Blog


A Beginners Guide to Modifying A Car

It's easy for a seasoned car guy to give advice on what he or she thinks is best when it comes to modifying your car or truck, but many times that advice is biased based on their own belief of what is best and based on what they read on their forum. What a beginner needs is advice that comes from the basics of automotive performance and what makes or doesn't make power. It's hard not to get tied up in manufacture claims, so we're going to create this guide on what every beginner should know when it comes to modifying their car for the first time, or even picking a platform to modify.

Back in the day, street rods were built based on bigger is better. Today, with technology being at the forefront of automotive performance, bigger isn't necessarily better. Today it's about creating power from a lean and mean engine in addition to a lightweight chassis that both work with well together.

Why it's important to plan your mods
Many of our customers, and myself included, like to buy parts on a feel good basis. We want that intake or want that exhaust because we want the car to sound good, and make more power. But then we find later that we decide to go a different route, and then all of a sudden the exhaust is too small or too big, and the intake won't work any more. At that point we've learned that we wasted money and should have come up with a plan first on what goals we have for the vehicle. Do we want a car for drag racing? AutoX? Road Racing? Street Performance? Every setup would be different here, so planning that out would help you to not only save money, but ensure the parts you purchase work well together and compliment each other.

Select your platform
If you don't already have a car or truck to modify, then you need to decide first which platform you are going to go for before you come up with a path. Again, this comes down to deciding what type of racing or performance you want from your car. Many of us already know that we want an import or domestic, and a specific brand. Others are limited by budget or other criteria. For flat out power, nothing beat starting with a platform that is already turbo from the factory, or already has a V8 motor. Some examples of great platforms to start your mods:

Subaru WRX or Subaru WRX STi
Mitsubishi Lancer EVO (all generations)
Mitsubishi Eclipse Turbo (FWD or AWD) and Eagle Talon or Plymouth Laser
Ford Mustang
Chevy Camaro
Corvette (C5 Z06 is extremely affordable right now)
Dodge Charger or Challenger
Nissan 350Z or Nissan 370Z
Nissan 240SX (great drifting platform)
Honda Civic / Acura Integra (Great platform for anything other than drfiting)
Toyota Supra Turbo (can be had for a good price now)
... and more

The above list is just an example of good platforms on a budget. Sure you can go the more expensive route and go straight for a Nissan GT-R, but the majority of people won't go that route, and so we won't explore that platform in specific. Our goal here is to give you general advice that you can use on any platform.

Drag Racing
So, you decided that drag racing is for you? Welcome to a highly competitive world primarily dominated by high horsepower. The goal of drag racing is to get your car down 1320 feet as quickly as possible. This means your car needs to be as light as possible, launch as hard as possible, and have as much useable power as possible. Typically, drag race setups are not very comfortable on the street. If you have a front wheel drive, you will need a good set of slicks and a limited slip differential. You can't drive around with slicks on the street (typically), so you will need a special setup of wheels and tires for the track. If your car is rear wheel drive, you can get away with using street slicks, but for serious drag racers, this might not work. You'd want to setup your suspension to keep the rear stiffer than the front, so as the weight transfers to the back for launch it helps with traction. Brakes aren't too important except you want to be able to stop at the end of the drag strip.

Road Racing
Unlike with drag racing, road racing not only requires power, but requires all around incredible handling and braking. Where as drag racing requires only 10-13 seconds of racing at a time, road racing could be for 30+ minutes of constant abuse. Cars that are lightweight and handle/brake well could have faster lap times than cars making twice the power, so it's really a game of balance. For competitive use, you'd need to get a set of road racing tires and a set of wheels to go with it, as tires are extremely important. Once the brakes and suspension are ready to go, you'd want power to match. The key here is balance, you don't want a car that has more power than the chassis can handle, more power than the brakes can handle, or more brakes than power. Start road racing with a bone stock car, then add race tires the next time you are out, and then start to modify your car. You'll appreciate your car much more when starting road racing with a stock vehicle.

Autocross or AutoX really wears out your tires from parking lot racing. You'd want a car that is nimble, has good torque, and a usable power band as most of the time your speeds will be under 60 mph. This type of racing is usually around 1-2 minutes at a time. Most important here would be your tires and your suspension setup. Tires are an interesting aspect here because with 1-2 minutes of racing they don't really get much of a chance to warm up. So you would need to get tires that are able to handle well on gravel and heat up quickly. A typical road racing or street suspension should be plenty for a fun AutoX day.

Safety is extremely important, and you would need a fire extinguisher, and possibly a roll cage depending on the performance of your car, and the type of racing you choose. You would also need a helmet and possibly a 4 or 5 point safety harness. You also need to make sure you have great brakes... it's often overlooked. Many cars brake well with just upgraded rotors and pads, others need a whole new big brake kit.

Planning your modifications
Now that you know the general idea of what you need for each type of racing, you need to decide what route you are going to take with modifying your car. Below we will touch on the basics of some of the major areas of modification and you can decide which is right for you, and which is within your budget. Not all of these modifications need to be done at once, but some will require a mod or two before you go to the next step, so plan that out too.

Intake System
Ok, so one of the basics would be the intake system. If your car is not turbo but you are going to add a turbo to it later, skip the intake. When you get a turbo, the intake system is completely redone, so the old intake you had won't work with the new system any more. Also, if you go with a turbo kit, most of the kits come with an intake kit for it.

Should I get a drop in air filter?
If you are never going to modify your car past an air filter, then sure. An air filter such as a K&N is a good way for an extra 1-2 horsepower and it's an air filter that you won't have to replace again for a lifetime, but it's not going to give you nearly as much power as a short ram or cold air intake.

Short Ram Intake vs Cold Air Intake - What's the difference?
This is a big question we get asked a lot. A short ram intake has a shorter intake tube, and typically has the air filter in plain sight under the hood. For some applications this is fine, but for others this isn't as efficient as a cold air intake, because a cold air intake actually has a longer air tube that literally relocates the air filter away from the engine as far as possible, sometimes into the fender, to draw in cooler air. Short Ram intakes have been known to not create as much power since they take in so much of the engine's heat. Short ram intakes are less expensive, and also depending on the car or truck, they might find that a short ram intake with an air box works just as well or better than a cold air so only a short ram might be available. If both are available we always recommend the cold air intake. Since the cold air intake is usually far from the engine, it can be low to the ground. This causes the air filter to sometimes suck in water if you run over puddles or live in a area that rains a lot. Due to this many cold air intakes have an available air bypass valve that solves this problem.

Exhaust System
The louder the exhaust the more power it makes, right? Wrong. Just because an exhaust is loud doesn't mean that car is making more power than a similar car with a quieter exhaust. The design of exhaust systems now a days has quality mufflers that are straight through (meaning the exhaust has a single unrestricted exit path), but have technology built in that also quiets the sound at the same time.

A big exhaust causes backpressure loss and you lose power
Wrong. This is a myth. If you look at a dyno of a car such as an Acura Integra GSR that has a 3" exhaust and a naturally aspirated motor, you will see that the car didn't lose power, but what happened was it "feels" like it lost power due to the power band shifting up. However, no one wants an exhaust that makes more power but doesn't feel like it. Seat of the pants is a big factor in street performance. We recommend for you to get an exhaust based on the future goals of the car. If you have a non turbo car, and are going to make it turbo, 3" exhaust is the way to go. If you are going to stay all motor, a 2.5" would be ideal. For turbo or high power V8s we always recommend a 3" exhaust or even more in some cases.

Catalytic Converter vs Test Pipe or Cat Delete
It's true that removing the catalytic converter from the exhaust increases power quite a bit. However, we recommend this only for off road cars because not only is it against smog laws it's just not good for air quality. We've found that a good high flow catalytic converter does a great job with only a slight power loss over a straight pipe. Make sure your high flow catalytic converter matches the same size as your catback exhaust for straight exhaust flow.

Turbo Kits
If your car didn't come with a turbo from the factory, then we recommend no modifications at all until you have your turbo kit. Once you have the kit, put it on, get it tuned, and enjoy the car for a bit. Plan out then what exhaust system you want. At that time, when you get your exhaust, you can also get the boost turned up, and re-tuned. We find that customers who do it all at once end up getting used to the power too soon, and wanting more. This two step process gives you the ability to feel your car at a higher power level, and also to know that you can be turbo with a stock exhaust and the car can make more power yet be quiet at the same time. Sure it's a big bottle neck, but we've actually had customers who preferred this setup. It's great for a daily driver under the radar. Sometimes a stock exhaust with a high flow catalytic converter and muffler do the trick.

Cars with a stock turbo
If your car came with a turbo stock, you have it made. Your upgrade path is easy - cold air intake, high flow turboback exhaust (downpipe, high flow cat, catback), boost controller and tuning. Most exhausts are already 3" upgrades, so when you decide later that you want a bigger turbo, your exhaust system is already set and ready to go.

Cars with larger engines - V6 or V8
Depending on if you want all motor power, or forced induction, you are going to be able to benefit from a bigger exhaust. Moreso on the V8, we recommend at least a 2.5 or 3" exhaust, long tube headers (if they are smog legal in your area), and high flow cats. The goal is to let your engine breathe. If you are going to use nitrous, make sure you figure the max nitrous shot your engine can take, and scale it back by 50-75 shot. For example, if you have a LS1, you can usually run a 150 shot and be fine, but to be on the safe side, run a 75 or 100 shot. We recommend wet nitrous kits vs a dry nitrous kit.

What is the difference between wet nitrous kit and dry nitrous kit?
A wet nitrous kit injects both nitrous and fuel into your intake together. A dry nitrous kit only injects nitrous. We believe that for most applications, you are safer to run a wet shot to ensure you have enough fuel for your engine. If you run a dry shot, you need to be sure that when the nitrous is activated your fuel system will have enough capacity to add enough fuel to compensate. As long as you have the fuel, and you run the nitrous shot within the limits of your engine, you should be able to run nitrous for hundreds of passes reliably. Nitrous of course would only be used for bursts of speed such as drag racing.

I can't stress how important it is to have your car tuned. If you want reliable power and don't want to worry about your engine every time you are full throttle, make sure you take your car to a reputable tuner. They will ensure your fuel trims, timing and everything is set in line and well within safe spec.

Ah, the all important stance. Nothing is more important for many people, and we agree, the car has to not only look good, but have the suspension prowess to boot. There is everything available from lowering springs to coilover kits, and what you choose depends on your budget and end goal. Typically, lowering springs are made to lower your car, give you a good ride, and the trade off is that they don't handle as good as a coilover system. If you pair your lowering springs with a good shock, you can have a good handling car, better than stock, but not for competition use. We'd recommend lowering springs more for looks than performance. For more performance, look at a coilover kit. These kits come with both shocks and the coilover springs as a unit (there are exceptions, but full coilover kits come with shocks). These are the best setup for handling and one of the best features is that they are adjustable. You can raise or lower the car depending on how you want it to sit. The price point is higher, but if you consider that with lowering springs, you typically need to buy shocks as well, you will see the price for the coilover kit wins out, especially since many of the better coilover kits also come with built in camber kits.

Do I need a camber kit?
If you are going to lower your car more than an inch, we recommend a camber kit. Without a camber kit, the amount of handling you gain can be negated by the handling you lose from too much negative camber. Not to mention the negative camber really wears on your tires. You want the camber kit to give you as much tire contact patch as possible, and it's highly worth it.

Do I need upgraded shocks with my lowering springs?
Depends. If your car is new, you can get away with just using lowering springs. If your car is older, this means your shocks are older, and the lowered stance of the lowering springs, plus the added spring rate usually blows the stock shock within a few weeks or few months.

What about coilovers that don't come with shocks?
You have to be careful with these. We highly recommend to buy performance shocks to go with these. A popular choice is Ground Control coilovers with Koni Shocks. However, this combination is pretty pricey, and many customers end up going the route of a full coilover kit.

Full Coilover Kit
A full coilover kit comes from the factory with not only the manufactures recommended spring rate for your car, but also with shocks that can handle being lowered, and handle the added spring rate. This is very important for you to have a balanced suspension right from the start. You can use sleeve type coilovers (ones that don't come with shocks), but you would need to pair them with the right shocks to ensure your suspension works well together. Plus, many full coilover kits come with upper pillowball mounts that allow you to adjust camber. Really a great way to enhance your suspension.

Wheels and Tires
Want dubs? The bigger the wheels the less performance gain typically. The goal is less rotating mass, so you want smaller and lighter wheels than stock. Sometimes you can't go too small because you might have a big brake kit and need wheels large enough to clear. This is a huge topic, but go with the lightest wheels, and only go for the bigger size if you'd rather have looks over performance. Depending on the vehicle, the tradeoff could be minimal. For example, 20" rims would work on a 2011 Ford Mustang GT, but not so much on a 1995 Civic. Do what makes sense for your vehicle.

In conclusion
There is so much to modifying a car that it's hard to include everything in a single article. However, we wanted to touch on the biggest and most important aspects so you can get an idea on what it takes to modify a car the right way for those of you who are beginners. Modifying cars is fun, and very rewarding, and it doesn't have to be rocket science to get the right setup.

If you have general questions, post them below, but this guide should give you a better understanding of the world of modifying, types of racing available, and where you fit in. Once you start, you will have more detailed questions on each topic, and we'll try to address them in future articles.

Happy motoring!

Comments (66) Trackbacks (0)
  1. hey, i have a 2011 Mazda 3 GS 2.5 and want to make a few mods. I am interested in the short ram intake and a exhaust system and i was wondering if you had any suggestions on which brands go well together and what not.. I am not a drag racer or anything like that, i just want my car to gain some horsepower and sound good.

    I hope you can help me out. and thanks a lot.

    • I have a few friends that use short ram intakes and they all have used the weapon r “secret weapon” intake system so you can look into that

  2. Great advice.. Cant wait till i get my license so i can use it lol.. And do u know if a nissan 370z nismo would be good for drag racing a 1/4 track, cause i want a car that can do way better then 10 seconds on the track… Do u know if theirs anything out their i can do to make the 370z at least a
    9 second car ???

    • Don’t think you quite comprehend what it takes to get a car in to the 9-10 second range

    • First off the 370z is not by any means a 1/4 mile car, so a really bad start to this. Plus, I do no think yo understand how much work it takes to get a 10 second car. You are asking to make it better then that, and even better than a 9 second car. Please excuse me but you must be 14.

  3. Hi I have a 2012 Mitsubishi lancer GT. everything is stock and I should’ve went with a car that is a little faster but I love how this car rides. She has 168 hp and I want to bring it up some more. I’m just starting to learn about modifiying cars and I want to know what’s the best setup for my car without damaging her. I was thinking about putting on a cold air intake then put on an exhaust. I been looking around and I haven’t found one that would fit my car. But I read somewhere that I can put the same part as as 08 Mitsubishi lancer Ralliart. Is that true? Hope to hear from you

    • A K&N typhoon will fit ( if your worried about legality use the 2006 model) the GT. As far as exhaust I had to go to a local guy that custom made mine, though I’ve heard of borlas fitting. Hope it helps

  4. @Truong I am in the same place as you! As of right now, as far as I know there is no way to put us up past 250ish hp because of the CVT. There is some pretty harsh limitations. I really wish I could find something that would just magically appear for us. Wishful thinking!

  5. My mom is about to hand down her 95 Nissan Maxima to me. Nissan is my kind of car, and tuning the Maxima means I won’t have to buy a car to tune. What all equipment do I need to get started, and how far can I go with just DIY tuning?


    • A 95 Nissan Maxima is not a great starting block. I would just suggest saving your money and buying your self some basic tools and learn about cars first, pocket that money. When the time comes to buy your next car you will be able to reach a little farther and you will have the skills to.

    • sell it

  6. Im debating between getting a subaru wrx or an sti, this car seems to be the most practical in terms of size and performance for me over the years to come. Also i wouldl like to add that I would like to put a bigger turbo to get more hp but at the same time I don’t want too big of a turbo where it could significantly effect the life of my engine, just something to give it a little more oomph. My question is with a WRX can the engine handle just as much as the sti, in other words can the engine handle the same amount of horsepower being added without compromising the life of the engine. I know there are many other modifications I can do but I’m interested particulary with turbos and how it affects these engines.

    • A lot of people ask this. Sure sti’s are much more expensive and all anyone seems to think that all u get is the extra hp and tq. But thats wrong. Depending on ur preferenced i guess. But stis not only have more power, they have a better transmission that
      can handle more power, a better suspension too. In short, stis take the mods better and gain more. And wrxs only have a 5 speed. I prefer a 6 speed personally. And stis do look better lol. If ur going for a budget, then get a wrx. Otherwise get a sti.

      • As, Steven said this is a common debate “Which is better EVO vs STI vs WRX vs VW – R32″.

        (I own a 2013 WRX Stage 2).
        I just wanted to add – In addition to the more robust 6 speed transmission the STI also has better/bigger brembo brakes, 18″ rims, and turn signals on the side mirrors, which look really cool imo. Those extras cost close to 10k (financed).

        They have the same body so they look similar.

        And also no matter what model you buy, upgrading a turbo will require addition modifications: injectors and fuel pump minimum. From personal experience every mod you do has a cost in either noise, ride comfort, fuel economy and or reliability so do a lot of research and make sure you know what you are going to use the car for.

  7. I just got a 98 prelude … And i want to make it look good but also i want to start doing some modifications to it … But i don’t know were to start .. The only thing it has its just a cold air intake lowering springs and a exhaust system everything else is stock … Any suggestions??

    • If you want some more hp try a turbo kit or if you just want look get some nice rims and make sure the paint is in good condition

  8. Dear Kyle! Just go for the sti. i find that it handles better even with the bigger turbo!
    Live fast, die young my brotha.

    Indianapolis auto wraps

  9. Hi i have a 2012 genesis coupe 2.0t . I have a cat back exhaust on it and was thinking about getting a short ram intake (k&n) . Will i need to get the car tuned after that?

  10. I have a 1986 audi coupé gt, under 30,000 miles, could the in-line 5 handle the added pressure?

  11. Love my Camaro SS, have already dropped in a Intake and new exhaust along with a few other upgrades. I am looking to supercharge it in the future.

  12. i can put a v8 on Mitsubishi lancer ??

  13. i can put a v8 engine
    on Mitsubishi lancer ??

  14. I have a 2007 Nissan Maxima 3.5L V6 and its CVT. I read everything you said but im new to tuning a car and I want to know how I can tune my car without harming my car or voiding any warranty. Which should I install first? A cold air intake? If so k&n or Injen? And would a catback be good on the vehicle? I just want the car to look super good and sound amazing, but not loud, just a deep roar to it. Any help would be good.

    Also o have a 2005 Toyota Corolla LE and I want to do the same. Where should I start? Thanks.

  15. I have a golf 6 r, I would like to modify for street race what is recommended ? It’s stock at the moment.

  16. I have a 1995 Honda civic & I want to lower it ( slammed ) should I get lowering springs or the coilover kit ?
    Need an advice thanks .

  17. hi, i have a VW golf 4 1,8T GTi and i want to make a ecu upgrade(+40kw) and possible extra cooling unit for turbo(if needed), but can i pass CO2 tests in yearly car inspection, or do i need to go to dyno testing after it and report back to the goverment? Stupid finnish laws…you pay by cars full mass or by the emmission of CO2/km…yearly, and it aint cheap.

  18. I have a 2001 toyota celica gt-s. She has 180hp. I don’t know what to do with her yet. I don’t have a turbo installed but thinking about it. Should I go with slotted rotters? Coil over kit?

  19. i want to modify daewoo matix need some ideas..

  20. i’m trying to modify a stock 1964 ford falcon into a good race-able muscle car but i don’t really know where to start

  21. I have I have 10 cars at home with ten superchargers that dont fit in them

  22. I’m almost sold on buying an 06 subaru legacy gt for my first car very soon. Is this a good car to start off with, not only to modify, but to just drive overall?

  23. as time goes by and I save more money I’m most definetly going to buy a evo x. I want to drop my car. I’m more into the looking good but with good performance not the best but better than stock if you get what I mean. should I go with coilovers over springs? I know it already comes with turbo so I wont have to worry about that. what about exhaust? I want something that’ll make it have a deep fierce roar. like a gtr haha. help please?

  24. Hey! I’m also in the same senario as Troung when it comes to modifying cars. I’m just getting into it and I have an 09 Pontiac G5. Its got the same 2.2L as the cobalt but I’m just concerned with it being to impractical to mod. Its not anything near fast and the automatic transmission just holds it back. I found an 06 Acura RSX for $8000. Should I just save my money for the RSX or try to mod the G5? I was just thinking of some simple mods like a cold air intake and exhaust but it just seems to impractical based on the car I have at the moment.

  25. What negative effects does installing an aftermarket turbo kit on your car have?

  26. Hey idk anything about modify a car but I have a 2008 audi a8 but its automatic does all this info still apply on my car or does it got be manual and if does can my audi be fast as a manual car

  27. Hey man nice article. Only thing I would question is that this is a beginner’s guide, and for a beginner like me there’s quite a lot of jargon and stuff that I didn’t understand in it. Good read though

  28. Hi

    I’m going to be getting a Subaru impreza 1996 or legacy 1995 soon for my first car and i was wondering what mods should i be getting if i want a great sounding and preforming car


  29. Hey I just bought a 2006 limited edition pt cruiser 2.4Lt turbo and want to get into racing it where should I start with upgrading parts and how should I go about doing it?

  30. Been doing a little researching but couldn’t find a definitive answer, is a 2003 mazdaspeed protege a good mod platform?

  31. I have a Hyundai pony. Is this a good platform for making a street racer off the stock block?

  32. Hey, all u guys just starting out, I don’t need approval from these posers on what car is ok to start out modding, if your into VW Rabbits then go for it. ( most of these guys drive their moms minivan still and wack their sh!t to “cool car calendars” anyways. But just incase you wanna step it up and save for a real car to play with, drive whatever will be a point A to point B car while u hustle up enough cash to pick up a CTS-V like your boy. Stay away from the 4 cyl ricers if you can, but if that’s what your little heart desires, then do you and let those 86 horses fly like the wind.. And don’t forget ur 5 inch tail pipe.play on playas

  33. Hey, all u guys just starting out, u don’t need approval from these posers on what car is ok to start out modding, if your into VW Rabbits then go for it. ( most of these guys drive their moms minivan still and wack their sh!t to “cool car calendars” anyways. But just incase you wanna step it up and save for a real car to play with, drive whatever will be a point A to point B car while u hustle up enough cash to pick up a CTS-V like your boy. Stay away from the 4 cyl ricers if you can, but if that’s what your little heart desires, then do you and let those 86 horses fly like the wind.. And don’t forget ur 5 inch tail pipe.play on playas

    • Ha! I agree with you right up to the point of the 4 cylinder cars…86 horsepower is what a 1986 Pontiac Sunbird puts to the crank…my 2013 MS3 is putting 80whp out of each cylinder…for a 2,700 pound car…I have fun pulling 12.4 in the quarter with 109 in the trap. I’m pretty sure that’s pretty close to the CTS-V for 1/2 the cost. ((And no 5″ tail pipe))

  34. I have a 2010 VW Golf 2.5 that I got fairly recently. I was looking to boost the horsepower by at least 10 bhp, and modify the exhaust system to be a tad louder, but not to the point where it’s annoying or insensitive. This is my first time ever considering modifying a car and I’d like to know where to start with what I want to do.

  35. I’m new to the Honda scene… Actually I’m new to the whole tuning scene in general. I’ve found this article very helpful with decisions I’m going to make. I still feel that I’ve barely scratched the surface. I’m a chef by trade and it might not make sense but my creativity will probably be my downfall. Could you recommend a place and or magazine for new tuners that want to learn….
    “I wanna go fast” Ricky Bobby.

  36. I have a 95 Honda Civic 5spd just wondering what would be the best option for a proformance to make it a street performance car

  37. Exhausts with no catalytic converter are better for off-road because it pollutes the air more..This makes no sense as your polluting the same air. This guy talks as if we live on different planets.

  38. I have a few questions about my car:
    1. Should I turbocharge or supercharge it?
    2. Wing or no wing?
    3. Slammed or body kit?
    4. Fully upgraded brake system or just rotors and pads (based on value)

    (If it helps my car is an ’85 Yugo)

    • Wing, just upgrade the rotors and pads makes a big difference, body kit and turbo

    • 1. turbocharge
      2. depend on purpose, generally no or a small one
      3. again, is it just a daily driver? or race car. if roads are good then slammed
      4. full system, braking is one of the most important safty features you have on your car, don’t cheap out

  39. i have a mitsubishi evo 8 and toyota supra twin turbo (stock).
    which car worths modifying?

    i love my evo8 but supra seems to be more faster than evo.
    toyota supra contatin i guess 600 – 800bhp.but the first owner of supra told me that it was 1009 bhp (i cant belive)
    could stock supra be 1009bhp?

  40. So I have a Standard shift, Base model, 2012 Volkswagen Jetta S. The only think aftermarket about it is the sound system and 17″ wheels that have been upgraded from the 15″ “donut” wheels that came on it. Now this article may be to high speed for what im looking for, but Id like to put a turbo, cold air intake, and exaust system on it. Im really not sure where to start and don’t know whats good for my particular car. I just want to really make somewhat of a sleeper to trick a few people and have some fun with. I got a few possibly easy answered questions such as, does a blow off valve change performance and is it worth having and giving away the stealth of the after market parts? Will just those few parts mess up anything internally if installed right? And a few others…. Money isn’t really a problem if its something to be done right. Brands and trade offs of certain stage parts would be greatly appreciated to anyone that would like to help just reply and we can establish other means of communitcation.

    • In addition… I don’t want some loud exhaust to get on my nerves. I just would like something a bit louder than what is stock and that makes the car a little faster/torqueier… If that’s even a word lol

  41. I have a Mitsubishi Lancer 4G13 which I’d like to do some mods.

    I am a first timer and I’d very much appreciate if you could kindly advise me if there are issues in regard to compatibility towards the stock engine and the mods and what you think would be the best mods to start with.

    I am not a racer I just want to have for appearance and sound…

  42. I am going to buy a porsche 944naturally aspirated, I was wondering what more important for a daily quick driver,slap in a turbo and mess with the in-line 4 or upgrade the suspension as in springs new tires camber kit, etc..

  43. hey guys, i have a 2012 base model Maxima. I love the performance of this car but i think the biggest part of its performance is its transmission. looking to “beef it up a little” any suggestions? have been looking into turbos but they require constant maintenance. any tips or tricks to trick out this fine ass ride?

  44. I was wondering.im low budget atm really just want to start somewhere jusy dont.know which car yet i.need something cheap not planning.on keeping this one forever just a start to learn the ropes any suggestions

    • basically beginner car honda civic what year around about.miles thats worth it everything i find isnt nwar what the price should.be any tips??

  45. A word on the article. The author mentions picking the right car for your purpose but could stand to delve into that a bit deeper.

    A good way to pick your platform is to look what professionals are racing in your particular style of racing. Want to drag race? Mustangs and Camaros with their big engines and solid rear axles are the cheapest starting point. Pump up the power and slap some big slick tires on the rear and run it until it explodes.

    Want to run around a track very quickly? Miatas are probably the cheapest way to get going fast. Nothing but skill really needed but add the standard bolt on parts and tune the suspension for a proven winner on the cheap.

    What don’t you see? You won’t see Kias or Yugos, or other shitty family cars. No land yachts. Nothing too big or weak or unreliable. If you cant find professionals racing them now or back in the day chances are it’s a bad place to start.

  46. I have a 99 elantra that I want to add a full out aftermarket cold air system to. Is it really worth it for that car? It has a 2L DOHC with factory cold air.

  47. I have a 2000 toyota corolla with a 1.8 L I4 engine, the engine is quite weak and I have a few ideas to fix this: short ram intake, new exhaust, but the engine bay is so small I’m not sure if any of these parts will fit. Any help is appreciated

  48. I have a 1992 skyline r32 gtst and im wondering what to do next. ive done up the exhaust and cold air intake, but im not sure what to do from there! its got lots of the goodies already but I just need suggestions, thanks!

  49. I’m not sure if people still post to this but I have a bit of an inquiry. I have an 02′ Nissan Altima 2.5L. I really enjoy driving the car. Gets great gas mileage, and for an inline 4 banger, its pretty quick. I want to mod it a little bit, depending on how far I can go on a 4 Cyl. I know nothing about engines but I’m learning through info on the web. I would like to get a turbo preferably with a cold air intake. Exhaust system, and anything else I would need, thatway the mods I mentioned wont destroy the engine. Any advice would be great.

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