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Old 11-04-2005, 08:07 PM   #1
BrokeButLovinIt
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1998 SL2
Default Just starting

I just bought a 96 sl2. In the performance world, where is my money best spent. Whats the best bang for the buck product out there for a saturn?
Im more of a 2 stroke guy myself this is kind of new to me, same principles I guess. Start with better flow? intake, exhaust? Reply's appriaciated!

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Old 11-04-2005, 08:30 PM   #2
the_skin_eater
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Default Re: Just starting

the best bet for you right now is the search function. There are countless topics that will tell you everything you could ever want to know.

Then if you still have questions, throw em up....


And yes, better flow is always a good first step.

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Old 11-06-2005, 01:28 PM   #3
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Default Re: Just starting

To save you the trouble of searching...

Some kind of cold air intake that goes down into the wheelwell. While slightly more expensive than the average cone filter, they give better results and generally create more torque as well.

A throttle body with a larger diamater bore, or a venturi kind of bore (Wide at the top, narrow at the plate, widens out again afterwards) will help all that air get into the engine. Port match it for best results.

A header will let all that air get out nice and fast. There are quite a few out there for the S-Series, almost none for my Ion. You're a lucky fellow.

Some people say a catalytic converter with a higher flow rate is a good idea, but I'm of the opinion that passing emissions is a nice thing. Plus, we're talking about four cylinder engines here, not as much air moving through as in a V8.

Catback exhaust. Some companies make kits, others sell you parts, some people advocate building one yourself. Remember mandrel-bent piping is your friend. Crush-bent reduces the internal diamater and creates a lot of turbulence, which is bad for flow.

Now those mods right there take you straight through the engine. All of them are considered bolt-ons, all of them improve your engine's breathing, and will get you more power. That's basically the first round of improvements. Anything more, power-wise, will be more expensive. Turbochargers, superchargers, nitrous oxide, high-compression pistons, the like.

Now as far as your suspension goes, there are a few simple things to do. Lower your car, maybe 1"-1.5" or so, nothing too extreme. New struts with more performance valving will help as well, or you could get a coilover kit. A strut tower brace up front will stiffen up the car's front end, and a rear swaybar will improve handling by reducing the FWD chassis's tendency to understeer. The simplest mod for your car though, is to have better tires. Go to TireRack.com, see what you can find. With wheels, don't go over 16" if you honestly want a good performance car. Try and find something as light as you can.

Helpful?

...
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2001 Mazda Miata
1997 Saturn SC1

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Old 11-09-2005, 06:12 PM   #4
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1999 SL1
Default Re: Just starting

Quote:
Originally Posted by BrokeButLovinIt
I just bought a 96 sl2. In the performance world, where is my money best spent. Whats the best bang for the buck product out there for a saturn?
Im more of a 2 stroke guy myself this is kind of new to me, same principles I guess. Start with better flow? intake, exhaust? Reply's appriaciated!
if you want straight-line performance, the best bang for the buck is probably nitrous oxide. (i don't recommend this, tho).

if you want handling, the best bang for the buck is a set of R-compound tires. kumho is fairly inexpensive. if you need longer lasting tires, get falken azenis.

spend your money on suspension and tires. don't touch the engine, you'll just ***** it up. race only in SANCTIONED events. learn to drive better. (that's free).


s3aturnr

...
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Old 11-09-2005, 07:12 PM   #5
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Default Re: Just starting

Must agree with S3aturnR. A bunch of good points.

Define performance. Without lots of cash a car will always be the type of car that it currently is. Unless you spend major dollars on a Saturn it will always be a sporty good handling econocar. If you don't spend a ton of money you can increase it performance in a given area, but it will never be a world beater.

What is more important is where you want to make the car better.

If you want a better all around car. I would say go for all of the nice things to have. Rear Disc brakes, SS brakelines, fresh struts. The little things count. Driving a car that is better, even in small amounts, makes for a great experance.

If you want a handling car, look at struts, springs, sway bars and tires. Not nessicarily in that order. S-cars liven up a lot with just a few tweaks in the turning area.

If you want straight line look at big power upgrades, nitrous, super or Turbo. They will get you fast a lot faster than buying an intake, exhaust or any of those bolt ons.

I tend to drop into the first 2 catagories. I don't mean to say you must be in one of those groups, just the depending on what you want you will want to go after those things.

The most important thing is what you put into S-cars you get out of them. Take good care of them and they will last you a long time and put up with a fair amount of driving abuse. Change that oil.

If you always keep in your mind that they are econocars and you will feel good about the performance that you have gotten out of them. In many cases when massaged these these cars can put many higher performance cars to shame. Even more so when driven by a competant driver.

Many times in this, my first, season of AutoX I had many highend car drivers jaws drop after seeing my Saturn dance through a cone course and demolish their times. But they didn't know how ugly the little econocar could be to drive at the limit. It certainly holds well, but it shows it econo roots fairly regularly. Dispite its abilities my car will never be a well manored sports car. But I have come to that realization and still enjoy augmenting what it can do.

I guess bottom line is what type of performance do you want out of it? and; Do you understand you will be starting with a inherently performance flawed car?

The first answer only matters for what mods you should chase, the second is more for you to ponder. I don't ever mean to chase people away from Saturn modding. I just like newcomers to know what to expect. If they never hear it I feel like the community has lied to them.

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Old 11-09-2005, 11:03 PM   #6
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Default Re: Just starting

you say you're a 2-stroke guy? what: do you commute to work on your lawnmower?

...
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Old 11-09-2005, 11:23 PM   #7
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Idea Re: Just starting

my advive would be to try and get a Venom 400 control module which can boost power and repsonce time quite a bit its about $332

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Old 11-10-2005, 06:12 AM   #8
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Default Re: Just starting

Isn't that just a chip that tells the engine the throttle is farther down? I think there was something to that effect on www.spswebpage.com

...
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2001 Mazda Miata
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Old 11-10-2005, 10:26 AM   #9
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Default Re: Just starting

Quote:
Originally Posted by timdowns88
my advive would be to try and get a Venom 400 control module which can boost power and repsonce time quite a bit its about $332
Dont listen to this guy, he's obviously an idiot. The Venom 400 does nothing. At least for Saturns. It's been proven.

It connects to the TPS wire, basically fools the PCM into thinking its at a different throttle position than it actually is. So it dumps fuel at the wrong time, bogging down the engine, causing poor fuel econony, fouling the O2 sensor and clogging the catalytic converter. If you want to screw up your car that bad, you can do it for less with one of those $30 "Mod Chips" on eBay.

Last edited by Low Saturn; 11-10-2005 at 10:32 AM..

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Old 11-10-2005, 08:38 PM   #10
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Default Re: Just starting

Quote:
Originally Posted by Low Saturn
Dont listen to this guy, he's obviously an idiot. The Venom 400 does nothing. At least for Saturns. It's been proven.

It connects to the TPS wire, basically fools the PCM into thinking its at a different throttle position than it actually is. So it dumps fuel at the wrong time, bogging down the engine, causing poor fuel econony, fouling the O2 sensor and clogging the catalytic converter. If you want to screw up your car that bad, you can do it for less with one of those $30 "Mod Chips" on eBay.

By the way, just in case you think those chips hes refering to do work...Let me know, Ill sell you some for cheaper....

...
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Old 11-11-2005, 08:07 AM   #11
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Default Re: Just starting

Best bang for the buck straight line wise, would be something along the lines of an SAFC. You can buy a decent used one for ~$125 usually. Good hp/dollar ratio.

...
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