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Old 11-19-2016, 12:14 AM   #1
SaturnRising
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Default General Mods Discussion (DOHC)

I have to make 15 posts before I can post pictures of my newly acquired SL2 for you, but I don't want to simply spam posts, so I figured I would start a conversation on my long term plans, having modded other cars before this one but never a Saturn.

This is not my primary project, or even a priority, but I can't help getting goosebumps when looking at a completely stock car, like a blank canvass. Since I have so many spare parts and tools accumulated, most of this will be free or very cheap.

Yes, I read the incredibly informative stickied thread, and these topics have been discussed before, so I will try not to be too redundant, and some ideas might even be new or unusual, borrowing them from previous projects.

The first thing will of course be unrestricting the flow a bit, starting with the air intake. I have noticed that the brake fluid reservoir is located in an inconvenient spot for adding an optimal air intake, preventing a straight shot into the manifold. I'm curious how others have dealt with this.

Something I have on a different project is a "CAWAI", simply being a WAI that pulls from a sealed cold air chamber that pulls directly from outside, the whole setup requiring less direction changes than a regular CAI while gaining whatever little benefit might be provided by having the scoop taking in air from the high pressure air hitting the very front of the car.

After the air intake is the throttle body. As with larger TBs on other engines, that will mostly be for throttle response/takeoff and there won't be a difference without other components creating a major increase in flow. However, I subscribe to the philosophy of meticulous details collectively adding up, and I enjoy not leaving any inch optimized. Is there anything like a coolant bypass on this engine on the TB or intake manifold that may help reduce intake temperatures like some other cars have? I haven't started tinkering with this engine in great detail yet to discover everything.

I really like the intake manifold design on this engine. It is a rather sleek and unobtrusive design. Of course everything could always be better, but in case Saturn owners didn't realize, there are much worse designs out there. I'm going to do a standard P&P on it. I'll know if there is anything unconventional to do once I have it off.

Concerning head work, is there anything to keep in mind, such as one side needing more than the other (intake-to-exhaust flow ratio) or thin walls anywhere? It's safe to say there will be plenty of research before porting the head, but I might not even bother since I have other cars to go all-out on.

Coming out of the head, a header is almost always a must. Like your intake manifold, you have a very nice exhaust manifold. Again, there are much worse designs out there. I might not even bother with this at first either, simply seeing how well I can do a P&P on it when I'm looking for something to do.

I love modding exhaust. Having done other I4s of similar size and power, and listening to videos of this engine with various setups, I already have an idea of what to do. Some people think of rasp as inherent and don't mind it, but I prefer a deep, low, mellow tone, and preferably with rumble and pop.

A 1/4 inch larger pipe, being careful not to lose velocity, with a spun-body 300 cpi cat, an Aero Exhaust AR20 resonator (a discovery credited to the BMW crowd, deeming it a true rasp killer), and an 18 inch Magnaflow straight-through perforated core glass pack.

I think this will yield the desired results, having minimum back pressure while eliminating nearly any rasp. A longer glass pack would eliminate rasp completely, but wouldn't have as much rumble and would have no crackle and pop, as I believe a shorter one in this combination will have.

Concerning timing, my other projects have been either OBDI or carbureted, so advancing the timing is sometimes as simple as loosening two bolts to gain 5 free whp. I noticed that won't be possible with this car, as well as a generally more electronic-oriented approach. Do even these little things require additional equipment, or are there simple little tricks to this car?

Other than those basics and several exterior and interior cosmetic/electronics mods, and some basic handling mods such as bracing, I will almost definitely add nicer/lightweight wheels and either 195 or 205 tires. I will also consider minimal weight reduction. I know the effect of being lighter, and there are methods to conceal that a car is stripped, but this car will mostly stay whole.

Thanks for your interest if you bothered reading all of that. Remember, I have 14 more posts to do, so give me whatever input you feel like giving
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Old 11-19-2016, 12:20 AM   #2
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Default Re: General Mods Discussion (DOHC)

I forgot to mention that, with this car, I might actually finally do a shortened or side-exit exhaust, having backed out of that idea before or simply gone other directions with the project. Does anyone have any info pertaining to examples, concerns, ideas, or alternatives to this?
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Old 11-19-2016, 12:17 PM   #3
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Default Re: General Mods Discussion (DOHC)

Well, here is my questions:

1. Is the car being modded for shows, street driven, or full blown racing only?

2. How much target power are you looking to build?

3. Are you looking to customize your interior, or keep it stock?

4. What kind of budget are you shooting for?
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Old 11-19-2016, 08:26 PM   #4
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Default Re: General Mods Discussion (DOHC)

Hint: Sixthsphere.com
Everything you want to do and want to ask about has been dealt with, gone over and beat to death 10 years ago there. May take a few posts to get into the sections you need but it's well worth the effort.
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Old 11-19-2016, 08:50 PM   #5
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Default Re: General Mods Discussion (DOHC)

Thank You

I'll check them out before doing anything. I already came across them briefly in searches.
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Old 11-20-2016, 09:10 AM   #6
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Default Re: General Mods Discussion (DOHC)

Quote:
Originally Posted by SaturnRising View Post
The first thing will of course be unrestricting the flow a bit, starting with the air intake. I have noticed that the brake fluid reservoir is located in an inconvenient spot for adding an optimal air intake, preventing a straight shot into the manifold. I'm curious how others have dealt with this.

Something I have on a different project is a "CAWAI", simply being a WAI that pulls from a sealed cold air chamber that pulls directly from outside, the whole setup requiring less direction changes than a regular CAI while gaining whatever little benefit might be provided by having the scoop taking in air from the high pressure air hitting the very front of the car.
Just food for thought that might not apply if you also want the cosmetic improvements for the intake mods....

One of the users here did flow bench testing on the stock intake tube setup, and from the box back the system actually flows very well, more than enough for the stock engine or even light mods, even assuming 100% or greater VE.

IIRC the filter itself was a much larger restriction than the difference between the stock intake tube plumbing and mandrel bent stainless. And he was already using an aftermarket K&N (or similar) in the airbox.

I'll see if I can dig up the link if you are interested.
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Old 11-20-2016, 03:44 PM   #7
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Default Re: General Mods Discussion (DOHC)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Saturn Night View Post
Well, here is my questions:

1. Is the car being modded for shows, street driven, or full blown racing only?

2. How much target power are you looking to build?

3. Are you looking to customize your interior, or keep it stock?

4. What kind of budget are you shooting for?


Sorry, I missed your post earlier. This is just going to be a personal car, simply for driving and enjoying winding back roads. Like I said, it's not a primary project or a top priority. I'm going more by relative gains than numbers, so if I can get it slightly faster than a stock B13 SE-R, that would be great, probably around 150 BHP I'm guessing, with little extras like lightweight wheels and slight weight reduction.

I'm definitely going to customize the interior, but haven't had it long enough to know exactly what I would prefer... just generally making things better.

The budget is constricted and meant to take place over the course of years. It will probably be finished in about 3 years. I have enough other projects that this one has some flexibility. I want to keep this one fairly normal in some aspects, nothing too over-the-top but perhaps indulging in a few things I haven't done on other cars.
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Old 11-20-2016, 03:56 PM   #8
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Default Re: General Mods Discussion (DOHC)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Signmaster View Post
Just food for thought that might not apply if you also want the cosmetic improvements for the intake mods....

One of the users here did flow bench testing on the stock intake tube setup, and from the box back the system actually flows very well, more than enough for the stock engine or even light mods, even assuming 100% or greater VE.

IIRC the filter itself was a much larger restriction than the difference between the stock intake tube plumbing and mandrel bent stainless. And he was already using an aftermarket K&N (or similar) in the airbox.

I'll see if I can dig up the link if you are interested.


You don't have to do digging for me

That info is nice to know, that it shouldn't hurt too much to have it bending around. I'm known to indulge in unnecessary details in the hopes that all those details add up to something greater. If I can find a way to go that extra mile, so to speak, I will likely do it. It's going to be a custom intake no matter what, since I have plenty of spare universal parts and material to work with but a very small budget. At least now I don't have to obsess over it, but I probably still will.
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Old 11-21-2016, 12:18 PM   #9
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Default Re: General Mods Discussion (DOHC)

If you want any sort of tuning on the factory computer you're SOL. There was never any sort of legit chip, etc for these.

HOWEVER, you can just install a standalone EMS. I'm running megasquirt on my turbo SC2

Here's a teaser of the new dash

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WZ0XTFer53g
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Old 11-22-2016, 02:20 AM   #10
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Default Re: General Mods Discussion (DOHC)

Quote:
Originally Posted by SaturnRising View Post
Sorry, I missed your post earlier. This is just going to be a personal car, simply for driving and enjoying winding back roads. Like I said, it's not a primary project or a top priority. I'm going more by relative gains than numbers, so if I can get it slightly faster than a stock B13 SE-R, that would be great, probably around 150 BHP I'm guessing, with little extras like lightweight wheels and slight weight reduction.

I'm definitely going to customize the interior, but haven't had it long enough to know exactly what I would prefer... just generally making things better.

The budget is constricted and meant to take place over the course of years. It will probably be finished in about 3 years. I have enough other projects that this one has some flexibility. I want to keep this one fairly normal in some aspects, nothing too over-the-top but perhaps indulging in a few things I haven't done on other cars.
Here is a short 2:40 video, of the CAI fabricated to my Saturn with junkyard parts. My total costs were just over $70 for everything.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=yx0lbb2oQcw

It will flow just as well as mandrel-bent CAIs that cost over $200. Even the K & N kit is $170, and is similar to my design.

Since this is a daily-driver car, do NOT remove the intake or exhaust RESONATOR assemblies!!!

If you are looking to make around 150 brake horsepower, here are my recommendations: Accel 45,000v/ 75:1 turns ratio performance coils(Accel P/N 140017), Granatelli Motorsports 0-ohm Wires(Granatelli P/N 24-1442S), A/C delete, P/S delete(de-power the rack completely), and NGK indexed plugs(heat range 6)

Twin Cams have 124 hp stock, so getting to 150 w/bolt-ons will take some ingenuity when you don't have a large budget.
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Old 11-23-2016, 09:37 AM   #11
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Default Re: General Mods Discussion (DOHC)

Quote:
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If you are looking to make around 150 brake horsepower, here are my recommendations: Accel 45,000v/ 75:1 turns ratio performance coils(Accel P/N 140017), Granatelli Motorsports 0-ohm Wires(Granatelli P/N 24-1442S), A/C delete, P/S delete(de-power the rack completely), and NGK indexed plugs(heat range 6)

Twin Cams have 124 hp stock, so getting to 150 w/bolt-ons will take some ingenuity when you don't have a large budget.
Let me just clarify so the OP doesn't get too confused on this. To make 150 BHP, you would have to do all of this, plus a full exhaust, and likely around 2-300 pounds of weight reduction.

Remember, a full deebs build (best parts of all years for higher compression) was around 155BHP. That requires a tear down and rebuild of the engine though!

So to say just some plug wires, spark plugs, and an intake will net 25 BHP is just a bit optimistic. That intake is likely netting 2 BHP, with no other supporting mods, max.

Sorry to rain on your parade fellas, just didn't want the OP thinking our Saturn's were anything as easily gained as another B Series swapped Civic.
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Old 11-23-2016, 03:43 PM   #12
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Default Re: General Mods Discussion (DOHC)

Quote:
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Let me just clarify so the OP doesn't get too confused on this. To make 150 BHP, you would have to do all of this, plus a full exhaust, and likely around 2-300 pounds of weight reduction.

Remember, a full deebs build (best parts of all years for higher compression) was around 155BHP. That requires a tear down and rebuild of the engine though!

So to say just some plug wires, spark plugs, and an intake will net 25 BHP is just a bit optimistic. That intake is likely netting 2 BHP, with no other supporting mods, max.

Sorry to rain on your parade fellas, just didn't want the OP thinking our Saturn's were anything as easily gained as another B Series swapped Civic.
Brake horsepower (bhp) is the measure of an engine's horsepower before the loss in power caused by the gearbox, alternator, differential, water pump, and other auxiliary components such as power steering pump, muffled exhaust system, etc.

With all of that, our Twin Cams have 124hp. That means they are higher than 124bhp STOCK.

Borla no longer makes the cat-back exhaust system, but that added 8hp. A CAI can add up to 6hp. That is 14 out of the 26 needed. The Granatelli performance wires can add 4-6hp with STOCK coils. Indexing the plugs and side gapping them will add a few extra ponies. A/C Compressors amd Hydraulic power steering systems actually suck up quite a bit of power. You ever want to test the "heat losses" associated with this(which is why engines are often tested for THERMAL EFFICIENCY, because energy is wasted by heat production), touch your serpentine belt immediately after driving around for an extended period of time at high rpms. So, before coils and accessories being removed, you would only need 8 more ponies(which could be found by chopping off the catalytic converter).

I have seen people often refer to many different builds, with saying: "Well, so and so didn't get that with everything they did to their Saturn....."

That doesn't always mean it is "impossible", it merely means somebody hasn't discovered how to do it differently, yet.
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Old 11-23-2016, 03:44 PM   #13
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Default Re: General Mods Discussion (DOHC)

If you're trying to pull non-turbo power out of one of these I don't understand why people mess with gimicky plug wires and gimicky stuff.

Do a standalone, control the ignition.. actually make power.
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Old 11-23-2016, 04:17 PM   #14
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Default Re: General Mods Discussion (DOHC)

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Let me just clarify so the OP doesn't get too confused on this. To make 150 BHP, you would have to do all of this, plus a full exhaust, and likely around 2-300 pounds of weight reduction.

Remember, a full deebs build (best parts of all years for higher compression) was around 155BHP. That requires a tear down and rebuild of the engine though!

So to say just some plug wires, spark plugs, and an intake will net 25 BHP is just a bit optimistic. That intake is likely netting 2 BHP, with no other supporting mods, max.

Sorry to rain on your parade fellas, just didn't want the OP thinking our Saturn's were anything as easily gained as another B Series swapped Civic.

Is 26 HP that difficult to gain on this engine?

Perhaps I was wrong in applying gains similar to a Nissan GA16. They can gain ~30 BHP from bolt-ons, but they came very restricted from the factory, so everything makes a bigger difference, gaining up to 5 whp from a good CAI and 10 whp from a header, both independently dyno confirmed by renowned tuners (Mike Kojima, most notably).

The reason I was comparing to a GA16 was because they seem to start about the same place and end up at about the same place according to time numbers I have seen, or at least I thought.

I was thinking 150 BHP would = around 130 WHP, which didn't seem unreasonable to get near high 14s when coupled with lightweight wheels and pulleys and 100-150 pounds of weight reduction. That's where my GA16 is right now time-wise with maybe 10 less HP and ~300 pounds lighter than a stock SL2.

The exhaust would be a true full exhaust, from the ports all the way to the tip being replaced, which made the biggest difference on a GA16 other than a lightweight flywheel which is supposed to be the most noticeable difference, which of course can't be done on autos (not counting cams or ECU). I see a lot of people not doing everything they can with exhaust, flow-wise.

My stated general benchmark of fun, a stock B13 Sentra SE-R, has 140 BHP @ the same weight as a stock SL2. Of course it has the LSD and venerable SR20, so I thought 10 more BHP than that (+26 BHP), reduced rotational mass, and a little reduced weight should put it just past it.

Anecdotally, Saturn's DOHC seems to be just quick enough to make people want more, which I think puts it in the zone of worthiness, so I'm sure I'll be satisfied with the results of basic bolt-ons for a good-handling extra car to enjoy driving around, and something else to tinker with. I also like how, as with the GA16, the lack of aftermarket support or popular performance status means there are likely things yet to be discovered with these engines.
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Old 11-23-2016, 04:18 PM   #15
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Default Re: General Mods Discussion (DOHC)

Suspension upgrades tend to yield more smiles per dollar for upgrades.. the engine just isn't fast when controlled by stock ECU.
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Old 11-23-2016, 04:36 PM   #16
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Default Re: General Mods Discussion (DOHC)

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Is 26 HP that difficult to gain on this engine?

Perhaps I was wrong in applying gains similar to a Nissan GA16. They can gain ~30 BHP from bolt-ons, but they came very restricted from the factory, so everything makes a bigger difference, gaining up to 5 whp from a good CAI and 10 whp from a header, both independently dyno confirmed by renowned tuners (Mike Kojima, most notably).

The reason I was comparing to a GA16 was because they seem to start about the same place and end up at about the same place according to time numbers I have seen, or at least I thought.

I was thinking 150 BHP would = around 130 WHP, which didn't seem unreasonable to get near high 14s when coupled with lightweight wheels and pulleys and 100-150 pounds of weight reduction. That's where my GA16 is right now time-wise with maybe 10 less HP and ~300 pounds lighter than a stock SL2.

The exhaust would be a true full exhaust, from the ports all the way to the tip being replaced, which made the biggest difference on a GA16 other than a lightweight flywheel which is supposed to be the most noticeable difference, which of course can't be done on autos (not counting cams or ECU). I see a lot of people not doing everything they can with exhaust, flow-wise.

My stated general benchmark of fun, a stock B13 Sentra SE-R, has 140 BHP @ the same weight as a stock SL2. Of course it has the LSD and venerable SR20, so I thought 10 more BHP than that (+26 BHP), reduced rotational mass, and a little reduced weight should put it just past it.

Anecdotally, Saturn's DOHC seems to be just quick enough to make people want more, which I think puts it in the zone of worthiness, so I'm sure I'll be satisfied with the results of basic bolt-ons for a good-handling extra car to enjoy driving around, and something else to tinker with. I also like how, as with the GA16, the lack of aftermarket support or popular performance status means there are likely things yet to be discovered with these engines.
With NA tuning it is quite difficult, but it is NOT impossible.

This full-racing built SC2 boasts 220hp(turbocharged), on a STOCK PCM, and REDUCED compression.

What most people overlook is the adaptive programming of the stock PCMs. Modt basic modifications can get you where you want for a DD, without breaking your wallet or a PCM change.
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Old 11-23-2016, 06:57 PM   #17
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Default Re: General Mods Discussion (DOHC)

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If you're trying to pull non-turbo power out of one of these I don't understand why people mess with gimicky plug wires and gimicky stuff.

Do a standalone, control the ignition.. actually make power.
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=M2FEyjs_wKc

This is why you mess with "gimmicky" wires and your ignition system efficiency. Depending on your engine displacement and induction/exhaust system, you can gain as much as 50HP from proper ignition tuning, on a stock engine.(Obviously a Saturn 1.9L Twin Cam will not see 50HP from proper tuning).

It should be noted, that performance gains from a 0-ohm resistance wire will be much less on smaller engines, BUT considering that stock 7mm Saturn wires have much higher resistance than some factory LS-series wires(due to overall length and manufactured materials), you will still see a respectable gain.

Ohms reduces output. Think of Ohms as the stock 1 7/8" exhaust pipe vs a 2" exhaust pipe.

High volt coils increase the voltage, which is similar to increasing the pressure inside a water pipe.

Amperage is essentially the "speed" at which the Voltage(electrical "pressure") travels at.

So using this basic analogy, let's throw a hypothetical formula together.

You have 35,000v stock coils, that take 0.0025secs to fire at the plug. Electricity always travels the path of least resistance. It "arcs" at the plug(which is the remaining output voltage minis resistances + distance traveled). So, due to the resistance in the wires, you may only see 31,000v "arc" at the plug.

Now, picture a Tesla coil, or youtube it. The amount of electricity(Voltage) is visible, right? Now, increase the voltage traveling through the coil. The arcing voltage is much brighter, hotter, and larger.

Adding 10,000v and having less resistance over the same distance traveled(as Granatelli wires are considered OE replacement and direct-fit), you will have much greater voltage output.

Side gapping the plugs forces the arc to travel a slightly greater distance, by curving or making the spark slightly diagonal from plug core to the tip.

Indexing the plugs, turns each spark plugs core to face the intake side of the combustion chamber. This allows the spark energy to actually ignite a larger area of the air/fuel mixture during the power stroke. This translates to higher initial combustion pressures and during the exact same amount of crankshaft rotation, more of the existing fuel is burned, as opposed to the stock plugs/wires.

In layman's terms, you get improved fuel economy AND better engine torque output(which automatically improves HP as the two are correlated). A better burn of the existing air fuel ratio can actually run the engine smoother, which results in slightly less heat(damaging harmonics), amd reduced engine bearing loads(less friction from vibration).

If you want to test the theory on damaging harmonics, drive your car down any bumpy roads. The constant change in suspension is felt inside the cabin as vibration, amd you will notice that it requires slightly more throttle to maintain speed, as opposed to a perfectly smoot stretch of pavement.
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Old 11-23-2016, 07:04 PM   #18
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With NA tuning it is quite difficult, but it is NOT impossible.

This full-racing built SC2 boasts 220hp(turbocharged), on a STOCK PCM, and REDUCED compression.

What most people overlook is the adaptive programming of the stock PCMs. Modt basic modifications can get you where you want for a DD, without breaking your wallet or a PCM change.
http://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/...specialty-file

Sorry, forgot to post the link.

Please allow to reinforce how this Saturn has a STOCK PCM........
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Old 11-23-2016, 07:07 PM   #19
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1995 SW2
Default Re: General Mods Discussion (DOHC)

It's a press article with no technical information on exactly how they were controlling anything. Whether it was an SDS or anything of that nature


Please, by all means try that and put it on a dyno and show the results.
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Old 11-23-2016, 07:43 PM   #20
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Default Re: General Mods Discussion (DOHC)

http://evilplastic.com/94mod.htm

5.8hp on the dyno from his intake. 8HP from the exhaust system. And this was WHP, not BHP.

Approximately 15% of total power output is lost through the drivetrain. So, 15% of 14 = 2.1HP

13.8HP + 2.1 HP(lost through drivetrain) = 15.9 CHP

124 CHP(Tested with stock exhaust system at the factory) + 15.9 CHP(estimated gains on similar test) = 139.9 CHP.

And he changed his wires but never mentioned dyno result increases or decreases.

He also had to keep his converter.

Pypes Exhaust Systems has ran multiple chassis dyno tests on many stock exhaust systems, and proven that even when you only remove the catalytic converter for a piece of straight pipe, your power output increases in top-end, and consequently the power curve typically shifts further up the rpm range by am average of about 100rpm.

So, adding higher voltage coils, better wires than what this guy had available at the time he raced, and removal of the uneeded accessories can easily get CHP over 150.

Since BHP removes the muffler and is a complete straight pipe(the most efficient exhaust flow possible), 150 BHP is easily achievable on a stock ECU
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