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Old 08-16-2016, 01:41 PM   #1
Saturn Night
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Default Minor Street Build Questions

Having dabbled through the Newbie Guide in this forum, I have some questions regarding a very light, affordable street build that will give a slight improvement to do both power and fuel efficiency. Currently, my stock 1995 Saturn SC2 would have 19.2 lbs/1HP and 19.5 lbs/1 ft-lbs of Torque. Coincidentally, the engine is generating 1.07 HP/cu.in. and 1.05 TQ/cu.in.

I would like to try and get my HP/cu.in. and TQ/cu.in as close to 1.2(about 139 HP/TQ). I would like to try to do this without sacrificing huge amounts of fuel economy.

Would an intake manifold, intake kit, header, and no catalytic converter get me where I am looking to be, without any upgrades to the ignition system?

Yes, I am aware that I could probably make this thing wind out to 8,000rpm, run a low 12s 1/4 mile, have 15psi of boost shooting through it. However, that type of build is not really a great idea for someone who wants to drive it daily at 1,500-2,500rpm while getting about 19mpg from lugging the engine below its useful power band

...
1991 Pontiac Grand Am @ 140k - More rust than paint & no leaks
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Old 08-16-2016, 06:21 PM   #2
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Default Re: Minor Street Build Questions

Header get a 91-92,run a 2.25 inch exhaust all the way back high flow cat and resonator/muffler. Buy a megasquirt and use it tune for fuel and spark. That will be the easiest way to increased performance. There is no aftermarket intake manifolds that I know of, you can have a custom one built its around 1200. If you work at your tune a reasonable 140hp is possible.

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Old 08-16-2016, 08:31 PM   #3
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Default Re: Minor Street Build Questions

way to big of exhaust, 2in is more then enough and good up to about 144+HP ,not what gonna get, but what a 2in pipe can support, and for the love of god avoid as much straight pipe as possible.

you can find my build here, starting at line 5-10.

Another option for exhaust header is OBX, but you will need whoever you have working on it cut off the **** collector and put one on that won't crack and possibly match the 2in pipe much better.

Air Intake can be a cheap eBay pipe, throw away the what ever trash filter it came with, and buy a R2C filter (best, and newest, and first to and currently use synthetic media), or buy a more refined and polished AMR pipe and still replace the filter with R2C. Next step after that is building a air box or go all out with a dedicated cold air intake, again from AMR.

Plugs are your choice, I found a bit better performance and mileage with ripoff Brisk plugs... called Nitrode plugs which have two jumps and are side gapped (not as fancy as Brisk five-jump plugs, but are 1/3rd the price.

Mega squirt is a bit more DIY, Haltech is pretty straight forwards, and very expensive, another option is Apexi Neo, newer much better updated version of the Safc II, but its quite limited to basically editing fuel trim.

Although if you hook up a variable resistor to the AICT you can tune ignition using the stock computer, with the Apexi Neo you can accomplish what a dedicated aftermarket ignition would.

The last thing you can do is weight reduction, I plan on gutting everything half back (from were the front seat end to the trunk) and make it a dedicated two person car, also to make room for at least a half back roll cage.

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Old 08-17-2016, 07:40 AM   #4
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Default Re: Minor Street Build Questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by Saturn Night View Post
Having dabbled through the Newbie Guide in this forum, I have some questions regarding a very light, affordable street build that will give a slight improvement to do both power and fuel efficiency.
power, efficiency, pick one; increased horsepower generally requires more fuel.

...
Gold 1999 SC2 ~385k Kms

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Old 08-17-2016, 07:55 AM   #5
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Default Re: Minor Street Build Questions

Almost always cheaper to reduce weight than add horsepower.
Weight of nearly everything useless to a race car (you decide what's useless to you), 1st gen based: http://evilplastic.com/p92-wgt1.htm

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Old 08-17-2016, 12:38 PM   #6
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Default Re: Minor Street Build Questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by robb_sc2 View Post
power, efficiency, pick one; increased horsepower generally requires more fuel.
Generally, yes, but not always. My 1993 Grand Am, with the Quad OHC(115HP) was pushing a 17.8 qtr after I removed the cat(no emission tests where I live), a K&N air filter with the top of the stock air box removed, and a 5 speed manual, at Quaker City Raceway, in Salem, OH. I also averaged above 30mpg in the city, and well over 50 on the highway. That car weighed in at just over 2900 lbs.

That same say, a 1995 Grand Am with the 155HP 3100 SFI was dialing in only a 17.1 qtr. Quaker City raceway has uphill in its back 1/8 of the track, so times are higher than on a level raceway.

As far as weight reduction, I removed the A/C compressor, lines, and the condenser had already been cut off the car when I bought it. I figure that saves about 25 lbs.

The duct work for the Grand Am mounted on the driver's side shock tower, and looked like it was pulling air directly from the flow under the hood.

The stock ducting on this SC2 looks like it would work fine with a cone-style air cleaner, without much modification. Though, the AIT sensor would need to be moved.

I have no laptop or any extensive hardware for getting into the fuel trim or spark advance programming, nor can I see justifying $1,000+ dollars on software for only a small marginal performance gain.

I would prefer to keep it within "bolt-on" modifications. Let me check that link the other guy put up.

...
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Old 08-17-2016, 12:43 PM   #7
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Default Re: Minor Street Build Questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by Medtactics View Post
way to big of exhaust, 2in is more then enough and good up to about 144+HP ,not what gonna get, but what a 2in pipe can support, and for the love of god avoid as much straight pipe as possible.

you can find my build [], starting at line 5-10.

Another option for exhaust header is OBX, but you will need whoever you have working on it cut off the **** collector and put one on that won't crack and possibly match the 2in pipe much better.

Air Intake can be a cheap eBay pipe, throw away the what ever trash filter it came with, and buy a R2C filter (best, and newest, and first to and currently use synthetic media), or buy a more refined and polished AMR pipe and still replace the filter with R2C. Next step after that is building a air box or go all out with a dedicated cold air intake, again from AMR.

Plugs are your choice, I found a bit better performance and mileage with ripoff Brisk plugs... called Nitrode plugs which have two jumps and are side gapped (not as fancy as Brisk five-jump plugs, but are 1/3rd the price.

Mega squirt is a bit more DIY, Haltech is pretty straight forwards, and very expensive, another option is Apexi Neo, newer much better updated version of the Safc II, but its quite limited to basically editing fuel trim.

Although if you hook up a variable resistor to the AICT you can tune ignition using the stock computer, with the Apexi Neo you can accomplish what a dedicated aftermarket ignition would.

The last thing you can do is weight reduction, I plan on gutting everything half back (from were the front seat end to the trunk) and make it a dedicated two person car, also to make room for at least a half back roll cage.
I think you are pushing a little more than 140 HP and probably embarrassing racers at the track. That list looked pretty extensive, actually. But, I see on lines 5-10, that you put a very high quality exhaust to handle the rest of your build.

...
1991 Pontiac Grand Am @ 140k - More rust than paint & no leaks
1995 Saturn SC2 @ 181k - 17.2538 @ 77.91mph w/Stock TB
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Old 08-17-2016, 12:48 PM   #8
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Default Re: Minor Street Build Questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by fetchitfido View Post
Almost always cheaper to reduce weight than add horsepower.
Weight of nearly everything useless to a race car (you decide what's useless to you), 1st gen based: []
Very impressive. Dropped 122 lbs of the car. That would improve the power to weight ratio exponentially, on a built engine and a full 1 point on the stock engine. I can see maybe removing that stuff at the track. This car will be a daily driver. So, I will keep the speakers. Might still remove the rear seats, as a full grown adult can not comfortably fit in one of those buckets, anyway. Pretty sure GM only put those in the car for insurance purposes.

...
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Old 08-17-2016, 02:09 PM   #9
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Default Re: Minor Street Build Questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by Saturn Night View Post
I think you are pushing a little more than 140 HP and probably embarrassing racers at the track. That list looked pretty extensive, actually. But, I see on lines 5-10, that you put a very high quality exhaust to handle the rest of your build.
Eh I wish, still have to buy all that stuff ( I would ditch the cat, but SCCA and racetracks require it depending on the class, and if a cop does pull me over out of state...), even then I'm not sure if i'll be doing anything to the engine, at the most put in flat faced valves, maybe more if its still around when it needs a rebuild, unless I get a 3rd gen Ecotec by then.

Till then the motor is still producing may be 120HP at the crank.

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Old 08-18-2016, 12:45 AM   #10
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Default Re: Minor Street Build Questions

Removing the cat on my Grand Am made a HUGE difference, BUT it was a different engine. And the Quad family was known to gain the most performance from Exhaust porting, less restrictive exhaust.

Even so, we have a 4-valve setup with rather wide, narrow exhaust ports. Freeing up the cat should give a marginal gain amd improve fuel economy when cruising. EVERY car I have ever cut the catalyst off of, got better MPG, even if no noticeable change in performance.

My next questions: How are the factory dyno result calculated? With, or without accessories? I have read a few decent articles, and depending on the engine speed, displacement, etc, total power losses with belt driven accessories CAN be anywhere between 30-50 HP.

Obviously, we don't lose a full 30 HP on this little engine. Maybe 20-25, with the water pump being the biggest power thief. I removed my A/C compressor and ALL hardware from under the hood. Would this put me closer to the stock rated 124HP @ 6000rpm, or would it bump me up to say 126HP? I did NOT install a bypass pulley, but just bought the "non-AC" serpentine belt.

Amd regarding the headers: Will a header change the rpm of peak torque? Ex: say 122 ft-lbs @ 4500rpm, instead of the stock 4800rpm? Or, would it merely change the TOTAL peak torque @ 4800rpm? From my Chevy 283 I had built, years ago, changing the exhaust did not really affect WHERE peak torque occurred, but rather QUANTITY of torque.

Only by advancing/changing tue camshaft, did it change WHERE peak torque occurred.

Once again, different engine with different design. So, I would like to ask some of you guys that have a little bit more experience with this engine.

...
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Old 08-18-2016, 06:27 AM   #11
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Default Re: Minor Street Build Questions

No one really knows about how much the Headers affect the power band any more to what I know of, but the 91-92 and OBX uses a much better setup of 4-2-1 instead the extra short 4-1 with a pre-cat, or a not much longer version with no pre-cat. So I would expect overall increase throughout the band due to increased scavenging effect.

As for belt driven loses, that is why I am converting water pump and steering rack to electric driven.

there are Vernier pulleys (adjustable camshaft sprockets) available for these cars, being a dohc you can just power range every where, you can make it higher or lower, wider or narrower, and you can adjust both at the same time.

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Old 08-19-2016, 01:09 AM   #12
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Default Re: Minor Street Build Questions

Well, what kind of times can I expect with AT in the 1/4 mile on the stock motor?

...
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Old 08-19-2016, 07:40 AM   #13
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Default Re: Minor Street Build Questions

About 16.5 seconds full stock, MT is about 16 on the dot.

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Old 08-19-2016, 08:12 AM   #14
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Default Re: Minor Street Build Questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by Saturn Night View Post
I have read a few decent articles, and depending on the engine speed, displacement, etc, total power losses with belt driven accessories CAN be anywhere between 30-50 HP.

Obviously, we don't lose a full 30 HP on this little engine. Maybe 20-25, with the water pump being the biggest power thief.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Medtactics View Post
As for belt driven loses, that is why I am converting water pump and steering rack to electric driven.
Are you guys high? lmao

What drive belt loss's? TeamSCR gained less than 3hp with no belt, if you underdrive everything by 20% that'll gain less than 1hp. Sure, going all electric is "worth it" if you're going for every last HP available, but that's only after you've rebuilt the engine to push 20+ psi....not a "minor street build". You need to start reading Saturn performance articles rather than generic crap if you think anything short of a turbo is going to get you more than 30hp...especially with a power eating slow ass automatic. Even the 30hp level requires a 'junkyard rebuild' with choice internals from specific years of engines plus a stand-alone PCM to take advantage...it's been nicknamed "Deebs Rebuild".

Sixthsphere.com, Evilplastic.com, Teamscr.com and DifferentRacing.com are good places to start.

You need a real Quad 4 in that Grand Am before you can think it's fast...a guy I work with DD's a modified Calais pushing 225hp (only 35hp over the stock 190hp and not the most people have gotten all-motor).

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Old 08-19-2016, 10:38 AM   #15
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Default Re: Minor Street Build Questions

Quote:
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Are you guys high? lmao

What drive belt loss's? TeamSCR gained less than 3hp with no belt, if you underdrive everything by 20% that'll gain less than 1hp. Sure, going all electric is "worth it" if you're going for every last HP available, but that's only after you've rebuilt the engine to push 20+ psi....not a "minor street build". You need to start reading Saturn performance articles rather than generic crap if you think anything short of a turbo is going to get you more than 30hp...especially with a power eating slow ass automatic. Even the 30hp level requires a 'junkyard rebuild' with choice internals from specific years of engines plus a stand-alone PCM to take advantage...it's been nicknamed "Deebs Rebuild".

Sixthsphere.com, Evilplastic.com, Teamscr.com and DifferentRacing.com are good places to start.

You need a real Quad 4 in that Grand Am before you can think it's fast...a guy I work with DD's a modified Calais pushing 225hp (only 35hp over the stock 190hp and not the most people have gotten all-motor).
There is a reason, that one can not find a "REAL" Quad 4 like you are saying. It could have to do with the fact that they were only useful, with 50ft of chain strapped to them, so you could toss them off the side of your fishing boat.

And a little FYI, it is only 14-17HP/ft-lbs of TQ that I am looking to gain.

A 225HP Quad 4 won't last nearly as long as a 140HP Saturn 1.9L Twin Cam build would.

BOTH engines are already built with very high rpm powerbands, from the factory. Daily street driving around town and even on the highway might push the engines close to the 3,000rpm mark, which is still well below the start of your power curve. This results in excessive heat and actually WASTES fuel due to less than ideal atomization of the air/fuel ratio, because the air velocity amd volume are not pressurizing the cylinder in an ideal state. It is called "lugging" the engine.

This is not to say that the engine will not run smoothly, though Quad 4s were notorious for having so much NVH, that the design was changed in 1995 to add twin balance shafts to the crank, and later redesigned/renamed in 1996 for a smaller bore and larger stroke(similar to our 1.9L LLO engines) to help increase Low-RPM torque. That also sacrificed a little high-RPM horsepower(as engine physics would dictate), and the result was a stock 155 ft-lbs of TQ and 150 HP.

Earlier low-output Quads had the same 150 HP, but less torque.

High Output Quads and the W41 options Quads were discontinued due to low sales. Ironically, the low sales volume may have been a direct result of NOT being able to keep a water pump, coil pack, cylinder head, head gasket, #3 cylinder connecting rod in proper working order.......

Now, you obviously wanted to come in here and spew your negativity. Feel free to stay out of my threads if you can not be constructive. This is an enthusiasts website. I am here to learn from people with the experience and knowledge of their trade.

I will bounce ideas around all day. What I won't do, is base everything around the philosophy of "there is only ONE way to do something", because there obviously isn't.

And ANY SOHC, 2-valve 4 cylinder engine that is making enough power to out perform a 2-valve, larger displacement engine may not be fast, but it is still impressive.

Anyone that has built an engine will tell you, that building a 2-valve engine with anything less than a 4" bore diameter is pretty much a waste of your money, due to the restrictions a 2-valve setup small bore engine naturally suffers from.

As it currently stands, MOST DOHC applications have at least 4 valves per cylinder and are able to take advantage of higher volume air flow, despite having under a 4" bore.

Turbos are the best way to make the MOST HP out of any single modification, especially on a multi-valve setup. They are not the only way.

In fact, about 70-75% of our little 1.9L's true power potential is wasted by heat production. The term is called "Thermal Efficiency". I am certain you knew this already, because you just have SO much knowledge about the subject, that you are just absolutely 100% certain that one can only gain 30 HP by adding a Turbocharger......

...
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1995 Saturn SC2 @ 181k - 17.2538 @ 77.91mph w/Stock TB
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Old 08-19-2016, 10:49 AM   #16
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Default Re: Minor Street Build Questions

Medtactic, I just wanted to say tank you for your helpful input. It sounds like the cam sprockets will simulate a VVT, but once it sets the cam timing there would be no dynamic change to the cam timing during operation.

So, in theory, it is almost as of you have multiple choices of the cam timing, which of course changes where the peak torque and HP are created, which of course changes total power output levels.

I like the flexibility that would offer. It may be a long term goal for this car. We will see what the future holds for finances and budget. I still got to get license plates and an inspection done on it.

And 16.5 in the qtr doesn't sound too bad, really. Even stock, this car should have enough acceleration to make the "poser" crowds be embarrassed of their 18s Civics and NA-tuned, factory Eclipse/Neon engines and drywall screw-attached body kits, with their 5" tipped Foldger's exhaust system.

Please note: A "tuner" knows how to build an engine, and properly does so for increased performance or builds their vehicle for its primary intended use. Race engine build for an autocross/drag-only car. Mild tuning and build for daily drivers that make occasional passes at the strip, etc.

"Posers" are typically sneering 18-25 year old punks, that seen one-to-many "Fast and Furious" movies, that typically get everything paid for by mommy amd daddy, and have no clue how to actually select a balance of parts or modifications to their car.

Posers typically brag about the money they spend on the car, but rarely have a timeslip to actually back their claims.

...
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1995 Saturn SC2 @ 181k - 17.2538 @ 77.91mph w/Stock TB
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Old 08-19-2016, 11:00 AM   #17
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Default Re: Minor Street Build Questions

I've seen far to many guys like you that have no idea what the LLO is capable of and think it responds to NA mods like a small block Chevy. If you look at the sites I pointed you to you'll find everything you can think of has already been tried at least twice and documented at least once.

If you want more power, start with a stand-alone PCM like Megasquirt. That'll give you actual tuning options and the MS is $500+ cheaper than most other stand-alone options.

...
The proper way to fix a S-Series automatic is to replace it with a 5spd O:)

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Old 08-19-2016, 11:29 AM   #18
Saturn Night
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1995 SC2
Default Re: Minor Street Build Questions

Total power gains from the same types of modifications will obviously vary, because of engine displacement. That is a given. The foundation of any Naturally Aspirated engine are absolute. Meaning they pull in air, mix it with a volatile fuel, add a spark for combustion.

Meaning, you will gain more total power output from from the same modification being done on a large displacement engine, than a small displacement engine. The effects of improving "Thermal Efficiency" would also dynamically change based on displacement.

There is no replacement for displacement. This is a non-negotiable rule of making power, and universal.

I will check these website, for the bias that may be present in their articles.

Because 3HP to power ALL accessories sounds just a little too low @ 6000rpm, since the power losses from accessories being belt driven also increase as engine speed increases due to increased friction(unpreventable mechanical loss) which increases heat(Thermal Losses).

Whether it is a tire, a sprocket, a crankshaft, or an axle shaft, the minute it exceeds 5252rpm, the torque it applies will always be less than the amount or work(HP) it does to transfer the power. If this statement were untrue, it would not be possible to measure the wheel torque/HP on a chassis dynometer. Only engine dynos would be able to be studied.

Where the real energy should be tracked is in the Kilowatts being used. And there is a formula for Kilowatts to be converted to HP.

Based on your statement, ALL belt driven accessories would only use about 2.5 kW of energy from the 1.9L engine, or 3.38 HP. That sounds true at idle, but at WOT I can safely concur the energy usage would be much higher. Your fuel pump, ignition system, and injectors all require more electrical energy. Higher voltage = Higher heat production, in turn more power wasted from the engine.

In fact, most stock GM ignition and fuel system start losing voltage at higher engine speeds, which results in spark scatter amd lean conditions from less available fuel.

This would be a main reason the standalone Megasquirt ECM is so effective at improving performance.

...
1991 Pontiac Grand Am @ 140k - More rust than paint & no leaks
1995 Saturn SC2 @ 181k - 17.2538 @ 77.91mph w/Stock TB
Mechanic: I can't fix stupid, but I can fix what stupid does.

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Old 08-19-2016, 12:06 PM   #19
Saturn Night
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Default Re: Minor Street Build Questions

Ok. I reviewed your tech article. The author claims that the dyno test was performed on an already prepped race engine, not a street engine. The author also was very cynical, in attitude, towards broken crankshafts from changing the harmonic balancer.(Which I can understand because I know why that is the ONE pulley you really shouldn't touch unless you are a machinist and performing a full drill/peen and spin balance of the crank first).

BTW, most BMW tuners and their engineers are idiots, anyway. Morons has a recall for PLASTIC WATER PUMP IMPELLER failure on the Z3 2.8L, back when that car came out. Any mechanic would tell you a plastic water pump impeller is a stupid design.

Now, back on point. The author did not post any dyno test screenshots, printouts, or graphs to validate his claim.

He also indicates that underdriving the alternator, water pump, or P/S pump cam result in premature failure on a street engine. Once again, I speak from experience when I say that is a debatable topic.

I had a 1992 Chevrolet Camaro RS, with the LH0 3.1L Cast-Iron engine. It had a stock 700-r4 auto, and a 3.23 rear axle. It was factory rated for 140HP @ 4400rpm and 185ft-lbs @ 3600rpm. Shift points were 5,700rpm stock, from the TV cable setup.

I had an underdriven alternator pulley off the 1988 2.8L, a 1997 Grand Prix 3100 SFI P/S pump pulley, removed the A/C and the AIR Injection pump. I used the throttle boot from a 1995 Lumina 3100 SFI, and a universal 3" cone style air cleaner. There were no other modifications to the vehicle. The curb weight of that car was just under 3400 lbs.

I never had to change the alternator or the P/S pump a single time. Drove that car 76,000+ miles in the 3 years I owned it, and despite having an unplugged knock sensor(which automatically retards the ignition timing to 4 BTDC), I was able to outperform a 97-03 Grand Prix SE, with the 3100 SFI and automatic off the line and in top end. 97-03 Grand Prixs with that engine were factory rated for 160-190 HP, depending on model year, so this was likely a '97(the driver stayed behind me the whole time on the freeway, so it wasn't like I was able to ask him or anything), and they had a curb weight similar to that of my 3rd Gen F-Body.

Oh, and I was averaging 26mpg city and 37 highway in a car that was US EPA rated for only 17 city/25 hwy.

I would still have that car, IF a Cadillac hadn't turned left in front of my direction of travel @ 40mph.

Some other vehicles I outran: early 2000s Mitsubishi Eclipse with "cool" underbody neons and 18" rims(NA 4 banger with a Folder's can exhaust). Those were factory rated around 147HP. He was gaining on me, until I hit 3rd gear @ 72mph in a 35mph zone. After that, he seen nothing but tailights.

A 2005 Mitsubishi Lancer, that the owner claimed had "direct methanol injectors" and 14.7:1 compression with a turbo(which I knew was a load of BS) I even went as far as buying a bottle of fuel line antifreeze(which is 100% methyl alcohol), showed it to him, amd asked him if I needed to pay $10 grand for special injectors to run it in my tank of gas(He claimed his injectors were $10 grand from Summit Racing). When in reality, he had an NA engine that maby had 150-160 HP, if that.

Now, both of those vehicles have more stock NA power than my stock 3.1L engine did. If I had only gained 3HP, as your article claims, both of them would have easily over took my car after about 30-40mph. Both vehicles are similar weight or lighter than my Camaro, as well. About the only advantage I would have had would have been off the line low-rpm torque and a longer wheelbase for power transfer to the rear wheels.

...
1991 Pontiac Grand Am @ 140k - More rust than paint & no leaks
1995 Saturn SC2 @ 181k - 17.2538 @ 77.91mph w/Stock TB
Mechanic: I can't fix stupid, but I can fix what stupid does.

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Old 08-19-2016, 11:11 PM   #20
amazinghl
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Default Re: Minor Street Build Questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by Saturn Night View Post
Well, what kind of times can I expect with AT in the 1/4 mile on the stock motor?
My 93 SL2 ran a 17.7 @ 78.22 mph

Quote:
Originally Posted by Saturn Night View Post
I am aware that I could probably make this thing wind out to 8,000rpm
Even if you can rev to 8,000 rpm, you would be making about 70hp judging from the lightly modded 1.9L Saturn DOHC dyno graph



My GLH made these, turbocharged 2.2L 8 valves.






...
85 GLH 290whp. http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/showthread.php?t=215679
94 855 389xxx miles and climbing.
00 Insight 50mpg++

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