N/A reaching its end
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This is a discussion on N/A reaching its end within the Comparison: WRX vs World forums, part of the Community - Meet other Enthusiasts category; I've been reading lots of articles that are pointing to an interesting trend in N/A buildups. Upgrades that do more ...

  1. #1
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    N/A reaching its end

    I've been reading lots of articles that are pointing to an interesting trend in N/A buildups. Upgrades that do more harm then good. And I am not talking about crappy products either. Nismo, mugen? I think the problem is that cars are being designed so efficiently, that there isn't much room left for improvement in these N/A engines.

    Case #1: Dyno shootout of Celica GT-S cat-back exhausts. Average gain of just 3hp, with a reduction in power below 5,000 rpms in almost all cases. One exhaust managed 5hp.

    Case #2: Mugen S2000. Super expensive carbon-fiber intake, stainless headers, and steel/titanium cat back exhaust. Probably $2,000 for this stuff, and NO GAIN in power. Whats worse, it actually lost about 5hp from idle to 6000 rpms. But it sounds good.

    Case #3: Nismo R-tune 350z. Nismo Cat-back, Nismo headers, Nismo CAI, Nismo Cams. $4,300 in parts (Nismo is a rip-off) plus 20+ hours of labor (another $1,000?). Net result is a claimed 23whp, although on 91 octane gas SCC only saw 10whp gain.

    Weak fellas, weak. Forced induction is better. A $400 reflash on a WRX could get you the same gains as the Nismo, and obviously just about anything can not improve performance.
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    Moderator fengshui's Avatar
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    Its not N/A reaching its limits, but the technology OEMs put into the cars that makes them so efficient. If the engines can make the most power with strait-through exhaust systems and still pass emissions in CA with flying colors, then they will do it. However, if the only way the OEMs can stay legit is to stick as many MEOWs on the car (WRX = 2.5) as they can, then they will do that. N/A cars will need to definitely get into the engine internals in order to squeeze more power at the cost of reliability out of an engine. FI cars will be able to do more inexpensive "bolt-ons" to reach their upper limits.

    chris
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    Registered User DTR rex's Avatar
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    well you have to figure.... 5 years ago, intake, catback, headers, etc..... were considered pretty good parts to upgrade your car... now adays that engineeing has gotten better, and performance is more popular manufacturers are designing these cars with aftermarket grade parts to begin with.

    this just means that the aftermarket market needs to step up its game, and stuff like turbo's are becoming much more popular.
    you cant really do much with bolt on's on N/A cars anymore, unless you go big like cams, pistons, etc....
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    Re: N/A reaching its end

    Originally posted by keystah
    I've been reading lots of articles that are pointing to an interesting trend in N/A buildups. Upgrades that do more harm then good. And I am not talking about crappy products either. Nismo, mugen? I think the problem is that cars are being designed so efficiently, that there isn't much room left for improvement in these N/A engines.

    Case #1: Dyno shootout of Celica GT-S cat-back exhausts. Average gain of just 3hp, with a reduction in power below 5,000 rpms in almost all cases. One exhaust managed 5hp.

    Case #2: Mugen S2000. Super expensive carbon-fiber intake, stainless headers, and steel/titanium cat back exhaust. Probably $2,000 for this stuff, and NO GAIN in power. Whats worse, it actually lost about 5hp from idle to 6000 rpms. But it sounds good.

    Case #3: Nismo R-tune 350z. Nismo Cat-back, Nismo headers, Nismo CAI, Nismo Cams. $4,300 in parts (Nismo is a rip-off) plus 20+ hours of labor (another $1,000?). Net result is a claimed 23whp, although on 91 octane gas SCC only saw 10whp gain.

    Weak fellas, weak. Forced induction is better. A $400 reflash on a WRX could get you the same gains as the Nismo, and obviously just about anything can not improve performance.
    Of course F/I is better than N/A at achieving higher numbers, I don't think you could find a single person that would argue otherwise.

    But you should look at the K20A2 and what it can do N/A vs. F/I. It can run 230whp and run the same times as if it was 280+F/I because of traction limitations.

    K20A2 is one of those engines that the N/A and F/I potential is endless. Regardless, in the end, nothing can beat the bang for the buck of the F/I upgrade path, i.e., we can't touch you F/I factory guys mod for mod. Duh!

    Edit: I got roughly 30whp I'm sure from my 3 mods. Engine management is KEY. Nissan has relatively NOTHING in terms of engine managment like WRX does and even my car.
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    Registered User Novtec1's Avatar
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    Originally posted by fengshui
    Its not N/A reaching its limits, but the technology OEMs put into the cars that makes them so efficient. If the engines can make the most power with strait-through exhaust systems and still pass emissions in CA with flying colors, then they will do it. However, if the only way the OEMs can stay legit is to stick as many MEOWs on the car (WRX = 2.5) as they can, then they will do that. N/A cars will need to definitely get into the engine internals in order to squeeze more power at the cost of reliability out of an engine. FI cars will be able to do more inexpensive "bolt-ons" to reach their upper limits.

    chris
    so so true..... nowadays most cars pretty much come as good as its gonna get. but when parts are added you have to look at the cost per hp gained.... why spend 450 bucks on (whatever) and only get 4-6 hp gain....
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    Not all N/A engines are like that.

    Look at the LS1 or LS6. With bolt ons you can make some serious power, add a good cam and get even more.

    I think the problem is you can only squeeze so much performance out of a small displacement engine N/A and still make it emissions legal.

    The larger N/A engines have, in some cases, three times the cubes to squeeze power out of.

    With it all said and done, FI is where it's at though!
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    Yeah, looking at my subject title it doesn't make sense anymore. N/A is not at an end, but I guess the point is there's not much more they can do with those engines. As far as aftermarket "stepping it up", I think they will keep moving towards products that advertise performance but don't deliver.

    Ha, this was kind of funny. I saw they had a Supercharger kit from Blitz for the Scion Xb. Thing can't be cheaper than $2500. Well, the supercharger increased power by a whopping 25% to 122 fwhp. Still ugly, still slow.
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    Registered User Snowvert's Avatar
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    this may come off strange to some, but i'd love to have a sweet n/a setup on something like an nsx or teg type-r.

    regardless of whp, et or anything else - an all motor car done right, putting down some good whp is a mean car.
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    It would be cool...as in different maybe. I'd really like to do an all-motor SVX. Unfortunatley, the ugly side windows and crappys transmission would have to be fixed.

    With the right internals, maybe some increased displacement (and compression ratio) and a catless exhaust it could put down 300awhp and sound meaner than any WRX.
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    Registered User EvilCerealBoX's Avatar
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    Originally posted by keystah
    Yeah, looking at my subject title it doesn't make sense anymore. N/A is not at an end, but I guess the point is there's not much more they can do with those engines. As far as aftermarket "stepping it up", I think they will keep moving towards products that advertise performance but don't deliver.

    Ha, this was kind of funny. I saw they had a Supercharger kit from Blitz for the Scion Xb. Thing can't be cheaper than $2500. Well, the supercharger increased power by a whopping 25% to 122 fwhp. Still ugly, still slow.
    well what do you expect from a 1.5 liter vvti engine...

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    Registered User DTR rex's Avatar
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    Originally posted by silverscooby
    Not all N/A engines are like that.

    Look at the LS1 or LS6. With bolt ons you can make some serious power, add a good cam and get even more.

    I think the problem is you can only squeeze so much performance out of a small displacement engine N/A and still make it emissions legal.

    The larger N/A engines have, in some cases, three times the cubes to squeeze power out of.

    With it all said and done, FI is where it's at though!
    well, the pushrod LS1 isnt exactly ground breaking technology, or engineering.... i agree with your statement of only being able to extract so much power from an N/A 4 banger, but take the 350Z for example.. on of the more potent v-6's out there and still gets very minimal gains..... i think its just a matter of it being produced so well from the factory.... where as with camaro, mustang etc... they arnt really new and innovative technology...
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    Registered User outferno's Avatar
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    Originally posted by keystah
    Yeah, looking at my subject title it doesn't make sense anymore. N/A is not at an end, but I guess the point is there's not much more they can do with those engines. As far as aftermarket "stepping it up", I think they will keep moving towards products that advertise performance but don't deliver.

    Ha, this was kind of funny. I saw they had a Supercharger kit from Blitz for the Scion Xb. Thing can't be cheaper than $2500. Well, the supercharger increased power by a whopping 25% to 122 fwhp. Still ugly, still slow.
    Maybe it's just me... but I'd love a fugly little Scion xA with Vitz front end conversion and some crazy ass power mods. It'd be so fun to whoop some ass in a little car like that

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    I guess. But even with a CAI, headers, exhaust, supercharger, you wouldn't even be pushing 140 fwhp.

    I'd rather look fast than go fast, and the Scion craze has got me mystified like the civic thing.

    And maxima is right. The 4 and 6 cyl engines, espc. imports, are already very well designed. The american designs are less efficient, so they take better to mods. This is mostly true to the N/A V8's though. SRT-4 and Grand Prix GTP are two I can think of... but they use FI.
    Last edited by keystah; 05-18-2004 at 07:33 AM.
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    I have to admit that I don't bother modding my S2000. The one mod I have done is a CAI which adds ~5WHP for $100. It is the only bang-for-the-buck mod you can do on the car. I even consider suspension and brake mods to be a waste of money on this car considering aftermarket parts cost a fortune and are only incrementally better than stock. The only other mod I would bother doing would be a Vortech or Comptech supercharger, each of which will set me back over $4K but will add 80 WHP.

    I bought the Rex to satisfy my modding addiction

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    Strictly talking naturally aspirated:

    I look at the V-8's (LS1's, anyway) as being restricted by the manufacturer due to noise, pollution, and mileage concerns that they must comply with. Whereas the smaller n/a 4 and 6's have an easier time meeting those requirements, but must be tweaked to get the most HP out of them from the manufacturer.

    So my perspective is that the bigger V-8's are "detuned" essentially from the factory, which allows the aftermarket to really wake them up with tried and true formulas. Whereas with the 4's and 6's, there's just not much more that can be done better than what the manufacturers have already designed...

    Of course, throwing forced induction onto an engine improves everything with regard to the HP factor.


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