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Old 02-13-2001, 11:41 AM   #1
HamFist
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Post Let's beat this dead horse again, Larry ;)...N/A v. mild turbo

Okay. Larry asked me to write this, so now I'm doing it. After riding in his car, and getting mine modified, I'll compare and contrast the differences. I'm an N/A buff, and I firmly believe I'm hot on his tail with my buildup, even at Denver's altitude. The goal is to give a bolt on, 5psi kit a good run for it's money. Beating isn't really the point...'cuz there's other turbo cars that would chew ours alive. The main point of our argument is that I'm ONLY an average of 1.5 seconds slower than his car...and gaining.

I went for a drive in his car to test out the flywheel, since my clutch went south and wanted to upgrade. The first three gears are where that car really shines. I could only induce lag if I drove the car wrong. It has the chromemoly flywheel, ACT pressure plate, typical turbo gizmos, and the KYB/AGX suspension. It was a little more of a challenge to drive in traffic, but by no means difficult. Things shrunk in the rear view mirror very quickly. Radar appeared very quickly, too . Overall it was a fun ride. But, it's not the awesomely humbling experience of a 14psi romp. (Getting to work on the wagon was such a privaledge . Thank you JCS.)

The ride in Larry's turbo car was definitely fun. But, it wasn't scary. The ride over bumps was very tolerable. I'm a transpant from a Geo Tracker into the RS...I guess anything is an improvement over that. Cornering was a definite improvement over stock, too. The car rotated very well, when it wasn't sticking to the road like a cat on carpet. It's not like coilovers, though. it was definitely good bang for the buck, however.

My car isn't as complete as Larry's is yet. It has a 2 1/2 cat back and midpipe, stubby custom intake, Torque chip I, upgraded fuel pump, ACT pressure plate on a stock disk, STI short shifter + bushing, solid tranny mount, lightweight crank pulley, and a sprinkling of pixie dust . First of, yes, it's slower than Larry's car. But, one of the founding differences of our two buildups is that his has bolt-ons for big power. My build involves meticulous tuning and uncorking of a stock engine. Major pieces left for my build include the flywheel, headers(soon to be done), high flow cats, cams, and an ECU. Downdraft injection is still in the planning stages, and 10mpg doesn't appeal to me right now. Once the headers, cats, and flywheel are done, I should be VERY close to Larry's car. The parts are coming together this month and next month for the custom header and cat piece. Tuning will come much later, with the cams and Link ECU. We'll see about a dyno run after the cats and header go on. There is now a four wheel dyno in Boulder, and I intend on making use of it .

One final note. I keep getting told I'm absolutely nuts for trying this. So was the first guy who tweaked a Honda! Now, N/A hondas are inching into the 10's. I would not doubt for a second that they could run 9's given enough time. I think usable power over dyno numbers is an interesting way to build. It DOES produce solid results. Oh well, back to fanning the flame .

Gary
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Old 02-13-2001, 11:48 AM   #2
STiShawn
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I'm solidly behind the quest for NA power. I plan on doing an NA buildup my self. You say you have a torque chip, what is your impression of it, good bad or otherwise. Keep up the good work, my goal is to run cirlces around stock 02' WRX's......in NA trim.
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Old 02-13-2001, 11:52 AM   #3
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How can you compare a stripped 2200lbs Honda to a 2800 RS? NA EJ25 is good, but it will NEVER, eeeeeeeeeever run even 13s'. That is impossible. Now, get 3-5k, turbo the E25 and forget those NA dreams.
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Old 02-13-2001, 11:55 AM   #4
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Okay Imprezer...your on .
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Old 02-13-2001, 11:57 AM   #5
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Im definatily down for some all motor power too. Although IMHO i would go with the Vishnu Tec II N/A upgrade instead of the link ECU. I alwayse favor stand alone rather than modifying the sotck ECU. But i will admit that my knowledge of the Link is very poor. I just have trouble thinking it could thinks as fast as the Tec II with its crank trigger. Also you cant beat an ignition upgrade at the same time as the ECU, and from what i have seen the prices are somewhat comperable. Also have you thought of headwork/higher compression/ extrude honing the intake manifold. Just some ideas, my too sence. Please feel free to correct me if i am wrong on any of this.

Josh
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Old 02-13-2001, 01:09 PM   #6
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the Hondas in the 9's are turbo, he was talking about N/A cars. And Saruwatari (spelling?) has been in the 9's for some time in his Rx-7. i think down to 9.1 or 9.0

Josh
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Old 02-13-2001, 01:23 PM   #7
Midwayman
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No question NA can catch a 5psi turbo, trey's na monster will do that. But at altitude? Sheesh, you're insane. dont turbos loose power at about 1/4 the rate as NA for altitude?
Good luck, you'll need it.
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Old 02-13-2001, 01:44 PM   #8
bill harvey
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for usualbe power you can't beat the turbo when i was pulling out of the infamous and not finished to this date jc turbo group buy i spoke with trey many times about N/A builds and i was getting heads and cams and headers and such and the power gained would be top end when with the turbo you get it at 2500 rpm now if you were running a road corse and planning on keeping the car wound up then do the N/a thing but for a street car you just can't drive it that way. look at the s2000 honda if you drive it like a normal human shift when out car shifts it would be slower than the stock rs but wind that baby out and goodbye.
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Old 02-13-2001, 02:34 PM   #9
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I guess I'm not the only one who gets a kick out of the challenge of doing it. If you look at the IDRA...yes, the N/A cars are slower. It's still just a different way to build stuff! So what if I'm not running 12 psi and rebuilding it every weekend. I'll save the mega horsepower build for a few years. I'll build a turbo later. Right now the thing is still fun!


Gary
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Old 02-13-2001, 02:39 PM   #10
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Oh yea, forgot we were talking NA buildups!

Yea, then the Hondas are in the 10s...I'm predicting this season the two Hondas in the 10s will break the 9s. And actually, Saruwatari "retired" the FD3S didn't he? His new car is an NSX...woo...full carbon body. Crazy~
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Old 02-13-2001, 09:07 PM   #11
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bump! Larry...where are you?
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Old 02-13-2001, 10:36 PM   #12
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Wink

Of course 13s and 12s are possible for N/A. First get rid of all that dead weight. Don't forget to become anorexic to lose a little extra weight. Next, now this is the important one....engine swap with one of the big bad muscle cars

But it would be cool if you could do it, good luck...youre gonna need it...and a whole lot of it

P.S. What about a wider throttle body? Would that help a little?
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Old 02-14-2001, 12:01 AM   #13
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im with burrningrubber, but it think that if a little lightning (remove sound deadning, light weight hood, trunk lid, bumper suports, and other misc goodies) i think 13's is very possible. if the interior is stripped, tossing a/c and power steering and some lexan i think maybe even 12's are possible.

Josh
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Old 02-14-2001, 12:02 AM   #14
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fast n/a car eh burninrubber i would like to see your car since i cant afford a turbo anytime soon
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Old 02-14-2001, 12:32 AM   #15
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Burninrubber,

I think there is either something wrong with Larry's car or you're getting a lot more out of a few bolt-ons than anybody else. I had a header, cat back exhaust, underdrive pulley and TEC-II. I removed the header and pulley and replaced them with a proper power producing device. Feels like it has double the power......seems to me it would take some fairly major modifications and lots more revs to compete with what I now enjoy......but have fun trying .

Ken M
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Old 02-14-2001, 12:34 AM   #16
STiShawn
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I too favor the Vishnu/TecII system. But the time for that is after a full build up with heads,cams,intake manifold, TB, headers, exhaust, etc. Soon thats what I'll have.
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Old 02-14-2001, 12:38 AM   #17
Keiho
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I think it depends on how much boost you're running. When I had a stage one turbo, the car was faster granted, and even a LOT EASIER to drive in city traffic, not to mention a whole lot quieter. Now I'm back to my NA setup, and the car is only a tad slower. There isn't as much of a difference as I thought there would be. Granted the turbo wasn't finetuned or anything so I can't say for certain that my NA setup is producing the same amount of power. (It isn't by the way, dyno'd.)

Good luck with the NA buildups everyone, and with the turbos as well!!

On another note, there ARE Hondas in the 9s already aren't there? Papadakis and some other dudes right? I'm sure Saruwatari is going to be in the 9s this coming season.
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Old 02-14-2001, 03:35 AM   #18
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My car ran a 13.91 at 1250 elevation at 5psi non-intercooled. I have a RRFPR and voltage clamp, 2.5 inch exhaust. That is it. I still have the stock clutch, stock fuel pump.

I don't think you will be able to run 13's N/A without spending quite a bit more than a single stage kit.

Trey's car probably runs very good times, but he has put alot more money into it than most of the fast turbos we have also.

It should be a fun (but expensive) project.

Good Luck,

Aaron
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Old 02-14-2001, 10:25 AM   #19
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Question

I'm confused. Here's what you've got:
  • exhaust
  • intake
  • torque chip
  • upgraded fuel pump
  • clutch
  • short shifter
  • transmission mounts
  • lightweight crank pulley

I'm not sure but doesn't Larry have an intake, exhaust, clutch, flywheel, and short shifter as well?

Does a torque chip, upgraded fuel pump, transmission mounts, and lightweight crank pulley really give 5 psi of boost a run for its money?
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Old 02-14-2001, 10:29 AM   #20
slippers2k
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I've got a question... which is more expensive, a tweaked-out N/A setup or a turbo setup? I like the new WRX and might get it a couple of years down the road, but if I am still interested in running N/A, I won't get that new 2.5RS, it will be tooooo heavy to really be the kind of car I want. This may sound weird or lacking in common sense (I operate in that field often ), but I might get a Legacy (these new designed ones really good - in stock! I might want to get a slight ground effects pacakge, but that's about it).

Either that, or I'll pick up a used 2.5RS sedan from the 2001 model year (old styling, lighter car, 2.5L engine). In this case, or in the Legacy case, I will probably investigate how to squeeeeeze lots of juice out... filters, intakes, exhaust, the works. I still don't know enough about modding engines, but I want to learn. I wouldn't want to dump in a turbo into one of those powerplants (even though I probably could put down a turbo into the Legacy if it shares the 2.5RS engine from the Impreza RS, which I believe it does) and void the warranty... unless there were official parts, you know? And if it was relatively affordable.

What do you guys think?
-Ramon
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Old 02-14-2001, 11:29 AM   #21
Keiho
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In the long run if you're going to do full blown tweaking for BOTH FI and NA, they'll cost roughly about the same. But to simply start off, do a couple of mods and be fast, turbo seems more economical.

That said, NA setups are still cool I say!

(I went from stage 1 turbo back to NA)
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Old 02-14-2001, 11:48 AM   #22
HamFist
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No guys, I'm not done building up the car. Larry has the flywheel, turbo, and T.C. II ahead of me. I've got a header, flywheel, and cats to go before the bolt ons are finished. What Larry has is a small increase in volumetric efficiency with the boost he runs. To some point, the turbo can act like a cork on the motor, and hinder flow. I'm just uncorking the stock engine a bit more to try and compensate for what his turbo gives him. What I'm trying to prove is that you can sink the same amount of money as a bolt on turbo into the car, and go just as fast...TO A POINT! Larry has a 5psi bolt on kit; that's what I'm trying to equal. If I was trying to run even with the JCS wagon, I'd be insane to spend THAT much. The same 3K that you could put into a turbo, can be put into the car in N/A form and still get good power. Larry DOESN'T have a header, or cams, or an ECU. You could still put all of those on a turbo car and run N/A into the ground. The best part is...if I keep the stock long block, then I can upgrade to a turbo anyway with all the parts I'm putting on now. If you want to talk cost effectiveness...my counter point is always the tranny. If N/A is done right, you should be able to go fast and not have to worry about the tranny. As soon as you rebuild it the first time...there goes the money you saved on the turbo build! You honestly could go in circles for years over this. I still like a good debate .

Gary
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Old 02-14-2001, 03:56 PM   #23
Midwayman
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Question

Explain why exactly 250 NA HP would break less gears than 250 Turbo HP? Power is power. I understand that NA tends to make power at higher RPMS compared to turbo, but Either way, you'll be taking off in the powerband if you can.
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Old 02-14-2001, 04:00 PM   #24
HamFist
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N/A makes less torque. Torque is your twisting force of the crank, HP is your force measured over time. It's a long story. You can do a search to find the diff b/n HP/TQ.

Gary
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Old 02-14-2001, 04:17 PM   #25
Midwayman
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I understand HP and torque, and the magical 5252. HP is work, Torque is force. Just if you dropped the clutch at 7k in NA or 5k in turbo, the energy sent into the driveline would be the same (7k and 5k just rough examples) *shrug* Hopefully Ill not being going near gear breaking range soon.
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