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The Quest for more power.

This is a series of stories I'll be doing on what mods to do, why to do them and when to do them.

Please note these are my idea's only if you do these mods you do them At your own risk!.

Have you read my disclaimer if not click here

Quick jump


Why more power?

You have just collected your Nissan Skyline from the place you purchased it.
On the way home you are proud of yourself you have acquired a rare powerful motor car that is well made
and has lots of flash features and the mileage isn't to high.
You drive your car around for a while and all your friends comment on how quick you car is and how nice it
is you leave out the fact that it costs you a small fortune to insure it. or that if something breaks you might
have to wait a while for a part. well that happens to Porsche people all the time and other owners of other
exclusive cars.
Then it happens you are sitting at the traffic lights and you take the bait someone wants to race you. your heart
starts pumping you rev the motor and your car rockets off. the race is close in the begriming but you opponent
slowly pulls away from you. You feel dejected, upset and unsatisfied.
The conversation among friends turns to so how do you make this car go faster and you friends say why didn't you tell
us it was really fast already.

Then starts the quest for more power.
This is a scenario that allot of us find ourselves in whether we own a Nissan Skyline or another type of car we are competitive by nature and like being on top or near the top of the heap.
Where do you start
Skylines are imported from Japan where they have have a long history of racing. There are many well trodden paths for modification. Nissan has given us a car that was built for performance and in standard form is very strong and
reliable. Due to the need of new car buyers for a quiet fast car with good response and reliability Nissan had
to make some compromises when it came to performance. The exhaust is small quiet and restrictive. Factory items such as intercooler , turbo are designed for the cars engine in an unmodified state, quick response in take off is required so small turbo's are fitted to reduce lag? The tyres are a compromise as these were the one the tyres makes gave a good price on. the shockers are good for every day driving but not for the track.

I will take you though my Idea's on modifications to do to your car with a basic plan to follow.

The first Modification you can do to obtain more power is to fit a free flowing exhaust.

The factory exhaust is built to a price and a noise standard not for optimum power.the best exhaust you can fit is from the rear of the turbo back. there are 4 different parts of the exhaust to know about. the dump pipe which is the the first 20-30 cm from the turbo back. the next is the front pipe which goes from the dump pipe to the catalytic converter , then the cat back section the largest part.. the aim is to get the exhaust gases away from the motor as quick as possible.

note in the picture on the right my old exhaust was on top the new one was below.note how the new exhaust is smoother flowing and is much wider you want a little turbulence as possible so the gasses can get away from the engine a quick as possible. noise is your only consideration the epa can give you a hard time if your car is to loud.

The dump pipe in the first photo is spilt in to 2 piece one from the waste gate the other from the exhaust housing this gives fast spooling of the turbo and a smoother boost transition.

The middle piece is the front pipe this one is mandrel bent (on all the corners the pipe diameter remains the same)

Once you have fitted your new or as I did s/hand exhaust you will notice the boost rise the car is breathing allot better and it will feel more responsive.

The way I would do the exhaust is cat back section first with a hi flow cat then dump pipe and if you feel you need it a front pipe get the little extra bit for the waste gate gasses its worth it.

Your car should be running much better now but it might be running richer cause Nissan set the fuel mixture rich from the factory. That little bit of extra boost will be making it run even richer. An Apexi s-afc is a quick fix to this problem as it can alter the fuel mixtures but now is the time to start the long term planning of what mods you want and how much power you want to make.

If your new to doing up car and don't understand what things are or how they work go to this great site.

How stuff works



So you have decided to power up.

The question is How far do you want to go and how much money do you have?

This is what sorts the men from the boys.

To do exhaust and air filter mods are easy and cheap even to raise the boost is ok to a point but there comes a time when you have to sit down with a paper and pencil by yourself and work out where you want to go.

If you can go for ride in some friends fast cars before you decide even better ask them if you can drive be sensible but try and drive a fast car. Allot of people read magazines and think yeah I want this I want that but they get the car back after selling their soul to get these mods and quite frankly they are scared. and hate the fact the car drives like a pig.

Lots of power makes a car scary remember that also you need good skills to control them. when a big turbo comes on boost quite often the car will go sideways :) but until that boost comes on the car is lacking power which in my mind is great cause it means you can go to the shops even to work and never have the car on boost and enjoy the fuel economy it offers. So keep these things in mind when planning your mods.


The Plan

the order you should get things.

  • 1. you need to decide if you need a some sort of engine management

  • do you need to control fuel , ignition and boost or just boost or just boost and fuel.

    If you are going to fit a bigger turbo you need all 3 you you aren't you only need boost control and possibly fuel control.


  • 2. Do I keep the stock intercooler or up grade it?

  • If you plan on only running 12 psi or less and the very occasional 14 psi on the stock turbo the stock intercooler should be ok but don't expect optimum results with it.

    If you plan on fitting a bigger turbo Ie an aftermarket one like a hi flow or one of the name Japanese brands like HKS Trust etc then you will need an aftermarket intercooler.

    Why do I need to fit an after market intercooler. The simple reason is performance the second reason and more complex one is that your intercooler allows you to run higher levels of boost safely. A bigger turbo forces more air in to an engine this increases the risk of detonation. If you cool the air you allow a greater volume of air to be placed in the combustion chamber, thus creating a bigger bang which in turn makes you more power.

    3. I want a bigger turbo can I just bolt it on and drive away?

    why do you want a bigger turbo cause the guy at the turbo shop said you need one or because you mate is selling one cheap?

    Turbo choice is an important decision and should be thought out very carefully. I went though this dilemma my self a few months ago.

    Its hard to know which way to go if you have no idea of your plan or budget.

    4 Do I upgrade my brakes? interesting most Skyline brakes are very good from the factory a pad change to some premium one can do wonders. pad change is a priority. Upgrade can be done down the path unless you you are going for a very extreme power out put or you track race most week ends.

    5 Differential changes.

    My LSD is that good enough again it depends on what you want from it you can get after market ones that give you much better traction and response but they come with trade off. clunking and whining etc.

    6. Wheels and Tyres I want those fat 18" rims but they are so dear I have to get cheapen tyres for the 18's I get better ones next time!!!!!

    Tyres are an important choice I see to many people compromising in this department all the time. yes 18's look sweet and 19's look even better but you must consider, are looks more important or is performance more important you can get cheap 18' tyres for the cost of very good 17" tyres which will perform better the 17's why because they re made with better tread design and they have softer rubber with more grip. Also a higher tyre profile enables you to launch better cause there is a bit of give in there.

    Part 2 of mods click hee


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