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Cost Effective performace

 
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Old 09-22-2010, 01:45 AM
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Cost Effective performace

I own a 5th gen. prelude and couldnt find any threads that asked this question.

Reading around on the net, I'm told that getting an aftermarket intake and exhaust combo are the easiest most cost effective way to get more go in your car. Just want to clear some things up before I even start shopping:

1) Will I have to change anything else in my car if I install aftermarket intake and exhaust assuming this stuff is custom for preludes?

2) Will my ecu automatically compensate for more air flow in and exhaust flow out so it doesnt cause me to be too lean or rich?

3) Do I have to make sure that all of my piping for these mods all have the same diameter for ease of flow?

4) If intake/exhaust is not the most cost effective mod, what would you suggest?
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Old 09-25-2010, 04:01 PM
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Re: Cost Effective performace

intakes and exhaust dont really give huge gains the only thing you might feel is throttle response and it will sound faster

but you will feel something with a cold air intake a good header (with a 2.5" collector) and exhaust

stray from using an ebay header or exhaust... cold air intakes are all pretty much the same wether you spend $30 on ebay one or $150+ on a name brand

a good header cost money like hytech or rmf... even replicas arent that cheap...
you can buy a decent header and modify the collector to a 2.5" one

as for exhaust i dont belive in spending $400+ on a name brand one.. go to an exhaust shop and get them to custom make you one

your ecu will pretty much adjust for the more airflow, but dyno tuning can get you a little more power which comes to spending more money because your ecu cannot be tuned

as for piping size yes for the best gains you would want a header with the 2.5" collector to a 2.5" high flow cat or test pipe if you dont have emissions ;) and then to a 2.5" mandrel bent exhaust

as for the most cost effective mod it is and will always be nitrous its the only way you can gain 75whp for $500
but nitrous isnt for everyone
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Old 09-27-2010, 11:29 AM
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Re: Cost Effective performace

Might as well mention one or two things....

I don't know about eBay stuff, but try to buy upgrades from recognizable sources. Stay away from DC when it comes to car parts too. They're good at making shoes, not exhausts.

Cold air intakes will grant you bigger power gains, but will lengthen throttle response and make it somewhat "laggy." Although the lag is prolly negligible. Short ram intakes will shorten throttle response, making it more "snappy" but once again, prolly hardly even noticable.

Short rams have the issue of getting "heat soak." Which means when underhood temperatures get high, your performance will be reduced. This happens alot on hot days.

Cold air intakes have the problem of getting "hydro-locked" which is a lot worse. Since the air filter will be down in your fender, if you drive through a big enough puddle with a Cold air intake, big enough to submerse the filter, it will hydro-lock the engine, which will kill it. Personally, I don't know what the fck that means, whether it sucks in water or what....but I get the general idea. It will kill your motor.


However, which one you get is your choice, and that choice should be influenced by climate. If you live in say, Arizona where its typically hot and dry, a cold air intake would be your best bet. If you live somewhere where its typically cold and or wet, you'd be better off with a short ram. Also keep in mind that you can wrap your header, intake and exhaust to reduce underhood temperatures and intake air temperatures, which will further improve performance, and its pretty cheap.


The ECU will compensate for the bolt-ons. To a point. With just an intake and an exhaust setup, even a full exhaust, you don't need to worry about tuning yet, because tuning is pretty expensive, and you need enough mods before you can justify the amount of money spent with the power gains you will get. Once you put on a new intake manifold, buy more aggresive cams, etc., then you'll have to worry about tuning.

Piping sizes for exhaust vary. Some believe that it needs to be a certain size to get the best gains, but thats been proven to be bullsht. Technically everything after the collector on your header is a restriction and will reduce power. End of story. You do not need a certain amount of "back pressure" to get good gains.
A good rule of thumb is to get piping right around 2.5", to keep everything roughly the same size the whole way through.

There are three "parts" to an exhaust setup. Well four or five technically, but anyway...

The header
The cat
Everything behind the cat


Header will give you the most gains. So don't buy a crap one. Go for something good, like a Hytech replica, etc. Replica because the real ones are prolly balls out expensive. Also you can wrap your header, which will improve exhaust performance and keep underhood tempratures down. You can also get it sent out to be powder-coated or some sht, which is like getting it wrapped in awesome-paint. It works better and looks cooler. However I don't have much info on it.

The cat- You can do one of two things with in terms of upgrades. Hi-flow cat or delete it. If you have strict emissions tests in your area, get a hi-flow. If you don't, then get a cat-delete or test pipe and replace it. It's a big restriction. You can also do a o2 sensor mod to get rid of the check engine light that doing a cat delte will cause. Its very cheap and very easy.

Everything behind the cat - Which includes piping, a resonator, more piping, and a muffler. There are a sh!t-ton of options you can do here. Custom piping and cat-back systems are the most popular. Most are 2.5". Do some research and decide whats best for you. However, many people have said that deleting the resonator is a bad idea, and makes your car sound very ricy. So food for thought. You can also get a big ass coffee can muffler, like an Apexi, or if you like the two pipe look that comes stock, theres the Tanabe Gold medallion muffler, which apparently sounds very nice. Like I said, theres a lot of options here. Just don't buy cheap no-name junk and you'll prolly be happy.


Oh and this isn't the fast and the furious. Putting nitrous in your car without doing the proper build and prep work will prolly either make your car run like sh!t, blow up your engine, or both. So in the end it is prolly not very cost-effective. But, that isn't my area of expertise, so I could be wrong. Although I don't think I am.




Anyway I had a couple more things to add but I forgot, if I think of anything else I'll add it, but this should give you a good place to start.
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Old 09-28-2010, 12:38 AM
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Re: Cost Effective performace

Thanks for the reply folks.

It sounds like I'll have to save up to buy and install all of this stuff at once since any "weak links" in this chain would just make any of the other bolt on useless. Besides, I hate half-assing things, which is why I'm asking all these questions. In terms of intake, maybe the short ram would be the better route. I live here in Houston, TX...so on one day it is 100 degrees heat index, the next, rainy as hell with minor to moderate flooding of the street. Dont want to risk getting any water into the engine. I figure I'll look into building one of those air boxes and/or wrap the headers like you suggested havikprelude.

In terms of an exhaust, it would have to make sure to get a hi flow cat most likely, since I'm sure my state requires it. I'll have to double check. I really like the symmetric look to a car, so instead of just getting a single big coffee can exhaust on one side I really was wowed by the duel pipe exhaust of the Fujitsubo Legalis R

However, the $700 price tag....leaving a really bad taste in my mouth. And just thinking on the top of my head, but not sure there would be room for a sideways facing muffler with the wheel well for the spare tire in the back. I would also have to get a new rear bumper to fit the extra tip and/or cut my current one. Anyone have any experiences with this exhaust? Pros? Cons?

If you stay on that link and thumb over to the right a couple pictures, the single muffler style by Fujitsubo called the Legalis R Stagea looks like a chrome clone for the stock muffler, but maybe with more performance? Looks really nice and I would also be really interested in this as well. Anyone have any experience with this one as well?

Last edited by Riven; 09-28-2010 at 12:53 AM.
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Old 09-28-2010, 01:06 AM
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Re: Cost Effective performace

what part of Houston?
as for wrapping the header there is a big debate on this some swear by wrapping them others say stay away its not worth the money to trash your header after time the wrap bonds so well to the header that if and when it starts to crack so does your header and poof there goes your $700 header because of a $25 mod (DO YOUR RESEARCH) this is what ive come to find i may be wrong i may be right i think im right but im telling you look into every thing you do to your car don't take one persons word for it educate your self.
if you live in houston (i did until recently) deff stay away from the cold air intake with the way it floods there stick with the short ram remove the air box under the car and get a proper short ram system. as for the piping suggestions the 2.5 in for a basic bolt on modded prelude is perfect and i agree in every way with havik and steelcitylude. Your not gonna want to get rid of the cat because you live in harris county you have strict emissions testing and i used to be one the persons to administer these tests do your self a favor and keep the stock cat you can change the rest of the exaust as you see fit but I suggest keepin the cat and the resonator.
but above all remember there is NO such thing as cheap Horse power!!!!!!! if you pay $100 for example say a header your going to get a $100 piece of scrap metal shaped like a header you gotta pay to play in the car world and unfortunately you have emission testing in tx so you are even more limited to the parts you can add and take away. not saying that you can't mod your car just saying be smart about and read read read then read some more before you do ANYTHING!!! also if the exaust is installed right you should never have to cut your bumper....unless your car is SLAMMED!!!
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Old 09-28-2010, 01:53 AM
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Re: Cost Effective performace

I'm in the sugar land area. I'll have to check fort bend county's emission's to see what kind of cat I'll be dealing with. Would a high flow be ok for this area instead????

I have heard of the problem with the header wrap. I was thinking more about the type that jackets around the headers and buttons up like a winter coat with what looks like snap buttons.

I guess now that you mention it, even if the exhaust muffler was too large to fit under the body, the bolt on would have to be attached lower, thus the tips would also be lower. Therefore, I wouldnt need to cut into the bumper for them to fit. However, I still dont see how that Legalis R would fit under there since the muffler runs parallel to the bumper (instead of perpendicular like most exhaust mufflers) with the spare wheel in the trunk. That part of the body that holds that wheel pretty much runs snug up to the rear bumper from what I can picture in my head.
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Old 09-28-2010, 10:09 AM
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Re: Cost Effective performace

You don't have to wrap your header, just a thought. Also, like I said there is the other option of heat coating your header, I forget whats its called, its like a very high temp power coating. That's eventually what I plan to do with mine.

Does your state have regular inspections? If so, can you fail for emissions? If yes, then you gotta worry about emissions and it would be wise to keep your cat. I went with a test pipe and my state just got rid of inspections, but are still doing emissions checks, however I'm not sure if they are sniff tests or plug in tests yet, so I might have to buy a cat and throw it on for inspection. Which is a real pain in the balls but you gotta do what you gotta do.
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Old 09-28-2010, 02:48 PM
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Re: Cost Effective performace

in harris county if your car is OBDII you don't have to get a smog test its just a plug in but even if you reset the CEL the computer will still rat you out the only way to get away with no cat is by having your ECU messed with by a tuner
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Old 09-29-2010, 09:26 AM
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Re: Cost Effective performace

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in harris county if your car is OBDII you don't have to get a smog test its just a plug in but even if you reset the CEL the computer will still rat you out the only way to get away with no cat is by having your ECU messed with by a tuner
o2 sensor mod ftw
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