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Car Problems - Tech Support

Where We Cure All Your Tech Problems

Day Photography
May 30, 2007
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Summer's here and that means fellas, light off some fireworks; ladies, it's time to take off your tops and earn some beads at the lake. We hope you got an extension cord for the electric fan in your garage because you'll need it. If last summer's heat wasn't a warning of what's to come, then you're way tougher than we are. Anything over 80 degrees is hot to us and triple digits on the thermometer is damn near torture. Like we said, that electric fan better be cranked up to full blast while your car is on jack stands. To make your life easier (since we love to do that), we'll be sitting around waiting for your help letters to come in. If you have good penmanship, like a prisoner, send your written inquiries into Super Street magazine c/o Technical Support, 6420 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90048. Or if you'd rather get with the times, e-mail us at tech@superstreetonline.com.

This month, Mike "Danger" Putzinger's Technical Support Inquiry of the Month gets a set of wheels from Sport Max Racing (800.647.7462, www.sportmaxwheel.com). And you say we don't love you. Oh, wait. That was someone else. Nevermind.

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Question Of The Month
Q Hey guys, I'm thinking about installing the Brian Crower 2.71 stroker kit on my '04 STI. I already have the standard bolt-ons (intake, downpipe, exhaust) and would like to know what other mods you guys would recommend with the stroker kit installed (i.e., injectors, ECU tuning, turbo). Money isn't that tight, but I'm trying to stay on somewhat of a budget. Also, do I need to upgrade my intercooler due to the increased displacement? Thanks for the help, and keep up the good work.
Mike "Danger" Putziger
Via the Internet

A Typically you wouldn't need a stroker kit unless you wanna go all out, but you could run this 2.71L kit and easily gain horsepower and a massive amount of torque. When tweaking something this major, you definitely want to look into some type of fuel management, whether it be an ECU tune or an aftermarket unit. And since your bottom end would be beefed up so much, it would be able to handle the abuse of a bigger turbo. This is where it starts getting fun. After the turbo, you'll need the bigger injectors to feed the fuel and that will lead you back to your engine management for another tweak job. It's an endless cycle, homie. Don't forget about the top end stuff like cams, valves, valve springs and whatnot. That's where you'll be extracting the most power from. The stock intercooler is fairly efficient, though it never hurts to upgrade.

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Q Hello to you all from Iraq. I have a '99 Sentra GXE and I want to put a turbo on her, among other things. Luckily for me, this deployment has helped me save money for it. Computer time is limited and the wifey won't look for parts for me-something about working on my car too much when I am home and buying too much stuff for it when I am not. Anyway, I have been slowly working on her and would like to know where I can get a turbo and parts for her, or will I have to piece it together like Frankenstein? I get your magazine when my wife sends it and I have seen nothing about the 200SX or Sentra for a while. While she won't blast on higher-powered cars, I want to shock people with what she can do. I intend to make her the sweetest 1.6L out there. Well, at least once I get back. Until then I have to satisfy myself with my supercharged Hummer with armor. No chirping tires but when five tons comes a'rolling down the road, people respect it and get out the way. Maybe they'll do that with my Sentra once she is set up. You all take care and keep on doing great work.
SGT Andres M. Alvarez, Cav Scout
Tm Brave, 278 ACR

A Bad news: We checked around and couldn't find any bolt-on turbo kits for your 1.6L motor, but don't let this discourage you. You could always piece one together if you're die hard for some boost. If you're not keen with that idea, you could get some cams, sprockets and an ECU tune to coax some more power out of your GA16DE engine. Then there's always the good ole' laughing gas that will give you some hefty power gains. If you're willing to throw some more money at your Sentra, think about getting an SR20DET swap from a Pulsar GTi-R. Getting a motor isn't too difficult with all the companies bringing them in from Japan. Finding someone to do the labor and wiring might be more difficult, but worth it. Not only will you get the initial power increase from the get go, but your options for aftermarket parts will damn near triple.

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Q I have been reading your magazine for a couple years now and find it very informative and entertaining. I own a '99 Mitsubishi Diamante and decided to try some performance upgrades. I've done basic mods such as a K&N filter and adapter, engine grounding wires, suspension and a Magnaflow muffler. I did some research and found an Australian company that makes many products for the Diamante. I want to get their headers but my car is Cali spec and the two pre-cats will have to be removed. Will this cause any problems with the O2 sensor or ECU? I read somewhere that the ECU needs air/fuel ratios from the front O2 sensors in this vehicle. Can the O2 sensors be relocated near the stock positions so the Cali OEM sensors can be used? Would lengthening the wires cause problems? Any info or comments about my project would be greatly appreciated.
A Super Street fan
Via the Internet

A As a Cali-based magazine, we would recommend that you don't remove your catalytic converters (or any other smog equipment) at all. Our air is brown enough as it is. If you must, and there's nothing we can do to convince you otherwise, here's some info you may find useful. Usually a company that would develop headers for a car would have a place to position the stock O2 sensor. Whether it's a bung in the stock location, or a relocated deal, they should have it. However, if this company did not think of that, then you may throw check engine codes because the ECU isn't getting the proper reading from the O2 sensor. You could find a local muffler shop or fabricator that can weld a fitting on to mount the O2 sensor somewhere. Generally speaking, lengthening the wires would not affect the sensor reading enough to make it a cause for concern.

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Q I just got my hands on a '94 Prelude Si and have some questions nobody else can answer. There's a great deal of wiring and piping preventing standard installation of sway bars, any ideas? Also, the engine seems to be heating too fast under normal driving conditions. Lastly, is it safe to take the header cover that says "hot" off to allow the headers direct air? I know some of these are dumb questions, but my only mechanic friend decided that my car is nicer than his and now hates me. Thanks for reading.
Ben Schmitz

A There are a few sway bar kits available which means installation won't be an issue. If the engine is getting too hot, then you have to check your cooling system. See if there are any leaks or if you smell coolant when your car is running. Sometimes a small crack in the rubber hoses won't leak until your car warms up and the cooling system starts building pressure. Also, check your electric fans to see if they're coming on because that's a quick fix that's easily overlooked. If you have the tools, try doing a cooling system pressure test to see if the radiator or anything else is leaking. Usually the stock end tanks are made of plastic so they tend to crack over time. Maybe you should even do a full flush to get rid of any excess crap that has built up in your radiator and engine throughout the years. If you do find out that it's the radiator, just upgrade to an aluminum one. As far as taking off the heat shield goes, you can, but we wouldn't recommend it. That's actually there to keep the heat from your exhaust manifold away from the rest of your engine bay. In terms of helping cool your engine, removing that shield won't do much.

By Day Photography
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