Well, it's December, and that means it's time to practice our acting skills. We must feign delight when our grandmas give us that Cliff Huxtable sweater, pretend that our moms' special fruitcake recipe really is good and make our girlfriends believe we actually care about what they want for the holidays. Forget what the greeting card companies and Oprah say, the holidays are all about receiving.
In addition to a still hard-to-find Nintendo Wii, we want you to send us your tech questions this holiday season. Are you wondering why your new turbo kit is shooting oil right out your exhaust? Curious as to why your friend's stock Evo handles better than your Tercel with cut springs? Write these queries-plus a few good ones-down and send them to: Super Street magazine c/o Technical Support, 6420 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90048. Silicon Valley types can use their iPhones to send electronic mails to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The best question of the month will get one of our many fabulous prizes. This month Justin Fields from Falkville, AL gets a set of lowering springs from Eibach (www.eibach.com).
Questions Of The Month
Q Hey Super Street, I currently own a '04 350Z. I am considering buying a built 3.7VQ motor with upgraded head package. What ECU adjustments would need to be made to make this run correctly? Also, would a turbo kit made for a factory setup work, or, would I need a custom kit? Thanks for the great magazine.Justin FieldsFalkville, AL
A We would say that depending on your mods to the heads, you more than likely could install a pre-made kit from one of the good manufacturers. In this situation a stand-alone engine management system would be the best for your needs because, even as you change your setup, you can tune and maximize your potential at each level. Fuel tuning is key in all aftermarket turbo setups, so make sure that you get a good EMS and an even better tuner. Do your homework on the tuner as well. Keep in mind that even a turbo kit designed for the factory car is still a custom kit and will require a few other mods like bigger injectors and metal head gaskets to stay reliable and give you optimum service. If you are building your engine now and plan to go turbo you might want to think about making the compression a little lower by having a slightly thicker than OEM head gasket.
QI have been looking into getting clear radiator hoses for my '92 Civic, but I can't seem to find any kits online. I have seen some cheap ways to do it, but I'm unsure if the tubing used can handle the temps. Is there any place to find the hoses?Julian LaurentBoston, MA
A Julian: search engines are your friend-if you type in the right key words. We couldn't find a specific kit for the EG Civic, but we did come across a number of custom hose manufacturers that make kits for hot rods, and those should do the job fine! Many of the clear hoses made for hot rods can more than handle the heat and pressure of your car. A bonus is that you may even decide to get a motor swap later, and if you use hot rod style hoses, you can re-use them on your next set up!
Q First off, I'll start like everyone else does by saying that I love your magazine; I've been reading it for as long as I can remember. I just recently purchased a 1991 180SX, and the first and only thing I think of is drift. Mmm, drift. Anyway, before I started drooling, the car came stock with a CA18DET engine; I've tried finding parts for it, but the market seems rather small. I was thinking about springing for the SR20 swap, but would it be possible to go all out for the S15 black top SR20 with the six-speed tranny? Anyway, keep doin' what you guys do; you're the best at it, anyway! Oh, by the way, here's a thought for ya: a fourth-gen Prelude with a RB26DETT and AWD drivetrain; it's enough to make you slap yo' mamma!Jared KuntzSpring, TX
A Jarod, we have a few things for you to consider. If your "180SX" is a 1991, it should have a two-liter SR20DET under the hood. So if you have a 240SX with a CA18DET in it, then we say that you can install whatever you want in it. Or try to search a little more and do some homework; there are quite a few parts that crossover with the American version of CA18DE. If your car is indeed a 1991 180SX then we say to you, "Run! Run and look under your hood!" Either way, the S15 motor and six-speed gearbox you speak of will indeed fit in any S chassis. Be prepared to pay top dollar because the S15 swap is not cheap.
Oh yeah, imagine this: An R34 Skyline GT-R with a H23 and FWD swap! Yo' mamma should already be slappin' ya!
Q I got the boost bug bad, but my motor has 150k miles and I really don't trust boost with that many miles. I really don't want to tear apart my motor and rebuild 'cause its my daily and I just don't have the time. So I want to get a motor with low miles, but now I'm having a hard time deciding which motor I should get and which is better for boosting! I'm stuck between a base model K20 or a GSR motor. Which is best for boosting? I'm probably not going to rebuild either of them seeing as most of my money is going to the motor and turbo. So I need to know which engine can handle more boost-safe boost as I'm probably still going to be driving it everyday! Any bit of help from you guys helps.Emmanuel VillalobosCasa Grande, AZ
A Have the "boost bug," eh? We hear what you're saying and we'll give you some answers! We would say that putting in a K20 and boosting on it stock will cost you much more in the long run. It would have also been mucho helpful if you told us what kind of chassis you have.
Anyway, back to the boost. We say, if you have an older chassis, the way to go is B18. The B18 is a kick-ass motor with a ton of aftermarket support. It has been around for a while, and that makes most of the parts cheaper, too! In the event that you decide to upgrade it further after you install a basic turbo system (and you will), there are a lot of options with the B18. It will be much easier to make a cost effective, daily driven, turbo Honda whatever on that path. Plus, if you do blow it up, the replacement costs are much less. B18 for the win. Don't get us wrong-there is a ton of potential with both the B18 and the K20, the K20 is a stunner for sure, but the B18 is the supermodel that can cook! Either way you decide to go, fuel delivery and tuning are the most important things you should be concerned about when building your turbo Honda something.