Here's where we act like we know something technical about cars. Feel free to ask us about your technical troubles by writing to us at email@example.com or Super Street c/o Tech Support, 831 S. Douglas St. El Segundo, CA 90245. You can also include a picture of your project or tech problem if it will help describe anything really complicated.
Q I own two 1G DSM cars and I'm looking for an answer I can't find in the forums. I have the typical bolt-ons for a DSM (16g turbo, 3'' exhaust, fuel, Supra side-mount, etc). Anyways, I have an aftermarket lightweight crank pulley I'm thinking about putting on. Is it a no-no because my car comes with a weighted crank pulley? Some people run lightweight crank pulleys without having their motors balanced and have never spun a rod and these are daily drivers. Should I put it on or not? Is it worth the risk of a spun rod bearing for 5hp?
AIt's not that your factory crank pulley is weighted. The great thing about your factory crank pulley is that it has an insulation ring for dampening. When the crank rotates, the imbalances cause vibrations, which is absorbed by the insulation. This prevents the rotating assembly and bearings from taking all that stress. 'Crankwalk' is already a problem with many DSMs and we wouldn't recommend it. The only aftermarket crank pulleys that do have some sort of protection are the ATI Super Damper and Fluidampr. Those are the only two brands we would suggest. Unfortunately, they both don't have a listing for your application. You might want to call them and see if they have something for you that they just don't have listed yet. The risk of blowing up your engine on that solid aluminum pulley for a 5hp gain doesn't really seem worth it. There are plenty of other modifications that you can do for 5hp and not risk your engine.
Q I've got a 1997 Mitsubishi 3000GT and I'm almost done with my upgrades. The only thing left is rims. While your latest issue did help me a lot, I'm still left in almost the same position I was before. I can't decide on a style. I've checked tons of sites and found plenty that could potentially look good, but I wouldn't know for sure unless I put them on. I've seen a site or two with a feature that lets you put the rims on a rendering of your car, but it looks so crappy it's hard to tell. Basically, I'd like to know if you have any suggestions on a rim type that'd look good, or know a way I could see the rims without blowing tons of cash buying them and not liking them.
A There are so many factors to take into account, like ride height, tire size, not to mention rim design and size, that you cannot get a really good feel for a wheel until you see them in person. The best option would be to surf the Internet for other 3S cars with wheels. Popular sizing would be 18x9'' with a +40 offset for your car. If you want a more flush look, you could do something lower like a +35 or an even lower offset. Of course, depending on what tire sizing you want to go with. Wheels like the Work Meister and Volk TE37 are both played out but that's because they look good on just about anything RWD. You can't go wrong with those wheels, and they hold their value come time to sell them.
Q I have my 1995 240SX SE that I love, but on the other hand I have the tire wear that I hate. I dropped the 240SX on the NISMO shocks and springs combo and the car drives wonderfully! Now, I need to find out which of all the camber plates out there will work on this combo front and rear. Is there really anything for the rear? I only find plates for the fronts.
A Well, if you have the Nismo S-Tune suspension than you are SOL. The springs are just as wide as factory ones, and you cannot use front camber plates on them. You will need coilovers to be able to use front camber plates on a 240SX. Take a look at the Nismo R-Tune coilovers. They come with camber plates and have adjustable dampening and ride height. As for the rear, you won't find camber plates because the rear suspension is not a MacPherson design like the front. To adjust rear camber you will need aftermarket rear camber arms. Check out the Circuit Sports arms at www.Phase2Mototrend.com.
Q I have a 2000 Honda Accord (4-cylinder), which has four lugs per wheel. I was looking at Tommy Cho's 240SX and his rims in the 2009 December issue. I am not looking for performance in my vehicle but more of the luxury look. I have been looking for rims with a deep lip for my car but haven't been so lucky. Can you help me on my journey of finding deep lip rims that actually look good?
A A luxury look as in a flush VIP stance? Tommy's S13.5 was rocking some mad lipped Work Meisters because he had overfenders and 240SX cars naturally can handle low offsets. Most FWD cars, and Hondas in general, are designed with a very high offset. Your model Accord typically uses a 7'' with a +38 offset in the front, and a 8'' with a +38 offset in the rear. For more lip, you could go as far as a 9'' wide wheel with a +20 offset, but you will have to stretch some tires and play with camber and ride height settings. That still won't give you a lip like the 240SX guys, cause your car just can't handle it.
Q I have a 1986 Toyota MR2 (not supercharged, I know it sucks). I'm planning on doing a 20-valve blacktop 4AG swap so it really doesn't matter. Anyways, I want to know if you guys know of any really good companies that make suspension parts for my MR2. I have been searching and the only one that I have found so far is a company called KSport. They sell a coilover setup and a big brake kit.
Keep up the good work and I love the article about the orange Corolla and the white Starlet more Toyotas please!
A Other than KSport, there are a few more options here stateside like D2 Racing, BC Racing, and if you have the money TODA's Fightex coilovers. If full coilovers are too spendy for you, you could build your own. Building coilovers on a MacPherson-designed car is very common. What you would need to do is buy a coilover sleeve kit, like what Techno Toy Tuning offers, and then get a short stroke strut insert like Tokico, KYB or TRD. You will have to cut and weld some metal, but it isn't as hard as it sounds. Check out the current issue of Project Car magazine to see how they built coilovers for a AE86 Corolla. It's a very similar process.
Q I have a 1996 Integra LS with a B18B. I want to build a naturally-aspirated beast with possibly a 75 shot of nitrous. But here is my problem, I don't know if I should stroke the B18B and keep the head on there or go with a VTEC head instead. And if so, do I need to switch from OBD2 to OBD1?
A Stroking a B18B is expensive and not really worth it unless you're going all out and this is a race car. For less you could just buy a B20 block to gain some displacement. Assuming this is your daily driver, doing a VTEC head from a B16 or B18C would work great. On a naturally aspirated you will need VTEC. Building an all-motor LS engine like yours would just be more expensive to yield the same results. Having a Honda is all about having VTEC. Go for it! As far as the ECU, you can stay with OBD2 but changing to OBD1 will allow you far more aftermarket support for tuning.