We know how difficult it can be to work on cars; believe us, we’ve had more than our share of problems over the years, too. Good thing we’re willing to share this knowledge of problem solving with you and act like we know something technical about cars. Feel free to ask us about your tech problems by writing to Super Street at firstname.lastname@example.org or Super Street, Attn: Tech Support, 831 S. Douglas St., El Segundo, CA 90245. We’ll try out best to answer your questions but can’t answer every one we receive personally or in print, so if your issue is urgent, we highly recommend you seeking the help of a nearby mechanic! Also, try to do some basic research online; while the Internet and forums aren’t all foolproof, it is a very good start as there are many excellent resources to look at. If it helps to include a few photos to describe/illustrate your problem/project, please do so.
Best Blow-off Valve?
Q I have a 2010 Mitsubishi Ralliart, and I have a question concerning my BOV (blow-off valve). I am looking to upgrade because I am not a fan of the OEM plastic BOV. From the research I have done, I know that my car has a recirculating BOV and not VTA (vent to atmosphere). My question is: would you know of a good BOV that could give me the added sound of VTA and not hurt my performance?
Coal Township, PA
A Not sure we fully understand you question here. Are you asking about a VTA-style BOV or a recirculating one? You would not be able to use a recirculating one and be able to get the sound of a VTA. There are a lot of quality BOVs that are VTA that can also be configured to recirculate, meaning it can be used as either or; you can try GReddy, Turbosmart or Synapse, to name a few. If you need more ideas on what you can do with your Ralliart, you can look up a few of the articles on our website detailing our project. Good luck with yours!
Ready To Ignite
Q I have a ‘91 Civic hatch with a D15B7 and ‘93 Si transmission. I’m trying to beef up the ignition with new wires and coil, and right now I’m running on NGK double platinum plugs with Bosch wires, but it just doesn’t seem like it’s enough. I’ve been looking up MSD ignition parts, but that’s only because I don’t know of any other reliable brands. I’m also not sure of the setup I should run. Will I benefit from a CD (capacitor discharge) setup? What type of coil would provide the most consistent spark? Do I really need an external coil? What about brass terminal ends; are they better than aluminum, and why? And the wires: 8mm or bigger? Also, the stock coil is from a ‘91 Civic, which would also mean that the distributor, cap and wires should be from the same year, right? I’m pulling my hair out! The questions go on and on with this!
A There are so many different brands of aftermarket ignitions that you can adapt to work with your Civic. In most applications, you’ll benefit with a more consistent and stronger spark. This applies more so in older vehicles, as over time and usage, the factory ignition system deteriorates. It is recommended that you use an external coil, as more often than not the factory coil cannot keep up with the aftermarket ignition system. Brass is a slightly better conductor due to its copper content. Mostly, it’s personal preference, but any reputable brand or thickness in wires will work. It is always best to use the correct year’s parts to ensure proper functionality.
Q I have a ‘03 Ford Focus SVT. I want to get some decent mods and power gains out of the engine but when I want to make my daily road trips to and from work, I don’t want to have to stop in between for gas. For now I’d like to stay away from the turbo or supercharger deal. The car has a cold-air intake, some type of racing clutch, header and an exhaust. I bought it from a dealer and the guy who sold me the car is about as clueless on how cars work as I am about why my wife complains all the time. I’ve asked around on my ship and no one seems to have the passion for making cars faster as much as me. So I’m stuck here on deployment with no clue on how to achieve my goals of being able to keep the gas mileage decent, horsepower where I want it and to stay low profile when I need to. What do you think about flashing the ECU? Is there a way it can be done on the fly? Being military, it’s really hard to find time to get some good thrills after signing on the dotted line and serving out the mandatory time in the service. So any and all advice you can afford the time to give would be greatly appreciated.
USS Barry DDG-52
A Retuning your ECU will maximize the potential of all the upgrades you’ve done already, mostly to ensure that you’re operating within safe air/fuel ratios so that it’s not running too rich or lean, which could be potentially dangerous to your motor. This essentially means ECU tuning should be the last thing you do. Other modifications you may want to look into would possibly be an oversized throttle body, lightened pulley and cam gears. Thanks for your service to our country!
JDM? USDM? Is There a Difference?
Q I own a ‘94 Honda Civic CX, which recently blew up after 10 years and 198K miles on it. I don’t feel bad, though, because I finally get to fulfill my destiny of swapping in a JDM B16A from the SiR II. I have two questions for you: 1) If I need to replace parts for this engine, can I use any USDM B16A parts? 2) Are there any companies you can recommend to purchase this engine from? Thanks for putting the best damn import magazine out there!
A If you need OEM replacement parts, then you can use ones from the ’94-95 del Sol VTEC as both are similar and can be purchased at any Honda dealer. There are many reputable companies that import motors and would be able to assist you with your purchase. Just make sure to do your homework so you find one that has good customer service just in case you have any issues, and don’t forget to calculate shipping costs to your town as every little bit adds up.
Cheap, RWD, Won’t Break Down…?
Q I’m 16 years-old and looking to buy a car in the next couple years. The car I’m searching falls into the category of being RWD and under $5K. Most cars I find have over 130,000 miles, and I can’t afford to buy a car that will fall apart soon after purchasing. Can you guys give me some advice of what to stay away from and what I should keep an eye out for (durability, reliability, good gas mileage and so on)?
Santa Clara, CA
A These are tough questions to answer. Just because a car has over 130,000 miles doesn’t mean it will fall apart. Any car that has been properly maintained will last well past that mark and we’ve seen plenty that are well over 250K and are still on the road. You will need to do your homework and research the different cars you like that also fit into your budget. Many online forums and websites show the pros/cons of various models of cars. One thing you need to be very aware of is when you buy a used car it’s always buyer beware. If something seems to good to be true, it may very well be. The last thing you want to happen is get a car that seems to be a great buy but has lots of problems after you have purchase it. Make sure to use Carfax (if possible), have the vehicle inspected prior to purchase and ask as many questions to the seller as possible. If you’re not sure or confident with the whole transaction, maybe bring a friend or someone you trust that has a bit of knowledge in regards to used cars. Let us know what you wind up with.