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I need recommendations from experienced knowledgeable owners

PostPosted: Sat Oct 22, 2011 1:07 am
by berzerkrobot

I recently purchased an 88 st165, and it needs some improvements and repairs, so I was hoping you guys could chime in to steer me in the right direction...

My order of priorities is: trans, airflow, braking, boost.

First, the transmission needs to be rebuilt. The clutch is near done, and the 3rd synchro is totally done as well. I would eventually like to see this car output 250-300HP, so I was first wondering if the stock clutch will handle that with ease or should I go upgraded/aftermarket? If so, what should I get that isnt too far off of OEM prices? Also where is a good place (online or seattle area) to get the gears/parts to rebuild it?

Next, is there a decent aftermarket air intake or should I just mod the box one that is stock?

After that, Id really like to get my hands on an st 185 RC water to air intercooler setup, but they seem impossible to find. Is there any place overseas or in canada I can have one shipped from?

Then I would like to upgrade the brakes. My last car was an e36 M3, so I feel like this car is lacking in the slowing down area. I think I've read people using the St 185 brake setup on the 165s with not too much alteration? Its ok if its not all just bolt on mods.

Last, whats the best option for boost control on the stock turbo? Correct me if im wrong, but I dont want to go to a larger turbo if I dont have to because this car already has no low-end torque, and Im guessing if I go bigger turbo its going to take even longer for that thing to start giving response? Other things Im curious about is an aftermarket header and exhaust.

So, this is a lot for me to learn about here - Im excited to see what you guys have to say!

Re: I need recommendations from experienced knowledgeable owners

PostPosted: Sat Oct 22, 2011 2:08 pm
by klue
Hiya, and welcome.

Whats your location?
For the trans, your better off getting a good used one then rebuilding. Rebuilding the trans will often cost 2-5 times more than a good used one. The st165 clutch is rated at 180 HP and will start slipping not long after that. While your in there you should change the : clutch, surface or replace flywheel, replace remain seal

An aftermarket intake would be just a cone filter, unless you want to move the battery and run a straight pipe intake. Either way you will be drawing up hot engine bay air and likely loose performance to gain some induction noise. You can mod the stock intake nicely by upgrading the filter, and removing the resonator box

RC WTA set ups are harder to come by, but are around. I have one for sale (for example :)
st165 brakes suck, your right. Coming out of a m3 im sure this thing is like a kick in the nuts for you. Yes you can swap over the st185 brakes to get slightly better performance, along with good pads, rotors, and brake lines the car stopping distance will improve. You can also upgrade the back pretty cost effectively (PM me for details) You will need to rock 15" wheels for braking upgrades.

The st165 turbo is decent,yet laggy. You can run more boost but will soon run into fuel cut issue. To remedy this you should get a HKS FCD (fuel cut defender) and a simple manual boost controller should work fine for you. If you upgrade the exhaust, it should liven up the bottom end. The st165 turbo is not developed for quick spool, you would have to use a st185 turbo for that(whole other can of worms)

If you need any more help, or parts let me know


Re: I need recommendations from experienced knowledgeable owners

PostPosted: Sat Oct 22, 2011 9:18 pm
by berzerkrobot
WOW, thanks for all the info!! :) Im glad to hear you reassured some of my assumptions and also given me some great insight! Im in the seattle area.

Im am toying with the idea of getting a used trans, but with how much is costs to just pull the damn thing, I dont wanna end up with another broken transmission and have to pay a ton of money again. Buy once, cry once! Do you have any good recommendations for a better clutch and lighter flywheel? Im looking at A clutchmasters aluminum flywheel (but its 400 bucks :S!!) And for the clutch.... maybe clutch masters fx300, SPEC import stage 2, or an ACT HDG6. The ACT is a lot of money but can handle 490ft/lbs!

I modded my intake on my 4runner simillarly by removing the resonators so I think ill just do that, since the engine bay of the all trac does get quite hot. Should I just get a reuseable K&N or something?

Do you think its worth the trouble for swaping the 185 brakes for the gains Ill get? Is there a better option? I can do brakes myself, so for me it boils down to price of parts.

Ill PM you about the WTA RC intercooler right now!

Re: I need recommendations from experienced knowledgeable owners

PostPosted: Sun Oct 23, 2011 1:52 am
by klue
No problem bud, we all start somewhere

If you buy from a reputable importer you can always ask for a warranty. If they don't give you one its probably not a good idea to buy from them anyway. Of course use the proper GL4 or better yet GL5 fluid or else you wont get very good results. Stay away from spec clutches. The ACT will be to much for your needs, best bet is to get either a reinforced Kevlar organic disc something like a clutchmasters stage 3 im sure you will be more than happy with.

If you car is not making 490ftlbs then why get a clutch for that right? get something that is realistic to your engine output so that you have a properly engineer set up. K n N makes a drop in filter for you I think. PM me about this and I will check into it

For the brakes, yes the upgrade is worth it. The oem st165 brakes are terrible :(

Re: I need recommendations from experienced knowledgeable owners

PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2011 3:50 am
by sentraman
Absolutely love my ACT 6puck clutch in our 185... We are in portland if your interested in meeting up sometime