~300hp build advice/recommendations

Q&A regarding engines, turbos, and intercoolers and power upgrades

~300hp build advice/recommendations

Postby transneptunian69 » Mon Nov 26, 2018 6:09 pm

Im looking to do some minor to medium power upgrades to get around 300hp(wheel would be great but id settle for crank). I plan on starting out with some basics:


Exhaust: downpipe and full 3" exhaust. I hear that the manifold wont make much of a difference with the stock turbo but ive considered one and I do love the look of tubular manifolds.


Straight intake: what brands do you guys recommend? I know it has that annoying bulky MAF sensor in the way which limits what you can do without custom parts, is there a way to bypass this thing or a aftermarket replacement that is smaller?


Electronic boost controller: from what I hear these are easy to install and use and good for right under 1 bar, where fuel cut hits. Any recommendations here?


Ive also considered a FMIC, though I don't like the look of all the pipes running everywhere and my understanding is that TMIC has better throttle response and less turbo lag but is limited in overall power.


That's really all I have planned right now, any other mods that would be effective for my goal? I can do most basic stuff but im not very mechanically inclined so things like building the motor aren't really in the cards at the moment. This is my weekend car so im in no hurry to get big power or anything, just wanting to open the motor up a bit. I appreciate any kind of advice you guys have. Its a JDM 185, btw.
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Re: ~300hp build advice/recommendations

Postby FC Zach » Tue Nov 27, 2018 5:21 am

transneptunian69 wrote:Exhaust: downpipe and full 3" exhaust. I hear that the manifold wont make much of a difference with the stock turbo but ive considered one and I do love the look of tubular manifolds.

Regarding the exhaust and manifold, a 3" exhaust will free up a lot of back pressure. . so much so that the stock wastegate can barely keep up (what I've come to find at least) and you might possibly hit fuel cut. I was exceeding ideal *pressures, sometimes hitting fuel cut and not holding a consistent pressure until I installed the silencer/insert in my muffler. Since installing the silencer, my pressures are way more consistent. . depending what you have/get, your results will vary.

*I have an aftermarket wastegate actuator with ~12lb spring installed.

As for the manifold, if you like the look of a tubular manifold, keep in mind that you get what you pay for. . I recommend getting a quality replacement however IMO a heavy cast unit is the way to go. I had a brand new tubular on mine (in 2013, installed by the PO) and it looked great for a very short time (it didn't take long for it to look like crap). Around four years later it developed a crack so I replaced it with a stock cast. Another thing to consider is the heat that is radiated off a tubular, at least with the stock manifold you can keep it in with the shield.

transneptunian69 wrote:Straight intake: what brands do you guys recommend? I know it has that annoying bulky MAF sensor in the way which limits what you can do without custom parts, is there a way to bypass this thing or a aftermarket replacement that is smaller?

I made new piping and bought a custom K&N for mine years ago because I didn't care for the PO's set-up. I eventually sourced all the stock parts with the addition of a K&N drop-in as well as Samco couplers. I installed it all with the exception of the resonator box thingy (if there even was one on these from the factory). I did this because I wasn't fond of the engine sucking in hot engine bay temps.

You can omit the AFM but you'd need a stand-alone ECU. . which wouldn't be a bad idea considering the wheel hp you want to reach.

transneptunian69 wrote:Ive also considered a FMIC, though I don't like the look of all the pipes running everywhere and my understanding is that TMIC has better throttle response and less turbo lag but is limited in overall power.

With the hp figure you want, I'd go with a front mount or water-to-air. If you want a front mount but don't care for the unsightly piping, you'll have to clock your compressor housing and have the wastegate mounting points relocated. You're right, the response is going to be better with a top-mount however with the appropriate sized piping and intercooler, a front mount can work great.

transneptunian69 wrote:That's really all I have planned right now, any other mods that would be effective for my goal?

For the money, I'd say the best gains you're gonna get from a stock set-up without getting too crazy would be cams and adjustable gears. Your limitation is obviously the engine management but I believe (I could wrong so don't hold me to it) with the mods mentioned, you'll be okay. Another limitation is going to be the stock CT26 turbo. . if not wanting to get too crazy but want more power from a direct bolt-on, you could always get a modified turbo (CT27) from ATS Racing. http://www.atsracing.net/Parts/Index/CT27
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Re: ~300hp build advice/recommendations

Postby transneptunian69 » Tue Nov 27, 2018 12:05 pm

Thanks for the reply. I have glanced through your build thread, very impressive btw. As for the exhaust, you just added a little restriction back into the muffler and it fixed the back pressure issue? How much was the upgraded actuator? Seems many people just stick with the cast manifold, so I’ll probably just do that.


For the intake, I did notice you’re using the k and n drop in. I see many are using a mostly stock air box setup, so I guess there’s not much advantage to going with the cone filter? I would prefer some sleek aluminum piping over the stock rubber hosing but that would have to be custom fitted without getting a standalone to bypass the afm right? Every kit I’ve found seems to simply fit a cone onto the AFM.

The ct27 seems to be a good bolt on option for me, I’ll decinitely have to look into that. As far as the standalone, I’d like to go that route eventually. What are you using and how involved is the installation? Is it plug and play or will I be splicing wires for days lol? Also, at what point would I have to start upgrading the fuel system?

I’m gonna do some more digging, there’s just so much info in these forums.
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Re: ~300hp build advice/recommendations

Postby FC Zach » Tue Nov 27, 2018 2:33 pm

transneptunian69 wrote:Thanks for the reply. I have glanced through your build thread, very impressive btw. As for the exhaust, you just added a little restriction back into the muffler and it fixed the back pressure issue? How much was the upgraded actuator? Seems many people just stick with the cast manifold, so I’ll probably just do that.

Thanks! Yeah, I actually added the insert to quieten it down a little, it was a total surprise by how better it ran with the added back pressure. I got he actuator off ebay for around $100.

transneptunian69 wrote:For the intake, I did notice you’re using the k and n drop in. I see many are using a mostly stock air box setup, so I guess there’s not much advantage to going with the cone filter? I would prefer some sleek aluminum piping over the stock rubber hosing but that would have to be custom fitted without getting a standalone to bypass the afm right? Every kit I’ve found seems to simply fit a cone onto the AFM.

The only advantage I see with adding a filter to the end of the AFM is ease of maintenance. . I'd rather have an unsightly OE airbox with a high-flow filter installed any day over what I had because as previously mentioned, it just pulls hot air. At least the OE assembly pulls ambient air temps from the fender well. Also the stock hoses can be upgraded with silicone copies. . chances are, your original hoses are hardened and could probably use some replacements anyway if this is route you choose. It's a plus that they can be purchased in different colors to brighten things up :wink: But yes, to get rid of the AFM you will need a standalone.

transneptunian69 wrote:The ct27 seems to be a good bolt on option for me, I’ll decinitely have to look into that. As far as the standalone, I’d like to go that route eventually. What are you using and how involved is the installation? Is it plug and play or will I be splicing wires for days lol? Also, at what point would I have to start upgrading the fuel system?

I'm still stock (except for exhaust). . however, in the future if/when I do upgrade the turbo/cams, I will replace the harness and ECU as well as fuel components but that is a while away. You can retain the OE harness and adapt a standalone via an adapter/patch-harness, I believe AEM and HalTech sell these for example. If you just replace your turbo with a CT27 and can control the boost, you'll probably be fine with the stock ECU.
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Re: ~300hp build advice/recommendations

Postby transneptunian69 » Tue Nov 27, 2018 3:32 pm

Where did you find the silicon replacements for the intake hoses? I wanna do some intake stuff
Soon cause my filter is super filthy. If there’s no real advantage, I’d rather save some money and just drop in a k and n. The piping would just be for aesthetics I guess. What exhaust system are you using? I planned on getting the dp from BRD but wasn’t sure if I wanted to buy a kit or have someone local custom make one for me.
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Re: ~300hp build advice/recommendations

Postby FC Zach » Tue Nov 27, 2018 5:09 pm

transneptunian69 wrote:Where did you find the silicon replacements for the intake hoses?

I got them used along with the pipe and box from a member here.

transneptunian69 wrote:What exhaust system are you using? I planned on getting the dp from BRD but wasn’t sure if I wanted to buy a kit or have someone local custom make one for me.

I have a Motoria (I think that's how it's spelled), it was already on the car from the previous owner (I think it's a knockoff of an HKS). I'm not sure about my DP. I'd get a reputable DP if I were you, having one made locally sounds like it would be a nightmare. I'm sure I have a cheap eBay piece because I've had my wastegate stick open on it a couple times.
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Re: ~300hp build advice/recommendations

Postby transneptunian69 » Tue Nov 27, 2018 5:49 pm

I was just meaning the rest of the exhaust system. I plan on getting the BRD downpipe just because of the wastegate issues I’ve heard of from cheaper versions. I’ve found silicon piping for the 185 rc, but nothing for regular 185s. Not sure if they are the same or not.
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Re: ~300hp build advice/recommendations

Postby FC Zach » Wed Nov 28, 2018 3:53 am

transneptunian69 wrote:I’ve found silicon piping for the 185 rc, but nothing for regular 185s. Not sure if they are the same or not.

I don't know for sure either but I want to say there is no difference in the intake assembly.
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Re: ~300hp build advice/recommendations

Postby transneptunian69 » Wed Nov 28, 2018 11:16 am

Yea. They’re probably the same. Thanks again for the advice. If you’re ever in my area, I’d love to meet up and check out your build. You’ve obviously put a lot into it and I’d like to be where you are eventually. You guys ever do any alltrac meet ups in this area? I know you do some meets at deals gap and what not. I’d love to take the car up the dragon some time.
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Re: ~300hp build advice/recommendations

Postby 819_ay » Thu Nov 29, 2018 12:57 pm

Samco and Autobahn88 make silicone intake pipes for the 185!the RC ones are the same! I have an XS downpipe and exhaust, and the waste gate opens up all the way, I did the test!
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Re: ~300hp build advice/recommendations

Postby transneptunian69 » Thu Nov 29, 2018 2:20 pm

Yea, Ive seen those on ebay. How long have you had the xs exhaust? Ive seen their dps but haven't found anything from them for full exhaust.
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