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By Kecy
#248220
Hello everyone!

So today I was notified by my auto-shop teacher that cold air intakes actually do not gain power but just makes it unnecessary and says to keep the stock air intake box. He actually advocates keeping an engine all stock with no modifications because that is not what the ECU was tuned for nor was the engine made for those kinds of MODS. What is your opinion on this?

BTW, I have the following MODS to my Ka24de (came with these when I bought the car, I am not the one accountable for these modifications):
1) DC headers 4-2-1
2) Injen CAI
3) 5Zigen Border III Cat Back Exhaust.

My other questions:
1) Is it worth having these MODS on my car?
2) What Modifications are actually useful for a stock engine like my ka24de?

I appreciate any help, thank you very much!
User avatar
By Figowa
#248221
I agree with your teacher, best to keep it stock. World class engineers designed the car to be what it is. You want performance, start with a factory performance car that is receptive to mild mods.

A TRUE CAI only assists in a Stage 1 mod (that's what I call it), which you've done, except for a free flow cat. (be careful of relieving too much exhaust back pressure).....HOWEVER, remapping the ECU will help you gain benefits from the mods.

Don't forget, there are a lot emissions sensors constantly adjusting to keep the car running right (efficiently). If you go to far with mods, long term issues may come up, like driveability issues, carbon build up or extra fuel in the cats.

When I had my '87 Buick Grand National, modest mods (CAI, adj wastegate to use 94 octane knock free, free flow exhaust, and a 93 octan chip, softer tires (for launching)) made this car easily 2.5 seconds quicker in the 1/4 mile, but driving a car that constantly wants you to "gun it" isn't fun for a daily driver (at the time).
1) It is worth it if you are seeking to performance enhance your car for noticeable gains, then again, was the car designed for it?

2) I, personally, would leave it be. But again, it depends what you want to achieve.
User avatar
By HyBr1D
#248222
KA24DE? Altima/240SX/Hardbody?

Well, the gain is nominal... I'm sure you're allowing the engine to breath more but it might throw codes because there is a bit more flow going in but nothing like a turbo. Only time a short-ram or CAI is viable is when you remap the ECU (tune), usually this is needed when you do more significant mods like what you have... you have a 2.5/3" CAI I would assume with somewhat equal outlet with your catback exhaust. On top of that a header... so you might want to consider doing an ECU tune to benefit off of these mods, straight out of the box it will be nominal gains because the ECU doesn't know these things are installed nor adjusts/learns to utilize them properly.

Every time you mod any engine always consider a tune...
By Debby
#248285
By themselves you might not see much of a difference. But combined with other mods like headers and exhaust, you will see a difference in most cars. If you don't believe me, look up the dyno thread for spec v's. People are getting 200whp with just headers, exhaust, and intake. Tuning is always a good idea, but not necessary. Your just making your engine breath better, its not like your adding a turbo without a tune.

Older people tend to hate any car modding, unless its on a 1960-something mustang. So be aware that every old person will tell you that modding is pointless.

@
Figowa wrote:I agree with your teacher, best to keep it stock. World class engineers designed the car to be what it is. You want performance, start with a factory performance car that is receptive to mild mods.


No, world class engineers design the car to meet safety and emissions on a budget. If emissions didn't exist, a lot of these "mods" would already be on the car. An example of this is with the new wrx. The stock tune has horrific rev hang in order to pass emissions. It only hurts performance, and makes the car frustrating to drive.

And why spend extra money on a performance car when you can buy a cheaper car and mod it to be faster for less money? Example: The WRX is fast. But it is also expensive, no matter what year you try to buy. You have to spend at least 15k+ to get one that isn't thrashed, and 20k+ to get one that has less than 50k miles.

OR you could buy a spec v in good condition for 5k. Then add 5k in mods to have a car that performs like a wrx for half the price.
User avatar
By HyBr1D
#248289
Debby wrote:By themselves you might not see much of a difference. But combined with other mods like headers and exhaust, you will see a difference in most cars. If you don't believe me, look up the dyno thread for spec v's. People are getting 200whp with just headers, exhaust, and intake. Tuning is always a good idea, but not necessary. Your just making your engine breath better, its not like your adding a turbo without a tune.

Older people tend to hate any car modding, unless its on a 1960-something mustang. So be aware that every old person will tell you that modding is pointless.

@
Figowa wrote:I agree with your teacher, best to keep it stock. World class engineers designed the car to be what it is. You want performance, start with a factory performance car that is receptive to mild mods.


No, world class engineers design the car to meet safety and emissions on a budget. If emissions didn't exist, a lot of these "mods" would already be on the car. An example of this is with the new wrx. The stock tune has horrific rev hang in order to pass emissions. It only hurts performance, and makes the car frustrating to drive.

And why spend extra money on a performance car when you can buy a cheaper car and mod it to be faster for less money? Example: The WRX is fast. But it is also expensive, no matter what year you try to buy. You have to spend at least 15k+ to get one that isn't thrashed, and 20k+ to get one that has less than 50k miles.

OR you could buy a spec v in good condition for 5k. Then add 5k in mods to have a car that performs like a wrx for half the price.


I get what you're saying, a lot of R&D goes into these vehicles in general... companies cut cost to meet their budgets/profit margins which hurts the quality of these cars. Yet, the Sentra (as a whole, including their performance line-up) were never considered more than an eco-box. both the QR and the MR were built with both emission and fuel economy in mind. Which is why the iconic b13 is/was the benchmark for the Sentra's and they kept comparing ever new gen to that one.

Now the QR is a waaaaaaaaaaaay better engine than the MR but building those motors and comparing them to a WRX is pretty unbalanced... even with mods a Spec couldn't never compare nor compete against a stock WRX... and if it's lightly modded even less... FWD vs AWD to start is unfair for the Sentra... even at equal power outputs. So, a stock WRX at 268hp (probably 230whp) vs a spec-v with all bolt-ons (could produce close to 230wph) still wouldn't be able to keep up vs all the losses a FWD brings to the table... more power and it will have the dreaded traction loss like the SRT4 had.

I do agree with you on purchasing a lower level car with a solid aftermarket support but then you're looking into a Civic when we say this heh... no under dog there. I only considered modding my MR because a CAI/SRI does have gains but it's nothing earth shattering like some people think. On a stock MR @ 140 at the crank you're looking at (with CAI/header/cat/exhaust getting something like 160~170 at the wheels... for like $1000~1300 for a 10% gain roughly... and to put a custom (no R&D) turbo on it you should consider building the MR (unlike the QR which has a turbo kit ready to go with stock internals pushing 300hp they say). Which that will put you well passed the 5K mark and probably a blown MR lol.
User avatar
By Figowa
#248306
Debby wrote:By themselves you might not see much of a difference. But combined with other mods like headers and exhaust, you will see a difference in most cars. If you don't believe me, look up the dyno thread for spec v's. People are getting 200whp with just headers, exhaust, and intake. Tuning is always a good idea, but not necessary. Your just making your engine breath better, its not like your adding a turbo without a tune.

Older people tend to hate any car modding, unless its on a 1960-something mustang. So be aware that every old person will tell you that modding is pointless.

@
Figowa wrote:I agree with your teacher, best to keep it stock. World class engineers designed the car to be what it is. You want performance, start with a factory performance car that is receptive to mild mods.


No, world class engineers design the car to meet safety and emissions on a budget. If emissions didn't exist, a lot of these "mods" would already be on the car. An example of this is with the new wrx. The stock tune has horrific rev hang in order to pass emissions. It only hurts performance, and makes the car frustrating to drive.

And why spend extra money on a performance car when you can buy a cheaper car and mod it to be faster for less money? Example: The WRX is fast. But it is also expensive, no matter what year you try to buy. You have to spend at least 15k+ to get one that isn't thrashed, and 20k+ to get one that has less than 50k miles.

OR you could buy a spec v in good condition for 5k. Then add 5k in mods to have a car that performs like a wrx for half the price.


Then you can go ahead an mod the shit out of a econobox to the point where you are exceeding limitations of a stock unit's design and components. I'm sure you are aware it won't be just about going faster, because everything else needs to play catch up. The CVT comes to mind with its tarnished reputation. Too much abuse and it will give you problems. Or is it a inherent design flaw? Regardless, adding performance to this will only exasperate the issue. And making a car better, means you aren't happy with what you have.

I understand the desire, but at least with a factory spec performance car, you can start with a great baseline to add on to. I've seen people dump up to $20,000 in mods and eventual repairs on some shit box that ended up on Kijiji because the owner "didn't have time for it any more" or "the wife wants it gone" excuse. Just be sensible in your choices.

I've been around cars long enough to know what is worth modding and what should be left as is. I bought my Sentra with fuel economy in mind, and its doing that quite well. Why mess with it? If I wanted a "project / track car", Civics and Mustangs are really receptive to this kind of tinkering as the after market is huge and the overall integrity is there.
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