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5,820 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Expect lots of added Auto X / Track Vids as time goes on!

Various Ramblings:
So, I'm going to be up front here... I'm not building the engine...yet. But I do plan to continually beat the ever living piss out of my car until I do. Needless to say, I have already attended 7 Auto X events and a weekend at Tail of the Dragon in the past 3 months and already have 2 track days scheduled within the next 2 months - on top of future Auto X trips.

After following other builds very closely on these forums, I've decided to go the "beat it til' it breaks" route rather than the build it first route. Let me be clear though, I don't expect to make the car more than 500whp any time soon, I'm not a drag guy, and I Auto X too much to really want 500whp.

Nevertheless, when my engine does go, which could be tomorrow morning, or a year from now, it's going to be a 2.3/2.4L stroker build, all done at one shop, from start to finish, including tune, with the requirement that I get to sit in and watch whoever it is tune the car myself (so I can learn).

Anyways, so on with the build thread. I'm a bit lite on the pictures, guess I always felt like it was a little too nerdy to go someplace nice just to take pics of my car, but I did it once under peer pressure and didn't regret it :p. Ironic that I thought it was too nerdy, considering I have a picture of Shaggy as my avatar for no reason other than the fact that I look uncannily like him.

I fully plan to post Auto X and Track Videos on this thread and keep it up to date.

So here is the most recent - Iphone 3g Pic of my GG Evo X:

I just got my AMR coilovers installed recently and the ride height is a little high in the front, I plan to drop it down a hair to get rid of that gap. Love the coilovers though, they were pretty handy at my last Auto X, a noticeable improvement over the GTWorx Springs I was running.

Here are some older pics, at various points in the life of the car. The first of which is with my 2 Auto X buddies, a Supercharged S2k on E-85 running 315's in the back and 275's up front and a Turbo 350z with about every mod known to man. My Auto X competition (the s2k usually wins :( )

The History:

I got the car back in March of 2010, within a few months had an AP with basic bolt ons. A month after that a Pro tune at Forged Performance in Atlanta by Sharif. Stayed just like this for about a year, tuned at 28psi, didn't beat on the car too badly. Then I met some other Evo owners and the "itch" returned. Within a couple months I had full bolt ons and a tune by Spec Ops motorsports. A month later, I was tinkering with my tune. Then came a test pipe instead of a HFC...then I dropped nearly 5k on a BB FP Red and supporting mods.

40k miles (STOCK CLUTCH!) in 2 years and now my mod list has become the following:

Forced Induction:
-Ball Bearing FP Red Turbocharger
-Cobb UCIP and LICP Kit
-Perrin 3 Port EBCS Pro
-AFE Dry Flow Intake (soon to be upgraded to 3.5", my 3" is about tapped)
-Cobb FP Turbo Inlet Pipe

-Map Shortrunner Tubular Exhaust Manifold (replaced with ported stocker 06/2012)
-AMS Widemouth o2 DP
-Turbo Xs TestPipe & Cat Back Exhaust
-MAP Firewall heat shield.
-MAP Cam sensor heat shield.
-MAP Valve cover heat shield.

-Built 5speed Transmission by Jacks
-Act HDSS Clutch
-Magnus Clutch Master Cylinder
-Boomba racing front and rear motor mounts.

-AMR Coilovers 10k/10k
-Whiteline Roll Center Kit
-Whiteline Rear Sway Bar
-Whiteline Front Sway Bar
-RacingLine Rear Endlinks (Broke)
-Perrin Rear End Links (on car)
-Whiteline Front End Links

Engine / Fueling:
-Walbro 255 Fuel Pump
-ID 1000 Injectors

General / Gauges:
-Works Short Throw Shifter
-Works Urethane Console Bushings
-Works Hybrid Cable Bushings
-AMS Gate Selector Bushing
-AEM Digital AFR Gauge
-AEM Digital Boost Gauge
-AEM Digital Oil Pressure Gauge
-Rally Armor Mud Flaps
-SRP racing Pedal(s)
-DSG Performance 3 Pod Forever Driven Pillar

Wheels / Brakes:
-Volk Te37SL 18x9.5 +22
-Hankook RS3's 265/35/18
-Carbotech XP10 Front / XP8 Rear Brake Pads (Track / Auto X)
-GiroDisk Magic Pads (Street)

Previous Mods (now upgraded)
-GTWorx Springs
-Turbo XS High Flow Cat
-Synapse DV (upgraded from this back to the stocker...)
-ID 1000 Injectors (on my 2nd set..)

Future Plans:

When I have the money, or want to:
-3.5" Intake
-Catch Cans with Filter
-AWD Motorsports Aluminum Driveshaft + Bushings
-Girodisk 2pc Slotted Rotor Set
-Cams + Valve Springs, still undecided on which ones.
-285/30/18 Tires

When Necessary:
- Full Engine build, 2.3/2.4L, built by Map or Speed Circuit, or some contributing shop on these forums with good service.
- Clutch, haven't decided on one yet, I plan to continue to beat the stocker into oblivion. 40k miles so far on it!

Mod Pics / Thoughts

BB Fp Red:

Ok so the BB does spool maybe the tiniest bit faster, is it worth another 700 bucks or more? I'm not so sure I can say yes to that. It's a badass turbo, it's a great meet-you-in-the-middle turbo that can be run on stock block, but can also make big power on race gas or e85. It can flow a lot of air but still keep decent spool, and it's usable at Auto X (check my vid) but not not really at home there. It's not amazing at Drag, but it's not bad, and it's not perfect for a road course but it does quite well there too. It's a little laggy for DD but not terribly annoying. It's a great all around turbo for someone who does a bit of everything, and if you build the engine you don't really need to upgrade the turbo if you want to get more power, turn up the boost, the Red will love it.

Map Shortrunner Exhaust Mani:

Did I lose spool with the short runner? I don't know, I suppose so. Did I gain power? I don't know, but I suppose I did. I really just don't flippin know. I upgraded it when I did the FP Red and I got it for a great price from [email protected] and I really just don't freakin know what it's doing for me. I'd have to remove it and put the stocker back on to really know. :( It looks nice though, the coating is nice, and I like it overall!

My Mod / Forum Philosophy

Ok, so this may be a bit stupid, but over the past couple years in this community I've noticed patterns and absorbed so much information such that I have developed my own philosophy when approaching my car. Here are some lessons / opinions I have gathered over time. Perhaps they're...pointless ramblings... but it's late, I'm bored, and I have... literally ... nothing better to do.

1: Brand Agnosticism:

A quality piece if a quality piece, and a pipe is a pipe. If you look at my mods, you'll notice I have about something from everyone. I choose what I personally believe to be quality pieces, and don't skimp out on the important ones, but a test pipe is a test pipe, and I don't care if it's made by Turbo XS or AMS. If the welds look good, I'm happy.

2: The only person looking out for your best interest is you

I'm not attempting to start drama here, but I've discovered that when it comes to modding is that your ignorance = your loss. The more you mod, the more being ignorant about your car and how it works is going to cost you. I've seen too many engine failures by people b/c they neglected or didn't know enough to realize the warning signs. Who may have taken their car to the wrong shop, or who changed a mod without getting a tune. Fact of the matter is, I taught myself to tune partially b/c I think it's incredibly interesting and enjoyable, but largely because I feel like it have a personal responsibility to make sure my car is running in tip top shape, and I can't do that by trusting a shop that tells me I have a good tune. How am I to know?

When I was tuned at Spec Ops the entire tune was completed, neigh, two tunes (high boost and lower boost for track / auto x) were done, in 1.5 hours. This immediately threw red flags since Sharif at Forged (my first tune) spent 6+ hours with my car on the dyno ... for basic bolt ons! That was a flat rate too, not some hourly B.S. Needless to say, I looked at the Spec Ops tune, and while, to be honest, it was actually a pretty solid tune, you can only be so thorough with 1.5 hours with a car...

3: HP numbers mean dick.

Honestly, they don't mean squat. Everything is too damn easily fudged, every dyno for every mod is basically fudged. 60 whp from an intake? Yeah...ok.

4: Your tune can always be improved.

Don't care how long you've spent on your tune, there is ALWAYS room for improvement somewhere, so eventually you've got to just say "good enough". So keep that in mind, when a tuner is finishing tuning your car, it's because they decided to say "good enough". The difference between tuners is really at which point they say it's "good enough". Ok, so thats not the only difference obviously, but an important distinction you should consider.

5,820 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
5: Invest in the community

I believe in investing in the community, and supporting people Tephra, Golden, Clipse, Razorlab, Hollywood, Chetrickerman (yes Chet, you have finally made my list - but you are at the end of it - keep up the contributions sir!), and sstevojr (sorry if I forgot anyone!) are what push this community forward. If it wasn't for Golden, Tephra, Clipse, Razor, and Hollywood I wouldn't have the found the answers to SO freakin many questions I have come across when learning about this amazing platform and teaching myself to tune it. If you want an e-tune, for the love of god please go to these guys first. If you need to go to a shop, go to a shop that CONTRIBUTES on these forums, such as Speed Circuit for instance. Yes, they are on these forums to make money, but at least they contribute, unlike 90% of shops out there which intentionally hide vital information from you so you're more likely to come to them.

6: Function over Form
Hey, I get it, different strokes for different folks, but do yourself a favor, if you're into stance, take your car to an Auto X course once - you won't regret it! If you're into Drag, take your car to the road course, at least once, and if you're into Auto X / Road Course, pick up a time slip once, it's always nice to know what your car can do!

Ok so this is really old, I'm running less boost now, but this is what I posted a while ago when I initially tuned my Red so here it is. My current power is ~400-420 whp and running a conservative 24.5psi to redline. The tune has been improved in all areas, and will continually be improved, since I actually just enjoy screwing with it.

The reason for the high RPM WOT pull in that dyno was to demonstrate something I was messing around with (and still use). I take advantage of upward boost correction and gear based boost control to prevent mild overboost spikes when going WOT at high RPMS b/c the wastegate doesn't actuate fast enough. This comes at a sacrifice of a little spool in certain WOT situations but I find that I typically never see those situations with my driving style so I don't care.

Let me be clear. I AM NOT A PRO TUNER. I'm just a dude with a laptop, and enough time on my hands to teach myself how to get around. Please do not take my opinions or judgements as anything but my own personal opinions. I am NOT an expert on Evos, cars, tuning, any of these topics. I'm a reasonably informed person on the Evo X, and thats about it.


1/8 Mile Drag - Full Bolt Ons ~ 350-360whp. 1.6s 60ft

Auto X - Hutchinson Island - 5/6/2012 (first auto x with coilovers)

Tail of the Dragon Spirited Driving!

My first Track Day - With Vids:

As I attend more track days / Auto X events I will upload more vids! Thanks for skimming my build thread!

5,820 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Well, in preparation for my track day this upcoming Friday at Roebling Raceway. I have wrapped my MAP Shortrunner exhaust mani. I managed to do it (extremely painfully) with the manifold still attached to the car. If all my tools weren't at a friends house, I probably would have removed the manifold myself and done a better job. Nevertheless I think it turned out acceptably and should result in some cooler temps in the engine bay.

On my first drive after installing it, I suspected it might smoke a bit since the label indicates so. What I didn't know is how much it would, I was sitting at a stop light in some girl in a honda was trying to inform me (as if I wouldn't notice) about the giant cloud of white smoke slowly floating out from under my hood accompanied by a very distinct burning smell. After about 10 minutes it went away fortunately :). It actually smells pretty...good :D

And when you don't have tools...improvise! This installation was painfully completed with 1 steak knife, 1 butter knife, 1 needle nose pliers, and 1 wire cutter!

Complete with heat shields back on:

1,123 Posts
Awesome thread!!! I like your mod and forum philosophy. Spot on! Looking forward to more videos.


609 Posts
AMR's huh? Going to be interesting to feel the difference now, haha.

2,063 Posts
mad props for figuring out how to tune your own ride...wish I could but my dumba$$ is too computer illiterate and scurred to attempt all that...and of course, awesome numbers man!

5,820 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
So I went to Roebling Raceway this past weekend for my first HPDE. I got more seat time this weekend then I did last year and thus far this year combined full of Auto X events. It was a great and completely different experience than Auto X. Roebling Road Raceway is one of the fastest tracks in the country, I never left 4th or 5th gear throughout the course and touched 140MPH on the straight. I was the fastest car in my HPDE group, partially because of my car (there were other very fast cars in my group, namely my 2 teammates a turbo 350z decked out and a supercharged s2k stripped to the bone), but also because of my willingness to push the car harder and brake later than many of my counterparts. This willingness to push the car caused me to understeer off course one turn where I overcooked it not realizing how sharp it was in my second session. I got a couple of tires in the sand pit, spun out and slid across the track. Fortunately the track wasn't full of cars so there were no casualties except my pride. Nevertheless, by the end of the day my instructor felt I was a consistent and competent enough driver to move me up to Solo next time around, although, to be honest, I'll probably do my next track day with an instructor again just to soak up as much knowledge as possible.

My instructor also drove an Evo along with an AE86 (hell yeah!), he said he loved how my car was set up, how he could tell it would oversteer a lot more than his Evo 8, but felt my car had an ideal and neutral feel for the track. The car felt right at home and I ran 32-33 psi up front and 34-35 in the rear on my RS3s which held out like freaking champs, despite the fact that I could hear them screaming at me nearly every corner. The XP10 / XP8 Pads I was running in Front / Rear had little fade, and the car never overheated or had any real issues.

I had two main hiccups. I tuned myself for 23 PSI on my FP red for the day, mixed in a little race gas after the first session, and only saw the knock light pop up (4-5 counts - slow flash) once all day. This happened in my first session when running 93. Towards the middle of one of my sessions on the straight I noticed my boost gauge was reading a legitimate 30-31 PSI while plowing along in 5th. I immediately let off and gave it some more gas to double check to see that my eyes were right. I knew something was fishy because if my car was holding a legit 30PSI it'd immediately hit boost cut and drop into limp mode. Moreover, the car felt the exact same it did all day, if I was hitting 30psi I figure I would have just noticed it from a power difference standpoint. I had my openport 2.0 plugged in and configured with a memory card so I started logging up with cruise control and went for a medium to slow lap. I got into boost and made sure the car hit the 29-30 psi during this lap a few times. I pitted and whipped out my laptop and took a look at the logs. Fortunately, the car was still running perfect and peaking at around 23.5 psi right where I wanted it. I'm not sure if the high temps caused the sensor to read boost incorrectly, but in every other session my boost gauge was dead on, and it still is.

The second hiccup is that the thorough beating caused a rather massive exhaust leak near the end of the day that I can hear at idle. I can only assume no CEL has been triggered because my rear o2 is fully disabled. I took a look at where my MAP Shortrunner meets my Turbo and 1 of the nuts was completely finger loose, and another nut AND stud were completely missing! I haven't got a damn clue how the nut and stud are missing, but near as I can tell the stud didn't break, it somehow worked its way out?? I've ordered a new pack of studs and nuts and they'll be installed for my auto x this weekend!

Here are a couple of videos. I won't be recording from this viewpoint, I didn't realize how shitty it is until now, but I have learned quite a lot from watching these videos after the fact. I've still got some work to do on my line! My instructor said he was happy with it but I still see a lot of room for improvement!

This event has certainly got me thinking. Realistically, on particular turn that I was taking at 80-90 MPH heading into the main straight, I realized that if I was to simply let off the throttle mid turn the ass of the car would come around I would spin out and potentially end up in some trees, a wall, or hopefully, and empty field. Nevertheless, spinning at 80-90MPH would be scary as hell, and this past weekends event has definitely been a reality check on how dangerous a single mistake can be at these speeds.

All things considered, I still haven't decided if I prefer the track over Auto X. At the moment I'm leaning towards Auto X. I prefer to toss the car around more, the violent acceleration in 1st and 2nd gear, and the uniqueness of each event. Nevertheless, there will certainly be more events of both in the coming next few weeks and months and more (better hopefully) vids to boot!


879 Posts
Did you reuse the OEM double washers on the manifold?
If you did not, then that's your problem.
If you did, then you didn't install them correctly. The 2 washers are actually concave and your supposed to install them one with the belly up and the other one down.

5,820 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Did you reuse the OEM double washers on the manifold?
If you did not, then that's your problem.
If you did, then you didn't install them correctly. The 2 washers are actually concave and your supposed to install them one with the belly up and the other one down.
The Shortrunner comes with a stud & nut pack, it is not compatible with the stock mounting hardware. I didn't do the install, a friend of mine who has been a tech for quite a while did.

1,123 Posts
I love track videos. I want to hear your opinion on track vs autox after your next autox.

Money aside I think I prefer road racing just because of the constant speed and seat time and I can actually memorize the track. Autox is just so cheap and fun and I really enjoy how social everyone is.
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