EVO and Eclipse Turbo Parts and Performance

Posts tagged “Customer Cars

EVO 6 Custom Fresh Air Box

We got a beautiful EVO 6 Group N rally car here in the shop that was abused at the hands of a scooby shop. Scooby owners must tolerate a different level of abuse since the other shop thought all the work on this poor car was completely normal and up to par :-P

The cold air intake was more of a street cleaner intake. It was about 2″ lower than anything else under the car. That is it hanging under the radiator support.

On the EVO 4-7 the intake is further back and the battery behind the headlamp. That is why they had the little NACA duct in the hood on the left side. So we fabbed up a 4″ inlet that ran from the side there to the GT35R turbo.

Prototype air box with the 4″ by 9″ AEM Dryflow filter:

It also draws air in from the fender well as well as from the hood vent. After the mockup Matt fabbed the final part from sheetmetal.

Car Feature: Stealthy IX SE

This is a pretty sweet IX we recently did. Really nice powerband for not too much money spent and incredibly stock appearing under the hood.

Results from 91 octane and E-85

List of mods:

Cosworth Drop in filter



Car Feature: Jason representing DSMs in the PHX!!

Mike liked this picture of Jason’s Talon so much he asked me to set up a feature on it.

Check out the feature after the break!!


DSM of the Week!!

Thank You Jason from PHX!! Expect a full feature soon!!

EVO of The Day

A clean ass (on a) 2G!!

Thank you for representing RRE Daniel!!

License Plate of the Week – Alter EVO

Chris Bertino’s 1990 GSX showing off his alternative to the EVO!

Ask for a license plate frame with any order. It’s free! You just need to ask for it. Got a pic of your personalized license plate with an RRE plate frame on it?   Send it to us and we’ll put it here.

AEM Meth/Water Injection Flow Gauge Testing

Michael Ferrara and Stephan Papadakis were here at the shop today shooting some video for DSport while we were testing The Boz’s meth fail safe setup. You might remember Keith from a couple dyno shootouts with his white 700whp GVR4 last year. The GVR4 was getting a bit scetchy with that kind of whp and he went to the dark side and picked up a clean used EVO 8.

The Boz had just installed the AEM meth/water injection kit along with the AEM flow gauge and so it was a good car to do some fail safe testing on. The car has an EVO 9 turbo and stock cams. Boz had an AEM EMS on his GVR4 so he went with it again on the EVO.

We tested the fail safe with an overflow condition (simulating a hole in a hose), underflow (clogged nozzle) and also with no power to the pump. Look for the article and video from DSport Magazine in a month or two.

License Plate of the Week

Corey Jenson’s ’97 AWD  Eclipse converted from a GS-T. He hangs with LA DSM – San Diego, CA

And runs on E-85!

EVO of the DAY


<3 Ralliart Sportbacks!!

Thanks to Steven Steck for going BIG and Repping for RRE on the HOOD!!!!!

Willow Springs Track Night

Here is a cool video of Scot Grey out in his dope 1G at STREETS of Willow Springs braving the hot hot summer heat with some night action!! Scot can normally be found driving cars on the dyno as RRE’s tuner.

Our good friend and both customer and supplier Ziggy from Zeitronix also took his 1G GSX out for some night runs.

The Smoking Tire – Russ Taylor – EVO X

A nice video production by the guys at The Smoking Tire of Russ Taylor in his RRE Powered EVO X tearing up the track and an unsuspecting BMW as he learns to try to handle 460 whp of 4B11 power. Only one BMW was injured during the filming of this video on a NASA weekend.


Araknyd – One Clean Spyder

This is one of my all time favorite 2G Eclipses. Mark (Araknyd) has this crazy attention for detail and style that shows through out his 1997 Spyder GS-T. Sure it looks like a show car but it gets used as a race car too. Mark regularly drag races (1/4 mi.: 12.634 sec @ 108.52 mph, 1.84 sec 60′) and autocrosses his Spyder. Enjoy the pics!




  • “Big” 16G Turbo
  • Buschur Stage 3 Cylinder Head
  • Stainless Oversized Valves
  • Titanium Retainers
  • HKS 264/264 Camshafts
  • Fluidyne Radiator
  • Stainless Braided Radiator Hoses
  • RC 550cc Injectors
  • Denso Fuel Pump, Upgraded Wiring
  • Magnecor Plug Wires
  • RRE Breather Catch Can
  • A/C Removed


  • Extrude Honed 1st Gen Intake Manifold
  • A’PEXi Front-Mount Intercooler
  • Blitz Stainless Steel Mesh Filter
  • Dejon Tools Intake Pipe (MAS to Turbo)
  • RRE Custom Upper Intercooler piping
  • 1st Gen Blow-off Valve
  • 1st Gen Throttle Body


  • 3-inch cat-back made from a combination of Buschur and Thermal parts
  • Victory Performance O2 housing (open dump tube for internal gate)
  • RRE downpipe (2.5″ to 3″)
  • 3″ high-flow catalytic converter
  • Ported exhaust manifold


  • Quaife Limited Slip Differential
  • ACT 2600 lb. clutch
  • 14.5 lb. lightened/balanced flywheel
  • Shortened shifter
  • Aluminum shift cable bracket bushing replacement on tranny
  • “Symborski” shifter bushing modification
  • Stainless steel clutch hose
  • FCU (fluid containment unit) bypass


  • Custom 6-point roll bar by Mark McMahan
  • Ground Control adjustable height coilovers (1.5″ lowered)
  • Tokico Illumina 5-way adjustable shocks
  • Eibach Racing Springs (500lb/300lb)
  • RM Racing Stabilizer Bars
  • Front strut tower brace
  • RRE Lower Stress Bar
  • Corbeau Forza racing seats
  • Simpson Cam-lock 5-pt Harness
  • SSR Competition 17×8″ wheels
  • BF g-Force Drag Radials 225/45/17 (street)
  • M&H Drag Slicks on Bogart 13×8 wheels (drag racing)
  • Porterfield R4S brake pads
  • Stainless Steel brake lines
  • Prothane motor mounts

Gauges, Electronics & Controllers:

  • A’PEXi S-AFC A/F Controller
  • GReddy Profec B Boost Controller
  • GReddy Turbo Timer
  • Autometer Sport Comp Boost Gauge
  • Autometer Sport Comp EGT Gauge
  • Autometer Sport Comp Fuel Pressure Gauge
  • Autometer Sport Comp Air/Fuel Gauge (gadgetseller.com version)
  • OBDII datalogger

Roy’s Bad Day

Roy had a walking crankshaft a few months ago. The short block was replaced at the dealership under warranty. A few months later driving on the freeway (minding his bidness)… ka boom. No warning, thought he ran over a bumper.

The rod nuts on #3 backed all the way off, and the crankshaft  punted the rod out the block. Out of the park home run. View from the front of the motor, looking through at the starter:

The shrapnel made holes in both sides of the block. That is Jacks finger behind the motor at the starter.

The front chunk of engine block ricocheted off the turbo oil drain tube and made a hole in the radiator.

The oil pan, ouch.

The rod. No discoloration from a bad bearing. Note the missing rod bolts. Gone clean.


The coolest part. In the explosion and ensuing aftermath, there must have been quite a fireball under the car. All the paint is burned off the lower back bumper cover. Even up by the license plate light the paint is blistered. Must have been a sight to be following him.

Back to the dealer for some more warranty work.




Sport Compact Car Magazine – MX Missile


Reprinted with permission from Sport Compact Car, June 1999

By Josh Jacquot

Back in the cold war era, the MX missile was the ultimate symbol of an in-your-face militant America that was ready to reign terror with a single, destructive blow on anyone that threatened our peaceful existence. While not quite as threatening as the thankfully dead ICBM, John Park’s ’93 Mazda MX-6 will still likely raze just about anything that gets in its way. Also, much like the silo-stored missiles of the ‘70s and ‘80s, Park’s MX-6 hides its important bits far from highly-critical public eye. In fact, so secret was this car that it was kept from the hungry eyes of the aftermarket performance magazines since being built several years ago.

Park’s car was built to follow a specific concept, according to Mike Welch at Road/Race Engineering in Huntington Beach, Calif., who is mostly responsible for the car’s high output. The goal for the black MX-6 was to be as fast as possible without sacrificing the car’s stock driveability and durability. That means that Park’s MX-6 is still packing functional air conditioning, power steering and other accessories just as it came from the factory.

Park came to Welch wanting an advantage over most anything he might encounter at the stop light grand prix. But, he wanted to be able to do the trouncing with three of his buddies in the car and the air conditioning blasting. He also required that the car do all this without raising the eyebrows of anyone who looked under the hood; a tall order for a front-drive car that weighs more than 3,000 lbs.

Countless hours of work in the form of custom design and fabrication went into transforming the MX-6 into the phenomenal machine that it is today Before installing the supercharger, Welch recommended that Park drive the car for about three months to break in the engine.

The supercharger uses ceramic bearings and an internal belt drive. The belt and bearings last about 30,00 miles before needing a $450 rebuild, according to Welch. Otherwise, the system is relatively maintenance free, requiring only occasional lubrication and cleaning of the industrial bearings used to support the driveshaft. The shaft turns at 11,900 rpm at a maximum engine speed of 7000 rpm. An aluminum skidplate was fabricated to protect the supercharger’s low-mounted drive system.

The entire setup is practically invisible from the top of the engine bay as though the intake is routed below the car to collect cold air. A UNI foam filter feeds the supercharger via a 3-inch hose, while a Bosch compressor bypass valve bleeds excess pressure.

Additional fuel delivery is now accomplished via two HKS 550cc injectors installed just aft of the air flow meter before charged air enters the manifold. A rising rate fuel pressure regulator is used in conjunction with an HKS Additional Injector Controller allowing up to 12 psi boost. A Denso in-tank fuel pump maintains fuel pressure.

Hot Shot headers were used in place of the stock exhaust manifolds, while a Stromung 2.5-inch exhaust system takes the place of the less efficient stock system. The exhaust system also uses a 2.5-inch high-flow catalytic converter.

A J&S Electronics knock retard sensor was installed allowing Welch to advance the engine’s timing without fear of damage from detonation. The J&S unit retards timing on only the cylinders knocking. Installed in the cabin are a J&S air/fuel ratio meter and knock retard meter, allowing Park to keep an eye on the engine’s on-boost performance. Also installed are HKS boost, exhaust gas temperature and oil temperature gauges.

Stock suspension bits were replaced with adjustable Carrera threaded body coil over shocks, which allow the car’s ride height to be adjusted as needed. Road/Race also designed and built front and rear strut tower braces. The front shocks are a full 1 inch shorter than stock, requiring the use of custom camber plates from Road/Race. Welch also installed Power Slot rotors and Repco Metal Master brake pads. Steel braided brake lines are used with Motul brake fluid to enhance brake performance.

The final touches on Park’s MX-6 were cosmetic. Road/Race combined an aftermarket wing designed for an RX-7 and the stock wing from the MX-6 at the rear of the body eliminating the near-stock appearance of the MX-6. A Japanese Mazdaspeed front spoiler was adapted to fit the bumper of the American MX-6 to give the car a more aggressive stance, while all factory emblems and the trunk lock cylinder were shaved. Park chose 16×8-inch wheels from the third-generation RX-7 because of their light 13.5-lb weight. Although not as massive as the rolling stock found on many of today’s hot imports, the lightweight wheels serve their purpose well. Park had the wheels painted black to match the rest of the car.

While the MX-6 has only been put through the quarter-mile once, its times aren’t likely representative of its substantial power increase. The MX-6 ran a 14.0-second quarter-mile on street tires with massive amounts of wheelspin, according to Park. Both the car’s owner and its builders believe it’s capable of much better time given the right tires. Park is considering selling the car now that his secret is out of the bag, we can’t wait to see his next stealthy screamer.

Marc S – Carlsbad in July – 12.14, clutch-limited..

I’m exhausted as hell so this will be shorter than my usual novels (but
still long) :)

– Billy ran an 11.97 I believe. YES! Finally an 11, now him & I can go
home & rest for the next few weeks, we are sick of going to the track
trying to get that 11 we both knew we could run :). Major congrats!

– I got a personal best of 12.14 @ 113mph. I continued to have major
problems launching… 60-foot times were mostly 1.8’s and 1.9’s. Highest
MPH for me was 113.6 mph. Other runs included: 12.15 @113.4, 12.18 @113,
12.18 @113 (another), 12.18 @112, 12.24 @113.2. I’m confident the car
could run 11’s… All it needs is a good launch… And/or remove the
headlight… And/or take off some weight like Billy :) hehe… Or add the
ITC… Or… :) But the bottom line is now that 11’s have been done I’m
taking a rest from racing for a month or longer & when I come back likely
it’ll be with additional stuff so I don’t have to just “squeak” an 11… And
I’ve got to figure something out about this whole clutch/launching
situation… Maybe re-treads for traction… Who knows. 4 puck clutches just
don’t seem to be the way to go for launching…


– Carlsbad… Anyone who went to Pomona missed out. Anyone who did not go
racing PERIOD missed out. There were 40 cars total at Carlsbad. I got
*16* runs in when I finally “had my fill”… Coulda kept going and probably
had 20+ runs! That’s 16 runs in about 2.5 hours time (2pm to 4:30pm).
Pretty insane! There were never more than 4-8 cars in front of you in
line! Weather was warm but the air wasn’t too hot unlike Pomona last week.

– DSM’s @ Carlsbad… Well, we just had our “West Coast Shootout” :).
Nearly 1 out of every 4 cars there was a DSM! We had about 9 cars (one
DSM wasn’t a Club DSM’er). With 4 of us running 12’s and 3 of us running
really low 12’s (and an 11!) we dominated and kicked muscle-car a$$. The
good ol’ boys were commenting how we were mopping up. I really enjoyed
killing some of the big loud big block slick wearing and super-charger
breathin’ brutes :)… We popped a lot of ego’s today :)

– We had an awesome drive after leaving the track with 7 DSM’s… The road
was 3 lanes wide, so we had 2 rows of 3 DSM’s (With Steve H. in the rear
trying to snap a picture)… Felt like I was in a fighter plane formation :)

– Personal thanks go out to Scot Gray & Henry S. Scot let me borrow his
BFG TA R1’s to try to get more traction (couldn’t get them heated up enough
w/ drag racing so they weren’t as grippy as we were hoping) and Scot and
Henry were both a killer pit crew changing the tires back & forth :).

– On a final note… Damn DSM’s are built tough :)… In the past week I
have put *27* 12 second passes on this car, mostly low 12’s, without a
glitch (knock on wood). Mike Ferrara wouldn’t like it! :)

Hope you all had a good 4th.

Marc S – Pomona in June – Awful new clutch, but 12.16 / 114mph

The good:

– The Pomona guys said it was the smallest turnout all year. We averaged
a run per hour for the first few hours, and then around 2:40pm it started
to become “run as often as you want”… You just ran & got back in line
again (with between 16 – 40 other cars!) So we ended up paying under a
dollar per run if ya don’t count the race gas :)

– Scott Terrace ran some awesome times, especially with his very short
list of mods… 13.3’s! This is right up there with those ol’ East Coast
stories of putting under $1000 into a DSM & being at low 13’s… Scott is
going for 12’s soon on the ultimate budget car!

– Bryan actually showed this time (hehe) and broke 13’s on his 14B car!

– Had a first-timer come (I just know I’m gonna spell this wrong…
“Shino?”) and do awesome! Shino has a 2G FWD with limited mods and by his
3rd launch he had pulled a 2.3 60-foot time! He later pulled at least 2
2.2 60-foot times! (1/4 mi time was 14.6 I believe). Fantastic times for
a FWD & a first time at the track. Congrats!

– I had a new personal best & my MPH increased substantially.

The bad:

– Most of my times! Yeah, I know these times are faster than most, but
honestly the car has more in it so considering I started the day at a 12.19
@ 114.3 w/ a 1.857 60 foot time, the day was very disappointing for me.

The ugly:

– My 60-foot times were horrid. I could not launch the car worth a damn
with the new clutch. I wanted to rip that thing out and torch it. Even
with *11* runs (towards the end I was trying ANYTHING to see if I could
figure out a method to launch) I couldn’t do jack on my launches… Here are
some of the timeslips, then I’ll mention the “why”…

12.16 @ 114.5, 1.807 60-foot time
12.19 @ 114.3, 1.857 60-foot time
12.19 @ 114, 1.763 60-foot time (hit rev limiter bad on 1-2 shift)
12.32 @ 113.5, 1.897 60-foot time
12.32 @ 113.2, 1.922 60-foot time
12.34 @ 114, 1.895 60-foot time
12.40 @ 114.4, 1.972 60-foot time
Other 60 foot times included: 2.071, 1.971, 2.036, 2.254.

The day started off exciting… We knew on the first run that the engine was
11-second capable. Had the MPH, just needed a good launch… If I coulda
had a 1.71 60 foot time on that 12.19/1.857 run, the 12.32/1.922 run,
etc… Coulda grabbed an 11.9x. We all knew it and as the day went on I
was really really frustrated at not being able to improve the launch.

Here’s what was happening in-car:
I’d take the engine to various rpm, usually no less than 4500, and then
when it was time to launch I’d start stepping on the gas and then start
releasing the clutch. No matter how fast or slow I seemed to release the
clutch pedal, within the first few feet of launching, suddenly I’d hear
loud bangin’ noises coming from all 4 tires. The car ran *perfectly*
straight off the line and down the track, was not squirmy in any way. So
what did I figure? I thought I had wheel hop… That the tires were right
on the border of hooking up/not hooking up and were going back and forth
between the two, hence the physical banging I was feeling/hearing. (Every
launch now activated my windshield washers, too, so it seemed like I was
getting decent traction).

So stupid me, I spent almost all my runs trying to get the wheels spinning
a little more… I raised the RPM level of my launches, tried slipping the
clutch even more (it doesn’t like to slip at all), etc. I didn’t want to
be on the edge of traction… I wanted to have my wheels spinning more
cleanly for a little off the line, and then have them hook up solid… This
is how I got my low 1.7’s before, because the car still accelerates strong
with the spinning, and you don’t bog your engine. Most of the runs
Saturday I’d hit the rev limiter on the 1-2 shift too… Suddenly it would
jump to 7200 on my tach (my tach reads 300 rpm low) and there would be no
time to shift to 2nd before the limiter hit…

Realization of what was happening didn’t come until the 9th friggin run…
(I was kinda out of it the whole day from getting 3 hours max of sleep). I
can’t remember exactly how it happened but I mentioned to someone how I hit
my rev limiter at the 1-2 shift at my last run, and they responded “yeah,
you were in that rev limiter for a while”… (And I was thinking “that’s
odd, when rev limiter hits before I can shift, it’s usually pretty quick).
The spectator describes how my engine sounds *off the line* before I even
got to shift… Brah-brah-brah-brah (stutter stutter stutter). Ronnie comes
by & he confirms the prob… I was riding the rev-limiter throughout the
launch! It was impossible to hear the rev-limiter with helmet on, windows
closed, and big loud sounds coming from all 4 tires… Yeah, you could call
it wheel hop, but not because I was on the verge of traction… It was
because the engine was making so much power it was just annihilating all 4
tires and instantly going to rev limiter the whole way through 1st… As the
rev limiter hit, the wheels would go back & forth between gaining a touch
of traction & losing it again. The wheels were all spinning so evenly that
the car never felt squirmy in any way and simply stayed straight…

So yeah, I was running low 12’s with riding the rev limiter throughout
first gear. Engine made lots of power, clutch grabbed hard, tires couldn’t
hack it in any way. Plain & simple. Nice to know the why, but there
wasn’t anything I could do to go faster… Just couldn’t get any traction
with such a harsh clutch. The clutch did its job of holding the power. It
just did it too well! End of story.

I am gonna see about getting my rev limiter raised to 8000, perhaps that
will help a little… Now I know how a FWD’er with a built engine and no
slicks feels. I honestly think though that if I had my “old” clutch in the
car (before it blew a spring), 11’s coulda been mine :). Time to invest in
some tires.

Which leads us to today (Sunday)-

Billy- Kick some butt and bring us that 11-sec time slip we’ve been waiting
for… Our cars are definitely good for it. As long as you didn’t get my
type of clutch installed last night you will do just fine :)-. Good luck
to Josh too!

Marc S – Carlsbad in June – 12.20, but bye-bye clutch

Lots of mixed Carlsbad news… This will be lengthy.

Twas a very hot day which sucked for getting good times… On the positive
side it wasn’t too crowded, I got 5 runs in between 2pm and 4:15pm before
my car called it quits :(.

Run 1. First run had me really, really worried. 12.75 @ 105, w/ a 1.77 60
foot time. The car was hot & one or two of my shifts wasn’t quite as fast
as usual but that time was really off!… Checked peak EGT… 810 degrees…
Ok, running too rich. Leaned things out a couple notches.

Run 2. 12.34 @ 110. Phew, getting better, new personal best. 1.71 60
foot time. MPH still has me worried though. Was already getting 110 at
Pomona, before the cams, and the cams definitely have the car pulling
harder. Checked EGT’s… Still low. Leaned things out a touch more.

Run 3. Off to a decent start. 1.75 60 foot time, 7.89 ET in the 1.8th,
and 1/8 mph is almost 1 MPH higher than Run 2… Go to shift from 3rd to
4th… I don’t think I had my clutch pedal in all the way in time as I jam
it to 4th… But the *shifter* goes into 4th anyways but feels like it has
no weight when it gets there. Step on the gas but I’m not in gear, the
engine just revs. No 4th gear. For that matter, no any gear, the shifter
moves into all the gears with almost no resistance & I’m “in neutral”.
$h!t. Now I’ve done it! I coast through the 1/4mi – 12.98 @ 85mph!
What a run that woulda been if I had 4th gear :) My MPH in the 1/4 was
less than my MPH in the 1/8 and it was still a 12 :). I come to a stop at
the entrance to the return road (end of the strip), put on the hazards, but
the lazy Carlsbad officials just stare at me… So I think about it as I
move the shifter around… Ok, no resistance at all, & always in neutral…
Almost as if… The shifter ain’t attached to the cable no more! I yank
the plastic panel off under the shifter & look down there… Yep! The
cable came off. (It lost the cotter pin). I put it back on, get it in
gear & am on my way. Later I rigged a new pin by bending a key ring…
Problem solved.

Run 3 gives me time to think… Why are my EGT’s still so low, and what’s up
with the MPH (1/4 MPH for Run 3 was unusable but 1/8mph showed very minor
gains)… Then it dawns on me… My boost is low. Never raised it on the
way to Carlsbad. I had set it late the night before when the air was very
cold. I was probably running 18-19psi in the heat!… Up the boost a
touch… Time for run 4…

Run 4. Got a decent launch, but had a bog problem which to be honest
plagued me on all the runs… I’d get off the line quick w/ spinning tires
but would then hook up early, have a quick bog, and then take off. This
likely affected all my times that day. Gotta do some tuning, the cams
changed a lot of things. 1.73 60 foot time. 1/8th: 7.78 @ 88.35. 1/4
mi: *12.20* @ 109! I’m excited about the ET but still puzzled about the
MPH. For comparison, I ran 86-88mph in the 1/8th at Pomona in my 12.4 –
12.5 runs & always 110mph in the 1/4. I up the boost a little more (it was
probably still a little low, 19-20) & lean things out a little more in
preparation for Run 5. Looks like I will get several more runs in so I
have time to tune in small increments.

Run 5… Disaster strikes. The run was bad from the very start. For the
first time, my less-than-happy-to-disengage-when-hot clutch has a very
noticeable impact at the track. I try to shift to 2nd & it doesn’t wanna
go in. Wait for it to drop in (the run is totally blown now) and I
continue on… The rest of the shifts ain’t feeling too good. Cross the 1/4
at 13.3/107.5 & the shifter doesn’t wanna come out of gear. I manage to
get it out & am barely able to force it into a lower gear to get back to
the pits. Park the car, figure I’ll let it cool down while I grab lunch &
hope it’ll get back to normal like it usually does once it cools.

No dice this time. I go start up the car. With the clutch pedal pressed
to the floor & feeling “normal”, the shifter will NOT go into ANY gear no
matter how hard I press. Shut off the engine & it will go into the gears
but no chance while it’s idling. I put it into gear while the engine was
off & THEN started the car with the clutch pedal fully to the floor… Sure
enough, the car starts moving immediately as if my foot is barely on the
clutch pedal. Can’t get the thing to disengage at all.

Thank god Corey Dennen showed up today :)… Felt great not to be stuck
there alone!  After finding out how insanely expensive it
would be to flatbed the car back to RRE, we decide to try to drive it there
by starting the car up in gear. My poor starter motor :) but yeah the
starter gets the car moving, and I make it out of the track w/o the ability
to disengage my clutch :). Stops were an absolute hell as I tried to gas
the engine to make it slip the clutch, while keeping my foot on the brake
to stop the car, & keeping the clutch in to at least slightly disengage it.
Got to hear lots of scary noises coming from the engine compartment. :)
Fortunately this only occurred a few times. We got more & more ambitious
(started in 1st at the beginning, then started in 2nd ’cause driving slow in
1st was unbearable, and finally said what the hell, started it from 3rd
gear & got on the freeway). Corey drove his car & escorted me the whole
way to RRE. Thank god there was little traffic & it was practically a
normal drive… 70mph/5500rpm in 3rd gear the whole way there :). Dropped
the car off at RRE, & Corey dropped me off at my home some 40+ minutes
away… I owe Corey big time! Corey, thanks for being there for me!

That’s pretty much the tale, time will tell what the culprit was. One thing
seems pretty certain- this was just the end result of a problem that’s been
plaguing me since having the clutch first installed. I’m very interested
in finding out the “why”… If the problem is specific to the Clutch Masters
clutch, they’re soon going to find that there aren’t any DSM’ers left who will
run one of their clutches– so many people have switched to ACT already &
have been telling me to do the same.

Performance notes… 12.20 was nice, I think the car is 12.0x capable
though. I have confidence that these cams added nice horsepower.
Considering they were installed less than 24 hours ago with 1 minute of AFC
tuning, I think there’s some serious AFC tuning work to be done to get the
car running more optimally. That, combined with more boost (21-23) & some
real gas instead of 100ish octane should hopefully shave a couple tenths
off. Time will tell. For now I’ll worry about having an operational car

On the bright side… Those low 12 second runs really had people talking
about DSM’s at Carlsbad & admittedly it’s nice to get the attention :)…
Lots of people coming by to ask what the hell was done to the car & to
offer their congrats. It was great overhearing a conversation some guys
were having- “Did you see that? 12.2! I’m not talkin 12.6 or something…
This was a 12.2! He was just GONE!” :)- Some Mustang guys were
actually belittling how slow their cars were in comparison – wish I coulda
got that on video tape. Ok, “big-head” mode off. Thanks to Scot G for
making those Club DSM cards a few months back. There was a modded turbo
DSM guy there in need of the right parts/advice who didn’t know about Club
DSM/Socal DSM. The card came in very handy! I sent him Mike’s way since
as we all know, Mike @ RRE has too much free time on his hands & needs more
customers to bug him. :)

Sorry for the rambling… Am tired/drained & not looking forward to the
rental car expenses/inconvenience. But, it coulda been a lot worse so I’m
kind of thankful.

Oh, that reminds me… Here’s a good piece of info I hope you never have to
use- a good Carlsbad towing service. I fortunately didn’t have to get
towed, and it was the cost of towing that had us looking for every possible
alternative- Between $2-$8 per mile! AAA basic membership only has 7 free
miles! Call La Costa Towing – 760-730-0348. They normally charge
$35/hookup + $2 mile, but they said they’d give me a deal & charge me $150
complete to flatbed the car all the way to RRE/Huntington Beach. May be a
good chunk of change but that’s a good deal given the usual rates.

Hope everyone did well & stayed in 1 piece at Buttonwillow.


Marc S – Pomona in May: 110mph and Sub 12.5’s

Had a great time yesterday! Sorry that more people couldn’t make it…

Pomona: The Viper club had its own class… It was a blast watching those
things run… Some of the modified ones were insanely fast & clicked off mid
to low 10’s. Quite a few Vipers ran high 12’s and very low 13’s though.

An Impala SS club showed up too… About 15+ Impala SS’s, ALL with the same
rims and either black or very dark brown paint. They all had little “SoCal
SS” stickers on their windows, many of them w/ a web address… They were
the local chapter of a national club, just like us… Gotta love it. Unlike
us though they get great turnout at these events. There were only *4*
SoCal DSM’s that ran at the track (a 5th showed but didn’t run).

My track times… I ran a 12.40 @ 110 mph. 4 runs total, the slowest was
12.52 @ 109.1. This is on a 16G, stock 2G motor/2G head, and a lot of
great work & advice from Road Race Engineering. (Thanks RRE!)

On the way over to the BBQ, me & JR spanked some obnoxious NOS Civic that
dared to have big writing on the back that said “Bow down to those who are
faster than you!” (or “Bow down to this car” or something like that)… Hehe
I kinda got separated from the caravan I was following (JR, Scott T, Jeff T
& gf) to the BBQ ’cause I had to teach that Honda a lesson :)… (Thanks
everyone for waiting for me to catch up!) This was after I said right
after we left the track “let’s drive slow & also be sure not to step on the
gas since we’re running pump gas now & the ECU still thinks we have race
gas”… Ah well!

BBQ was cool, thanks John! I suggest everyone brings sunglasses next time,
either that or someone has to pry the digital camera out of Dani’s hands so
we don’t get nailed by the flash! 1 beer for Dani is 1 beer too many! :)

Nice seeing everyone, looking forward to the next event.


Marc S – Mid 12’s! (Carlsbad, March 1998)

Yesterday at Carlsbad was a really awesome experience for me. Got some
great runs in & had some funny encounters with the Carlsbad folk/rednecks.

Carlsbad highlights for me:

First, I wanted to see if I could run in the far right lane, the one with
the short line & all the big bad-a$$ V8 trailer-queen cars that get
preferential treatment. I knew the response I’d get if I just drove into
it & asked the official if I could run there, so I walked up to him first
(so he couldn’t see I was an “import driver”) and said “This lane’s just
for those who run 12’s and faster, right?”… He said “Yep”… So I said
thanks, went back & got in the fast lane with my DSM :). A few people
looked at me funny (it must seem strange seeing a nearly bone-stock looking
DSM with a quiet exhaust driving up the fast lane) and I felt a bit nervous
& wondered if I’d get kicked… So I’m almost to the staging lanes & the
beer-bellied track official comes up to me and says “Hey, do you know what
you run?” and I said “Yep. 12’s!” and he looked at me funny, wanted to
argue, but couldn’t say anything… So he let me run. :) (Fortunately it
was a 12). So, if this isn’t great motivation for everyone to put on more
mods and hit a 12, what is? You can run in the elite V8 lane and tick off
the Carlsbad rednecks too! :)

One of the guys I raced had a built El Camino or something… I ran a 12.6
to his 12.8 and also had a much better reaction time which made it look
like I was even more ahead… He parked behind me in the lanes afterwards
and we had a great conversation… “What the hell do you have in there?”
(2 liter 4 banger). “Well how much does that little thing weigh?”
(3300+ lbs). (Pause/confusion, expected a much lighter weight, not
understanding this isn’t a Honda he’s dealing with). “JEE-SUHSSS! I saw
you jump ahead of me off the line and I’m thinkin ‘that’s a quick car but
now I’ll catch him and fly right by him… And you just kept going and I’m
saying ‘$h!t! I can’t catch this guy! What the hell?'”

The absolute highlight of the day was after making my 4th run and getting
in line for my next run, two of the Carlsbad officials walked back all
excited and started talking to me… “What the hell do you have in
there! Holy $h!t your car runs fast! We couldn’t believe how fast
you got off the line! You’re running nitrous, right?” (Then they
freaked when I said no & showed them the pretty stock looking engine
compartment). “Yeah we’ve been watching you race all day, the guy starting
the lights was commenting ‘Damn that car can go!’. Hey, what are you
doing tomorrow? You gotta come back tomorrow and race in the real races!
You could win $300!” (The emphasis on $300 made it sound like a year’s
salary). :)- Jokes aside though, several of the Carlsbad officials I
spoke to were very friendly to me & others w/ imports, irrespective of our

Here’s my run’s-

Run 1
1.811 60-ft, 5.257 330-ft, 1/8: 8.150 @ 83.80, 1/4 mi: 12.773 @ 103.85
Beat my previous best 1/4 (12.85 @ 106mph) by a tenth, but mph’s were down
by 2

Run 2
1.743 60-ft, 5.134 330-ft, 1/8: 8.013 @ 85.78, 1/4 mi: 12.642 (mph not
With that 60 foot time, I figured for sure that would be my fastest run for
the day. MPH were back up in the 1/8th but the left lane which I was
running in wasn’t reporting mph in the 1/4 for most of the day.

Run 3
1.777 60-ft, 5.230 330-ft, 1/8: 8.092 @ 85.59, 1/4 mi: 12.755 @ 103.66
Another 1.7, but not as good a run as the last one. Mph’s are way too low
and I noticed that when I shift from 3rd to 4th, it’s not pulling as hard
as it should. Though I’m running mostly 100 octane unleaded, I decide to
actually *lower* my boost for the next run to see if it will have an impact
on my MPH.

Run 4
1.735 60-ft, 5.175 330-ft, 1/8: 8.031 @ 86.60, 1/4 mi: 12.618 @ 107.1 mph
Another low 1.7 60-foot, and my MPH’s have increased substantially.
Apparently lowering the boost helped.

Run 5
1.718! 60-ft, 5.126 330-ft, 1/8: 7.958 @ 87.36, 1/4 mi: 12.525 @ 106.79
Great way to end the day… Almost broke a 1.6 60 foot time (On worn-out
225/50 BFG Comp TA ZR’s). Dropped into the 7’s in the 1/8, and dropped
another full tenth off my 1/4 mile. I was working on a better 2-3 and 3-4
shift for Run 4 & Run 5 & I think it helped. I concentrated on keeping my
foot on the gas during the shift, and while in both runs I still ended up
letting off on the throttle somewhat, I kept my foot into the gas at least
part way & just jammed the shifter into gear. Surprisingly, it dropped
nicely in there w/o a fuss or a grind.

Misc notes on the runs:

I usually launch around 4000-4400rpm and drop the clutch fairly quickly
(but not a complete “drop”). In my first run it netted a low 1.8 and I had
pretty good traction. In the next run, I brought the rpm up a little
higher (4500-4600) and dropped the clutch even quicker. I got major wheel
spin on all 4’s and I think a bit of wheel hop (loud thumping noise coming
from the rear). I figured for sure that it was gonna be a crappy run, but
when I got the timeslip I had a 1.7… I continued with that method for the
rest of the day and ran consistent 1.7’s… My conclusion is that some
wheelspin on an AWD is a *good* thing. You’d think it means lost
acceleration but apparently it’s still moving you forward quite well and by
keeping the revs of the engine up due to wheelspin you stay in a stronger
power band.

Less extreme boost = better mph/ET (for me)… I had actually heard this
from another fast 2G owner & didn’t believe it at the time… I was probably
running 22-23psi initially, and I lowered that & ran better. (For me, the
16G can’t sustain 20psi past 6300rpm no matter what, but below 6300 it’s
possible). I’m assuming the higher boost is causing ignition retard, but I
don’t know if it’s because the ECU is detecting knock, or if the ECU just
doesn’t like so much air flow and is out of range…

Anyways, it was a fantastic day. Great seeing everyone again, thanks for
sharing it with me. Thanks also for putting up with all my enthusiasm
about my runs… Claim Jumpers was cool, other than Dani head
butting/attacking me every few minutes. (Grin). Some day we’ll learn to
harness her near-limitless supply of energy and we’ll power a DSM into the
9’s :)-


Marc S – Into the high 12’s! (Carlsbad, January)

Hi all,

The Carlsbad event was great! Ok, the track is neither well-run nor
well-maintained, but the company was great & I really enjoyed the runs I
got in.

– Caravanning down from RRE was cool. About 9 cars. We managed to stay
together pretty well & kept it around 80mph. It sure was fun watching how
people looked at us & listening to the comments when we were at the gas
station. Hey, anyone up for practicing formations? We could have double
and triple lines, diamond formations (how fitting), etc! (Grin) Regarding
racing around for the last couple miles… Heyyyy I just wanted to make sure
my boost was set right :)

– Once our 8-9 cars made it there, our numbers were around 15+ cars & 30

– Timeslips… I hit the 12’s! (Yahooo!) I ran a 12.86 @ 105.04 and
then a 12.85 @ 106 (best). This was the first time I was traction limited
with an AWD… I was spinning all 4 tires off the line & through much of
1st. Some of that was most likely from having dirt/mud on the tires (good
ol’ Carlsbad). I think I can knock a couple more tenths off with a combo
of a better launch (I was doing 1.8 60-footers) and by leaning the fuel out
more. With race gas, temps never got past 860 degrees Celcius, & I woulda
liked to be near 900 as I crossed the 1/4 mile line.

– BBQ… Very very nice! Mike Cornwell is the man when it comes to BBQ!
(He’s just a lamer when it comes to spelling my first name… You wonder why
I keep my last name as an “S”? So Mike can spell it!) :) The food was
great & it was cool to kick back with everyone and watch race footage.

The Carlsbad meet really woke up my racing bug… I gotta get back to the
track for more timeslips… Anyone interested in heading up to LACR in a
couple weeks?


Marc S – Ferrari 355 War Story

I’ve seen a lot of Ferrari 355’s around (I live in Southern California),
but have never been able to get one to race me. Until a few nights ago!

It was around 2am, I had been driving for an hour on a relatively cool
night (low 60’s). As I near my house, I see the very low, very wide
silhouette of a F355, plus a car up ahead of him with lights on top.

The Ferrari driver is driving pretty slow, maybe 40mph. I figure there’s
no chance for a race here; it’s probably a cop up ahead, and if it
isn’t, this guy is probably the typical ultra-conservative Ferrari
driver judging by how fast he’s going. Not that I was entertaining
any thoughts about beating the Ferrari! I have a 95 GSX with a stock
T25 turbo. My mods are a complete exhaust system from the turbo back,
an upper I/C pipe w/ 94 BOV, manual boost control, a RSA FR2 filter,
and no MAF honeycombs. My best 1/4 mi run to date is a 13.65 with a
1.78 60 foot time, and much slower w/o a good launch (14.0x’s with a
2.0 60 foot time.)

Luck was with me though. The car up ahead turned out to be a
rent-a-cop, and he turned off at the very next street, leaving the
two of us alone on a long deserted road. I get next to the Ferrari
(and am very obvious about it) and look over at him to try and initiate
a race.

No dice, he stares straight ahead.

Ok, only one other thing to do. I floor it and quickly get a few
hundred feet in front of him, then tap my brakes and wait for him to catch
up, daring him to take the bait. (Not that I expected him to; this is
the third F355 I’ve tried to race in such a manner).

Suddenly I hear a WWRRRAAAAAAAAAAHHH and from my rear view mirror I
watch him rocket forward. I think to myself “awesome, but now I get
to really have my face rubbed in the dirt; I’m not going to floor it
until we’re side by side, and he’ll probably just continue right by
me with his gas pedal slammed to the floor”. (It’s always so hard
to get initial timing right with a stranger in a street race, ya
know?) :).

Good luck strikes again! The guy plays fair, and brakes once he
catches up next to me. We’re side by side. I’m thinking “well,
my intercooler is probably still reasonably cool, the cool air
helps me even more than it helps him, but we’re at 35mph, I’ve lost my
AWD advantage, and he’s got 380 horsepower!! Here goes nothing,
but damn this is gonna be fun!”

We floor it. My turbo spools up almost instantly (the one nice thing
about a T25) and I rocket forward in second gear. I pull a little less
than a half a car length on him. We’re accelerating almost at a dead
heat, he’s pulling maybe a foot or two. I shift to third, it’s still
very close but he’s pulling a little more now. We go from being side-to-
side to him slowly edging out in front of me.

Ok, timeout for a comment here regarding Ferrari’s… I have a complete
3″ exhaust, my windows are all closed, and as we’re racing, I can clearly
hear his engine over mine. And a good thing it is, too! What a glorious
sound! It was almost like something out of a Formula One race. I don’t
care if you drive a 12 second car or a 19 second truck, if you can convince
a Ferrari driver to gun his engine and/or accelerate, DO IT, the engine
note is absolute music to your ears.

Back to the race. So, now that I’m in third, I realize we won’t be side
by side for much longer.. The stock T25 put up a good show, but now as
the revs increase, the boost is starting to drop, and I don’t have a good
acceleration gear left to me.. Sure enough, towards the top of third
(for me), he starts pulling more in front. By the end of third, right as
I’m about to go to 4th, he brakes. His rear bumper was a few feet in
front of my front bumper before the braking occurred. I slow down as
well and roll down my windows, but he’s either slightly embarrassed or
just being a typical Ferrari driver and won’t look over at me. Ah well.
I accelerate moderately so I can get in front of him, stick my arm
out the window and wave to him to thank him for a great race, and make a
u-turn at the next intersection to get back to my home (which I passed a
half mile back).

We raced from around 35mph to 90mph and he was barely ahead. It was
the most victorious defeat I’ve ever had and I’ll never forget the
sound of that 5-valve per cylinder Italian V8 singing its song as it
climbed through the revs. To be honest I was really surprised the
race was even that close considering AWD’s race best from a stop.

(Oh, I better say this in advance before some putz says “How can you
even think to compare a F355 to a DSM?”: This post ain’t a comparison
of the cars or a judgment on what you are getting for your money.
It’s just a war story, nothing more, nothing less.)

-Marc S

Marc S – Racing / Comparison with Eric Lu’s 95 GSX – Third Race

Just thought I’d give everyone an update on the latest modded-95
comparison that Eric & I did. As a refresher, Eric’s 95 has historically
had a lot more mods than mine, but his car hasn’t been any quicker. The
difference between this 3rd race and the prior one is that Eric replaced
his “late 95″ ECU with an earlier, non-California ECU, and added a front
mount intercooler. Here’s the current list of mods on our cars-

My 95 GSX: K&N FIPK, Magnecor 8.5mm wires, RSR 3″ Exhaust,
IM Intercooler pipe & BV upgrade, and a drilled wastegate solenoid

Eric’s 95 GSX: K&N FIPK, Nology Hotwires, Trust 2.5″ Exhaust,
custom Int pipe & BV upgrade, test pipe, Buschur 2.5” downpipe,
EVC (16 psi), secondary fuel pump, front mount intercooler,
ported exhaust manifold & O2 housing, turbo: Super60 compressor
(similar in size to a 16g), “T28” exhaust wheel w/ 10 degree clip,
ported turbo housings

We got together last night at our usual street-racing site. (Out of town
& deserted). Eric brought a couple friends which was definitely helpful
for flagging the start of each race. Temps were around 70 degrees.
Like usual we both maxxed our gas tanks at the same gas station.

We got in 4-5 good runs. The results? Well, it’s a loss I can be
happy about- Eric’s car has woken up and is finally starting to pull.
Every single run netted near-identical results. First gear and second
gear were relatively even, with Eric pulling maybe half a car or so
at the end of second. As soon as we shifted to third it was all over-
Eric’s car quickly walked away. By the shift to 4th he was usually 5-6
car lengths ahead (but once we were both in 4th he usually maintained
but did not increase his lead). We took the cars up to between 100 &
110 (I was in the lower 100’s, Eric the upper). (As a comparison,
by the way, the 600SL I raced did not pull away in 3rd gear even half
as quickly as Eric did.)

Thoughts on the results.. First, I like the fact that every run had
almost identical results with only a car length of variation at the
end of each run. I still think Eric’s car should be pulling a little
more in 1st/2nd. While clearly I can no longer keep up with Eric
like I used to, we both think he still has problems to work out.
Running beyond 16psi is apparently leaning things out and causing
temps to rise, and I just don’t see how that should be the case with
4550cc injectors, a secondary fuel pump, and a smaller-than-average
(compared to 1st gen’s) performance turbo.

The changes since this race and last were the intercooler and ECU on
Eric’s car. Eric installed the intercooler a few days before the ECU and
noticed no difference. When he put the new ECU in, his car ran
nicer (I’ll let him expand on this if he wants), and suddenly he’s
beating me by 5 car lengths. Personally, I still don’t buy into the
“major code changes” between the early & late ECU’s. When we first
started modding these 95’s, we all had problems with the boost falling
down to 10psi no matter what we did, and somewhere along the way the
ECU started getting blamed. Clearly the PSI drop is a result of the small
Garrett turbo, not the ECU. I don’t know of any cases that demonstrate
an actual performance difference between the 2 ECU’s, we only know
that the earlier one is easier to modify due to having a standardized
chip with the spark/fuel data, and the later one having all that info
integrated on a single, custom Mitsubishi chip. Still, I’m hard
pressed to explain why the ECU change helped Eric out so much. Perhaps
his original ECU had something wrong with it, or somehow locked itself into
one of those limp-modes due to his cat being bypassed. The latter
would be my best guess, perhaps the later ECU’s or California ECU’s
are more finicky about the 2nd O2 sensor. (I should like usual point out
that this *whole* evaluation is of course strictly conjecture,
to be taken with a grain of salt. We still have yet to get to a real
race track).

Other variables.. Eric & I both have stock clutches. He’s probably
losing a little of his power to a slipping clutch, which could explain
why we’re so close in 1st/2nd gear. We’re slowly killing these types
of variables though.

For our next meet, we plan to make the journey to a racetrack (Carlsbad)
and get some real numbers. We should both have performance clutches
installed by then. In addition, I plan on adding a few major mods-
a 3″ downpipe, a 3″ cat, and a 16G turbo. My hope is to kick Eric’s
butt and still be running with a cat :). I’d really like to see
Eric do runs at the track with his current turbo, and then a TD05 16G
(with no other changes); at least we could find out what kind of difference
there really is.

On a final note, there’s nothing more we can really “prove” regarding
early/late ECU’s. While I had been under the impression that I had
a Jun 95 (“late”) ECU, we checked and found that I in fact have a
Jan 95 (“early”) ECU. (This car really must have been sitting around
considering I purchased it November 95). I’m sorry I can’t bury the
myth when I go run decent numbers at the track in a couple months
(grin… thinking positive). Admittedly though, I am happy to know my
ECU is more easily modified should I wish to re-program it at a later

’nuff rambling.

Marc S.

Marc S – Racing / Comparison with Eric Lu’s 95 GSX – Second Race

As a refresher, Eric (EricATCA) and I got together a few weeks ago
to see how our cars would fare against each other. We both have 95
Eclipse GSX’s. Eric’s GSX had several more mods (including a downpipe,
cat bypass, and much bigger compressor wheel in his turbo) yet the cars
were at best dead equal; usually I pulled a car length or two on him.
There were no definite answers to the “why”, but one thing that was highly
suspect was Eric’s turbo- it had no modifications to the exhaust side
yet had as big a compressor wheel as could fit in the stock compressor
housing. It definitely had heavy lag.

Since then, Eric has upgraded the turbine wheel plus give it a 10 degree
clip, ported the turbo housings, and had the exhaust manifold/wastegate/O2
sensor housings ported. We hoped the work on the exhaust side of the
turbo would make the difference, and that his car would pick up some
serious power.

We got together again this weekend, on a street outside of town where
people have been meeting for street races for at least a decade
(probably a lot longer). It’s a nice long (well over a 1/4 mile)
deserted street, and I felt comfortable racing out there in the daytime
when there wouldn’t be any other street racers around. Temperatures were
high, between 90-95 degrees. (Definitely no fun racing with windows
closed & A/C off!)

We got in around 12 runs for the day. We paid particular attention to
trying to eliminate as many variables as possible. We both filled up
at the same gas station (Chevron 92). Eric had a full tank, mine was
around 2.5 gallons shy of full to try and make up for driver weight
difference. In addition to runs off the line and rolling runs where
clutch work was involved, we also did several runs from both second
and third gear where the clutch was already fully engaged, to try and
eliminate variance in driving style. For the 2nd gear runs, we both
had the clutch fully engaged and the engines at 3500rpm when we stepped
on it. Same thing for third gear, except we did it from 3800 rpm.
Regarding boost levels, I think the runs were split around 50/50 between
Eric running at 18.5 psi & 15 psi. I have no boost control, but I have
hollowed out the nipple on the wastegate solenoid on the air box, which
allows me to spike up to 15ish psi (after which boost falls down as revs

Here’s the list of mods on the two cars. (An asterisk * denotes
changes since last time).

Eric’s 95 GSX My 95 GSX
Nology Hotwires Magnecor 8.5mm wires
Trust 2.5″ Exhaust RSR 3″ Exhaust
*Imagine Motors Int pipe upgrade Imagine Motors Intercooler pipe upgrade
(Was an HRC unit last time)
Test pipe Stock catalytic converter
Buschur 2.5″ downpipe Stock downpipe
EVC (15, 18.5psi) Mod’d wastegate solenoid, +2psi over stk
Secondary (inline) fuel pump Stock fuel pump only
T25 w/ Super60 compressor Stock T25
*”T28″ exhaust wheel w/ 10deg
clip, ported housings
*Ported exhaust manifold, O2 & Stock manifold/housings
wastegate housings

As for the results… Unfortunately they are disappointing and create
more questions than they answer. The cars were very equally matched.
A couple times Eric pulled ahead of me by 0 to 1.5 car lengths, a couple
times I pulled perhaps a car length on him. Most of the time we were very
equal, with the person who happened to get their foot on the gas a
millisecond before the other person getting a nose up. I think the times
I got a little ahead were usually due to my turbo spooling up just a hair
faster (not including the other factors I’m about to mention), but
surprisingly there isn’t much more lag on Eric’s turbo than on mine. I’m
sure all else equal there is more lag there, but the downpipe, test pipe,
and ported exhaust manifold seem to offset the additional lag created by
the bigger wheels.

This time around I took Eric’s car for a drive to compare how it felt to
mine, so my comments re: lag are based on driving his car and then driving
my car.

Ok, now to the “other factors”.. We have some unknown variables here that
pretty much make this weekend’s testing moot, other than to say that
currently our cars are still pretty equal, whatever the reasons. The
first variable is a slipping clutch. Eric’s clutch does have a bit of
slip (When I did some harder shifts in his car, it was not as crisp as in
mine.) I never saw any major slippage, but minor slippage may be occurring.
Eric will be putting a Centerforce D/F in soon, so that should eliminate
the clutch variable. Ok, everything that follows is pure (educated?)

“Variable #2” is a complex one. It’s ECU related. It seems like
Eric’s ECU is retarding his timing, big time. In the races that started
in lower gears (1st, 2nd) where he pulled a little on me or kept up with
me, he was set at 15psi. When he was set at 18.5psi, I usually pulled
a car length on him. In the higher gear races (starting in 3rd gear),
using 18.5psi didn’t seem to hurt as much but it certainly didn’t help
much either. This is a definite sign of a problem, 18.5psi should have
given him a lot more power, not hurt him. He has a big compressor
wheel, going to 18.5 psi should show good gains. He hasn’t played with
the timing on the car yet, but is going to try retarding it a little
to see if that makes a difference.

I’m curious, by the way, if anyone knows the effects that the 2nd
O2 sensor behind the cat (in this case, test pipe) might have on the
ECU?.. Could running a test pipe from an ECU point-of-view be hurting
Eric? (I’m unsure if he even has his 2nd O2 sensor installed?…)

Anyways, to me, I don’t think it’s a matter of the performance parts
on Eric’s car slowing him down or not providing good performance. Take
a look down the list of mods on his car & you’ll note that every
part on there has been proven by many DSM’ers to increase performance.
And I have seen a 95 with a turbo nearly identical to Eric’s run some
impressive 1/4 mile times. A better clutch might help things a hair,
but there is something significantly wrong with how things are running.
What worries me is that there aren’t a whole lot of things to play with
to try and correct the problem. Any thoughts on the matter are

That about wraps it up. We plan to get together again in a few weeks
when the CF DF has been broken in, and after making some sort of change
(ignition retard?) that seems to make a power difference.

Thanks again Eric!


Marc S – Racing / Comparison with Eric Lu’s 95 GSX – First Race

This weekend Eric (“EricATCA”) and I got together to compare 95’s.
(He has a T25 turbo with upgraded compressor wheel (Super 60)
& since I am in the market for a performance turbo, I wanted to see
how it ran). Eric’s a great guy, and it was a fun afternoon.
The performance results are somewhat surprising…

Here’s a description of the 2 cars-

Eric’s 95 GSX                              My 95 GSX
————-                                  ———
K&N FIPK                                  K&N FIPK
Nology Hotwires                         Magnecor 8.5mm wires
Trust 2.5″ Exhaust                        RSR 3″ Exhaust
HRC Intercooler pipe upgrade     Imagine Motors Intercooler pipe upgrade
Test pipe                                      Stock catalytic converter
Buschur 2.5″ down pipe                 Stock down pipe
EVC (was set at 16psi)                Stock (no boost control)
T25 w/ Super60 compressor        Stock T25

I really expected Eric’s car to leave me behind. The test pipe &
downpipe should have made a nice difference (25+ hp?), not to mention
consistent & higher boost from the EVC, and a bigger turbo flowing
cooler air.

The results though?… I was usually 1-2 car lengths ahead for the
duration of each race! The pattern was as follows- as soon as we
both stomped on it (almost all races were done from a roll)
my car would pull a little ahead. My smaller compressor wheel got into
boost a little earlier, enough to give me a car length usually. At
“upper midrange” we were around even, at upper revs Eric would start
to pull a little. When we hit second gear, it was “1st gear all over.”
I’d pull a little further on him initially and pretty much manage to hold
most of my gains. Towards the higher rev range he’d probably close a
little distance. We took it to the top of third gear once or twice,
but the results were still pretty much the same, the nose of his car
was behind my bumper from a few feet to 1.5 car lengths.

I should mention that also having been in his car as a passenger,
it definitely pulls a harder than my car from 4500rpm on up. I think
with a little better shifting the races would have been closer. But
that would mean 2 cars dead even when one has more mods..

Now, trying to sort out the why’s… Clearly a performance downpipe and
a test pipe give better performance and were helping him. Though the
EVC probably helped a bit as well (a little more boost + wastegate
held closed longer) for simplicity’s sake I’ll ignore any gains the
EVC should have been giving his car. That leaves: the Trust 2.5″
exhaust vs. my 3″ RSR exhaust, the HRC Intercooler pipe upgrade vs.
the Imagine Motors upgrade, and the upgraded T25 vs the stock T25.

I figure the RSR 3″ had to have helped me for some of that. We both
noted that in addition to the difference in pipe diameter, the Trust
exhaust has a relatively sharp bend near the muffler, and necks down
to 2 1/4″ where it meets the test pipe, whereas the RSR is very straight
throughout, and necks down to 2.5″

Intercooler pipe upgrade… I don’t feel as comfortable making any
claims here other than that the HRC upgrade only upgrades the area
from the intercooler up to the blow off valve, whereas the Imagine
Motors upgrade continues up from the blow off valve to the throttle body,
and replaces the stock throttle body elbow (which has a nasty sharp
edge/kink inside it) with a bigger/smoother elbow.

Eric & I felt that the T25 made the big difference. Upgrading
the compressor-side-only meant more lag, and because the exhaust side
stayed stock, it probably had too much backpressure building up there.
At the least the turbine wheel needs to be clipped. More likely the
turbine wheel needs to be upgraded as well. I’m unsure on whether
the compressor wheel shouldn’t be downsized as well to perhaps a
standard 60 wheel.

Eric will be upgrading the exhaust side of his turbo soon, with a bigger
turbine wheel and a clip. We’ll get together again and see exactly how
it affects things. Though I’m looking to upgrade a few items on my car,
I’m going to hold off until we can do this comparison. It’s important
to see what works and what doesn’t. I’m hopeful (and I’m sure Eric is
as well) that when his new turbo goes on and we meet again, that his
car will soundly take mine when we race. I’d hate to think that a
TD05 is the -only- way to go. I’d like to keep the T25 if possible
for the sake of warranty. So far all my mods are ok with my dealer,
but putting on a different turbo would probably change all that.

(Thanks again Eric!)