Using higher wattage headlight bulbs in your car..

So you want to increase the light output of your headlights to light up the road better.

One way you can do that, is by adding a set of driving lights, or fog lights.

Another thing you can do, is change the headlights, or headlight bulbs. For todays discussion, we are going to talk about changing headlight bulbs.

Now, most OEM headlight bulbs are like 50 watts. You can generally change headlight bulbs by about 20% with no problems, but 30% and higher and you could have melted plugs, and or a fire hazard.

If you have already installed a set of higher wattage headlight bulbs and are having issues with flickering lights, or lights sometimes not coming on, its most likely due to a melted headlight plug.

Luckily, sometimes the dealership will offer replacement headlight pigtails, and sometimes you can buy them in the aftermarket by searching for your headlight bulb type and “headlight pigtail”.

So, morale of our story, is be careful with higher wattage bulbs than OEM bulbs in your car.

N2MB Wot Box in stock – Improve your launches, and shifts between gears

Goal- improve traction from a launch, and make it so you do not have to remove the gas pedal from the floor between shifts.

Solution- Install the N2MB Wot box. It allows you to select your RPM launch point to improve traction from a stop, and allows you to not have to release the gas between shifts. This item costs under $200 and is fairly straightforward to install on any manual transmission car.

For more information or to order, go to ModernPerformance.com –

http://www.modernperformance.com/product/N2MB_WOT_Box_2_Step_Launch_Control_No_Lift_Shift/08-09-caliber-srt-4-electronics

The WOT Box is compatible with all fuel injected cars. Here are some of the compatible vehicles that we have successfully installed the WOT Box on:

Acura TL
Audi A3 8P
Audi B5 A4
Audi B5 A4
Audi B5 S4 (2.7T)
Audi B6 A4
Audi A4 2.0T
Audi A4 2.0TFSI
Audi C5 A6 (2.7T)
Audi TT
Audi TT-RS 2.5L
Audi S4
Audi S6
BMW 135i / 335i
BMW 325i
BMW 540i E39
BMW X5
BMW M3
BMW M3 E36
BMW E46 M3
Bmw e36 328i
Cadillac CTS-V 1st and 2nd Generation, Sedan and Coupe
Chevrolet Cavalier
Chevrolet Cobalt LT 2.2L
Chevrolet Cobalt SS 2.0SC
Chevrolet Cobalt SS 2.4
Chevrolet Cobalt SS 2.0TC
Chevrolet Corvette C5
Chevrolet Corvette C6
Chevrolet Camaro 4th and 5th Generation
Chevrolet Camaro LS1
Chevrolet Cruze
Dodge Neon SRT-4
Dodge Neon 2nd Generation
Dodge Caliber SRT-4
Dodge Challenger R/T
Dodge Challenger SRT-8
Dodge Charger
Dodge Dart 1.4L / 2.0L / 2.4L
Dodge Ram SRT-10
Dodge Ram 1500 5.7L
Dodge Viper
Eagle Talon
Ford Focus ST
Ford Focus ST 225
Ford Mustang 1996 – 2015 (All)
Ford Mustang pre-1996
Ford Mustang 5th Generation (including Shelby, GT)
Ford Mustang 6th Generation
Honda Civic DX
Honda Civic EX
Honda Civic Si
Honda Civic 8th Generation
Honda Civic 9th Generation
Honda S2000
Hyundai Genesis 2.0T
Hyundai Genesis V6
Hyundai Genesis Coupe 2.0t
Hyundai Genesis Coupe 3.8L
Hyundai Veloster Turbo
Infinity G35
Infinity G37
Mazda 3i/s 2.0L / 2.3L
Mazda 3i/s 2.0L / 2.3L
Mazda 6s
Mazda Miata
Mazda Speed 3
Mazda Speed 6
Mazda Speed Protégé
Mitsubishi 3000GT
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution: Generation VIII, IX, X and more
Mitsubishi Eclipse
Mitsubishi Mirage
Nissan 350Z
Nissan 370Z
Nissan 200SX
Nissan 240SX
Nissan 300ZX
Nissan Sentra
Nissan Sentra Spec V
Pontiac GTO
Pontiac GTO LS2
Pontiac Solstice 2.0T
Pontiac Solstice 2.4L
Pontiac Sunfire
Porsche 996 / 997
Saab 900
Saturn Ion Redline
Saturn Sky Redline 2.0T
Saturn Sky Redline 2.4L
Seat Leon Cupra
Scion tC
Scion xB
Scion FRS
Subaru BRZ
Subaru Impreza
Subaru Impreza WRX
Subaru Legacy Outback
Toyota Celica
Toyota Corolla S
Toyota Corolla XRS
Toyota Yaris
Toyota MR2
Volvo S40
Volvo S60R
Volvo C70
Volvo S70
Volvo 850T
Volvo 855
Vauxhall Corsa
Vauxhall Astra VXR
VW Beetle 1.8T
VW GTI Mk3 2.0L
VW GTI Mk3 VR6
VW GTI Mk4 1.8T
VW GTI Mk4 VR6
VW GTI Mk5 2.0T
VW GTI Mk6 2.0T
VW GTI Mk7
VW Golf Mk4 2.0L
VW Golf Mk4 2.8L V6
VW Golf Mk5
VW Golf Mk6 2.5L
VW Golf Mk7 1.8T
VW Golf R Mk7
VW Jetta 1.8T
VW Jetta III VR6
VW Jetta Mk4
VW Jetta VR6
VW Jetta Mk5 2.5L
VW Passat Mk5
VW Passat V6
VW R32

Check out the difference between a US spec fuel pump and Mexican spec fuel pump on a 00-05 Neon!

So a good friend of ours is doing some work on a Mexican spec, export Neon that is in the United States.
The owner is visiting for a few weeks and his fuel pump died after nearly 300 Kilometers, or nearly 200,000 miles of driving in Mexico.

So the fuel pump canister was removed and check this out.
This is a US spec fuel pump canister assembly. Look at the fuel filter sock on the end. Notice its a thin wafer, with plastic mesh.

This is the Mexican spec fuel pump canister assembly. Notice how the canister is the same, but the fuel filter end is more like a large can. This is to better filter out impurities in the fuel.

This is not the only difference between Mexican spec and US spec built Neons. We know the Mexican built Neons do not have airbags as Mexican Federal law does not require airbags in passenger vehicles, nor does Mexican Federal law require catalytic convertors, as well.

How to find a dynamometer close to you to dyno test your cars horsepower and torque.

Ok, so you have done some mods to your car and you want to find out how much horsepower/torque your car has.
You’ll need to find a dynamometer to test your car. If you dont know of any near you, its best to use the Dynojet search tool to find one in your area:

Now there are several brands of dynamometers, and the most popular one out there is the Dynojet Dyno.

Copy and paste this into a browser to find a Dynojet dyno.
http://dynojet.com/dynocenters/dynojet-automotive-dyno-centers.aspx

The second most popular type of vehicle dynamometer is the Mustang dyno which works well but is not nearly as accurate as the Dynojet in our opinion.
https://mustangdyne.com/find-a-dyno/

Brushed steel finish car wraps. Check out the way this looks!

We came across a Mercedes van that was wrapped in a flat, no gloss brushed steel type finish. It also had a roof that had a flat, no gloss black brushed steel finish. Check it out. This is pretty interesting, you normally dont see a brushed steel finish like this, its almost always a car with a flat finish, or some wild color.

Anyways! Onto the pics!

Under the hood you can see the original color inside the engine bay, and the wrap on the fender that ends just inside the fender area.

Alex’s barn find 98 Neon R/T is up and running. Check out the before and after photos!

Our friend Sgt Alex Lopez bought this 1998 in 2012. When Alex found it, there was no engine, and most of the interior was missing.

It sat for a while, and Alex slowly built it up, and got it running again.

2012 vs 2017 photo:





Want to check out more photos from before Alex bought it? Check the link below.

Barn find! 98-99 Dodge Neon RT that our friend Alex found/is buying.

When you think your wastegate actuator is bad, or failing, it 99.9% is probably not.

“I need a new wastegate actuator, my cars not getting positive boost pressure!”

Thats a statement when we hear, we know is 100% wrong. Way too often we hear that statement, and people think their wastegate is not working correctly and so they need a new one.

To explain why, lets go into detail on the way the wastegate actuator works.

 

Ok, so here is a Neon SRT4 turbofold with the top heat shield missing. We have a yellow arrow pointing to the wastegate actuator, and a red rod pointing to the wastegate flap.

 

So lets do a run down of the operation of the wastegate with an example of you driving in second gear as boost builds up when you stomp the gas.

– 15 psi of vacuum the wastegate is closed, and pulling on the wastegate flap to keep it closed.

Yyour now at 0 psi, the wastegate is still closed, and pulling on the wastegate flap to keep it closed. Boost is building fast.

5 psi. The wastegate is starting to open the wastegate flap, allowing some exhaust to bypass the turbocharger.

10 psi, boost is still building and the wastegate actuator is pushing the wastegate flap open more.

12-13 psi has been reached, and the wastegate flap will be opening and closing now to regulate boost pressure to the desired 12-13 psi.

So, because the wastegate regulates boost pressure, and its always pulling on the flap, if for some reason it failed, the boost pressure would be very high as it will not be regulating the peak pressure. You would never have zero psi or less with a failed wastegate actuator, you’d have 5-10, 20 psi OVER what it should be. 

 

 

 

 

 

Weight reduction and rotating mass – reduce your cars weight for more fun!

You want to have fun in your car, and have some enjoyment in the twisties and corners.

People are very often concerned about making more horsepower, having a better sound system, etc and one area thats frequently overlooked is the weight of the car, and more specifically rotating mass weight.

Now, any car can benefit from a weight reduction, but how extreme you want to take it depends on you.

Take for example our 2014 Dodge Dart GT.

One of the things we did to change our cars look, was to get a set of 18 inch Enkei PF01 wheels. These replaced the factory Dart GT wheels that looked like this.

Now, we dont have exact weights available at time of making this article, but the factory GT wheels were very heavy, and weighed something like 24/25 lbs each. The Enkei wheels we put on that you can see below weighed in at 18/19 lbs. Thats a savings of about 6 lbs on each corner.  That may not sound like much, but a 24lb weight savings on wheels is massive.

Now, with these new wheels, we noticed a difference in acceleration off the bat, the car handled better, it revved up much faster, and felt faster overall. This is because, in general anything that is rotating mass – ie, wheels, tires, brakes, axles, rotors, engine internals directly affects the engines performance.

Now, we also did some other work to our Dart to reduce weight.

Brakes – we used a custom made brake kit to reduce 16 lbs of rotating mass.

Pulley -we installed a lightweight crank pulley to reduce 3 lbs of rotating mass.

Seats – we pulled out the leather seats and installed cloth seats to save nearly 30lbs of weight. Most of the weight savings were from going from full power seats to manual seats, no heavy motors attached to the cloth seats!

So, we have reduced nearly 50lbs of rotating mass, and about 30 lbs of fixed mass. This is pretty incredible and its a difference you can feel when driving our Dart.

Morale of this story is – when you are modifying your car, keep the weight in mind!

Or, to quote the founder of Lotus automobiles, the lightweight, fun roadsters –

“Simplify, then add lightness”!

 

 

Have a 2013-2016 Dodge Dart with NO tip rear bumper but want the dual tips?

Ok, so you have a 2013-2016 Dodge Dart with the rear bumper without built in tips, and you want the dual tips.

No problem, this is an easy fix.

You can either:

A) Get the factory rear lower valance from us, and then find your own OEM tips, or have a local muffler shop weld on tips. (Click on the photo to jump to our product page)

We then recommend searching on Ebay for the OEM tips. Now these tips are about $130 (as of 4/21/17) each from a local dealership so you can try to get these cheaper on Ebay. Type into the search bar : Dodge Dart OEM Exhaust tips.

Or, if you want, you could do the same as above, but use the Mopar rear diffuser accessory. This piece is more expensive, but looks pretty cool. (Click on the photo to jump to our product page)

Option B, is where you get either the rear valance, or the Mopar rear diffuser from us, and then use the Flowmaster exhaust with tips. The photo below was of a Dodge Dart 2.4 Automatic with rear bumper without tips, and we installed the Mopar OEM rear valance, and then installed the Flowmaster exhaust with tips. We did not use the OEM tips on this car below. (Click on the photo to jump to the Flowmaster exhaust page)

 

Are your car windows opening and closing slow? Making squeaking or squealing noises?

One area of car maintenance that is seriously overlooked, is lubricating window moldings/rubber seals.
Over time, the more sun exposure your rubber moldings get, the more dry they get, and that causes windows to stick, windows to make odd squeaking or squealing noises, and other seal issues.

One product that is designed specifically for rubber moldings is Shin Etsu grease. This stuff is commonly known in the Honda world, however, it works on all rubber moldings no matter what kind of car you have. (Click the link below for more info and to buy)

This works on all rubber seals on the doors, windows, sunroofs, etc. Wherever you have rubber trim, you should apply this stuff. It will make the rubber moldings more flexible and pliable.

It can also help restore some of the black sheen of your moldings. It wont return them to like new black condition, but it helps regardless.

Photos of moldings with Shin Etsu grease applied on the right, old and dry on the left.

Moldings on bottom are old and dry, the moldings on top have Shin Etsu grease applied.

Maximum Boost.. A fantastic book for owners of turbo cars by Corky Bell.

Ok. So, maybe you’ve owned a turbo vehicle for a while, or maybe you just bought one used and could use some turbo knowledge.
Or, maybe you know a good amount about turbochargers but could use some help with calculating intercooler sizing, or exhaust piping size, it discusses turbocharger compressor maps, etc.
Its great for those of you who want to learn more about your factory turbo car and upgrading, or for those of you wanting to build your own turbo kit for your non turbo car.

Maximum Boost!

This book is written by Corky Bell, a turbocharging legend based out of San Antonio, TX. He is most well known for his turbo kits for the Mazda Miata.

This is an older book that is slightly outdated, but still a very good read.

It goes fairly deep into turbocharger explanations for the layman, and has lots of examples, formulas, etc.
True, a lot of the examples are of 80’s and 90’s cars, but you get the idea.

Anyways, we highly recommend this book for some fun reading and better understanding. Click the link above for Amazon and check it out!