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N/A UPGRADE BIBLE. wish i had this when i was a NOOB.

ALWAYS do the 60k/120K tune up before you do any modifications. I get people asking me what they should do first when upgrading, and the first thing I ALWAYS tell them is GET THE CAR RUNNING HEALTHY AND SAFE FIRST!!!!! The 60K/120K tune involves the Timing belt, the Tensioner for the timing belt, fuel filter, spark plugs, spark plug wires, water pump, cam seals, and a few other various things. These items are CRITICAL to your cars life, and MUST be done in order to survive.

INTAKE: This modification is good for about 1hp to the ground, BUT it helps with other mods. The most cost effective method is to get one off Ebay, Do not pay 180 bucks like many others do for the K&N FIPK. On Ebay, you can get them for about 40 dollars. It is the same thing, and none too critical to performance. Also, do not pay $200 for the nice shiny arm that some companies put out. Plenty of Ebay sellers have the SAME thing for under $50 shipped, a lot of times they come with a filter too.

UNDER DRIVE PULLEY: This is good for about 8-10Hp at the crank. This has been discussed at length on a lot of different forums. You can listen to people who say its going to break your engine, or you can take a look at others who use them on every car they own. I have yet to hear about anyone spinning a bearing due to the harmonic vibrations. So I always recommend it. Prices range between $50 and $210 depending on your needs.

TEST PIPE: This mod is good for about 7-8 hp. Further more, it will allow you to pull all the way to redline, instead of falling off the HP table at 6800. Best mod available for the N/A IMO.
California emission spec cars have two pre-catalytic converters and can either gut, or try to fabricate a pre-cat delete for more HP to the ground.

EXHAUST: With this Modification, your exhaust note changes noticeably, and your car will pull a bit harder to redline. This helps top end immensely. Borla makes a great system for the turbo version that will fit the non turbo. It sounds great on the Non Turbo 3S. A 3inch exhaust is not necessary for your non turbo, but makes a difference in sound. . The other way you can go for your exhaust modification is going custom. This is the most cost effective way to get a cat-back exhaust for your 3S and you have many options available to you like this one . A single tip exhaust is a great way to go, and will cost about half. Some like the 1 tip exhausts, and some don't. at this point it is a matter of personal preference. One tip for you custom exhaust makers, be sure to retain some type of resonator and or pre-mufflers, they are not a restriction and they are a HUGE help with N/A valve overlap (farting noise when letting off the throttle).

HEADERS: For years, The DOHC NA cars have Longed for them. 3SX in conjuction with ek2mfg have produced them. They make about 18hp to the ground. DYNO PROVEN. If you previously had a down pipe, you can sell it at this point and get some of the initial cost of these headers back. Also consider the OBX headers on Ebay.. they work with some fabrication, and theyre much cheaper. these run $375-599

At this point you are making about 245 hp. and your car will feel very strong. and SHOULD run about 14.9-7 depending on driver.

At $45 they're a cheap mod, BUT these will help throttle response greatly. They stabilize voltage for your ECU. Maximal Performance sells these, as well as many different vendors on Ebay.

DOWNPIPE There are various vendors that have these in stock. Depending on which emission car you have, you will be able to choose wisely. This mod is good for a reported 13hp at the wheels and can not be used in conjunction with the 3SX full length headers.
These cost around $300 bucks, and your exhaust note changes CONSIDERABLY at 4,000 rpm.this is where you'll get some nice gains from the air filter in stage 1.

SOLID MOTOR MOUNTS These keep the engine nailed to the car, and eliminates MOST of wheel hop, 3SX or MAXIMAL PERFORMANCE has them. you can also go the DSM route and window weld your stock mounts if you don't mind a 24 hr of downtime to let them dry. (This is the cheapest way to go, bout 14 bucks, but you will have to re-do them every 2 years or so)

LIGHTWEIGHT FLYWHEEL This will make your car nice and rev happy, and will add about 1mph on your mph at the track. There are many vendors that carry these, RPS and Fidanza have a few great solutions for the N/A 3s.

CLUTCH In recent years there have been significant gains in clutches for the N/A. To each his own. just a tip, you CAN use ANY DSM clutch you find on the market, they bolt to the N/A flywheel.
JUST KEEP IN MIND. IF YOU'RE PLANNING ON GOING FWD Twin Turbo. GET A HEAVY DUTY ONE. They're worth it in the long run.

TWIN TURBO FUEL PUMP This bolts right in, and keeps your fuel pressure NICE. You can get them used for pretty cheap. You're Going to need this for the next modification.

NITROUS OXIDE Depending on your application and budget, you have a choice to make. Wet (2 separate jets, one for fuel, and one for Nitrous), or Dry (one jet, Nitrous). but now you will realize the safety aspect of the fuel pump. There are many options and companies that make a great kit. You can get a used Nitrous kit. It's cost-effective.

FUEL CONTROL SAFC (1, 2, neo) This will be used to tune the fuel for the nitrous kit. This is a nice gadget to have, as it will tell you a few vital readings on RPM, fuel correction, etc. The Blue wire mod will allow you to read 02 voltages. Get one from one of the great vendors available to 3S enthusiasts!

GAUGES At this point you should get a wide band 02 sensor, and EGT gauge to help in the tuning if you have nitrous.

ACCEL COILS (IGNITION) , Time to grab some 8MM Ignition wires and a set of yellow Accel coils. Stealth316 has a tutorial on how to make them work. Hotter spark, more efficiency. The engine is an air pump and the spark is the engine that drives it. makes sense to get that spark as good as it can be, doesn't it?

Now you should be making about 265 N/A hp and 320hp or more with the help of nitrous oxide.
At this point you run between 14.5 and 14.1 depending on driver.


You want to lower the car's center of gravity for better launches and control in corners. The best available option is Intrax. plain and simple. There are other cheaper alternatives out there, however, quality is a concern. Eibach is a great quality they just don't lower the car as much. Ground control coil overs are a great controllable option.

CAMS: Good HP for big $$ Dynamic has them.

INTAKE PLENUM: 'nuf said

ADJUSTABLE CAM GEARS These are pretty expensive and you only have two solutions for them. They look nice but are tough to install if you get these, a good time to install them, would be when doing a 60/120K tune up. This Mod will pay off more if you have performance camshafts in your 3S. They're definitely not for the average tuner.

LIMITED SLIP INSERT, or GEAR LSD The best option is the LSD insert, it's cheap, relatively easy to install, and if 11-second FWD DSM's can use it, so can you.
Quaife or KTP gear type LSD's are always best, as they're torque biased, but at about $1000 they can get pricey with install. SUB 2.0 short times can be expected with much practice.

PHENOLIC SPACER minimal gains with this, but it keeps things cool up top, 3sx and dynamic have them.

VR-4 BRAKES You're going fast, so you need to stop quick too, you need the brake calipers and rotors from a first generation (1991-1993) 3S, along with the hub and the steering knuckle. Axles remain the same. First Gen Twin Turbo calipers can be used on 16-inch stock rims. If you use 2nd Gen Twin Turbo calipers, you must upgrade to 17" rims.

At this point, you're making some pretty good power and you have the ability to put it to the ground. Also, you have the means to make the car stop on a dime.
at this point, you should run 14.3-13.xx


this is a new modification so to speak, getting a JSPEC drop-in 3500 motor will add about 30whp to your car for 1500 dollars. eBay has them all day long. HIGHLY recommend this modification, coupled with all the other stages will equal a VERY strong NA

TWIN TURBO CONVERSION From, a roll NOTHING will touch you. Track times will vary, 3SX has the world record for FWD TURBO which is sub 10 seconds.
The LSD AND CLUTCH are A MUST for this undertaking. should cost between 2k and 8k depending on what you get, what method you use, who does it, and how many NEW parts you buy. Step by step Instructions can be found in the Twin Turbo conversion bible.

REWIRE FUEL PUMP With a bigger Twin Turbo fuel pump and nitrous, it's a good idea to have constant voltage to the pump at all times. You may have to make this yourself, or check Ebay. I will provide instructions soon. Stay tuned.


Most 1Gs are running on 13 years old now, it's about time to get rid of the old leak-prone electrolytic capacitors and replace them.
BLUE WIRE MOD Remove your stock stereo plate and pull the stereo, 4 Phillips screws. Locate the blue wire, behind the stereo, pull the blue wire behind the stereo, no more beep when the door is open!

UPDATED LIFTERS GET THESE! your car will NEVER tick again.
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Everything is pretty accurate except for the exhaust mods to the downpipe. Depending on combination (testpipe/downpipe etc) law of diminishing returns is in.
i disagree, heres why
if you put a downpipe on a stock system, youd get 13hp,(this is how it got dynod)
then if you remove the cat, you free up about 5-7 more
and then you do custom exhaust, eliminating that gay muffler we got, and you gain an estimated 5 hp.
so in all a full exhaust setup should net you about 23 hp. at the flywheel anyway.
all i know is that i felt the car change after each mod. so im sure there ARE SOME diminishing returns. but not much if any.
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Good Job there is an actual thread that we can point people to when they start asking about modding...........

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Re: N/A UPGRADE BIBLE. wish i had this when i was a NOOB.

YOGURT! said:
a little N/A "timeline" of how to BPU and BPU+etc your N/A
Very well done Yogurt! Impressive list, most impressive. Now if only there were a set of headers and some hi-perf cams to go along with this list... :rolleyes:
thanks man!:) like i said i wish i had this when i started.
remember kids, used is your friend.
GREEN, tell me about it man. sheesh. :rolleyes:
[h]ardocp_geek said:
Depending on combination (testpipe/downpipe etc) law of diminishing returns is in.
I'd have to disagree with this as well. As long as your exhaust mods keep opening things up more WITHOUT creating addition turbulence, the NA will continue to gain hp simply by being able to breath better each time. The only loss will be a little low end torque, but from midrange through top end the engine comes alive like a scalded ass ape! :p
so, what are you estimating (if you know) we can look to gain when the headers finally come out
Just guessing, but if a simple test pipe produces around 10hp, and a front(down) pipe gets you around 10hp, headers should be anywhere from 15 to 25... :eek:
ill say at least 10. at LEAST. plus there lighter.

my SL with nothing but an k&n intake put down 167 peak hp

Hans' SL put down 168 to the wheels with an exhaust/testpipe/intake.... BUT he kept 168 to the wheels to redline where as I fell back down like 10hp to redline.

the numbers may be skewed a little seeing as this was like 2 years ago.

Solid motormounts, you can also do the dsm elcheapo method of filling in the mount with polyurethane, ie 15 bux for all 4. Works real well. Or you can take it a step further and make your own molds/mounts.. the instructions are out there. Again, diy for pennies.

with the UDP and lightweight flywheel, you tach up alot quicker than a stock setup
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you know for the intake which has more HP the panel replacement K/N or the pod K/N????
not sure what ya mean there guy. but you get the one that replaces the air box.
ok so you mean the Pod filter cool (the one that replaces the OEM air box)
Question Guys

I have a gutted cat, is a test pipe better performance???
Also I have a flywheel but with a stock clutch am I robbing myself of power, really I cant turn back cause its expensive for them to change now....
Where in the hell does that LSD go??????? and how much is that?
And the last question is, lol, Ive got all the other mods, which would u do Cam gears or bored out throttle body?
this thread helps me more than you can know! big thanks to yogurt!:D
Re: Question Guys

Palania said:
Where in the hell does that LSD go???
Limited Slip Deferential, tranny mod, when one wheel starts to spin it shifts over to the other one to even traction back out, cost is only one arm and one leg... :eek:

Thanxz again Yogurt! I copied and pasted your bible as a word document to my NA archives for future reference!!! :D
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I've been waiting for this thread!
I want to do just the intake and the downpipe for now.
I wanted to know if:

1- these mods would give me HP gains without modding the rest of the exhaust(yet), and
2- what this will do to sound. I DON"T want a very loud exhaust. Louder is ok, but not LOUD.
for any feedback!!!!

(I can't (and won't) do the testpipe in my state.
I thought the next mods after the above would be the pseudounderdrive pully from 3sx and maybe the (yogurt) exhaust.)
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So let me get this straight. I have only a K&N Aircharger. If I get a test pipe right now I'll add 13 HP to the wheels? and with every exhaust mod after I will add to that number?

If that is true then I am going to get the 3Sx pulley and the downpipe and be happy for a while.
i think you've got nitrous way to early in the list, that should probably be at the end.

and, WAY TO STATE the obvious ;) im sure glad we all have this upgrade guide now, lol
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