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Old 03-07-2019, 07:49 AM   #1
TheB1G Lebowski
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needing some direction

So I'm looking to get my engine efficient running and within the year I want to add some more items to deliver more NA power, like a new cam (with new springs), possible ITB's (maybe gotta save save save for that), headers (this could happen sooner if I can find a decent set).

I've been creeping looking but not really figuring out where to start that will save money in the long run. I know that basically what i'm needing at the moment most chips will give me that, more efficiency, little more power, more redline, etc but thats anywhere from 100-250 (used to new) and that could be spent elsewhere down the road (but of course I can always sell it, which may be what I might do). But i'm torn between a chip, MSPNP2, and lastly a miller MAF/WAR chip combo.

Since the MS and Miller are basically the same price (800) they're kinda standing apart from an average chip. But can the MS replicate the kinda power that you would get with the newer 3" inlet with a MAF but still have the stock airbox and AFM? Im sure the WAR software isnt as custom as the MS but honestly I know that I more than likely will not ever need the full potential of a MS system, but if it will get me what I want for around the same money that is good too.

Whats your thoughts or opinions on this matter? Whats the best bang for the buck do you think? Thanks for the help, directions, and comments to come.
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Old 03-14-2019, 08:48 AM   #2
zaq123
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your wish list can get out of hand really quick, pricewise.

You need to figure out how much you will be willing to spend. I must say that I'm being a hypocrite since I'm trying not to look at the total $$ of my project.....as probably about 80% of people on this forum
If your budged around $2-4k and the bottom end is in good shape, I highly recommend to pull the head and have a machine shop recondition it (cut valve seats/valves, new cam/rockers/springs etc). You can install springs/valves yourself after the head is done but most likely, any machine shop wont charge you anything to assemble it. Good set of headers with a standalone engine management.

If the bottom end could use some work, add another $1.5k or so to refresh it and do a mild stroker (using stock pistons). Slightly higher end stroker (up to 2.9) will add another $1.3k or so for new pistons. IMHO, this option actually makes a lot of sense if bottom end needs work since you will have the block in the machine shop, might as well have them bore it. This is what I'm doing with my e30.

IMHO, with anything larger than 2.9 your 885 head will need to be worked on by an expert with a lot of expensive equipment to port it/flow it/measure everything, maybe port it more etc.

ITBs are a very nice touch but really like a pepper in your mushed potatoes - lots of good flavor but almost no nutritional value. Band for the buck is very low. Needless to say, I do love pepper and using ITBs for my built




Quote:
Originally Posted by TheB1G Lebowski View Post
So I'm looking to get my engine efficient running and within the year I want to add some more items to deliver more NA power, like a new cam (with new springs), possible ITB's (maybe gotta save save save for that), headers (this could happen sooner if I can find a decent set).

I've been creeping looking but not really figuring out where to start that will save money in the long run. I know that basically what i'm needing at the moment most chips will give me that, more efficiency, little more power, more redline, etc but thats anywhere from 100-250 (used to new) and that could be spent elsewhere down the road (but of course I can always sell it, which may be what I might do). But i'm torn between a chip, MSPNP2, and lastly a miller MAF/WAR chip combo.

Since the MS and Miller are basically the same price (800) they're kinda standing apart from an average chip. But can the MS replicate the kinda power that you would get with the newer 3" inlet with a MAF but still have the stock airbox and AFM? Im sure the WAR software isnt as custom as the MS but honestly I know that I more than likely will not ever need the full potential of a MS system, but if it will get me what I want for around the same money that is good too.

Whats your thoughts or opinions on this matter? Whats the best bang for the buck do you think? Thanks for the help, directions, and comments to come.

Last edited by zaq123; 03-14-2019 at 09:00 AM.
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Old 03-15-2019, 06:02 AM   #3
citizen_insane
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If you're just getting started, don't go off the deep end. Start with suspension and brakes. Once that's settled a new ECU is the way to go. Personally I think the MS is the way to go because it's a very open platform, but you need to be willing to put in the hundreds of hours it's going to take to build, understand, and program the ECU. The AutoTune on Tuner Studio for MS is really good and makes life a lot easier than other systems. With an MS running MAP you can probably make 160-170 whp on 93.

If you're not willing to do that, maybe a chip is the way to go unless you have the money to be paying someone to retune your car every time you change something. Personally, I don't see that being a worthwhile exercise, if you're going to get into tuning, learn to do it yourself (obviously, get help from pros), but the added complexity means you really need to understand how it works yourself so you can troubleshoot issues with your own car.

In no way do you need to pull the head and get machining done. I would say that's almost a complete waste of money unless you're planning to build a race engine or going for high boost. For reference, my completely stock 130k mile M20 w/ ARP head studs takes 15psi all day and doesn't care. Very glad I didn't spend $4000 building an engine for that. You can buy 16 $250 Craigslist engines for that, so unless you know what you're doing and why you need to build it, don't.
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Old 03-15-2019, 06:47 PM   #4
zaq123
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Quote:
Originally Posted by citizen_insane View Post
If you're just getting started, don't go off the deep end. Start with suspension and brakes. Once that's settled a new ECU is the way to go. Personally I think the MS is the way to go because it's a very open platform, but you need to be willing to put in the hundreds of hours it's going to take to build, understand, and program the ECU. The AutoTune on Tuner Studio for MS is really good and makes life a lot easier than other systems. With an MS running MAP you can probably make 160-170 whp on 93.

If you're not willing to do that, maybe a chip is the way to go unless you have the money to be paying someone to retune your car every time you change something. Personally, I don't see that being a worthwhile exercise, if you're going to get into tuning, learn to do it yourself (obviously, get help from pros), but the added complexity means you really need to understand how it works yourself so you can troubleshoot issues with your own car.

In no way do you need to pull the head and get machining done. I would say that's almost a complete waste of money unless you're planning to build a race engine or going for high boost. For reference, my completely stock 130k mile M20 w/ ARP head studs takes 15psi all day and doesn't care. Very glad I didn't spend $4000 building an engine for that. You can buy 16 $250 Craigslist engines for that, so unless you know what you're doing and why you need to build it, don't.


You are one lucky owner who’s M20 still has a cam/rockers in good shape than. A lot of these engines out there got wiped out cams/rockets with the modern oil or crappy maintenance (not a lot of owners cared about these things when they were $1500 cars.)

If one does have any cam wear and wants to replace it, pulling the head and bringing it to a machine shop for a refresh is the way to go. Machine work is cheap...cam/rockers/ quality gaskets etc...that’s were your money will go to.


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Old 03-15-2019, 07:31 PM   #5
bmwman91
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Decide on the physical mods you will actually do to the engine and then contact Jay at Sssquid Tuning. The stock ECU is perfectly capable of managing everything very well, and Sssquid is very likely to be able to get a new set of fuel and ignition maps worked out for you that will be optimal for your setup.

Trying to go with an aftermarket ECU is going to be a project more massive than you expect, with $1000+ in dyno tuning fees to get it running anywhere close to well (WOT is like 10% of the work; part throttle, idle and throttle-transition tuning are the other 90%). I do not recommend it as a primary option.

I spent a lot of time working with Sssquid on a custom tune for my 2.1L M42 and I can confidently say that he is making and selling a quality product. A custom tune would be a lot less than trying to go aftermarket.
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