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Hey guys I have a rather clean 97 base and Im just reaching out on some advice on how I can give my motor a little edge so to say, doesnt need to be crazy of course but to help keep the motor healthy and give it a little difference if that makes sense. Focus as of now is on body chassis and suspension and so forth kinda stuff. I'm not a know it all to cars but I'll get the work done regardless. Pretty much building a list and going from there. Any guides and tip would be awesome
Eagle out
 

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Ive owned a 420a Eclipse for over 20 years. Ive been on the forums, read the posts, and honestly there isnt a whole lot in the way of little things you can do that wont nickle and dime you do death and really produce anything in the way of seat of the pants feel! Others may feel different but I think the general concensus is... 420a is a reliable motor if cared for but not a motor that easily makes horsepower without some serious work and $$$.

The only way to get a noticeable difference is a power adder like nitrous (not reliable) or a turbo. Basic 420a turbo kits are available on eBay from around 700-1000bux BUT...to get the most out of em... you need A. a healthy engine... meaning good compression (if piston rings and valves dont seal you wont make power...or not as much as you could and already worn parts will wear faster or break under boost), an engine thats been maintained and not previously abused assuming youre not the original owner...and how do you really know if youre not, high miles and or unknown maintenance history = what shape are the crank bearings in?), timing belt thats been properly maintained (every 70,000 miles I think on our cars including all applicable parts), and for turbo use a cometic MLS head gasket is mandatory for reliability so the head would have to come off at the very least and be properly surfaced for MLS (and while there not doing a valve job at 24years is a crime unless its a very low mile motor).

Lets not forget what you need to make a turbo kit worthwhile, like bigger throttle body, larger injectors, higher psi fuel pump, cat back exhaust system, tuneable fuel management system....installation labor...dyno time to get it tuned, whatever else im forgetting...etc etc. All said and done, parts + labor... 3 grand? Give or take? And in the end it prolly wont even have as much power as a factory 2nd gen GST unless you crank the boost up...and on a stock lower end that doesnt have performance rods or pistons...thats asking for trouble!

All that aside....back to the timing belt. If it hasnt been replaced per the maintenance schedule its a hazard by itself even on a stock motor because 420a is an interference engine. This means if an improperly maintained belt breaks or skips a few teeth the pistons and valves could make contact and cause serious engine damage!

You can nickle and dime yourself to death with bolt ons like headers, cat back exhaust, k&n air filter and maybe end up with 10-15 horsepower...maybe 20-25 if youre real lucky...but for the money spent...(and the added noise from the new fart pipe out back)...you probably wont see the gains your after and will just end up spending money. I just know what i've seen over the past 2 decades of owning one and from researching the subject. Ive read countless posts to the extent of "ive spend xyz $$ so far but want more power because it still feels slow...what can I do to add more power?" It always ends the same way. Sell it and buy one at came with a turbo bcus you just wont get far with a 420a without spending some serious $$ and in the end, if its built to the hilt, internally, externally and every which way to be one of those 300+ hp 420a rarities...it wont be very streetable.

Whatever you decide, id still check the maintenance history on that timing belt and other general maintenance items like belts, hoses, motor mounts, plugs, wires, valve cover and oil pan gaskets, brakes, ...etc. Maintenance items that when added up will cost enough on their own...but those parts will help to make sure it stays reliable. Sorry to burst your bubble but IMO you just wont notice much difference for the $ you put into simple bolt ons with this engine. Im a motorhead and do my own work and If I thought it was worth the time and $ Id have done it myself a long time ago. IMO...its just not.

Best of luck,
Dave
 
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