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Budget Performance issues!

 
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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 15 Aug 2015, 03:02 pm
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Default Budget Performance issues!

Hey guys,

I have a 2003 PT limited, 2.4 non turbo with auto. I had the trans rebuilt with shift kit about 40-50k miles ago.

The engine has some compression issues, stalls with AC on in the immense desert heat, ect... Odd things happen. The motor has about 130K on it. I am having a problem trying to do a small performance rebuild.

The PT is under rated, and little to no parts exist, it seems. The motors compression is already high for a 4 banger @ 9.5:1. I was thinking of just pulling the motor, having it machined, factory larger bored pistons and rings... same valves, just cleaned up... get the cams reground, adjustable cam gears, mill the surface of the head, double up the gasket size to increase compression a little, and install an aftermarket shorty header, new factory oil pump, new steering rack, ac compressor/condenser/accumulator, radiator, starter, alternator.

I was quoted this:
cams (reground similar to installing a comp cams 363) $125/EA
Rebuild, factory with parts and removal with re install $2,500.00
Head work $200.00
Degree cams $500.00

This was the cheapest I could find with a quality shop, still seems kinda high and almost pointless. I was also informed that the PT's ECM is not very receptive to CAMS or changes and I'll get missfire codes. Is that true?

What has everyone else done, I am surely not the only person to do this!

Any thoughts?
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Old 15 Aug 2015, 03:27 pm
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Default Re: Budget Performance issues!

Here's the deal. Right now it's cheaper to just buy a GT than go to all that trouble.

And in a word, don't use reground camshafts on a PT unless you are ready to do additional work on the valve train. It doesn't matter who designed or ground them. The OEM cams only allow a very modest increase in lift before creating unwanted valve lash. I can give you the specs and explain why. Just send me a PM.

I could go into the other options you mentioned because I've looked at all of them and have performed most of them on other cars or trucks in the past. But in summary, if you can buy a PT GT for around $3500 or less, that's the better way to go. I had a very nice and tastefully modded 2001 PT Limited. I was able to sell it for only a $100 less than I paid for my very nice 2005 GT. And with the GT, I now have much greater options for performance upgrades.
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Old 15 Aug 2015, 03:52 pm
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Location: darien il
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Default Re: Budget Performance issues!

9.5 isn't pushing it on a modern engine. also doubling up the headgasket to "raise" compression suggests you need to do more reading. that's a bad idea for durability and would lower compression

our civic has 11:1

my mustang has 9.65:1 static compression and effective compression ratio is 13.44:1 with my 6psi supercharger at 749ft altitude. runs on pump gas

thoughts? i'd sell it and buy a turbo model to tinker with also, you shouldnt have "compression issues" at 130k. mines still fine with 270k, and not only is it fine, i'd likely run circles around you because mine is manual.

my PT, stock with cone filter in place of the airbox, non turbo, 5 speed manual, :

Last edited by rob342; 15 Aug 2015 at 03:59 pm.
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Old 15 Aug 2015, 04:44 pm
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Default Re: Budget Performance issues!

PCM has not ruble with decent cams. But that by it self is good for 5 to 9 hp. That can change depending what other help you give it such as head work. The fact of the matter you are running the same cd as a GT has. With more compression. Than the turbo version. The hp on the engines is in the PCMs anyway. Just know real programming overrun items on them for the n/a. Someone was supposed to be working on this. But don't no for certain if it ever got done. Might check with Skyed ECU. The shorty header is useless. Short headers don't help performance. Get you a 20 shot nitrous if you want cheap hp.
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Old 15 Aug 2015, 04:51 pm
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Default Re: Budget Performance issues!

Many have acheived just over 200whp with a modded 2.4 in a smaller platform (Neon), and it can be fun, but they have the ability to tune them. Without the ability to tune for the mods right at this moment, the gains will be less than desirable. It will run fat at idle with less vacuum, and the timing tables and fuel trims will remain stock due to the inability right at this moment to tune. You can get a tuner to create a custom flash to get you started (Syked ECU Tuning). They are also introducing tuning software in the next few weeks I believe. If you do pull the trigger on an N/A build, don't waste your money on a Header, Just Port your existing exhaust housing. It will out perform those fancy looking headers on Ebay. Also go in with parts that will all work together and compliment each other. I didn't even know Comp Cams offered a grind for the DOHC 2.0/2.4. I used their 400 grind in my SOHC 2.0 NItrous eater and it worked ok.
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Old 29 Aug 2015, 03:21 am
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Default Re: Budget Performance issues!

It wasnt comp cams, it was a place called delta cams.

I have since then found that crower cams makes a few different options. Their stage 1 cam is good for people that don't have head work and want to run factory springs/retainers.

64475P-2 and 84176S

To me, 9.5 c/r on a stock 4 banger that wasnt meant for performance is kinda high. I was expecting 8.5 or 9, I don't have a lot of options unless I switch the head. Is that perhaps another Idea? I don't want to machine the block.

Are the pistons from the factory forged? How big is the dish?
I'd rather just pull the head, replace it with an affordable aftermarket head, swap cams, install new oil pump, a shorty header, new oxy sensors, CAI, alternator, p/s pump, p/s rack and pinion, A/C compressor, A/C accumulator, New Fuel Injectors, program it and go on my way.

I don't want a GT, I want this car, i've already got all new suspension on the car and my wife likes it, color, lowered, we paid a lot of money for it, rebuilt the tranny, new fuel pump, new smog equipment, it was her first real decent car. we bought it with super low mileage, second owner. its not going anywhere.

Any further insights?
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Old 29 Aug 2015, 08:30 am
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Default Re: Budget Performance issues!

Quote:
Originally Posted by 03pennythept View Post

Any further insights?
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Old 29 Aug 2015, 09:06 am
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Default Re: Budget Performance issues!

Quote:
Originally Posted by 03pennythept View Post
It wasnt comp cams, it was a place called delta cams.

I have since then found that crower cams makes a few different options. Their stage 1 cam is good for people that don't have head work and want to run factory springs/retainers.

64475P-2 and 84176S
First, you should likely pull up Crowers cam card for this set of cams. The actual specs are different than what is listed on the web page.




These would likely be okay for street performance. And they should work with stock springs. You can contact the good folks at Crower and discuss this with them. They are very helpful.

But ultimately, you are going to be spending more money and effort to get less in return than you could have with a stock GT. It just makes more sense to trade your NA PT and buy a GT.


PS: Anyone thinking about that $2000 Whipple blower, here's the right car to put it on for $2500.

https://fayar.craigslist.org/cto/5194766522.html
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Last edited by Handy_Cruiser; 29 Aug 2015 at 09:19 am.
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Old 29 Aug 2015, 10:12 am
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Default Re: Budget Performance issues!

UNfortunately, in your situation of wanting to keep it N/A, the power to weight ratio is sub par. This being said, with a larger budget; the sky is the limit. There are a lot of aftermarket parts for these motors. You would have to have a plan for this motor and stick to it so everything compliments the next step. As for an aftermarket head, you can get one CNC ported, but it will be a "cookie cutter" port design, same deal with the cams. If you are experienced enough, you can port the head yourself, re-lap the valves, and have a machine shop take some material off the head gasket surface for a little bump in compression (this will affect cam timing slightly). Now, with the raised compression, you can spend some time on the combustion chamber to polish and smooth any casting or sharp edges that may promote pre-ignition. You will want to do this before sending it to the machine shop as you don't want to create a ridge at the gasket mating point. Totally up to you; it is your car, so mod it the way you want to in the end. Don't let anyone talk you out of staying N/A, just know that you will be into more money in the end to be at the same level as a stock GT
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Competition's paying the price.

03 PT GT. DSI canned tune, Weight redux, MH Racemaster Slicks/Rota Slipstream 15" 11.72at 116mph 1/4 mile
96 SOHC Neon Turbo
08 CSRT4. Realtune MS1K v1 pcm stg0 NSRT4 Injectors.
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Old 30 Aug 2015, 12:12 am
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Default Re: Budget Performance issues!

First about camshafts information,on this thread ....

advise call,and talk to cam manufactures only about camshafts recomendations.

Splneon at least races and performance upgrades his PT as well other vehicles. Good information from him.

ThumperPerformance a vender on this forum has advise about performance heads and camshaft combinations.

It is what he has done as a living for 30 plus years.


Edited today as per forum guidelines
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Last edited by NitroPT; 30 Aug 2015 at 10:50 am.
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