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Old 03-16-2005, 12:44 PM   #1
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Default "Free" & Gimmick Modifications

Low-Cost Modifications & Gimmicks

Original Article Text by: extasy
Updates/Editing/Formatting by: 94accordex

A few topics have popped up regarding “free” modifications. There are a number of things that can be done at no cost, but don't expect any massive power changes.
  1. For a slightly quicker throttle response you can adjust the amount of slack in the throttle cable.
  2. With gas prices rising weight reduction can help with both performance and fuel economy. If you have AAA or some other type of roadside assistance, get rid of your spare tire. With the way people drive I'm not going to sit on the side of the road changing a tire when I can simply call for a pre-paid tow.
  3. If your A/C doesn't work or you never use it, get rid of it to lose a few pounds and free up some horsepower.
  4. If you’re still using the OEM air filter box, you can remove the resonator tube behind the bumper; this will help the car breathe a little better and might also add a very minimal horsepower gain.
  5. Finally, if you bought the car used, you can pull the ECU backup fuse or simply disconnect the battery ground cable for a couple minutes. Afterwards, replace the fuse or reconnect the cable, then start the car, let it idle for a few minutes, and then take it for a drive. Honda ECUs have a “memory” per se, and will "remember" how the car is typically driven so it can set the fuel and timing maps accordingly. If the previous owner of the car always drove it very carefully then the ECU will be running on its old conservative settings. This trick also applies for minor modifications; when you add an intake or exhaust for example, if you reset the ECU, it will adjust itself to compensate for extra air being drawn into the motor.
Now, on to "gimmick" modifications…

Think that a $29.95 supercharger sounds like a good deal? Think again…

Most real supercharger kits start at around $2000 and go up, so if you think you're going to pick up the same horsepower for $30, you're wrong. If you want to give it a try, go to a computer supply store and spend $6 on a case fan, wire it to the car battery and shove it into the intake tube, and then, of course, let us know how it works out for you…
Your car will either lose horsepower due to a contraption blocking airflow into the motor, or, said contraption will fall apart and get sucked into the motor, most likely causing internal damage. Either way, it WON’T add any power…

Next up are the infamous eBay sensor mods. These are just another worthless gimmick. The basic idea behind them is to splice a resistor inline with the ECU on the intake temperature sensor or coolant temperature sensor to trick the computer into thinking the incoming air is cooler than it really is, and then increasing the amount of fuel being injected. Power gains will be extremely minimal if at all. The only real difference you will see is poor fuel economy and the possibility of detonation.

Also worth mentioning are the eBay ECU chips. These chips are often labeled with brand names like Spoon or Mugen, and are typically sold for anywhere from $20 to $50. Under some circumstances ECU chips can be very beneficial. A generic chip that’s not designed with your specific motor and modifications in mind however, is NOT a good idea. Any computer mods should be done by a reputable tuning shop (preferably one with an in-house dyno) that can program the ECU to make the most out of the existing motor setup.

Last edited by 94accordex; 12-14-2007 at 12:52 AM. Reason: Added additional formatting & content; fixed spelling errors
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