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Hello,

I recently purchased my first mr2 and I'm 16 years old. I spent all of my saved up money on it, purchasing a black 2001 mr2 spyder with tan top and door inserts with only 72,000 miles on it and I absolutely love it. It brings a smile to my face every time I get to drive it. I enjoy working on engines and performance mods and was wondering which would make my spyder more unique and would add some horsepower. Does anybody know of some cheaper end ($1000 or less preferably) mods I could do to my spyder myself? I already know about cold air intakes, turbochargers and superchargers (which are much above 1000$), spark plugs, displacement, and exhaust. Any and all comments are muchly appreciated. Also if you have any tips on brand names and certain companies to use and/or stay away from for any mods including the ones stated above at would also be appreciated!

Thanks!

-Brian
 

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Don't worry about engine mods. They are pointless. First thing you are to do,
Gut your precats if they are not already. Read about that here
http://spyderchat.com/forums/showthread.php?44686-How-to-Remove-Pre-Cats-(revised)

If you feel like doing some N/A mods, don't go beyond intake, headers and exhaust. Don't expect any actual gains from them however. There isn't much to be had from our engine.

For a little bit of money, some sore of engine management would be ideal for some gains. for something pretuned look for a Unichip. They claim to be tuned up to around 160hp at the wheels(i highly doubt it is this high).
http://www.unichip.us/vehicle/vehicles/874-2002-Toyota-MR2-Spyder-18L
For a little bit more money, look for an Apexi PFC.
http://apexi-usa.com/power-fc/

Aside from the engine which is fine(trust me, it is fine. your 16 and the car is more than fast enough for you), Look into bracing and footwork. Look at what others have done to their car and start from there.

For parts, performance and oem, go to
www.monkeywrenchracing.com
http://twosrus.com/
 

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Brian:

As you have not specified what has already been done to the car, the responses would go something like this:

Does your exhaust manifold, if stock, have the pre-cats removed?
If not, you need to do this immediately or replace them with a catless version.

Does your car have any bracing?
If not, get corky's breastplate and che's front and rear strut bracing.

Does your car have a cold air intake?
If not, get an AEM cold air intake with dual air filter setup.

Does your car have the stock exhaust?
If so, get a Team Moon aluminized dual exhaust.

Does your car have the stock shifter?
If so, get a TRD shortshifter package.

I guess that's enough to keep you busy for a while.
 

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For the exhaust header just gut the precats as only the 4-1 PPE header give any sort of gain and they are not cheap, CAI also don't give much performance gain, only get if you want the sound, a CAI will give a performance boost (very small thou) if you get the car tuned to utilize the CAI.
Bracing and a set of good tyres will give you the best bang per buck.

These cars are not cheap to mod, look at my mod list in my signature, that cost me close to 16 grand, not including labour as I installed everything.
If you are after serious performance look into a 2zz-ge swap or FI the 1zz-fe
 

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If you are 16 years old, the cheapest and best mod is a performance driver's school. That will teach you how to use what you have now, instead of wasting money on mods you don't have the experience to utilize.

If you do want to make changes, stick to simple bolt on stuff that require no particular technical knowledge, like bracing and performance tires.

I do second the precat removal. Either gut the stock header or get one of the cheap TRD clones like Che's or one of the Chinese knockoff's.

Use most of your money to maintain the car so you can enjoy it for a much longer time. Fluid changes, keep after the oil level, etc.
 

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Tires. Get good tires. They will (hopefully) keep you from destroying the car.

Then gasoline.

And if your unlucky, oil. Lot's of it.

But start with the tires.
 
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I have had my spyder since Feb 2012. I want to enhance the feel of my car, not a need for more speed, so first off I changed out the shift bushings front and rear. Then I added bracing, I recommend Corky's BP and a front strut tower brace for starters on a budget (me with a bit more bracing). Next I purchased a lighter exhaust for a bit more hp and reduced weight. Then I replaced the struts with Koni's and set the alignment to my tastes. I am testing a lighter battery (4.5 lbs) currently and making a lighter flywheel, quicker to rev, while waiting for a Zeroexhaust header from England. In the future I may go with a Power FC and tune then RE-11 tires when the current RE-040's wear out.

IMHO alignment, bracing and excellent struts improve the car greatly if you have responsive tires already. Reducing weight helps marginally but many small items add up in the end.
 

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As a new driver of a car with unusual handling characteristics, you should drive it very cautiously until you're familiar with it. It is unwise to spend lots of money on mods to a car you're (statistically) likely to crash. A completely stock Spyder is awesome: It doesn't really need to be modified. Participating in Auto-X events is a very good way to get familiar with the car. Be extremly careful in rain or snow.

Spend your money on restoring the car to perfect working condition. Concern yourself with Brakes, Battery, Fluids, Alignment, Tires, etc. At 72000mi, you probably need new suspension struts (shocks). Yokohama S.Drive tires are a good choice. All four tires must be (not should be; MUST BE.) the same brand and tread pattern, but the rear tires are wider than the front.

The pre-cats should be removed, but doing so by installing a cheap "header" is a waste of time and money. Cheap aftermarket "headers" offer no improvement over a gutted stock manifold, and are subject to early failure.

Once you have the car in perfect working order and are thoroughly familiar with driving it, you can start thinking about modification. I would start with chassis bracing.
 

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As a new driver of a car with unusual handling characteristics, you should drive it very cautiously until you're familiar with it. It is unwise to spend lots of money on mods to a car you're (statistically) likely to crash. A completely stock Spyder is awesome: It doesn't really need to be modified. Participating in Auto-X events is a very good way to get familiar with the car. Be extremly careful in rain or snow.

Spend your money on restoring the car to perfect working condition. Concern yourself with Brakes, Battery, Fluids, Alignment, Tires, etc. At 72000mi, you probably need new suspension struts (shocks). Yokohama S.Drive tires are a good choice, as are Toyo T1-Rs. All four tires must be (not should be; MUST BE.) the same brand and tread pattern, but the rear tires are wider than the front.

The pre-cats should be removed, but doing so by installing a cheap "header" is a waste of time and money. Cheap aftermarket "headers" offer no improvement over a gutted stock manifold, and are subject to early failure.

Once you have the car in perfect working order and are thoroughly familiar with driving it, you can start thinking about modification. I would start with chassis bracing.
I concur. Being 16 you should only be concerned with maintaining and learning how to drive your car. Modifications can possibly make the experience unpredictable especially for a new driver.
 

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Seeing in the thread title "cheaper" and "mods" used together made me cringe a little bit. If you can not afford quality items, less is more...
 

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Cheap
Fast
Reliable

Choose two.
 

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That is quite a first car. The first car I killed was a 1970 VW beetle........RIP. Not a BMW or Mustang but still dangerous.
 
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