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Hey guys,
I just got a stock 2004 Spyder and I need suggestions on what I should start working on first. This is my first car and the first MR that I've driven.
Anything helps.
 

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What are your goals with the car?
Examples of possible goals:

Looks
Power
Handling
Auto-X
Road Courses


They are mostly mutually exclusive.


Also, what sort of cash an you put into it? Give us a price range you are willing to spend.


Not to beat you up for it too much, but coming on here and asking "what do I do with it" is hopelessly open ended and will annoy a lot of people because it implies you haven't given this much thought.
 

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Spend two weeks reading the perviously provided material. Almost anything you can think of, from changing the appearance entirely to shoehorning an Audi V-8 into the thing is available.

What worked for me? Started with all the TRD braces I could find; front and rear shock towers, front and rear lower members, did a TRD quick shifter (great addition) and did Koni shocks and struts with Eibach springs.
 

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First car ever? If you drive like it's stolen then buy a whiteline front sway bar to put on full stiffness, look at all your tires and make sure they match up, are staggered, and don't push the car on the open streets especially in traffic or around stuff that you can damage.

So that takes care of some safety but really make sure the car is safe to drive with good tires / tread and check the pre-cats and make sure it has everything it should maintenance-wise (belts, PCV, oil, coolant ect.)

Where are you located in San Diego and what color is the car?
 

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Spend two weeks reading the perviously provided material. Almost anything you can think of, from changing the appearance entirely to shoehorning an Audo V-8 into the thing is available.

What worked for me? Started with all the TRD braces I could find; front and rear shock towers, front and rear lower members, did a TRD quick shifter (great addition) and did Koni shocks and struts with Eibach springs.
Hard to go wrong with braces and a short shifter. They can be useful / enjoyable no matter what you decide to do with the car later EXCEPT if you want to compete in autocross in your stock class.
 

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Knowing what I know Now.. ( I'm a Grandpa.. ).. < Rant On >
Don't drive this Car.. Go get an old Honda, and Beat the KRAP out of it.. Work on it with your Friends, and Royally Screw up the Honda Car. Do all the COLD air Intake stuff, and the Normal 'Gotta Make it Look Better' ( Rice!) ..Learn what NOT to do, and What Too Do.. On the Honda..

Then when you reach 23 or 24, and Have wrecked a Few cars.. This one will still be Chery, and you wil REALLY LOVE IT..

These are GREAT cars, and ( In my Opinion ) Unless you have a 'Grown Up' holding your hand, and keeping you on track ( No pun Intended.. But I'll Take it ) and not letting you screw this thing up.. Your gunna Wreck it. One way or the other..

I've growd a Few kids, and been around kids.. ( If I remember, I was one Too.. ) This is too nice a Car for your First Car..

< Rant OFF >

Find a Group of Spyders in your Area, and have them help you along.. Take a Performance Driving School ( About $1200 .. Well Worth it.. ) and keep up on the Refreshers of the School.. Learn the Car, and what you want from it..

Mine is a 36 MPG 'Casper Milk Toast Car'.. Very plane and Econobox looking.. Others are 200+ Hp fire breathing Monsters, That will eat Corvets for Breakfast!..

You Pick..

Welcome to Spyder Chat.. Keep your arm and Legs in the Car at all Times..

Cap
 

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Badging, LT short antenna and Devs key covers are easy starts. Bracing, intake, exhaust.....usual easy starters. maybe a scion 6 disk swap. HID maybe. later on, 6 speed swap. quickshift or short shift.....then 2zz swap (or at same time 6 speed swap). Its all money and time.
 

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Jaz, what to work on first? Y O U ! If this is your first car period, this is not the best first car to own/drive. Do not listen to ANY of your friends who WILL say things like "go ahead, pass that car on the right/left/etc.", "you can take that corner faster that that!!!" Do you understand what I'm "saying"? By the way, I'm NOT yelling/preaching at you; I'm just trying to make sure you make it to your next birthday and beyond, honest.
Make NO modifications to your Spyder, just learn to do the simple, routine maintenance chores and learn slowly how to drive your car. Maybe check-out your local SCCA Region and find someone responsible to "show you the ropes" of driving a car like your Spyder.

Really, be smart and enjoy your car and learn how to keep it running in good order, use its greatness and not be taken in by it's "faults".

Good luck and please stay healthy!!!
 

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Hey guys,
I just got a stock 2004 Spyder and I need suggestions on what I should start working on first. This is my first car and the first MR that I've driven.
Anything helps.
If you have to ask, you need to drive your car first. Everyones driving style is different. Get to know the car first. Do you take corners fast and are oversteering like crazy and start to panic? Do you react and brake way too much and get understeer at first? Tell us how you drive. Then before you even think about modding the car, go to some auto-x events. Ask others there what its all about. The skills you learn there can be transfered to the strewets. Then do a track day event. Just one will teach you so much about the physics of racing.

Then when you feel like you need aftermarket items, contact Fluid Motorsports :D
 

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If you have to ask, you need to drive your car first. Everyones driving style is different. Get to know the car first. Do you take corners fast and are oversteering like crazy and start to panic? Do you react and brake way too much and get understeer at first? Tell us how you drive. Then before you even think about modding the car, go to some auto-x events. Ask others there what its all about. The skills you learn there can be transfered to the strewets. Then do a track day event. Just one will teach you so much about the physics of racing.

Then when you feel like you need aftermarket items, contact Fluid Motorsports :D
Is that what is called a "shameless plug"? :lol:
 

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Wow, missed the part about "this is my first car." I retract my previous advice, until you follow the advice everyone else has given or you may not live long enough to enjoy any mods.

Learn how to drive the car well and SAFELY before you modify anything. I think you should wait at least a year or two before you do anything in terms of modification (with this being your first car, my money is that it won't last 2 years before it's in pieces...at least you wouldn't have lost all the money put into potential mods.)

This car is already very nice and sporty as it is in stock form, you're not satisfied and feel like you already need to modify it? You're lucky to have such a "first car," but you should know when to not push that luck. You definately should go to autocross and put any money you have right now towards some driving classes to learn car control.

I hope you won't think this advice we're trying to give doesn't sound like we're thrashing you because that's not our intention, instead hear this as genuine advice in order to enjoy your car to the fullest and become a great driver along the way.
 

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Yeah if you were performance oriented enough to buy this car in the first place I'm guessing you like to drive hard, the whiteline sway up front will make the car a little more biast to push (understeer) if you hit the limit which is nice, I found autocrossing helped me realize how the car works, if you're unfortunate enough to find some snow messing around in a parking lot that you know doesn't have any big potholes that would mess you up is also a great way to learn the handling of the car. Odds are the handling will be miles above anything your friends drive so I wouldn't worry too much just try to keep the showing off to a minimum. I hope you take all the worry as support and not somone frowning on you and your car. Even kids who gocart their entire teenage life frequently step into their first new car and wreck it on day one so just take it slow you got yourself lot of car.

If I were going to recomend mods I'd say you'll get a lot out of suspension work and bracing. Start small, if the mod bug has bitten you go with looks stuff and simpler mods like bracing that don't require a lot of extra work. My favorite mod on my car and first thing i'd do if I were reverted to stock by some unhappy god is the exahust, team moon duals, or the Cobras I have if you can find them, then an intake, don't expect power gains of any magnitude, but the noise is fantastic. Then I'd dip into suspension and bracing doing little DIY looks mods along the way, and then eventually I'd make my way back to power when I was ready to drop some serious coin.

-Spargo
 

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Learn how to drive the car well and SAFELY before you modify anything.
Sadly, if this the OP's first car, I fear it will be a goner. So my advice is to not put any money into the car except for maintenance. If it's still in one piece 3 years from now, revisit this issue. First car should really be a beater, given the punishment it will take.
 

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also w/ southerneditor.

I'd go ahead and catch up on all maintenance items so you can enjoy your purchase in the long run.

Oil and oil filter
Brake fluid/bleed brakes
Clutch fluid/bleed clutch
Fuel Filter
Transmission Oil
Spark Plugs
Brake Pads/ Rotors
etc...

The car is more than capable in it's stock form and as your first MR just get use to it. Be aware of the obvious differences such as the engine in the back. The possibility of the car snap spinning. And perhaps even invest in an autocross practice (get more runs in) where you can learn how to control the car and understand it's handling characteristics.

And don't knock on first cars. I still have my first car and I'm happy to say it's in great shape despite the years of collegiate abuse :)
 

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Sadly, if this the OP's first car, I fear it will be a goner. So my advice is to not put any money into the car except for maintenance. If it's still in one piece 3 years from now, revisit this issue. First car should really be a beater, given the punishment it will take.
Just to relay a personal story that relates -

A year and a half ago, I taught my 25-year-old wife how to drive. She would've liked a nice car, something like a Mitsubishi EVO. I said, how about we get something cheap and somewhat reliable to start with since the chances of the car being damaged or in an accident are probably above average (even though everyone knows that 25-y.o. married women have much lower insurance rates than pre-25-y.o. males). So we bought a 94 Altima automatic for $3000.

A year and a half later, now she'd like something a little more reliable and would still like to learn stick so that she can have a nice, sporty car one day. Since her first car has faired well so far, we got something a little better...a 2003 Protege 5 manual for a killer deal ($6200, car's like new still). She's still trying to get comfortable driving stick before she starts taking it out alone. Maybe in 2 more years or so we'll finally get her that EVO.

It might seem expensive to buy these other cars first, but I look at it as insurance...potentially a LOT cheaper in the long run. Can you imagine if I stuck her in the EVO right from the start? I would've been stressing out every day until she pulled into the driveway. She thanks me now for the decision to take this in small steps. This is the only proper way to do it imo.
 

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First car is a spyder? Wow.

I gotta agree with SE on this one. Maybe a deck and some speakers for enjoyment. I just don't see this car lasting terribly long.
My *first* car was the spyder at 19 y/o, although I drove an 87' Camry station wagon the first three years of my driving career before the spyder. Like everyone else says though, I definitely do not regret it. I don't drive fast although I did slide sideways about 40 feet and kissed a fence with the front bumper. It was about 2 years after I got it and secondary to not paying attention, driving to work on a road I thought I knew, cruising along the sweeping 60 mph turns. Then there was a 20mph turn before the one slow 15mph 90 degree I remembered and I got caught in low gear, too fast of entry speed, slid sideways, and did probably the worst thing I could in a spyder which is hit the brakes when the rear end is coming loose.

Other than that there is no issues. The biggest thing is to have is respect for the car and understand that it is pretty much out to get you at every corner you push. No matter how confident or how experienced you are with it. Now with ~170whp, 150ft/lbs torque and the immediate response of the supercharger it deserves a whole lot more respect than the stock, I couldn't even imagine driving this car with 250+whp like some people.
 
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