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Old 05-15-2011, 05:05 PM   #1
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Default BEGI-S3 or budget BEGI-S

im debating over a BEGI build and im a turbo noob
I want to apporach this setup in a one-two punch fashion
1st goal is 160-180 HP...whatever my stock clutch can handle to test the waters
2nd goal is 200-220 HP
get myself turbo savvy and finish off at 250-300+ HP
my car is a 96 NA with ~60k miles....with FM VMAXX stage 2 suspension package and SS brake lines

My plan is to get an BEGI S3 kit with a BEGI Fuel System...this setup should at least net me 160 HP..and keep me CA CARB legal

After that setup I'll shop around around leisurely and upgrade my clutch and ECU to Megasquirt...potentially getting me to 220 HP ish

Learn the ropes and start upgrading my exhaust, injectors, fuel pump, tweak ecu, etc and should be well above 250 HP

I would swap back in the BEGI Fuel System whenever its that CA smog time of the year.

Problem is this path seems like a pretty pricey setup....initially $4000 followed by ~$1000 clutch/ecu then more $$$

I was wondering could I easily attain the same HP goals with a much lower initial cost?
Something like a semi bare bone BEGI-S setup with options like larger GT2860 turbo, SS lines, SS downpipe with no BOV and no intercooler...Which is like $3300 instead
Then I add a BOV, intercooler, clutch, ECU, etc at the 2nd go around

For upgrades, I want to minimize the amount parts I have to swap out and rather addon parts, e.g. add cold air box greater then swap out mild steel downpipe for stainless steel pipe toss mild steel away :/

Any suggestions on a cheaper intial setup that will net me similar power goals? Or other parts I can shave off now and add on later in the 2nd pass.

I know it sounds like a "pay me now or pay me more later"' kinda deal but i prefer "more" later and less up front...like my car loan payments
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Old 05-15-2011, 10:23 PM   #2
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I took a similar path that you're talking about. I went with an S3 initially and it has been a great kit. I do feel like I wasted a lot of money in the beginning of my build and with I had done things a little differently.

In my opinion (and I'm sure many others here), get the megasquirt first. You can buy a custom built megasquirt in the for sale forums for basically what you would pay for bandaids (fpr, piggyback, timing retard, etc). Buy the megaquirt first, along with a wideband, and use it to dial in your tune and pick up a little more power NA. More importantly, you'll be using this time to learn the software and in's and out's of the car. Once you've got the megasquirt figured out and a nice NA tune dialed in then look for a turbo.

There are some great vendors that offer great kits, just make sure you do your research. It's very easy to spend more money on a part that makes less power than another less expensive option. Of my S3 kit I'm currently running the manifold, charge pipes and intercooler, EVERYTHING else has been swapped out for better, yet less expensive parts. I loved the kit and if you want to bolt it on, know it's brand new, and not have to worry about it, then it's a great option. Otherwise, keep an eye on the for sale forums, try to piece somethings together, lots of great discounted stuff comes up there that can save you big money.
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Old 05-16-2011, 01:44 AM   #3
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Thx pdexta the idea makes great sense and I won't be wasting money any where. So how much little more power could i expect from this anyways?

Well i think i'll adjust my plans a bit now.
How does this sound.... I go the ECU/wideband route and understand the inns n outs, buy a larger injector and tweak the ECU so I get more HP and more ECU savvy, then finally get the turbo...my larger injector should compliment the turbo and I should be pretty comfortable approaching the turbo and tune by then.

I added the injector part because then I can tune the ECU for it and I should have a more noticeable power improvement instead of just playing with the ECU on a bone stock engine.

Hope that makes sense. And yes I wanna take advantage of the future deals/discounts thus why i'm hesistant on putting so much down upfront on stuff "I don't really understand and don't wanna understand too late"
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Old 05-16-2011, 12:49 PM   #4
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It's definitely a good idea to do the injectors before the turbo. It won't get you any more power, but it's one less thing that you have to mess with when doing the turbo. There is certainly some power to be had with an NA tune. Stock my car was running high 10 AFR's above 4500 rpms. You should be able to lean that out to 13 or so and advance timing a few degrees and run 93 octane. I've never measured the gains but, I wouldn't be surprised to see a 10whp gain.
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Old 05-16-2011, 01:02 PM   #5
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Also, the stock 1.8 clutch isnt going to do you any favors above about 150whp. Youll probably be able to get away with rollons up to 160whp maybe, but certainly not spirited stoplight action. Do the clutch early as well, also throw down for an Advanced Autosport uber clutchline. there is an advantage to doing the clutch at the same time as turbo install because youve got the exhaust completely removed... but in any event, driving boosted on the stock clutch is frustrating. Do it early
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