New to the boards, couple questions

Hi gang. Finally glad I could find a ZX2 site that would let me join. I guess I wasn’t cool enough for any of the others.

I have a 1999 ZX2 with around 183,000 miles that I have had for a while now. I was having some trouble with the 5 speed transmission so I decided to pull the engine as well to take care of some basic maintenance. I have taken care of the timing belt, valve cover gasket, oil pan gaskets and some other odds and ends.

One question I have is about the dipstick tube. Is there supposed to be an o-ring where it slips into the block? I can’t find any documentation saying there should be. I called the dealership and they said it should be a press fit. My tube seems a little less than a press fit. There didn’t seem to be anything on there when I removed it except road crud and oil. Any ideas?

The other question is about the throttle body. While I have the engine out I think I am going to take it off and clean it up a little bit. Are there any other simple mod that I can do to help performance a little bit? Is there a spacer that is a good bang for the buck? When I got my car it already had a couple of small mods on it. I liked the way it performed so I didn’t really do anything else except add a B&M short throw shifter. But if I can get it to do a little better with a simple modification that would be nice.

Ok, I just had another thought. Does anyone know anything about the Pacesetter header that Summit sells for the ZX2? Is it decent bang for the money, or should I run fast and far?

Thanks for helping a noob!

First off, WELCOME! Always great to see new faces!

I will check my dipstick tube when I get home but I do believe it is a press fit. Does it seem like it’s just not sealing?

The throttle body is easy to clean, just use some carb cleaner and spray it off and work it back and forth while you do so to make sure you free it up. If you have a solvent tank you can run it through that as well.

As to basic performance:

  • Intake mod is great. You can see that here - viewtopic.php?f=46&t=1899 You will be modifying the stock intake, it helps with mileage, power, and isn’t overkill! And it’s efficient, too!

  • Energy suspension makes great stabilizer bushings for the shifter (they are a tad loose, easy to stiffen up). The suspension master kit is well, and i would even suggest diving into the ES motormount inserts. All of this can be had for around $100, and it’s a night and day difference.

  • The B&M is great, the TWM is supposedly “The best” but i’ve never used one, and i’m very content with the B&M. The TWM looks overkill for me. Honestly in comparison to my 944, and hopping back in the ZX2 I can safely say that with the stabilizer bushings and the B&M it is quite crisp, and feels quite nice. Remember to check your linkage as it has recently been proven to have some weak spots due to the plastic bushings. You can check that out here - viewtopic.php?f=46&t=2057 Please keep in mind doing one side will put pressure on the other plastic bushing on the other side, you can do both sides with washers (very thin ones) and it should be a permanent fix. Remember to keep the SAME SIZE washers if you do it so the linkage isn’t moved. Remember that gates and transmissions are VERY SENSITIVE so it’s a “do it at your own risk” mod.

Aside from those basic mods, little more in depth:

  • Underdrive pulley (will run about $100), easy 5hp to the wheels.
  • Good header and exhaust setup
  • Suspension is amazing on these cars. Night and day stock vs even basic upgrades. I’m on GR2 KYB with suspension techniques springs and ES bushings, LOVE IT!

PS: Technically even the basic headers are better than stock in power, however, there has been some controversy on headers vs weld strength vs quality. I cannot personally attest to it, however, there are many great threads about them on this board if you run a search with “header”.

Don’t worry about the dipstick, mine slides in and out fairly easily when the 8mm bolt on it is undone from the head. The pacesetter is a gamble, some work fine but many have welds that crack after use. The jba is the same way. If you want a long header that removes the cat an obx off ebay is a cheap good option.

Thanks for the welcome!

I actually went out and looked at the dipstick tube after I posted and all I had to do is tap it in the rest of the way.

As far as mods, the car already had an underdrive pulley on it when I got it. I found that out when I replaced the belt and I had to go back to find one smaller. Also there was an obvious drop in voltage when I was in idle. I actually have a lot of the energy suspension stuff on order right now. I would like to overhaul my suspension just because of the mileage but I might actually wait for the time when I have to replace the struts and possibly ugrade the springs.

Another question. What sensor is attatched to the throttle body? I have the throttle body off to clean it, but I can’t get one of the screws loose.


The wires connected to the TB is your TPS(Throttle Position Sensor). I would just take the TB off and clean the carbon in there if you worried about anything with carb cleaner.

Score! What kind of underdrive pulley do you have?

Krux303, thanks! I got the sensor off at work and I figured it out once I saw how it operated. My first thought was, “Well duh!”

mellowness65, I don’t know what kind of underdrive pulley it is. It is solid machined aluminum with no paint or anodizing.

KoiHoshi, I definately need to do something with my intake. It was so badly butchered by the previous owner I think most of the parts are already missing. I know there are pieces of PVC in there and it does have a K&N filter. I’ll have to post pics sometime, it looks like crap.

The reason why the pacesetter caught my eye is that it “supposedly” bolt to the factory exhaust. I’ll have to research headers a little more.

Sounds like you have a good start for it. Just take little by little. Post some pic’s up of the car and the items you are working on.

The issue with the PVC is that it warps overtime. The muffler tubing will not/should not rust (mine hasn’t) and will not warp and is thinner, and can sometimes therefore be lighter than the PVC. :slight_smile: If you can find a local shop to do it.

I’ll post pics as soon as I get a chance!

Do it up bud. I would love to see it

I promise I’ll get some up eventually. Between trying to get this back on the road, yardwork, and maintaining the other vehicles, I’m not finding a lot of time right now.

haha sounds good. All of us get busy at some point in time. Looks like your doing maintenance to the car.