Performance upgrade tutorial in stages

Streetable build for those strapped for cash MTX only

Stage 1 bolt-ons:
OBX 4-2-1 full length header from Ebay = $129
2.25" Trubendz w/ hi-flow CAT and Magnaflow muffler = $395
HotShot intake from ZXTuner = $149

  • K&N filter = $39
    ZXTuner UDP = $49
  • belt = $29
    total = $790

Stage 2 ignition:
Ford Racing 9mm spark plug wires from ZXTuner = $49

Stage 3 PCM/ECU:
standard burn SCT from LaSota Racing = $269

Stage 4 interior:
ZXTuner short throw shifter = $49

  • S/R shift knob from ZXTuner = $45
  • leather shift boot from ZXTuner = $19
    total = $113

Stage 5 handling:
16X7" lightweight wheels = $400 to $600
205/45/16 UHPAS “Z” rated tires from TireRack = $300
Tokico struts from ZXTuner = $179
Eibach springs from ZXTuner = $219
19mm rear sway bar from ZXTuner = $119
strut tower bar from ZXTuner = $39
total = $1356

Stage 6 brakes:
slotted rotors from ZXTuner = $85
ceramic brake pads = $50
steel braided brake lines from ZXTuner = $89
total = $224

Stage 7 Drivetrain:
Centerforce clutch from Ebay = $299

  • throwout bearing = $49
    Fidanza flywheel from Ebay = $299
  • pilot bearing = $29
    total = $676

Stage 8 Top end:
SVT head from ZXTuner = $1109

Stage 9 valvetrain:
Stage 3 Focus CAMS from Ford Racing = $379 (same as Hi-Tq’s)

  • shims = $99
    Esslinger adj CAM timing gears from ZXTuner = $119
    Focus or Contour valve cover from junkyard = $15
    reburn SCT especially for VCT delete = $25
    total = $637

grand total = $5223

Stage 10 optional:
Intake Mani
TB mod
70mm MAF
matched flow injectors
MSD coil
Dyno tune

stock crank, rods and pistons should hold 300+hp easy

  • after all of this you will probably on be at 195hp/165fwhp

*you can always get Hi-Tq WebCAMS for the ZX2 as step 8 and do the VCT delete. Then raise the C/R to 10.0:1, have it PNP and install the oversized valves with upgraded springs/retainers as step 9.

So, with a $5000 99-01 ZX2 and about $5000 in parts you'll have a 14.15sec 1/4 Civic stomper, slap on a 60-70shot of N20 and you'll have a 13.95sec 1/4 Integra eater upper.

Is this against the stock status of those cars?

Hm, well I’ve raced and beat a 5th gen Prelude with the mods I have, easily. The only thing I recall him having was exhaust, not sure what else he had. And I’m sure it was manual.

But if you’ve raced more than just one then that’s fine, I’m just saying what happened to me.

Otherwise, good article with good information. :slight_smile:

Also, I’m just curious as to why you mention 2.25" exhaust rather than 2.5" for manuals? It would help out in the top end.

Is this against the stock status of those cars?

Well, stock for stock a MTX ZX2 will beat any non Si Civic.

A MTX ZX2 with full bolt-ons and SCT will beat a pre 06 Civic Si and Integra GSR

A MTX ZX2 with full bolt-ons, SCT and CAMS will beat a Prelude and Integra Type R

A MTX ZX2 with full bolt-ons, SCT, CAMS and top end build will beat a RSX or 06 Civic Si

When it comes to well built Civics/Integras you might want to go N20 with the build I mentioned, or forget everything I mentioned and ask someone who knows about turbo’s and go that route.

If you are planning on a good bottom end build (crank, rods and pistons) and a crazy C/R (11.1:1) or going turbo with lots of boost it really isn’t necessary. In this case you may want the Kami header and 2.5" CAT back. The OBX header has a 2" collector, so a 2.25" exhaust is fine. Your exhaust flow is only as good as your largest flow opening. If your engine isn’t combusting high amounts of fuel/air it won’t need to get rid of as much exhaust. The Kami header and 2.5" exhaust is meant for high revs, beyong 7,000rpms. Once you get that in depth into your build you will need some serious dyno time.

If you’re staying N/A (Naturally aspirated) then you want to stay with a 2.25" exhaust. If you’re getting a turbo/supercharger then you want at least 2.5" exhaust.

Also, you can get the Kamikaze header and use 2.25" piping back…I know because I do. And you can get other parts for cheaper than listed (i.e. Eibach/Tokicos) depending on where you live. I got mine from My Ford Performance for maybe a little more initial cost than ZXtuner, but after shipping charges were added the cost was significantly less. I live in OH and Tuner’s in CA, while MFP is in NY. Something to think about.

  • Darron

I like how Stage 4 Interior falls in the realm of “Performance Upgrade.” I’m just saying it.

Stage 4 involves a short throw shifter. Not only is the shifter shorter in height, but it also makes your shifts shorter. This allows for quicker shifts, and less of a chance of missing gears when doing so. It also makes your shift rod/linkage connection tighter. Therefore it does qualify as a bolt-on performance upgrade. It doesn’t make any more power, neither does a clutch of flywheel, they just make access of power from the crank to the axles better. Taller, wider wheels with wider stickier tires eliminates a lot of wheel spin, therefore you launch faster.

Not every modification I listed is for power, but is a neccessary upgrade to match what you do for power. Better suspension allows for less body roll when cornerring, cooler brakes allow for better stopping at high speeds etc.

He was merely saying that the concept of performance upgrades in the interior sounds funny. Not trying to say it was wrong, but think about it…it just sounds funny for performance. :wink: Also, I would say you’re right in saying the clutch/flywheel don’t make more horsepower, but since the Fidanza is lighter than stock it does free up some horsepower since the rotational mass is less. (Same concept as adding lighter rims/tires and lighter brake equipment, engine pulleys, etc)

  • Darron

I hear ya, this little thread is for the beginner with litte knowledge about ZX2’s. I was mainly replying so that when someone new to ZX2’s reads it they will know why it should be done and what it does for the car. Some people just want a peppy daily driver, some may want to participate in spectator drags and some may be interested in AutoX.

For those who read this thread:

Not every step listed has to be done, it all depends on what your plans are and how much you want to spend.

I am new to this forum, but not ZX2’s, I don’t know how much knowledge other members have. I am just trying to help and make this Website bigger and better.

Yeah, thanks Foo. There was no intension of pissing on your Cheerios, just thought the interior upgrades like leather shift knob didn’t qualify as a performance upgrade.

I keep hearing about this Fidanza flywheel. Where do you get one? I did hear that it does need to be modified.

When it comes to transmissions, I’m not nearly as knowledgeable…does a ATX have a flywheel? Or is it merely just hydraulics? Could I replace it with a Fidanza?

The Fidanza flywheel can be bought on Ebay, I have seen three different suppliers. I have heard from some people that they had to grind down the outer bolts, but others had no problems with the install. A guy I know out here has a 99 MTX ZX2 and his Fidanza went in with no problems. He either bought it from PTuning or New Edge Performance. I really don’t think it matters where or who you get it from anymore because Fidanza knew about the problems through reviews and fixed it.

As far as automatics go I don’t know, I don’t plan on doing anything to mine, its just a grocery getter, so I have never looked into any performance upgrades for ATX’s.

Personally if I had $300 to spend on a flywheel for a ATX ZX2 I would spend it on a MTX tranny swap, or just sell it and use the money to buy a MTX ZX2.

MTX ZX2 trannies aren’t the best, and the ATX ZX2 trannies are really crap. You would have to dump a little money into an ATX ZX2 just to make it perform as good as a MTX ZX2. Why bother?

Well, an ATX must be built stronger in the long run and can shift faster than any Manuel transmission. Though the ATX in the Zx2 is crap and the manual is the stronger transmission.

Never under estimate the power of hydraulics. Take a look at all top-end Ferraris, they all use ATXs. Now I know I’m going to hear from people saying that they are manuals and yes, you pull the lever to make it shift when you want, but the transmission is run on hydraulic pressure. The driver doesn’t have a clutch to depress.

Does a ATX have a flywheel? Could I replace it with a Fidanza? Or is it merely just hydraulics?

Why would you go with slotted rotors as opposed to crossdrilled? Slotted rotors are for very high speed driving like Le Mas. And the slots are actually use to clean off dirt and debris off the rotor and pad, so a pebble doesn’t get stuck between the rotor and pad. Slotted rotors also don’t last as long as a stock rotor or crossdrilled rotor. Crossdrilled rotors are for cooling, which in most of our cases is the type we want. If you are planning on doing curcuit racing, get slotted and crossdrilled.

The reason I am not planning on getting the cross drilled ones is because I have read some reviews. Alot of people have problems with the cross drilled cracking, atleast for the ones made for the ZX2. The ones that do not crack sometimes warped. I even heard of loud squeking when using the brakes. Plus I still have drum brakes in the back, why put kick ass brakes up front and still have crap in the back? Now if I was planning on a EGT rear disc swap I would consider the cross drilled/slotted and take my chances with the issues people are having.

ATX has a torque converter as far as I know, no flywheel.

Hmm, $5000 in parts gets you a low 14 second car? I have about $4200 in parts, including the turbo, supension, clutch, flywheel, etc. and I have a high to mid 13 second car here. I see no reason to make your car less streetable with bigger cams and run a half second slower then me when you can run 13’s cheaper and easier with boost. But, that is just me. That extra $1000 is a long way towards a Qualfie LSD.

I recienlty got front slotted cross drilled rotors, mainly cuz my stock ones were warped as all hell. I plan on an EGT or S/R swap at one point, but I needed new rotors anyways.

I have a ATX too, and like Mirror am on the lookout for upgrades that play to its advantages.

Some people like to go N/A, I don’t know anything about turbo’s. I think I even put that in my thread. Congrats on breaking into 13’s, lemme see the slip and/or video. I know someone else who broke into 11’s with a turbo. I saw him waste a EVO when he did it too. But that was on 22lbs of boost I think around 250fwhp. That’s from a 2,470lb car. A Nissan 350Z weighs 3,180lbs and does 13.9 with 250rwhp N/A.

If you strictly want a NA ZX2 for drag racing you don’t have to do the suspension upgrade, bigger wheels, strut and sway bar and brakes etc. You could always increase C/R to 11.1:1 and install more aggressive CAMS and go N20 if you want. That will only set you back about $3,500. Just keep the stock wheels and put better tires on it. Some people like to do AutoX, some people want to do a little of both. If someone has any mecahnical knowledge they can save alot of money and mill and PNP the head themselves.

With slotted you will notice increased pad wear, but you could upgrade to a stronger compound for the pads and that would help a little.

ATX has a torque converter as far as I know, no flywheel.

That would make sense because the fluid inside would keep the shaft spinning. That’s a thought, upgrade my torque converter. I’m gonna check into that a little more. Perhaps no one has done it for a Zx2 but I’m sure I can find other cars inwhich people have upgraded.

I’ll have a time slip for you when I get my 42# injectors. That 11 second ZX2 is kicker, he is putting out closer to 350 whp. Escort Pimp ran a 14.0 in his ZX2 with the exact same turbo I have on 7 psi. I’m running 10 psi so 13’s shouldn’t be a problem at all. I don’t think he is as modded as I am either. Big N/A builds make the car harder to drive. Bigger cams screw with the idle, more CR and bigger cams puts your power band up top so daily driving is harder. Imagine driving a Civic hatch with a D15 that weighs 3000 pounds. It makes it harder to drive. The up side is that N/A tends to be easier to fix and a bit more reliable. To each his own.

Harder turing, harder deceleration? Sorry, thats a newb question I know.