Diss-cussion: to blow or suck? that is the question…

Gotcha! My ploy worked to get you to read my babble. Although the question is indeed valid. I wanted to ask my readers this; If you were to buy or put together a car to enjoy on the street and the occasional track day, what car would it be, and would you turbo or go the au naturale way??

Would you…

or go…

Of course picking one or the other isn’t exactly that simple. Ignoring the outrageous pictures above, there are obviously questions that need to be answered before a decision is made.

  1. Budget/Cost – Upgrading or putting together a basic turbo motor is initially going to cost more than the N/A build. With all the external additions like the manifold, turbo, downpipe, and associated equipment, there is definitely more cost involved. With the naturally aspirated motor only needing basic bolt-ons, the cost of entry is substantially less. Of course, both builds will require more dinero as power goals gain altitude.
  2. Power – Depending on the motor you decide to go with, it could almost go either way. Of course turbo motors have a greater potential for producing horsepower while the N/A motor will require more intricate (nee expensive) work to create noticeable gains. Unless you decide to use Nitrous Oxide, but that’s a whole ‘nother beast that should probably be exempted from this topic.
  3. Reliability – No matter what people say about turbo’s being time bombs for motors, it’s all about the tuning. That goes for both the N/A and turbo engines. I personally know of a naturally aspirated, high compression, stock block K20Z3 that has been turbo’d. It makes 440 horses to the wheels! Did I mention it’s a stock block?? Yeah, so if you want a motor that will survive those shitty days in traffic or the grueling laps at the track, you better make sure that whatever setup you decide to go with is operating properly.

So what’s it gonna be?? What car and what setup would you go for??



7 Comments Add yours

  1. Uncle T. says:

    Neither, Mr. Cid. How you thought of supercharging? With this route you do not have to rebuild (detune) your motor (unlike with turbocharging), and will be more economical, and yet will come up with about the same power as turbo.

    Uncle T.

    1. mrcid says:

      Well played Uncle T., well played. Maybe I should have been a little bit more specific when it came to the forced induction topic. Supercharging is of course a viable alternative! Plenty of cars go the “blown” route due to its low cost (as you stated above) and does not require a built (forged internals) motor to operate. A bolt on affair as we say. It also produces good power, almost comparable that of a turbo, and sometimes with better torque delivery.
      However, I think that’s where the similarities end. A supercharger will produce horsepower close to that of a turbo, but only from a low boost starting point. When the time comes that you would want to turn up the wick, the turbo is capable of flowing more air, up to it’s flow capacity at least. Whether it be a centrifugal blower or a screw type supercharger, pulley or belt limitations will put a damper on it’s ability to move air.
      I also believe that like supercharging, turbos can be used on a car even without “detuning” (popular belief is to rebuild the motor with lower compression to handle the added air a turbo pushes in) the motor. But with more advanced engine management systems and knowledgeable, better informed tuners, motors are capable of handling more power and remain reliable compared to the engines of yore.

      1. mrcid says:

        Of course, that’s just what I know. Then again, you’ve got those Top Fuel dragsters pumping out ridiculous amounts of balls.

  2. wolfey says:

    if I were to make one it would be to turn my beauty (1990 rx7) into a clean NA 13b build with good porting, since the NA 13b’s are known to be significantly more reliable and maybe get power to around 250 in the end. I would make her nice and clean and it would be a great car on the streets, a worthy track car, and could get me started in drift. also throw on some tokicos and racing beat springs.

    1. mrcid says:

      Now that sounds like an awesome plan Jake. Realistic and attainable. No doubt the FC is an awesome car with plenty of potential as a circuit runner or slider, while maintaining street-ability. Some mild work to the suspension and brakes, a little bit of money on the looks department, and you’ve got yourself the perfect all around “Savanna.” I just wonder how much work the motor would require to hit the 250hp mark. Although I can definitely attest to the reliability of a naturally aspirated 13b. I’ve seen one with 260,000 miles!! Unopened. Imagine when you actually do a street port with thicker seals, it’s gonna be great! Send me pics!!

      1. wolfey says:

        of course! p.s. great blog, just started following!

      2. mrcid says:

        Thanks again man! Much appreciated.

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