The Guide to Higher Performance
By Dennis Grant, 98 02 24.Welcome to the Club DSM Canada Guide to Higher Performance, a no-nonsense guide to making your DSM go faster, turn harder, launch better, and generally put a bigger grin on your face.
The information in this Guide was compiled through the efforts of the Club DSM Canada membership, their research, and their hard-won experience.
So, you've got yourself a DSM, and you want to improve how it performs. Probably can't wait to break out your wrenches (and your wallet!) and get right down to it, eh?
Well, before you go running off to buy that nifty-keen chrome plated carbon-fibre muffler bearing from your nearest speed shop, take a moment out to answer a few questions:
Let's look at these questions in detail:
Why do you want to improve the performance of the car? - Be honest here. Do you intend to race the car at all? If so, will it be full-time, or a combination street/race car? Are you out to impress your friends, or the guys at the corner hangout? Are you looking to add a little more zip and confidence to your commute, or are you just looking for a wekend project to occupy your time?
Many, many people, especially younger guys with their first real performance car, think they want x out of a project, when in reality, they want y. You have to know why you want to improve the performance of the car, before you start. Halfway through a project is no time to discover that what you're building isn't what you want.
How will you be using the car?: If the car will see street duty, then there are laws you must conform to. The car must pass the provincial saftey inspection, and must be insured. It's no fun driving a "slightly" illegal car - every time a police car happens to be in your rear view mirror, you'll be a very unhappy and nervous camper.
If the car is to be raced, then there are rules the sanctioning body will require you to follow as well. It's no fun to be kicked off the track for an illegal or unsafe car. It's also no fun to be placed into a higher class than you're cabable of playing in beacause a mod you made put you in with the big boys.
How much are you willing to spend? - There is an immutable law of the universe, Speed Costs Money DSMs can get more with less than some other makes of car, but the bottom line is that if you want to play , then at some point, you're going to have to pay for it. Nobody runs 10's on $100.
What are you willing to live with in terms or comfort and noise? - Race cars are uncomfortable, nasty devices. Full race exhausts will prevent conversation, drown out your stereo, and attract attention. Full race suspensions will rattle your fillings loose, and make long trips unbearable. Radically lowered cars will grind and bang over speed bumps and curbs.
BE HONEST WITH YOURSELF! That really cool car in the magazine is probably trailered from event to event. The guy that owns it may have a minivan as his daily transportation. When in doubt, err on the side of conservatisim.
Here's some simple rules to remember:
If you will be going racing, or if you think you might be going racing at anytime during the car's life, there are a few more points to concider: