Six DIY Modifications for Your Ride
With high-tech computing becoming more engrained with our cars every year, it seems nearly impossible to make custom upgrades without going to the dealer. Well we found a list of six fun DIY improvements you can make to your ride without shelling out a lot of your hard earned cash to the dealer.
Stiffer Motor Mounts - If you're looking for better engine response and handling precision then you may want to consider upgrading your motor mounts. This is a relatively easy thing to do if you know your way around the garage. So, what's the downside? You will most likely experience more engine noise and driveline vibration. If you don't mind the occasional vibration, most mounts can be purchased for around $200.
Wider Wheels and Tires - This may seem like a no-brainer to most, but a wider wheelbase will give you improved turn-in precision, braking, and handling. The trade-offs though come from the strain the extra weight can put on your shocks. Loose-surface tracking (such as a gravel road) is also reduced. There are plenty of online tutorials on how to do this at home, many of which include reducing sidewall height while increasing wheel diameter to keep your overall wheel the same diameter.
Installing Larger Anti-Roll Bars - An anti-roll bar kit is a great way to help keep your vehicle more level with the road and optimize the tire contact path. The drawback here is that bumps on one side of the car are quickly transferred to the other side, making for a stiffer ride.
Open Up Your Pipes - In the past, installing a larger diameter exhaust system undoubtedly came with the side-effect of having a far noisier ride. However, new advances in exhaust design help eliminate this problem, to some degree. Reflective sound cancellation systems on the market today promise more efficient high-speed engine performance without the noise. This isn't the cheapest fix however, as kits can cost well over $1,000.
High-Temp Brake Pads - Meant for sports cars more than anything else, higher temperature brake pads provide faster deceleration and less fade during heavy braking. The downside is poorer performance when wet or cold, often accompanying a squealing noise.
Cold Air Intake - A favorite of beginning "modders", a cold air intake allows cooler ambient air to enter the engine providing slightly more power, especially at higher speeds. However without a built-in bug catcher, maintenance needs and intake noise are bound to increase.