General 2.3T mod list, presented in an approximate order that most people would generally do them in.
by Carl Morris

The boost can be turned up at any time, but results will vary based on modification level. Top quality fuel should be used at all times, and detonation religiously monitored for. Taking care not to hurt your motor can be made much easier by the purchase of an air/fuel ratio monitor (about $70). This is highly recommended when you get to the point of changing the cam, or turning up the boost.

Stage 0:
Get the car running right!
Put decent tires on it!
Take it to the strip and get some baselinenumbers for it.

At sea level, an 85.5+ should run a low 15/high 14, and an early model should run a low-mid 15. These times assume decent traction and driving.

Stage 1:
Disconnect the knock sensor FREE
K&N Air filter/no air box $30-$50
Adjustable boost $5-$500

At first glance, this would seem nuts, based on the paragraph above. BUT, the knock sensor is easily fooled by non-detonation noises into pulling out timing when it shouldn't, and it takes out way too much. People generally run faster when they disconnect gotta use your brain to avoid detonation and broken parts.

Turn up boost till the overboost buzzer just comes on, this is about 17.5 psi OR set it wherever you want (see fuel meter again) ;-).

The best number I've heard of so far for an SVO at this stage was an 86 that ran a 13.75 on slicks. This was posted by a list member a while back.

Stage 2:
Big exhaust $200-$1000
Engle cam $150
Tbird Intercooler (optional, save your money for a serious one if you're going to go farther than stage 2) $50
Late model computer and injectors for early model owners $200?
When this becomes a requirement will depend on a lot of things, but generally, if you're running 95mph or more in the quarter mile in a stock weight SVO (~230hp), it's time. For some people this may happen before the cam change. You need to be sure that the computer you buy was from an intercooled car (late SVO, or late Tbird TurboCoupe). The computer mapping was different for inter-cooled versus non-intercooled applications. Late model SVOers may also want to consider going to a higher flow fuel pump at about this point. The early model double-pump system should be OK for most applications. If you're going to use nitrous at some point, go all out on the fuel pump(s).

At this point, you should have gained at least 5 or 6 mph, and half a second off your baseline time. Typical gains would be closer to a full second, if for no other reason than that you should be getting to be a pretty good driver by now ;-).

Stage 3:
Good intercooler $250-$1250
High flow turbo $600-$800
Ported Manifolds FREE-$1000

Stage 4:
All out Ported head/big valves/maybe bigger cam FREE-$2000

Stage 5:
Parts exist to do an all-aluminum 3 liter 8000RPM stroker motor if you want to go nuts. This will require more fuel than the stock 86 system can provide. Currently you're on your own for such things... BIG BUCKS!

Other things like underdrive pulleys ($50) and cam timing pulleys ($50-$100) can be played with as desired. Prices vary depending on the deals you find, and how much of the work you can/will do yourself. There's always nitrous for those who are inclined to deal with it, and to take the necessary precautions.

Results will vary, but 13s in the mid 90s can be run on the 30# injectors, and 12s at a few mph over 100 can be run on the 36s, both without nitrous. With nitrous and some creativity, a lot more is possible.

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