Wrench (1k)  92 SC (4k)Enhancements / Modifications -
92 SC


Jump to: Autotechnica Shift Knob Longacre Panoramic Mirror Extrude Honed Intake Manifold
   Autometer Carbon Fiber Gauges IOPort Camera Mount 55mm XRC Throttle Body
   Custom Carbon Fiber Switch Panel Reinforced Sway Bar Brackets   (more on next page)

Autotechnica Shift Knob
Added 7/2003

This knob is made by Autotechnica and is sold through Saturn retailers as a part of Saturn's "Expressions" line of add-ons.  You can also find it sold at various other places.  I bought this one on eBay.  The top part is aluminum with a Saturn logo formed into it and it looks great.  It perfectly matches the trim rings on all of my Autometer gauges (see below) and the color that I chose to paint the rollcage.

The contour and size of the knob also feel very good - better than the stock knob.  One disadvantage to using this knob is that it will raise the height of your shifter at least an inch, unless you modify the shift boot (cut and chop) to mount it lower on the shaft.  Since I have a shortened shifter with no boot, it was no problem getting the knob height to be what I wanted it to be.



Added 7/2003

Larger pic HERE.


Autometer Carbon Fiber Gauges

I chose Autometer's Ultralite series of electronic gauges with a carbon fiber face. A large tach with a programmable shift light is mounted dead center to the top of the steering column, and fuel level, oil pressure, oil temp, and coolant temp gauges are mounted to the center of the main dash support. While each of these gauges is very lightweight, the steel cups that Autometer sells (if you are surface mounting instead of flush mounting) aren't as light. Each feels as though it weighs more than the gauge itself.

Connecting these gauges was pretty simple. Wiring up the fuel gauge (use Autometer's 240-33 ohm model) so that it works with the stock sender was somewhat tricky though, requiring factory service manuals to get a clear picture of exactly how the gauge in the stock cluster is wired. Removing the stock cluster doesn't just remove the stock fuel gauge, it removes part of the circuit that makes it work with the stock sender.

Four gauges are mounted on a piece of aluminum channel, and secured to the dash support with two bolts. Molex connectors are used on the wiring to allow quick and easy removal when necessary.

Update: While many people may consider the sheer size of the Autometer tach excessive, its visibility mounted on the top of the steering column is excellent. Being blasted in the eyes by its huge shift light makes it unnecessary to ever look at RPMs on the tach. Many of us like to think that being able feel and hear the RPM is enough of an indication of when to shift, but with so much happening with your mind and body on the track, it's one less thing that has to be occupy your thoughts. This tach is one of the most worthwhile and useful additions so far.

Custom Carbon Fiber Switch Panel

To keep the carbon fiber theme from the gauges going, as well as help save as much weight as possible, I bought a piece of real carbon fiber off of eBay to use for the base of the main switch panel. It is amazing how lightweight and stiff it is, and it's extremely easy to work with. You can use a jig saw, drill, cutting wheel, sanding disc, and sandpaper to work on it with great results. This panel houses several warning lights that used to reside in the stock cluster, as well as a few accessory switches. Since the heavy cast stock ignition cylinder and bracket assembly were removed from the steering column and tossed, an aircraft toggle run switch was added, as well as an OEM Honda S2000 start button. Yes, this car does have some Honda parts in it. I don't feel bad about it though, since it has a bit of Corvette in it as well (fuel pressure regulator & wheel studs).

Added 7/2003

Larger pic HERE.

Brackets available from Longacre fasten the panel to a cross bar of the rollcage, and a Molex plug was used on the wiring to allow quick removal when necessary.

Interesting fact: Remove the battery charge idiot light (either by pulling the bulb or removing the gauge cluster), and the alternator will not charge the battery.

Added 7/2003

Larger pic HERE.

Longacre Panoramic Rear View Mirror

Since my rearview mirror and its mount were removed when the stock windshield was replaced with Lexan, a Longacre panoramic mirror was purchased to replace it. The mirror includes special brackets to allow it to be mounted to a cross bar of the rollcage. What seems odd is that Longacre figures the mirror will always be mounted between the bar and the driver. In my car, the bar is very close to the driver and the mirror had to be mounted a significant distance in front of it. This required fabrication of additional L-shaped brackets from aluminum. The end result worked out pretty well. It allows a very wide view that I wouldn't have with a normal mirror, and this wide view is beneficial since portions of the rollcage obstruct some of the mirror's rear view.

IOPort Camera Mount

Most people wouldn't think of this as a piece that makes the car faster, but it certainly will. Reviewing video after an event shows me exactly how I did and what areas need improvement.  This was another great purchase from Livermore Performance.

This mount attaches directly to the rollcage, and allows a high degree of flexibility with several joints where the arm can be angled and adjusted. It also incorporates polyurethane in its mount in order to help minimize vibration. Much of the in-car video on my action page was shot using a camera on this mount.

  Added 8/2003
Larger pic HERE.

Added 10/2003

Larger pic HERE.

Reinforced Rear Sway Bar Brackets

On a Saturn, these brackets connect the rear sway bar end links to the lower end of the strut housings where they meet the rear knuckles. These brackets are subject to a good amount of force on a car that is driven aggressively, and they do tend to weaken from rust over time. I've seen several of these that have been broken, and don't want that to happen to me on the track while at speed.

This wasn't a bad job to do. Get two sets of stock brackets.  Put one bracket over another, grind down whatever parts don't quite overlap, and weld them together. You can see a picture of the welded brackets in primer at the left.

Extrude Honed Intake Manifold

The process applied to this intake forces a stiff abrasive clay through passages, which greatly smoothes them out and allows better airflow. It is easy to see the difference when taking a look into this manifold. When the stock surface is rough cast aluminum, the new surface is much smoother and almost has a polished appearance. You can see a picture of one of the runners at the left.

Added 9/2003

 Larger pic HERE

Dyno charts for this manifold on SPS's website (see them HERE) show nice a horsepower gain in the extreme upper RPMs, at the expense of losing some power at lower RPMs.  For a track-driven car that lives in the upper RPM range, I doubt I'll have a problem with this. For a street-driven car with other basic bolt-ons, I would NOT install this piece.

I stripped the clearcoat and powdercoated the manifold yellow (pics are on my powdercoating page) prior to installation.

Added 9/2003

Pic from eBay. Thanks to whoever snapped it!

55mm XRC Throttle Body

I got this piece used as part of a package deal and probably would not have purchased it otherwise. Dyno charts that I've seen, both online and in a past issue of Sport Compact Car magazine, show virtually no gain on a naturally-aspirated motor - at max, maybe a horse or two. But, since I already had it and do have plans for forced induction in the future where it will benefit more, it was powdercoated yellow and installed.  (My powdercoating page shows a picture of a different TB I coated for a test-run).

The quality of this piece isn't as high as I expected. If a stock throttle body is machined all the way through more than a millimeter or two over stock, several vacuum passages will be bored into.

The solution on this piece appeared to be partially filling those passages with pieces of plastic. The problem is that their fit wasn't perfect, allowing some air leakage from one side of the throttle plate to the other when it was closed. This caused a very high idle until I pulled everything apart and made those plastic pieces fit a bit better in order to prevent the air leak.

Update: The company that offered this throttle body is no longer in the business of selling Saturn performance parts (RIP).


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