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


Jump to: Adjustable Fuel Pressure Regulator Fluidyne Radiator Venom VCN-1000 Nitrous Sys
   ACT Clutch Dyno Test #3 Dyno Test #4
   Dyno Test #2 Venom VCN-2000 Nitrous Sys   (more on next page)

Added 3/2004

Larger pic HERE.

Kirban Performance Adjustable Fuel Pressure Regulator

I picked up a used SPS fuel pressure regulator, but its use was very short-lived.  Since I wanted an adjustable model for tuning purposes and found this one for a killer deal...

Several vendors offer adjustable fuel pressure regulators for 1st generation Saturns priced in the neighborhood of a couple hundred bucks. Almost any Saturn, regardless of the level of modifications, can pick up a few horsepower by using a dyno to tune the fuel pressure.

Unfortunately, many people think they need to increase the pressure to produce more power. Actually, on a relatively stock naturally-aspirated motor it is often just the opposite. Saturns at WOT run pretty rich. Reduce the pressure slightly to make the mixture a bit less rich during open loop operation, and you may find a couple of horses to be gained.

A little known fact:  Any aftermarket adjustable FPR for an 1992 through 1996 LT-1 Corvette will bolt right up to a Saturn fuel rail. I found this regulator on eBay for less than half of what I've seen all the others aimed at Saturns are selling for. It is made of billet aluminum and offers easy pressure adjustment with one allen screw on the top. It is the same physical size as the stock regulator and it bolts right up with no modifications. Along with an Accel fuel pressure gauge (part number 74745 for GM TPI) screwed onto the fuel rail's Schraeder valve, it will allow fuel pressure to be optimized next time I'm on the dyno.  You can see a pic of the Accel pressure gauge HERE.  (Note: gauge is only installed for use on the dyno.  It is removed for track events.)

ACT Clutch

I've used Centerforce clutches in the past on my other car (both the I (gold), and the Dual Friction), and they didn't last as long as I would have liked before they started exhibiting inconsistent behavior. They also began to slip significantly in very high-heat situations. After reading cautionary posts on several websites about excessive crank walk that may have been induced by SPEC brand clutches, I decided to give ACT a try this time around. Several levels of ACT clutches are available for a Saturn. I chose the most civilized of the bunch - their "Street" clutch - and I can now say I'm glad I did.

Added 3/2004

Larger pic HERE.

A lot of people will tell you to save your money and stick with a stock clutch, which will do just fine if you haven't considerably increased your power. I would tend to agree - a stock clutch is back in my '94 at the moment. But my primary concerns when shopping for a clutch for my '92 this time around were durability and longevity under serious hard use.

I bought this clutch from Saturn Motorsports, and it is damn expensive. Do a 'net search, and you will find it from other vendors for as much as 30% less than what SM charges. The kit also includes a throwout bearing and an installation tool. The disc and pressure plate are heavy duty, with a very beefy feel. It is supposed to be the only aftermarket Saturn clutch on the market that doesn't use an OEM or re-worked Saturn pressure plate.  I've even read somewhere that the Saturn ACT clutches were adapted from a Nissan, although I don't know if that is true or not.

Serious Saturn engineering gripe #1: It's not often that I find a part of the car's design that I have a serious problem with. The job of installing a clutch could have been made significantly easier and less time-consuming if the transmission input shaft was chamfered to allow it to be centered and more easily slid into the clutch disc hub. Saturn engineers - I know you occasionally visit and read this site - how difficult would that have been?!?

Update: This thing grips right out of the box like there's no tomorrow. I was initially concerned that it would not perform at its best due to the fact that I'm not able to give it the typical break-in. My '92 doesn't see any easy driving where I can do that. The grip of this clutch is something else. A guest driver commented it was either on or off, but I'm sure it's much less harsh than the other levels of clutch that ACT offers. Engagement is still smooth, and occurs at about halfway in the clutch pedal travel, which ends up being lower than the Centerforce clutch engagement point. Pedal feel and the effort seem similar to stock, and are slightly higher than the Centerforce. Several trips to the local dragstrip and an event or two on the road course show that regardless of air temps and how hot the clutch becomes, it holds extremely well.

I have had a slight problem this set-up. If the car is idling in neutral, there is a faint ticking sound. This sound disappears as soon as the clutch pedal is pressed. The clutch's physical dimensions do look and feel slightly larger than OEM size, and when added to the Fidanza aluminum flywheel, I suspect that it may cause some clearance issues. But after several events where the clutch & trans were pounded on, there have been no adverse affects.

Dyno #2

Dyno testing was done during the SPC 7th Annual Rally on 7/29/2004.

At this time, the modifications to the car since the last dyno test included a low-mileage motor, low-amp alternator, alternator underdrive pulley, power steering removal, A/C removal, adjustible fuel pressure regulator, Injen intake, Extrude Honed intake manifold, 55mm throttle body, OEM 92 header, Dynomax/Borla exhaust, and Konig lightweight wheels.

Max horsepower was 114 and torque was 110 ft. lbs.  This was about 16 horsepower more than the car was in stock trim.

Click HERE for a larger view of the chart.



"Why is your dyno horsepower so far below what the car is rated at stock?"

Added 6/2005


Fluidyne Radiator

This thing is an all-aluminum monster with beautiful construction.  You can see a large number of pictures and a complete write-up on this page in my projects section.


Dyno #3

This session was done strictly for experimentation, as the motor hasn't changed at all since the last time on the dyno.  A good amount of fuel tuning was done, and a lot of notes were taken on how the car performs as the motor increases in temperature.  As the results show, both make a difference.  The graph at the right shows a run after a cooling-off period, and with the fuel pressure dialed in to exactly what the motor (and its current state of bolt-ons) were looking for.

Max horsepower was 128 and torque was 121 ft. lbs.  This was about 30 horsepower more than the car was in stock trim.

Click HERE for a larger view of the chart.



"Why isn't your dyno horsepower significantly better than what the car is rated at stock?"

Added 6/2005


Venom VCN-2000 Computerized Nitrous Oxide System

I purchased this system to add a lot more fun to the car when I'm at the dragstrip.  Trying to make this kit work on the car was anything but fun though, and it wasn't on the car for very long before it was removed with an enormous amount malice and prejudice.

You can see a larger number of pictures and a complete write-up on this page in my projects section.

Venom VCN-1000 Nitrous Oxide System

This kit was sent to me by Venom as a replacement to the VCN-2000 system shown above, which did not work as advertised.  I don't have much to report on it yet, but it looks promising and has delivered some good initial dyno numbers.  Doing things right (and safely, in this case) takes time.

You can see a large number of pictures and a complete write-up on this page in my projects section.  Dyno charts and details are included there as well.  Or if you only want to see the dyno numbers without all the extra commentary, just take a look below.



Dyno #4

The first dyno session with the Venom VCN-1000 Nitrous system was good for 179 horsepower and 187 ft. lbs. torque.  Not bad, although there will be more to follow.  Details on the system itself and the tuning that I did can be found HERE.

Click on the graphs below for a larger view.

Best run during first
visit to dyno.


A run showing readings
from the wideband O2 sensor.


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