In Charge of Snacks
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Orange County, CA(We're broke, too!!!)
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Yo, Shorts up here is right. Cheap power in this car begins and ends with nitrous. EVERYTHING else is expensive and hard fought. However, you can build a capable road car without touching the engine. 4th diff mount for sure, trans and engine mounts, a durable limited slip differential, a set of 4.181 final drive gears, a 1-piece driveshaft, a single mass flywheel+clutch, and a tune. You won't smash egos at a drag strip, but you'll have a good machine for the twisties. All this is in the $5k range.
I figure good tires and suspension are obvious and tailored to personal tastes so I'll leave that to your imagination. Exhaust and intake won't do much, likely get you 10% bump to the wheels; 20-30hp? Headers and the proper spacer might bring that to about +50 total with a custom dyno tune. Probably top out about $3k to $4k. That's a whole lot of cash to get to 290whp, and after that it's serious money time.
'11 3.8 R-spec
Now trying to build the impossible