Aftermarket Modifications

Now we start tonight with the naughty problem of modifications. If you get into it, you get very little benefit for quite a lot of money. So all you're really buying are the looks. This one though, is a little bit different.

Now the first thing you need to know

is learning about these modifications is not mind reading. You have to be willing to read. If you are not willing to read the relevant articles in their entirety, rereading as needed until you grasp the concepts, then the short story of how to mod is this:


It's really that simple. If you are only willing to read the short story, you have no business making any modifications. To any car

The second thing you need to know

is that this is not a cheap car to modify. "Cheap" is of course relative to your financial situation in life. But for some perspective:

You can buy a 2004 RX-8 for about the same amount of money as a 2005 Civic Coupe, about $5,000. A catback exhaust for the Civic will run you about $500, and give you about 5% power gain. A catback exhaust for the RX-8 will run you about $800-$1,000, and give you about 0% power gain. A cold air intake for the Civic will run you about $250 and give you about a 3-4% power gain. A cold air intake for the RX-8 will run you about $400 to $600, and give you between +0.5% to -10% power (depending on which one you go with, yes, NEGATIVE 10% power). "Chipping" a Civic will run you $50 to $100, depending on how much you do yourself and what maps you buy, and can get you between 3% and 8% power gain. The only ECU modifications you can do to the RX-8 will run you $500 to $800, and give you about a 2% to 3% power gain.

Starting to grasp the picture? Just because you can buy an RX-8 for cheap now doesn't mean that the mods are cheap. This is a niche market, rarer car, and the developers have to set prices "high" to get their development costs back. Larger customer bases with other cars can let prices fall because there is a much greater pool of buyers for them to split their development costs between.

Guideline: In MANY areas, the series 1 RX-8 (2004 through 2008) is identical to the series 2 RX-8 (2009 through 2012). However, 'MANY' is not 'ALL'. The short list of differences is: Engine, OMP system, transmission, body panels, several electronics, some suspension points, most of the exhaust. See this thread here for a detailed list of differences: Mechanical Changes - Series1 to Series2

Guideline: With any modification that you think you might want, do an site search with Google and and the modification you are researching. Look in the For Sale section. Look to see why someone is getting rid of their mod. Don't put much weight on the reviews immediately after purchase unless there is statistical data to show results. Always pay attention to why people get rid of their mods. Pay attention to what they are switching to. It's a very big clue and a very telling story of what you can expect.