This may tie in a little with the parts interchange guide, but since it is more focused on performance than anything, and is a little more in depth, I thought I would give it it's own thread.
READ ALL THIS FIRST OR I WILL SNEAK INTO YOUR HOUSE AND OPEN YOUR FRIDGE AND LEAVE IT OPEN ALL NIGHT AND WHEN YOU WAKE UP YOUR FOOD WILL BE SPOILED AND YOU WILL HAVE TO STOP AND GET BREAKFAST AND MCDONALDS AND YOU WILL BE LATE FOR WORK AND GET FIRED THEN YOUR WIFE WILL DIVORCE YOU ALSO YOU WILL GO BALD
Disclaimer: I am not responsible if you modify your car and blow your engine, shatter your differential, crash into a guardrail, or rob a liquor store with a banana.
Perform all mods at your own risk. Everything I write is based upon my findings alone, and do not take my word for gospel. Your mileage may vary, or you may get none at all.
First things first: Be well acquainted with Ebay, and get yourself a Paypal account. Some parts can be found at low prices on Ebay, and this will help you find them, and keep you from PMing me and asking "HeY I SERCHed 4 a coen filtr turbo for my 625GT bUt I caNt fEiend it". If you do this, I will flame you.
Second things second: Do a compression check. It's probably not a good idea for you to go cranking up the boost when your compression numbers read 132 98 97 135. Do you know what those numbers would mean? No? Use the nifty search function on the forum toolbar to find out. If you do not do this, I will flame you.
Okay, so you've proved you have an IQ higher than 4 by sucessfully navigating Ebay, and your compression numbers are A-OK, let's get crackalackin dogg.
Or I will flame you.
---Budget Modification Guide---
We all want to go fast, right? Well, there's an old saying: "Speed costs money, how fast do you want to spend?". This is true. Speed DOES costs money. But, with a little ingenuity, patience, and creativity, you can vastly cut down the amount of money you spend. You will not find any information regarding tubular manifolds, standalones, FE3s, ball-bearing turbos, flux capacitors or any other wonderful items beyond the reach of a small budget. In fact, the most expensive item listed would be the exhaust system, totalling up somewhere in the neighborhood of 450.00. So, let's begin there.
Not exactly a "cheapie" modification. Even the most inexpensive route will run you a couple hundred in parts. But, there are some alternatives to the $600.00 systems previously offered by companies. Your first option is to assemble a system out of individual mandrel bends, and off the shelf parts. This can save you a lot, especially if you can weld, but may be a pain. You'll have to track down all of the correct flanges, bends, a flex pipe, catalytic converter (unless you are a polluter, then Captain Planet will kick your ass, green mullet style), and muffler. If you decide to go this route, the bends required will be three 90's, and five 45's. Don't ask me details on assembling the system beyond this, as I haven't done it. The second, and most convenient option is to order a tubing kit from VRSEXHAUST.COM.
It comes with all required bends, and flanges needed to assemble the tubing portion of your exhaust system. Pick out a high flow cat, muffler, and flex pipe, weld it up, and you're done. The kit runs in the neighborhood of $250.00. Don't forget, it doesn't include the muffler, cat, or flex pipe. If you're on a real tight budget, you can get by with a straight piece of pipe, and a cheap-o Ebay muffler.
I made the mistake of heading down my local "speed" shop to pick up an adapter plate and cone filter. I paid 35.00 for the adapter plate, and another 40.00 for a K&N conical. You can find the adapter plate and filter sold as a pair on ebay for around 20.00, shipped to your door [Tip, search Ebay for "MX6 filter adapter"].
I've switched to a generic brand cone filter recently, and can't feel a "butt dyno" difference between the generic, and the brand name K&N. You can use a ten dollar piece of dryer duct to rig up a ghetto fab-o-lous ram-air, but I noticed no difference when I added mine.
Here we go, the real good stuff. This mod will yield more horsepower per dollar spent than any other. You have a few options here. The "best" type would be an electronic unit, i.e., Greddy Profec. They allow fine tuning of boost in the cabin, and are remarkable at keeping constant boost. But, this is the BUDGET MOD GUIDE, so we don't care about these. Ball and spring boost controllers are probably the next best option. They can be found on Ebay for anywhere from 7.99 to 89.99, plus the price of shipping. I'm using the cheapest one I could find, which was near the 7.99 end of the spectrum. I absolutely love it. It holds boost until the shift point, and is consistant within ~1psi through the entire gear range.
It looks like this one, but it's blue. Blue = more horsepower
You want cheaper? Head down Home Depot, pick yourself up a small brass valve, and thread it onto a brass tee. Congratulations, you've made yourself a boost controller for around five dollars. The downside to this bleed style boost controller, is that they are often inconsistant. You may get a huge spike before boost settles, and you may end up with a large difference in boost level between lower and higher gears where more load is produced. You want something even cheaper? Head to Wal-Mart, look in the aquarium supply area and find yourself a little brass valve like pictured below. Two dollar bleeder valve.
It looks like THIS
DO NOT TURN UP YOUR BOOST WITHOUT A BOOST GAUGE. Also, make sure you hook the damn thing up correctly, or you will end up posting the 1,934th thread titled "BOOST GAUGE DOESN'T WORK RIGHT HELP ME", and I will flame you.
There are now several options availiable, as far as chips. Several members of the site sell them, they're all over ebay (actualEPROM chips, specifically for the MX6, not SUPER 100HP JUICE CHIPs). I'll go ahead and recommend Injecttech.com, I have nothing but pleasant things to say about my experience with the product I purchased. I only mention this here because it's part of the upgrade path, and without it, you're pretty much limited to intake, exhaust, and 12psi of boost. Here's a budget tip: I took my ECU with the chip and socket to a couple computer repair places. They all wanted between 150.00-300.00 to solder it in. I then tried a VCR repair shop and paid 40.00.
--Lose weight (IF YOU ARE FAT AND THIS OFFENDS YOU SHUT UP AND LOSE WEIGHT THEN COME BACK AND READ THIS)--
Here you go, a free mod, all it takes is your time, and possible sacrifice of luxuries you may enjoy. The AC and PS systems are fairly heavy. You can toss these if you so desire, but be prepared to panic when making U-Turns/Paralell parking. On the plus side, my girlfriend refuses to drive my car now. Your passenger seat is hefty, get rid of it. Cruise control is for lazy people. If you don't have a passenger seat, you don't need back seats. I listen to my engine, not the stereo, I no longer have one, or the speakers to go with it. Now that the obvious things are gone, you're going to have to get creative. I've removed my glovebox, the factory amp under the seat, center console, carpet, "extra" metal in doors, [please don't mention any parts designed for safety (Hey, write your own guide then, Safety McSafepants)], various brackets under the hood, spare tire, jack, and the dead hookers that were in the trunk. All of this was worth an average of 2-3 tenths in the 1/8th mile
We've reached a stopping point here. With all of the previous items mentioned installed on your healthy, non-leaking car, you should be making a decent amount of power. You're no longer limited to 12psi of boost, but you probably won't want to go any higher than 16psi on the stock turbocharger. Everything after this point will revolve around making your stock turbo a bit more efficient, and adding the required fuel.