xB <a class=Neon" hspace="0" src="http://www.weblogsinc.com/common/images/5462460713624447.jpg?0.31820317556090133" width="200" align="right" border="1" />Yes I'm a bit late but I've been out of town. In my quest to be socially responsible, I've come up with five resolutions in 2005 for the.. umm.. less tasteful would-be tuners out there
that also double as a guideline on avoiding attracting unwanted attention from local law enforcement.  Click to read on.

5. Unless you need the flow for a giant hairdryer or your motor puts out major CFM, dump the sewer pipe. A tasteful catback system will add to your enjoyment by adding some top end and filling out your torque curve in some places, but a loud oversized exhaust will announce your presence to cops - not worth it considering most small displacement normally aspirated motors will only gain 4-5hp and in some cases lose low end torque if the piping diameter is too big.

4. If you?re not out to pick up highschool girls, cut back on the lighting. Illuminated washer nozzles, glowing valve stems, and undercarriage neon isn?t particular impressive, especially if your 17 second machine puts down a mind numbing 115hp to the wheels.  Flashy clear altezza-style taillights (yes I know they came standard on my Evo - I will be trading up to JDM Evo7 tails soon) are not only unattractive, but in some cases are not DOT approved.  Blue wannabe-HID headlamps actually put out less light than uncool OEM units and are enough to get you pulled over in some areas.

3. Save up for the full set. If you can?t afford a full set of wheels, don?t buy two in the rear and run your front stockers sans-hubcap for the too-cool-for-school drag radial look. 

2. Cut springs are a no-no. Your fifteen year old girlfriend might think they?re cool, but cutting three coils off each spring and dragging a quarter inch off the ground has a profoundly negative impact on performance. Not only are you susceptible to having a discarded retread rip off your oilpan but the lack of suspension travel and augmented suspension geometry will lower ride quality.

1. Finally, ditch the batman body kit. You might think it?s (insert current buzzword adjective here - e.g., tiiite, phat, super-groovy) but the majority of molded fiberglass kits are of low quality and appear to have been installed by a retarded one legged chimp. If your front bumper is held on by zipties and your parkbench rear wing looks like it was designed at Home Depot, chances are you aren?t reaping any aerodynamic benefits - especially if your car doesn?t possess the powertrain or stability  (see #5 and #2) to cross the 90mph threshold where any aerodynamic improvement
will be noticed. Yes, my Evolution has a massive rear wing and a vortex generator on the roof - but consider the R&D Mitsubishi put into that. I doubt your typical XYZ made-in-taiwan super-highway-battle-ebay-body-kit company subjects their $199 fiberglass specials to windtunnel testing or engineering review. 

There you have it, folks.  Discuss amongst yourselves.

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