Teach me m20 performance


Having never modded a m20 I don’t know were to start. Intake, chip and all that crap I think is probably not worth the money. Anyways I have a customer that has a very nice 2002 with a m20 in it that they track with. She is wanting some more power out of it. She was thinking stoker kit. She does not run spec e30 class but figured you guys have vast more knowledge of getting power out of one then normal e30 enthusiasts do. Any input would be great. I heard spec e30 guys get quite a bit of hp out of there NA m20s. I will be starting with a compression and leak down to see what state his motor is in now. I gave him a ballpark of say $7k and he didn’t bat an eye and stated he just wanted more reliable hp then he has now.


Ahhhh, we might not have a lot of info for you. A community that isn’t allowed to mod the engine isn’t the best place to find info on modding the engine.


Well I look at is this way. You guys can squeeze 160 or more hp out of a na stock m20. I assume the motor she has in the car is old and tired anyways. I also assume the same places you guys have build your motors could and do know how to build something even better if there are no rules to the builD as there would be if someone were building one for the spec e30 class. I don’t know many engine builders that specialize in m20s except metric mechanic which charge an arm and a leg. Was kind of wanting names of people to trust and I’d reach out to them.


About 160 is the best you can get from a reliable NA M20. You can add bolt ons but are not really worth it in the end. If they are wanting more but on a budget start with a stroker build using an ETA crank. That will be the best cost effective way to go, unless they are looking to go all out they would be in the build for atleast $5-$8,000 thats including individual throttle bodies.

Before looking for speed how comfortable are they with the car? Before looking for speed you need to be comfortable, confident and able to work through the field before going crazy with building a motor. Need a good driver foundation and build off that. SPEC is a drivers challenge, not vehicle and who can spend the most money on the car. The only reason you will get beat is by another driver not another car unless their is an issue.


Quick and easy HP…mill the head. Open the exhaust. Schrick 272 cam. Remove AFM. DIY autotune plug and play ecu. NOTE: there is little or no HP to be gained under the head gasket. (Oh, and send the head to Len Hoffman in Atlanta for the valve job.)