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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm on the fence and considering doing the Aplha 9 set up my 2012. I told myself after modding one of my other vehicles (diesel truck with aftermarket turbo, injectors, fuel system, tranny, gears, limited slip etc,etc,etc) that I wouldn't go that far again. Simple bolt ons, and custom tuning is where I would stop. I managed to put almost 500 miles on it before doing dp's midpipe and custom tune.

I've found with anything I've modded in the past that driveability suffers in some way, shape or form and reliability of course isn't as good. I know the Alpha 9's are a great set up but does anyone on here wish that they would have simply stopped at around 550 awhp and left it alone?

I don't intend to do forged internals nor build the transmission this year. Possibly next year if I decide I want to run it on race gas in the future. I'm aware it will need to be tuned for less than 600 ft lbs to keep the stock rods alive. I'm not sure it will even need to be detuned at our elevation.

I appreciate any and all feedback.

The car will be somewhat of a daily driver in the summer and will see the drag strip a few times a year and also one or 2 standing mile type events per year.
I'm not driving it this winter, but considering it for next year.
 

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I think it is going to be tough to get an honest opinion on this one. The reason being, that anyone that has spent thousands of dollars on an Alpha 9 is going to have a hard time admitting they made a mistake and not only bruised their wallet , but also their EGO. I am sure some have been very happy with their Alpha, but I do not think the ones that are not happy are going to admitt it (IMHO). If you are on the fence about it, why not give it some time and make a decission in the spring. You are the one that has to foot the bill and live with the GT-R as a DD in the summer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Very valid point. If anyone cares to comment but would rather not express their opinion in an open forum, feel free to pm me. Your responses will be held in confidence. This isn't a comparison between Switzer, AMS, AAM etc. I'm just looking for some honest feedback. If you could do it all over again...would you?

Thanks
 

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I have been on the fence as well with this one because I love the way my car runs and the power it has. I'm nervous about the abuse my rods have taken thus far though. I also know my tranny which is virgin is going to give me problems sometime soon. My car has 29K on it now.

I thought that I'd develop a turbo kit along with an engine package, and I'll guaranty I'm going to strive for stock like feel and drivability. The turbos I will be using are different than what others are using and I'm banking they will have stock like spool up characteristics, along with the ability for 800+whp. I will not use a fuel system that creates noise in the cabin like most I've heard, and I'm hoping my upgraded trans from Shep Trans will have stock like take off and not jerky abrupt engaging clutches. If I can acheive these traits of my current car I'll be happy and I'll promise to give everyone interested the straight scoop on this. I'm striving to develop this package for sale and won't sugarcoat any aspects. I am very confident this is doable and If I wasn't I would just x my rods and do a small trans upgrade instead. If you want to see the details of my build and follow it you can do so here. I will be tearing her down in about 3 weeks. Once she is down I will be on a mission to have a tested proven kit out by springtime for those interested.

Gotboost Performance Build: http://www.nagtroc.org/forums/index.php?/topic/64782-gotboost-performance-engine-trans-buildthe-gbp-900-kit/
 

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In my case (2011 GT-R), Alpha 9 (completed Oct 2011), forged engine, cams/spings, trans) the answer is a definite yes on the "do it again?" question. Mine is a a daily driver year around (any car I buy gets driven, I'm not into "summer or weekend only cars") and if it wasn't reliable I'd already be doing something else. The car starts every day (including this gawd awful cold stretch we're having right now in Ottawa (-17C tonight), idles well, happy to putt along in stop and go traffic, better-than-stock for "point and squirt" merging, and goes like a scared cat when the road opens up. Trade-offs? The only one that I don't like at the moment is fuel pump related (the Bosch pumps are loud when sitting in traffic and cause longer cranking than I'd like sometimes to build up pressure), but AMS has another solution in the hopper which I'll move to in the spring when I can get back down to Chicago. It louder than stock, but you're already there with the DPs and mid so no change in your case.

If it helps your decision I've been down the "collect up a bunch of pieces" modding route before (including being Henniscrewed on what should have been some great parts). Like you I wouldn't go that route again as while all the pieces "looked good", the sum of the parts was far short of expectations. I also was working with local performance shops which, while trying their best, were just "generalists" that didn't really didn't have extensive experience on what I was asking them to work on (Supra TT, Viper, Subaru, Dodge (trucks, Mopar crate motors, etc.)). That ended me up with things I wasn't confident in (too many trips back to get "little things" fixed) and consequently "ruined" the fun aspect of the cars/trucks for me.

So the approach on the GT-R was different, find a "complete" package and a shop that's done it a bunch of times. No "one mod at a time", but rather get everything done at once, and get what should be a strong solution (no worrying about "better run low boost when its cold", "better take it easy on the track" or "I wonder how much longer that trans is going to hold up"). That does mean is a bunch of money at once (no "just a few thousand $s" here and there), and that I'm past the point of no return; there isn't an "uninstall the Cobb, put the stock down/mid pipes back on and pretend this never happened" option for me. But I've gotten to the point that I don't worry about it anymore because it continues to "just work", and the car makes me grin every time I drive it.

Where to stop is personal; if you're happy at 550hp then by all means stop and spend the Alpha 9 money on something else. If the car @ 550 doesn't make you grin every day (and that's important to you) then pick another level and go there. Just don't try and piece-meal it and end up with a bunch of parts that don't work together, or a car where you're worrying that keeping your foot in it for another few seconds at low RPM will bend a rod. Also don't even consider going above what you have now if factory warranty is lurking anywhere in your mind.
 

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from my experience with a greddy tt set up and 1st gear upgrade, dodson clutch 1000bhp car.. ther car drives almost like stock..

infact it feel like your in a stage 1 gtr until you really stamp it.. my issues with supras and skylines that were modded highly was the driveability in slow traffic or general cruise, it was a pain in the ass with them but with thr r35 you can enjoy it around the doors with out having to constantly be flat out.

thanks
 

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Great thread subscribed
 

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As I get older, I seem to want my cake & eat it too, when it comes to more performance w/o compromising OEM feel.

I would like to upgrade turbos, but not @ the possible expense of greatly reduced reliability or driveability--and want stock-like spool (see Dave's post above). Tall order...

I'd like a 9.xx 140+ trap car, that's a docile as factory--and just as (if not more) reliable, overall. lol
 

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Great responses guys. Thanks Craig, thats the kind of feedback I was looking for.
I'm looking forward to what you come up with Dave. Keep us posted.
Does anyone have any experience with the deutzworks (sp) pumps? Are they any quieter than the Bosch'?
I'm not purposely doing "one mod at a time" but forged internals and a tranny build are not in the cards right now. I'll be running AMS components, so I'm not trying to piece together used components or parts from different manufacturers. If I go through with this and decide in a year that I desire more power, then I'll build the motor and transmisison.
 

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The fuel pump noise as Craig said is something we have already found a solution for and we will keep everyone posted as we get that worked out. Craig and I have already talked about that as he stated. The system works great but it's a little louder than we and some customer would like.

Regarding spool characteristics... a fully tuned ALPHA 9 spools EVERY BIT as fast as stock. Drivability is like stock and reliability is like stock. We don't just put that out there to sell packages. We state it because it's the truth...if it wasn't then we would have a lot of upset customers out there.

The simple truth is most customers with ALPHA 9's usually call me a few months later for a 10 or 12 because they know we deliver on our promises and they are flat out addicted to the power. I probably get 2-3 upgrade calls a day.

I know for most of you the GT-R is not your first rodeo. You have built big cars before and received a big bill and big problems in return. I can't tell you how many times we have had to help rebuild a customer's confidence in the process, but every time we do.

I have a customer that was SO happy with his GT-R that his is now shipping us his late model Camaro another shop built to inspect, his R8 GT for us to build, His Aventador in the spring and just today called me asking if we would work on his new Mclaren MP4-12C when that arrived. He is so happy with us and how we deliver on our promises that we are now his private garage lol. Part of me is sincerely proud but the other half just doesn't understand how you could ever operate a business any other way.

If anyone wants some real honest to goodness referrals like Craig has offered and you are serious about an ALPHA package shoot me a PM. I would be happy to get you email addresses' for current ALPHA customers that have volunteered to talk about our packages in THEIR words
 

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The fuel pump noise as Craig said is something we have already found a solution for and we will keep everyone posted as we get that worked out. Craig and I have already talked about that as he stated. The system works great but it's a little louder than we and some customer would like.

Regarding spool characteristics... a fully tuned ALPHA 9 spools EVERY BIT as fast as stock. Drivability is like stock and reliability is like stock. We don't just put that out there to sell packages. We state it because it's the truth...if it wasn't then we would have a lot of upset customers out there.

The simple truth is most customers with ALPHA 9's usually call me a few months later for a 10 or 12 because they know we deliver on our promises and they are flat out addicted to the power. I probably get 2-3 upgrade calls a day.

I know for most of you the GT-R is not your first rodeo. You have built big cars before and received a big bill and big problems in return. I can't tell you how many times we have had to help rebuild a customer's confidence in the process, but every time we do.

I have a customer that was SO happy with his GT-R that his is now shipping us his late model Camaro another shop built to inspect, his R8 GT for us to build, His Aventador in the spring and just today called me asking if we would work on his new Mclaren MP4-12C when that arrived. He is so happy with us and how we deliver on our promises that we are now his private garage lol. Part of me is sincerely proud but the other half just doesn't understand how you could ever operate a business any other way.

If anyone wants some real honest to goodness referrals like Craig has offered and you are serious about an ALPHA package shoot me a PM. I would be happy to get you email addresses' for current ALPHA customers that have volunteered to talk about our packages in THEIR words
+1 Eric that is why you all have my Chevelle.
 

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The only one that I don't like at the moment is fuel pump related (the Bosch pumps are loud when sitting in traffic and cause longer cranking than I'd like sometimes to build up pressure), but AMS has another solution in the hopper which I'll move to in the spring when I can get back down to Chicago. It louder than stock, but you're already there with the DPs and mid so no change in your case.
I have the Deatschwerks pumps and cannot hear them at all.
 

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I've thought about turbos too as I'm now maxed on the stock turbos

1) I can't use all the power I have now, the midrange torque on e85 spins up the wheels through 2nd and sometimes 3rd on anything but the best of road surfaces

2) looking at the power graph, big turbos, even mod'd oem turbos seem to lose power below 3000rpm only to gain more above it. Since I daily drive and spend 90% of my time pulling away from lights or powering through roll on around and under 3000rpm, it'd actually feel slower and laggier. Last thing I want is to have to wait for the turbo rush like some over boosted 2.0L, which by then I've far exceeded the speed limit

IMO bolt ons up to the limit of the stock turbos on e85 is the best compromise bw useable power and driveability/no lag
 

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No regrets here!.. my GT800 is one of the best mod for me. Changes the character of the car quite dramatically.. full boost 20psi (91oct) till redline..with very little compromise on the spool up.. maybe 300-400rpm longer than stock turbo. For 3.8L i would recommend modified stock turbo or GT800..max.. anything bigger (ie Alpha 10) you will loose driveability at the low rpm range.. if you dont believe me..compare GT800 dyno graph and Alpha 10 dyno graph on a 3.8L engine.
 
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