3000GT VR4 performance builds or staged upgrades for your sportscar. Whether for fun on the street, track, or drag racing, there are some things that make planning it out a little easier. This section goes through those things and more.

3000GT Photos
(showing modifications)
Performance Build




for the 3000GT VR-4


For a while now some people have asked for a 'upgrade' list or 'staged upgrade' compilation. For a build (or in many cases a rebuild) this may help your decision process. As in most all rebuilds the decisions faced on upgrades or added power stacks on top of the other basic rebuild decisions (and rebuild costs).

First note that this is a lot of reading and I will try to break it up with some graphics if I can. But this area is for those that are serious about doing a performance build on their VR4 (or TT) and want to know in advance how to best plan it out and not waste money or ruin their engine and/or car. So with that in mind - this will be mostly all text.

Much of this information, advice, or whatever you want to call it, comes from years of answering email or car questions. So it is comprehensive in nature and covers things as if the reader is brand new to performance building of the 3000GT or in general. If you are more experienced then some of these things may not be the exact right thing for you or maybe over simplified.

This is addressing the twin turbo VR4. There are two other models of the 3000GT which are both N/A (Naturally Aspirated). In other words - non turbo and FWD (Front Wheel Drive). I do not address those models here but some of the performance sections can easily apply.

While there are things that can be done to modify or add performance to the NA models this will stay on the topic of VR4s because that is the performance model of the 3000GT. Even with lots of modifications and upgrades to an NA model the VR4 model will still just come along and out-perform the other models easily. The AWD and TT alone surpasses whatever mods you might do to an NA.

For those contemplating turbocharging your NA model 3000GT:
CLICK HERE to see why this is not a good idea.


With that said, lets get some groundwork and basic concepts out of the way
for properly doing a performance build (or rebuild) on your VR4!

Don't skip this (or other text) because you don't want to READ. You must understand certain concepts and methodology for this to do the most good. Only in this way will the later information do you the most good or make the most sense to you.

First of all – this is unlike other places that refer to “stages” or “staged upgrades” that MUST be done in order or are ‘packages’ that some shop puts together. Instead it is a reasonable course of progression to take. Some things can be done before others certainly. But others cannot (e.g.: like keeping the stock turbos but putting on a big FMIC for show, that is not only stupid but degrades the cars performance too! Very ricey type of thing to do). So realize that certain things do have to be done before others or at the same time. Another good example of this is larger injectors. That is a big step because you must install the proper electronics to control those bigger injectors. That isn't an option but a must to make the car run.

So you can assign whatever 'stage' or number you want to. Those really mean nothing except a point of reference. There is no standard and every persons 'stage II' (or whatever) will be entirely different.

There will also always be things that are not included here. There are new things cropping up all the time for cars. As is for aftermarket body parts and so forth. But instead this is the basics at the time of writing or maybe a few things that I like or think are a nice upgrade or performance addition.

Let's talk about where to get your info, parts, or advice.
I put this here because it ALWAYS seems to play a role in every car brought to my shop to tune, upgrade, or plan out a performance build.

I’ve built quite a few high performance cars over the years. Starting with bigblock chevy's in the 70s and working at a speed shop specializing in dyno tuned race engines and machining (my first real job, lol). I’ve consulted, spec’d and built (along with my race team co-members) a lot of cars ranging from simple tuneups and BPU (Basic Performance Upgrades) all the way to several big performance builds in the ranges of $25-80,000 per car. So the average is about 10-15 3000GTs per year that I either consult on or work with. Most every one of them wants some level of performance added. Some a little, some a whole lot. Something to note is that all my cars run and are not in various stages of needing this or fixing that. They run and drive as designed and have no problems due to the modifications, build or anything else. That's the ideal goal right?

The reason reason I bring this up is that you want to seek advice or listen to people that have physically done a performance build (or preferably several) and have the experience and knowledge to back it up. I have seen time and time again people planning their build from 1) reading things on an car forum, and/or 2) shopping on a performance parts retailer website and buying things before they even knew what they did or needed to support them. I’ve had many a person show up with boxes of performance parts he purchased and wants them ‘installed’.
(seriosly, he had spent over $20,000 at 3sx on parts before even planning his build!).

This is totally the wrong way to plan or do things. It makes the build 10X harder (the build is driven by the parts purchased rather than the other way around like it should be!).


Or of course there are those that have a ‘friend’ that advises them even though he personally has never in their life done any of these things being discussed. Gauge things based on success or real time when you get serious about the plan. This is the same thing on car forums. Advice abounds and comes from lots of people that have no idea other than what they have read. They also like to nutswing on some of the more popular members or builders. They are just parrots that regurgitate what they read without a full knowledge of even what they write.



There’s no shortage of people that got bad advice and ran out of money which completely ended their hopes for a performance build. Sometimes a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing. So take ALL advice from random strangers with a bit of skepticism. I'm not saying that there are not people that know what they are talking about on some car forums or internet (hey, you're reading this! LOL). Instead I am saying you must somehow weed through the 'free advice' and be careful in putting too much of your decision process from this type of casual information. After all, if they are wrong who's out the money? YOU!

As for listening to multiple builders - most will all have close to the same advice with a few minor differences here and there if they specialize in the 3000. But once in a while they differ a lot on their advice. This is either due to personal preferences or they have a financial angle to their advice (i.e. - they are a seller of performance parts). I don't say this as a negative thing but it is something to keep in mind as a reality. They want to sell you THEIR stuff.

Both can be correct in their own way but have differing priorities or methods (more on priorities on page 2). So understand that if they do not agree it does not mean either is wrong or right. Instead be guided by whomever has the same type of goal in mind as you do and be guided by that. Especially if they have sat down with you and planned things knowing your budget, your goal, and all the other things usually not present in simple internet posts or 'advice'.

OR - if you have already chosen who will plan your build or do the work or be your 'go-to-guy' - be warned that the worst thing you can do is keep consulting other people (eg: the internet) and making comments to him/them that "so and so says this" or "I read that this should be that" or whatever. Around about the 5th or 6th time you might be invited to go ahead and have so and so do your build. Too many cooks in the kitchen can get, at the least, annoying. Not to say you cannot or should not ask questions but once you make your decision on your build don't go continuing to make changes or change your mind because you read something or someone said something random. Doing that will cost you more money (just like making changes to the blueprints in building a home) and you will, eventually if it keeps up, begin to piss off your builder or go-to-guy. This same sort of advice goes for machine shops too. If you don't trust them 100% then why are you having them do the work? Choose someone you trust and don't second guess them every time you surf the internet!

A little inquisitive questioning and wanting to learn is fine but second guessing your builder or quoting the internet or other builders will get old for them really quick!

In summary my advice is: choose someone that has the proven background and experience for what you are wanting to do. Someone that has been successful at the same type of build or look or budget that you want. Then sit down with them. Plan it out. Do this BEFORE you spend money! If they are not close to you in physical distance then as a minimum use the phone to discuss your build.

Get OFF the INTERNET and talk to the builder in real time 1:1.


OKAY, ready to start the process of planning out your performance build for your 3000GT VR4?

Let's get started


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