89-95 New Owners Guide

Discussion in 'Gen 1 & 2 - Guides (For How-to guides, NOT how-to ' started by dannyd1993, May 20, 2019.

  1. dannyd1993

    dannyd1993 Member

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    So, you bought a 89-95 SHO. You know a little bit about it, but you need to know alot more. It has high miles, you have no idea about the maintenance history, and you want to make it FASTER! What do you need to do? Where do you start? Where do you go for parts? You came to the right website! All the answers are here...somewhere. However, they are spread out all over the place. It could take weeks or even months to gather all the information you need to come up with a solid plan. I will consolidate alot of that information into this single post. I won't go into all the details because that would take an entire book. But, I will give a relatively quick, yet thorough guide that I wished I had when I was getting started. In this post I will cover the drive-train maintenance and the 10 best performance mods for your SHO.

    -A few sites to go ahead and bookmark are:

    www.shosource.com This site specializes in the SHO and has many performance parts not available anywhere else.
    www.shonutperformance.com Another specialty site, but not as much inventory as SHO Source.
    www.rockauto.com The best site for stock replacement, non performance parts. Great selection, super fast shipping, and the best prices anywhere.
    www.ebay.com You'll want to check e-bay at least twice a week. You never know what will pop up here.

    -There is also a classified section here in the forums.
     
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  2. dannyd1993

    dannyd1993 Member

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    STEP 1 - EVALUATION

    -Pull the plug wires from the front valve cover. If they are dripping with oil, that's a pretty good indication it's time for maintenance.

    -Look at the intake. If there is a spot that looks like it's rubbing on the hood insulation right where it says SHO, that's an indication of a bad front motor mount. It may have already been replaced, but you can verify this by popping the hood and leaving it open while you start it up and gently let half-way out on the clutch while in 1st gear with the parking brake on. If the engine moves more than a couple of inches, you need a new front motor mount. I highly recommend a reinforced mount from SHO Source. Even if it is good, if you plan on adding more power, go ahead and get one. Reinforced rears are available too, but these generally don't go bad. You can test these in the same manner, just in reverse gear.

    -Check the sub-frame bushings (or SFBs). These are the rubber bushings on all four corners of the sub-frame. Get under there and look while someone turns the wheel from side to side. If there is any movement, they are bad. SHO Source also has aluminum replacement bushings. These are also a must if you plan on adding power. These last forever, too!

    -Do not neglect to fix these problems as they can cause stress to the whole drive-train.

    -Check the CV axle boots for tears. Once the boot gets a tear, the grease inside gets flung out, and the end is near for the axle. Check these every oil change. If you catch it early, you can replace the boot and repack it with grease and save it.

    -Check Engine Light (CEL). Luckily, you don't need a special reader to check the codes on these cars. There is a method to get the codes that only requires a short wire with connectors on each end, described here. There is also a link to code explanations on the same page.
     
  3. dannyd1993

    dannyd1993 Member

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    STEP 2 - MAINTENANCE

    -If maintained properly, a Yamaha powered V6 SHO will last a long, long time. The engine is pretty much bullet-proof, provided the oil is changed regularly. However, the gaskets will eventually leak, sensors and accessories will fail, and general wear and tear will take a toll. If you keep the following maintenance schedule, you'll keep breakdowns to a minimum and have a very dependable ride.

    -Oil changes. I recommend using a Motorcraft filter and a 10w-30 semi-synthetic blend. Change it every 3,000 miles. I know it calls for 5w-20, but high mileage cars need thicker oil to compensate for wear in the bearings. The thicker oil will also cut down on some leakage and blow-by. Some prefer to use a full synthetic or even Royal Purple. This is fine too. But, these are alot more expensive.

    -Note: You'll most likely be adding a quart every 1,000 miles. This is perfectly normal.

    -Note: Do not overfill the oil. This engine has a dry sump design (Crank does not go into oil in pan) and if you overfill it, the crank will splash the oil and cause resistance.

    -60k maintenance. This is a term you will see used alot in the forums. It involves replacing the following with new parts: Water pump, timing belt, spark plugs, plug wires, intake and valve cover gaskets, and accessory belts. And, most importantly, valve adjustment. This must be done every 60k miles to keep your SHO in tip top shape.

    -Don't be afraid to do the valve adjustment. It's not hard at all. However, there are special tools required, as well as shims. They are kind of pricey, but a great alternative is to RENT them from SHO Source. For $50 (and a sizeable, but refundable deposit) they will supply all the tools and shims you need to do the job.

    -There is a great, step by step write up on how to do the valve adjustment here.

    -During the 60k is also a good time to replace the radiator hoses, thermostat, coolant, and the o-rings on the pipe that goes from the back of the water pump to the thermostat housing.

    -Another recommended, but not required part to replace during the 60k is the crank sensor. Generally these don't go bad unless you have a leaky water pump, but they do fail. And when they do, the car won't start. Since you have to take the front of the engine completely apart to replace it, and it's right there during this process, I highly recommend going ahead and changing it now for peace of mind. Same goes for the timing belt tensioner.

    -Check the oil pan for leaks...I'll bet it's leaking. Replacing the gasket isn't as hard as you might think. You'll have to remove the Y-pipe to clear the way to remove it. Sounds hard, but it's only 6 nuts. Spray these with some PB Blaster and they come off easily. And, if your SHO has over 100k miles I highly recommend changing the rod bearings. Even if the oil was changed regularly these probably need to be replaced. These engines spin fast and these bearings take the brunt of the force. It's not uncommon for a high mileage SHO to spin these bearings. This can end up being a very costly fix. For less than $100 you can replace these and have peace of mind when revving to 7,000+ rpms. Again, don't be afraid to do this. All you need is a torque wrench and a little patience.

    -Go ahead and change the power steering fluid and transmission fluid during the 60k too.

    -If you have a manual (MTX), the transmission fluid will have to be pumped out using a pump you can find at your local auto parts store. The fill hole is the bolt with a square indention. Use a socket extension to loosen it. A better alternative is to install a drain plug on the bottom of the transmission for an easy and thorough flush. You will need a 1/4" threaded nipple about 1/2"-3/4" long, a tap and die kit, and a drill. Put the hole at the lowest point of the transmission on the flat spot. Go slowly so you don't punch through too hard and hit the internals. Carefully thread it and install the plug. Be sure to wrap the threads with Teflon tape. Fill with 90w gear oil. I recommend Royal Purple. Fill until it runs out.

    -Note: On the MTX, when going to reverse gear from neutral, you will grind every time. This is normal. To avoid this, shift into first gear, then reverse.
     
  4. dannyd1993

    dannyd1993 Member

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    STEP 3 - PERFORMANCE UPGRADES

    -Now that your maintenance is all caught up, you can start adding power. And there is alot of it hiding inside waiting to come out. Most of it is in the intake. It is like no other. It's secondary air inlets allow the SHO to make a very impressive power curve...actually, it's not a curve at all, it's a line. The higher you rev, the higher the line goes, and it doesn't fall off until you let off. Here is a dyno graph of a stock 3.0; You can really tell when the secondaries open up.
    upload_2019-5-20_20-36-54.jpeg
    Power is all about moving air (and fuel) through the engine. The more air that goes through, the more power. Each engine was precision built, and can spin an incredible 9,000 RPMs with no fear. Only problem is that the external accessories (power steering pump, A/C compressor, water pump) can't handle that kind of speed.

    1-However, with an under-drive pulley from SHO Source, you can safely push it to 8,000 RPMs. Of course, a tune will be required to do that. But even without the tune, it adds 5-8 hp.

    2-A tune is going to be necessary if you want to get the most out of your engine. The only option now is the twEECer from SHO NUT. It is a bit pricey, but you can do anything you want with it. There used to be a place that sold the considerably cheaper LPM (otherwise known as a chip). Unfortunately, these are hard to find as the original supplier is no longer in business. You may be able to find one on e-bay and have it programmed to suit you by SHO Source...good luck with that. But a good tune will provide another 20+ hp.

    3-K&N stock replacement filter is worth about 10-12 hp. It is the best "bang for your buck" as far as upgrades go. A cold air intake is more costly, but moderately more effective, especially in the higher RPMs. Avoid the ones that draw air from inside the engine compartment, as these are not pulling in cold air regardless of a makeshift box with weatherstripping. Cold air is denser, thus more air in a given volume area. Try to find one that draws the air from outside like the stock air box does. These used to be easy to find, but again, the only place known to me that sold them is no longer in business...keep checking ebay. If you can't find one, I'd stick with the K&N stock replacement and stock air box.

    4-80mm Mass Air Flow Sensor (MAF). This simply replaces the stock 65mm unit to allow more airflow. This will require a twEECer or LPM to work properly. It's worth about 5-10 hp on a stock motor. More with intake porting.

    5-Big bore butterflies. These are available from SHO Source ready to bolt on. They add at least 10 hp once they open. With intake porting you can expect alot more.

    6-Intake porting. There is alot of metal that can come out of the tanks and runners. Put a gasket up to the these parts and you'll see just how much. This is no small task though. It took me a few weeks to port everything on mine. If you want to do this to your daily driver, find a spare intake and have it sandblasted. Then start grinding. That way you can work on it at your leisure and have the whole intake ready to just swap out. You can expect 15-20 hp from this. While your at it, paint the parts with some high temp engine paint, or have them powder coated. Go ahead and finish it off with some new silicone hoses, new clamps and new stainless steel bolts and washers. Make sure you use blue Locktite on the new bolts to the heads.

    7-Head porting. There is a considerable amount of metal to be removed from the intake side of the heads. However, they need to be removed from the car to do this. You don't want those shavings falling into the combustion chamber and damaging the valve seats. The valve seals could probably stand to be replaced, anyway. Head porting is highly recommended if you do all the intake porting, otherwise, the air flow you freed up from the intake will hit a bottleneck here. The exhaust side is already gasket matched, so just polish that side.

    8-Now you need an escape for all that air. Pick up a high flow Y-pipe from SHO Source. They are available with or without cats.

    9-Follow that up with a cat back system to complete the exhaust. Together they will produce another 15+ hp.

    10-With all of the above done, you're going to need a high flow fuel pump to keep up with fuel demand.

    -Catch can. This is necessary to filter out the crap ton of oil that will come from the crankcase back to the intake during normal operation and clog up all that free space you just opened up. Also, it gums up the plugs and what not. Not critical, but highly recommended. The better the can, the more expensive.

    -Rod shifter. These came stock in the 92-95 cars, But the 89-91s had cable shifters. They are ok until they break, and they probably will. If you have a gen 1 try to find one of these to upgrade to. Bushing kits are also available to give it that like new feel.

    -If you do all the mods listed above, you will have a 300 hp car that is a thrill to drive, is still comfortable as a daily driver, and the transmission can handle whatever you throw at it. You can even add a 100 hp nitrous kit if you want. The only thing left to do now, other than a 3.2 swap (for a little more torque) or cams (very expensive) is add boost (Turbo or Supercharger). Just remember, these transmissions aren't designed to handle more than 400 hp, so if you do add boost, have a few spares lying around.

    -I hope this guide helps you new owners out there. Happy modding.
     
  5. Irish Pride

    Irish Pride Irish Inside Staff Member Super Moderators

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    Very nice write up.
    Stickied to the top.
     
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  6. dannyd1993

    dannyd1993 Member

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    I just found an archived site I thought was long gone. Lots of step by step how to's with lots of pictures here.
     
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  7. SHOdded

    SHOdded SHO Member Supporting Member

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    A small compilation:
    Good place to start learning about the basics:
    http://wikisho.com/wiki/Main_Page

    The SHOPHOENIX site is down permanently it seems, unfortunately. But a lot of information is available in dropbox files from member itwonder.
    https://www.dropbox.com/sh/77a1h1wsvvdmtox/AACBSbusdJqRt-PIONbmMpeTa?dl=0

    And as a web archive
    http://web.archive.org/web/20070518111620/http://www.shophoenixproject.com/

    Devin's compilation of specifications:
    http://web.archive.org/web/20170421192254/http://www.shopowered.com/
     
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  8. blk\blk90

    blk\blk90 SHO Member Supporting Member

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  9. thegreatbriguy

    thegreatbriguy SHO Member

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    I believe the recommended oil weight is 5w-30 and I would really stick with that forever unless you have some extreme circumstance. I might burn like a quart every 3000 but maybe I don't drive it hard enough...
    I also really like the FL-1A option and extra oil capacity that adds.
     

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