Performance Modifications: Where to Start?

Performance Modifications: Where to Start?

With the world’s largest aftermarket parts expo, the SEMA Show, kicking off tomorrow, it’s going to be easy to catch the modification addiction. But don’t just slap a bunch of stickers and neons to your car and call it a day. Why not give your ride an extra boost of adrenaline? Consider these performance modifications and browse to eBay Motors to see what’s available for your car.


Its easy to go overboard in this subject, as some people love to put big shiny rims on their rides. Rims can come in head-turning finishes like chrome. But if you’re looking for performance rather than looks, then weight should be your primary concern. Cutting weight is ideal in performance modifications, so any chance you get to reduce unsprung weight will help your car feel quicker and respond better. These gorgeous Enkei rims have a great silver finish, and will certainly spice up the looks of your ride. Other mainstream companies like Konig and Motegi provide a great variety of rims, but if you want something really unique, look to BBS and HRE. Need some help with fitment? Check out the eBay Motors wheel fitment tool.


Tires are another popular modification, not just for performance, but for safety. Sportier, tires have less tread, and are stiffer, making them responsive on situations like the track. If you want to show off your new rims, consider getting spiffy low-profile tires, but be warned, ride-quality will suffer. The Michelin Pilot Super Sport is known for its superb handling, as is the Goodyear Eagle F1. Another great option comes from General tires with the Altimax HP, which are great value. eBay Motors tire fitment tool can help you get the right size tires for your ride,

Sway Bars

Reduced weight is a great overall modification for performance, but if you want a better handling feel, it’s going to take some work. Sway bars (also called anti-roll bars, or stabilizer bars) provide a great advantage in regards to handling. Sway bars mainly help reduce the amount of body lean a car experiences during cornering. This helps adjust the car’s weight balance helping to dial out oversteer or understeer. Cusco makes a wide variety of front and rear sway bars.

Lowering Springs

Another great idea is to lower a car’s center of gravity, which can be done with lowering springs. While these also help deliver a more aggressive look, they can also disrupt a car’s comfort level on the streets. Eibach has built a solid reputation on springs. Some might think that cutting springs is a good cost-effective solution for lowering a car, but it can mess up the manufacturer’s spring rates and result in poor handling and an unsafe ride.

Sport Shocks

To maximize your handling and ride quality, any spring upgrade should be paired with new shocks. A shorter spring is more likely to bottom out with soft factory shocks and so aftermarket shocks will help match up properly to deliver the ideal ride. Look to Bilstein or Koni to provide adjustable shocks.

Air Intakes

The most appreciated modifications add power, and while turbocharging or supercharging an engine tends to yield the most impressive results, its not easy, and it’s not cheap. Instead look to modify other parts of the car’s powertrain to improve airflow. Intakes essentially are like breathing strips for your car, and allow more air into the car’s engine. They assist with power and efficiency. Airaid is a company that specializes in performance intakes, and has a lot of options for different vehicles. For those looking for a simple change, K&N has air-filters that you can use in your stock air box, just drop it in. For more impressive performance additions, look to an all new air box. For example, an AEM cold air intake helps move the intake away from the engine. This gets cold air coming into the engine which allows for a more complete combustion and therefore more power.


Exhaust headers are another handy modification you can make to increase performance. These help eliminate back pressure, which in turn allows the engine to complete its cycle without wasting power. Borla and Hedman both make sets of impressive headers to help unleash your cars power.


Finally, modified exhausts assist in eliminating back pressure, and can drastically change the sound of your car. Exhaust systems have a different set of bends and diameters that affect the way gas is removed from the system. By reducing restrictions, the exhaust would flow freely and reduce backpressure, which increases performance. There are a wide range of systems to choose from, from these MagnaFlow cat-back setups or more budget conscious axle-back setup like this one from Flowmaster.

Short Shifter

A short-throw shifter might not add power or change the looks of your car, but it is a noticeable upgrade in terms of driving feel. Your shifts will be quicker, and without a doubt, your car will be more engaging and enjoyable to drive. Look to B&M for short-throw shift kits, they’re the top of the class in this segment. If you’re on a budget, Ralco might be a good option.

With SEMA happening this week, there will be a ton of great ideas and options on how to personalize your car. There are plenty of items out there that will make your car feel sportier, drive faster and look unique. Hopefully with this list you’ll be better prepared how to get exactly what you want out of your car when you start modifying it.

This post is part of eBay Finders, a new partnership that presents collections of items curated by a carefully selected group of motors experts. Meet more of the Finders at #eBayFinders

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