Beginning tuning/modding, need advice


Maine, USA
Jeep Liberty
I am looking for a cheap, beginner car that I can mess around with and try different mods and such...
I was told that a Honda Civic was a good choice, mainly because of the good handling and the large variety of aftermarket parts available, but I was also interested in nissan 240's, mitsubishi eclipses, or other used tuners. Is the Civic the right choice? Im looking for something that handles well, is zippy, and I can buy a lot of affordable parts for. Which models should I look into? Ive heard that the type R's and Si's are the higher-performance models, but i also have to balance affordability. This will be my first car, and I will be buying it used off of craiglist or classifieds. Im thinking of installing an aftermarket cold air intake, headers, and exhaust. Performance will come before looks, as i mainly just want to experiment with the engine and learn more about cars. I also want to try using my laptop to try tuning the chip, but it might be too complicated.
Any suggestions would be appreciated!
welcome to the site mate.
was gong to say for a 1st car the 240 type R etc may cause major headaches with the insurance but just realised your from USA.
Buy a turbo car. Much better scope for modifying with much better results unless you go for something with a monster engine. A small engined turbo car will be cheap to run and not too bad on insurance.
Ok, thanks for the replies so far guys, and Ive narrowed my choices down to the honda civic (si or regular) or the nissan 240sx. Ive heard that both these cars have a wide range of parts available and are easily modified, which is what im looking for, and are also pretty cheap. My budget right now is going to be around 3,000, which will be spent on the car, im gonna do engine mods later. It might get raised to something like 5,000 or higher if i sell my jeep, but i dont think ill be able to. What are your recommendations? the 240sx or the civic? As I said, I dont really need a monster of a car, just something thats cheap, quick, agile, and easily modified.
would prob advise you to go for the 240 mate they are easier to tune than the hondas without having a large budget. if you do decide to go for the civic go for the si ( think this is what you call our type r, it has just under 200bhp )
The 240s are also RWD (I think!) This opens up all kinds of driving opportunities you don't get in a FWD.

I think both are reliable and will do you well as a project car.
k, i think im gonna look for a 240sx on craigslist or something, it sounds like a nice car. Thanks for the advice guys! Ill definitely be coming back to this forum for advice soon, as I decide which parts to get, how to maximize efficiency, etc.
This all depends on what you want from the car. Civic's are good cars that are easy to tune. They tend to be nippy, fun cars. A 240SX is rwd (Civic's are fwd), and can be tuned very highly. You can even drop a Skyline engine into a 240SX. I would personally find an S14A from the late 90s if you go for the 240SX.

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