As you may already know, Predator engines are hugely popular. They are super cheap and reliable engines. That popularity also means that there are loads of performance parts available for modifying the Predator 212.
These performance parts are sold in “kits”, namely stage 1 kit, stage 2 kit, stage 3 kit, and so on. The higher the number in the kit, the more performance boost it will give your engine.
There are several companies selling their own versions of these kits, the most popular ones being GoPowerSports and OMBWarehouse.
In this guide, I’ll be talking about the stage 1 kit. What are the parts that come with the stage 1 kit and how they will affect the performance?
As stated earlier, different suppliers sell different parts for their version of the stage 1 kit. OMBwarehouse and GPS are the most popular so we will look through the parts that both of them sell.
Common on all Stage 1 kits:
- Air Filter
- Air Filter adapter
- Choke braket
- Main Jet (0.036 – 0.038)
Parts you get from Gopowersport’s Stage 1 kit:
In addition to the Air filter, adapter, and main jet, etc, they also send you an air filter bag on their original stage 1 kit.
Additionally, they recommend getting:
- 18 lb Valve Springs
- Header Pipe
- Header Support
- Pipe Sleeve
Parts you get from OMBwarehouse Stage 1 kit:
In addition to the air filter parts and main jets, OMBwarehouse’s stage 1 kit includes:
- 18 lb Valve Springs
- bored out emulsion tube
- Exhaust and muffler (silencer)
- Advanced Timing key
If we include the recommended parts from GPS to their Stage 1 kit and compare it to OMBwarehouse’s kit, they are almost identical, with the main parts being the air filter, exhaust, valve spring, and main jet.
1. Air Filter
Stage 1 kits all come with the air filter, it is one of the first parts that gets replaced whenever the engine is modified.
The main purpose of the filter is to get clean air to the carburetor. The performance air filter will be able to provide more air to the carburetor than the stock air filter.
More air available means that more air-fuel mix can be provided to the combustion chamber means more fuel is burned in less time, making more power.
The air filter adapter, choke bracket and air filter bag will all be used for the installation of the air filter.
2. Main Jet
Once you have upgraded to a better air filter, you’ll need to couple that with a bigger jet. The main jet is primarily responsible for providing the carburetor with fuel for the air and fuel to mix.
Once we have an Air-Filter that is sucking in more air, we will need to provide the incoming air with more fuel to balance out the equation.
That is the reasoning for using a bigger jet. You’ll get a jet of the size between 0.036 to 0.038. The bigger the jetting is, the more fuel it will suck in.
You can also completely upgrade your carburetor and get a Mikuni or Tillotson carburetor, they will significantly improve the performance over the stock carburetor (It isn’t included in Stage 1 kits).
3. Valve Springs
The Valve spring’s main function is to push the valves back to their original position after each cycle. By one cycle we mean, 4 strokes of the engine’s cylinder.
All you need to know is that heavier springs will remove a speed limit with which the engine originally comes.
Stage 1 kit comes with an 18 lb valve spring for both exhaust and intake valves which will increase the speed limit and increase power. But, if you want to know why that is, then read on.
Originally the engine comes in with 10.8 lb valve springs, which works perfectly for a stock engine. But once the rpm increases, the 10.8 lb spring isn’t able to exert enough force to get the valve back to its original position before the next cycle.
This condition is known as Valve float, it limits the rpm of the engine to about 5500 rpm. Using heavier springs will reset the limit to higher rpm.
Exhaust is the opposite to Air filter, its function is to get the burnt gas out of the engine.
If the burnt gas is left inside the combustion chamber, it will interfere in the next cycle. Getting it out completely is impossible but we can increase efficiency with an aftermarket exhaust pipe.
GPS’s kit doesn’t come with the exhaust, but they do recommend getting it separately. It will for sure increase the performance but will also make your engine LOUDER!
I’m sure some of you will enjoy that loud sound but your neighbors certainly won’t, therefore the kit also comes with a muffler which will calm it down a little.
5. Advanced Timing key
OMBwarehouse sends an 8-degree advanced timing key with their kit. A lot of people do not install it, but it has its benefits.
Many people think that the spark plug kicks in when the piston is at the top dead center(furthest point from the camshaft). But that isn’t the case as it cannot be for practical purposes. The sparks are produced 20-40 degrees before the piston reaches the top dead center.
The stock engine comes with 24-degree advanced timing, i.e, the spark is energized 24 degrees before the combustion chamber reaches the top dead center.
By installing the key, you’ll effectively make the spark energies at 32 degrees before the top dead center. OMBwarehouse claims that 32 degrees are the perfect timing for these engines.
Gopowersports did a dyno test with their stage 1 kit and 18 lb springs and compared it to the stock Predator 212. The results showed 2.25 hp gain and 1.83 lb/ft torque gain.
You can expect a Predator 212 to produce 2-3 hp more than a stock Predator 212. i.e, you can expect a stage 1 Predator 212 to make 9-10 hp power. If your governor is removed, you can expect a little extra gain in power.
At the time of writing this article, OMBwarehouse’s kit costs $88 (for non-hemi Predators) and $74 (for Hemi).
GPS’s kit costs $40. If you were to buy all the upgrades recommended by GPS, it will cost $100 more (so around $140).
You can buy it from their website, OMBwarehouse also sells their kit on Amazon. Make sure to buy according to whether you’ve got a hemi or non-hemi engine.
For more mods, like camshaft, stage 2, stage 3, etc. Check our Performance mods guide.
The installation process can be best understood with a video tutorial, it’s best to check youtube for installation tips.