Jeff Perrin

Dec 202012
 

One of the first things we noticed on the BRZ/FR-S engine is that the OEM inlet hose could use some major improvements. From the resonator chamber, and the noise generator tube, to the fact its not very smooth on the inside, this for sure was a part that we could make better and make some HP with.

Lets look at the stock part first. You can see below that there are a bunch of extra pieces to the OEM part. You have the sound generator and tube, and the resonator that hang off the hose. Both these parts have huge ports that connect them to the intake track, which means there are huge disruptions caused as the air passes over them. You can see in the OEM part the bellows that are in the middle. The inside of the part looks just like as well, making for further disruptions to the air flow.

Below are some cut aways showing this as well. It’s is very clear which hose will flow more air!

We improved the quality of the inside of the hose as you can see, we also improved the overall shape of the hose. Using the below diagram, you can see how the OEM part has a super sharp bend where it connects to the air box. Seeing this as a flaw, we redesigned the hose to have a much smoother more gradual bend. The radius of the bend on the OEM part is 1.5″, versus the PERRIN Inlet hose uses a 3″ radius!

One last thing we improved was the size of the hose. We made the hose as large as possible while still being able to fit to the OEM air box as well as the throttle body. You can see in the diagram below the differences in the two parts. We made sure that it would suite our future PERRIN 3″ intake as well as other future items like bigger cams, 9000RPM Redlines, and even supercharger kits that would utilize the stock part.

 

In the above cutaways you can see the stainless steel wire that is wound around the inside of our hose. This is important to ensure that the silicone hose NEVER collapses under vacuum. Even the OEM part has ribs and features that keep the rubber from collapsing during high RPM and load. Some competitors may leave this out to save costs, but in our eyes its not worth the sacrifice.

You can see that unlike some available aftermarket Inlet hoses, we didn’t just copy the OEM part and make it a dress-up part, we improved it!

What does this all translate to in horsepower gains? This test was done on a stock 2013 BRZ where the only part was swapped was the inlet hose. You can see its worth a few HP across the RPM band with no other aftermarket parts installed. We have seen a solid 5 WHP gain on cars with 2.5″ header back exhaust systems installed along with an intake system. The BRZ really seems to like free flowing things like the intake system and inlet hose, when there is a high flow 2.5″ header-back system installed!

 

We may have been the first to show off our prototype and the last one to market, but we do believe that the PERRIN Inlet hose for the BRZ/FR-S is the best one available. With all the time we spent designing, the dyno proven HP, and the fact it looks awesome under your hood, there is no reason to buy any other Inlet hose!

 

 Posted by on December 20, 2012 BRZ / FR-S, First Look, Part Design & Tech
Nov 262012
 

This part has been a long time coming for those with CRV problems. No not the Honda Sport Utility Vehicle, but the Compressor Recirculation Valve on your Mini Cooper S. The problems all started about 3 years after the Mini Cooper Turbo cars came out, where customers started getting check engine lights (CEL’s, or DTC’s) that were related to their compressor recirc vavle (CRV), then loads of other problems like low on power or weird idle problems or many other things.

There are three main problems with the stock part. One of which is the diaphragm in the OEM CRV rips  another is the piston sticks and finally its controlled by the ECU. All these problems can cause a check engine light (about 4 different ones actually), and all of these problems can cause a loss in overall power or response from your MCS. The ALTA Mechanical CRV fixes all these problems and will easily outlast your stock CRV.

 

 How Does a CRV Work?

A compressor recirculation valve (CRV) has a simple job of relieving boost pressure on a turbocharged engine during situations where the throttle is closed quickly. Lets say you are at full throttle and your turbo is pushing 14psi of boost pressure past your throttle body into your engine. During this situation things are working perfectly and the turbo is spinning at 100K RPM’s or more. Now its time to shift and you lift your foot off the accelerator pedal, which is where things change. The turbo is still spinning trying to make 14psi of boost but now there is a huge blockage to the engine from the throttle being closed. Just before the boost pressure builds up, the CRV opens, dumping all that excess boost, allowing the turbo to keep spinning and flowing air.

The whole idea with a turbocharger is to keep its RPM’s up during shifting and other high load situations, which keeps the turbo lag to a minimum. Without something relieving the pressure in the system, a phenomenon called compressor surge occurs. This is where the build up of boost pressure backs up in the system sending a wave of pressure backwards through the turbo causing it to stop and shutter back and forth. This shutter and surging leads to premature wear on bearings and even complete failures on turbos. Compressor surge is very bad and while some people think it sounds cool, its very damaging.

 

How Does the MINI CRV Work?

The MINI CRV is connected to the turbocharger directly (not very common). It joins the compressor housing (where the boost is) and the intake part of the turbo. The way its setup is very efficient as when the valve opens, it vents boost right back to the intake system. This design eliminates additional hoses and parts, which means less things to go wrong.

During most situations the stock CRV valve is closed holding boost in the system. It looks like the diagram below.

 

As boost builds in the system, boost is not trying to open the valve because it has small ports on the top that equalize boost trying to open it and close it. Instead it relies on a small spring to keep the valve closed. This works perfectly fine until there are problems in the system. In the picture and diagram below you can see the yellow diaphragm and you can imagine what happens to this under high boost levels. More on this in a few.

When the ECU energizes the coil, it pulls the valve open and the boost pressure is relieved back to the intake system. The amount of force from the coil is very little, but its more force than the spring has, which is fine when things are working ok. When things are not working ok, coil isn’t powerful enough to make it open quickly. During testing we found that a small amount of pressure from a finger or piece of tape would cause it to not open. More on this as well.

 

One of the problems is, boost in the system trying to escape, as well as boost inside the CRV piston trapped, trying to get out. This causes some resistance in the valve opening quickly. Imagine 20psi inside the CRV housing and the piston has to work against that to open up! It literally has to blow the pressure out of the CRV housing, through the piston, working against the 20psi its trying to relieve from the system!

Once the valve is opened and all boost is relieved, the ECU de-energizes the coil and the valve closes sealing boost back into the system again.

In the below diagram you can see where the CRV is bolted up to the turbo. You can see how efficiently the CRV dumps pressure right back in front of the turbo into the intake system. This diagram shows the ALTA CRV installed, but you get the idea.

 

Problem #1, The ECU Controls the CRV

On most cars the CRV or BOV, or Dump Valve (this part has many names) is mechanically controlled by vacuum and a spring.  On the Mini turbo, the valve is controlled by an electronic solenoid doing the full job of opening the valve. The ECU determines the “Best” time to open the valve looking at many data points, like manifold pressure, boost tube pressure, throttle position, and RPM. When the ECU tells the valve to open, there is a delay as the solenoid gets energized, then mechanically opens. The problem is, it’s not  fast enough.

Here are two examples of the ECU delaying the valve opening. Using the AccessPORT we can see when the ECU tells the electronic CRV to open. This should be an instant thing as the throttle body starts to close the valve starts to open. In this high load situation below you can see how there is 1/4 second delay before the ECU tells the part to open. Remember, the valve then gets energized and then has to still mechanically open to dump boost. This is around .100  seconds of additional delay.

In this low load part throttle situation, you can see there is even more delay.  During this example, you can actually start to hear compressor surge start to happen. This comes through a brief fluttering type sound, or chirping sound.

To the general onlooker you may be thinking this is only a half a second! In the high performance tuning world, a half a second is like a 40 hour work week! This delay is a killer as it can cause compressor surge which will damage your turbo over time. Mini gets away with this because its only running 10-12 psi of boost from the factory. Add a few more pounds of boost, a track day, and some other aftermarket goodies and this is when its bad.

The other thing is the ECU can only open the vavle, and it can only do it one way. Its either on or off with no “in between”. In certain situations, this can dump boost too quickly making for an abrupt fall off in power.

Lets add to the above delay, and a sticking CRV piston!

Problem #2 Sticking CRV Piston

The sticking CRV is another problem we started to see about in 2009. This is caused by engine oil (from blow-by from crank case vents) that gets into the intake system, creating a sticky surface for the CRV’s piston to stick to. If this car used a normal mechanical type CRV, it wouldn’t be a problem, but since it has a rather weak solenoid trying to open a valve (as shown above) it doesn’t take much before it stops working. This requires cleaning of the valve and the turbo housing at least every 2 years to ensure this doesn’t stick.

Problem #3 Ripped Diaphragm

As shown in the above diagram, as more boost is run, more pressure is put on the super thin diaphragm. This ballooning expands and pushes it against things it wasn’t meant to. As the part actuates in an out, its wafer thin diaphragm tears and then causes a boost leak. When this goes bad, you can’t buy just the diaphragm you have to buy the entire CRV from MINI.

All of these problems lead to check engine lights (CEL’s) or diagnostic trouble codes (DTC’s) as well as boost cut (instant loss of boost) and overall loss of power. All of these problems are completely solved with the ALTA Mechanical CRV!

How does the ALTA CRV work?

The OEM CRV seems like its a good idea, but its overly complicated and filled with long term problems. We set out to design something that was going to fix all the above problems as well as never be a problem for customers.  So we made the ALTA CRV much simpler and far more reliable by using a more common method to open and close it.

The ALTA CRV uses both boost pressure from the system as well as vacuum from the system to operate the valve in a much smoother and faster motion than the OEM part. Under full throttle, there is boost pressure (from the intake manifold) pushing the valve closed as well as boost pressure trying to open it up. There are two things that keep this from EVER opening under full throttle.

As boost pressure builds behind the CRV’s piston, so does boost pressure on the front side trying to open it up. Since the surface area behind the piston is larger than the side trying to open it up, it naturally keeps it closed. Added to this is a small spring. This spring not only adds additional force to keep it closed but also helps with when the valve opens.

In this situation the ALTA CRV Diaphragm sees the same boost pressure as the stock part did. The diaphragm we use is much thicker and is reinforced, allowing it to handle the added boost with no long term problems. We use this same part on cars that run 30psi or more of boost just to give you an idea how much we trust it!

As the throttle closes a few things happen. The intake manifold now sees vacuum (not boost) and it starts to pull the CRV piston open. The next thing that happens is the boost pressure in system pushes the valve open. Both of these things work against the spring behind the diaphragm. The combination of vacuum pulling and boost pushing open the valve super fast with no delay.

The beauty of this CRV is that it adapts to the way you are driving. Imagine you are full throttle then slowly back off the throttle. In this situation, the valve slowly opens making for a smoother transition from full throttle to part throttle. In this situation the stock CRV sometimes doesn’t open, and sometimes it opens too much.

So Why Choose the ALTA CRV?

  • Unlimited boost holding capacity due to piston/diaphragm design
  • No delay in opening valve during full throttle shifts.
  • No check engine lights (CEL’s or DTC’s)
  • Will not stick like the stock part.
  • Diaphragm holds up to 40psi of boost.
  • Designed to last the life of your car
  • Valve is fully servicable

Cars with an ECU tune that increases boost levels will like this part as you never have to worry about it leaking under boost. The design of the part is such that the boost pressuring pushing it closed is greater than the pressuring try to open the valve under boost. This means that 10psi, 20psi or 30psi of boost is no problem for it to handle!

 

Nov 012012
 

This is going to be a running blog page setup to show off the new Vortech Supercharger Kit for the BRZ and FR-S. We were one of the lucky few to get our hands on this kit to do some final fit and finish testing and of course dynoing! You can also discuss this HERE on FT86Club.

Most people first caught wind of the Vortech kit after seeing this add they released a while back. But a couple months prior to this we had already been in talks with Vortech about this up and coming kit. For us this was very exciting as there are so many great things about a Supercharger kit over a turbo kit.

 

So Why No Turbo?

We are known for making turbo kits for the WRX’s and STI’s and you better believe that we thought about a kit for the BRZ/FR-S platform. In early planning stages there were a lot of things that we had to consider. Performance of the turbo, placement of the turbo, thermal related issues, installation, tuning, boost control, safety, proper oil drain, a huge parts list, actual customer demand and cost. Everything about a turbo kit is easy except two major issues, cost and thermal related issues. The thermal related issues are things like melted engine components from headers and downpipes routing next to items that wouldn’t take the heat. This would require a properly built thermal blanket for the headers and downpipe which is a huge expense. Cost is a huge factor for us as this is what would scare people away. If properly built with all things considered, we could be pushing to the $7000 range which is a huge amount to swallow, then add custom tuning and installation, you could easily push to $8000 plus range. The price and the actual number of customers that might buy this over the next couple years is what really steered us away.

The other thing is this car is a drivers car. Adding a turbo like power band could ruin the way the car acts. Currently the power band is rather flat and a smooth increasing HP curve to 7000-ish.  Adding a turbo and the HIT from the onset of boost is going to change a lot of things about how the car drives and acts under power in a corner.  What would be perfect is a power curve like stock but with 30-50 HP across the whole range. That provides the same basic characteristics as it has now, but with the power the car should have come with. This isn’t an AWD car that can absorb some of that hit in the onset of boost from a turbo through the additional traction it has. This is a RWD with limited traction, so power modulation and smoothness of power is key to keeping this car a “drivers”. The way to get this smooth powerband is with a supercharger!

Superchargers provide a very linear power band because of the boost curves they provide. This is a very desirable kind of power band for an application like this and Vortech has the answer we feel most customers will be looking for.

 

It’s Here!

Today our package from Vortech showed up!

First thing I did was take all the parts out of the box and lay them all out to see what we got!

 

This grouping of parts may look overwhelming but it really isn’t. Boost tubes, FMIC, couples, supercharger, brackets, intakes and some hose clamps. Its all rather very simple in its basic form. After spending time with the manual, this looks like its about a 2-3 hour install time, which is very fast!

The heart of the kit is the Supercharger and main mounting bracket. This bracket is very beefy and integrates to the front of the engine using some stand offs and brackets.

 

This is my favorite part of the kit. The intake system is very well thought out and very OEM looking. To the normal onlooker, they could pop the hood and not even notice that there is a supercharger installed.

The airbox is roto-formed (a method of forming plastic) which makes for a very clean outside and super smooth inside. Other really cool thing is the small trap door for the accessing the filter. A couple of 1/4 turn fasteners are used to open the hatch and get to the filter. This makes for a very clean setup!

Like all good supercharger kits a blow off valve is included. I am sure many people will replace this with something bigger and badder, but this size is perfect for 5-15psi that this kit could make.

 

System Features

  • Gear-driven V-3 H67BC centrifugal supercharger, designed specifically for the FA20 Boxer engine.
  • The V-3 features an internal oil reservoir. No connection between the oil pan and the compressor gear case is required; no oil line. Includes a remote fluid drain hose (attached to supercharger) that allows for simple fluid changes without removing the supercharger from the vehicle.
  • Technologically advanced, high-efficiency, 5-Axis machined billet impeller and high-diffusion housing developed in our SAE-J1723-compliant supercharger test cell.
  • Stylized airbox and filter housing design allows for additional flow, while retaining the factory cold air ram intake. Quick release fasteners allow for simple access to filter for change/cleaning.
  • Integrated air/air charge cooler configuration features all aluminum tube ducting and an oversized cooler core to provide maximum cooling with minimum pressure loss.
  • Discharge duct connections utilize heat resistant silicon sleeves and premium quality stainless steel clamps.
  • CNC machined billet mounting bracketry with black anodized finish for attractive and functional “factory-type” appearance and rigidity.
  • Complete bolt-on system including all necessary belts, pulleys and reusable high-flow air filter.

There are going to be two part numbers offered. One is a complete kit and the other is a tuner kit. The complete kit consists of everything you need including fuel system modifications and an ECU re-calibration/reflash device. The tuner kit includes everything except the fueling and tuning device. These kits will require a custom dyno tune for your car.

PN DESCRIPTION PRICE
4TF218-014L 2013 FR-S/BRZ Complete System with V-3 H67BC Supercharger and Air/Air Interooler, Black Finish     TBA
4TF218-114L 2013 FR-S/BRZ Tuner Kit with V-3 H67BC Supercharger and Air/Air Charge Cooler, Black Finish. TunerKits do not include fuel management or tuning. (Ship Date December 2012)   $4295

 

Dyno Proving Time

Huge Brain fart!! I pulled my car in at lunch to finish up the install on kit, and I had intentions to drive it home that day.  At 4:30 I was reminded that there was nothing going in and out of the shop for the next 5 days!! I completely forgot our dock’s driveway was being repaired and my car is literally stuck in the shop! The brain fart is that I had been there all day listening to them tear it up, and it didn’t click until about 6pm when someone asked “How are you getting home”!

I guess the good thing is, it forces me to put it on dyno since I can’t get it out of the shop!

With my car bolted on the dyno and a base map flashed to the ECU I started doing the testing. The supplied MAF housing wasn’t providing a very smooth signal to the ECU and I ended up having to remove and make my own. After a few versions of this part I settle on one that seemed to work and not be maxed out from the added air flow.

This is the first dyno run made after a 3rd blow through intake was built. This tune was no where near optimized, but the HP gains of 60+ Wheel HP were looking really good! For reference, these runs were made running about 5psi of boost at 5500RPM and 7psi at 7500PRM. Also this is done on our BRZ with only the PERRIN 2.5″ Overpipe, Front Pipe w/Cat, and 2.5″ Catback Exhaust. So stock header is in still place.

 

Now that the car is tuned enough to take it out for a spin, I couldn’t wait any longer for the docks driveway to be cured enough to drive on. So I had to figure out a way to get my car out of the shop.

With some careful measuring and some help from the guys in the shop, I got it out!  There was .5″ of clearance on each side of the car, which was more than enough to get the car out!

 

First Driving Impressions?

My whole reason for wanting a Supercharger kit over a turbo kit was simple. I wanted to preserve the linear power curve of the car but add 50 more Wheel HP. As you see, we added more than 50 Wheel HP, which is great! You can also see that the power curve/shape was preserved, making for very linear power that just keeps pulling to redline.

So how does it feel on the road? Its amazing. It drives exactly the same as it did before, during the normal cruising/day to day type driving. As you roll your foot into at any RPM it pulls much harder than it did before. Even at 4000 RPM, where that weird dip in torque occurs, it pulls much smoother and feels great.  Shifting at redline yields huge grins as the power is instant. Driving turbo cars forever you have a different perception was turbo lag is. I have had cars that I thought had NO turbo lag, but they really they did, it was just very minimal. With this car, I can say for 100% there is NO LAG!  I am very happy with the car and with further retuning, this will only get better!

 

TAKE ME TO PART TWO OF THE VORTECH SUPERCHARGER POST!

 

 Posted by on November 1, 2012 BRZ / FR-S, Dyno Test & Tune, First Look Tagged with: , , , , ,
Nov 012012
 

So how does a SEMA car come together? The first thing is coming up with a design for the car, then trying to execute the idea so the car comes out the way you had envisioned it. Execution is the tough part because it involves many people and other companies suppling part. Add to that, most all the parts going on the car end up being brand new parts that may not be ready until the last moment. That is the killer!

For our 2012 SEMA build, we wanted to keep it clean and simple. No lambo doors, no super crazy graphics, but something that we all would drive and not be totally embarrassed in doing so. Besides our our parts our sponsors provided us with some very key parts that would really make our FR-S pop compared to others. The H&R springs, BBS wheels, Falken Azenis Tires, Charge Speed Body kit and Stoptech brakes, were key to making our full catalog of PERRIN parts really stand out as well as the car.

 

Here is a quick glimpse into what we did to get to the point of the final product.

 

About a week before our ship date, all the parts finally showed up!

 

We started with the easy things which is bolting on our parts. We choose to make them a two stage orange color to really things stand out when the hood was opened.

 

You can see our Master Cylinder Support Brace and a set of prototype Strut bars!

 

A good shot of our oil cooler (vital to your BRZ/FR-S’s engine life) as well as our new oil fill cap.

 

Our Air Oil Separator was mounted in a quick fashion with some existing brackets. You will find out much more about this shortly!

 

A shot of our whole intake system, including the inlet hose and the actual cold air intake system.

 

A coolant overflow tank was mounted as well. This is an old part for us, but a new application.

 

Yes, that is a crank pulley and battery tie down in the picture as well!

 

Next up is the brakes from Stoptech. These things are huge!

Since were were installing some H&R wheel spacers we had to replace the wheel studs, which is a simple task. Hammer them out, screw the long ones and in and done!

 

A cool shot of the Stoptech Brake Bracket.

 

18′s are required to fit over these bad boys!

 

The BBS wheels are perfect fit for our clean look/race car we were going with.

 

Another sponsor for us is Status Racing. They manufacture seat in the USA (rare these days) and make a very high quality product as well.

 

Our color sceme on these custom seats are our company colors, which go perfect with the Red FR-S.

 

Ultrasuade used through out the cover…

 

These brackets and sliders that were provided were some of the nicest ones I have seen. The base plate and sliders typically are garbage on these kinds of things. Not here!

 

With the mechanics of the car all done, it was the hard part. The outside!

 

Graphics are the hardest thing to really work out. We started on this by just making a few of all the stickers we think we would use.

While the guys were messing around with the stickers, we did some testing of using some matte vinyl on a few parts!

 

We covered the “bubbles” on the roof that are directly above the driver and passenger. This was a two man job, but went very quick.

 

This part didn’t go so quick…

But in the end it turned out pretty good!

 

The 5-Axis wing was used to tie off the clean look. Its very very good and for sure one of those must haves for the car.

 

Installation of this was not super easy. It requires some measuring and actually following directions!

 

We made this long ago for a WRX we turned into rear wheel drive. WRX customers will understand why this is cool.

 

Like a lot of recent cars, the taillights were terrible. Our solution was wrapping vinyl over the edges to take away some of that glaring reflector and chrome look.

 

Final sponsor stickers being cut and trimmed. Yes we did some had trimming of these to create the black border.

 

And here is the final version of the car all done!

The Charge Speed body kit is perfect for this. Nothing too crazy and fits the lines of the car very well.

 

No, the pristine Rabbit, Type R and NSX are not part of the SEMA cars we are taking….

So far this years SEMA car was the quickest one we had built (from conception to completion) and at the same time one of my favorites.

http://www.phastekperformance.com/

Here is a great link to some pictures that were taken by Chris at Phastek Performance of our car at SEMA in the H&R booth…. CLICK HERE for the FT86Club post.

 Posted by on November 1, 2012 BRZ / FR-S, Project Builds Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , ,
Oct 242012
 

If you have ever had your stock belt dampener wear out or fail, then you probably know you can’t just buy the dampener, you have to buy the entire $250+ assembly. We solve this very popular problem with our new ALTA Adjustable Tensioner Stop. Its a replacement for the dampener but in the form of something completely different.

This part was designed after an employee suffered a belt failure, which destroyed a crank pulley (very common and pictured below), which lead to him having to buy a new BMW tensioner assembly. He wasn’t excited to spend $250 on the tensioner and $120 on the pulley, but did it as it was the only way to fix his problems after his belt failed.

A few months later his car was making a terrible noise and after inspection we noticed his tensioner dampener was bad. The only way to fix this was to replace the entire $250 assembly, and BMW was out of stock of this part for two weeks! This problem is what spawned our ALTA Adjustable Tensioner Stop.

For those who have not experienced this, keep in mind that at some point, you will! As your OEM dampener wears out, you start to get a lot of bouncing of the tensioner pulley. This bouncing effects the actual tension on your serpentine belt, which in turn causes your belt to slip around your supercharger pulley. As soon as this happens you will loose all that horsepower your aftermarket parts are adding to your car. This is a silent problem that you may not even be aware of.

The second thing that happens is the rubber bushings in the dampener start to wear, which causes strange wobbling or chirping noises from your engine. This also causes further dampener wear as the dampener is beat back and forth from the bouncing of the tensioner pulley. Below is a picture of what happens over time to the bushings.  Both these problems resulted in a loss in belt tension and a loss in horsepower which no one wants!

With over a year in testing on many customer cars (that had their dampeners fail), this part is finally ready for everyone. Our part replaces the OEM dampener with a solid mounted adjustable piece that will not fail or wear out and helps keep your belt from slipping under full throttle.

In the above picture you can see our ALTA Adjustable Tensioner Stop mounted where the OEM dampener goes. Removing the dampener and installing our part, creates a solid joint between the tensioner pulley and the engine, but we take this one step further. We make this connection adjustable in length which allows you to add additional tension to the belt, beyond what the spring alone does. This is a great feature as some customers require a bit more tension on the belt in racing conditions where the supercharger is being pushed to the max.

Besides this part fixing the problems mentioned above, it also fixes another common problem that MINI’s suffer from. When your serpentine belt fails, its a 50/50 shot if the OEM tensioner stop (small twist in pin, in below pic), keeps the tensioner pulley from ramming into the crank pulley.

If this happens, expect to purchase a new crank pulley as well as a new tensioner from Mini. The ALTA Adjustable Tensioner Stop also acts as a stop for when the belt breaks. We currently sell our ALTA Tensioner Stop that does this same job, but we feel this newer part will take over as it has those other added benefits. Also as the dampener wears out, or the bushings wear out, the ALTA tensioner stop (as well as others) can also become loose or dislodged negating its benefits.

It’s so much simpler to fix all these problems before they happen by replacing your OEM tensioner dampener with our ALTA Adjustable Tensioner stop. At a price much cheaper than the factory tensioner, it will easily save you hundreds of dollars over the life of your car!

Oct 162012
 

From time to time we may as you to do a datalog of your car. This could be for many reasons, but most likely its because we want to ensure your map is running the way we want it to. So what is a Datalog?  A data log is just that, a log of data!  The type of data being logged are parameters and information your ECU is using to control your engine. These are things like Engine RPM, Ignition Timing, Engine Load, and Air Fuel Ratio, all of which are logged many times per second and recorded over time.   A data log can be made using many tools, but in our case the ECUTEK ProECU tools are we we use to monitor the BRZ/FR-S cars.

 

Why Would I Need a Datalog?

Keep in mind 99% of our customers are not going to have to worry about sending us logs.  The tunes we supply are heavily tested and will provide customers with the performance and smoothness they are looking for. Datalogging comes in handy when enthusiasts with modifications beyond our mapping, aggressive driving styles or living in extreme climates, require maps with an extra level of customization.  Providing our in house tuners with an accurate datalog, allows us to see what your engine is doing so we can make these adjustments to make your engine run even better.

Other reasons for creating a datalog, might be because you are experiencing a problem or the car isn’t running smoothly. In these cases as long as its repeatable, a datalog can be created to capture what is going on and help us change your map. Other cool benefits of datalogging is that we can sometimes diagnose other problems. These can be physical issues, poorly made intakes, vacuum leaks, bad gas, malfunctioning sensors, and damaged catalytic converters are just a few of things that a high quality datalog can uncover.

 

How Do I Make A Datalog

In order to do a datalog you must have your map loaded into ProECU program. To do this, go to File , Open ROM file, then find the correct map you flashed onto your car. You should have been emailed two maps, one with your name and one that is a stock ROM.

You should see your ROM opened like this showing a bunch of potential live data parameters to view. You can sort through these parameters in a few different ways by clicking on the drop down arrow next to each grouping, or simply view all parameters. Feel free to poke around through them to get familiar with them.

There are more than 100 parameters to log some of which are very useful and some of which are not. You can view as many things as you want, but understand that the more things you log the slower the sample rate as well as its much harder to pin point the actual problem. A good number of parameters to stick to is less than 25. If we ask you for a datalog of your car, please follow the list of parameters that we tell you, as this really helps us with being able to diagnose your issue, or make you map better!

With your list of parameters chosen, click on the MAP Acccess button and you should now see data start to appear and change next to each data parameter. You should also see a small bar across the bottom of the screen scrolling left to right indicating the software is connected. Now your PC is ready to start capturing data!

To capture a data log, simply click Log to File to start it, and Log to File to stop it. Each time you do this, a new .CSV file is created and stored on your computer. Each file is created in succession and time stamped so you can keep track of them. These are located in c:Ecutek/MapAccessLogs.

Its as simple as that! The only thing that can take time is setting up the parameters to log. These need to be chosen each time the software is opened up.

 

What Parameters Do I Log?

So now the question is what to datalog. Below is a screen shot showing ONLY the items we need. This list is what we normally need to see how your car is running and to be able to accurately re-tune your map. Unless we say other wise, please do not add or subtract form this list as this can make it very hard to see what is happening, or make it very hard to dig through datalogs.

There are a few parameters that look the same as you look through your list. This includes Throttle Position type parameters, load and fueling. Pay close attention to the ones on the list above. For instance, there are a few Engine Loads, but we only need the one that is called Engine Load (load units). Another example is Throttle Position. There are about 14 different ones, but we need the one called Throttle Position #1. If you have questions or can’t find the parameters we are asking for, just give us a call and we can help!

 

What Makes a Good Datalog

Now that you know how to make a datalog, you need to know how to drive the car while logging. The first thing is time. In general we want nice clean short datalogs. That means logs that range from 15seconds to a few minutes are perfect. Logs that are a hour long are hard to dig through to find the info we may be looking for.  Its best practice to used the Log to File button just before your run starts, then of course stopping it right after you are done. Making a couple of good logs like this, make it very easy for us to look through, compared to a single 1 hour log.

Tips For Making a Good Datalog

     

Smooth Acceleration

The key to a good log is a smooth pedal. Slowly moving your accelerator up or down makes reading a datalog much easier. If you are constantly jamming the accelerator on and off during runs makes the data log difficult to read. Secondly pick 3rd gear or 4th gear if you are doing some power type testing. This provides a good amount of load and least amount of wheel spin.

Consistency

Use the same gear the same road or same basic conditions.  Runs at 32 degrees in the morning and then again 80 degrees in the afternoon will be inconsistent.  Using the same roads will also help to produce a consistent datalog. Do not perform a run up hill followed by a run down hill.

Time

If you can get the €œarea of concern€ to happen for 10 seconds or more, it will provide excellent data for us to be able to create a new map for you. Secondly is doing a €œrun€ on street starting at 2000RPM then flooring it to legal speeds  then stopping the log, is a great way for us to get data to test power.

 

Logging Examples:

We normally as for a couple of different types of datalogs. First off is full throttle runs. We want these done starting at 2000 RPM in 3rd gear and then full throttle up to redline or your legal speed limit. It is ok to shift to the next gear during these runs, but we prefer to have at least two runs with the 2000RPM to redline being done within a few seconds of each other. This ensures that the engine is good and warmed up.

The second type of run we ask for is more a general type log. This would be starting with the engine fully warmed up and normal driving around. That means idle, cruising, full throttle, and whatever you would normally do driving to work.

Of course this can vary if ask for something specific, or you are capturing something weird happening with your car. Not matter one its, important to follow the above guidelines to ensure we get what we need to make your car better.

 

What Do I Do With a Datalog?

Simply email the log to us and that is it! The one important thing to help us with is to ensure you email us your mods, reason for your log and name of the map you are running. If we get a regular log with no info, it makes it very hard to help you out. We will then get back to you with a new map to flash onto your car in a day or so.

While you are waiting for us to get back to you, you can also look at the log. One of the nice things about the ECUTEK ProECU software is that it includes a very nice datalog viewer. To view your log, simply open ProECU and to to file, then Open Log File.

Once your log is loaded there are many ways to view this.  The Time Graph method shows all the parameters laid out over time. This is very useful to see a few changes happening at one time. In this mode you can turn on and off parameters and even zoom in on a specific area.

The other method is the data table which has all the hard numbers laid out. Its not very easy for a customer to read, but this is what we use primarily.

The other really cool one to play with is the 2D graphing. You can pick a few parameters and the start/stop time and overlay them. This is great for dyno tuning to visualize things happening.

There are many many things to play with in the datalog viewing side of things. Most of these things are overkill for 99% of our customers and most likely are never going to be used. So don’t feel like you need to learn this side of the software.

Now that you know how to datalog, and know how to make a good one, you just need to email it to us! Please keep in mind there is no reason to send us a log if you car is running fine. Only send us a log if we ask you or if you have an issue. Send all your logs to:

MAPS@PERRINperformance.com

 

 Posted by on October 16, 2012 BRZ / FR-S, EcuTek, How-To's Tagged with: , , , , ,
Oct 162012
 

Every PERRIN customer that purchases a ECUTEK ProECU Cable setup from us, gets the kit shown below. This consists of the OBD2 Cable which is what lets your PC to talk to your ECU and a special dongle that is the key that lets the software work. This dongle is very important as it lets the ProECU software function as well as stores your licenses to allow your ECU to be flashed.

Getting Familiar with ECUTEK Flashing

Before we get into how to flash your ECU, there are few things  we need to go over that will better help you understand this whole process.

ECUTEK uses the term ROM (Read Only Memory) to describe the actual data you are flashing to your ECU. This is the same as a MAP or Tune, or Calibration. Since many tuners use different terms its important to understand that all these things refer to the actual data the ECU uses to run your engine.

Another important term is “flashed”. This is a term used to describe what the ProECU tools do to your ECU. ECU flashing, or reflashing is the method used to write new a new ROM to your ECU.

ECUTEK and the ProECU tools work using a license system. You purchase a single license from us that allows you flash one car using the ProECU tools (OBD Cable). The license is stored on your Dongle that came in your ProECU Tool Kit until it is used to flash an ECU. You can see how many licenses you have using the ProECU software by going to Help, Feature and License Information. In the lower right hand window you will see how many are still remaining. As you flash your car (or other cars) the number of licenses will count down. For must customers, you will end up with this showing ZERO after you install our tune.

Once the license is used, it is locked to this car/ECU only.  A new license is NOT required each time you flash your ECU, only for each new ECU or car you want to flash. Once the license is used to flash an ECU, it is not transferable to another ECU. Normal customers need to purchase one per car, but in some cases you can purchase multiple licenses if you wanted to use your ProECU tools to flash more than one car. Please call us for further details on this.

 

Its very important to understand these last two things about how the ECUTEK ProECU works. If there is a tuned ROM flashed to your ECU, the dealers can not over write your ECU or update it. This is good as it means you can’t loose your License that you purchased. The bad thing is the deal can see that you have a tune on your car. If the supplied stock ROM is flashed to your ECU, it turns your car back to stock while keeping your license in tact. This allows the dealer to update the ECU without seeing that your car has a tune on it. So it is advisable to flash your car back to stock before you take it to the dealer.

Time to Flash your BRZ/FR-S

Locate your OBD cable that was supplied in your ECUTEK Tool kit. Plug this into your OBD port which is located under your dash in front of your gas pedal. If this is your first time plugging in, it may be something you want to get on your hands and knees and look under your dash to find. The OBD plug is directional, so if it doesn’t plug right in, spin it 180 degrees and try again. Make 100% sure this is connected good and tight. Run the cable to your PC in a very safe manor to ensure that no accidental unplugging happens! Also make sure your PC is in a safe place during the flash process. If any of these comes undone during a flash, it can lock up the ECU and disable your car!

With the cable plugged into your OBD port and into your PC, turn your key to the on position (or push the start button twice). Make sure that your headlights are off, HVAC fan is off, and even your stereo. Its important that your cars battery is fully charged and in good working order. If you have any doubt to this, be sure and have a car charger (or trickle charger) on the car during the flash process. If any kind of interruption happens during the flash process, this can lock up your ECU and disable the car!

On your computer you need to take the same approach as you did with your car. Meaning close all programs running (except ProECU), ensure that your battery in your car is fully charged and has at least 30minutes of battery life, and finally make sure to disable any anti-virus software. This will all ensure that there are no disruptions during the flash process that could lock up the ECU.

Open the ProECU program and verify that the upper right hand boxes are highlighted green. Go to, Tools, then Detect Vehicle, and let the software try to figure out what car you have. If this method dosesn’t work check to see if your drivers were installed properly and check that you see the two green bars indicating that the CAN interface has been found.

After a few seconds, you should see the Select Tuning Tool window come up. Click on Program Engine ECU, and click OK. Alternatively, you can manually select your vehicle by choosing that option in the Tools menu.

During this time, you may see a warning coming up saying you are not running the recommended drivers. As long as the installed drivers are a higher number than the recommended, Click OK to skip this.

The next wind you see is the Programming Tools Window. Below is a screen shot of it showing all the features along with a running log of the current status of the programming. You will see a few important buttons. Choose ROM File is used to do just that. Query  ECU is used to check the model number and ROM ID of your ECU. Program ECU is used to program your ECU. Read Registration is used to read the details of the current installed map (tuned only). Check ECU connection is use to do just that. Save screen shot is used in case there is ever a problem while flashing where it may lock up (emergency use only). Read DTC’s is use to read Check Engine Lights/Diagnostic Trouble Codes. Clear DTC’s is used to reset the ECU and clear CEL’s. Dump Details for ECUTEK is used if you have a new ECU that isn’t recognized, which may come up once and a while. If your supplied ROM doesn’t work, please call us first before doing a dump for ECUTEK.

Click on the Choose ROM File button and you will see a window show up like this one. Browse to where you stored your ROM files.

The ROM files are emailed to you by us after you purchase a ProECU license from us. We typically email you two files. One is a tuned file with your name on it, and the other is one that is a stock ROM. The stock ROM name might look like this:

ZA1J700C-enc.rom

Choose the file you want to flash to your ECU and click OK. You will see it load into the upper left window of the Programming Tools Program. Click on Program ECU.  You will see the right side window log start to change and provide you info as to what is happening. If this is the first time you have flashed your ECU, you should see a note toward the bottom of the list saying something like ” No standard tuner license is present in ECU, and 1 license will be consumed.”  If this is any other time, this message should say “A standard tuner license is present in ECU and NO further license will be consumed. See below picture for this example.

It takes around 2 minutes to flash the ECU each time. You can also keep track of this by watching the lower left corner where the % increases from 0% to 100%.

When the flashing is complete, a message will come up asking to turn the key to the OFF position. After you turn your car off, you will see the message change and then ask to turn the key to the ON position.

Wait about 5 seconds or so, and you will see  final message saying “Programming sequence has now completed”. Click OK and exit program. Your ECU is now flashed with your map!

What To Expect After Your Flash

After EVERY ECU flash there is a small learning period for the ECU to figure out the base throttle position. During this period of time, you will notice that the accelerator pedal feels “lazy” or dead for the first small amount of pedal you press down. This is completely normal and goes away after a few days of driving.

That is all there is to flashing your car with the ECUTEK ProECU tools!

 

 Continue Reading about  How-To Data Log using ECUTEK Tools and ProECU.

 Posted by on October 16, 2012 BRZ / FR-S, EcuTek, How-To's Tagged with: , , , , , ,
Oct 102012
 

This is guide to help you install your new ECUTEK ProECU software and hardware from PERRIN Performance. We will first cover installing all the software needed for you to load maps/tunes/Roms onto your car. Then we will show you how to load the actual tune onto your car, and finally how to datalog how your car is running if requested to do.

First  and most important is to make sure your computer can get online. This may sound like a obvious step, but this software requires some updates that are only found online. Also when you purchase ECUTEK ProECU from us, we do not include any software in the box. Since this is a PC only application, you will need to be somewhat familiar with Windows and installing software with installing programs.  Next up, is download the ECUTEK App Downloader Installer. This is found on ECUTEK’s website and also below in the link.

http://ecutek.com/Downloads.aspx

Once the ECUTEK App Installer is running a window will pop up and you will see 4 options as shown below. First install the drivers by clicking on Install Drivers, when this is all done click on Install EcuTek App Downloader.

During the installation of the  App Downloader, it will ask to plug in your dongle. Your dongle is the small black USB device that looks like a USB drive. Plug this in and notice that your computer will start to install the drivers automatically. Click ok and you should see the ECUTEK App Downloader install, and open a new window.

After clicking OK after the download is done, you will see a new window show up. This is the ECUTEK App Downloader. You will see a few options to download a few things. Make sure and UNCHECK the Deltadash -Vehcile Diagnostic Tools. You will not need this program.

Take note, that at the bottom of the window you will find the Dongle ID and Regestration Code. These are used by us to secure your custom map to your car.We may ask for this at times, so be prepared to locate this.

Click the Download Now! and let the software download all appropriate files.

During this process you may see a warning come up that say License file is downloaded. This is normal to see, and click OK.

You will see a message when its done, saying “Software Downloads Complete/Vehicle Interface Drivers will now be installed”. Then another window saying, “Thank you for updating ECUTEK ProECU,ProECU will be restarted after clicking OK”.  Click OK on the second window and let the installation continue. During this time, the window for installing the vehicle drivers will still be in the background and we will come back to that.

You will get a warning saying “The required vehicle interface drivers can not be found”. Click ok and ignore this for now.( you will need to click ok 4 times to clear the warning)

The next window that shows up will ask, “Do you want to check for ProECU updates now?”, click OK. Let the updater run through the download.

When its done it will stop and say current installed ProECU is up to date. Close the window.

Now lets go back to the window that says, “Software Downloads Complete, Vehicle Interface Drivers will now be installed”. Click OK, and a new window showing the vehicle interface driver installer will show up. Click next to start the install, and finish when its done.

Check that that ECUTEK app downloader says downloads complete, then exit the program. Finally, exit the ECUTEK App downloader installer.

If ProECU is up and running, close the program, and plug in your OBD Cable into a USB port on your computer. You should see it install the necessary drivers as shown above.

Now its is ok to open the ProECU program. It may ask you to check for updates, if it does click ok and follow the update until its done. If it does not ask for you to update, go to the HELP menu, then ECUTEK update and start the update process. Close window when the update has completed.

Next you need to apply your license (downloaded earlier) to your Dongle. Go to Options, Apply License Upodate, and this should take you to a window where your license update will show up. Choose the file by clicking on it, then clicking Open, double click the file. Once license update is done, check to ensure it was applied to your dongle, by going to HELP, Feature and License Information. In this window, look to the lower right hand corner and you should see Remaining Flash Licenses…1, or more if you purchased more. If you see this you can move to the next step. If not please give us a call.

The last step is to make sure the software and computer recognize your OBD flashing cable. Plug your cable into your computer (or it still may be plugged in) and ensure that the upper portion of the menu has two green bars indicating that the CAN interface has been found and the K-Line Drivers have been found. If these boxes are red, you will need to uninstall then reinstall the drivers again (use help menu to guide you through this).

Your software is now fully installed and ready. You should now see the main ProECU window that looks like this. Familiarize your self with the different menus to click through.

 

Continue on to How-To Install Your PERRIN Tune with the ProECU tools!

 Posted by on October 10, 2012 BRZ / FR-S, EcuTek, How-To's Tagged with: , , , , , ,
Sep 112012
 

This has been a long time in development and a long time in testing, and its finally ready to sell! We spent many months testing this part in-house and many months testing this in customers hands, to ensure this part will hold up to any kind of abuse our customers can give it.

The idea of this part is simple. Stiffen up the engine to reduce the entire drivetrain movement under hard acceleration deceleration and corning, to effectively transmit more power to the ground. This means better, more accurate launches during drag racing and Auto cross type events where you do not want drivetrain slop. It was important to do this while NOT creating something that vibrated the car so bad that no one wanted to ride with you and rip apart like some mounts do. We feel we created a part that is a perfect balance of stiffness without the vibration issues, and one that will not fail.

Over the years we had been pushing the Subaru Group N motor mounts to customers. These were a great inexpensive option to stiffen up the squishy OEM mounts or replace broken 06 STI  plastic mounts. While these were a good option, we started to notice that people were breaking them during drag racing or auto crossing. The extreme amount of force involved during these events eats up these mounts. This drove customers to buy some of the expensive aftermarket JDM mounts, which then customers quickly realized they were WAY too stiff for daily driving. These mounts are virtually solid, with virtually no vibration absorbing properties and would rattle every plastic panel in the car loose. Between stock mounts been too soft, Group N mounts failing, and other aftermarket mounts being too stiff, this drove us to make our PERRIN stiffer motor mounts.

Above is a picture of a Group N mount that has failed. These mounts failed during an Autocross event where the car is launched at 5000 RPM. You can see how this mount (as does the stock) has an interlock design to keep the engine from lifting out of the car too far, but it’s not good enough to keep it from ripping the OEM rubber. This particular customer explained that he would go through 3 sets of these mounts a year as none of them would hold up for very long.

Tested with almost a year of use, and with over 100 drag race type launches before release, this mount will not fail you! Part of this has to do with the patented Interlock design. All engine and transmission mounts have an interlock to them but some not as good as others. (If group N mount pic is used) As you can see the Subaru Group N mount (a popular cheap upgrade) can’t handle the abuse from racing. At least the interlock keeps the engine from lifting out of the car!

Take a look at this above picture. This shows the same mount, but you can see how the main mounting flange (chassis side) is bent. This is showing that the engine has enough twisting force that it’s actually bending the mount before the rubber tears away from it. That is a lot of force!  The next picture shows a stock 2006 STI engine mount (dreaded plastic ones) that also failed. These plastic mounts come on the 06-07 STI’s and are very well known to fail on cars with stock HP!

 

How We Built Them 

As you can see, starting off with a base mount that could hold up to the abuse was really important. Besides the stock mounts failing, we have seen many aftermarket mounts that do not hold up to the abuse that racing situations can put on them. To solve this problem we use a patented part made by Energy Suspension which contains a super strong, steel interlocking design with polyurethane surrounding all the part. Using the cutaway, you can see the steel components and how the base interlocks to the upper portion using that “T” shaped piece. Surrounding the steel parts and the inner “T” piece is special 70AS durometer polyurethane. This durometer provides that perfect balance of stiffness and vibration absorbing properties that street cars and weekend racers need. Along with that, the special formulation contains additives that make it impervious to oils and other chemicals that destroy OEM Rubber type mounts over time. Things like small oil leaks, or highly corrosive atmospheric conditions and extreme temps make rubber mounts brittle and fail, where these things are no match for our PERRIN Mount. This means the PERRIN mount will easily outlast the OEM mounts as you will fine no rubber in any part of its construction.With this patented designed mount and interlock design, you can feel good that this mount will not tear apart like OEM mounts.

The PERRIN motor mount is one of the few that includes the actual engine mounting bracket with each kit. Most mounts reuse the heavy OEM steel bracket, but we replace this with a CNC’ed aluminum bracket. This makes for a stronger and stiffer mounting surface for our stiff urethane mounts to bolt to. Including these brackets also means that customers with OEM plastic type mounts, do not need to buy additional parts when they go to replace their mounts.

Easier to Remove Engine 

OEM and aftermarket mounts use a stud and nut to secure the engine to the chassis. This stud makes removing and installing the engine into the car somewhat tricky.  The PERRIN Mounts use a bolt in place of the stud which means you do not have to lift the engine up past the studs, or get the mounts perfectly aligned to the tranny and subframe when installing the engine. This small detail was done specifically for the customer who is constantly pulling the engine out to add new part, rebuild, change clutch or any other big engine upgrade. Hopefully you do not need to use this feature very often, but when you do you will love it!

In the above picture you can see the super thick aluminum plate we use to ensure that there was a nice solid / flat surface area for the mount to rest on the subframe. We added the heat shield as precaution against headers and uppipes that run close to the mounts. While the urethane is good to 350F, we don’t want them to deteriorate over the years being constantly exposed to extreme heat.

Added Vibration

Our Mount is stiffer than your stock engine mounts are, which means there will be some added NVH (noise, vibration, harshness). This is important to mention as we want our customers to expect some new noises coming form their dash and door panels and maybe even some new rattles. Even though this may sound like a bad thing, for most people this is pleasing knowing your engine solidly connected to the chassis, versus having that sloppy disconnected feel from the stock mounts. It gives you almost the same performance as a solid mount but with out the added harshness associated with them.

How do they compare? Most people describe them as being as stiff as the popular Subaru Group N Mounts, but of course will not fail like they do. And everyone says they are much softer than those offered by popular JDM companies or by others that have copied those designs. Its a perfect balance of performance and noise.

Tranny Mount??

Of course this is next on the list of ways to stiffen up your drivetrain. We have been torture testing these as well for a long time and expect to see something soon! Here is a sneak peak!

Aug 032012
 

…..Continued from BRZ/FR-S Part Proving…. All Bolt-Ons Part 1

This was the first time we had tested our headers on the dyno. Based on the things we know about the car and some of its variables, we knew it would be key to do this all on the same day as all the other parts. This ensures that the HP gains we saw were legit. After seeing some peoples dyno results showing huge gains of 15-20 WHP I was excited to see what we could do. We started with two designs to see where we would be for HP, then do further tweaking from there.

Continuing from earlier in the day, the car still has all the other exhaust parts we make bolted on to it. This includes our 2.5″ catback exhaust, catless 2.5″ front pipe and 2.5″ Overpipe and NO ECU tuning.

A simple test that I am surprised no other vendors have done is take the stock header and remove the car. The stock header is built pretty good, as its a tri-y design or a 4-2-1 design. The stock header primaries are 1.625″ and the secondaries are 1.75″. So this is good as it matches the stock exhaust ports and matches what some header calculators say it should be.

One of the flaws I see is with two bends where they merge almost into each other. You can see this on Cylinder #1 and 2 above. The other flaw I see is the cat. Its not a high flow metallic core, but the standard ceramic brick which for sure will cause some restriction. Removing the cat to free up some airflow is a very simple way to see how a properly built 4-2-1 header might perform.

You can see that there are places it gains HP. Overall the HP gains were not huge, but the ECU really liked the header with no cat. We see evidence of this  because the  HP and TQ was more consistent run to run. Even though the WHP gained wasn’t much, but you can see how at higher RPM’s the header starts to do pick up some HP. Driving on this for a week or two I also found the same thing in that the engine was smoother and more consistent with a little more top end power.  So no cat and only 3 HP?? Is there more to be gained by changing the design? I think there is, but how much?? Larger primaries and smoother bends could net us a few more HP, but that is a future test. This header is short, so some of the header designs rules may not apply, meaning we will just have to keep messing around to find out what works best.

I mentioned how short the header is and with the limited space we had to work with, I thought a 4-1 header (typically freer flowing) would be the better design to start with. We had been road testing our 4-1 header for a couple of weeks and this was up next. This part uses a merge collector and ends in 2.5″ tubing. Because this was a very hard part to build equal length, we choose to build this equal volume. The whole idea is that each cylinder has the same back pressure, and this is dictated by volume inside the tubes. So we did this by starting with 1.625″ primaries and going to 1.75″ primaries. This transition is where the volume is varied. Its not perfect, but neither are more equal length headers as they all don’t have equal bends.

The HP results were much better than the OEM 4-2-1 header with no cat. The engine ran smoother and the run to run variance was even better. Of all the tests, this one showed the most promise. There was still some tweaking to be had with the equal length, the equal volume,  ECU tuning and other future parts to back it up.

You can see how the TQ dip got slightly narrower compared to previous runs. There is also a very soild 5-8 WHP gained from the 5000-7000RPM area. Again with this header there are really good signs of HP gains at redline.

Are we done with the header tests? Not at all. Revisions to both styles are being made to prove (or disprove) them until we can settle on one type that makes the most sense for us to make.

The below graph shows the car in stock HP form and then with all our exhaust parts bolted on. This includes our 2.5″ catback exhaust, 2.5″ catless front pipe, 2.5″ overpipe and the 4-1 catless header and again with no ECU tuning.

One of the more noticeable things is how the torque dip gets narrower and narrower. Each part we bolted on seemed to help a little. This is really good as when we did some ECU tuning (on the stock car) we were able to also narrow the TQ dip by about 300 RPM. It will be interesting to see how tuning on this setup will effect HP even more!

Final Notes About Results

I know people are thinking you need back pressure to make HP. This is not really true. People also might be thinking that removing restriction lowers low end power for top end power. Again, this is not true. You can see by all the dyno graphs that this NEVER happens at any stage of parts installed. So adding a cat to this test isn’t necessarily going to help make HP.

You may be asking, where is the cat! If you are concerned about emissions, keep your stock header. In this application, we will not be using one of the high flow metallic cats we use in thousands of other parts. There is no way these will hold up to the EGT’s and abuse that can occur being that close to the exhaust ports. We have lots of experience using these in these types of applications, and they get lose, stop converting properly in 2-3 years time, and then throw check engine lights. Its not a matter of warranty as the manufacture will not cover them always stating “EGT’s got too hot” or its not approved for that application. Stepping up and buying an even more expensive cat isn’t an answer either. Adding a couple hundred dollars to a header that won’t add additional power isn’t going to sell headers. I am only mentioning this because many people use the same high quality cats from Magnaflow. Our opinion is there is no sense in adding this huge expense to a part to only have it fail. Or for that matter adding a huge expense to a part only to have it hold back HP!

ECU Tuning

I am sure the first question is, “Why was there no ECU tuning?”. For all these tests we flashed the car to stock and only changed the redline. This was done for run time reasons. This is because our dyno allows us to change the run time and we wanted the runs to all have the same run time, as well as have the same amount of time spent during all RPM points. For instance, say each run takes 12 seconds (we can adjust this) then we did a run at 20 seconds it would show less HP because of heat soak. Also doing 8 second runs might show more HP overall. As long as this is consistent run to run it doesn’t matter. After testing all the parts we had intended to do runs with the ECU running our stage 1 mapping and then retest them all over again. Since we bump up the redline on our tuned maps, this could effect HP readings as the run would still take 12 seconds, but it would be passing through the RPM’s quicker. This would potentially effect HP readings by making them higher than they should be. This may only be a couple of HP but it all adds up. Why are we saying all this? Just to provide all our customers with accurate results and to provide as many details as possible.

So to recap, with NO ECU tuning we gained about 18 WHP, with ZERO loss in HP anywhere. That is actually pretty good for roughly $2500 in parts. This is also very good considering that there are tons of aftermarket parts on the horizon that will help support all these parts. Cams, valve springs, pistons rods, are months away from being tested and tuned. Who knows what kind of results we will see then!