Jeff Perrin

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, ECU Tuning, 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, ECU Tuning, 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, ECU Tuning, 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!

 

Aug 032012
 

After our first dyno testing we did on all our exhaust pieces and intake parts, we created a ton of buzz in the BRZ/FR-S world. Being the first to do this, sparked many other vendors to do the same. We may not have been posting up tons of dyno graphs recently, but we have been spending most of our time learning about this new engine. Since we can now tune the ECU, we are able to see many things going on. Some of them explain the constantly varying HP results, and some of them don’t. With our added knowledge about the ECU, knowing how our 3 cars act on the dyno, and knowing what kind of HP all our parts make, it really makes me wonder about some of the dyno numbers I have seen lately….

In previous tests we did the dyno proving all spread out over a couple of days. This makes our overall HP numbers not quite as accurate, but since parts were swapped out on the same day (minutes apart), the part to part accuracy still holds. We wanted to really see what kind of HP we would make doing all our parts, back to back to back along with adding our headers to the mix.

Before getting too far into the results there are a few things to discuss. First is the variance we see from run to run. We start by letting the car warm up to 90C. We do 7 runs and after the 5th run, we see the HP level off and stop gaining. After we get to the 9th run (60sec intervals) we see power drop. Even if we let the car idle for 2 minutes, it hits a wall where HP falls and doesn’t go any further. This varience is about 8WHP.  See the below graph.  Keep in mind this is the difference in HP gains shown by exhaust, and other parts on the car. This is a HUGE variable to how the car runs, run to run.

So what causes this? I had see this before while tuning the ECU, where our HP gains would go away. While doing our initial testing of our individual parts for HP, we saw signs of this, but nothing huge as we stopped the car after about 3 runs then changed parts.

There are a few factors, one of which is coolant temp. If runs are done at 80C or less, you loose HP from the ECU pulling back cam timing and ignition timing. This is 20 HP or more easily. At 85C coolant Temp you make a little more, and 90-92C is where the coolant temps like to sit when the car makes the most power. I never saw more than 94C during runs, which is very good. This is a factor, but not THE factor that plays into this.

After spending about 10 runs looking over what is going on the only thing that stood out was the oil temp. We would see 110C easy, which by Subaru standards is hot! STI’s rarely see this because of the oil warmer  (its really a cooler….) that is installed. The BRZ has nothing to cool the oil down except it running past the engine block and sitting in the oil pan. Its obvious to us that the BRZ needs is a real oil cooler using a thermo-stat to still allow for proper warm up of the engine. Parts are already sitting waiting to be installed to prove this part works and solves the inconsistency with HP problem. Much more on this later.

 

So with all that above taken into account, you can see how testing done days, hours or minutes apart can “make-or-break-or-fake” an aftermarket parts dyno result. What we have done is learned what oil temps the car made the best power at and used those results to give you consistent results.  More on the oil temp and the solutions for this soon.

First up is the biggest more important test, the catback exhaust. Our inital dyno results showed a gain of about 7 WHP. During this initial test we proved how the removing the muffler made about 3 Wheel HP and then how our midpipe and high flow muffler made 7. This proves that contrary to other competitors, the midpipe DOES make HP. During our re-testing of the catback, we found almost the same HP! Besides the cool added sounds, take note of the change to the dip in torque. It gets narrower by about 250 RPM.

Next up is our catless Front pipe. Just like in previous tests, this was done back to back in about 10 minutes.  As you can see there isa  decent amount of HP gained at the upper RPM’s. The 5-6 WHP from 7000 to redline is a noticeable change to power along with some additional cool exhaust sounds. Like before, in previous tests, we say about the same HP gains. One more important thing to notice is the TQ dip got even narrower!

Then comes the over pipe. This part didn’t show much in the way of HP gained the first time around. I expected to see the same thing this time as we were more controlled and had a better grasp of what was going on. Same thing this time, as it showed pretty much no change. My guess is that its not the restriction in the exhaust. Anyone who sees this part is going to want to replace it, so there isn’t going to be arguing if this part makes HP in the long run.

And finally the fun parts, headers!

Continue to:

BRZ/FR-S Part Proving…. All Bolt-Ons Part 2 (Header Testing)

 

 Posted by on August 3, 2012 About Your Car, BRZ / FR-S, Dyno Test & Tune Tagged with: , , , , , , ,
Aug 032012
 

Its been a while since we had a new Mini part to dyno test and tune and this part is well worth the wait. The ALTA JCW Catback (fits Cooper S as well) replaces the entire exhaust system from the downpipe to the back of the car. This means you keep your stock downpipe which is the ONLY downpipe that doesn’t throw check engine lights or cause other emissions related problems.

Just like our catback for the other cars, its a 3″ 304SS system with dual wall, dual exhaust tips, and includes v-band connections along with one slip fit connection. This provides the ultimate in adjustment as well as a gasket free exhaust system. In fact, the JCW catback consists of all the same parts as the Cooper S part, except we added a new front section that connects to the stock downpipe. This large 3″ system provides maximum HP while being very mellow and keeping your neighbors happy.

First off  is the car. The car is a 2012 JCW Coupe that has our Front Mounted Intercooler already installed,and stock intake with ALTA panel filter, along with an AccessPORT (duh). We wanted to show case what kinds of HP is gain with no ECU tuning as well as when running a Stage 1 FMIC AccessPORT map. As we have shown in the past with stock ECU tuning, there is a huge variance to HP run to run. Here is a graph showing this. You can see how there is a pattern to what the ECU is doing.

So why does this happen? The stock ECU tuning is very limited in how much extra HP is added. We always find that aftermarket parts only get you so far, then you need a tune to get that extra power. The above graph is the stock mapping on a JCW with only our larger FMIC. Take note of the groupings of TQ and HP. These are actually two separate sets of 7 runs. This pattern is very repeatable. Anyone that shows dyno results for aftermarket parts with the stock ECU tuning, should see this same variable. If this isn’t taken into account, you can see how this could completely skew the results.

The below graphs show our catback dyno results on the stock ECU tuning for both of the hot and cold runs. The colder runs made less HP and the hotter runs made more. This was based off coolant temp along with oil temps. We did 7 runs, then swapped out the catback and these were the results.

You can see that on the stock ECU tuning, HP is gain in the 3000-5800 RPM range. In these results you can see about 3-5 Wheel HP. Now we re-installed the stock catback, but flashed the ECU to the Stage 1 FMIC 92 octane map. Because of how we tune the maps, we have no issues with the varying HP run to run.  Notice the difference in TQ from stock ECU tune to the AccessPORT tune!

As we expected, more HP was gained with a tune as there was more air flowing through the exhaust and more demand being put on the stock exhaust system. You can see that a solid 8-10 WHP is gained from 5800RPM on up.

The final test is more for fun to prove that our cold air intake does make a difference in all stages of power. We have lots of graphs that show gains on stock cars and tuned cars, but this was a test that we did backwards. We took the 2012 JCW (with ALTA FMIC installed) and installed our ALTA Cold Air Intake, then did some tweaking to the map to get a bit more HP. This made the 241 WHP and 276ft-lbs of TQ you see below on the blue line. We then took the stock air box and installed a new stock filter and dynoed the car again.

Big surprise, it lost HP!!! Of course it will, the stock intake is a restriction, and at this power level you can really see where this comes into play. Almost 20 WHP is lost at 6800, that is very noticeable and for sure going to kill some of the fun in your Mini. This was a great test and one of the first times we went backwards to prove a part.

To wrap it up, 10 or more WHP can be gained on your Mini JCW after installing our ALTA JCW Catback system. Also some really cool new sounds can be added with a nice deep throaty sound coming out the back of your car.

 Posted by on August 3, 2012 Dyno Test & Tune, MINI Only Tagged with: , , , , , ,
Jul 042012
 

A few of us lucky tuners were able to get our hands on the Beta ECUTEK ProECU software to tune the new BRZ and FR-S. ECUTEK is a UK company that has been reverse engineering ECU’s(Engine Control Units) in Subaru’s for 10 years now. This is as long as we have been building parts for Subaru’s so by no means are they new to the tuning world.

Since June 27th at about 11am, we have been testing and tuning working through bugs and getting the ECUTEK ProECU software up and running. We started by flashing all three of our cars (2 BRZ’s, and 1 FR-S) with the ECUTEK licenses to ensure all our cars ECU types were in the software and ready to tune anytime.

With all our cars ready to be tuned, we decided to give some love to our FR-S first. The first few hours we had with the car, we spent messing around with how the software works, checking out all the hundereds of maps, and putting a plan together as to what to test out the following day. Most of the time was spent datalogging and seeing what the ECU is telling us is going on.

Thursday, we dynoed the car with a baseline run of 165 Wheel HP and started tuning. There are a few key maps that have the “Torque Dip” shape built into them and we started playing with some of those first trying to eliminate the dip. While we were not able to eliminate it, we did make it better and not as wide as it was before. But we are not giving up just yet. There are hundreds of maps to explore and one of these is bound to help make this go away.

The 5-6 ft-lbs of torque we gained almost everywhere and the solid 10 Wheel HP gained from 6500 to 7600 (yes not 7300) well makes up for the weird torque dip. The car feels exactly like it did before, but faster, which is what we all wanted. Also its nice having a few hundred more RPM to shift. This keeps the car in the power band and less chance of it dipping into the TQ dip.

So is there more HP to be gained on a stock car? For sure there is! As the software gets more and more developed, and our experience with the this new motor grows, I think there is more HP to gain. Every day there are new parameters we are able to log, and new maps to test out, so the future is looking very good! That and the graph above isn’ the highest HP we saw……

Stage 1 mapping should be nailed down in the next upcoming weeks. This is mapping designed for a completely stock car running anything up to a catback exhaust (doens’t require a tune). User ProECU setups and mapping for customers should be available soon along with details about exactly what they will come with and how they will work.

As you can see that the initial dyno results are very good, and keep in mind that this is a stock car and initial tuning. There is for sure more power to unlock from these cars!

 

 Posted by on July 4, 2012 BRZ / FR-S, Dyno Test & Tune, ECU Tuning Tagged with: , , , , ,