Audi, Bentley ECU tuning, Bentley perfromance exhaust, BMW, BMW ECU tuning, BMW Performance, engine builder, EVOMSit, Ferrari ECU tuning, Ferrari performance exhaust, Forced induction, Lamborghini ECU tuning, Lamborghini perfromance exhaust, Mercedes Benz ECU tuning

Tuning for Lambo, Ferraris and more!!

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As many have read on the blog(or not) we have expanded our tuning abilities by teaming up with EVOMS once again. This has allowed us to bring a new unparallel level of tuning to Porsche, Audi and VW. Acquiring the means to write software to Bosch and Siemens ECUs is not so easy. But once you have the ability and the means to do them you also open the door to many other possibilities. For us that expansion now includes Lamborghini, Ferrari  Bentley, BMW and Mercedes Benz. There have always been those that offer specific tuning to these cars but we feel with the decades of experience between the two companies we bring a software product to the market like no other.

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We have spent countless hours tuning Murciélago’s, Gallardo’s, 360s and even the 430. These gains are mild to wild. Don’t be fooled by all the other hype in the market and on the internet. HP is king, but more importantly the drivability is what we notice. Most of the high performance cars we own make good power, but at what RPM? Imagine if you could have that power, both HP and Torque down low, sooner, faster! What would that feel like in real world terms. Hard to completely imagine how something simple can make such a huge difference. Tuning like any other profession is an art. You can either be a general practitioner or a specialist. We like to think we are specialist. Tuning for MAX HP and TQ is easy. Add a little timing a little fuel, raise the RPM limiter and make a couple of pulls. What we do is that, but then spend hour after hour loading the car back and forth to create drivability and smooth response. We look at the VE table, the TQ Bias maps, and so much more. We tell the gas pedal to respond like a gas pedal and not a button simulating a cable. All these things take hundreds of hours to tune and perfect. That we have done. Best of all, we drive what we build. For 10 years (official and many more unofficially) we have used our knowledge, our products to test on our own cars and then drive them everyday. This ensure that if it meets our standards we know it will meet yours. After all no one is harder on themselves then we are! Drop us a call, discuss your wants, needs and expectations in tuning and let us create that for you.

 

In addition to ECU tuning we also feel that air in and air out is important. We have a long standing relationship with Fabspeed and therefore can bring total tuning solutions to your Ferrari and Lamborghini and even Bentley and Maserati. All of our exhaust are fabricated from T304 stainless steel and all of our cats are TUV level 8 compliant. Which means no problems with DOT here in the states. Components include, muffler, secondary bypasses and high flow cats that will allow twice the flow of air than the stock OEM cats. On some models we also have headers available for more TQ and HP where you want it.  All exhaust system keep compliance with the warranty. How much gain with the exhaust can one expect, try anywhere from 12HP to 28 depending on the model of your car. Group that with real world ECU tuning and your car and your driving experience will never be the same again.

 

 

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engine builder, engine rebuild, turbo Porsche, Uncategorized

Another IA engine build

Just a quick warning you might find the pictures below disturbing, I know everyone at the shop did.  So this engine was rebuilt by us just about 4000 miles ago and some how they managed to punch a hole in the front mounted oil cooler spilling out about every ounce of oil,  after we drained the tank and sump we got about six ounces out.  Despite the oil level gauge, oil pressure gauge, oil temp gauge, and dummy light once the engine no longer has oil pressure all reading nothing and the light shining ,  they continued to keep driving and from the damage that was done this was not a slow speed Sunday Cruise this had to be caused by high RPM’s HIGH boost and VERY high speed. 

after a full day of trying to disassemble of the upper half of the motor which is not very easy with the engine locked solid!! We then had to figure how to spit the case halves,  very difficult with a lock motor cause if you cant rotate the engine over you cant get the wrist pins off to remove the pistions we found that once the rod end broke it continued flying around in side the case and dammanged both halves of the case and the cylinder.  it also spun every rod bearing and made the main journals in the case eggshaped.  with metal every were in this case and oversize and egg shaped main journals the case will soon become a table in the shop or a very big paper weight! 

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After every thing was cleaned inspected and measured we ended up with a lot of scrap metal and very few usable parts, I think the heads are about the only thing that was not damaged.  stick around for the Start of the Build and we do have more pics i can put up it just makes we sick to look at this much damage.

911, 911 Porsche, engine builder, engine rebuild, Porsche, Projects, turbo Porsche, Uncategorized

Continued 996TT motor build…the good stuff

Imagine you have built a very strong 996TT motor. All the things you have done in the past, knowing they work well. What happens if you make more power than you are suppose to? Imagine making 700+ AWHP on the dyno with the HP scale going up and up and all the sudden….well lets just say back to the drawing board. How do you keep the new motor together so that lifting doesn’t happen again. Well, like the bionic man, Steve Austin, we will built it better, stronger, faster….(enter music here) All joking aside this is a serious matter!

Lower end in these cars are fairly safe. We know what the limits are and almost never see a failure if the rules are followed. The heads and the cylinder assemblies are a different story. Like the early air cooled motors this continues to be an issue. In the air cooled arena we have been using what we call flame rings for years. This is an actual seal that is machined between the head and the cylinder so that if and when the cylinder head expands and lifts due to pressure and heat the gasket holds the integrity of the chamber together to avoid the cylinder or head or both from self-destructing.

 The 996TT is a different construction and design, but the problem still exist. Solutions are a little tricker. We start with the head studs. We increase the diameter of our already fancy upgraded head studs up another 3mm. We also change the material and thread pitch both on the head side and in the case. This requires yet more machining to allow these larger studs to be fit.

 

Second part of the process we grove the head to accept an actual ring. Traditionally the head gasket has a small crush ring that serves to hold combustion in while the sandwiched outer gaskets create a barrier for oil and water to flow through their proper channels. We take those same gaskets and stamp out what use to be the combustion crush ring allowing our new much thicker and precise ring to be fit. As you can see from the pictures this is a two part seal, the outer copper seal lays in the groove while our “special material” second ring lays inside the cooper ring. This ensures that there is multiple sealing surfaces to keep combustion in should the head lift again. This is secondary as our new head studs will hold it all together.

 

 

Added with new valves, custom springs, retainer and custom stem locks we start to create the base of a bullet proof monster that can withstand the unknown! Stay tuned for more on this project as we continue our journey.

911, 911 Porsche, EFI, engine builder, engine rebuild, Forced induction, Porsche, porsche performance, Projects, turbo Porsche, Uncategorized

89 930 EFI Conversion returns

I hate to see any car we have built get into the hands of people that do not fully understand or appreciate the workings of a converted CIS to EFI turbo Porsche. This car was based on a 89 930, we quickly stripped the motor out of it and converted it to a 3.4 twinplug, Custom cams, large valves, headers, HF2 turbo and full Autronic SMC EFI system. We set the ignition up with M&W components, custom built the inlets off of the 3,2 NA intake fitted to increasedd TQ. The car originally laid apx 540 RWHP on our dyno.

 

 

After changing owners twice since I built it the newest owner who is a previous customer (we built his 79 930) showed up with it at our door. I had spent many hours with the shop in his home town trying to fix the issue. The issue was on going and kept the car from idling or running correct. Getting stuck in the middle of the intersection with a Porsche is never any fun. People will go out of their way to honk I swear.

We have a way we can read the computers and it was giving me several errors. All related to the cam and crank sensors. So I replaced the crank sensor and current plug system. We then upgraded the hall sensor to a much stouter version. This required the oil pump housing to be modified and fitted with the new sensor. Some more rewiring and the sensors were in. Additionally we rewelded the inlet pipe which was damaged when the car hit boost and pulled the line off, we also rewelded a bracket to the intake to ensure the originally integrity was there.

An oil change, valve adjustment and AC recharge and the car headed back to St Louis with a very happy owner. Nothing like a 830 cab that will walk sideways through 80 MPH!!

911 Porsche, Auto Enthusiast, engine builder, Porsche, porsche performance, Projects, turbo Porsche

On the road to recovery….Follow up 993TT.

I think for me since I have built some pretty big HP cars the drive may have always been and continues to be the path which we take to get there. With the 993TT it is not that we have not been here before so to speak but to take something like this and make it new again is exciting.

After my last blog we continued to gather parts. I took a day a couple of weeks ago with my oldest son Jett. These times are special for Jett and I because life for us is so busy. To have just the two of us do nothing but play with a car is very special for him and an image for me to take when I pass this earth someday as a old man. Anyway…we took the day and Jett learned how to remove the glove box and knee pad to install the passenger airbag cover. A little follow up with proper torque specs and Jett had it right on!

 

Next project, seats. The original seats were sent in from the original owner and we quickly set out to install them. A short day that was as all the block hold downs that slide under the rail to hold the seat in place were borrowed by the idiots who stole the car. A quick PBX order and Jett and I were installing these the next day. This was a lesson for him in leaving everything loose to start with then tightening. All the sudden we have an interior again!

Now it is hard to believe that someone stealing this car would have a need for every fuse and relay in it, but clearly not being the smartest of the living they did. Have you ever tried to replace every single fuse and relay with the proper one in the proper space in a 993?? Oh boy, Jett had to set out for this one. Once in place the car came alive. Dash lights, idiots lights, radio…action. Oh wait…I still need to put the motor in.

Now those who have seen the prior work up on the car know that the rear 1/4s suffered some slight damage. One weekend the guys had a friend come up and hammer/dolly the small imperfections at the mount line out. A little grinding and primer and this car remains filler free! We towed her over to pain and the finish work was completed and the quarters were sprayed. The bumpers that we had fitted in the last blog also got attention and were then finally painted. The only thing we have yet to get back is the lower rocker panels which we had sprayed body color as well instead of the black plastic. I love the way the car looks and the bumpers fit well. In the pictures they are literally just sitting there and not bolted in place. Trust me though the fitment is spot on and I could not be happier.

A quick change of shoes and spacers and the refinished wheels are snug in place!

 

Next stop…..motor time

997TT, engine builder, porsche performance, Uncategorized

Funny Story…

Since I’ve literally grown up around Porsches and live and breathe them now, they are second nature – a part of me.  I sometimes forget about their exotic intrigue.  The awe in people’s eyes when they see the 997TT we drive on a daily basis, often goes unnoticed.  I am by no means belittling the fact that we drive a magnificent machine.  It wasn’t an easy road for us to get to the car we currently drive.  Buy, rebuild, modify, sell; buy, rebuild, modify, sell, and so on until we climbed the Porsche ladder and landed at the 997TT. 

We are in the process of moving and are having our new deck power washed and re-stained.  I had talked by phone to two college kids that we contracted to do the work but had yet to meet them until today.  I stopped by the new house and met one of the guys who had just started the power wash process.  Somehow we got on the topic of what I (we) did for a living.  I always keep it pretty simple and say we service and modify Porsches.  This kid was impressed to say the least and then started in with a story of his own.

He said that there is some guy that lives out our way that drives a yellow twin turbo Porsche.  He has raced a buddy of his who apparently has a supercharged Viper.  (The  Porsche won.)  He also owns a martial arts school.  I calmly say to the kid – I know the guy.  Really?? Is his response.  Oh man, that’s so cool!  I quietly tell him that’s my husband, Stephen, and he owns ImagineAuto and doesn’t own the martial arts school but he is a 2nd Degree Black Belt and a TKD and Gracie Jiu Jitsu instructor.  The kid flips out and starts talking about street racing and horsepower and martial arts and everything else he can spew out before taking a breath.

It wasn’t the conversation itself that left an impression today.  It was the excitement, the mystic, the legacy that is our speed yellow 997TT.  It was the excitement in that young man’s eyes when he told of the mysterious car and guy inside and the the wild fish tale that apparently has grown over time.  That’s ok with us of course.  This kid is the next generation of ImagineAuto customers and we can always use some security in this uncertain world! Be on the lookout for the next spotting of a speed yellow 997TT.  But look fast, it’s going to be passing you!

911, 911 Porsche, 993TT, 997TT, engine builder, engine rebuild, Forced induction, supercharger, turbo, turbo Porsche, Uncategorized

To turbo, or supercharge that is the question

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Which came first the chicken or the egg? Which is better the Turbocharger or the Supercharger? They both are very similar. The mechanics of these systems is where the difference is found. They both offer their own advantages and disadvantages but it depends on you, the driver.

So what’s the difference?

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The Turbo-charger uses exhaust gases to drive it and the supercharger uses a belt that runs off the crank shaft to drive it. They both increase the speed of a car significantly. I spent many months researching this topic. The similarities and differences are stunning. These performance parts force the novice mechanic to graduate to the next level of planning and paying for that matter. These systems are not cheap. But for those who enjoy racing down the ¼ mile drag strip at top speed. This may be for you.

Similarities

Both superchargers and turbochargers are forced induction systems and thus have the same objective – to compress air and force more air into the engine’s combustion chamber. The benefit of forcing more air into the combustion chambers is that it allows your engine to burn more fuel per power stroke. Using an internal combustion engine, burning more fuel means that you convert more fuel into energy and power. For this reason, supercharged and turbocharged engines normally produce 40% to 100%%2B more power than normally aspirated engines.

How They Work

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A supercharger is mounted to the engine and is driven by a pulley that is inline with the crank (or accessory) belt. Thus, the supercharger robs horsepower from the engine in order to multiply horsepower, giving it back to the engine. Kind of in a circular fashion. (For example, I give you 5 dollars and you give me back 25 dollars) this is how the power multiplies within the supercharger. Air is drawn into the supercharger and compressed by either an impeller (centrifugal-style supercharger), twin rotating screws (screw-type supercharger), or counter-rotating rotors (roots-type supercharger). The air is then discharged into the engine’s intake. Faster crank speed (more engine rpm) spins the supercharger faster and allows the supercharger to produce more boost (normally 6 to 9 psi for a street vehicle). Typical peak operating speeds for a supercharger are around 15,000 rpm (screw-type and roots style superchargers) and 40,000 rpm (centrifugal-style superchargers). Thus a supercharger is easier to tune because the speed of the supercharger directly relates to the speed of the crankshaft.A turbocharger operates in much the same way as a centrifugal (internal impeller) supercharger, except it is not driven by pulleys and belts attached to the engine’s crank. A turbo is instead driven by exhaust gasses that have been expelled by the engine and are traveling through the exhaust manifold. The exhaust gas flows through one half of the turbocharger’s turbine, which drives the impeller that compresses the air. Typical operating speeds of a turbocharger are between 70,000 and 160,000 rpm. 

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Let’s look at the 2 side by sideTurbocharger vs. Supercharger Cost

The cost of supercharger and a turbocharger system is basically the same. However, if you are deciding which to use. First, determine your mechanical ability and the accessibility of special pipe benders and welders. If you don’t have access to these tools then a supercharger will be more reasonable because you will likely be able to do all of the work saving on the cost of labor. Turbochargers require special pipe benders because of the extensive exhaust set up.

Lag vs NO Lag

The supercharger can very easily boast that the biggest advantage it has over the turbo charger is NO LAG. Turbochargers are driven by exhaust gas. The turbocharger’s turbine spools up first before it even begins to turn the compressor’s impeller. The result is what we call “lag time”. This is the time needed for the turbine to reach its full throttle from an intermediate rotational speed state. During this lag time, the turbocharger is creating little to no boost, which means little to no power gains during this time. It is common knowledge that smaller turbochargers spool up quicker, which reduces some of the lag. Turbochargers use what is called a “waste-gate”. The waste-gate is a valve that allows exhaust to bypass the turbine blades. The waste-gate senses boost pressure, if it gets too high, it could be an indicator that the turbine is spinning too quickly. In this situation the waste-gate avoids some of the exhaust around the turbine blades, allowing the blades to slow. Therefore, a waste-gate allows a smaller turbocharger to eliminate some of the lag time while preventing it from spinning too quickly at high engine speeds. A waste-gate is a crucial part of the Turbocharger.On the other hand, a Supercharger is connected directly to the crank, so there is “NO LAG”. Superchargers are able to produce boost at a very low revolutions per minute (RPM).

Which is more economical?

Some say the turbocharger is more economical. It all depends on your level of mechanical ability and your ability to access good quality welders and pipe benders. Some feel that the turbocharger is more economical to operate because it is driven primarily by potential energy in the exhaust gasses. The gas would normally be lost out of your exhaust pipes. However, the supercharger draws power from the crank, which is normally used to turn the wheels. One positive, is that the turbocharger’s impeller is powered only under boost conditions, so there is less internal drag when the impeller is not spinning. The turbocharger does create additional exhaust backpressure and exhaust flow interruption which can be viewed as less than positive. If you are looking to save money and have the tools handy that you will need to complete this installation successfully then this may be for you

.Very Hot vs Not so Hot

The turbocharger is mounted to the exhaust manifold which is extremely hot. Turbocharger boost may experience additional heating through the turbocharger’s hot casing. Hot air expands which is the exact opposite of what happens in a turbocharger or supercharger, therefore an intercooler becomes necessary on almost all turbocharged applications to cool the air charge before it is released into the engine. Remember, when we discussed the special pipe benders. This is where the complexity of the installation can be a challenge. A centrifugal supercharger on the other hand creates a cooler air discharge, so an intercooler is often not necessary at boost levels below 10psi. However, some superchargers (especially roots-type superchargers) create hotter discharge temperatures, which also make an intercooler necessary even on fairly low-boost applications.

Surge

Turbochargers spool up before its boost is delivered to the engine, when this happens there is a surge of power that is immediately delivered. This happens when the waste-gate opens at approximately (2500-3000 rpm). The surge can cause extreme damage to the engine and drivetrain, and make the vehicle difficult to drive or lose traction. Superchargers also experience surge which is why they have a blow-off valve to release the excess pressure during deceleration. (All superchargers should come with this blow-off valve as an accessory)

Exhaust Back Pressure

Remember the supercharger is powered by the crank, thus there is no need to deal with the exhaust gas interruption created by inserting a turbocharger turbine into the exhaust flow. The supercharger creates no additional exhaust back pressure. The amount of power that is lost by a turbocharger’s turbine reduces it’s overall efficiency.

How Loud is it?

The turbocharger is generally quieter than the supercharger. Because the turbo’s turbine is in the exhaust, the turbo can substantially reduce exhaust noise, making the engine run quieter. Some centrifugal superchargers are known to be noisy and may sound like a bird chirp at idle, which annoys some drivers.

Dependability

Normally superchargers are more reliable than a turbocharger. When the engine is turned off (i.e. the turbo is shut off), residual oil inside the turbo’s bearings can be baked by stored engine heat. This, combined with the turbo’s extremely high rpms (up to 150,000rpm) can cause problems with the turbo’s internal bearings and can shorten the life of the turbocharger. In addition, many turbos require aftermarket exhaust manifolds, which are often far less reliable than stock manifolds.

Ease of Installation

Superchargers are substantially easier to install than a turbochargers because they have far fewer components and simpler devices. Turbochargers are complex and require manifold and exhaust modifications, intercoolers, extra oil lines, etc. – most of which is not needed with most superchargers. A novice home mechanic can easily install most supercharger systems, while a turbo installation should be left to a turbo expert.

Peak Power

Turbochargers are known for their unique ability to spin to incredibly high rpms and make outrages peak boost figures (25psi). While operating a turbocharger at very high levels of boost requires major modifications to the rest of the engine, the turbo is capable of producing more peak power than superchargers.

Tuning

Turbochargers, because they are so complex and rely on exhaust pressure, are notoriously difficult to tune. Superchargers, on the other hand, require few fuel and ignition upgrades and normally require little or no engine tuning.