So, I explained my woes with the downpipe that I recently purchased. I’ve got all my parts and can begin installing them at any time, but I still have to decide how to deal with the catalytic converter being so close to the CV axle boot. I do not yet have any exhaust wrap and still don’t want to wrap the cat. I’m still mulling over how to deal with shielding the boot. I’m pondering if I should find some heat reflecting material that will keep the heat off the boot, by covering the boot. Something like this:
I figure that I can use hose clamps to seal the ends of the heat-wrapped boot. I won’t know much more until I spend a bit of time under the car.
I also need either some ramps or two more jack stands (maybe both, but at least the ramps. Also, I need to get my ’98 Honda Accord out of the garage so that I can install the Stage 2 parts on the STI, in the garage. That means I need to get the Honda fixed (I’m looking at $1000 in repairs since it’s been sitting awhile (motor mount needs to be replaced, rear brake rotors/pads need to be replaced, and the engine is sputtering, which could be bad fuel, plugs, both, or something else entirely…I did check to see that no mice had made nests in the airbox, so that’s good).
So, I may need to hold off on my build until my Accord is fixed. That’s the smart thing to do, as I’ll have a spare car in case I botch something on the STI or even if I break a ringland (but I also have the motorcycle). So, next week, I’m going to see if I can get the Accord towed to the local shop and see if they can give me an estimate on repairs…the last quote I got was $550 and that was just for the motor mount and rear rotors/pads.
That also gives me time to talk with several local tuners. Initially, I’d opted to have iAG tune my car, but I’m put off to the fact that they’re charging extra for a mandatory pre-dyno inspection, which is bullshit, IMO. Their reasoning is that it will lessen/prevent cars breaking on the dyno (because time is money). I understand what they’re trying to do, but my car is pretty much brand new. It has no boost leaks (I checked via datalogs). It doesn’t leak oil. It runs fine. The fluids are fine (I’ll have the oil changed before going to the tune). The tune is already $500. The pre-dyno inspection is another $100. So, $600 to be tuned…$100 of that is because they insist on doing an inspection on a car that is basically new (16K miles on a 2011…yeah, pretty much new). IMO, that’s nickling and diming every person being dyno’d. As well, it’s almost an insult to me, because I maintain my car already.
I’ve also contacted two other tuners: Mach V Motorsports and PTuning. I’m gonna say right now that PTuning is expensive (more so than the others)…they’re also pushy and I don’t like the owner at all. When I asked him via Facebook about if his shop required a pre-dyno inspection, he didn’t say if it was required, but kept saying it would benefit the owner of the car being dyno’d. I told him that I already know my car will pass the checks and would rather opt out of it if I could. He clammed up. WTF. It’s a yes or no question…answer it. Now, Dan at Mach V was cool. He assumed that I was more focused on the inspection than looking for a reputable tuner (that wasn’t the case and I explained to him that I’d rather not be “nickle and dimed”). He stated that inspections aren’t required and left it at that. He answered the question without a lot of dialog, which I liked. Mach V has an open house tomorrow and I’ll visit them to get an idea of how the tuner dials in a car – I expect that tuners will want to know what I desire in a tune. I want to make power and also be safe…let’s say mildly conservative. Keep in mind that I don’t have upgraded fuel injectors, so they’ll probably be watching the injector duty cycles (850cc injectors will be added to my wish list).
So, Ptuning is off my list. iAG, I’m not sure yet, because Rick stated that because his website didn’t list the pre-dyno checks requirement, he’d let me pay $50 for the inspection since I went out of my way to get clarification. So, it’s either iAG or Mach V.
The Accord is a big hindrance right now, though…if I can get that fixed within 30 days, I’ll be very happy and can then move on with my Stage 2 project.