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This is a discussion on Colorado Member's Forum within the Mountain States forums, part of the Regional Discussion category; Originally Posted by junior1023 I appreciate the clarification GarrettKoonsman, lol. That coulda got alil confusing. So, is it even worth ...

  1. #271
    Wrinklechops
    Quote Originally Posted by junior1023 View Post
    I appreciate the clarification GarrettKoonsman, lol. That coulda got alil confusing. So, is it even worth it at this point in time for me to get a tune? I mean, from what you guys are saying it runs quite a but more than I was expecting (though $200-$250ish). All I really have right now as far as "mods" is a larger radiator, short ram intake and catback exhaust. It just drives me nuts with the "check engine" light on due to the car possibly running lean cause of the intake. Just doesnt seem like $500 is really justified over that. Am I at a huge risk? I dont have any kind of engine management either (im new to this "tuning" world) so dont they just reprogram my ECU to adjust for the slightly larger ammount of air being taken in?

    Thanks guys
    I wouldn't think you would be running THAT lean with just an intake. You sure there are no leaks or anything else wrong with your car? If I still had my Tactrix cable, I would give you a Stage 1 map or something, just to maybe help out a little until you could get to a pro-tuner. Ask around over at AWDpirates - maybe someone has a cable you can borrow or help you put a map on your car real quick.

    But if you're looking for a "cheap" pro-tune, I'm pretty sure Nick at Mac Autosport can get you a good tune for $350. I think that's his going rate. That way you can get a good tune without spending $500+.

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  3. #272
    UnBanned Sinister's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wrinklechops View Post
    I too have known people who have gotten tuned at Trenz, some with good things to say, most without. You're right, I've never been there, so what do I know?

    All I do know is, it's pretty dumb to tune someone for E85 on a stock fuel pump, stock injectors, etc with no exhaust, boost control, larger IC etc. Maybe you don't NEED boost control or a larger IC, but you would probably want better exhaust (turbo-back) if you're running much higher levels of boost (as you do on E85)...and with that, you would probably want a better IC to cool that higher level of boost.

    I think it's equally dumb to charge someone $500-$600 for aforementioned dumb service. It's stories like these that make me wary of Trenz. I'm pretty sure Harvey at Super Rupair or Nick at Mac Autosports for example would tell you to get bigger injectors, fuel pump, IC, exhaust, etc if you were going to be doing an E85 tune. They are in the business to make money too, but they also want you to be happy and get the most performance out of your setup at a safe level. I don't think it's safe or good to run E85 on stock 565cc injectors, then trying to play the scaling game to get the AFRs to a safe level.

    What you say about not talking smack about a shop without experiencing it firsthand has its points, but you have to understand that the tuner business RELIES on word of mouth and repeat business.

    I also think it says something that Racing Trenz isn't a part of the local AWDpirates forum I don't think? Granted, that place is almost Harvey-exclusive referral forum, but if you talk to just about anyone on that forum (Flatirons Tuning, Suba Performance, or any local Subaru dealership), they will most likely steer you in the direction of someone like Harvey, Nick, or even Adam at Revolutions. These guys are the top tuners in the state for Subarus.

    I mean, if you're going to spend $500-$600 on a tune from Racing Trenz anyways, why not spend even less than that for a tune from one of Colorado's bests?

    I may have been off on a few points, I don't know. If Kevin/Sinister reads this, he can probably elaborate more on technical aspects, or everything I said in general. He's a little more up on the local Subaru community than me. I had to check out for a while
    I 100% agree with you Colin.

    Liz, not to down on you because I've heard of quite a few people going to AutoTrenz, but my impression has always been that they're more of an import tuner, such as hondas, nissans, toyotas, etc.

    The turbo awd tuner world is quite a bit different, and takes a whole different knowledge set.

    I don't have any first hand knowledge of the place, but the prices alone steer me away. In addition, the equipment they use, and the lack of positive feedback all over the internet.

    I don't like ripping on tuners, but one that allows a customer to get an E85 tune on stock injectors with a stock fuel pump is just asking for trouble.

    -Kevin
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  4. #273
    UnBanned Sinister's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wrinklechops View Post
    I wouldn't think you would be running THAT lean with just an intake. You sure there are no leaks or anything else wrong with your car? If I still had my Tactrix cable, I would give you a Stage 1 map or something, just to maybe help out a little until you could get to a pro-tuner. Ask around over at AWDpirates - maybe someone has a cable you can borrow or help you put a map on your car real quick.

    But if you're looking for a "cheap" pro-tune, I'm pretty sure Nick at Mac Autosport can get you a good tune for $350. I think that's his going rate. That way you can get a good tune without spending $500+.
    There are a few intakes that have been known on 02-07's to give a CEL from running too lean. One is the Injen and the other is the first generation AEM. Both of which use a crappy filter element, and both of which don't give proper MAF readings.
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  5. #274
    Wrinklechops
    Quote Originally Posted by Sinister View Post
    There are a few intakes that have been known on 02-07's to give a CEL from running too lean. One is the Injen and the other is the first generation AEM. Both of which use a crappy filter element, and both of which don't give proper MAF readings.
    You're right I forgot about that.

  6. #275
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wrinklechops View Post
    You're right I forgot about that.
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  7. #276

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    Silly people, you're all getting Auto Trends and Racing Trenz mixed up.

    The one I'm talking about is Racing Trenz not Auto Trends.

    Also in reference to the "$500" E-85 tune everyone was talking about... He was getting a base line done then decided to get it tuned last minute (the car had been removed off the dyno and later put back on, which he had to pay for). His plan was to have it professionally tuned and converted on E-85. Fees for labor and to empty the gas tank and fill it up with E-85 was assessed. It was a total of two hours for tuning to get the car to run its full potential on stock parts. He ran on that setup with everything stock for four months and never had any problems. Currently, he has upgraded to a Warbo 255 fuel pump and an Invidia down pipe. Within the next month, he will be adding a cold air intake, 1000cc injectors, and a boost controller.

    Funny how the tune and the tuners are being put to question. They've done it on their cars and are still running it on their cars. One of the tuners has a wrx and the other has a Forester that is tuned for E-85 with just a Warbo fuel pump and an Sti exhaust.

    Subarus are also imports if you ask me I'm sure they know what they are doing. People will always talk bad about others, but do they really have anything to show for it?

    junior1023,
    You really need to get a professional tune. I had bought my car with just an (previous owner installed) aftermarket intake and had a former acquaintance tune it with his cable and laptop. In return my car wasn't running lean anymore... it was running rich (which isn't any better). You can't just throw a random/generic map on your car and call it good. Every car is different, that's why there are professional tuners. If I hadn't gone to go get my car tuned when I did, I would've kissed my engine good-bye.

    All in all, what you should really do is go to all the different tuners like the people at Mac Autosports, Harvey(the boost creep), the guys at Revolutions, and Yi at Racing Trenz. Then decide for yourself who you want to get your tune from. That way you have an unbiased opinion and can freely decide for yourself without the opinions of others that might or might not know what they are talking about.

    Good luck with whatever you decide to do, keep us updated.
    Last edited by VietGuhTrippie; 10-13-2009 at 11:57 PM.
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  8. #277
    Wrinklechops
    Quote Originally Posted by VietGuhTrippie View Post
    Silly people, you're all getting Auto Trends and Racing Trenz mixed up.

    The one I'm talking about is Racing Trenz
    So were we.

    Also in reference to the "$500" E-85 tune everyone was talking about... He was getting a base line done then decided to get it tuned last minute (the car had been removed off the dyno and later put back on, which he had to pay for). His plan was to have it professionally tuned and converted on E-85. Fees for labor and to empty the gas tank and fill it up with E-85 was assessed. It was a total of two hours for tuning to get the car to run its full potential on stock parts. He ran on that setup with everything stock for four months and never had any problems. Currently, he has upgraded to a Warbo 255 fuel pump and an Invidia down pipe. Within the next month, he will be adding a cold air intake, 1000cc injectors, and a boost controller.
    FAIL.

    Define "never had any problems"? Did he have a boost gauge to monitor boost levels? Wideband Air/Fuel to monitor AF ratios? EGT sensor to monitor engine/exhaust temps?

    I have a Walbro pump, but I'd be interested to look into a Warbro one. I also heard the Marlboro ones are pretty good.

    So let's get this straight, the person in question paid $500 for a last minute E85 tune on a BONE STOCK car and the tuner shop didn't even give a moment's pause? Sounds like they were in it for the money to me. Like I said before, I guarantee you Harvey, Nick, or Adam would have said "whoa, hold on, wait a minute there speedy..." and explained that it would probably be best to wait for that E85 tune once he had the injectors, pump, IC, boost controller, etc. Instead, Trenz charged this kid $500+ out the door for an E85 tune on stock parts, then he went and slapped some parts like a downpipe on that he wasn't tuned for, then he bought or is going to buy all the right parts for a proper E85 tune and go back to Trenz where they will charge what, another $500? I am sorry I don't even know where to start.

    Funny how the tune and the tuners are being put to question. They've done it on their cars and are still running it on their cars. One of the tuners has a wrx and the other has a Forester that is tuned for E-85 with just a Warbo fuel pump and an Sti exhaust.
    Just because they have it on their cars doesn't mean it's right or safe. I challenge anyone to do as much research and talk to as many different tuners/knowledgeable people as possible before going with one shop's advice or lack thereof.

    Here's a fairly good E85 read:
    E85 fuel FAQ - NASIOC


    Subarus are also imports if you ask me I'm sure they know what they are doing. People will always talk bad about others, but do they really have anything to show for it?
    I think the point Kevin was trying to make is that Subarus/Evos are a totally different animal than a Honda/Nissan/Toyota for example. Yes, they are imports, but you have to think...many Hondas don't come from the factory the way Subarus do. Normally Aspirated vs Forced Induction. FWD vs AWD. Boxer (Subaru) motor vs inline-4. Etc. I'm sure Trenz is probably really good at tuning Hondas or something, but they're not the caliber that Nick, Adam, or Harvey have become known by. Not for Subarus anyways.


    junior1023,
    You really need to get a professional tune. I had bought my car with just an (previous owner installed) aftermarket intake and had a former acquaintance tune it with his cable and laptop. In return my car wasn't running lean anymore... it was running rich (which isn't any better). You can't just throw a random/generic map on your car and call it good. Every car is different, that's why there are professional tuners. If I hadn't gone to go get my car tuned when I did, I would've kissed my engine good-bye.
    First of all, how do you know your car was running lean to begin with? Second, how do you know it was running rich afterwards? I'm sorry, but how is running rich not any better than running lean? It really is. It's safer. Stock tunes are very rich. Any pro-tune is also very rich. What were your AFRs when you went in for your tune Liz? I'm curious.

    You most certainly would not have "kissed your engine bye-bye" with a very conservative Stage 1 map running rich on an otherwise completely stock car. Running richer keeps your engine cooler at WOT, thus being safer.

    Yes, running TOO lean and TOO rich are BOTH bad, but like I said, what were your AFRs before and after the tune? Honestly, I think you wasted your money. Not saying a Pro-Tune is a waste because it's definitely not, but unless you were at some insanely unsafe AF level, you could have waited until you had more parts (i.e. downpipe, etc) to get more out of a Pro-Tune.

    All in all, what you should really do is go to all the different tuners like the people at Mac Autosports, Harvey(the boost creep), the guys at Revolutions, and Yi at Racing Trenz. Then decide for yourself who you want to get your tune from. That way you have an unbiased opinion and can freely decide for yourself without the opinions of others that might or might not know what they are talking about.
    Yea, give everyone a call and ask them all if you should run E85 on a stock car. See who's in it for the money and who's not. I think asking around on a forum is a fairly safe place to start. We've all given you 3 wonderful places to start: Mac Autosports, Super Rupair, and Revolutions.

  9. #278
    UnBanned Sinister's Avatar
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    Alright... There's no need for everyone to get in a tizzy....

    Everyone has different opinions on tuners. Each tuner has a different style. It's just like handwriting.

    Liz, There's no disrespect intended for Yi, it's just the majority of us coloradoans have been going to the big 3 tuners for a while now, and have such success that it's very difficult to go with someone that is pretty unknown in the Subaru circles...

    Factory Turbo AWD cars are very different in the modification path than for instance a honda/nissan/toyota, etc. I've only heard of those styles of imports going to Yi... I don't know anyone personally (besides yourself) that has gone there.

    The E85 thread colin referenced has a lot of information about fuel pumps. Your friend is lucky that his fuel pump worked for those 4 months. It's been proven that they cannot handle E85, and that the majority of stock fuel pumps blow out under E85 usage. Your tuner should know that, and if he doesn't you should share the information with him, and direct him to the studies where the stocker has failed in back to back tests.

    -Kevin
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  10. #279
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    Need engine, reliable mechanic

    I have a 2005 WRX STi that needs major work. I am in the Denver Metro area.

    1. I need to replace a seized motor 2.5L DOHC Turbo. Found a remanufactured one from Colorado Compnent Rebuilders in Denver for @ $4300(after core refund). Any feedback on this outfit?

    2. Suggestions for qualified mechanic to install above engine. Installation requires removal and new install (swap out only intake manifold & accessory items, A/C, Alternator...)

    3. Source for replacement hood and trunk lids, new or used OK

    Any feedback would be appreciated. I need to repair and sell this vehicle quick.
    Thanks
    Steve

  11. #280
    Wrinklechops
    Quote Originally Posted by gcstudio View Post
    I have a 2005 WRX STi that needs major work. I am in the Denver Metro area.

    1. I need to replace a seized motor 2.5L DOHC Turbo. Found a remanufactured one from Colorado Compnent Rebuilders in Denver for @ $4300(after core refund). Any feedback on this outfit?

    2. Suggestions for qualified mechanic to install above engine. Installation requires removal and new install (swap out only intake manifold & accessory items, A/C, Alternator...)
    I would try SUBA Performance - Subaru repair, Subaru modifications, Subaru performance. They do great work, specialize in Subarus (obviously), and are MUCH cheaper than a dealer any day of the week, month, or year!

  12. #281
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    Quote Originally Posted by gcstudio View Post
    I have a 2005 WRX STi that needs major work. I am in the Denver Metro area.

    1. I need to replace a seized motor 2.5L DOHC Turbo. Found a remanufactured one from Colorado Compnent Rebuilders in Denver for @ $4300(after core refund). Any feedback on this outfit?

    2. Suggestions for qualified mechanic to install above engine. Installation requires removal and new install (swap out only intake manifold & accessory items, A/C, Alternator...)

    3. Source for replacement hood and trunk lids, new or used OK

    Any feedback would be appreciated. I need to repair and sell this vehicle quick.
    Thanks
    Steve
    Super Rupair also is a subaru repair facility that handles used parts, and is known as the best independent repair facility in colorado for subarus. (It has won many accolades)


    Do you have to replace the heads, and AVCS as well?

    Most of the time seizing is due to oil starvation. The heads, valves, avcs, etc may get damaged but sometimes they don't.

    If they're not damaged, then there is no point at all in purchasing those additional components.

    4300 seems like an awful lot of cashola for a rebuilt engine.

    In addition, make sure to get some forged pistons (such as CP), and look at forged rods, etc. They're not that expensive and are definitely worth it.

    Look over these links. Find out if the stock heads are good, then I would personally get a RAW engine block. (formerly "axis"... VERY well regarded)

    Subaru Built Motors/Race Engines
    Four Cylinder Blocks
    Four Cylinder Heads
    Crawford Performance
    Crawford Performance
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  13. #282
    Wrinklechops
    Quote Originally Posted by Sinister View Post
    Super Rupair also is a subaru repair facility that handles used parts, and is known as the best independent repair facility in colorado for subarus. (It has won many accolades)

    Do you have to replace the heads, and AVCS as well?

    Most of the time seizing is due to oil starvation. The heads, valves, avcs, etc may get damaged but sometimes they don't.

    If they're not damaged, then there is no point at all in purchasing those additional components.

    4300 seems like an awful lot of cashola for a rebuilt engine.

    In addition, make sure to get some forged pistons (such as CP), and look at forged rods, etc. They're not that expensive and are definitely worth it.

    Look over these links. Find out if the stock heads are good, then I would personally get a RAW engine block. (formerly "axis"... VERY well regarded)

    Subaru Built Motors/Race Engines
    Four Cylinder Blocks
    Four Cylinder Heads
    Crawford Performance
    Crawford Performance

    I would have mentioned Super Rupair, but since he said Denver Metro Area, I figured Suba Performance is closer.

    4300 seems like an awful lot of cashola for a rebuilt engine.
    Not really... Subaru dealer quoted me over $5000 when they thought they might have to rebuild mine. Import performance engines can be pretty pricey... then again, so can the dealer!

  14. #283
    UnBanned Sinister's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wrinklechops View Post
    Not really... Subaru dealer quoted me over $5000 when they thought they might have to rebuild mine. Import performance engines can be pretty pricey... then again, so can the dealer!
    Did you read the costs for brand new built engines that I posted?

    Dealers are ridiculous.

    A new short block with internals can be had without forging for around 1700 - 2000... the basic Forged stuff can bring up the cost up to around 2500-3000. There is no reason for anyone to pay that ridiculous amount to the dealership.
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  15. #284
    Wrinklechops
    Quote Originally Posted by Sinister View Post
    Did you read the costs for brand new built engines that I posted?

    Dealers are ridiculous.

    A new short block with internals can be had without forging for around 1700 - 2000... the basic Forged stuff can bring up the cost up to around 2500-3000. There is no reason for anyone to pay that ridiculous amount to the dealership.

    You have to pay someone to put it all together and install it... even Suba Performance and Super Rupair aren't going to do it for free. I would say the install costs are 4 figures... don't quote me though.

  16. #285
    UnBanned Sinister's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wrinklechops View Post
    You have to pay someone to put it all together and install it... even Suba Performance and Super Rupair aren't going to do it for free. I would say the install costs are 4 figures... don't quote me though.
    but the impression I got from the initial post was that it was going to be a rebuild. I wouldn't pay nearly that cost for a rebuild. Instead forged internals, and a quality engine.
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