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Discussion Starter #1
Anyone Afraid An Engine Builder/Making Mods Will Turn Their Car Into a Freaky-Blow Mobile? I have to admit, I sort of am!

First, I want to say that I’m not trying to criticize those of you who tune or have tuned or mod your cars in any way—I know there can be great benefits/gains—I just want to understand more why you do it and the risks/benefits.

What got me started thinking about this more seriously was after I saw at least 3 or 4 cars at the track this summer that blew engines or had other serious malfunctions after seemingly being heavily modified. Of course these engine problems obviously could be due to driver error, but how far can you push a vehicle past it’s original limits?

My curiosity about engine and other mods increased more after I skimmed (because it was way more then what I know about engines, etc) the article that was written about board member Shadowman and co. in the BMW Car magazine last week at a local bookstore. Looking at that article, I realized just how complex it is to make adjustments to a previously highly engineered (from the factory) vehicle like our E39 M5’s.

Being a real novice in the area of engine and car mods in general, I had paid a visit to AA Tuning last winter and found that they test small mods on owner’s cars, with their permission, of course, but buy their own vehicles to do large projects on. Yep, I saw them working on a certain type of car, but their secret was safe with me----I wouldn't know an engine blip from and engine blop :hihi:



To you modders, large and small, how, why, who did the work—lessons learned, tips, advice?



I need to make some decisions about my cars, but after having gotten a windshield full of oil at 130 mph from blown engine, having to dodge a dying car on my right after beginning to pass a car at 145 mph on my left, etc I think you can see why I’m a bit cautious to make any changes to my cars--well actually I'm a bit suspicious by nature :rolleyes:



Thanks very much!!!!

Anita
 

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Anita said:
Anyone Afraid An Engine Builder/Making Mods Will Turn Their Car Into a Freaky-Blow Mobile? I have to admit, I sort of am!

First, I want to say that I’m not trying to criticize those of you who tune or have tuned or mod your cars in any way—I know there can be great benefits/gains—I just want to understand more why you do it and the risks/benefits.

What got me started thinking about this more seriously was after I saw at least 3 or 4 cars at the track this summer that blew engines or had other serious malfunctions after seemingly being heavily modified. Of course these engine problems obviously could be due to driver error, but how far can you push a vehicle past it’s original limits?

My curiosity about engine and other mods increased more after I skimmed (because it was way more then what I know about engines, etc) the article that was written about board member Shadowman and co. in the BMW Car magazine last week at a local bookstore. Looking at that article, I realized just how complex it is to make adjustments to a previously highly engineered (from the factory) vehicle like our E39 M5’s.

Being a real novice in the area of engine and car mods in general, I had paid a visit to AA Tuning last winter and found that they test small mods on owner’s cars, with their permission, of course, but buy their own vehicles to do large projects on. Yep, I saw them working on a certain type of car, but their secret was safe with me----I wouldn't know an engine blip from and engine blop :hihi:



To you modders, large and small, how, why, who did the work—lessons learned, tips, advice?



I need to make some decisions about my cars, but after having gotten a windshield full of oil at 130 mph from blown engine, having to dodge a dying car on my right after beginning to pass a car at 145 mph on my left, etc I think you can see why I’m a bit cautious to make any changes to my cars--well actually I'm a bit suspicious by nature :rolleyes:



Thanks very much!!!!

Anita
Dinan probably has the best testing proceedures and their products are not detrimental to vehicle longevity. Hence why their parts do not void BMW's warranty. I'm quite familiar with both Dinan and several installers (see my tag), and I can tell you that while the right part is important, installer quality makes all the difference. I was referenced to BMS by Dinan, and compared to my limited experience with other Dinan-authorized shops (a BMW dealership in this case) there is a world of difference between installers. With regard to product, some M5 owners get cheap when it comes to aftermarket parts. I think "you get what you pay for" with M5 addons, and for the most part Dinan is worth the money simply because their stuff WORKS. The exceptions being their brake kits (not as good as StopTech), and I think their short shifter is crap (but that could have been the install of the one I sampled). Do your homework and listen to feedback.
 

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Anita,

There are a number of reasons why people mod...some of the more popular are;

1) track use (road/drag racing)
2) aesthetics (sound)
3) better everyday performance
4) because they have too much money, and nothing better to do than copy the first 3

Personally, I prefer to modify and tune myself, but with the M5 AFR and Timing are tough to manipulate without directly overwriting the maps in the DME.
 

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palantirion said:
Dinan probably has the best testing proceedures
Can't argue with that one!
and their products are not detrimental to vehicle longevity.
I don't agree with that, and it is not a knock on Dinan. If you extract more performance out of a motor, you usually add stress. Added stress will hasten wear and tear and wear and tear is what ultimately "uses up" motors. Now, the difference may be between 250,000 and 300,000 miles, a trade off I would be comfortable with, but I believe there is SOME tradeoff.
Hence why their parts do not void BMW's warranty.
No, that has been discussed here before. Dinan gives you a "mirror" warranty, but it is separate from BMW because most mods will IN PRACTICE void the BMW warranty. I know Magnuson Moss says a non standard part will not necessarily void the warranty, but in real life, burden is on the car owner. Care to tell the judge how that exra 70 hp didn't cause the motor to blow up??:sad1:

I'm quite familiar with both Dinan and several installers (see my tag), and I can tell you that while the right part is important, installer quality makes all the difference.
Absolutely. An authorized Dinan shop installed my camber plates improperly, it was 70 degrees out of phase. Duh!!!
With regard to product, some M5 owners get cheap when it comes to aftermarket parts. I think "you get what you pay for" with M5 addons, and for the most part Dinan is worth the money simply because their stuff WORKS.
Generally agree, but, for example, I think a lot of Dinan products are overpriced. $3k headers from SS are expensive, but $8k headers? Obscene IMHO, and no proof of any material difference for the extra $5k.

The exceptions being their brake kits (not as good as StopTech),
Interesting, as they were negotiating with ST to be the supplier but at the last minute had a change of heart.

and I think their short shifter is crap (but that could have been the install of the one I sampled).
Must have been a bad install, whatever faults Dinan has, it is not usually a poorly performing product.

Regards,
Jerry
 

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gsfent said:
I don't agree with that, and it is not a knock on Dinan. If you extract more performance out of a motor, you usually add stress. Added stress will hasten wear and tear and wear and tear is what ultimately "uses up" motors. Now, the difference may be between 250,000 and 300,000 miles, a trade off I would be comfortable with, but I believe there is SOME tradeoff.
-Granted, there is some additional stress created by pumping and exploding a larger swept voloume of air/fuel mixture, and theoretically raising the rev limiter by 300rpm adds additional wear and tear during those last 300rmp IF you drive the engine hard often, but I don't think Dinan's results push the S62 past its performance threshold. Especially when compared to some companys' extreme forced induction or nitrous systems. Essentially, all Dinan does is make a good air pum into a better air pump by removing restrictions.

gsfent said:
No, that has been discussed here before. Dinan gives you a "mirror" warranty, but it is separate from BMW because most mods will IN PRACTICE void the BMW warranty. I know Magnuson Moss says a non standard part will not necessarily void the warranty, but in real life, burden is on the car owner. Care to tell the judge how that exra 70 hp didn't cause the motor to blow up??:sad1:
-There's a lot of BS going around about BMW treating their customers like crap. I've experienced some of it, but nothing yet related to a Dinan part causing an unwarrantable failure. I think that BMW is just playing hardball because they assume they can break their written agreement with their customers and not be held accountable for it. If they try that crap with me, we WILL end up in court - hopefully as a class action that will change their unwritten policies.

gsfent said:
Generally agree, but, for example, I think a lot of Dinan products are overpriced. $3k headers from SS are expensive, but $8k headers? Obscene IMHO, and no proof of any material difference for the extra $5k.
-The headers are obcenely expensive, but I haven't heard of any others that make more power. And SS's did have cracking problems. Again, how much do you want to spend vs. risk? It's a slippery slope.

gsfent said:
Interesting, as they were negotiating with ST to be the supplier but at the last minute had a change of heart.
-Yep, and from the rumor mill I heard that it came down to price. Brembo undercut the bid, but what you get is just their Grand Turismo brake package painted in Dinan colors. StopTech's M5 brakes are designed JUST for the M5 and have numerous advantages with regard to rotor design and caliper stiffness to the generic Brembos.

gsfent said:
Must have been a bad install, whatever faults Dinan has, it is not usually a poorly performing product.
-I was genuinely surprised. I suspect install could be part of it, but there was a LOT of slop - more than my factory shifter. Really, it just felt like a loose facotry stock shifter, pretty much the same height, same slop, same rubbery feel. I'd go with UUC or RE.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thank you three for taking the time and energy to reply to this post after it lay dormat for so long!!

And you know how life likes to bite you on the butt, well as it turns out, I'm planning on taking, what I consider to be, a fairly heavily modded '02 Z06 Vette on the track this year.

I plan on this Vette requiring additional care/maintenence due to the model of car, upgrades/changes/replacements/supplementations of car's original equipment and how these changes may affect said equipment's original intended use(s), and my intent on running the equipment harder.

I think certain mods require more research and thought then others, so if you don't want to expend the effort/time maybe you should go for the tried and true options?

Whew, that was some fancy thinking by me HA HA HA I just hope I'm not going to be the guy blowing oil on someone else's windshield this year:7: :7: :7:

Thanks again for the responses after all this time!

Anita
 

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I view mods as being a continuum of a risk/benefit equation... even the stock S62 has a certain balance between it's operating conditions (programming, engineering, etc) and the risk of destruction.

Some changes can be made with relative safety, others are riskier... paying a lot of money does not automatically mean it is safe (or risk free).

I believe Dinan leaves a considerable safety margin in their mods.

I believe less skiller tuners may inadvertently take more risk...(perhaps too much resulting in oil on the track...)

I believe some very skilled tuners can push well past Dinan's safety margin, but the risk is higher.

Complicating the equation is the fact that, at some point, no matter how many times a copy is built and tested, you must recognize that there are individual variations between one motor and the next.... a mod that worked for 40 prior Dinan upgrades may cause yours to detonate.

My sense is that the cost to play, where you really are pushing the envelope, and not just adding eye candy, is very, very high. Only a few of those are really pursued (relatively speaking) and are really done to pull in the lions share of customers who are satisfied with the lower risk mods.

(How much does Dinan make in on all the S3 as compared to what they make on all their stage 1 suspension kits? or their POS short shifters? How much of Dinan's 'image' is due to a few very well engineered products influencing folks impression of their other 'ho hum' products (see posts above))


In the end, owners do it for emotional reasons...there certainly isn't a cost/benefit equation to adding 20HP to any car. (Unless winning gets you $$)

:)

A

PS "freaky blow mobile"???
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for sharing your mods "belief" system with us!:7: And I add my serious thanks too!

Hey, I think it's great that someone goes out there and tries the extreme mods--I guess I would call that the bucks/balls equation.LOL :blabla: And you never know if that new product might be a success (however you define that). But please don't intentionally make a claim the mod does something it really doesn't. Fortunately, I'm off my soap box now!!




ard said:
PS "freaky blow mobile"???
I know, I know just one of my usual lame joke attempts:eek:oohhh: (that's a bit of a scary smiley isn't it!).

I think when I wrote this post originally I thought I had just run a bunch of sessions with the wild and crazy test and tuners:1: .
 

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Anita,

I chose to mod my 540i instead of letting BMws "M" division to it for me.It is a personal and unique way to spend my money on 'go fast parts.I have done alot of research over the years and have become very fond of my car.Some people like to trade in every 2-3 years.I try to just update my car.And it is a hellova lot of fun.:wroom:

new BMW Factory 4.4L engine conversion
Dinan S/C with Powerdyn XB1A gear drive head unit upgrade
Dinan Front Strut Tower Brace
Dinan Rear Strut Tower Brace
Dinan Front Sway Bar
Dinan - Stage 3 Performance Springs
Dinan - Stage I Dinan~Tuned Adjustable Koni Shocks
Dinan - Stage II Adjustable Rear Anti-Roll Sway Bar
Dinan - Stage III Camber Plates
Dinan Stage2 brakes with Euro M5 calipers/rotors
Dinan CAI
Dinan 3.15 LSD
Tec 3r standalone ECU
Custom air-water aftercooler
IForged 19x10&19x9 Seneka full polish
Bridgestone SO3 245&275
B&M SSK
Clarion HU
ARC Audio amps(2,000 watts)
MB Quart QSD in custom fiberglass kicks
Rainbow Audio 8" mid bass in custom fiberglass/leather door enclosure
Arc Audio 12" subs in custom enclosure
Batcap/Odyssey battery(15 lbs)
Interior trim painted silver
Autometer boost/oil temp/EGT/AF gauges in custom fiberglass/leather
Euro bumper (blinkers delete)
UUC lighted shift knob
custom aluminium racing pedals
Victor CF steering wheel
Alpina front spoiler
AC Schnitzer side/rear skirts
HID's
Eisenmann Race muffler
E39 540i cat's
Conversion to Euro smoked Hella taillight/headlights/corner lights
Abraham black kidney grill/front smoked side markers

__________________
 

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Discussion Starter #10
jimmyz2,
Thanks for your response too!! Glad to see you're getting so much enjoyment out of what you're doing. I guess for the happy modder it's a good sign when the mod list is way longer then the post itself:biggrinbounce: Wishing you continued enjoyment with your car!
 

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fast4door said:
freaky blow mobile ???? ouich ouich ouich
Freaky slow mobile?:byebye:
 

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The challenge of carefully researching and installing the parts, talking with other owners, shop owners, mechanics, to find the right balance of performance, reliability, value, and aesthetics. The pride and satisfaction of having a unique vehicle that performs on the track and the street. Taking something that is great, and making it better.
 

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Magnussen-Moss Act of 1978 was created for consumer protection from manufacturers voiding warrantys without reasonable cause. Most notable feature of the Magnussen-Moss Act is protections for persons with devices, vehicles, or products protected under Warranty. Warrantors are not allowed to make arbitrary decisions in their own favor to void warranties for changes made to these unless they can specifically prove that the added or modified part caused the failure. Although some states prevent attorneys from advertising as specializing in specific fields, there are some that specialize in this field and can be found on the internet. So if you refill your own printerink cartridge and the power cord fails, or add an aftermarket exhaust to your vehicle and a headlight fails, or a variety of other things consumers are likely to do to something they purchase, a manufacturer cannot simply void your warranty with this as the specified cause.
Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magnussen-Moss_Act"

(This is not intended as legal advice, I am not your legal counsel or advisor, and this is directly quoted for educational purposes only from the named source)
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks Ronin M5 for your responses--sorry I didn't post sooner but my freaky blow mobile blew:3::3: :3:

What I'm finding when researching repairs/replacement options is that some shops seem to lean more towards HP increases rather then increasing engine endurance--I realize there should be overlap there, but is this typical?

Thanks,
Anita
 

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Anita said:
Thanks Ronin M5 for your responses--sorry I didn't post sooner but my freaky blow mobile blew:3::3: :3:

What I'm finding when researching repairs/replacement options is that some shops seem to lean more towards HP increases rather then increasing engine endurance--I realize there should be overlap there, but is this typical?

Thanks,
Anita
Only if they dont know what they are doing. Ive always done my own modding, and never had any real issues.
 

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Anita said:
Thanks Ronin M5 for your responses--sorry I didn't post sooner but my freaky blow mobile blew:3::3: :3:
Thanks,
Anita

I was thinking it was ironic that you did this post months before your z06 had it's incident.
You didn't knock on wood, did you! ouich
Mike
 

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Anita said:
What I'm finding when researching repairs/replacement options is that some shops seem to lean more towards HP increases rather then increasing engine endurance--I realize there should be overlap there, but is this typical?
Few tuner shops have the kind of resources that allow them to do any serious longevity/durability testing. You are their QA department. Fact of life when dealing with the aftermarket.

As far as tuning for power goes - tuning for peak HP on a dyno is going to leave you running leaner than is desirable for area-under-the-torque-curve or longevity.
 

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Good luck with your modifications Anita. May you enjoy the process and results!
 
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