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Old 9th January 2017, 21:16   #1
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Default Honda City Redux: Bittersweet experience with Bangalore tuners

I have a 2002 Honda City which I bought and turbocharged in 2006.

I bought a Greddy kit for a D16 engine from USA. I didnít want to use local stuff fearing reliability issues.

Kit came with Greddy e-manage Blue for fuelling corrections, necessary plumbing pipes, braided oil feed lines, and I bought extra walbro fuel pump, RC 350cc injectors and cera-metallic clutch. out of these RC injectors and clutch were not installed. RCs were swapped for Keihin injectors.


It was installed by SAG in Bangalore. Work done was shoddy. Especially the plumbing and the turbo oil return. Parts given were:
- Entire turbo kit with full aluminium piping,
- Cerametallic clutch
- Walbro 250lph fuel pump.
- RC 350cc injectors
- A set of HPS Hawks brake pads.

Items installed didnít include:

- Cerametallic clutch (due to size not matching). Never returned.

- Warlbro fuel pump. It was not a critical requirement. I bought it for just a fancy. It was also never seen again.

- RC injectors were swapped for other Ďhigherí injectors and stock injectors were returned.I should have stuck to my RC injectors.
- Hawks HPS brakes pads were also never to be found due to fitment issue.


Took the car back to Hyderabad. Luckily it survived the trip. Soon, it started smoking heavily. Found that the oil return line, a rubber hose, had kinked and started pooling oil in the turbo and was smoking from the turbo intake.

Went to New Mars run by Prabu in Hyd, Fixed the turbo oil return by making a metal tube (the garage mechanic and me brazing some metal pipes) in the kink area and continued the oil return by using a rubber hose. It was not great but at the very least, it did not pool oil. Meanwhile the tuner told me over the phone that he and his workshop mechanic can travel to Hyd to fix the issue. But by that time I had fixed the issue. In contrast to what it should look like (done be Venkat). I mean this is not 2016. But it could have been much better than i managed to achieve.
Honda City Redux: Bittersweet experience with Bangalore tuners-oil-return-pipe.jpg

The GReddy e-manage blue piggy back ECU was fiddled with by SAG and always had loose connections and the car would hicupp and stop. I was there when he tried to fix and manage an error code due to a map sensor wiring issue. Anyways he was pulling a cable out of the back of the GReddy e-manage. Since Japanese people know how to make things, the wire never came out. He said loudly ĎBrute forceí. Still nothing. Then later he went on to fix the issue. Instead of tapping the signal wire from map sensor, he has tapped the ground wire. He just assumed the middle one is signal (which it usually is). But my car played a trick and it was the other wire. Anyway, it was working fine. But the brute force approach gave me headaches many times. Since I was present there on the brute force episode, I personally kept a watch if the loose connections created problems. Once the car got stuck on the Kannur Highway and I had to fix that in the side of the road. Car was running rich, but thatís the best GReddy e-manage could do. In my thread Ďsummer blast to Keralaí I had mentioned that a Verna Diesel could overtake my car with ease. That was a fact. I wasnít too bothered because I was enjoying the other aspects of a turbo petrol.

The loose connection issue slowly disappeared. All the connections were just twisted copper wires with regular insulation tapes from the installer. My attempts to make them better (soldering, etc) didnít prove to be successful. In hindsight i guess no one could have known the advantages of soldering and heat shrinking.


The turbo and car were running fine. But the GReddy e-manage ECU that came with the KIT was not giving proper fueling(running rich) at higher RPMs. But it gave fantastic idling and low end driveability. I was itching to get another ECU to control ignition and timing. Then came the idea of RD601 ECU for better fuelling and ignition timing. I saw an ad on team bhp from Binz who was using RD601 and I bought a second hand ECU from him. When I test drove his Baleno, it stalled on idling. I didnít worry too much since I thought I could correct it. Binz gave me wiring and an on board map sensor along with the ECU. Later i bought a remus exhaust and installed with stainless 2inch pipes.

I went to RDís facility and wired it up. Then I went to SAG for tuning. He tuned it but idling still didnít hold especially with A/C. Somehow managed with that ECU for a very long time. Bangalore climate was in favour of minimal use of the A/C.

In between car had overheating issues on the highways. Went to SAG for getting over heating sorted out. They might have changed the gasket or removed the radiator thermostat. After idling, the car wonít build temps. So I think it was removal of thermostat. But not sure of this. Anyways I thought cooler engine is better.


Then I started having serious thoughts about improving performance. I wanted to port the intake and SAG was ready to do it. Gave the car and got the car with a ported intake. I drove the car and it was not pulling hard enough. The first tuner told me the engine needs more fuel. Adjusted fuelling in the RD ECU. Car became a guzzler. I Didnít worry too much and just carried on. I played with the ECU myself and adjusted the fuelling to lower levels and increase my fuel economy a bit.

Not once did anyone hook up a wideband to see what was going on. SAG had it with him during the last few times I visited. He used to use his senses to figure out the O2. I requested a few times to do that and see whatís missing. One more thing: After relocating to Blore, during spare time I tried to clean up the filter by removing the intake pipe. I got a shock by seeing the amount of dust on the compressor blades. This was purely due to a badly fitted intake silicone coupler by SAG. This led to the turbo sucking in air not through the air filter; but through the gap in the fitting. I managed to clean the visible parts with a microfiber cloth and decided to get rid of the intake along with other plumbing pipes. This was done by RC. Neat job there.



Part 2:

Hunt for tuner no 2 started.

Then came in the famous race tuner. Read some famous stories about his "concepts". And visited his shop once. He told me the car should be tuned with a wideband O2 sensor and he has heat management problems with the location of the exhaust and the air filter. It was sucking hot air. He also suggested that we improve the plumbing and put a turbo cam. I agreed for tuning as the first step. Hooked up a wideband and went for tuning. Although it was a hurried tuning session, it came out satisfactory. Rich idling was still an issue and I learnt the limitation of the RD ECU. Sometime in between I put a recommendation on team bhp for this race tuner as a good tuning shop. However, while I was writing on TBHP, I had some apprehensions. Anyways I posted it because he seemed to have good knowledge. RC is more inclined in racing and keeping his planned races. I still don't figure out quite well the process for modifying customer's cars.


Coming back to the story, I went to the race tuner to get the battery relocated and move the air filter to a better position. Then he suggested replacing the stock intake manifold with a plenum. Thought about it for a very long time and then took the plunge. Installed the plenum. Car felt much better. Rev happy and made good power. (Well at least I thought so). But the manifold was poorly fitted together. The plenum took up a lot of space and the fuel filter was dangling on a single bolt that was dangling on a thin aluminium sheet, which was hanging off the brake master cylinder. I felt sad for it.

Also the top of the filter was hitting the intake charge aluminium pipe and slowly making a dent. I got worried and moved the filter myself to the top of the manifold. Still on a single bolt. But at least it was not hitting anywhere.
Honda City Redux: Bittersweet experience with Bangalore tuners-fuel-pump.jpg


Since there was no space for the idle control valve, it was moved from the throttle body and the throttle body was blanked out with a plate where the idle valve used to be attached. I removed the throttle body from the plenum and to my surprise a piece of aluminium shim fell off.

I later found out that this piece was holding the bolt to the plenum since the soft aluminium plenum threads were damaged. Thee was shreaking noise when i fitted the throttle body back to the plenum.



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I took a picture of it and towed the car to his place. He removed the plenum, push fitted a metal threaded cylinder into the bored out thread of the plenum and car was fine.
He improved the earlier intake filter piping but while cramping in the filter, filter got kinked a bit. Not huge, but still filter took the hit. I canít remove the filter for cleaning without a struggle.

During plenum work he called out the ported head(SAG) as a joke and said it wouldnít be having any performance improvement whatsoever. I did not see it myself. But he strongly advised to change it. But I didnít take a decision due to the different doubts on his workmanship.

Sometime in between I installed Mintex pads on his recommendation. Pads were superb. But during installation the caliper pins were found to be worn out. The gap was filled with aluminium shims. Slowly I started feeling brakes were wearing out and not feeling the stopping power. Carís power more than compensated for the stuck caliber pins and I kept driving without noticing any sluggishness. I have found out now that this has eaten up the rotors. Still the pads are good considering the grinding it has taken. Btw there is a huge size difference between stock Nissins and Mintex pads. Although i think Mintex is superior friction compound the size didn't make up for the increase in bite. I have now upgraded to stock Brembo discs on stock mintex pads. I should tell that Brembo dealer is Goa is an awesome guy to deal with.

Honda City Redux: Bittersweet experience with Bangalore tuners-brembo-disc.jpg

I had got an intake plenum manifold in blue colour from RC. But over time I noticed discolouration on a couple of runners. I then noticed that there was a fuel leak. I suspected the injectors. I took them all out and tested them. There was no leak. Further examination revealed that the injector bosses were completely out of shape because of some bad welding and porting work. So the fuel was spraying back out of the gaps though the bosses. This led to slow discolouration of the powder coating. But I was worried about fire safety.
Honda City Redux: Bittersweet experience with Bangalore tuners-plenum1.jpg
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I asked for slient exhaust and RC recommended installing RC muffler. The same thing used on bikes. This thing later on lost it's rivets and started rattling.

This portion is now straight pipe with just remus end can.
I went to race tuner again for an issue with ECU not working properly. The Tuner blamed it on the firing module of the ECU. I took the ECU from the car (Still in his workshop) and went to RDís shop. RD took a couple of days to test it and gave a clean bill of health. Race tuner told me he has Ďmassagedí the car to work but it was still not firing. I found out later (when I removed the old e-manage) that this massage has totally damaged the RPM step screws on the ECU and chewed them up using the wrong screwdrivers.

Honda City Redux: Bittersweet experience with Bangalore tuners-emanage1.jpg

Still could be worse!

The battery was dead. I told him itís a relatively new Amaron and canít die. He insisted that the battery was a problem. I took it to a battery shop. They tested it for one day and gave a clean chit to the battery. They told me they couldnít send it to Amaron since there was no battery defect. Meanwhile since I suspected electrical leakage somewhere, I bought an eBay home battery charger. In this run about, I went to RDís shop (advantage having his shop very close to where I live) and received the ECU back. Race tuner was present there (he got a surprise when he saw me there). I immediately told both of them test it in front of race tuner and me that it works. RD connected it to a Baleno and it worked again. Race tuner went silent. RD was right. He knows best about his ECU. I also took the ECU with me. These two guys are co-researchers in many things and the meeting between 3 of us was very silent. I decided to get another ECU and sell the RD601 based on clean bill of health given by RD Karthik himself. Again RD901 was in my mind. But I was ready to decide only after thorough research.

Meanwhile I found my car abandoned in the race tunerís place under a tree collecting dust and tree sap. I felt sad. He couldnít move it since it was not starting and moving and he didnít take the trouble to move it to a better place. I hired a tow truck, took my charged battery and ECU and went to the workshop. Meanwhile I called race tuner many times. Never answered the call or messaged or did anything. Anyway, I connected the battery and car started. I took a picture of my last visit to race tuner (just the tow car) and drove my car out. I asked the tow truck to follow me just in case it fails again. RD had agreed to check the wiring in his shop if I can get car to his place. I drove to his place, paid the tow truck driver a little less than actually agreed since he didnít actually tow me.

RD and his wiring technician checked the wiring for problems. Found out the MAP sensor extension wire was mismatched to the harness. The extension was necessary due to the big plenum and MAP sensor moved far away from stock location. Corrected the wiring and drove back. Car will start again on RD ECU any time.


The tree sap was found to be very stubborn and was not getting removed with a shampoo wash. Then I polished. Still nothing. Then I wet sanded with 2000 grit Indasa sand paper. I took the chance to eliminate orange peel and make the paint smooth. The paint came back to itís original gloss. Two days later I found pitting caused by the tree sap reappearing after sanding. Sanded it again. The pitting reappeared. I gave up hope and planned to repaint when I got time later.

I was searching for another fellow who can do things properly once and for all. Slowly started chatting with third and last tuner (in my books). We planned to meet and we spent a few hours talking and discussing. He advised me to change the ECU, overhaul the engine (mentioning all the things that could have gone wrong in this time), Change the clutch and correct the ghetto wiring. He suggested changing the "race" manifold to the stock one. I had to take a call on that because both of us had not seen it.

Anyway, I had decided to change the manifold. He told me he will source some of the parts. I agreed on a OBD1 Honda ECU running Neptune, stock clutch with some modifications, OBD 1 idle valve, a stock non VTEC head and stock manifold to be sourced by him. I suggested to keep current 3 wire IACV to be wired to 2 wire system of the P28. But Joe insisted on getting 2 wire IACV and i thank him for that. He promptly messaged me whenever he located the parts. Paid the money as and when the parts arrived and took the parts with me. I collected other smaller items directly. I was mostly concerned about the wiring since all the time I had ghetto wiring. Good wiring is quite crucial for the ECU to function properly. I was ready to import wiring harness or buy from a Honda dealer. But he insisted on repairing it to my satisfaction.
P28 ready to be wired to stock harness. I guess this job is a lot of money if i buy conversion harness and adds to more wiring issues. Venkat's wizadry with wires made sure every wire is properly harnessed to right pin out.
Honda City Redux: Bittersweet experience with Bangalore tuners-p28-ecucoll.jpg
Honda City Redux: Bittersweet experience with Bangalore tuners-p28-ecu.jpg
Vs old twist and tape. Notice the braided wire running parallel to USB cable. This is for connecting to Demon bluetooth module or tunerview RD-1. Neptune will connect only to either one of these at a time.
Honda City Redux: Bittersweet experience with Bangalore tuners-twist-tape.jpg
I even ordered a box of heat shrink tubes for wiring and gave it to him. After I bought it, he told he is already using heat shrinking tubes for all the wirings. I was surprised. He and his partner opened a new shop quite far away from the City (Blackworks in Nagarbhavi). Due to them slowly setting up the workshop, asked me to wait till I get a slot. They had couple of cars on which they were already working. Meanwhile I gave the car to Honda A.S.S to replace a few parts. They took some time to source the parts. Meanwhile car was left in their yard and I was called one morning since the car did not start. I went and tried my best to start the car up. The battery went dead. Same story from the race tuner was repeating here. I was sure it was the battery. I asked them to push the car to the lift and start changing steering, suspension and other parts while I find a solution. I asked them not to touch some switches and buttons and they did the exact opposite. So much for Hondaís A.S.S. Car was with them for 3 weeks. Astonishingly they had stock of every singe part in Noida and got them shipped. I got a bill of 44k and took delivery of the car. I noticed missing boot cardboard and carpet, broken wiper blade and broken left tail light. I lodged a complaint. In this fiasco the service advisor (Mr Sumesh) who was taking care of the car, went on sick leave. I met him last when my car had starting issues. I had a suspicion that no one was taking care since it was modified and I had put a list of items to be replaced. And I was right. I met another advisor and Did some 'knowledge transfer'. Parts were promptly replaced, car got some dings and scratches on the doors. I couldnít do much since one SA was blaming the now erstwhile SA. Nothing was done to replace damaged parts.
Honda City Redux: Bittersweet experience with Bangalore tuners-dakshi-honda-email.jpg

Meanwhile at the new tunerís facility, as soon as first car got over (Civic Turbo), I got a slot. Meantime Joe suggested to get the car repaired by someone if i didn't want to wait or still didn't get car to be done by him. Even at this time didn't know the existence of mr Venkat. By the time I had imported a lot of parts.
Honda City Redux: Bittersweet experience with Bangalore tuners-breather-filter-switch-plugs-wrap.jpeg
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Due to head bolts being used so many times, I initially insisted on ARP head studs. But joe did not suggest that initially. Later when he disassembled the engine, he saw signs of head lift and a blown gasket. And asked me to purchase the ARPs on Venkat's insitance. I Bought ARPs, D16y8 distributor, wiring insulation tapes, silicone self fusing tapes, wideband sensors and miscellaneous stuff.

ARP kit comes with ARP lube which should be used to torque the head down. I also bought a turbo rebuild kit and rebuilt the turbo at home. Turbo chewed up compressor side oring and replaced with new oring. this is not the ring doing business at the shaft. that's metal ring called piston rings. Those were also worn out. The journal bearings themselves were in excellent condition and reused the same. Many parts are not replaced with the ones that came in the Kit. I have kept them as backup should i need them.

Honda City Redux: Bittersweet experience with Bangalore tuners-d6y8-dizzy.jpg
Honda City Redux: Bittersweet experience with Bangalore tuners-arp-head-studs.jpg
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This gave a good chance to clean the dirt and dust off the turbine blades and the intake housing from years of junk especially the first tuning episode.
The problem was with intake pipe fitted to inlet of the turbo at an angle. This lead to air bleed without filtering leading to wear on leading edge of compressor blades.


Most of the work was done as scheduled other than waiting for Dizzy and a few other parts. The old head was removed. As RC pointed out, porting was not good. I am not too scientific on what's the issue. But i saw ports were not evenly done and variations in size and shape.
Honda City Redux: Bittersweet experience with Bangalore tuners-head-porting1.jpg
Honda City Redux: Bittersweet experience with Bangalore tuners-head-porting2.jpg
Honda City Redux: Bittersweet experience with Bangalore tuners-head-porting3.jpg
One thing I would appreciate with Blackworks is communication on whatís happening with the build. I was always kept posted on whatís happening. When I call I get an answer. This has never happened with any other shop. Last time I called the Race tuner was to tell him that I am towing my car away and I am responsible for the towing. Never got an answer. No answer, no message, no nothing. All work is completed. There were couple of niggles identified in first test drive. Engine overheated. Venkat replaced the radiator and raidaor cap. Issue resolved. Luckily neptune is tunes to limp mode based on ECT. A loose bolt was found on the front engine mount. Venkat sourced OE bolt which has typical key which locks into frame and does not rattle out itself. All the bolts on the oil sump were replaced to studs. Replaced oil drain to magnetic. Normal oil switched to Motul full syth. There were some rattles which no one was able to identify. With some patient observation, i was able to isolate and eliminate them. There is huge buzzing sound post 100kmph. There needs to be some vibration isolation to be done in engine bay.
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Old 10th January 2017, 12:23   #2
GTO
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Default Re: Honda City Redux: Bittersweet experience with Bangalore tuners

Thanks for sharing your experience, Kutlee!

These tuners give themselves a bad name. Their 'jugaad' workstyle runs in the workshop, but never on the road. Don't these fools understand that it's just bad business?

For me, factory horses are factory horses. Reliability & peace-of-the-mind mean the world to me. Good thing is, there are so many fast + stock cars out there, whatever your budget - from the Polo GTs to the Abarth Punto and S-Cross 1.6 to Octavia 1.8 TSI. Instead of taking a 7 lakh car to these lousy shops, spending another 3 - 4 lakhs and ending up with an unreliable piece of junk, I'd rather buy a factory car for the same money (new or used). When it comes to my own car, I'll place my trust on 1,000 qualified engineers working in an organised setup, thank you. Not to mention, the hackjob of these tuners will never match an Abarth Punto (as an example) in long-term performance, handling, steering feel or braking.

At the most, I'll consider the after-market for remaps & bolt-on parts (bought from reputed international brands). But never am I going for a serious modification in India. Burnt my fingers with a lousy petrol engine swap in my Jeep in 2006. This lack of quality is the primary reason that I never turbo'ed my Civic, despite wanting one real bad.

How much did the entire exercise cost you? Of course, that's not counting the waste of time, waste of effort and waste of emotions.

Quote:
Read some famous stories about his "concepts".
Just to ensure everyone is on the same page, this is Race Concepts. Here's another nightmare of a thread - link (Bad experience turboing my Baleno at Race Concepts, Bangalore). I'm sure he has good builds too, but if consistency is lacking & such shoddy work makes it to the road, that's just awful.

Quote:
Sometime in between I put a recommendation on team bhp for this race tuner as a good tuning shop. However, while I was writing on TBHP, I had some apprehensions.
In light of recent developments, I have moved that thread out of the Team-BHP Directory, and into the regular modifications section. Don't want any more car owners ending up with heartache.

This current thread has also been added to the homepage.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kutlee View Post
Cerametallic clutch (due to size not matching). Never returned.

- Warlbro fuel pump. It was not a critical requirement. I bought it for just a fancy. It was also never seen again.

- RC injectors were swapped for other ‘higher’ injectors and stock injectors were returned.I should have stuck to my RC injectors.
- Hawks HPS brakes pads were also never to be found due to fitment issue.

Last edited by GTO : 10th January 2017 at 12:31.
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Old 10th January 2017, 13:21   #3
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Default Re: Honda City Redux: Bittersweet experience with Bangalore tuners

I had plans to turbo charge my new Baleno. I had contacted Race Concepts and they said it's doable. I was quoted around 3.5 Lakhs and 45 days for the build. After reading Zahin's and your thread, I am definitely not going to give my car to someone to experiment. I have been to different tuners to remap my cars. What I could say is getting reliable stuff is very difficult. Most of them use trial and error methods and just experiment on customer cars.

End of the day, The Manufacturer is the real tuner!!
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Old 10th January 2017, 13:47   #4
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Default Re: Honda City Redux: Bittersweet experience with Bangalore tuners

Thanks for sharing your experience, however I don't understand one thing, when you were unhappy with both the tuners, why did you keep going back to them and wasting your money and time?
If you are so knowledgeable that you can repair the turbo at home, then there was no reason to tolerate such shabby work.
In modification business it is very important to find a tuner who understands you and you are comfortable to work with. In addition gives you a reliable, good performing car and takes ownership of the job done.
I hope your thread ends on a good note with car working fine and you smiling. Good Luck mate.

Last edited by PraNeel : 10th January 2017 at 13:50.
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Old 10th January 2017, 14:14   #5
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Default Re: Honda City Redux: Bittersweet experience with Bangalore tuners

Need a lot of time to prove things (Einstein took a lot of time to prove relativity lol). Lets take factory horses. Yes. they are reliable (exceptions - horror stories of Octavia etc etc). Factory horses are expensive because of expensive R&D. Also major part of the cost goes to the process that they painstakingly setup. Process is expensive!

What tuning shops try to achieve is provide value add in terms of freeing up horses. Factory could have done themselves. But doing so would add more process than in terms of cost added via the extra parts. So do the tunings shops have process? most of them don't have. Doing so would move them close to factory and remove cost advange vs factory horses.

Do tuning shops make things viable and reliable. I think yes. Depends on what they can move it base on the revenue generated. Consider Bisimoto. Famous for his setups and he has cam offerings for Honda engines. But if you review cams, they are found to have some flaws in the cams and leads to cracks etc. So no body can make better than Honda. End of story? I guess no. There are takers for everything. But since this is mostly hero based industry without any escalation matrix possible for the customers, customers are lost may a time. So these can't be process proof.

But market maturity can lead to best possible solution for the customer. But given the scenario of scattered demand, ignorance etc, i guess it would take a very long time. There isn't enough forces in the market to make corrections to the system. I have got fantastic response from following sites/resources.

www.hrtuning.com for anything related to neptune. Even if question is already answered i will get answer for sure.

Amazon.com - for their unmatched customer service.

ebay.com - absolute array of parts.

honda-tech.com - anything from crx to nsx. anything from swaps to restorations. I have never found a question that is already not discussed over there.

http://honda-tech.com/forums/classif...-induction-39/ -for parts. (beware of scammers). But most are good to deal with. I get photo of package before being dispatched.

Last edited by GTO : 11th January 2017 at 10:44. Reason: Adding paragraph spacing for better readability
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Old 10th January 2017, 15:07   #6
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Default Re: Honda City Redux: Bittersweet experience with Bangalore tuners

Cost of parts-
Greddy Kit - 1000$.
Walbro - 60$.
Hawks HPS - 100$
---------------------------------------
Fitting and tuning SAG - 45000 inr (No EMI)
Head porting - 12000.
---------------------------------------
RD601 (used)- 14k (dont remember exactly)
Remus (used)- 12k
---------------------------------------
Rd601 tuning - 3500
Intake plenum - 20000 (EMI)
Mintex pads - 9500
Intake Pipe - don't remember.
battery relocation - 2000
Suspension lowering - 500
------------------------------------------
BW
I better attach excel sheet.
Overall it came to 105000 . (EMI)
Parts
ECU, clutch, IACV, - about 75000
D15 non vtec head(used) - 9000
Parts bought separately.
KYB Excel G shocks - 13500
Bearings, bushes, hoses - 10000
D16 Dizzy - 60$
ARP - 100$
other misc parts might be 200-300$.
Innovate LC1 wideband - 200$approx
Gorilla lug nuts - 80$(approx)
turbo rebuild kit - 50$
---------------------------------------
Honda ass - 44467
---------------------------------------
Full paintjob (now about 3 years old) - 100000 including SS exhaust, replacement of windshield, glasses, grill modification overhaul etc. (EMI)
---------------------------------------
Current upgrades-
Toyota sportiva alloys(used) - 17k
Tyres (used) - 12k

Last edited by kutlee : 10th January 2017 at 15:22.
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Old 10th January 2017, 16:49   #7
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Default Re: Honda City Redux: Bittersweet experience with Bangalore tuners

Its horrible what you have gone through from top tuners in the city. I hope you are having a peaceful drive after all the drama. I have heard a lot about THE RACE TUNER, I deeply observed at your RC intake manifold and was looking at plenum and runners, I wonder how was plenum volume calculated and also length and diameter of intake runners.

Since these numbers really contribute on overall performance of engine, I also read about fuel leak which is surprising when any INTAKE MANIFOLD is designed by a RACE ENGINEER they make sure design is robust and working at its best, we hardly come across design failures when designed by real engineers.

I have heard and met a lot of tuners who call them self real engineers (race engineers) who talk a lot about technology, cars, racing, engine builds, tuning and what not.

Most of THE SO called TUNERS are building cars after reading a lot on google replicating international builds and claiming it as their own innovation which is not reality.

Real build comes robust when your basics are strong and when you work with dedication irrespective whether its your personal build or customer build.

These tuner stories are not new to any generation, I only wish people think twice before they drop their cars with some tuners whom they are not aware and read on such forums.

Last edited by Aditya : 11th January 2017 at 07:54. Reason: Language, paragraph spacing
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Old 10th January 2017, 17:00   #8
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Default Re: Honda City Redux: Bittersweet experience with Bangalore tuners

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Originally Posted by kutlee View Post
Cost of parts......
Hi Kutlee if I add all the items mentioned by you it is almost 5.5 lacs.
Do you think this moolah gave you the experience / power / performance you wanted?

I must appreciate your passion though!! Take a bow!
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Old 10th January 2017, 18:03   #9
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Default Re: Honda City Redux: Bittersweet experience with Bangalore tuners

I mentally view a few threads on Team BHP as "sanity check threads":
  • Every time I get seduced by a Skoda on the road and feel tempted to pick up one, I go read a thread about Skoda service to kill any such notions.
  • Every time before I head out on a highway trip, I spend some time browsing through the 'Accidents in Pics' thread - that ensures I drive fast but carefully the next day, and with no temptation to race anyone or to lose my temper.
  • When I had my Getz, I was tempted (and often egged on by a friend) to have it modified for performance in various ways. While I didn't succumb to that temptation, this thread will nevertheless make it onto my list of "sanity check threads".

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Originally Posted by GTO View Post
For me, factory horses are factory horses.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr.Naren View Post
End of the day, The Manufacturer is the real tuner!!
+1 to this - I might have technical knowledge and interest, but to me my car is an appliance that needs to work, not a place to tinker and learn. Maybe if I have the parking available to get a project car, I might do so in the future, but until then I prefer manufacturer's reliability.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kutlee View Post
Lets take factory horses. Yes. they are reliable (exceptions - horror stories of Octavia etc etc). Factory horses are expensive because of expensive R&D. Also major part of the cost goes to the process that they painstakingly setup. Process is expensive! What tuning shops try to achieve is provide value add in terms of freeing up horses.
Very nice viewpoint

Last edited by arunphilip : 10th January 2017 at 18:16.
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Old 10th January 2017, 18:25   #10
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Default Re: Honda City Redux: Bittersweet experience with Bangalore tuners

Honda City is small sedan which is convenient in the city and good for occasional highway trips. And turbo gives enough kick to have some fun. I wanted turbo Honda. I don't drive a lot. Hope my wife doesn't see the total amount which she had been asking me for a very long time. I didn't add them any time to avoid shock. Now its done lol!!
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Old 10th January 2017, 20:06   #11
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Default Re: Honda City Redux: Bittersweet experience with Bangalore tuners

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Originally Posted by kutlee View Post
Honda City is small sedan which is convenient in the city and good for occasional highway trips. And turbo gives enough kick to have some fun. I wanted turbo Honda. I don't drive a lot. Hope my wife doesn't see the total amount which she had been asking me for a very long time. I didn't add them any time to avoid shock. Now its done lol!!
in your defence you can discount the painting, tyres and the HASS numbers as regular maintenence that any old car owner has to pay anyway
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Old 10th January 2017, 20:55   #12
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Default Re: Honda City Redux: Bittersweet experience with Bangalore tuners

I learnt the lesson hard way not tuning a car though and I am happy that the saga ended tuning a bike. Money spent on performance mods is as simple as playing gamble. Either you hit a jackpot or empty your pocket and bank balance.

I still wonder how the tuner’s car runs well and not the customer cars? The tuner’s car is talk of the town, breaks land speed records of its own and still he does a shabby job on customer car is the question.
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Old 11th January 2017, 00:54   #13
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Default Re: Honda City Redux: Bittersweet experience with Bangalore tuners

Thanks for sharing. It utterly saddens me how some guys take peoples' cars, money & time for a ride. I get so annoyed when my almost factory spec 2002 Palio gives trouble (just because of the age) and I have to spend some visits to the A$$. And these are easily fixed too, for a nominal amount.

I can't just think the kind of frustration that you go through. After owning a Swift and tasting it's reliability Vs the Palio's, I have decided that I don't want any extensive mechanical mods, EVER. If at all, I'll hunt for a "used" true performance car, pay a little premium compared to regular variants and enjoy ripping those. Or at the max a re-map should make me smile all the way.

Reading through the posts, there was no need to hide the tuner's name. You should definitely call out who does a good job and louder when someone doesn't! It's after all your money. If they are incapable of doing a job, they should not commit in the first place.

Quote:
Originally Posted by arunphilip View Post
...Every time I get seduced by a Skoda on the road and feel tempted to pick up one, I go read a thread about Skoda service to kill any such notions...
Oh, trust me on this! The Skoda is an enthusiast's wet dream, but thanks, I read enough sh*t about them to keep myself sane!

Last edited by swiftnfurious : 11th January 2017 at 00:58.
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Old 11th January 2017, 10:36   #14
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Default Re: Honda City Redux: Bittersweet experience with Bangalore tuners

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Originally Posted by kutlee View Post
I have a 2002 Honda City which I bought and turbocharged in 2006.
So this was a 2006 issue? The whole ordeal you went through was around 10 years ago? I'm just asking because everyone's going ape about RC in this thread and other one as well. Just trying to piece together in what era this happened. I haven't come across any bad builds recently. This coming from the people I do drag events with. 4 turbocharged customer cars, all of them doing 250+ whp. All of them daily their cars as well and none of them have had major issues.

Anyway, sad to read about another car enthusiast undergoing problems with their build. Hope your car is back on road more reliable than ever
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Old 11th January 2017, 10:51   #15
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Default Re: Honda City Redux: Bittersweet experience with Bangalore tuners

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I haven't come across any bad builds recently. This coming from the people I do drag events with. 4 turbocharged customer cars, all of them doing 250+ whp. All of them daily their cars as well and none of them have had major issues.
Good to hear that. Is it because Race Concepts have improved the quality of their builds now? Were they using sub standard parts before as mentioned on this thread and the other thread?
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