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Old 8th July 2010, 14:06   #1
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Default My experience of buying a PSI (Petes) Power Box directly from the UK!

Hi,
This is Selva from Bangalore. I own a Ford Fiesta for the last three and half years.

MODS: Please move this thread to the right forum, if this doesn’t fit in here.


This thought crossed my mind few times earlier, but never more than a thought. On my drive from Bangalore to Kanyakumari on Good Friday morning, this thought became an urge.

How can those little vehicles half the price of my car keep me handful to keep up with them on the highway? Is my Fiesta having its midlife crisis, after 60K on odo?

I thought so and the solution I thought was Turbo Diesel Tuning.

Dreaming about the tuning box, I came back from my trip. Next day I called up Hot Tracks to enquire about the Pete’s tuning box.

Me: Sorry, how much did you say? Forty three and half thousand rupees for the Fiesta tuning box?

HT: …

Me: OK, thanks, sure, I’ll call you before bringing the vehicle.

HT: …

Me: Yes, I understand, I will give a call and confirm the availability before coming.
The dream is sealed in an airtight container and kept at the far corner in the attic. Firstly I can’t afford that price; secondly it doesn’t make any sense to invest such huge amount on a three and half year old car.

Lazy Friday afternoons are meant to keep the Google servers and the office internet gateways busy. Google showed up some interesting options for 1.4TDCi tuning. But the question of reliability and service support puts all those search results in the trash can.

A dream cannot die so easily.

Hey, I read the tuning boxes sold in India are made by PSI Technologies. If so, wouldn’t PSI ship it to India? Looks like PSI is in the pursuit of world record for longest-duration-taken-to-construct a website. No luck there.

It is a custom of any IT professional to Google more to get more information. Speaking of customs, how much do I need to pay as customs duty for import of auto parts? Someone in the office told it is about 100% and I need to go to the customs office to clear the parcel. Either one is reason enough to drop that idea. I had two.

Weekend I Google’d for CRPPSA70. That is the technical model reference number for the PSI Power Box. Voila, Proppa is selling the tuning box for 375GBP. Reliability could not be a concern with this as the same gadgetry is sold with warranty in India.

I mailed my friend Karthi in UK to check about the power box availability in Proppa and feasibility of taking it to India with him. Proppa had ready stock and promised that the product will be shipped within 5 working days. Karthi had his friend traveling to India in two weeks time and that friend said okay to carry that ‘small parcel’ for me till Chennai. Everything seems falling in place, including the lowest forex rate for GBP. 375GBP is Rs.25500. The difference amount made the bet look like a calculated risk.

The order was placed on 19th April and Proppa promptly emailed the receipt and confirmed that they would send out the FedEx tracking number as soon as the product is shipped.

It is already 26th and no signs of tracking number. I had Karthi call up Proppa and got the news that they are waiting for the product from PSI, as Fiesta tuning boxes are not moving off the shelves and they do not stock it ordinarily. Bummer!

The box is expected to reach them next day and it would be delivered to Karthi on 28th or 29th latest. It shouldn’t be a problem, as the friend is leaving only on Saturday and we received a positive reply from Proppa.

Go to Chennai on Sunday, collect the box and fix it in Chennai itself. I can’t wait to see my dream coming true. The return journey should have been the subject matter of this thread. There was something else in store and I ended up writing the story of buying experience than the driving experience.

Did my ‘calculated risk’ strategy worked?
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Old 8th July 2010, 17:49   #2
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Cool; thats a great price and I think the extra we pay here is for duty and commission

Do keep us posted.
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Old 9th July 2010, 13:16   #3
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Despite the persistent follow-up calls and emails to Proppa, the product was never delivered within the promised 5 days.

T+2 weeks, we received the following email from Buyer@Proppa:

Hi Karthikeyan


I am very sorry for the complete lack of communication from me regarding your order.


I have eventually had a reply form the manufactures today reference my missing back orders that should have been with me over a week ago.
Unfortunately my oder was miss placed and has not been dispatched as of yet, they have promised to ship everything on Monday.


As soon as your power box arrives with me I will call you with a delivery date (hopefully by Wednesday of next week)


Thank you for your patience and understanding in this matter


T + 4 weeks, Karthi confirmed that he received the box.

I have already checked the product, before accepting from courier guy.
There is no damage or anything. CRPPSA70 - PSI power box.
It is like a small tube with 4 set of plugs to fit in ur engine, 1 big plug and 2 wires to fix with ur engine. 200 - 300 gms in weight.


Saravanan is starting to Coimbatore by end of this month...another 2 weeks.

This time we chose Coimbatore, as it is much closer to my native. Also couple other friends are from Coimbatore and any of us can pick it up when we go there.

None of us could travel to Coimbatore in June and finally I met Saravanan’s parents on first week of July and collected that precious birthday gift of mine. They served us (me, wife and my mom) hot Cashew Halwa, savories and tea. I opened up the box and was excited to see the tuning kit.



My experience of buying a PSI (Petes) Power Box directly from the UK!-box-large.jpg


My experience of buying a PSI (Petes) Power Box directly from the UK!-warranty_sticker-large.jpg

Wait, did I say excited? See that box again. I am for a rude shock. I didn’t show my shock and neither inquired about any missing part in that. I know for sure, it was not missed in the transit. Read that last line again in Karthi’s email.

My experience of buying a PSI (Petes) Power Box directly from the UK!-connector_in_box-large.jpg



Proppa send me only the connector for 375GBP. Where is the chip set box?

In the car, I told my wife and mom that all I received is the connector and not the chip set box. My wife suggested to double check, by showing that box’s contents to the Coimbatore dealer for Pete’s. I called up the dealer, who replied that he only fixes the kit bought from him, not from outside. Frantic searches in Google confirmed that chip set box is missing in my package.
Me: [mumbling] Shucks! We paid 375 GBP, pestered Karthi, troubled Saravanan, even his parents… all to get this useless connectors… what a day…
Wife: Saravanan veetula halwa kuduthappavey nenaichen, indha tuning box unaku halwa kudukumnu
[I knew this tuning box thing would give you Halwa, when they served Halwa in the morning.
Non-Tamils, please ask your Tamil friends about ‘giving-halwa’ thing]
Mom: Arul padathila Vadivelu velli katti vangina comedy than gyabagam varudhu…
[In a Tamil movie, Arul, comedian Vadivelu buys a really big silver bar for 5000Rs. Once the seller leaves Vadivelu’s shop, he opens the packet. The silver bar flips out of this hand falls on the ground. It breaks open – a brick wrapped in silver foil.]
Me: [Loudly] I think we lost our 26k and you are making joke of it.
Silence fell upon us and we drove home. While I was driving, wife searched for ‘Review on Proppa’ and got the results. Two of the three reviews were added after I placed my order with Proppa.

I called Karthi as soon as I reached home and explained him what had happened. In next 10 minutes, Karthi called back saying Proppa do not have customer support lines open on weekends.

I have to wait till Monday morning to check the luck of that 26k. Stress full.

Last edited by GTO : 9th July 2010 at 14:05.
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Old 12th July 2010, 09:56   #4
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I have a feeling this story ended well (i.e. Proppa did eventually send you a new box). Either that, or I sure as hell hope you disputed the credit card charge!!

Awaiting updates, PearlYamaha. You got some great story telling skills
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Old 12th July 2010, 13:58   #5
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Good luck prevailed on last week Monday. Proppa confirmed they had shipped only one box of the pair. All the thoughts about bad reviews about Proppa were put to rest. Proppa emailed the fitting instructions too.

This is what PSI Tech had to say about the missing chip set:

"What might have happened is the following: Because the chipset of the CR PIEZO kits is much bigger than the standard blue housing, we have pack the unit in two separate PSI boxes – one with the box and one with the connectors. Maybe you only forwarded the one including the wiring to your customer."

Karthi confirmed the receipt with a photograph this time.

The box is couriered to me by Karthi today. I should receive it by tomorrow. I’ll update the installation and ownership experience soon.
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My experience of buying a PSI (Petes) Power Box directly from the UK!-dsc01540-large.jpg  

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Old 13th July 2010, 09:15   #6
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Good for you pearlyamaha. Now we are awaiting the install and review
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Old 13th July 2010, 18:40   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PearlYamaha View Post
Proppa emailed the fitting instructions too.

The box is couriered to me by Karthi today. I should receive it by tomorrow. I’ll update the installation and ownership experience soon.
That's awesome, I knew it ended well

You'll enjoy the additional punch from the powerbox. Do update us with installation pics and a driving review. I appreciate your attention to detail in compiling this thread.
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Old 13th July 2010, 22:50   #8
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Trying to import from the UK. Prices there tend to be far higher that in India. The low price should have warned you. You should have looked at Belgium, that is where the firm is.
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Old 14th July 2010, 13:44   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jkdas View Post
thats a great price and I think the extra we pay here is for duty and commission
Interestingly, at Proppa, all the PSI power boxes are priced 375 GBP. Some models are sold in India at much lesser difference and might even workout to be cheaper when the forex rate is upwards of Rs.75. I reckon the reason lies in the sales numbers of various models, where the distributors will get volume discounts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
You got some great story telling skills
Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
I appreciate your attention to detail in compiling this thread.
Thanks for your comments.
After the MODS have changed the thread title, I could see a jump in the number of views. Thanks again.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sgiitk View Post
Trying to import from the UK. Prices there tend to be far higher that in India. The low price should have warned you. You should have looked at Belgium, that is where the firm is.
I ordered when the forex rates were the lowest for GBP. So that made a huge difference in the price. I had asked my friend to carry it over to India as I was not sure about the customs duty rates and customs clearing process then. I could not find any re-seller in Belgium and was not able to contact the PSI directly, as their website only has B2B login and nothing for retail customers.

Now I learnt that the customs rate for Automobile spare parts is only 10% and not 100%. Refer the tariff item 8708 in Central Board of Excise and Customs website.

In Bangalore, one can visit the Customs office in the Museum road, above the Post Office to clear the customs for postal parcels. You need to produce the invoice / receipt for the payment made.

I think, if not for the huge difference in price (18K), I would have bought it from Petes as;
1. I had to wait for almost three months to get the complete kit
2. There is no after sales support or service

Nonetheless, this whole process was a good learning for me personally and I enjoy it.
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Old 14th July 2010, 16:17   #10
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Just yesterday I ordered my third tuning box from outside India for my Q7 4.2 TDI. For the first two that I ordered from chipexpress.com the difference was about 10K compared to Petes. For the third one (this time from racechip.de) the difference would surely be more than 20K if ever Petes offered a tuning box for 4.2 TDI.

After getting my first chip from Petes I've always ordered online. So far the experience has been timely, smooth and without any hassle. You get the delivery either by Royal Mail (UK) or UPS. Posted this in case it helps anyone to get confidence from ordering online from these two sites.
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Old 17th July 2010, 09:31   #11
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Yesterday I got the box installed and before you ask for my experience, let me tell you that I could not run-in the box yet. I am taking the car for 80km drive today and will post the experience this evening.

The fitment was made at Metro Ford, St. Marks road, Bangalore. Yes, I took the car to the Ford dealership and after indemnifying Metro Ford by a letter, they agreed to install the box. The Ford extended warranty is expiring next month and I did my servicing just two weeks ago. So, there is nothing to lose in terms of warranty coverage as such. Touch wood. The installation was done well within an hour but I had to wait for 2 hours, as there was lot of pre-booked appointments before they can attend to my walk-in request.

Note: I am a newbie to this whole process; especially my technical vocabulary is very limited. Hence please bear with my use of terminology in the explanations given for the photographs.

PSI Manual: Dismount the air filter box in order to have access to the injectors

Remove the two highlighted screws. The air filter housing is clamped at the back; there are no screws at the back side.

My experience of buying a PSI (Petes) Power Box directly from the UK!-1-airfilterbox-large.jpg



Remove the intake hose by unscrewing the two screws at the clamp. Remove the air filter housing and you can see the four injectors arranged in a line. Remove the hose connection at the back side of the housing.

My experience of buying a PSI (Petes) Power Box directly from the UK!-2-intakeremoved-large.jpg


My experience of buying a PSI (Petes) Power Box directly from the UK!-3-injectorconnectors-large.jpg



A close-up look at an injector, before disconnecting the wiring.

My experience of buying a PSI (Petes) Power Box directly from the UK!-4-connectors-large.jpg

PSI Manual: Dismount all the connectors from the injectors. The injector from the first cylinder is placed on the left side.

The original connection is removed.

My experience of buying a PSI (Petes) Power Box directly from the UK!-5-connectorsremoved-large.jpg

PSI Manual: Second step is to place all the connectors from the PSI-wiring loom between the injectors and the wiring-loom from the car. Begin to place the end of the wiring (this means not the end where the box is connected, but the other side) on the left side on injector 1 when you are placed in front of the engine.

PSI Manual: You have to put every time the male connector from the PSI loom on the cars female connector who’s placed before on the injector. You have to push the connectors very strong together to lock the clip. The female connector from the PSI loom is every time fitted on the Injector.

My experience of buying a PSI (Petes) Power Box directly from the UK!-6-rerouted-large.jpg
My experience of buying a PSI (Petes) Power Box directly from the UK!-7-newrouting-large.jpg



PSI Manual: Follow up all connections from the left side to the right side until all connections are done.

My experience of buying a PSI (Petes) Power Box directly from the UK!-8-all4connectors-large.jpg



PSI Manual: Connect then the black wire to the ground of the car or to the minus from the battery. At last you have to connect the red wire to the plus from the battery.
My experience of buying a PSI (Petes) Power Box directly from the UK!-9-tobattery-large.jpg
PSI Manual: Place the unit on a secure place where is not too much heat and on a dry place on the engine compartment.
My experience of buying a PSI (Petes) Power Box directly from the UK!-10-boxconnected-large.jpg
PSI Manual: The short black wire is to cut out the box when it is fitted to the ground via a switch. First, remove the air filter box.
The black ground wire is not connected and left as it is.
My experience of buying a PSI (Petes) Power Box directly from the UK!-11-boxsecured-large.jpg
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Old 17th July 2010, 10:20   #12
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congrats on your PSI box. Enjoyed your style of narrative.
And great illustrated install steps - helps DIY attempts by others!
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Old 17th July 2010, 14:11   #13
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Looking forward to your first peted drive. Can this box be fitted on the figo 1.4, presuming they share the same engine?
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Old 18th July 2010, 14:09   #14
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PearlYamaha : Since your report will now include driving impressions, I've moved your thread to the Modifications section.

Quote:
The fitment was made at Metro Ford, St. Marks road, Bangalore. Yes, I took the car to the Ford dealership and after indemnifying Metro Ford by a letter, they agreed to install the box.
Good move! I'm quite amused by the fact that they made you sign an indemnity, but its well understandable.
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Old 19th July 2010, 17:55   #15
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Sorry for not updating over the weekend. Here comes my first review about the driving experience post the power box installation.

Passing Speeds

First, I will give the good news. Great improvement in the passing speed is the most enjoyable aspect after the install. The in-gear acceleration had become much better and over taking is effortless. Now I do not have to plan my over taking, need not down shift; simply press the pedal to the metal in any gear and the car zooms forward.

This is in stark contrast to what I need to do earlier, especially with full load of passengers and the a.c. on. Earlier, with the a.c. on and with two or three occupants, I had noticed that there is always a dead-spot on the acceleration curve. After every gear shift, press the pedal, wait till the tacho reaches 2000 mark and then the car pulls the way you want it to. Most importantly, during that waiting period, there is a fair chance that the other guy will always move faster than I and I will again end up behind him. Now that dead spot is gone, the car pulls clean and neat from the very moment your right foot depresses. Now, overtaking those irritating road hogs always brings a grin on my face; no longer a frustrating mundane routine on my office commute.

Rev Happy

I know I risk sounding like a moron – a Rev happy diesel engine. What I am meaning here is not Redline happy, but a diesel engine that is happy to rev if needed and pushed. The car earlier to the power box installation just did not have enough punch to get up and go, when commanded. Now it has tons of it. Idling to 4000 rpm comes in no time; earlier that same task use to take next to eternity.

NVH

There is no apparent change in the NVH levels of my car.

During the last service (65k, 3 weeks ago), I complained about the engine being little noisy at idling and the service advisor told that this is due to the timing belt and needs to be replaced at around 70k. That noise remains the same and at times, I ‘feel’ it had become more pronounced when the engine is cold. The noise subdues with acceleration. The noise levels had not changed much after the install.

There are no changes in the vibration either. The same usual diesel clutter is still there but the vibrations neither intrude the passenger cabin nor gone away.

0-100
I have not timed the 0-100 acceleration. Need to find a good stretch of road and a good timekeeper. I would need some more time.

Brakes
Having the changed the pads and rotor on the last service, I can say that the brakes are good and adequate to stop even those extra horses I now have at my disposal.
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