Intercooler Upgrade Thoughts and Points

For as long as there are turbo cars, there have been intercoolers and the big shiny aluminum intercooler behind the massive hole gape in the bumper tells everyone that your car is turbocharged, so much so that the Turbo Intercooler Sticker found on the 90s Pajero Fieldmaster is still remembered today.

For most of the Diesel engine’s existence, most make do without an Intercooler because it’s not as needed as a gasoline engine with the diesel as it’s not prone to pre combustion when the intake air gets too hot. It also kept the cost down as diesels are mostly relegated to work horse type vehicles like trucks where power isn’t a priority but torque, which the Diesel engine delivers a lot of at.

Diesels in consumer cars really cane to prominence with VW in the 90s as it rolled out the first electronically controlled Diesel engines that can vary injection volume across the rpm range, across a variety of load applied. Diesels engines also by nature get more efficiency than a gasoline engine engines, and with diesels, just throw in more air and fuel and it will make more power. So turbocharging is the next step in adding more air.

The Philippines is rather unique in that our diesel fuel is significantly lower than gasoline, unlike other places like Europe, there diesel and petrol are same price and sometimes a bit more expensive. But the power and increased fuel economy are definitely worth it.

It’s no wonder that half of all vehicle sales nowadays are diesels, dominated by SUVs and pickups, of which Honda is the poor kid left out in the cold.

A full half of Toyota’s lineup is diesel, Isuzu sells nothing but diesels.

And diesels now are making more power than gasoline cars. Gone are the days of the L300 where it is hirap to reach 80kph and is slow as dirt. 140-150kph is easily attainable even by an old 2006 Innova.

Having and ecu control the engine also opens up a world of improvements for tuners like us to extract more power with modules like Unichip or direct Ecu remap/reflash.

Design wise, SUVs have gone from two box designs (90s Patrol anyone?) to sleek space ship like styling of the latest Montero. Design cues have also evolved, from top mount intercooler of the Pajero Fieldmaster, Trooper and 1st Gen Fortuner to the front mount placement in all of of today’s offerings. And why is that?

The answer is two part: cost and design.

Admittedly a vehicle with a hood scoop screams performance, just look at Subaru, the hood scoop and top mount has been a staple since the 90s. And for the Fortuner, the hood scoop easily distinguishes the more expensive 3.0L from the 2.5L

Cost wise, it’s cheaper to make a top mount system that’s a front mount systems. It requires less parts and is faster to assemble. Plus you rarely get issues like testing hoses like on the current Ranger. And it’s another place to put branding on, with words like INTERCOOLED or D4D emblazoned on the plastic.

So why the shift to front mount and is it better if I convert my top mount to a front mount?

One word: efficiency.

A front mount intercooler that is away from engine heat and has a bigger surface area to catch the incoming air will always be better. As the. Same implies, the job of the intercooler is to COOL. We have taken temp measurements before and after if a top mount and with a front mount system. From cold start both show a 20-30 drop across the intercooler core but that drop quickly disappears from the top mount setup. The front mount setup is able to maintain the temp drop for far longer.

Googling will just confuse you more, as the is the perennial top mount vs front mount debate especially in Subaru forums. These are my 2 cents:

1. All arguments you see are for countries with winter, which we do not have and thus not applicable.

2. Subaru world rally team uses front mount. Enough said.

So will changing to a front mount give me more power? Well no, and yes.

No by itself, there is no power or very little power to be had. Intercooler makes are all about temperature and being stuck in traffic, there is no power to be had as both intercooler a will be hot due to lack of air flow.

But once you hit the highway with sufficient air flow , then the one with the front mount will cool the air faster as compared to the top mount.

Also when the vehicle is tuned, a front mount setup will make power due to the capacity to Cool more air brought about by higher boost levels.

But the biggest advantage of a front mount? It looks very nice.

Monumentally Stupid

We all want the best deal our hard earned money can buy, that’s also the beauty of free market enterprise, no one is forcing anyone how to spend your money but at the same time you can’t stop people from having different views than yours and especially when said views are not backed up by facts. Like this dude.

I will break it down the points he said and why it’s downright stupid.

1. Overpricing – He argues that people are selling someone that costs P400 for P2,500, or 6x the purchase price. So EXHORBITANT! They are ripping us off! Well then so are beauty products which easily are 10X of the cost to manufacture, charging cables, restaurant food, DVDs, yes even the pirated ones, which the cost to produce is literally in cents. That’s problem when you are ignorant about what overpricing means. You can only claim overpricing when comparing THE EXACT same product, made in the same factory under the exact same costs. I’ll bet this dude doesn’t know that the iPhone is sold at many different prices around the world, with China being in the lowest and countries like Brazil and Turkey paying double in retail for the exactly the same thing. So is this overpricing? Not even, because of a lot of factors which our idiot poster fails to take into account, like taxes, packaging, shipping etc etc

Let’s not get started on cars, overpriced Ang Lamborghini compared to a Corolla. 12X the price, has 2 less doors, sits only 2 people, NO luggage space, gets really bad mileage, super lowered. Pabagsakin Ang overpriced na kotse!!!!

2. Branding – well, isnt that the second most asked question after the price? Branding is and how we differentiate our products and you the consumer knows which products to get. Something with a brand name will always be more expensive than something without, and it’s cost of packaging is just a small part of it. I’m pretty sure he got his bulbs in a plain envelope. Fact of the matter is, packaging is important and customers want the fancier packaging compared to something without, and it has value. Just take toys for example, the beat up vintage box makes the toy more valuable than own without.

3. It all comes from factory in China – What he doesn’t seem to understands that it’s not just one factory or a handful of factories. There are literally tens of thousands of factories in the China all making LED bulbs, and like anything in the world, there are good factories and factories that churn out the cheapest of the cheap. There is a price range for everything and every budget. And he thinks he got the cheapest of the cheap.

4. Warranty purposes – Accessories suppliers and importers have to put them in nicer packaging and sell to other shops and online and yes they offer WARRANTY, which I’m 10000% sure this guy will not get for the price he paid. That’s extra step of branding and packaging is to make sure that if there is a warranty claim, is to identify that it really came from supplier A and not supplier Z. Let’s see who’s laughing after 3 months when his leds stop working and then he stupidly messages that Lazada seller to claim warranty. Offering warranty has costs and that cost translates to a higher price.

4. Direct from factory – Definitely no. He is so proud that he was able to source his direct from the factory at an incredible deal of P30 a bulb. He is very mistaken if he thinks he bought it from the factory itself. He didn’t. He bought it from a reseller. No factory in China will ever serve an order for only 10pcs assorted bulbs, EVER. China factories deal in large volume and by large I mean hundreds of pieces per kind per order.

And if he thinks he got the best deal out there, he’s also an idiot and mistaken

1 minute of googling found prices even lower than his and I’m positive these sellers aren’t even the factory itself with the small minimum quantity needed to order.

So don’t say shit when you don’t know shit, and J’s Hub is shit.

Tuning times in Davao

I’ll admit I’m an ignorant Manila Centric dude, that thinks Metro Manila is the end all and be all of the Philippine car scene, and other places in the Philippines are small towns with a single main road and sari sari stores by the road side.

We get questions like “Hey can you come to our place to tune?” And my answer will always be “You guys have no Dyno there, so we can’t tune”

So when we learned that Davao has a shop that has a Dyno about a year ago, I thought, well maybe it’s worth the trip to go, as our friends from Speedwerks have already done so.

And we’ve been getting more and more inquiries about Unichip there for the guys with the Vios, Altis, Suzukis and other cars that can’t be reflashed.

What convinced us to go was a customer that has a turbo Suzuki Ertiga that made the trip all the way to Manila to get his car tuned, he was the one that said Davao has a Dyno and we went down to check it out.

That plus the growing interest printer is to schedule our first tuning trip to Davao end of January of 2020 by announcing on our Facebook Page that we will be there for two days to do reflash/remap and Unichip tuning.

Phat Garage is the place where the Dyno is and the place is pretty huge! Easily having twenty cars in various states of being worked on and John, one of the owners is very very knowledgeable and a joy to talk to and swap stories about the local tuning scene.

The Dyno they have is a Dynocom from Texas, and it’s a dual roller/wheel setup, as opposed to a single roller for a Dynojet. This configuration allows for a lower chassis height that allows the Dyno to be mounted above ground. Setup is also faster as there is no “balancing act” with the two roller setup.

Output wise, the numbers are very very similar to what a Dynojet makes and is 10-15hp less than our Dynapack due to the weight and inertia of the wheels. The bigger the wheels in weight and tire diameter, the lower the number of course.

During our 2 day stay we were able to tune 6-7 cars and while tiring, it was very fun and fulfilling and we will definitely be going back for those that missed out the first time!

How such a small part has a big impact on performance for the Toyota Fortuner

“Mahina hatak” “Walang lakas” are two phrases I hear a lot when people come to the shop. I usually separate these in two: the ones that think their car has no power and it’s just in the their heads and the ones that actually have something wrong with the car. The ratio is something like 30/70

Hence this is why we have a Dyno so that we can quantify how much power the car is making. Phrases like “hindi ganun takbo dati” doesn’t help. Obvious we have no before and after comparison so we wouldn’t know. With the Dyno we can see if the car is making the correct power or if the transmission is not transferring the power.

In the case of the Fortuner, a simple filter is often the cause of power loss, this little thing

This the manifold absolute pressure (MAP) sensor filter. And like every filter, this gets clogged with dirt. And when it gets clogged, the pressure that gets read by the MAP sensor gets smaller and smaller. So instead of 12psi, it’s only reading 7 or 8 psi, and thus the Ecu will take this input and output the amount of fuel commensurate to that pressure reading. Higher pressure means more fuel injected and thus more power, low pressure equals less fuel and obviously less power.

And the power loss isn’t drastic like malakas today and mahina tomorrow. It’s very very gradual over the span of months and years. And you won’t notice it in city traffic driving because at these low speeds, the engine isn’t making a lot of boost because the pedal you apply isn’t great also.

The most telling is that when you go on a long trip and you can’t seem to overtake that pesky tricycle in front or can’t climb the steep road even on full throttle.

And annoyingly enough, there will never be a check engine light warning you that something is wrong, because as far as the Ecu is concerned, everything is operating as it should and within parameters, with the sensor function and reading.

We’ve encountered many a Fortuner with this problem with casa maintenance records but no mention of this filter ever being replaced, all with the same complaint on why it has no power.

So this is the first thing we check before we do any tuning whatsoever and the way we do it is pretty low tech, simple take out the filter and blow into it, then we will know if it’s barado or not.

You should also get the original Toyota part and not the fake ones as we have the fake filters crack apart after boost goes through it.

Like this 3.0L Fortuner that made a baseline power of 145whp, not bad but the graph doesn’t look right, it’s too flat. Stock power graph should look like a hill with peak power at 3000-3500rpm. And as we suspected the boost is not correct also and so we replaced the filter and went from 145whp to 160whp without doing no nothing.

No with the boost correct and car making the correct power we now proceed to remap the ECU and the final output is a very impressive 201whp and 470 Nm of torque!

How NOT to modify a Vios

I get screenshots like this every so often from people wanting a second opinion on what to do with their cars, and a lot of these are dumb stupid ideas, like this guy.

Read his “recommendations” and let it sink in, as I explain the absurdity of what he’s peddling.

It’s actually pretty smart, starting off with a disclaimer, that it’s ideal to get a tune, which gives him blanket coverage for when people realize on why it doesn’t work.

All bolt ons and no modifications needed. Dude a bolt on is already a modification. He doesn’t know the difference between the two.

He goes on to say that more can be done. Well duh of course, sky’s the limit as long as you have money. And yes you will notice a difference. More on that later.

Let’s go through his list of “bolt ons”

A bigger throttle body from a Corolla Altis. Bigger throttle bodies have been a performance staple ever since the days of carb engines but this is DEFINITELY NOT a bolt on, as shown by his second line, Port Matched Intake Manifold.

The Vios manifold is PLASTIC, in order for make the hole bigger, you need to grind away the plastic and relocate the mounting holes for the throttle body, how the hell is this a bolt on??? Bolt on means that the part is installed and taken off with just screws and bolts, no damaging or alteration of the original parts. FAIL

Headers and full exhaust. I’ve covered this extensively in my other post about the different header types, short and long tube, and unless he has access to a Dyno to prove that whatever he does makes power and not lose it, well you just have to take his work for it, promise.

Lightened crank pulley. Yes this works, yes this adds power, he never did state how much. I’ll tell you 2-3hp at most.

Change to bigger injectors. This is monumentally stupid. The stock injectors of the Vios are more than enough to make the air fuel ratio rich as hell, up to the 11:1 range. And you never want that kind of AF in a non turbo engine. The only difference you’ll feel with this is the frequent trips to the gas station because sobrang lakas sa gas.

Lower final drive. This doesn’t add any power but does add response. The question is, at what price? To install a final drive, the whole transmission needs to be taken apart, plus you will screw up your odometer reading, and for manual cars, more shifting as the car can coast less which results in once again Mas Malakas sa gas kasi laging sumisibat sa konting tapak. There’s a very good reason why final drive changes are only done for racing cars and not street cars.

For an in-depth explanation of pros and cons of changing the final drive, here’s Engineering Explained

And it’s always a compromise on what you have currently depending if you get a lower or higher final drive: more sibat means lower speed per gear and top speed and and crappier mileage. Better economy equals crappier acceleration in every gear, but higher top speed.

And have you guys seen the prices on a set of final drive gear and shaft?

Baka Ma-heart attack kayo at $540, that still doesn’t included the labor or the brains to have one installed.

For a dude that “offers” transmission rebuild services, he doesn’t know how to make an intake. Hmmmmm I smell bullshit and horseshit. So K&N must have been scamming people for almost half a century because they sell nothing but filters and intakes.

Then again, he did say tuning is always ideal 🤦‍♂️ That’s his get out of jail free card for any problems that will happen.

And all you have is his word that works, no pictures, no actual car, and more importantly NO DYNO chart.

So if this guy wants to prove me wrong, by all means bring it and I’ll Dyno it for free, and let the whole Vios and car community know you are a class A Bullshitter

Mitsubishi Lancer EX 1.6L Headers (correcting the mistake)

Another day another correction by us due to the stupidity and incompetence of another shop. The problem with these exhaust shops is that none of these morons know how an engine works. Watching the 4 stroke cycle in slow motion doesn’t make you an engineer, much less understand what firing order is or air fuel ratio.

Such is the misfortune of this Lancer EX who has the WRONG header design installed on his car. Note to exhaust shop, you’re suppose to pair 1-4 and 2-3 if you’re going to create a 4-2-1 header, NOT 1-2 and 3-4.

Not that is matters because the Lancer EX MUST have a 4-1 header design in order for the oxygen sensor to work and read properly. Splitting and pairing the exhaust the wrong way cause wrong readings and sure enough, when we put it on the Dyno, the air fuel ratio is in the 16:1 region, way too lean and also why it keeps throwing a check engine.

Left to right: Stock header, Dumb exhaust header, Hotpipes headers

Another mistake of the Dumb exhaust header is the lack of a flexible section to isolate engine vibration from the chassis, which led to the muffler vibrating wildly, Never mind that 2 of the 3 exhaust hangers are also missing.

On top of all, it’s just our luck that the ECU stopped communicating with the ETACS body module, no doubt due to the other shop not removing the battery while welding the muffler.

So after fixing the ECU, we asked for the stock exhaust components back, header, muffler, midpipe so that it will make trouble shooting easier. Once everything was up and running, we proceeded to do a baseline reading with the stock headers and exhaust, and it got us 110whp, which is the correct power figure for the 1.6L Lancer MT.

For shits and giggles, we put back Dumb exhaust’s header and dynoed again. Lo and behold! A big fat ZERO HORSEPOWER gain.

I really have no words. Ok maybe I do and they are F%#^ S%#* A$$¥}+?$ M@%@^

Putting our Hotpipes headers and what do you know? Instant 10hp gain without doing no nothing!

Well his aim was to have the car tuned because Dumb exhaust told him to do so in order to get rid of the check engine light.

Uh news flash asshole, the engine light is because of tuning, it’s because your work is a piece of dog shit.

So tune with Unichip we did and final power output is 140whp, up from 110whp stock.

Thin red line – Dumb Exhaust header

Thick red line – Stock header

Purple line – Hotpipes headers

Dark blue line – Unichip tuning

So yes, 30hp gain, no check engine, correct air fuel ratio and Hindi Malakas sa gas. All the things you want in a car.

#tanginakamilangtalagamagaling

How my FB Page got hacked and how I got it back

Our Facebook overloards have us literally by the balls, neck and soul, such that having your account hacked is enough to trigger an emotional breakdown and “loss of followers” is worse than death. Oh good grief, get over it. Yes I was distraught for a few days but figured that I’d pull myself together and just make a new page, never mind that the old page had 120,000+ likes. I figured I’d start fresh and just weed out all the annoying good for nothing and useless likes from people say, in Afghanistan who will never ever buy anything from me anyway.

Here’s what I deduced what had happened. You can brute force attack Facebook login in and password. All the hacker has to do is see who the page owner/admin is, hack that account, add himself as admin, and then kick out or demote the others to Analyst. I can still see the likes and posts but have no access to post and most important of all, the messages that people send me. From what I gather, these assholes are Bangladeshi/Indian/Pakistani (they’re all the same smelly ilk) and what they do is target pages with a lot of likes, take it over and upload random interesting videos where they can enroll in FB videos and monetize them. Notice how videos in FB have ads in the middle? Yep thats how they earn money.

I also found out that a rival shop had the same thing happen to his FB page with over 300k+ likes and was also hacked and taken over, and ransom was demanded to give it back, which he paid to the tune of P500,000 DAMN!

I figured these smelly Indian assholes can fuck themselves should they come and ask for ransom. I’d rather spend the half a million promoting in FB. So this went on for around 3 months and I’ve learned to live with it. Still no ransom.

I don’t know if it was coinsidence or fate but a week or so ago, a nice customer forwarded me a page with the name AccountRecoveryPH. They helped recover San Miguel Basketball teams FB page, and the testimonials do seem legit. Hey nothing to lose by contacting them. Also at around this time, the random video posts have stopped from the other page. As in nada, nothing. People are still contiuning to like the old page but its from people like Sandeep, Kumar, prakash, Ranjit, the 5-6 kind I don’t like and don’t need.

A few minutes after contacting the page, I got a reply. At this point, I’m a bit wary because one of the first things I did was snoop around the internet looking for hacker to hack back my page and spend P50,000 on this failed attempt. Ok the Accounts Recovery guy is local, and asked for whose the current page admin, etc etc.

I send him screen shots of what I have and he asked to access my GMAIL, to which I said, I don’t know password, and asked why does he need it. He said its just for monitoring as we need to submit an Infringment of IP report to FB. So I said, just tell me what to write and where to send it. Also the attachments are the current admin, first post when it was hacked. You’re supposed to find this page and report it there.


With the following info:

Your name (name and surname) :
Your job responsibility: 
Mailing address:
Phone number:
Name of the rights owner:
Please provide links (URLs) leading directly to the specific content you are reporting.
Please describe your copyrighted work.
Where can we see an authorized example of your work? 

Ok, so far so good. No mention of money or downpayment. So I forwarded him all the answers and he made the complaint and put my email, and told me to wait for reply. At this point, I’m thinking, no way this could work. I’ve done this before and reported it to FB several times to no avail.

Much to my surprise, a few hours later, FB had a reply.

The email address it came from is case@support.facebook.com

This fucking email address is nowhere to be found on FBs site itself and googling it just turns up support request concerns that are never answered asking if its legit or not. You would thing, that having your customers reach you easy would be a top priority especially PAYING CUSTOMERS who spend on ads. so Fuck you Zuckerberg.

Any how, the dude then sent me a reply to past on the reply email.

Well he definitely makes me sound nicer, a lot nicer. Okay, at least its going somewhere. So more wait and see.

24 hours past and nothing,

Then

Great, being bounced around different departments, how typical corporate BS.

Another day has passed and nothing.

And then last night.

The Spanish Subject is definitely weird but the body is English. I read it and check the links, and they seem to be legit with http://www.facebook.com prefixes. I went to my Pages Manager and saw that the message icon is still grayed out. Oh well, no point in hoping too soon if at all. Hmm what if I closed the app first? SO close I did and when I opened it again, BAMMMMMMM over 400 unread messages and over 1000 unread notifications! HOLY SHIT IT WORKED! And in the interim 3 months that it was under the hacker’s control? These fuckers actually added 90,000 new likes, granted they are also from the curry munching club but hey, 209,000 likes isn’t bad at all.

So thank you very much to Pinoy Accounts Recovery Team for their help.

As for the subject of payment, they work on a “kayo na bahala sir magkano”

needless to say I gave them payment with 4 zeros attached to the end.