RXReviews

Singapore Rotary Performance Parts Reviews ….. RE Amemiya | Autoexe | Knight Sports | Greddy |

EZ-Stab Extreme Confusion?

Yup am getting a little confused as to where EZ-Stab Extreme is targeted at. In one of his replies to RX readers here, Jon said: “I made a few mistakes: 1. Installing a EZ-Stab standard on a high spec RX-8; 2. Installing a EZ-Stab standard on a highly tuned RX-8………The EZ-Stab permium versions till now are mainly installed in BMW series, some Lexus, and the Subaru high end cars.” This is consistent with conversations I had with Jon, where he said that “should the EZ-Stab Extreme be used in low powered cars, chialat (i.e. it won’t work).”

While doing some routine link-backs, i came across a thread at the Latio Club where members are raving over the EZ-Stab Extreme.

My question now is, and I hope Jon can help clarify – what is the positioning of the EZ-Stab Extreme? Why did you represent it to RXReviews that it’s solely for high-powered cars when clearly, you’re selling them to low-powered makes?

May 11, 2007 Posted by | Electronics & Gauges | 1 Comment

Headsup: RXReviews To Review Max Zone GT

The good fellas at AMMPAF will be sending down a unit of their much touted (and grassroot-level acclaimed) Max Zone GT desulphator. So what is the Max Zone GT? From their website http://www.ammpaf.com.sg :

“Max-Zone consists of a two-part electronic device which incorporates Pulse Technology regulated by a fuzzy logic microprocessor (EME). The Pulse Technology is configured to automatically restore and maintain the lead acid battery in its peak condition. The microprocessor (EME) then proceeds to orchestrate and regulate the car’s complex electrical and electronic systems. The result is an increase in ENGINE POWER, longer battery life-span, reduction in fuel
consumption, increased MILEAGE, and a quieter, cleaner engine. The Max-Zone GT (red) is basically a much more powerful version of our best-selling Max-Zone Standard (silver), designed and build to cater to bigger cc cars and other performance vehicles. What the Max-Zone GT’s EME chip does for your car engine is that it aids your ECU in keeping the air/fuel mixture within the narrowest band of operating parameters (between 0.98 to 1.02), even tighter than what your ECU can manage on its own (0.8 to 1.2) on the lambda scale. What this translates to is better fuel economy and an increase in power, due to the more complete combustion of fuel and air.
The Ma

RXReviews will also be doing an EZ-Stab Extreme vs Max Zone GT shootout at the end of the reviews so watch out for it!

May 9, 2007 Posted by | Electronics & Gauges | 2 Comments

Knight Sports RX-8 ECU Remap Review

The folks from Knight Sports Japan came down to Singapore end-April to do a series of supercharging, and ECU remapping for NA cars. According to Knight Sports, this was what you would get for your money:

Light tune = $750 (US$495)
– Speed cut
– Fan control to lower water temp

Basic tune = $1200 (US$790)
– Speed cut
– Fan control to lower water temp
– Ignition timing
– Smoothen pitch graph

According to Rei, who was one of the first to have his ECU remapped: “Horsepower gains are marginal but u will definitely be able to feel it if ur already on the knightsports muffler…exhaust note sounds slightly different (bassier if i’m not wrong), the whole car feels more responsive, rev climbs are smoother instead of the more unstable climb before…Difference in oil temp is ard 2-3 degree celcius, difference in water temp shld be slightly higher up to 5 degree clecius (estimated)

Most importantly for me, after several mods, the car is starting to feel very raw…The ultra smooth characteristic of the rotary engine is starting to fade away…But right after the tuning, the smooth feel of the rotary came back…When I was
driving home last nite, it actually feels like the very 1st time when I got my car…Super smooth…

Ride: JDM 6spd mt
Actual gains: 6-7ps or 12-13ps (wif the Knight Sports muffler)
Rating: Most bang for buck mod that offers the most horsepower gains for the
most minimal spending…(Better if u have the Knight Sports muffler)

April 25, 2007 Posted by | Electronics & Gauges | Leave a comment

EZ-Stab now in different flavors (and colors); including a new Extreme model

The guys at Auto Ennovations have launched different flavours / variants of their original EZ-Stab product including an ‘Extreme’ version that claims: “Using military grade components, EZ-Extreme is a high specification revision of the EZ-Stab. It has been proven to increase performance by up to 5HP*.
EZ-Extreme has the additional capability of upgrading the audio sound quality of any in-car-entertainment system (I.C.E).”

Also coming in a see-thru red ABS plastic case, it looks exactly identical to the base EZ-Stab model except for a new black and red wire combination. RXReviews received a unit Friday night and we will be posting our preview of how it works out pretty soon. This time, we’ll be testing it not only on an 8, but a stock WRX, and a souped up FI Corolla.

So is the new EZ-Extreme ready for primetime? I’ve already got some results out from test runs Fri and Sat, but I’ll reserve judgement till a bit later when I get some clarification on certain issues.

BTW Auto Ennovations also released a ‘Lite’ version of the EZ-Stab for those with much shallower pockets. It comes with a beautiful see-thru grey casing, which in my opinion should have been used for the EZ-Extreme for some differentiation. Then again on closer inspection of the pix, it seems to be recolored photoshop of the red EZ-Stab instead of an actual product shot.

One way power is maximized is thru optimizing air/fuel ratios/ignition timings and that can only be done from the ECU via a piggyback or a reflash.

The second way is to ensure that power to the ignition coils is consistent, and noise free. The 8 – like most modern cars – have built in transistors in the ignition coil that prevent any spikes past the rated voltage of 12v and a 3.5v trigger voltage. Supply for the coils in OEM condition may not be entirely optimum as the same source is used to power a myriad of devices including ICE. What many electrical mods do is to provide line conditioning to maintain stability during power distribution.

The third way is to lighten the load from the engine power-robbing alternator. Some 8s as well as many other cars invest in lightweight, underdriven pulleys to shift power back to the engine. Underdrivens have been proven to improve performance somewhat, but with a side effect of having less available power for ICE and other in-car stuff.

So what exactly does the EX-Stab do? seems to me like it has some capacitance function; a line conditioner, and something that minimizes work done by the power-losing alternator. We shall see…

April 15, 2007 Posted by | Electronics & Gauges | 19 Comments

Preview: Pivot Raizin Spark Earth (Red, Type S)

Have been provided a unit of Pivot Raizin Spark Earth for testing, installed over last weekend. The unit itself is a beautiful, transparent red case that shows innards of a board holding a series of capacitors and a couple of chips. The unit can be installed either via a direct plug-in into the ignition fuse, or a tap into the coil.

Installation on the 8 was easy – i chose the safer alternative via the fuse. Combined with my FEED aftermarket sparkplug cables, i must say that there was a noticeable difference in terms of throttle response, and launch speeds. Acceleration is definitely improved, and is a more linear than before.

Now I’m not too sure that the unit delivers ‘a new approach in voltage stabilizer devices for ignition coils that brings out 100% of your ignition’s performance by providing point blank power to the ignition coil via connection to our specially designed circuitry’ as the manufacturer claims. I believe that the FEED cable does a better job at that. But what i do think that the unit does is help reduce ignition coil pulse noise, resulting in stable, consistent delivery of power which is further accentuated with the FEED.

I’m not going to jump to conclusions until a more exhaustive test is done over a longer period of time, but ‘butt dyno’ -wise, this gets my thumbs up.

For US$80, this is one mod that seems to deliver, what it preaches.

(BTW this doesn’t mean that i’m endorsing the Pivot Raisin Blue, which by my books is what i call a ‘psychological mod’)

April 13, 2007 Posted by | Electronics & Gauges | 1 Comment

AVOID: EZ-Stab / EZ Stab (3rd Gen Red) Review

[Editor’s Note: EZ-Stab will be providing a higher-end version of the unit for testing. Performance cars like the 8 apparently won’t benefit from the standard off-the-shelf types for lower marque cars according to EZ-Stab. We will update this review in due time.]

I really hate to do this – especially to someone as nice as Jon – but I did promise an honest review of his new EZ-Stab Red. Now I’ve been testing, and monitoring performance of the EZ-Stab for some 5 months now, so this isn’t some stab in the dark.

The EZ-Stab unit comes in a see-through, translucent red plastic shell. It’s really big, about the size and thickness of two blackberrys on top of one another. I initially had concerns that with the extreme-heat conditions of the 8’s engine bay, the plastic would melt, or the capacitors within would explode, but thankfully that didn’t happen.

So what is the EZ-Stab? It’s a device, unlike Volt Stabilizers that provides “the benefits of a balanced charging system, one that gives a much more stable voltage while reducing the load on the engine…..(sic) increased engine responsiveness, acceleration and power when such benefits may be easily achieved through a EZ-Stab in the system with no sacrifice of vehicle comfort and vehicle warranty. And for additional value, EZ-Stab also protects the battery and ECU for repeated heavy usage within service life.”

Methodology: Periodically tested and monitored with baseline GTech-Pro, Voltmeter and CANBUS ECU readings taken before installation, recorded fortnightly.

Pros: Nice blinking light; solid ABS plastic construction; hasn’t exploded in extreme heat conditions yet

Cons: It doesn’t work – period.

The EZ-Stab has no effect, positive or negative, on the performance / responsiveness of my ride, nor does it provide more stable voltage when the engine/alternator is on high load (cabin lights/ headlamps still dim as per norm under load, and no difference in my substantial ICE setup). Now I’ve seen tons of compliments and positive testimonials from users, but if you read the forums in-depth, there’ll be 1 bad review for every good one. And the majority of those negative reviews come to the same conclusion as I have – the EZ Stab just doesn’t work.

Jon has a PhD in electrical and power control, and works for one of the biggest electronics manufacturers in the world – there is no doubt that he’s a pretty smart guy with the street cred to back him up. But his claims of ” better understanding (sic) the main reason behind the drain of a car engine’s power – the charging system that continues its charging of batteries when the car engine is running, even when they have been fully charged” – is a bit of a fallacy and myth.

Here’s why: Modern vehicle wiring and ECUs are already designed to operate in a harsh electrical environment. They cope with conditions from maybe 8V starting with a nearly-flat battery to 16V on a boost charge, and with electrical interference from mobile telephones etc, without failure. The ECU runs internally at 5V or even less and is heavily stabilised to ensure the processor runs fault-free at all times. Many modern ECUs repeatedly self-check and would shut down the engine entirely if any kind of fault condition occurred. Overall, it is hard to envisage how a more stable electrical supply could significantly improve engine economy, emissions or performance on a vehicle in good condition.

The suggestion made by some sellers of such products, that the alternator on “unmodified” vehicles is always pushing 1 – 2 kW into the battery (and hence “robbing” the engine of this power) also does not fit. Once the battery is fully charged, the alternator automatically reduces its output (otherwise the continual flow of energy into the battery would cause it to boil and ultimately be destroyed), and the mechanical loading on the engine then drops to a relatively low level – though undoubtedly there is still some power loss. The same goes for any petrol savings.

So in summary, and I’m very sorry to say, EZ-Stab is definitely not worth the $180 Jon’s charging for it. Will be more than happy to receive any comments or quantifiable (not butt dyno) evidence that says otherwise…. Sorry Jon

April 9, 2007 Posted by | Electronics & Gauges | 27 Comments

Knight Sports ECU Remap Prices

Knight Sports – the Japanese rotary tuning specialist – will be making a stopover in Singapore sometime April, primarily to provide ECU remapping for the large number of JDM 8s here. Here’s an insight on how much it costs to tune the 8’s ECU and what you get for your money

Light tune = S$750 (US$480)
– Speed cut
– Fan control to lower water temp

Basic tune = $1200 (US$770)
– Speed cut
– Fan control to lower water temp
– Ignition timing
– Smoothen pitch graph

*NB: Apparently both Knight Sports and RE Amemiya’s tuning service are not suitable for Euro-spec 8s, which are detuned and have totally different maps from the JDM/US versions.

March 23, 2007 Posted by | Electronics & Gauges, Engine, News & Events | Leave a comment

Preview: Defi Super Sports Cluster

Introducing the Defi Super Sports Cluster – this baby is not available outside Japan, but those that can afford the tag price (about Y230,000 excl shipping), you can turn to local tuner importers such as Monster Garage for help. Additional gauges added on to the vehicle serves as an informant of the current vehicle condition. But too many gauges will cause confusion and clutter the cockpit. The solution to this is to replace all the gauges with one unit. This all-in-one meter is a proud product of DSSC, displaying various information with a built-in data logger function.

Data logger will allow drivers to inspect the information after a run.
The EL display makes it easy to read!

Defi’s DSSC Kit includes 2 temperature sensors, one pressure sensor, and a turbo pressure sensor. A maximum of 13 different types of information can be displayed by purchasing additional sensors. The installation is no different from hooking up any other gauges. The wiring job is made easy by having a pre-made Defi wiring harness which collects all the wires into one unit for easy plug and play. For existing Defi Link Meter users, the installation time is cut down, for the same sensors can be used on this new product. Replacing the whole stock gage cluster with DSSC is possible too, because of its functional blinkers and odometer. The bright EL Display inside the meter panel is one of the best features. This display is very visible from any angle and it also clearly displays small letters. This is the most visible and organized gauge clusters on the market.With the remote control, simple and quick operations can be managed. The buttons on the remote controllers were carefully designed so that the driver can operate even while wearing gloves. The DSSC also has a real time data logging function. A SD card can be inserted to an attached control unit to maintain various data. That data can be read by any home computer to display detailed information to inspect the machine performance.
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This is the display screen. What and where to display the data can be set according to individuals’ needs and preference.   The tachometer lights up red and a warning light in the center will turn on when the peak data is displayed. The peak data for each category can be displayed.
     
Unlike the previous Defi Link Meter, there are no buttons on the unit itself since everything is remote controlled. The SD card can be inserted for data logging purposes.   The buttons on remote control was designed so drivers can easily operate it even with racing gloves. The center of the circle button is dented, and other buttons remain higher than the controller surface so the driver can operate it without glancing at it.
     
The P-LAP2 adaptor is also included in the kit. The additional display of maximum speed, lap count and best lap time can be shown with use of the P-LAP2.   The data logger screen hat can be displayed with a PC software was released. Various ways of displaying the information other than the line graph will be available upon release of this software. It won’t be included in the kit, but will be released as a set with the G sensor and logger software at the price of 30,000yen (about $330.00).
       

September 12, 2006 Posted by | Electronics & Gauges | 5 Comments

Tire Pressure Monitoring System w/ LCD

Just arrived, the shown TPMS retails for S$199 and installation is another $35/$60 depending on rim size. Installer said 18″ rims are harder to install coz bigger/heavier/stiffer tires (??) so basically I became a carrot head and paid the $60. Wheel sensors are hidden inside the tire so can’t be vandalised/tampered/stolen unless you lose your entire wheel. It communicates by RF to the TPMS’ CDU. Battery life is listed as “>5 years” in the manual. System can handle tire rotations by allowing you to swap positions of the sensors on the CDU itself (without physically taking out the sensors from the tires).

The TPMS is available at SGD$199. SMS 96318100 or email services@sq89ers.org for more info

August 28, 2006 Posted by | Electronics & Gauges | 2 Comments

ScanGauge II – OBD II scanner / Trip Computer / Digital Gauges

ScanGague II is an OBD II/CAN scanner that can read your car’s error codes and can also clear them to get rid of the Check Engine Light (CEL). It is also a trip computer that automatically tracks your current trip, today’s trip, previous day’s trip and current fuel tank’s trip and can give you all the usual trip computer information such as max speed, max water temp, max engine rpm, average speed, average fuel consumption, trip miles, trip time, trip fuel used, fuel used since last fill-up, fuel remaining, distance since last fill-up, distance remaining, time since last fill-up, time remaining. Last but not least, it is a digital gauge that simultaneously displays 4 pieces of data read from your ECU. You can set any of the 4 readings to display your current fuel consumption (litres/100km or litres/hr), battery voltage, water temp, intake air temp, intake manifold air pressure, engine rpm, speed (adjustable), engine load, throttle position, ignition advance/retard, etc. Anyone interested can check out this device at www.scangauge.com. This product is available in Singapore.  

The ScanGauge II is available at SGD$329 in limited quantities. SMS 96318100 or email services@sq89ers.org for more info

August 28, 2006 Posted by | Electronics & Gauges | 1 Comment

RE Amemiya ECU Reflash

I found a really cool feature in the RE ECU reflash: Smart shifting between normal and agressive footworks. Driving normally (up to 2/5 pedal), shifting as per norm, albeit a little higher rpms than stock. Driving aggressively (3/5 pedal to full), gears will redline at 8200 for 2 secs before shifting. And all this on full auto w/o using paddle shifters ‘manual’ mode.

Other published features of the RE reflash:

  • Speed cut removed
  • Rev cut increased.
  • Fuel efficiency increase.
  • Temperature reduced.
  • Latest Mazda ecu firmware

August 28, 2006 Posted by | Electronics & Gauges, Engine | Leave a comment

Harman/Kardon Drive+Play

As my ride didn’t have a CD changer, decided to scout around for something that i can play from my ipod instead. Did a bit of research, and finally settled for the Harman/Kardon Drive+Play.

Cost me $500 + installation at Poh Seng, inclusive of an additional direct-to-FM adaptor cable (instead of using the built in FM transmitter).

The sound on my stock non-bose speakers is great, esp the bass (but i think my stock can’t take it so had to lower a bit) and the user interface is excellent. I installed the LCD screen on the dashboard next to the steering column, and the control knob close to the shifter.

Only prob is that once in a while (aga aga 1 in 50 instances), the unit will lose connection with the iPod. I dunno if it’s because of FM interference or coz they nvr install properly but i’ll be bringing it back this weekend for checking. Another thing is that LCD screen doesn’t support chinese characters, so all my Jay Chou CDs etc must translate to hanyu pinyin else doesn’t show up on screen.

http://playlistmag.com/reviews/2006…eplay/index.php
http://arstechnica.com/reviews/hardware/driveplay.ars

August 28, 2006 Posted by | Electronics & Gauges | Leave a comment