I have put about 1400 miles on the car since BOE got my car running and I wanted to give my feedback on their excellent service
To make the LONG backstory short, I had a VF Stage 2 kit which ran good for a while. It knocked here and there and eventually I ended up replacing the stock engine because the compression was down on it. I went with a BOE Nikasil engine and upgraded to the VF TVS hoping the more efficient blower and stronger engine would alleviate the knocking.
It did not, and the knocking was worse on the new setup. I spent alot of time and money replacing sensors and trouble shooting other things. I bought the $2000 FastWorks software suite from BOE and with Phil's guidance I thought I could get rid of the knock. But I couldn't get consistent results while trying to street tune so I made an appointment to take the car up to Phil in Kansas to get it professionally tuned. 2 days before I was supposed to haul the car up there I went to fill the gas tank with good 'ol Texas 93 octane since Kansas only has 91. I got about 1 mile from the house the car started running real rough. I pulled into the gas station and turned it off. That was the last time the car ran. The engine would not even try to combust.
This was about a 1 year time frame from getting the engine rebuilt and taking the car to Phil. I had maybe made about a dozen full throttle pulls during that time period due to level of knock I got. I also had a severe oil leak from the oil pan for about 2/3 of that time.
So that brings me to my experience with BOE. I called Phil in a panic telling him the car was dead. He said to bring it up anyways and he would do what it took to make it work. Phil and Andrew did some trouble shooting and found that the piston rings were completely shot
. Compression and leak down tests didn't even register on the tools and blowing air into one spark plug hole made air come out another. This was the source of my endless oil pan leak they surmised.
Phil was very accommodating to me going from what started as a 6-8 hour tuning appointment to now a full blown engine overhaul + tuning. The whole ordeal took close to 2 months. Phil kept in touch with me the whole time through (I do not believe he sleeps). Phil was very good about not pressuring for extra services or products. I did take him up on a couple suggestions, but anything I rejected he backed off from without hesitation.
I think Phil does not want exact numbers out there due to case by case builds, but I can say that just the rebuild process plus tune was in the $6-7K range. This did not include the $5-6K I had spent the year before having the engine toughened up. The Ferrera valves, Arias pistons and Nikasil wall coatings faired the damage very well. Only the piston rings and bearings had to be replaced.
BOE does charge quite a bit for their work, but the work and communication was TOP NOTCH. Phil also threw in a little bit of extra work on top free of charge. I would prefer to only worry about the cost than to be happy with the cost but worry about the reliability of the work. No engine bay disaster here.
Originally the setup was
- BOE 10.5:1 Engine Block
- Vision Function TVS1320 kit
- Vision Function reflash tuning solution
- RC 550 Injectors
- "15 PSI" pulley
- 2bular Full exhaust
With that setup I got 260HP/170TQ. Not great power, but certainly no slouch. The real issue was that I just couldn't go anything over half throttle because of the knock. But it was enough low throttle power to commute to work with ease.
By the time Phil got done with the car, it had only a very slightly different setup. The injectors were traded out from the RC 550's to Bosch 750's, mostly for reliability reasons. The car also had a completely stock exhaust instead of the 2bular. But other then that, all the same hardware. The difference was staggering.
40HP and 70Ft-lbs from basically software and know how!
The drivability with that much torque is glorious! Once above 60MPH, I do not ever have to switch out of 6th. There is more then enough torque for just about any situation outside of racing.
Remember me saying I got about a dozen full throttle pulls out of the kit previously and all I got was a dead engine and big oil stain on my garage? Phil swears up and down he rang the hell out of the engine before giving it back to me and I have already done those dozen hard pulls. Not a drop of oil on the oil pan, no blown out oil dipstick. And the car does the pulls with vigor.
Here's my unofficial timing of a 3rd gear pull from 50-90MPH. A very fun gear.
Its about 4.5 seconds for 50-90. Not stupid fast, but I think it puts me well above most cars. Maybe even a Vette
I think 300HP is a very good number for this car. Its not crazy fast and I do not feel out of control, but it is very authoritative. 350-400HP would probably be closer to OMG fast and be able to beat just about any factory car you would run into.
So far no Check Engine Lights. One of the reasons I switched to FastWorks was because I had a check engine light due to an emissions modification I made and Vision Function's software did not have the capability to correct that. FastWorks was able to take care of it no problem.
My only real gripe is I had some idle issue when I took delivery of the car. Granted Phil probably didn't spend too much time tuning stop and go traffic, so I can forgive him. Phil tried to do a little remote tuning by sending an updated tune file. It did not fully fix the issue, but I was able to go into the software and just raise the idle 300 RPM's and things have been stable enough for me. The car did not have this issue when I first set up FastWorks on the dieing engine so I know it's just a software issue. But that goes back to the lack of documentation for FastWorks. Phil has been very good at providing info on the software, but he's just one (busy) guy.
Vision Function advertises this kit as being able to do ~330HP/220TQ. I think on a stock compression ratio motor and full aftermarket exhaust those numbers are probably not far off. The hardware itself is very capable. However at these power levels, I was not able to get a satisfactory experience with the software capabilities. Many (many) thousands of dollars later, I now feel more confidant.
Now for those wondering "Can I use this tune on my VF car?" I can not say if Phil would let this tune out into the wild. It's the only VF TVS car he has tuned and he says the intake difference would probably have some measurable effect overall. But that can be copied. I also have a Air Intake Temp sensor added, which is a major difference between VF and FastWorks. Something I would greatly recommend adding, which would also require software that can use it.
I was not happy that it came to this, but I was very happy with the service and value that Phil and Andrew provided in finally getting my car up and running correctly.