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Sorry for the Essay, I'm by no means an auto mechanic, engine builder, tuner, engineer, etc...

I purchased my car in January with 9,000km on it (about 5,500 miles). 06 Elise/ Chrome Orange track pack, touring pack, starsheild, traction control.

I put 3,000 km on the vehicle from January to March and decided I wanted more power. When in second cam the car was great but my feeling was it could be better. Car pulled hard, ran strong with no issues and never a check engine light.

at 12,000km I decided I wanted to supercharge the car. After lots of reading on Elisetalk I decided I wanted to buy the Katana. When I called Sector 111 to place an order they were currently out of stock. A few days later BWR released the 06+ SC kit and posted a Dyno chart that looked nice and smooth with a higher peak horse power than sector 111.

I basically ordered the 06 kit a day after its release. Diane was very friendly, the customer service was great and the kit arrived a few days later. When the kit arrived I got a call from Fred telling me to hold off on the install because a stronger Alternator bracket had been developed. It was sent to me quickly at no cost and showed me that BWR recognized a potential weak spot and rectified it.

Kit got installed; PES flashed the ECU car fired up first try. Drove around for the first day and after a couple hours of driving a CEL appeared. Read the code and it showed “P0172 system too rich bank 1”. I called Fred and he told me that this was nothing to really worry about and that a revised tune was in the works that would solve this problem.

This code appeared almost daily for three weeks and for the first week I would reset the code and then I got tired of resetting the code.

During this time I also had 3 other codes appear on maybe 5 different occasions. I called Fred regarding these codes and he told me that he would look into them.

Those codes were. (P0638 Throttle actuator range/ performance bank 1) (P2104 Tac System Forced idle) (P2103 Tac Motor Circuit High) and also the P0172 would appear at the same time. When these codes appeared my cars power would cut out, it would go into safe mode and would idle like crazy sounding like **** until I turned the car off and back on again. Codes would still be there but car would run normal after restarting.

I gave a friend of mine a ride in my car to gauge what his thoughts were of my SC upgrade. To me it felt like it had more power at lower RPM in first and second but less power in 3rd, 4tth and 5th. Gone was the surge of power, it just felt more constant through the RPM range. My friend told me that car felt slower. I told him it was because he could no longer feel the rush of power from the second cam.

I then decided to see how my car pulled against my friends 01 M5, he spun his wheels in first, second and third but still managed to pull away from me. When he got to 3rd gear it was no contest.

I called Fred asking if I should Dyno my car to see where my power stands. He told me there was no point in doing a Dyno until he flashes my computer with the new tune.

I decided to Dyno anyways and Dyno'ed 140 hp and 102 torque at the rear wheels. I called Fred and he told me it was either an improper install or that I might unfortunately have a bad motor.

I had put roughly 1500km on the car since the SC install, roughly 500 of which were done driving conservatively allowing the ECU to learn,

My installed checked everything and assured me it was installed correctly. He did a compression test and told me I had a huge drop in #2 and slight drop in #1.

Called Fred and ended the call under the impression that there was no way the BWR SC was responsible as my A/F looked quite conservative on the Dyno chart.

Decided to see Reg Reimer at RCTS. He does consulting for Toyota F1/TTE, he has lots of experience with Toyota and is very well regarded in the industry.

I showed him my Dyno and explained the situation. He asked what computer I was running; I told him a flashed stock computer. His words were: “my guys in Europe say tuning that computer is Voodoo Magic, hence us running a HKS Fcon Vpro v3.2.4 for engine control on our SC Elise”

I asked what he thought the problem was. He replied “the tune on your car is S#IT”.

I then called the Lotus dealer who sold me the car and spoke to one of his tech's trying to figure out why a motor with such little miles would be dead. I explained my situation to him and he said he's yet to come across a blown motor running factory settings. I asked if my car had been bagged on by the previous owner and he tells me that service was all done thought them, and that the car was inspected prior to sale and that the computer showed no signs of abuse.

I never tracked the car and the only driving I did was around the city. Sure I red lined the car lots but there were no hard long corners where the car could have had oil delivery issues. The car seemed to pull very strong up until I decided to get a SC installed. The SC seemed to make a difference to me but everybody else I gave rides to were not that impressed compared to what they thought of the car stock.

Pistons are out. I'm in another city but my tech tells me the rings are burned. Tech tells me based on what he's seen it looks and smells like I was running really hot. I don't think lean conditions are a side effect of a stock Lotus tune.

My car reached close to 210 sitting at a stop light (not traffic) a stop light. The temperature outside was about 65f. Hardly a hot day. Hell the warmest it gets in Calgary mid summer is around 80.

After the install some days my car pulled really strong and other days it felt like a bit of a dog, mostly in higher gears under lots of load, I thought the ECU was learning, I guess I learned the hard way.

What really sucks is I'm out $5500 on a BWR SC, plus install, plus my time, and my mechanics time on an after market supercharger and PES tune that my mechanic and a few other knowledgeable mechanics and tuners (one of which is a HKS pro dealer) feel resulted in my blown motor.

Fred so far has been a really nice guy, Diane has also been extremely friendly and very nice.

The 06 kit has been out for just over a month. Lord knows how many people are having problems that BWR is dealing with before they post on Elise talk. I hesitated to post negative things about my BWR SC problems in fear of slandering the only person that might be able to help (without spending thousands out of pocket).

Fred offered to help by means of a re-flash with an updated tune. What would really help is $5000 to help pay for my rebuild.

There are BWR SC customers loosing power running hot on the track; blowing black smoke pulling away from Katana SC cars; detonation at the Dyno; pumping LOTS of oil into the crank case; throwing codes; BLOWING MOTOR (S). Decided to leave the plural in brackets for the next unfortunate Lotus owner.

I'm just loving the fact that it's 90 outside, girls are everywhere, and I'm stuck driving a Hyundai rental car (more money). Best of all I paid some guy big money for this crap situation, and I'm paying other guy's over $6,000.00 to get me out of this situation, thank you PES/BWR.

looks like I'm going to be the first person with a BWR/Charlie X SC.
 

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Yikes, what did the air fuel ratios looked like when you first put it on the dyno when you noticed it was running weak? Was it very lean? If so I think PES owes you a motor. I've never had a bad experience with Fred or Diane, both have been great to work with.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Like I said Fred and Diane were great. Very friendly and great to deal with except for the fact I have a dead motor. Some very knowledgeable people have one common reason for my dead motor and that's bad tuning.

Seems to me that Charlie X is the only person that can properly tune the 06+ ECU.
 

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Charlie has been known to practice in the art of Voodoo from what I hear! I also heard he has a lot of Chickens running around his garage :popcorn:
And I have no doubt Fred and Diane mean well but (PES tunes) should not be beta tested on customer cars!
 

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Charlie has been known to practice in the art of Voodoo from what I hear! I also heard he has a lot of Chickens running around his garage :popcorn:
Absolutely not true. They have a very loud dog and some desert rat RC cars, but no chickens. Unless they were in a KFC tub... :p

And I have no doubt Fred and Diane mean well but (PES tunes) should not be beta tested on customer cars!
I bought the Katana kit for two reasons, but primarily that it got me a Charlie tune.

I have a lot of respect for Fred and Diane. Like Will said, dynamite folks to do business with. In the absence of any data to the contrary from the dyno pull, it seems possible that the SC installation might have exacerbated an incipient problem with the engine. What were the coolant temps running before the SC install? (Is it even known?) Did the dyno data reveal any lean running? It is extremely unlikely, bordering impossible, that an over-rich (“P0172 system too rich bank 1”) condition would cause anything like the symptoms and failure that Will described.

Also, Will said
willhogan said:
I called Fred asking if I should Dyno my car to see where my power stands. He told me there was no point in doing a Dyno until he flashes my computer with the new tune.

I decided to Dyno anyways
If there was a problem with the first ECU tune, not waiting for the replacement might have been a fatal case of impatience. :wallbang:
 

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It is extremely unlikely, bordering impossible, that an over-rich (“P0172 system too rich bank 1”) condition would cause anything like the symptoms and failure that Will described.
Bore/cylider wash on an overly rich tune can and will destroy your rings!
Willhogan, do you have an update?
 
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