(Un)LIMITIED POWWWWWAAAA – 11.14.013

So after months and months of holding onto parts (some longer than others) I was finally making some traction in getting items sold.  The big ticket items as well.  The donor automatic transmission that came with the new CBTA engine had sold and roughly a week later, the old 2.5l BGP lump went on its way.  Very happy about that.  Now I could have some garage space back as well as not worry about having to ship them or lug them around, should I have to move.

With that done, I was now able to get the Integrated Engineering (IE)/United Motorsports Software and install the intake manifold.  After speaking with a rep from IE, I found that I would have to keep my stock ecu (for emissions testings, every other year) as well as finding out some of the hardware was different from the 05/06 ECUs to the 07/08 ECUs.  So it was a bit more than I was looking to spend, but it had to be done and I was tired of waiting almost 2 months from the time I first received the manifold itself.

Around Halloween evening, I finally started to teardown the stock intake manifold and make way for beauty bit.  It did get a bit cut short as I went to hang out with some friends later that night.  However, I got back at it the following night.  I followed the DIY that was posted by IE a couple weeks prior.  As I followed along, I did take notice that there were a few subtly tweaks that needed to be made in oder to make things fit to my liking.  I was able to get the OEM intake manifold off and mount up the new IE unit to the head no problem.  However, the head bolt that sits under the 3rd Cylinder runner is an absolute pain to get to get to for any normal sized male.  Time to call in the big (little) guns… Enter Stage Left: My Wife!  To the rescue.  Her arm was just narrow enough to squeeze in (with room) to get around and tighten the P.I.T.A. head bolt.  Shortly after, it was time to mount up the throttle body and start hacking up the BSH Intake Pipe.

While it has been known that the new IE manifold has now moved the throttle body a bit, its been rumored that with a bit of modification, the BSH intake could meet up with the IE manifold.  I broke out my hacksaw and went to town on the Intake pipe.  I cut about an inch or two off the neck in order for the pipe to fit in its home position without issue.  From there, I had to trim and splice the silicone coupling that joins the intake pipe to the throttle body.  After much struggle, I was able to get the Oil Filter Breather line and Crankcase Breather lines on.  They are ‘on’ but not anywhere to my liking, so I will be making some modifications in the coming months to make them fit correctly without tension.  Also I will need to add a bung to the intake piping for the PCV breather, as the IE manifold itself does not have a bung for it (IE created their own intake and silicone piping that connects all 3 breathers post-MAF/pre-throttle body).  So as of now, the PCV is a ‘Vent-To-Air’ setup, which, again, I’m not a huge fan of.  However, I knew that in order to get the BSH intake to fit, it would require some customization, which is fine.

The following morning I set out on removing the stock ECU and swap it for the Stage 2 IE/UM Flashed ECU.  I was able to get all of the bits off, up until the faceless, tamper-proof bolts that held the ECU in the cradle/cage.  I had attacked it with a dremel as mentioned in many forums.  However, it was not working for me.  With my weekend stacked with things to do and places to be, I had to scrap the project until the following week.  As monday rolls around, I stopped by the local hardware store to pick up a set of Grabbits.  I arrived back at home and immediately went to town using a #2 Grabbit.  I flattened off the head of the bolts as best I could with the dremel so I wouldn’t have to worry about slipping or shuddering.  After about 10-15 minutes of trying with no luck, and the bolt ‘faces’ wearing somewhat thin, cutting the cage was looking to be the only viable option.  In a last bit attempt, I switched to a #3 Grabbit bit and tried the 2 step procedure.  As soon as I went to use the removing end, it immediately bit into the head of the bolt, broke loose the (what was later confirmed as) thread sealant, and out came the bolt.  Moved over to the next bolt and repeated the process.  As luck would have it, I searched through my rollaway for a similar bolt with a hex head on it, to stick in place and prevent further frustration in the future.

Now that the stock ECU was out, I removed it from the cradle/cage as well as the wiring harness.  From there, I packaged and sealed it up and set it aside and made way for the tuned IE/UM ECU.  I connected it, cinched it down with the new-found bolt, replaced all the remaining bits, cleaned up the work area and immediately stuck the key in to make sure it was a go.  EXCELSIOR!(heh)  It was now time to go see what this fun kit was all about.

At first glance, you have to retrain yourself how to drive the car as the power-band pulls linearly clean through to 7000+ RPMs (redline is now moved to 7200 RPMs).  So having years in compensating for the drive-by-wire and serious throttle lag, not to mention a previous redline of 5800 RPMs, the shift points become a ‘bit’ different now.  I will say, hearing the motor sing upwards of 6500 RPMs is eerie and intoxicating.  I didn’t notice a drastic  difference in tone, at first.  To be honest, I was a little apprehensive as I wasn’t sure what to expect.  But as days went on, I got more and more familiar with the power-band, the rev’ing and the note it gave off.  I will say that its all VERY WORTH IT.  The tune brings the IE intake manifold to life and lets the engine sing an unheard note in the higher ranges.  Not to mention the addicting burble on down-shifts.  I swear, that will soon get me in trouble.

I have yet to take a solid video of any of it, but I will be making an attempt soon enough.  I take my hats off to the guys and girls at Integrated Engineering for making such a fine product with quality craftsmanship and top-notch customer service.  Up next its time to start digging through the pile of cosmetic parts and start the facelift.

Side note: In removing/installing my intake manifold, I did notice some residual oil build up around the 42 Draft Design Oil Pressure Relocation Kit.  There was a small bubble in the line right where it meet the threaded crimp bit.  I have since spoken to 42DD and they have already sent out a new replacement line.  Little tidbit of info, is that those line are rated to 3000 psi.

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