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Product Reviews

Damond Motorsports Passenger Side Motor Mount(PSMM) Review

The Damond Motorsports Passenger Side Motor Mount is a replacement for the stock motor mount. I received one of these mounts as part of the Damond beta test, before final release to the public. I’ve had the mount on the car for about 3 weeks now, and have racking up close to 700 miles on it.

The DesignDSC_0157smallerDamond Motorsports PSMM

*Note bushing in photo is backwards, Logo should be facing in towards engine. I’ll be retaking the photos soon.

What makes this mount different from the stock mount is that it flips the bushing from the Vertical plane to horizontal.  This changes how the vibrations from the engine are transferred through the bushing,  to the chassis. This allows you to run a stiffer bushing, yet have it feel like a softer bushing. The bushing in the Damond mount  a 88a durometer polyurethane bushing. Unlike, some of it’s competitors, the mount is also a two piece system, which allows for a further reduction in vibrations, and increased adjustment.

Vibrations

The thought that is on most peoples minds, when they hear about upgraded engine mounts is, vibrations. With any engine mount, that’s stiffer over stock, you’re going to get increased vibrations. This is caused, by the bushing and mount being stiffer, to prevent engine movement. Since the mount is stiffer, those vibrations that once dissipated, through the soft stock mount are now transferred through to the frame, and thus the cabin. The trade off has always been increased engine movement, for a smoother ride, or less engine movement and more vibrations. With the Damond design, the trade off is much more even. You get a mount that decreases engine movement drastically, while minimizing vibrations. Below is some of the testing I did to showcase that fact.

Previous setup:  CP-E Stage 2 Rear Motor Mount, with a JBR 80a Transmissions Side Motor Mount, with a JBR 70a Passenger Side Motor Mount. All mounts have over 10K miles on them

New setup: CP-E Stage 2 Rear Motor Mount, with a JBR 80a Transmissions Side Motor Mount, with a Damond Motorsports Passenger Side Motor Mount. ~700 miles on the Damond mount with 10K miles on the others.

Note for the tests below: The equipment used for these tests was my iphone 6s, using an app. To make the tests as relevant as possible, I kept as many factors as I could the same. Things that were kept the same: Location, gas volume, people in car, climate control/stereo off, phone location, temp, windows, tire pressure. The only direct change I made was switching out the mounts. Although, the testing equipment may not be accurate, the data is still relevant to each other, for comparison. This data though will not be relevant to other vibration tests, done with a different phone or app.

The main thing to note on these graphs is the value of the Z axis.

These 2 graphs are from my old engine mount setup. At a cold start idle, including turning the car on.

JBR cold start 1 JBR Cold Start 2

These 2 graphs are from my new engine mount setup. At a cold start idle, including turning the car on.

2016-03-24 15.22.55 2016-03-24 15.22.48

 

JBR peak: 19.36m/s^2

Damond Peak: 17.38m/s^2

The next is with my car idling at full operating temp, and oil at 180-185 degrees. The left is the JBR mount and Right is the Damond.

JBR idle full tempDamond idle full temp

JBR peak: 12.18m/s^2

Damon peak: 11.34m/s^2

The last set of graphs is again with the car at full temp, with oil at 180-185 degrees. This time I had the AC on, with the AC temp at low, to maximize the compressor. The left is the JBR mount and Right is the Damond.

JBR full temp idle with ac on lowDamond Idle full temp ac low

JBR peak: 14.97m/s^2

Damond peak: 13.05m/s^2

 

So now that you’ve looked over all the graphs you’re probably thinking, what does this all mean, and how is it relevant. The numbers show a consistent decrease in vibrations with the Damond mount installed over the JBR mount. The numbers don’t show a huge difference, but it is a difference you can feel. Which is the most important part. This verifies the fact that there is a difference in vibrations and it’s not just caused by a placebo effect of having a new part. Another thing to note is my JBR mount is the softest of the bushing available by JBR, and is softer than the TurboTechRacing(TTR) mounts as well. This mount also has over 10,000 miles on it, while my Damond only has ~700. With polyurethane bushing, it takes time to break them in. Going from experience and from people with other mounts, most believe the break-in period for mounts are around as follows. The first noticeable break in, occurs around 100-200 miles, then again at around 1-2k miles, with them finally being fully broken in at 5k. These break-in points will vary depending on how the car is driven.

To show that here is the first startup on the Damond mount, engine still warm.

Damond first start up

You can see it had a peak of 15.54m?s^2 compare that to the warm idle after ~700miles( 11.34m/s^2), you can see that the mount has already started to break in. I suspect that if I perform this test again after a few thousand miles, that the idle vibration would be lower than it is now.

 

I tried taking these graphs while driving, but the unknown variables became to great, to keep them comparable. Things like, RPM, Speed, Gear, Road, Lane, Throttle, Cars around, Shift, etc, just made the results unreliable.  I can say though, that vibrations while driving are also down. The reduction is vibrations is just as noticeable, if not more, than the idle vibration difference. Previously, with my JBR setup I would get random intense vibrations on deceleration between 3200-3000 rpm. It is believed, that this is caused by the dual mass OEM fly wheel. Reason for that is friends who are running a light weight wheel, no longer experience this issue. With the Damond now installed, I still get these vibration spikes sometimes, but the vibrations are significantly less.

Many people install the rear mount and fear that the same increase in vibrations they got from the rear mount will be applied with the installation of the upper mounts; that’s not the case. The majority of the vibrations come from the rear engine mount. Adding the upper mounts increases vibrations significantly less than a rear mount does.

Noise

With aftermarket motor mounts, you’ll get increased engine noise. Some mounts increase the noise level more than others.

Again in keeping with data relevance, the same testing conditions were used for these tests, as the tests above. These tests were done at full temp, idle.

My car is running a GTX2860, with MBRP high flow catted downpipe, and FWSerks Stealth exhaust.

The left is JBR the right is Damond.

JBR db reading Damond db reading

To read the graph, the Max value is the maximum decibel recorded, the middle value under play, is the current level, and the right digit is the peak.

The graph shows that the peak db went down when switching to the Damond. In the graph you can see the spike where the 86db was heard. Whereas, the rest of the graph is roughly the same. This spike could be an abnormality, but from having the mounts in the car for the last 10K I can say that random noise/vibration spikes were normal.

I can not say how much cabin noise was increased over stock mounts, as I do not have a test with stock mounts installed, with the same mods, so it wouldn’t be relevant. Although, the idle test doesn’t show a change in decibel volume at idle, while driving the car is quieter. Again, I came across the same issues I had while trying to do a vibration test while driving, there was to many uncontrollable variables.  I can not say by how much, but it is a noticeable difference.

The Ride

So now that we’ve gone through all the changes of increased vibrations and cabin noise, how does this mount make the car handle and feel. To put it bluntly, awesome.

Having the passenger engine mount installed along with the rear engine mount, keeps the engine from moving around. Most people reading this probably already have a rear engine mount and weighing whether or not it is worth upgrading the upper mounts as well. With the upgraded rear mount, itstiffened up 1 of the 3 mounts of the car, helping to alleviate the engine pitching on you. The upper mounts take that same concept but apply it not just to pitch but roll as well. The engine now doesn’t move forward, back, or side to side.

How does this help you, though? When accelerating hard the engine doesn’t shift, meaning there isn’t a weight shift, as the engine moves backwards. This means better traction and no wheel hop. The increased traction is especially noticeable during hard launches, you’re able to get more power to the ground, and thus accelerate quicker.

The same does for braking. When you break hard, without upper mounts the engine is going to roll forward. The rear mount can’t apply enough force to the engine to fully prevent this, as the rear mount is mounted down low. The engine not rolling forward, again means no weight shifting around, and the weight stays over your front wheels, giving you better braking. Your car stays planted more during hard braking in turn, increasing your braking efficiency.

The last motion upper engine mounts affect is roll. Your engine now, is unable to shift from side to side. When going into a corner your turn in, is much more stable and predictable. You’ll be able to go into a corner, with much more certainty as you don’t have a few hundred pounds of weight shifting on you.

The Damond mount accomplishes all of these things perfectly. The engine stays nicely planted regardless of the type of driving your doing. Last weekend at autocross the car felt as stable as ever, with no sudden weight shifts. As I stated above, I previously had the JBR 70a PSMM installed, coming from that mount to the Damond, the engine feels more planted, with less movement.

Summary

To summarize everything up, the Damond mount is able to minimize engine movement to the same effect, if not more than it’s competitors, while providing less cabin vibrations.

Make sure to check out Damond Motorsports to pick up one of these mounts.

TB Performance Adjustable Front Strut Bar Review

2015-10-29 20.34.10

The TB Performance adjustable front strut bar replaces the pressed steel factory bar. Many people have been told that the car is stiff enough and that the stock strut bar is a 3 point system so there is no need to change it. After installing this part and driving a few miles down the road, I knew right away that they were wrong. The stock bar isn’t adequate for this car by any means. Just holding the stock one in my hands I could feel how flimsy it was. You can flex the bar with almost no force. The TB Performance Strut Bar is made of 2 – 5/8-18 steinjager heim joints mated to a 1.5″ .065 steel tube. Which connects to a 2.5″ stud that is 5/8″ thick and rated at around 130,000 psi yield strength. This all translates to a bar that is far stronger than the stock bar, and isn’t going to flex. Due to the strength of this bar, a 3 point system isn’t needed, unlike the stock one. Having the bar be a 3 point would also prevent it from being adjustable like it is now. With the TB Performance Bar you can adjust the height and tension on the bar. The height adjustment is especially handy in our cars as we have so many different intake designs. Assuredly peoples next question is going to be, how does this improve the car, well let’s get to that.
Driving the car for the first time, I could tell right away that the steering is more responsive. The wheel has almost no play in it, and feels tighter. The saying, just point and shoot, comes to mind when describing it. There is no guess work, no play, or hesitation in the wheel, you turn it and the car’s right along there with you. To be able to say this with my car is saying something, as I have just about every upgrade there is suspension wise, so the steering was already pretty solid. Here’s a quick rundown of my setup, to put this into perspective. KWv3 coilovers, JBR 80a Upper Engine Mounts, CP-E stage 2 rear mount, Massive Speed Systems adjustable Endlinks front, TB Performance Traction Bar, Eibach rear sway bar, with Steeda adjustable endlinks, Forgestar 18×9 wheels wrapped in Michelin Pilot Super Sports 255/35/18, Willwood FBDL Front Brakes. I point out the brakes because they are 22lbs lighter than stocks(unsprung weight reduction, yes please). With all of these suspension mods, I could still immediately feel the difference, from the TB Performance Bar. I didn’t need to go out and push the car hard on back roads or take it autocrossing before I knew this bar was a good investment. Of course, that didn’t stop by from doing those things, because race car. Going into a sweeper fast, the car stays planted, with less corner dive. This helped keep the car more stable, and thus power out on the exit quicker. With this increased stiffness, the car has a slight increase in its tendency to under-steer, in extreme cornering. This is to be expected, as the front end is now stiffer. It was less of an increase than I was expecting, though.  The last benefit and to me, arguably one of the most important aspects of this bar, is now the direct access to your struts. As my KW’s have adjustable dampers and rebound, I need access to the top of the struts to make adjustments. Previously, the only options were to drop the strut or drill a hole through the stock bar. Now, I just pop off the grill cover on the cowling and my damper adjustment knob is right there. I could forgo all the other benefits of this bar, and still feel like I spent my money wisely, just for this feature. So now you’ve heard all the good things, and you’ve got to be thinking, well what’s the downside.

2015-10-29 20.23.16

Like with any mod, there’s always a trade off, get something and give something in return. Luckily for this mod, the give is fairly small, and subtle. Steering vibrations have increased a bit. As the bar is stiffer, the vibrations from the strut tower transfer through it more. This vibration increase is subtle, and doesn’t bother me, but it was something I could feel. The next trade off, is the requirement to remove the lower cowling. This means you can’t run the sound symposer(that could probably be chalked up in the win category). What this also means is your AC doesn’t have a separate feed for air, so you’re pulling from the engine bay. I didn’t notice any change in smell, or temperate from my AC unit. The lower cowling isn’t air tight anyway, so removing it probably has a minimal effect on this anyway.

Hope you Enjoyed the review, check back for more reviews. Feel free to reach out with any more questions.

Product Link TB Performance Products

GarageLine Spacers

After Lowering my car with Eibach Pro-Kit springs(see review) I found it necessary to use spacers to remove the very apparent wheel inset. The Garageline spacers a priced very well and come in multiple sizes. I opted for a staggered set, running 15mm on the front and 20mm on the rear.
2014-08-15 18.28.44

garageline spacers

The design of the spacers, means you use the stock hub bolts and the supplied lug nuts to mount the spacers to the axle. You then mount your wheels to the spacers which have either own bolts, using your original lug nuts. This design makes for a simple bolt on upgrade.

Installation Notes
Make sure your hub is clean, as any debris can cause the spacers not to sit flush, thus they’ll wobble. Also, make sure that you properly torque each bolt on the spacer; I’ve had mine come loose. This leads to my main complaint. The supplied lug nuts have a tapered top and the size of the recessed hole makes it very tight to fit your socket in there. These two things combined make it hard to properly torque the bolts as the socket tends to slip off.
Some people have suggested using blue lock-tite on them. I have not tried this, but if they come loose again I will.

Eibach Pro-Kit Lowering Springs

One of the first upgrade I did to my car was springs. I purchased a set of Eibach Pro-Kit springs for my car 2014 Focus ST. What attracted me to these springs was the ride height drop, as this is my daily driver.

Aesthetics
The kit lowers the car by 3/4 inch on the front and 1 inch at the back. This gets rid of a good amount of wheel well gap. It isn’t so low that you have to be concerned about space on wider tires and offsets. It did however accent the fact that our stock wheels have a very large offset, 55mm. To correct this I found it necessary to get spacers. The spacers made a huge difference, I’ve gotten way more comments on the look of the car since I’ve put them on. I am currently running GarageLine 15mm Spacers on the front and 20mm spacers on the Rear. Spacer Review

Without Spacers

2014-06-02 08.48.40

With Spacers

2014-08-15 18.28.44

Ride
With the modest drop of these springs it allows the car to be lowered but not to the point it became an inconvenience. I have no issues getting in an out of my driveway or going over speed bumps. The ride quality also did not become harsh, as the springs are progressive. This allows the springs to be soft to soak up the small bumps in the roads, but then get stiff quickly when the car starts to lean, such as in a corner. One of the main improvements with the springs is the reduction is nose and tail dive during hard braking or acceleration.
Autocrossing the car regularly the before an after spring install is huge. The car is much more stable under hard braking as the weight is not rolling around. The same goes for the corners. The car also does not have the inner wheel lift on hard corning that the stock springs have, allowing the car to be much more planted and stable.

The only issue I am having is the increased wear on my stock struts. This is due to aftermarket companies not making any struts for the 2014 model as it has a different spring perch on the front than the 2013’s.

Complete Guide to The Cobb Accessport V3

DOWNLOADING MAPS

Go to COBB’s website in the web browser of your choice.
Click the appropriate vehicle tab
Navigate to the appropriate make/model/year of your vehicle and appropriate modifications.
Download the maps you desire by clicking on the [map] link on the far right of the map description.
Make note of where the maps are being downloaded on your computer.

TRANSFERRING MAPS TO ACCESSPORT

Open the Accessport Manager application on your computer. If you do not have Accessport Manager installed on your computer, you may download it from the Support page on COBB’s website (Click the appropriate vehicle tab)
Plug the Accessport into the computer using a mini USB cable.
In the Accessport Files pane, set the Filter drop-down to All Files.
Click the Search For Maps button in the upper right corner of the Accessport Files pane. This will open the Maps On My Computer pane.
Navigate to the folder that contains the downloaded maps.
Drag and drop the new maps from the Computer pane to the Accessport pane.
The new maps have been added to your Accessport

FLASHING MAPS TO ECU

Plug the Accessport into the OBDII port of your vehicle using the supplied OBDII cable.
Turn the ignition to the ON position.
Navigate to “Tune” using the up and down buttons on the Accessport and click OK.
Navigate to “Change Map” using the up and down buttons on the Accessport and click OK.
Select the map you would like to flash to the ECU from the list of maps displayed and click OK.
Follow on-screen instructions to guide you through the rest of the ECU flashing process.
 

Flat foot shifting and launch control:

Changing the Gauge Layout:
1. Select the Gauge Screen.
2. Use the up arrow to do to the very top of the page, till the Green Arrow is highlighted. Click OK
3. Scroll through the layout options.

Changing the Gauges:
1. Select the Gauge screen
2. Use the buttons to highlight the gauge you wish to change.
3. Click OK to bring up the options list, and select the gauge you want.

Screen Shot:
The accessport can take screen shots of the current displayed screen. To do this press and hold the CANCEL button for 2 seconds. The screen capture will then be stored on the Accessport and visible in the Accessport Manager.

Setting Datalog Values:
1. Select the Gauge Screen.
2. Use the up bottons to go to the top of the screen, and select the Green Arrow.
3. Select Datalogging.
4. Select the values you wish to log, using the OK button to select/de-select items.

List of recommended values:

From Stratified

VALUE DESCRIPTION:
Accel. Pedal Pos. Accelerator pedal position (this is direct pedal input before translations)
Actual AFR Wideband front oxygen sensor reading converted from Lambda to AFR
Airflow Mass The calculated airflow through the engine and is used for almost all flow based tables.
Boost Pressure Manifold pressure (relative). This is MAP minus Barometric pressure.
Charge Air Temp. Post intercooler temperature as read before the throttle body.
Coolant Temp. Engine coolant temperature as measured post radiator
Engine RPM Current engine speed.
ETC Angle Actual Electronic throttle control actual angle
FRP Actual Fuel rail pressure actual. This is the high pressure pump.
Ign Corr. Cyl1-4 Ignition timing correction applied to Cylinder 1.
Ign Timing Cyl3 Ignition timing after all compensations for Cylinder 1
Load Actual Engine load actual after all compensations
Lowside FP Actual
LTFT Long Term Fuel Trim
Oct Adj Ratio Lrn Octane adjust ratio learned. -1.0 is HIGH Octane, 1.0 is LOW octane.
Knock Count cyl1-4
Short Term Fuel Trim
Tip Actual Absolute
VCT Actual Absolute
VCT Exhaust Angel Actual
WGDC Actual
WGDC Base Final wastegate duty cycle after compensations * If on big turbo log (c) WGDC Base
WGDC I-term
WGDC P-term
WGDC Y-Factor

 

 

 

from Randy(Mountune, and Raffi(FSWerks)

Value Description:
Accel. Pedal Pos. Accelerator pedal position (this is direct pedal input before translations)
Actual AFR Wideband front oxygen sensor reading converted from Lambda to AFR
Airflow Mass The calculated airflow through the engine and is used for almost all flow based tables.
Boost Pressure Manifold pressure (relative). This is MAP minus Barometric pressure.
Charge Air Temp. Post intercooler temperature as read before the throttle body.
Coolant Temp. Engine coolant temperature as measured post radiator
Engine RPM Current engine speed.
ETC Angle Actual Electronic throttle control actual angle
FRP Actual Fuel rail pressure actual. This is the high pressure pump.
Grill Shutter Cmd Commanded grill shutter duty cycle.
Ign Corr. Cyl1 Ignition timing correction applied to Cylinder 1.
Ign Timing Cyl1 Ignition timing after all compensations for Cylinder 1
Load Actual Engine load actual after all compensations
Oct Adj Ratio Lrn Octane adjust ratio learned. -1.0 is HIGH Octane, 1.0 is LOW octane.
Vehicle Speed Vehicle speed when moving.
WGDC Actual Final wastegate duty cycle after compensations

If you have removed your AGS for any reason please remove the Grill Shutter Cmd from the data logging list and replace it with:

Value Description:
Ign Corr. Cyl4 Ign Corr. Cyl4 – Ignition timing correction applied to Cylinder 4.

 

Levels Performance FMIC

A month ago, June 2014, I purchased Levels’ new bolt-on front mount intercooler(FMIC). One of the main selling points was the price. This intercooler comes in a few hundred dollars cheaper than some of it’s main competitors. Also, it did not require drilling into the crash bar like some of the other intercoolers out there. With those key bits going for it, I decided to try one out, and so far I have not been disappointed.
The Product:

Levels FMIC

– Intercooler core is 24 x 8 x 3.5

– End tanks are designed in Autocad, CNC cut and hand tig welded

– Mates directly to factory charge pipes

– Direct bolt-on! No drilling required

– Includes upgraded T-bolt clamps to ensure proper sealing

– Yields charge air temperature drops of 50+ degrees

Installation:
Installation was fairly straight forward following this video.

The only change to the process, which they note at the beginning, is how you mount the intercooler.
fmci mount location

For me this was the only complication I had with the install. My wrenches were not thin enough to get around the bolt on the inside of the crash bar. What I ended up doing was drilling the holes taller so I could get the wrench under the bolt.
fmic

Many people in our club purchased this intercooler and did not have this issue. I am noting this as it’s a possibility you could have this issue, but it does not seem common. If you do have to drill, drill slowly and use a titanium bit.

Without any issues the install takes about an hour.

Driving and other Impressions:
When installing it you can see the craftsmanship and build quality is very high. Comparing the stock to this one makes the stock one seem like it’s made of cardboard; which is probably why you can heat soak very quickly.
Driving around I noticed a huge difference in my charge temps. Whether, driving hard or stuck in traffic, I would be around +2-5 degrees above ambient. Going wide open throttle(WOT) from low RPM to redline I would notice a slightly larger rise, up to maybe +15, but that would drop back down quickly once off the throttle. In a comparison test, I did a 4th gear datalog pull on my stock FMIC. It was 85 degrees out, at night, and about 65% humidity. By the time I hit 7000 RPM my charge temps were up to 147 degrees. The next day I did another datalog on the same section of road. The temperature was again 85 but the humidity was slightly lower at 60%. By the end of my run my charge temps were at 94 degrees. Note that I also had upgraded Hot and Cold Charge pipes from MBRB as I did the installs together. So some of the temp drop can be attributed to the new pipes, regardless, this is a huge improvement over stock. I didn’t even have my tune adjusted for the FMIC.
I have driven the car hard for hours at a time and other times doing up to 14 autocross runs in a day and have yet to experience heat soak. Some intercoolers have an issue where they are so big, that by the time the air gets to the throttle body they have lost a good amount of psi. This is not the case with the Levels FMIC, from my logs I have only dropped maybe a quarter to half psi, which I can get adjusted in my tune as I’m only at 23 psi currently.
I would highly recommend this FMIC on both the price, build quality and performance.