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Old 01-20-2014, 05:35 PM   #1
nelsmar
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Join Date: Feb 2013
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Thumbs down How to destroy an engine in 7 days: My review of FA20club.com’s services & experience



By popular demand: Attention Deficit Disorder Edition - Click here(Uber condensed!)

Introduction
So there has been a lot of questions over the past few months about my car. I figured it was time for me to finally open up and share what happened, and share my experiences. First I want to start of for explaining why I didn’t jump out and just start talking about what happened to my vehicle. I have been involved with the “scene” for a long while now. The majority of my friends are shop owners and are also heavily involved. And as you can tell as of late on the forum when one little thing pops out it just spreads and spirals out of control really quick. One simple comment can slowly turn into a large fight on a forum that ends with everyone grabbing pitchforks and wanting to stone someone to death. Forums are not a very easy place to be. For a company they can be extremely difficult to “micro manage” everything. If you have been involved as long as I have you know that all products when released typically end up having a problem shortly after that wasn’t tested. Its extremely hard to test every possible scenario in the world that could happen with any product, or service. And it takes a lot of time to perfect things. That is why you are seeing cars get more and more powerful over the last few months, and limits pushed further and further. Because some companies release things “conservatively” and then work the bugs out as they go. It is rare to ever see a product be released without any problems.

The real difference is these days communication is too easy. And the relationship with manufactures seems to be more separate. Rather than people communicating their problems in private and working their problems out they voice it in public because they feel it will get it resolved earlier. But in reality this just gets everyone wondering if they have a problem which results in many calls to a shop wasting the time they could be using to resolving any said issues before hand. This is very problematic. I have been an early adopter in this platform and have bought many products and was one of the first to use it. I will tell you I had problems with every product I had. Every single one of them. However I personally spoke with the companies in question and tried to see if they wanted to make improvements, in which case nearly every company did. I even had problems with companies like Vortech and when I spoke in private they overlooked the problems and then checked with others to see if it was a one off issue, or a wide spread. Sometimes it was a one off, sometimes it wasn’t. But the thing was they resolved the issue and there was no reason to put mass fear because a pipe “may” rub due to an install issue, or a certain extreme climate might need a different belt to handle similarly. This is an example of a good professional relationship when being an early adopter to a platform & product. However my experiences with Toni @FA20Club.com were not as ideal.

So what did happen to your car?
Since I know a number of you want to know let me to put it nice and simple my engine exploded. This was due to running extreme lean fuel mixture over an extended period of time. This should have been resolved immediately but it was not. This was due to poor communication and or general laziness. It could simply be that Toni as overwhelmed and made a simple mistake. However something catastrophic like this should not happen. Ever.

Story Time
So I want to talk about my general experience with Toni and why I chose him. I had used John Visconti off the start and lets just leave it at the fact we did not get along and we tried our best to keep our issues private. We eventually solved our problems and separated. I called nearly everyone I knew locally that I was comfortable with tuning and not a single one supported any of the tuning platforms that are on this vehicle. I then called shops I don’t know and no one was able to, or was even planning on purchasing a license at this point. I offered a very large chunk of money to contribute to licensing fee (Upwards of $2000.00 in license contribution) and no one was really wanting to jump on it.

So from this point I realized I am stuck going with a remote tuner. I was not too comfortable with this but I saw a lot of people getting tunes and saying they had a great experience. I decided to give it a try and just hope for the best. I decided I would actually try to talk to whoever I go with first. So I started looking around and there was no abundance of tuners available. I had very few choices. Toni was near the top of the list with lots of customers, and he seemed to have the most experience with this platform.

How it started
So I called Toni and tried to explain my frustration and express my lack of comfort with doing a remote tuner. I also explained I had previous tuning experience and this would be the first doing something like this and it was not something I was completely comfortable with. I basically told him I wanted to interview him and see if I could get into a comfortable position. I started asking about how many cars he had blown up, how many he had tuned, how many platforms he had tuned, how long he had been tuning. I explained that I know mistakes happen and I am understanding if someone has blown some cars up. That means they have pushed the limits and likely learned the hard & expensive way of what not to do. This is how I learned to tune on my own cars. I simply tried something until it blew up and started over.

Things were starting to get a little more comfortable but then I asked for information on his history. As any reputable tuner should be easy to find on the web, and if they arent sometimes they tune under an alternative name, or under a shop name. I couldn’t find him so I asked. He told me he was associated with Efi Logic. I thought great! I know who Efi Logics is! At least its someone I have heard of that has a foundation. I was not fond of going with someone who was tuning for the first time on their first platform. But Toni told me that he had tuned for them on a number of other vehicle platforms. Fantastic! I may have found my guy!

Communication Problems & Ordering Issues
So further down this story we start having communication problems. Right off the bat I wanted to get going. I had him get me a tune. I sent him some logs. I sent my opinion on the logs with some minor cliff notes, and he got me updates the next day. Things were moving at an acceptable pace considering it was remote. I had a trip planned and I was going out of town so we were going to have to finish up when I got back. At this time my car was still pegging the wideband out at 11.02AFR at nearly every RPM at WOT. I told him I think we need to lean it out quite a bit and that we can work on it when I am back in town.

Then I started asking him for quotes on his flex fuel setup as I was extremely interested in the concept. I really wanted a flexible fueling system. It took nearly 2 weeks to finally get the cost of upgrading. Maybe even 3! He gave me a great price, which was his standard price. Mind you I never took “hookup” on anything I purchased, I paid what everyone else paid. But for the market price it was decent. But it was frustrating that it would take WEEKS to get this quote.

AFR Tuning Concerns

So having tuning experience in the past I was obviously concerned with the sensor we would be using for AFR. Toni had previously told me the stock one is close enough as he has his base maps all tuned on the dyno and we would just be making tweaks to the MAF etc to get them dialed in to match. I still pushed saying I don’t mind paying for a wideband and that I wanted a gauge anyway. I don’t want a bunch of them but I don’t mind having that as it gives me peace of mind.

However I was assured that Toni had actually recalibrated the wideband with his own testing and had felt it was acceptable and typically within 0.5AFR accuracy. He told me it was just fine and there was no reason to purchase one. This conversation came up multiple times. I also had purchased his P3 gauge right away so I could simply see my AFR. However the fact it was always maxed out made me uncomfortable which is why I again offered to purchase and install a wideband and asked about wiring it into the ECU for easier to view logs. He said there was no reason even though we couldn’t see our AFR. I wasn’t comfortable with this but I figured at this point I was trying to trust him, no one has said anything bad, and he has tuned some of the fastest cars to date. I should try to listen to him. I fully regret this mistake.

Tuning struggles
So after I got back in town we started tuning more. I had noticed that the short term fuel trims were pulling quite aggressively to lean the car out. And that the long term terms were at -10 to -20% or so. I told this to Toni and he said I shouldn’t be using fuel trims. He immediately sent me a file after I told him it looks like he is upwards of 20% leaner. Well he did lean it out, and amazingly we finally saw a few “blips” on the AFR plot! Hooray! But from this change I started seeing some knock pullback in a number of places, and more tip in knock.

Now I would have to verify my emails to see about the time I started this but I want to say it was right before this last revision I am speaking of. I had recommended Toni to a friend with an innovate kit, who purchased it from Toni. However he was having a lot of frustration with his tune. He was getting a lot of tip in knock, and a lot of audible knock at high rpm, and mid rpm. There were backfires etc. He was getting extremely upset and worried and not sure what to do at this point. I sat down and thought about it. I told my friend “Hey why don’t we split the ticket cost to fly him down and just tune our cars”. We realized you know what it will cost an arm and a leg but then it would work. We would have one on one communication and it would be in a controlled environment with a proper wideband.

The Dyno Weekend Extravaganza!
So I spoke with Toni about flying out and he was okay with it. He said it wasn’t a big deal and wouldn’t mind doing it. Great! I mentioned compensation and he said don’t worry about it right at that time. Me and my friend started talking and realized hey maybe we should host a dyno day(s) and see if others want to join in! I talked with Toni and he said he was alright with this, and I told him I could handle selling everything for him. I asked if he wanted to do “group buy” style if we got a certain headcount. He agreed and gave me a price list. Fantastic!

So I started organizing things, calling friends shops, and other dynos to find one that could fit our schedules. I also told Toni since I am going to be forking all of this money out we just need to get the fuel changes done now so I don’t have to fly him in again. I asked him to rush the fuel upgrades out and they eventually showed up. In the next 48hrs I booked two full days at the dyno. I asked Toni if we were going to need to pay him for his time out so I can put it into my price structure and he said there were no worries about it, and if we got enough people we didn’t need to pay for him coming out. We were already under the impression we didn’t need to pay him as we were getting him sales & paying for everything and that he had said that we didn’t need to worry about it previously, but I wanted to ask just to be safe. Now we were starting to see signs that he wanted compensation.

So we get near the dyno day and things start to get finalized. We have shipment problems, some hardware problems (i will explain below) and he also added in a re-tune fee to the spreadsheet. Not everyone paid this though. I however sent him money immediately. My tune was never completed and I purchased his flex fuel kit (comes with a tune) and I was paying for a retune. But whatever… There is no reason to be bitter I would rather just pay and make him happy so that way he spends more time focusing on my car rather than being upset that I was being “cheap”.

Here is a link to a PDF of a spreadsheet me and Toni for reference:
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/...-%20Sheet1.pdf

Note that I did bring him in a fair chunk of change. And he has a decent profit margin.

Shipment issues, and quality control issues.
So days before the dyno I am getting stressed. parts are not coming in. He kept saying he shipped them but he didnt. Eventually he gets me a tracking number and it hadn’t been shipped yet. Things are expected to show up 1-2 days before. I also needed cables so people could do street tuning to “save dyno time” but he took too long to ship these out. This caused a lot of issues considering we were doing some before & after testing of a header that we were testing on a car and we needed some street tuning done before hand. However that is another story altogether.

So I get my fuel upgrades in and I go to install them. What a mess, not all of that is on him but I had to ask a few times to get a ROM file before installing. He kept promising but never sent. He promised it would be in on Wednesday evening and we started tearing into the car. We got everything installed fairly smoothly minus some problems with the pump, and the fact I was missing some wiring for my flex fuel kit. Oh and may the part where he sent me a 5/16 line with a ¼ fitting. He crimped the line and it leaked. Also he sent me a 30R6 line which is rated for 10% ethanol and only 50PSI which is below our peak fuel pressure in this car. He also sent this kit to someone in Tucson that needed to get it installed prior to the dyno day.

So after all of this I just patch the kit together, I tell him I am extremely concerned and he said it is fine and he uses it on all his cars. When he got in town he talked to me about it and apologized saying he realized he actually did send the wrong fuel line and that he wasn’t sure where that one came from. Thats quite disturbing.

Then the fun began. It is a Wed evening, and I have to work in the AM. So I flash the ROM and fire the car up! Except it doesn’t start. I call him concerned and ask if he possibly forgot to scale the injectors. He told me he was right and seemed a tad offended. He was not exactly friendly. I asked if he could kindly verify the file so that way I can rule it out and then take the time to check if I had made a mechanical mistake. He confirmed that he had the file open and that the injectors were correctly scaled. So me and my friend started trying to diagnose the problem. However we couldn’t find anything wrong. I texted him and said I still have a problem and asked if he had any advice. He said it was something i did wrong, and that I probably screwed up the fuel pump install. He said if it was right it should start.

I told him I know everything was just fine and that I am very confident in my wrenching abilities. He wasn’t happy and I told him I am going to fire up a log and see if I can force it to start. If I recall we pulled the fuel pump fuse as I assumed the engine was flooded with engine and we wanted to clear the cylinders out. We did this and made sure the fuel pressure would drop. We started logging and cranked it over without the fuse in and then got it to fire. Once it started we put the fuse back in and the logs showed a pegged maxed out short term fuel trim. The car was nearly bleeding fuel out of the tail pipe. I said look its doing this, and here is the log. He send me a rom back and guilts me saying he is trying to spend time with his son and needs to go and to leave him alone for the rest of the night. It was probably 1AM EST. He also avoided answering if he adjusted the injector scale.

So the last of the shipments came in on thursday. I had a vortech supercharged car, my friend had an innovate car. I had spoken to @Brian@Vortech and told him what we were doing and asked if he wanted to send us some pulleys to try out and he jumped in, so far they had been fantastic even with problems I had had (I had an early kit). So this was a known fact that we were going to do a comparison of 91 octane, and e85 side by side, on same OEM kit + I was going to do a comparison of pulleys on the dyno to see how much power difference there was. I had asked Toni about what belt to use and he said he tested the OEM one and it was just fine. He said multiple customers have not had a problem. This didn’t seem quite right to me and i was concerned but accepted it.

So since we had not received these last parts until the night before the dyno (We scheduled Friday & Saturday) We had to tear into the innovate car and get his fuel system upgrades installed right then. I was busy installing his fuel pump and couldn’t pick him up due to the fact I was stuck working on a car because Toni had been horrible with shipments. I sent someone off to pick him up and drop him off at his hotel but he ended up coming by to say hi. I ask Toni what his preference was on the fuel pump install as opposed to mine and he told us to not install the rubber base on the fuel pump. I told my friend it was his choice and that I installed it. He decided to go with Toni’s recommendation though as he said he has installed it a number of times without any issues.

So we are nearly done and my friend is finishing up, I hop in the car to take Toni to the hotel as we have an early morning. I get a call moments later saying the car started and about 10 feet out of his parking space it just shut off. I asked Toni if he forgot to adjust the injectors and he said nope its FINE. My friend ends up tearing the car apart, pulling the pump, installing the rubber base as I told him and the car worked just fine. So much for toni’s advice.

Time for some dyno fun!
So we were a tad early to the dyno and we decided to throw my car on first and see how it ran. Due to problems with the weather module though we had a few hour delay while the dyno was fixed. Once it was fixed all was well and my car was tuned in a very short time. I want to say something like 6 pulls. It put down 255WHP on the MAHA. AWESOME.

So I pull the car out and go to install the next pulley. However I know that we are now limited on time due to dyno issues and that it took so long to tune my car (which was odd… because he didn’t actually do much). I was going to just install the 3.33” as I was happy with how my car was power wise and just wanted a tiny bit more. But due to peer pressure from Toni i installed the 3.125. The belt felt a tad loose and I asked yet again if this was safe. He said it was just fine. So the day goes on and we dont have time to get my car back on the dyno. We end up getting there the next morning and I kept asking how low I should be getting the tank and he kept saying it was fine. I said I am fairly confident we were out of fuel and he kept saying there was plenty. We push the car on the dyno and he cant even finish a pull. It simply ran out of fuel. This is an easy mistake and not a huge deal but it made me sad as we were trying to a comparison of each pulley. So we pump the car full of E85. The car doesn’t take long to tune and it puts down 307WHP. The mid range seemed a tad week but it was up and I was happy.

I go to take the car for a drive and it is still having a lot of the issues we had before (I will explain below). I have Dez take it for a spin and he said it had a hard time in the low end, and idle was a tad rough. But it felt okay at full throttle. Another person drove it and stalled it… similar issues. I spoke to Toni and said it had some issues and we decided he would remote tune the last few bits as we were behind on the dyno. It ends up he was stalling on the dyno because a few cars had mechanical issues. I had a number of extra cars wanting to get on the dyno but we didn’t have time. Toni was simply stalling for little to no reason. The fun part was I was paying by the hour for the dyno time.

So I want to skip ahead and talk about a part of this dyno experience. My friend owns the dyno we used. He hooked up an LM2 to the tailpipe of my car. As many of us know a tail pipe AFR is going to be skewed a bit due to cats being installed. But there is still some usable information. Toni apparently stared at my plot a number of times and just made minor changes all while still seeing fairly lean afr mixture. My friend didn’t question it as he was “the tuner” that I hired. But more on that later.

So someone was in line to get on the dyno and he had to get his girlfriend to the airport and I tossed him my keys. I had only driven my own car for roughly five minutes. He heads out and we find out later broke down. I was busy at the time trying to get other cars finished up and organizing the event. When we realized he broke down we rushed down to see him. It ended up that the belt snapped. Go figure. The belt wrapped itself around the pulley and may have caused permanent damage. The belt was far too loose. We picked up a belt and headed to the shop to install it. We cut as much of the belt off we could and got about ½ of it on there to hold it on. Mind you I had put 6-8k miles on this belt on this blower so I know my alignment was spot on. I did not remove the unit to change the pulley. I asked Toni about this and he said he isn’t sure why it happened. I purchased smaller belts anyway.

I take Toni to the hotel and go to sleep so I can wake up early and fix my car. It ends up it broke 2-3 pulleys, the belt, and the blower now leaked oil. I was not too happy. I pushed the belt sizing and he kept confirming it was the right size. I was unable to take him to the airport and told him I would send a town car, but he said he will just take the hotel shuttle. I spend all day messing with the car and getting it right. I finally go to test it and we do a higher speed test and then blow a hose off the under side of the manifold. Not a huge deal but I wish someone would have told me about this before. We assumed this is why the car was idling rough. Boy were we wrong.

Fixing the tune
So after the dyno day I had been talking with Toni and it took some work to get everyone's ROMs. I had fixed my car and verified it was in tip top condition. I had gone through ~8 belts (this gets expensive guys!) and the blower was still leaking. Vortech worked with me on this on the side as well. Thumbs up to them. I told Toni I know the car is running fine mechanically at this point but the tune is horrible. I told him after the temperature drops below 80 (as in 75 was horrid) the car would struggle to start. This was getting aggravating. The colder it got the worse it got. The car would idle funky at times, and if i blipped the throttle it would lean out excessively. The issue was I had these issues before. At times I would swear I was hearing some detonation but it was hard to tell, and I couldn’t see much in the logs. At times I would swear I was hearing backfiring but it again was hard to tell. I continually sent log after log after log.

I went for a spirited drive with a friend as the car ran much better under heavy throttle than low. We found that under 70F if I rev’d to ~3-4k RPM and let off the engine would SHUT OFF. The short term trims were maxing out completely adding fuel. This was odd. Also the car liked to get warm fairly fast, even on E85. It was very easy to boil the engine over before I was on E85. Throughout the entire time Toni kept complaining about how poor quality our fuel was.



One of my major issues was that my car would get stuck in closed loop. I would hit 3-5PSI boost in most gears and still be pegged at 14.7AFR on my gauge. Toni kept telling me this is just fine as it is “low load”. However it was upwards of 60% throttle and after testing confirmed to 4,200RPM. (Later I discovered first gear was set even higher!!). I told toni again and again the cold starts were disgusting, the car was hard to drive, and the lean bit was horrible. The moment you hit 4,200RPM you felt a massive surge of power kicking in. This was a major concern. I spent nearly 2 months on this. I finally got an updated ROM and tried it. The car was nearly undriveable. It took me 3 attempts to get off the line without stalling. I sent him two back to back sets of logs from each ROM and went back to the old one. I was having problems in closed loop driving conditions, and even just holding an RPM. I tried holding RPM’s while in neutral and it was near impossible. At certain RPM’s on the highway the car would “jerk” and surge while you were on cruise control. Passengers would stare at me and ask what was wrong. Later I found out it was running upwards of 17AFR. More on that soon.

So we then go to the dyno to see where the car is now that I have spent a massive amount of time testing things and making sure It was running okay no my end. Now remember I asked Toni about the wideband before and he told me it was not needed and that his was calibrated. I stopped fighting that and just accepted it. Poor decision. We slap the car on the dyno, hook up the tail sniffer and fire away! At roughly 4,000RPM my friend kills the engine and I ask why. He simply points at the screen and says nothing. I asked him if his wideband was broken. He confirmed he just tuned a car moments before and had no problems. The car was reporting mid 14’s AFR. There were three of us there and we stood for 5 minutes talking about it. We all said that Toni has been doing this for a while and has the most experience and maybe he knows something we don’t. Maybe the cats are worse than we thought? We uncomfortably decided to make two pulls to see if it was consistent.

Here is the dyno:


I kept this private for a bit while talking to him and asking again if the oem sensor was fine. He kept confirming. I told him it was running horribly but communication was grim. He only sent me 1 “test” file after the dyno (the one that was hard to drive on) and that took six weeks to receive. I kept fighting him on what i felt was wrong and that there were issues with the sensor, and the tune itself as the short term trims were maxing out. He also disabled my long term trim (which i understand some tuners do but thats another topic) and that it wasn’t possible to do with flex fuel. In which he was wrong.

Doubts
So I started questioning myself and wondering if maybe all this time I didn’t know what I was doing. After all I haven’t been tuning for many years and maybe I just lost the touch. Toni kept pushing that it was fine and that it wasn’t an issue. And before that he was blaming mechanical issues. I started thinking maybe the issue was the drive. Me. I was wondering if maybe i had just forced myself to handle the throttle odd and it was in my head. So I decided to just listen to Toni and trust him. This was a horrible decision.

Engine Failure
Winter fuel came! HOORAY! 70% ethanol. At this time I am trying to see if I can drive economically and I tried to use closed loop more. It was proving to be more difficult than I thought it should be. In which it was, because the car was not running right. I make it through the first tank of gas and I am trying to see what kind of MPG I can get, so I am driving mostly in closed loop. I fill up and go to wash my car for a show. I spend hour detailing the car, cleaning all the oil from under the hood, and fixing things up. I put in a new brass breather for my supercharger that vortech sent me to see if that was the source of the leak. Funny how I spent an hour cleaning the oil out of the bay for what was about to happen.

It was the coldest I had driven yet after this. I got home with that fresh tank of gas and realized it was going to rain and I needed to park elsewhere (I live in the city downtown and the alley way is going to get my car dirty while parking). I asked my friend to park at her home about 15 minutes away for the night. She agrees and meets me. We are driving side by side and I actually get into the throttle a bit toying around in first gear. A few minutes later I am merging behind her and at partial throttle 25-50% in second gear. I hit roughly 3,800 RPM and hear a bang. I look down rev’s are down, and engine is off. I stare at the oil light with my fingers crossed. And DING light comes on. Oops.

I pull over and smoke shortly after pours from the bay. Like a volcano erupting. I grab the fire extinguisher (I have had a LOT of fuel leaks from toni’s kit, i was afraid of fire, and always kept an extinguisher in my passenger seat). I then realize screw it, let it burn if it catches on fire and stand back… I call a truck, we tow it and unfortunately it doesn’t light on fire. (HAH).

The truck takes a few hours to get there so we start drinking, its hard to get a DUI in a car without an engine right?! We are there for hours, I am texting people to sell things, and source a new engine. I tell my friend he has to find a new car for the 86 show in the morning. I grab a piece of the engine and hit the sack. I wake up a few hours later to a friend knocking on the door to take me to the show. Still drunk I stumble to his car. We get to the show and i try to make it sound like I haven’t confirmed why it went but it could be tune or mechanically related. Or it was just its time. We all laugh a bit and then my friend mentions I never said anything to the tuner.

I then text Toni and ask him if he remembers the open loop issue and my concerns with the lean condition causing an issue. He says sure he remembers it and that it is just fine and not to worry about it (i have screenshots of this). I said “Well, i told you so”. He asks what that means and i said it died. He asks for details I said the engine blew, its dead, exploded, threw a rod. He starts getting defensive as any tuner would. This is normal. He starts the blame game and tries to play it cool. This gets worse over time.

Clean Up
So the only thing Toni really has to say is to send pictures of the internals, and some excuses about how it couldn’t be him. I keep fighting this and tell him I want to see the tune. He says no. I talk to ecutek and they tell me that I will be able to self tune the new one and that they cannot open my rom as that is between me and Toni (DAMN). I knew something was up and wanted to find out.

So after a lot of frustration I managed to unlock my ROMs. All of them, every last one he sends me. DO NOT PM me asking me to unlock your ROMs. I had found a glitch in ecutek and reported it, this has been resolved and is no longer an issue. I start looking through them, sending them to friends that tune, and other tuners and asking their opinion. I got many comments about how they are surprised it didn’t blow up before this. Fun facts such as +7 degree’s timing global for E85 applied, showing no signs of MBT tuning, open loop timers set to 4,200RPM, and other things start to show up. I talked to Toni about it while having my rom and I told him I was “going to unlock it” and he said it was open in front of him right then and my open loop was set to 3,600RPM. He was straight lying to my face. This is outrageous.



I decide before pushing too much further it was time to test things my self. A friend offered to let me tune their car and learn the ins and outs of ecutek. I install an LC-2 in his car to verify the o2 settings. I used the recommended scaling from ecutek and find that it was close, but not perfect. Toni however was using something quite a bit different. Here is an overlay of the two.



This was quite concerning. What the HELL was going on here? I started to do the math of my own log on the dyno estimating the AFR I was ranging 13.5-15.0 AFR with my math. (Log showing upwards of 12.9AFR). I call my friend and ask him to send me a plotted chart with the AFR on it, i pull it up and BOOM right there, almost dead on to what the tailpipe sniffer showed. I also pulled my friends plot and logs, and then did a comparison with the LC-2 and it all matched up. Somehow Toni fucked up my AFR calibration.

I hid this for a bit as I was doing further investigation. However @Frs300 started having problems so I started looking into Toni. I got a tip on something and decided to do some checking. Toni goes by a number of names

Toni Brown
Anthonio Brown
Doyen Brown

He also has owned a number of shops such as:
Efi-Logic (not efi-logics)
FAB-WORX(not fabworx)
AD FAB (i think this was the spelling)
Allstar Desgins, and a many many others.

If you do your research you will find a lot of “dirt” involving some of these companies. The fact that two of them were identical names to companies that were legitimately selling products at the time was disturbing. Toni had not responded to me in nearly a month at this point. I text him a few of these details (including marriage license, tax info, business licenses etc). And the silence is broken. 30 seconds later he calls me. I ignore the call to tell him I am on a train on the way to a pub to meet a friend and he can talk in the morning.

Time for a chat
So I wake up, hungover as hell and await till I am sober enough to carry a conversation. I text Toni to tell him I have a 15 minute window and that I would gladly show him what happened to my car. And that this is to be taken as a polite gesture incase he genuinely wants to know.

Toni calls shortly after and tries to play things cool. I tell him I am going to send him a screenshot. The screenshot is the overlay I posted above of AFR Sensor calibration. I tell him to open it and view my ROM. I told him to look closely at the columns and note that the first offset is shifted by 1 value. It looks as if he copied and pasted off by 1 row shifting the entire AFR curve. He goes silent, and i hear him clicking away. I keep asking if he is still there and he keeps telling me to hold on. I hear him slow his breathing and then speak he said something along these lines in a calm voice (you could tell he was disturbed). “You are right, i screwed up. This is something that would destroy an engine”. He then told me he compared to a few friends who I had sent him before when I “called him out” previously, and all of them were wrong too. It ended up that all of the vortech cars had somehow gotten this bad AFR curve. We also talked and apparently he didn’t make this. He literally just used the sample data (which is usable but not perfect) that ecutek provides.

This is something you should be checking, not just assuming is right. He apparently did flash this, and tuned on the dyno but never read the AFR in the logs on the dyno, he used his LM2 as most tuners would. However he should have verified that the given values were correct. Of course its easy to make a mistake but this is why most tuners don’t care about locked roms. They want to start fresh because if you use someone elses file something like this can happen. You never know when someone re-calibrates an important sensor. He had simply used the sample map and tweaked it to his liking rather than starting from scratch. This happens all the time and usually works out. But now there is no one to point at. He should have simply tested the settings and verified, but he never realized they were ever changed because he didn’t make the rom to begin with. The thing is when he started tuning his turbo kit he started with the sample map as well. However this one was correct from what he says. He verified a number of turbo cars and they are all correct.

See this is not something to take lightly. If you are using the OEM AFR sensor for tuning it better be right. Otherwise you are going to tune off of a magical number, in which case my car was.

More fun
So I ask him to verify a number of my friends cars tunes and he verifies a number of them were off. The NA cars had the right AF sensor. The majority of the innovate guys were right but my friend that I was doing the side by side dyno with was not. He was running in the same extreme lean conditions as me. This explains why we were having backfiring & detonation issues on both vehicles. And why we had two innovate cars on the dyno and one was fine and one wasn’t. The one that was fine was using the correct AFR sample from ecutek. This is an absolute disgrace.

Moving Forward
Now I talked to Toni and I texted him saying I was going to post my experience. However I told him out of the same courtesy I offered others I would explain what happened and show him why my engine was destroyed. So he will likely be upset about this post but I told him from the beginning, as well as everyone else that I will be open about everything that happened. I actually cut this story in about half, i took out a ton of fuel system issues that others had, the endless problems with mine, and him constantly telling me I installed it wrong. In the end he just never actually tested things. And as many will ask what did toni offer in return after this discovery? Well not much. I asked if he had insurance and what the deductible was today. He called me and asked why and what I mean. He told me his insurance only covers him while driving a vehicle, and that he tried to offer to “help me out” from the get go by helping me get parts at a good price. Now he did get me a pretty good price but my friends shop was able to get at quite a bit cheaper so this was worthless to me. To most this may be useful but it was absolutely worthless. Toni has said he is going to send people updates and look into the problem. I asked him to send some changes to a few friends and he did send some today after I emailed ecutek. We are waiting to hear back from him but regardless it was his lack of attention to detail to verify the ROM’s he was sending me. Not ecutek.

So I leave you all today as being your public test dummy to test the limits of this engine. I ran my vehicle at 13-15AFR WOT, and 15-17AFR partial throttle for 12,000+ miles with forced induction before my engine failed. I must same I am fairly impressed with the FA20’s handling to poor tuning. Please lets not get this thread deleted this information needs to be available.

I have actually left a lot of problems out of this as this post was much longer than I had expected. I just tried to keep to the core bits that were alarming. There were far more communication problems, product problems, and other bits that made this experience unfavorable.

Oh and I chose 7 days in the title due to the fact I was driving like a normal human being for roughly one to two weeks. Just incase anyone wondered why I chose that title.
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Old 01-20-2014, 05:35 PM   #2
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Old 01-20-2014, 05:35 PM   #3
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Old 01-20-2014, 05:38 PM   #4
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Old 01-20-2014, 05:39 PM   #5
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Believe it or not this is the condensed version. lol
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Old 01-20-2014, 05:56 PM   #6
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I started reading. Scrolled down to see how much was left. Said fuck it.
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Old 01-20-2014, 05:57 PM   #7
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Read it all. Holy shit.
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Old 01-20-2014, 06:02 PM   #8
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Ugh, sorry to hear about your motor... gotta go with your gut next time. Def gonna install wideband with my S/C to keep from having the same outcome.
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Old 01-20-2014, 06:06 PM   #9
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Holy crap that actually made my tapatalk glitch out it was so long

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Old 01-20-2014, 06:08 PM   #10
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I'm gonna wait for the movie
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Old 01-20-2014, 06:13 PM   #11
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This is really surprising; I've Toni is such a great guy and FA20Club has such great products.. Sorry, I couldn't keep a straight face even typing that out.

I'm sorry man.. I dropped off my car today for tune at a local place - I said hell no to remote tunes with Toni.
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Old 01-20-2014, 06:16 PM   #12
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Hah sorry for the long read! I am getting some lunch then making the "ADD Friendly Version" (less than 20 lines) for those that don't want to read the "condensed" version.
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Old 01-20-2014, 06:19 PM   #13
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I've heard this story before
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Old 01-20-2014, 06:20 PM   #14
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Great thread, now if you would answer me on skype haha


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