GranSport update notes from Dubai

jpmondalek

Junior Member
Messages
376
Hello all,

I just got back from spending Easter break with my parents in Dubai and naturally I indulged in driving my toy ;)



Here are some notes from my upgrade experience and hopefully can encourage some suggestions / advice to rectify some of my issues. My car currently has about 26k miles and was built in July 2006.

Larini Sports Centre Section:

After meeting with Conaero and Loz at the Ace Cafe, they got me thinking about making more upgrades to my car's exhaust system. First step was to consider a replacement for the factory X-pipe. David at Larini said their Sports Centre Section (aka H-pipe) had a superior design to their own X-pipe and if it were his car he'd go with the H-pipe everytime. The H-pipe is also supposed to tone down the sound for cars with aftermarket mufflers and de-cats. So, after giving it some thought, I decided to go with the H-pipe.

Naturally, I was anxious to hear the car's new setup with the addition of the Larini H-pipe. I could immediately tell that the car had lost its frequent tendency to crackle and pop upon backing off the gas pedal. Also, the tone was less high pitched. In exchange, the sound seems to be deeper with the occasional burp/fart, but absolutely no crackling. Not surprisingly, my mother prefers this setup and says she would sometimes feel embarrassed with the previous setup (although she did admit she would get amused by how people would turn 180 to see what was coming down the road!). It sounds more refined, something I would expect in a British V8 sports car. So, my initial reaction was of disappointment.

The factory X-pipe is being held at the garage, and I am debating whether to hang on to it and switch back. I am speaking with Buster67 about selling him one of the units to upgrade from his 4200's muffled centre resonator. I will not go to the Larini valved mufflers unless I relocate back to Dubai, so for now I will most likely keep it in its current configuration.

This is what it sounds like now: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CtffM3x_BKw&feature=youtube_gdata

I need to spend more time with Conaero and Loz to decide if I want to go all the way (de-cats, Larini H-pipe, and mufflers). In which case it is probably wise to keep the H-pipe, otherwise the Larini muffler combo it will be OTT with an X-pipe (factory or Larinii)!

This was my previous setup w/ de-cats + factory X-pipe and stock mufflers (I liked it alot): http://picasaweb.google.com/jpmondalek/DeCats?authkey=Gv1sRgCPKw6p6d2Nis-QE&feat=directlink

Becker Grand Prix 7990:

http://www.sportsmaserati.co.uk/showthread.php/52-Becker-Grand-Prix?highlight=becker

Per Conaero's suggestion, I upgraded my OEM Becker head unit to the Grand Prix 7990 unit, which has Bluetooth, MP3, and i-pod functionality. Since I love my music and wanted a hands-free telephone setup, this upgrade was worth every penny. If you don't need Bluetooth, but want to bypass the **** sound quality of the CD changer, just get the Becker i-pod connection (this will take place of your CD changer). If you're still in the stone ages, the removable face plate conceals a single CD drive, and also reads MP3s.

Car Cover

http://www.sportsmaserati.co.uk/showthread.php/511-Specialised-Covers-product-review

I think it is important to have a quality car cover that fits snuggly, and will help avoid scratches (just remember to only cover when absolutely clean and dry, latter is less of an issue in Dubai frankly).

C-Tek Battery Charger:

This is the same unit that Ferrari/Maserati sell for 2x the price.

http://www.ctek.com/EN-GB/Default.aspx

Don't leave home without one. Purchased from http://www.mdsbattery.co.uk/defaultuk.asp

BMC Air Filter:

So far so good, and no fitment issues to report of. I thought this was a worthwhile upgrade, because of the dusty conditions and the need to change air filters more frequently than typically required. These are re-usable units. Just clean and re-oil. Purchased from Formula Dynamics.

Denso Iridium Spark Plugs:

Given car was nearing 4 years in age, it was time to swap the spark plugs and upgrade to Iridium ones. Hard to tell the difference, but car seems to be more responsive. Purchased from Formula Dynamics.

Observed issues:

- On board computer frequently suggests that outside temperature is freezing, while it is hot and sunny. This prevents A/C from blowing cold air. Faulty sensor? Anybody experienced this before?
- A/C knobs are starting to get sticky...this will be a future project for http://www.stickynomore.com/ in the future
- I occasionally get a squealing sound at low speeds (I noticed this after washing my car)....not sure if this is brake related or the infamous spigot bearing? I have already ordered this part for my upcoming clutch change in the summer/fall.
- Rear upper panels warped where they sit under rear glass and vinyl wrap is beginning to peel. Ordered both left and right units for £300 from Eurospares
- Leather driver seat bolster beginning to wear, sent leather sample to http://www.leatherique.com/ and will have the seats professionally re-dyed.
- Rear-view mirrors don't dip any more but have power (Conaero suggested I manually dip them when in reverse and it will be re-memorised...this will have to wait till when I am back).
- Despite my FD DBW upgrade, in stop-n-go situations my revs will occasionally go up to 2-2.5k before clutch drops...signs that clutch is on its way out? I have already ordered clutch, bearings, and flywheel as a precautionary measure, given the mileage of the car (still on original parts).
- On hard acceleration, up-shifts cause a nasty "shunt". I have read about these "shunts"; are they fixable or is this a character trait of the Cambio Corsa transmission?
- Now that I am getting more confident with driving the car at high speeds, I can feel the laughable body roll on sweeping turns and on heavy braking. FD springs are now on my "To Do" list - again, if/when I relocate
- "Ball polished" wheels are curbed - can we say with certainty that they are painted, in which case they are repairable?
- Every other time I start up the car it does it without vigour. I believe this is related to the MAF sensor and asked the garage to clean it with a MAF spray. I just learned from them that they did not do this, as they were not able to source the MAF cleaner spray...will keep you posted on this, but please let me know if you have experienced this. Clearly it is not weather related in my case.
 
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BigFoot

New Member
Messages
896
Thanks JP, very interesting read (as usual!). A few thoughts from your Maserati-less pal.

1. Exhaust
What kind of sound are you really after? And for what budget? In terms of performance, getting the front pipes sorted, as you did, I think will give you the most improvement, particularly torque-wise. I would keep the H-pipe and keep it civilised, till you go back to Dubai and can go full throttle on a set up you will enjoy, given your mother (who is currently driving the car) appreciates the crackle-less set up.

2. Squealing
If it is brake related, it should be only be heard on braking. Is it the case? If the car is not driven much, squealing is normal.

3. Clutch/revs
Sounds very odd, never had this happen after the modifications (or before). Revs may be due to the MAF, rather than clutch. Actually, now that I think of it, it happened once, in heavy traffic on a hot day, so it may be due to something overheating, which probably happens quite often in Dubai.

4. Upshifts
Yes, a shunt is normal, particularly if you keep the pedal pressed down. I would slightly lift up on upshifting then press down, makes it for a smoother gear change even with the FD DBW installed.

5. Starting without vigor
Did it a few times on my GS too, pre and post mods. Particularly upon a quick restart. Not sure why it happened but never felt the need to get it checked. Every other time does sound more worrying than my situation though, perhaps it's due to low tension in the starter motor?


Please take the above with a pinch of salt, as I am no expert whatsoever, just sharing my impressions and experiences from a now distant past.
 

lozcb

Member
Messages
10,752
Great write up JP not too much for concern as some of the issues can be easily rectified

The squeal is almost certainly the spiggot bearing i presume its usually happens when pulling away hardish in Ist possibly for a brief second or two in 2nd , may be similar to how i made Urbans car sound in the carpark if you recall his was the spiiggot bearing and now been rectified and squeal free

The clutch revs thing im also experiencing and like you will shortly be having the clutch done , im increasingly also experiencing greater time delay between actually changing gear and the time it takes for the clutch plate to actually engage on the plate , at the moment im putting all this down worn clutch , it could be remedied temporarily by have the pis kis points reset but at the moment the car is easily drivable if you treat it sympathetically and im told by Myles (Emblem ) that a reset would sharpen the change up , but would result in the last remnants of the clutch plate getting eaten up quicker and seeing as i want it to last untill my brake upgrade is completed im happy to work around it for now

A certain amount of shunt is normal ,on hard acceleration, and as Bgfoot states can be minimalised by use of the throttle , worth keeping an eye on to see ifiti gets worse or stays the same, could always be propshaft universal joints but i doubt it

I also get the occasional slow start up .my starter is A1 and has no problems turning over the engine , its when she first fires up , for a brief second its slow and then roars into life at full flow , my throttle repsonse is also a tad slow, and no where near as fast as my 4200 so again i put this down to the MAF , i will have it out this weekend and give it a clean , but if it was getting faulty or sticking i would of thought a CEL or more severe problems would of occurred , i'll let you know the result

regards loz your not alone JP together we'll get it sorted
 

jpmondalek

Junior Member
Messages
376
Thanks guys...very helpful and prompt as always.

Exhaust wise, I like high pitched sounds. However, I expect this car to be my daily driver in Dubai eventually so I want the sound to be tuned but "liveable". It's nice now, but I've lost some of the wide-open throttle anger that I loved and the crackling when I would down shift in to a turn at high speeds. The de-cats still keep it loud, but I guess it just has a different character that I am not used to. I think the full Larini treatment would be nice, but probably not as a daily driver. Matt / Loz, anybody want to take me for a ride to answer this question?

Squeal sound is when car is in motion in lower gears, which leads me to believe it is the spigot bearing too.

The clutch slipping is not terrible (i.e. not going all the way up the rev range) but happening more often than before. Otherwise it drives fine. I'll keep an eye out on this, as I have a feeling 30k miles will be the end of the road for the clutch after dealing with nasty traffic / city driving in Dubai.

I'll take your advice about backing off the gas when gunning it, which I usually try to do. However, I remember someone saying the manual instructs keeping the foot on the floor during upshifts. Has anybody ever changed the gearbox mounts and felt an improvement?

Reading through the forums, this "weak" start up seems to be quite common. However, nobody seems to have a clear answer why (some say weather, dirty fuel, or dirty MAF). Loz, your MAF project will be interesting to monitor on this front.

Lastly, any thoughts on the bizarre ECU temperature read outs? It doesn't really bother me, but now that it is getting quite hot in Dubai a functioning A/C would be nice! :)
 

conaero

Forum Owner
Messages
30,697
JP, anytime, I am down on the South Coast. If you have a spare day, come down and we will go for a blat.

Chichester, near Brighton. (its has a train straight through from Victoria an hour and a half)

What you have done is mix 3 different manufacturers together, the results will always be a bit hit and miss, but it is interesting to know that the stock centre X box give good sound.

You might also want to drop SimonM a line, he lives in London and has the same system as me.
 

lozcb

Member
Messages
10,752
Getting very near the edge of my limitations now JP , i have experienced on the odd occasion when it was coldish the odd temp beep when i thought it was no where near freezing , in fairness to the gauge it did show 2 degrees, i remember one occasion i actually wound down the window to check and it felt no where near freezing so i put it down to the Italian electrics thing , cant say it affected the running of the air con, still works perfectly after around 45 seconds of being switched on



Sure we can manage to get you a ride somewhere to hear the exhaust diffrences

regards loz
 
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BigFoot

New Member
Messages
896
For the A/C, just pull the window down and stick your arm out, as every proper Italian-car driver would do ;)
 

urbanmaser

Centenary Club
Messages
2,870
- I occasionally get a squealing sound at low speeds (I noticed this after washing my car)....not sure if this is brake related or the infamous spigot bearing? I have already ordered this part for my upcoming clutch change in the summer/fall.

Almost certainly spigot bearing but if you are changing the clutch shortly I would not worry about it


from

Urbanmaser....the spigotologist:)
 

jpmondalek

Junior Member
Messages
376
For the A/C, just pull the window down and stick your arm out, as every proper Italian-car driver would do ;)
I drove with my windows down most of the time (despite the heat!), which is why my face is peeling on one side! LOL

If you look closely, my windows have a clear tint. http://www.foilacar.ae/dugard.html

I did this to keep the interior temp down and reduce wear/tear on the interior (READ – ****** plastics)...oh, and it helps prevent nasty UV rays from damaging your skin! :)
 

lozcb

Member
Messages
10,752
Im thinking along those lines JP either Brooklands on the Saturday or Silverstone on the Sunday, if its the latter would have to pick you up somewhere near the beginning of the M1 unless you could get a train to MK station , its only 5 mins from where i live and 25 mins from Silverstone , im hoping to get around 10 or so cars to meet up outside Silverstone so that we can go in together in convoy


regards loz
 

ENZ525

Centenary Club
Messages
6,743
Im thinking along those lines JP either Brooklands on the Saturday or Silverstone on the Sunday, if its the latter would have to pick you up somewhere near the beginning of the M1 unless you could get a train to MK station , its only 5 mins from where i live and 25 mins from Silverstone , im hoping to get around 10 or so cars to meet up outside Silverstone so that we can go in together in convoy


regards loz
Would be good to go in convoy :thumb3:
 

ENZ525

Centenary Club
Messages
6,743
Hi JP,
It's a little difficult to tell from the vids, but I think I prefer the new setup...
Sounds a little more rounded/throaty to me, without the harshness.
Regards,
Enzo.
 

conaero

Forum Owner
Messages
30,697
Yes, you cant really tell from the vids, I am afraid you will have to fly me out to Dubai and let me have a listen first hand. Dont worry, a 4 star hotel will do, I am not greedy :saifi5:
 

jpmondalek

Junior Member
Messages
376
@ Enzo: Thanks for the feedback. Yeah, my new fancy camera shoots great, but the microphone is worthless!

@ Conaero: Right, let me see if I still have points left on my time share jet :p

@ BigFoot: Keeping current setup for now makes the most sense, but Buster67 is in the market for a centre unit, so something might happen sooner (unless our boys can convince me that the mufflers are liveable for daily driving)
 

jpmondalek

Junior Member
Messages
376
FYI, response from US dealer regarding squealing, which reconfirms the above assessment and an interesting comment regarding "modifying" the clutch housing.

_____________________

Hey JP…hope all is well.

It’s difficult to determine what’s causing the temp sensor issue and the startup, but the squealing noise is probably the clutch shaft bearing noise or “clutch howl” noise. There is a new pilot brg and a modification that we do to the clutch housing to prevent the bearing from spinning. We’ve had to replace a few clutch housings as well. It’s also the best time to replace the clutch.

I was talking with Benny…we should all get together for a beer when you’re in town.

Best,
Steve


Stephen Oldford
Service Manager
e-mail: soldford@ferrarine.com

Ferrari -Maserati of New England
441 Providence Hwy
Norwood, MA 02062
781-619-6970
www.ferrarine.com