A common thought process we see when dealing with our clients usually starts with the realization that their car is too slow or boring and it doesn’t cause excitement the way it used to. Generally when this realization first begins to occur, internet research is the next step to find and price out all the parts that would fix this new problem. “Wow I can just plug this tuner thingy in and I gain 100 hp!”, everyone on the internet is doing it I might as well too!”
This is a thrilling experience and you just can’t wait to click “add to cart”. Although this internet shopping experience can be fun and rewarding, let’s take a step back first and consider that there are many preliminary measures to take into account.
How is your car’s Health?
By breaking them down into a checklist we can soon realize what makes the most sense for our beloved vehicles:
How will this affect my fuel mileage?
Are my services up to date?
Is my engine actually healthy enough to handle this extra power?
Are there any common issues with these engines that may be aggravated by additional power?
Are my driving skills developed enough to handle more power?
Are my brakes in good condition?
Are my tires rated for grip and power
It is very important to make sure your engine is in top condition before performing any power mods.
Key tests to consider are;
Leak down test. This method will tell you the overall condition of the internal sealing parts of your engine such as; piston rings, valve seats, head gasket.
Smoke test. This is used to check for vacuum and intake air system leaks, crankcase and pcv system leaks, and exhaust system leaks.
Coolant system pressure test. Crucial for determining the condition of your cooling system sealing properties.
Engine oil analysis, this is effective for determining the condition of the bearings and components that undergo a large amount of friction.
Fuel injector cleaning and flow test. This will ensure the proper function and atomization of the fuel injectors.
Fix, Repair, Replace!
Other components and services that you should consider replacing if applicable are;
Spark plugs (suited temperature for expected power output)
Ignition coils or plug wires, inspect the ignition system
O2 sensors must be in healthy working order
Oil and filter Change
Walnut blasting (intake port cleaning on direct injection vehicles)
The Calgary International Auto and Truck Show took place this year from March 9-13 2016 at the BMO Centre. The show is once every year, and is a showcase for vehicle manufactures to display their newest models to the public. Virtually every manufacture attends the show to get the crowd excited for their new vehicle lineup.
We have put together a few vehicles that we thought really stood out in the show!
2016 Dodge Viper
Scion FRS Race Car
Buick Avenir Concept
Ford Focus RS
Audi R8 V10 Plus
Cardel Racing Lamborghini Gallardo GT3
Lexus LC Concept
Lotus Exige Cup
Rolls Royce Booth
Ferrari 458 Speciale
Maserati GranTurismo MC
Aston Martin / Bentley Booth
BMW ///M2 Debut
BMW ///M4 GTS Debut
Acura NSX Debut
Acura Race Car
Team Haute AG recently got back from a week of sightseeing and networking at SEMA 2015 in Las Vegas. For those who have never been to SEMA or are unsure of what the show is about, Its basically your local car show multiplied by 500 times, and millions of dollars worth of car porn shoved in your face faster than you can say Olé!
The 2015 SEMA Show drew in over 60,000 domestic and international buyers and exhibitors. The show is segmented into 12 sections that include categories such as performance parts, tires, rims, racing parts, suspension, brakes, as well as a new products showcase displaying innovative and new products in the industry. Not only that, but the show also provides attendees and exhibitors with demonstrations, seminars, and networking events.
In fact the show was so big after going every day for the entire week, we still did not see it in it’s entirety! There was many notable builds at the show from heavy hitters such as Liberty Walk, RWB, Rocket Bunny, Accuair, Vorsteiner, DUB, OS Giken, and so many more. The magnitude of it is almost daunting. Just when you think you’ve seen enough, you round the next corner or enter the next convention hall, and the same overwhelming experience starts all over again. The team here at Haute AG took it upon themselves to allow the sensory overload to take place, so we could bring you the vehicles that we chose as the highlights. We hope you enjoy, and feel free to disagree or agree in the discussion section of this blog. Without further ado, Haute AG’s Top Picks!
BMW Z4 GT CONTINUUM – BUILT BY BULLETPROOF AUTOMOTIVE AND VARIS
This showstopper was built by Bulletproof Automotive in conjunction with Varis. Featuring a full Varis widebody, with custom split windshield and custom rear buttress to give it a speedster look. A truly amazing build.
This Superstreet magazine cover car is no joke, and is one of the best examples of a Supra that we have seen. The owner spared no expense from the custom V-mount radiator with custom ducting, to the BBS motorsport wheels and the Precision 6667 turbo, this car boasts upgrades that most people dream about.
JON SIBAL’S RWB PORSCHE 911
Amazing clean build by Jon Sibal and RWB.
S14 ROCKET BUNNY “BOSS” CONVERSION
We saw a few examples of these at the show, and it really seemed to be a love or hate thing for most people. On our side, we loved them. Aggressive, American styling cues up front, blended into a clean, curvy, bumper-less tail end made for an awesome looking car. Let us know what you think; Love, or hate?
BMW E46 M3
This car immediately caught our attention. This was the first E46 to feature the new Rocket Bunny kit. The car also features air bag suspension from Airlift, as well as a blown LS engine. Very cool build.
This is one of the cars during the show that attracted so much attention, but nobody really knew what it was or where it was from. Unique styling, aggressive lines, and a name that very few people recognized really set this car apart. We immediately knew what it was, as one of our own happen to own a slightly modified G35 coupe, and have priced out the kit previously. But, to see it complete was simply awesome.
As if this car needs much of an introduction or an explanation as to why it made it on our Top Picks list. To see this car in person, it was pure automotive perfection. It was difficult to get a clear picture, as a crowd was always present around this work of art.
PORSCHE 911 TARGA4 GTS WIDEBODY
Another widebody stunner was this awesome Porsche 911. These guys went all out in making the biggest booty 911 we saw at the show. The body lines were perfectly blended, and pictures don’t do justice as to how much width they added on to this beast.
HOLDEN MALOO UTE
To our Aussie friends and followers, this may not seem so interesting. But for the rest of us from North America, this was a pretty cool car to see make it to the show. A company based out of Texas imports and makes these fully street legal for our market. From the airbags, to DOT approved glass, bumpers, and restraint systems, these guys really appreciate these vehicles and what it takes to make them street legal for enthusiasts. Worth a cool $75,000 USD to you, or not?
We had to share this, simply for the craftsmanship that went into this paint job. The depth and detail was just phenomenal. We looked over the entire vehicle, and were hard pressed to find a single flaw. We can appreciate the man hours something of this caliber takes.
RWB PORSCHE DISPLAY
The RWB display at the Forgeline wheels booth brought tons of attention from the crowd as well as media. All the latest RWB cars were on display, ranging from Porsche 930’s, 964’s and 993’s. Truly an impressive display!
This car was probably one of the most famous builds from SEMA 2015. In fact it won the Need For Speed award for best build, and will be featured in their upcoming video game. This car has gone through several iterations since the owner purchased it in 2007. The current iteration boasts a mix of rat rod and motorsport styling and engineering. This car was originally a BMW E38 sedan, and was custom built on a tube chassis with Group 5 motorsport widebody and Porsche 935 motorsport wheels. The car features racing technology, from the chassis to the engine to the suspension, and brakes. Truly a one of a kind build!
A stunning example of the RCF in track car guise. This car features a Rocket Bunny body kit, full cage, big wing, and other race spec mods. This car definitely stood out!
Rocket Bunny kits were everywhere at this years SEMA show, and this beautiful NSX was another great example. This car had many other stunning features such as the GT style rear wing and BBS LM wheels.
LIBERTY WALK PORSCHE 997 TURBO
LIBERTY WALK NISSAN GTR R35
There was so many wide body Nissan R35’s at SEMA this year, it was hard to keep track! This was one of the few that stood out. The combination of metallic purple paint, mixed with the Liberty Walk kit, and air bagged suspension and aggressive offset deep dish wheels made this car really pop!
“DOCZILLA” LIBERTY WALK FERRARI 458
Another perfectly executed Liberty Walk and Airrex collaboration on this stunning Ferrari 458. This car looked great from all angles, especially aired out. Not only that, but the owner is Canadian!
KUHL RACING NISSAN GTR R35
It was extremely difficult to get pictures of this car, as it constantly drew crowds of people. This GTR have air bag suspension, and an Aero Monster widebody kit, and came straight from Japan. But the real head turner was the out of this world hand engraved metallic paint!
ROCKET BUNNY BMW E36 M3
Really like the Rocket Bunny kit on the E36, really compliments the body lines well.
OS GIKEN DATSUN 240Z
This Datsun was so clean it looked like it rolled off the showroom floor. But the main show piece of this car is the engine, featuring the legendary OS Giken built TC24-B1Z twin cam cross flow cylinder head. This built L28 produces an amazing 370 n/a horsepower!
BODEN AUTOHAUS AUDI R8
This R8 was just so clean, built by Boden Autohaus, Accuair, and Prior Design.
The Vanos system in many of BMW’s is an integral system of the engine operation, we will discuss the importance of maintenance and improvements available for the BMW Vanos systems. We see failures of these systems quite often, and in some cases they can be catastrophic. So, there are several steps you can take to not only avoid this, but also upgrade the system for better performance along with peace of mind. “Vanos” is BMW’s name for its variable valve timing units. Vanos units take on various shapes and design according to car year and model (engine model). The vanos discussed here is the S54 (E46 M3), and there are many improvements available. We will be referencing Beisan Systems specifically. They continually provide top quality products, and are very professional in dealing with.
The first item that should be replaced and causes the majority of catastrophic failures is the factory oil pump disc. The clearances of these discs is not ideal direct from production, and what happens is the 2 “ears” of the oil pump drive have the ability to knock back and forth. Over time the ears on the drive can physically break and become lodged in the Vanos unit. Lack of oil pressure quickly damages other components, making it necessary to dig much deeper into the engine to inspect what other items have been affected.
The second item we replace while the Vanos unit is disassembled is the bearing inside of the splined shaft. This shaft is what physically causes the camshafts to adjust valve timing. As they wear the bearing clearances become too great, causing the notorious BMW Vanos rattle as it is commonly referred to. We disassemble the splined shafts and change out the bearing races, and add a thicker shim to reduce the axial clearances. This completely eliminates any noise caused by the shafts.
Last but certainly not least, is the Vanos Solenoid Coil Pack. This is the most common failure on the BMW’s, and it is basically inevitable to fail at some point. This is a harder item to diagnose as it causes minor driveability issues, however an automotive enthusiast will notice the slight changes and often contact us with concerns. The reason for failure is a manufacturer defect in how the circuit board is constructed. The fastening points are all located on one side of the circuit board, which allows the opposite end to deflect while the engine is running. This essentially causes a “diving board” effect and allows the circuit board to vibrate very heavily on one end. What Beisan Systems does is drills out a locating pin on the problem side, and installs a fastener to eliminate any potential movement. Illustrated below is the failed solder connections, and a comparison between before and after the fastener is retrofitted.
All of these repairs combined, once performed, can make the driving experience of your E46 M3 take on a whole new meaning. The timing is adjusted after installation, which is also often slightly off from factory, making your M3 much more responsive and fun to drive. If you have concerns some of these components may be showing wear or even damage, feel free to contact Haute AG, and see how we can assist you today. We hope this information was helpful, and encourage you to check out Beisan Systems for more pictures and testimonials on their quality products.
We had a great time at the Driven Show in Calgary this past Saturday May 23rd at the Olympic Oval. It has been a 1 year hiatus since the last Driven Show was here in 2013. So it is no surprise that people were very anxious and excited for the show this year.
Haute AG was lucky enough too have reserved a booth for the show this year. We hoped to have our project BMW M3 turbo widebody in the show, however it is still a work in progress. Although our project G35 LSX was finished enough to display in our booth, it is still a few weeks away from being turn key.
Another noticeable car we had in our booth was our customers stunning BMW E46 M3 CSL conversion. This car had oem CSL parts such as the bumpers, carbon fibre roof, carbon fibre door cards, steering wheel and centre console. The car also features MCS coilovers, Brembo GT brakes, Apex wheels, and a full Supersprint exhaust from the headers back. Just a beautiful example of the E46.
Another cool car we had was our recently stanced and fitted Mercedes E55. This is an extremely fast car that has upgrades including; Kleeman headers, Kleeman exhaust, Kleeman small pulley, Bosch intercooler, heat exchanger, Eurocharge tune, intake, and Programma lowering module. One day before the show we were scrambling to fit the new wheels which are Wedssport SA15R. These wheels were never meant to fit the Mercedes, so we did a lot of custom work to get these wheels to fit. Not many people would venture down this path, but we wanted to do something different and unique. They came out great and we finished them in time for the show!
Our fourth car we had in our booth was our clients mint 2005 Porsche Turbo S. This car came fully loaded from the factory with options that include: carbon ceramic brakes, carbon fibre interior, yellow stitching. As well as upgrades that include: Techart wheels, eibach lowering springs, and a custom sound system with Alpine touch screen interface.
Some other notable cars that we liked at the show:
Volkswagen Karman Ghia with a Subaru WRX swap
Audi A4 on Rotiform wheels with custom Camo decals
Clean Porsche 993
Ferrari F430 with Novitec Rosso body kit and ADV.1 Wheels
Dodge Viper GTS and Audi R8 V10
Nissan GTR R35
Brand new Porsche 991 GT3
Ferrari F12 and Lamborghini Hurracan
BMW ///M4 on Hre Wheels and BMW Performance body kit
Widebody Nissan GTR R32
Widebody Mitsubishi Evo
And thats a wrap! we are already looking forward to next year. Contact us for any parts inquiries as seen in this thread.
Saturday was a busy day at Haute AG Headquarters in Calgary Alberta, as we hosted numerous BMW M3’s and M4’s in our bay. Bimmerpost members got together at Haute AG to allow us to perform custom module coding on their vehicles. Module coding can allow vehicle owners to unlock features of their vehicles that may be locked due to various reasons, such as government standards, packages, dealerships etc.
Some features we were able to unlock include: keeping exhaust valves open all the time, unlocking the office feature, controlling door handle lights to switch on with reverse, adaptive LED lights, unlocking the Euro MDM feature.
Overall I think everyone was very happy with the results! Here are a few pics from the day.
We are excited to announce our new partnership with Brixton Wheels Company!
The Brixton Collection focuses on relentless attention to detail throughout the design, engineering and production phases of their forged wheel line. Delivering the finest, light-weight performance wheel in its class, their performance-inspired philosophy has driven them to surpass the limitations defined by traditional wheel companies. Using the worlds most respected milling machines, their forged wheels are handcrafted from the highest quality Aerospace Grade 6061-T6 Aluminum and incorporate low-density, high strength titanium details that set them apart from the rest. Starting with the highest quality materials, each Brixton Forged wheel is authentically designed, engineered and manufactured exclusively for you.
Looking for the ultimate performance exhaust for your Porsche 996 Turbo? We are introducing our new line of custom exhaust products made by famed fabricator Unobtainium Welding, exclusively for Haute AG.
This exclusive exhaust system features a 3″ straight through catless design with anti drone pipes. Also features custom slashed tips for a race car look.
Check out the pictures and contact us for sales inquiries.
We are extremely excited to announce our new partnership with Calgary’s own Unobtainium Welding!
Unobtainium Welding has decades of experience in custom fabrication utilizing a variety of exotic metals such as Titanium, Inconel, Stabilized Stainless Steel, Magnesium, Zirconium, and Niobium. They have created many lightweight and high performance exhaust systems for a variety of high performance cars, such as BMW M3, Porsche 996/997, Ford GT, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Nissan GTR, and Audi R8 (just to name a few). Unobtainium also specializes in race car aerodynamics and SCCA certified roll cages.
Unobtainium also specializes in custom race car fabrication. They have created the custom diffuser and exhaust on our own project BMW M3 track car.
Currently we are stocking custom exhaust systems in titanium and stainless steel for the Porsche 996 and 997 Turbo.
Nissan GTR R35 Exhaust and Components
Lexus ISF Titanium Intake
Exhaust systems coming soon for the Audi R8 4.2L, Porsche 997 GT3 RS and Porsche 993. Contact Haute AG today to order!
The team at Haute AG has been busy the last few months doing renovations and working hard to get the shop looking good for the scheduled opening in February 2015.
We took over the space from The Rod Shop, who has been building custom Hot Rods in Calgary for the past 10 years. As a result, there was 10 years worth of automotive buildup that we needed to clean up. Haute AG will be focused on high end luxury vehicles such as Porsche, BMW, Mercedes, and Audi. To portray our market segment, the shop will reflect a sense of luxury for our clients.
The first stage of renovations consisted of a full renovation of the showroom area, beginning with flooring and paint. Other planned changes include painting of the shop walls, and a full refinish of the shop floor. Here are some before and after pictures of the current changes:
Stay tuned for more updates!