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.
Hey guys and gals, it’s been awhile since we last checked in with you all, but let me tell you it wasn’t from lack of progress. Haute AG has been insanely busy on both the service and performance side of things.
Our project G35 LS swap has been going great, and we’re hoping to have it running within the next few weeks. Last time we checked in the motor was getting a teardown, along with some serious, fresh parts. We sent the engine block out for a complete acid wash to clean all of the oil and coolant ports, along with any other debris that may have accumulated over its lifetime. Now that we were starting with a clean slate, it was time to treat this motor right. A brand new set of engine bearings was installed after polishing and balancing the crankshaft. We blueprinted the new piston compression rings to have larger ring gaps. As we have decided this beast needs some added power- we’ve opted to go with a Magnuson supercharger for some forced induction. Because you can never have enough power, right? To compliment the boost, we went with a custom Brian Tooley Racing camshaft, along with new supporting hardware. Lingenfelter dual titanium valve springs, Comp pushrods, and fresh guides/seals finished up the top end of the build.
Now that the heart of the beast is up to par, it’s time to get the rest of the car ready. We had the transmission sent out to receive a custom shifter setup, and were having Driveline Specialties locally make us a 100% custom aluminum driveshaft. On the chassis side of things, we’ve installed an Aeromotive Stealth fuel system, with full braided stainless AN lines to and from the tank to feed our supercharged 6 litre. A fresh coat of paint for the engine bay just to make the motor pop, and we’re ready to drop the drivetrain in once we receive the transmission and driveshaft.
We did manage to get the car down to Driven 2015, a popular car show in Calgary, AB to see some of the reactions to the build. It was very well received for the most part, with a select few haters of course. Stay tuned for the next phase of assembly, and join us as we prepare to finally hit the key, and the streets. As always, feel free to call, click, or come in to Haute AG anytime.
Do you want us to do something like this to your car?
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.
We’ve been making some serious headway here at Haute AG with our project builds. Last time we featured or G35, it was in tear down mode. Well it’s still in pieces, however we’ve been breathing some new life into our heart transplant, our GM LS2. First order of business was to see what condition the motor was in, which meant getting into it. So out came the gloves and wrenches, and we were quite happy with what we found. We immediately started with a leak down test to see the general condition of the cylinders, a leak down test is also a maintenance check we recommend to our customers. Now, it was not a 100% true test as the motor should be at operating temp to do a full leak down, but we can use our best judgement and get in the ballpark at least. Results were decent, with about 80% of the leakage being through the valve train rather than bottom end. This was a great start.
<– LS motor before we did any work on it. It’ll be the last time it looks like this we assure you.
Cylinder leak down test in progress. We were surprised with the results being so good, however it’s all still coming apart ——>
So, next step was to remove the cylinder heads and see what was happening further down. Once removed we were once again surprised. Other than some of the head gasket material on the heads and block, everything seemed to be in great condition overall. This is just one more testament to the awesomeness of the LS series of motors. After 239,000+ kms, our engine was only showing general wear and tear. So, the cylinder heads were treated to a full disassembly, cleaning, milling, and some performance hardware in the way of Lingenfelter dual valve springs, new valves, guides, seals, etc. We also purchased some layered metal head gaskets, cleaned the block surfaces, and equipped it with some heavy duty ARP hardware to hold those heads down, no matter what we plan on putting this motor through. We offer similiar internal engine parts to increase the performance of your vehicle. Our next segment will feature the motor reassembly, and we may even have the new powerplant in the chassis.. Stay tuned for more details and progress we make with this build, and the others we currently have underway at Haute AG.
As always, feel free to contact us with any questions about our builds or products.
Do you want us to do something like this to your car?
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.
It is something that is often overlooked. Planning your performance project right from the get-go is key to success. The biggest thing to stress throughout a build of this magnitude is cleanliness and organization. If this is your first time getting elbow deep into your car, label EVERYTHING. It’s easier to over-label connectors, hoses, and lines, than it is to return to your build and not have a clue where they all go. It’s all about the little details that make a swap come together in the end. Organizational storage bins, magnetic trays, and even a ziplock bag with a sharpie can turn out to be some of your best friends.
As we begin disassembly of our project G35, the first thing is to drain all fluids. This will prevent you from getting a coolant bath or being doused with oil right in the middle of a task. On average, if your concentration is broken on a single task, it takes the average person 12-15 minutes to regain the focus to the point where you left off. Add more time if you need a change of clothing, etc. whether you are maintaining or upgrading, drain those fluids. Fluid changes only help with longevity of a vehicles systems, and are a part of regular maintenance anyways, so this is a double benefit really.
We will be removing the entire drivetrain. For this reason, we opted to remove the entire front crash support section to open up the engine bay and give us unobstructed access. Use your best judgement in this case, and disassemble to the point required to complete the task.
Come back next week where we’ll be removing the entire driveline and supporting components.
Do you want us to do something like this to your car?
In this new multi-part series, Haute AG will cover some of the ins and outs of tackling a project build. Whether it’s your first car and you’re looking to make some minor changes or you want to build a full street slaying/track ready car, we will show you some of the planning, preparation, and physical work it takes to become a reality.
We will be referencing one of our project vehicles throughout these blogs, which happens to be a 2006 Infiniti G35 Coupe. However, all of these principles can be applied to any vehicle. Performance is one thing, and we’re just as much about big numbers here at Haute AG, but functionality and how a car behaves on the street is another. This car is intended to be drive-able on and off the track, so we will display options and parts that allow this to be possible. Please feel free to provide feedback, or contact any of our technicians with questions. We will be more than happy to answer them!
In this build, a full motor swap will be covered, along with building an engine and what it takes to “refresh” a motor. We will be putting a Chevrolet 6.0L iron block into the car, with some go fast goodies of course, along with converting/adapting the stock 6 speed transmission (CD009) to mate to the LS motor. We will also cover clutch options and how to choose what’s right for your setup, fuel system modifications, suspension, and brakes. Then we’ll check in with our partners at Unobtainium Welding towards the end of the build, and display some of their amazing custom handy work as they let the V8 beast breathe smoothly.
Stay tuned for updates on this, and some of our other builds!
Do you want us to do something like this to your car?
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.