Newsletter No 63


30 June 2009


It seems with the “economic crisis” over the world we are doing better than ever J

People are now keeping their cars longer and spending more on making their existing car better and a bit more exciting. Our motto is now that you shouldn’t buy a new car, buy a Unichip or “invest in what you got” !

With the latest K&N shipment being brought in at an Exchange rate of 8 USD to the Rand the prices are more than competitive again J
Also I have increased my Motorcycle stock significantly.

New universal plug and play system: 

My supplier is changing the plug and play system to have connections for popular ECU connector types. You will be able to connect the Unichip according to whatever ECU you might have. This is good news for those who feel it is of advantage to be able to remove & refit the Unichip at will.  So far we are looking at a price of about 3450 Rand excluding the Unichip and it’s tuning, which can be another 2 to 3 grand.

Unichip Lamborghini project:

Dastek has been getting fantastic feedback from the press about the Lamborghini project.
You can check out the latest youtube video where they compared the car (at the low boost setting) against a standard Lamborghini over a one kilometre run. 

They have since improved on the times with 100 - 200 in 4.3 seconds and 200 - 300 in 7.6 seconds. To put it in perspective the standard car does 100 - 200 in 11.9 seconds at this altitude and a C63 Merc does it in 13.9 seconds.  


You can download some more pictures.
There is also a small brochure that might be of interest
You can download the latest press DASTEK got with the car.

When the phone rings Monday morning, long before our opening time of 7H30, then I know it is 1 of 2 things:

1                    Somebody had a breakdown over the weekend and now needs help/reassurance

2                    Somebody had been talking to his friends over the weekend and now needs my advice

In the first case I have no problem offering my services or advice

In the 2’nd it normally means the person has either started on a plan of action and is unsure whether he is on the right track or he has done something that his cronies are now berating him about.

I use the word “cronies” here, as usually friends do not make comments unless they can quantify them or use them to help their pêl !

Also a lot of these “raadsoekers” phone whilst imbibing or early the next morning afterward, as no sober person would ask advice of somebody once having spent their money somewhere else.


Sometimes I can alleviate the symptoms, as an incorrectly sized cam. But more often (like this morning) it goes like “I had an Exhaust fitted at XYZ and now my Crony tells me that I can burn valves- what do you say Nick ?”. In a case like that I can say “Please contact XYZ that did the job and ask them whether they will back their job and what they think of your Cronies opinion”



I recently received an eMail from a chap who had done more research than most to upgrade his Golf and I therefore took more time than usual to investigate his questions. For somebody who has done research on his project and wants some more info I would be delighted to meet you in person and discuss this.


Firstly I need to clear up my background a little:

I studied mechanical Engineering in the mid 80’s in Cape Town

I am a Motorenbauer and can design a motor from scratch- though I prefer concentrating on the cylinder heads.

I have been building Engines since 1991 on a professional basis.

With the years of experience with internal combustion engines, turbocharging as well as engine management behind me, I often get used as a consultant (I hate that word).


I see my business conduct as follows:

Either the client tells me what I must do and therefore he carries the responsibility.

Or the client asks me for an off-the shelf solution i.e. Do something we have developed already

The client requests me to find a solution for his unique demand and carries the development costs

Lastly we have the client that will do the work themselves but retains me in a advisory capacity


I just want to mention that I am viewed as very conservative in my workings.

This is because I prefer sacrificing power for reliability. Time bombs do not interest me !

Therefore I am willing to give a years warranty on my work. Excluding competition vehicles, of course.


Said gentleman had amongst his question whether we could set-up his car with a 2’nd map for Octane booster.

I could probably write a small book on Octane booster and whether/how they work.

In the end we can make a few assumptions. One being that your motor should make the same power on 90 Octane (if it was built for that specific octane rating fuel) as on 100+ Octane fuel, if your pressure curve remains the same.

The effects of Octane booster depend on its composition and how the chemists decided it should work.

A lot of Octane boosters only slow down the ignition/combustion process not stabilise it for higher pressures.

Obviously f your pressure curve peaks later you will have to advance your vehicles timing more.

If you think this through further you will realise that a change in the Chemical composition will most likely result in a change in your motors Air-Fuel ratio demands.

Since very few manufacturers of snake-fuels give you much date, it is up to you to experiment or pay me to use the Dyno to see what is happening.


I suppose the idea of the octane booster was to stop the car from pinging (which Golf’s are prone to do), not to make power. No ping = more power ;)


Finally this gentleman asked the famous “en as ek ‘n Turbo op my standard enjin wil sit ?”.

A Turbo will increase the pressures inside the combustion chamber tremendously and therefore make it ping if it is inclined to do so. Retarding the timing defeats the object of the exercise- better efficiency.

So in the end you have 2 choices:

1                    low boost setting

2                    changing the compression ratio- easiest by replacing the piston with a deeper bowl.

He also thought of using a 3T turbo. Well the T3 turbo went out of fashion 20 years ago, because us guys in the Turbo game needed something more efficient and with less lag. So Garrett came up with the T2 & later T25 turbo’s and in the end hybrids such as the T3/4 and T25/3 were born.



My client also hinted at using a “rough” cam to elicit a lumpy idle. I can make most cars idle lumpy with the Unichip if I want to. We can also make a lumpy idle smoother with same chip J

The Unichip is no more than a tuning tool. A very effective one at that !


In the end I can only give prospective project car builders the following words of advice “come to me before laying out your money but after you have formed a idea on what you want to do or achieve”.


I have a customer who modified his Nissan v6 as he had saved up enough, but never skimping.

So it came as a surprise to me when he came by because he had a Unichip fitted in SA and wanted me to retune it.  He told me it ran well enough, but he waned me to check it out.

Well to make a long story short, he phoned me a few hours after having received his bakkie back enthusing how well the car now ran &n the fuel consumption “ongelooflik goed”.  I don’t think I am better than most, but I do take more care in setting a car up right than just good enough.




 Often we are looking for a lightweight One size fits 1/4" to 3/8" I.D. hose T. This fuel line T is High flow, durable, lightweight, easy to use.. 81-0270 and only costs 22 Rands incl. VAT.


The good news is that all of our K&N prices have dropped significantly due to the strengthening of the Rand.





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I have opened a Facebook account for feedback.

I get close to 40 eMails a day asking for advice that will never benefit my operation.

a lot of these questions have merit and somebody else has probably tried similar.

I would like to help and have therefore decided to use FaceBook as a means of sharing this info.

The benefit of FaceBook is that I can update it on a daily basis and give guidance where necessary.

So let’s try this and see if it works :).

I will also publish results/photo on vehicles as I finish them, if it seems interesting.

What else would you like to see ?