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Let me start off by just saying that going with the Kleemann SC was the greatest thing that I have ever done for my car. I, like many other MB owners, have a deep-seated passion for his car(s), and insist that everything with it be 110%. But sometimes, a little too much passion for something will result in second guessing people you trust. I followed the advice from people who are accustomed to working on American cars and have limited experience, if any, with Mercedes, and I was wrong. What I should have done from the beginning was to slow down and listen more closely to the people who really know Mercedes Benz vehicles, like Brandon and Corey.

About a week ago I had my car run on a dynamometer for the first time at sea-level. I went to JD Performance Center which was rumored to be a pretty good race tuner. Even though they didn?t have much experience with my particular car, they had newer Porsches, Corvettes, and even had a crazy looking Shelby sitting in their bays. I naturally assumed they were competent enough to run my car on a dyno. Joe D., who is the owner, refused to run my car through the whole test on the first pull. He backed off the throttle at about 5200 RPM because he said the car was running way too lean. The dyno was fitted with a newly calibrated ?tail-pipe? sniffer, and was reading close to 15:1. Well, this reaction scared the shit out of me, and triggered a painful chain of events.

Still at the shop, I immediately called Brandon in Colorado and left a message (it was only ~ 7a.m. their time.) Less than an hour later, Brandon returns my call and I ask him what I should do. After hearing my situation, he tells me that the tail-pipe sniffer is reading my air/fuel ratio incorrectly. He said, from his experience, the exhaust probe can be off by as much as 2 points on MB because of the catalytic converters. He tells me that I need to get a reading before the catalytic converters to get any real numbers, but gives me a couple of things to try anyway. When I explained this to Joe D., he laughed. Joe D. swore up and down that the tail pipe reading was no more than 3/10ths difference before the cats. He claimed that he had personally demonstated this many times in the past. After some debate, he finally agrees to run the test, but only if I accept full responsibility. He then tells me I?d be wasting my money having a bung installed. We try the things that Brandon suggested, but nothing we tried worked in correcting my lean readings.
I leave out of J.D.?s, mad as hell (and scared) and put out an ?calling all cars? alert to all my friends who have supercharged vehicles, and others that have in depth tech experience. Every one of them says the same thing as Joe D., I was running lean and needed more fuel.

Here's the Dyno I left out of there with: Note that the Air/Fuel reading is taken AFTER the cats, at the tail. Also, this was the 5th pull, and the outside temp was ~93 Degrees.


I get Brandon back on the phone and insist that he program more fuel at WOT. Brandon, with the patience of a Saint, again reassures me that there is no way that the car is running lean, but would try to accommodate my request in order to keep me happy. After driving home, very slowly, I park the car in my garage and rip out the ECU. I overnight the module to Colorado and Brandon reprograms it and has it turned around to me the same day. In the meanwhile, he?s keeping me informed of everything he?s doing via email or phone.

I get the ECU back and plug it in. The car ran like SHIT, and for the first time ever, the check engine light came on. I haul it in to the MB dealer to see what was going on. The check engine light had popped on due to cylinder 6 misfiring heavily and was also showing all kinds of MAS faults. They suggested I reinitialize the ECU by resetting all the adaptions in the E-Prom via the Star Diag. We try it, and it seemed to be running a little smoother. About thirty miles later, the f***ing check engine light comes on again and the car returns to running poorly.

Of course, the first thing I do again, is call Brandon. Calmly, he once again starts to explain what was happening and that he had warned me of this possibility. The conversation ends with him telling me that there?s nothing he can think of that we can do. He sums up by telling me that the system has been in place for quite some time, millions of $ invested, years of rigorous research, and reminds me again that my car wasn't the first one the did. After a rather lengthy conversation, we finally decide that the only option is to send back the ECU and have the original software re-downloaded that the car left Colorado with.

In the meantime, I?m determined to reach some means of closure. I research some wideband O2 options and buy an OBD II scanner. I decide on welding a bung into my exhaust before the catalytic converter, and to find a Dyno facility that had a little more experience with MB. I was fortunate to find just that. I spoke to Lon from Second Street Performance and gave him a heads up about my situation and immediate goals. I also swapped the coil from cylinder 6, along with the wires with the coil from cylinder 5, just in case. I even got the chance to clean up some unsightly wires in the engine compartment and install an HKS boost and a narrowband air/fuel gauge (temporary).

Just as my anxiety about all this is coming to an end, I check my email and find one from Brandon saying that there was a problem with my ECU. Apparently, when the dealer reset the E-PROM, Brandon?s computer lost its ability to communicate with my ECU. He tells me that he had to remove the chip and program it manually, and by the way, there?s a good chance that the car won?t start when I get the ECU back. WTF, I?m thinking! He informs me that I would probably have to tow my car in to the dealer (again) to have the SCN encoded back in, but, he says, there?s still ?a chance it might just start right up?. That was reassuring? lol

I stay up half the night worrying like a little kid. I get the ECU back, plug it in??it starts right up! I take her out and she?s running as good as when it was first installed. Thank God (and Brandon), I say to myself! That same day, I drive the car over to my new Dyno facility and Lon drops the exhaust and welds in an O2 bung before the cat. EVERYTHING was EXACTLY the way Brandon had said it would be. The air/fuel ratio NEVER went above 12.5-12.8 on WOT. Man, I felt like such a schmuck!

The only messed up thing about this day was a Canadian front moving through my area carrying a over 100 degree heat wave. The shop thermometer was reading 106 and the were using a fan in the front of the car that would be seriously challenged if trying to cool an ant.

But here's what it showed anyhow: First pull, 94 Octane gas.



Once again, I owe Brandon a world of gratitude. From the very first day I met him in New York, he has always been a professional. This latest incident for me was over a week of living hell. If it wasn?t for Brandon?s (Kleemann) dedication to customer service, his experience and intelligence, I don?t know what I would have done. He goes out of his way, even on his time off, to insure everything is going well with one of his tuned works of art. Plain and simple, Corey and he are obviously confident about their system and are 110 % dedicated to what they do!

For those of you who are entertaining the thought of supercharging, go for it. Nowadays, I cant seem to peal the ear-to-ear grin off my face whenever I drive the car. I researched many other tuners, like HPS, for well over a year and a half before deciding on Kleemann. The only thing that I ever found with some of the other companies were unjustifiable sales pitches, sneaky wording in their proposal, and an embarrassing, inexcusable lack of knowledge of Mercedes Benz. IMHO they can?t hold a stick to Kleemann! You may pay a little more for a Kleemann, but you get a hell of a lot more than just a couple lbs. of boost like you do with some others. Even my wife, who met Brandon for the first time standing in the pouring rain in NY at the auto show, said to me ?sometimes you just have to pay more upfront to save money and aggravation in the end?. I feel this statement sums up my feelings pretty well. I think when you add the benefits in quality, of both their systems and install, in-depth knowledge of our cars, and customer support, you really gets off cheap.

Sorry for being so verbose, but I truly hope this saga will help others out there who are as passionate as I am when it comes to their cars?

Here are a couple of other pics for you. Enjoy!


Joe Navek





 

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CLK55
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So whatever happened to the tuner at the first shop. I never heard of a dyno reading that ...

So whatever happened to the tuner at the first shop. I never heard of a dyno reading that far off at the tailpipe.

I had dynoed my Cobra at the tailpipes and before my big cats and they were almost identical. This system had 4 cats (maybe 6 cats I think).

I just asked my friend and he agreed with Joe D.

It sounds to me like something was wrong with your car at first, then it got fixed at the end.

Did you ever go back to the first shop to run another dyno?

I did not know Kleemann was now reprogramming the chips. Only a couple of months ago they were not.
 
J

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Originally posted by sajecw [](I left this reply on MBNZ, but I see more action here.....

Originally posted by sajecw
[](I left this reply on MBNZ, but I see more action here...)

So whatever happened to the tuner at the first shop. I never heard of a dyno reading that far off at the tailpipe.

..................I never returned to the tuner from the first shop, he was way too head strong for me to allow him to keep working on the car.

I had dynoed my Cobra at the tailpipes and before my big cats and they were almost identical. This system had 4 cats (maybe 6 cats I think).

................That's was excactly the point of my post, MB does not equal mustang! I was thinking the same as you are now when all of this started, so I do see your point.

I just asked my friend with the dyno and he agreed with Joe D.

..............remember, I called all the people who I knew also. They didn't work on MB either.


It sounds to me like something was wrong with your car at first, then it got fixed at the end.

..............That is HIGHLY unlikely, I sent Brandon my ECU, not my whole car! If Brandon had to "fix" something, before sending it back to me, there's no way the car would run so smoothly now. Each one of these cars has their ECU "married" to that particular vehile, in order to "tune" it, the car needs to be present. It's not like you can take my ECU out, program it with a different protocol, and then just plug it into another car to see if it worked. The ECU needs to be plugged back into the original car in order to fine tune it (the way it was done originally, when I was out in Colorado).

The Kleemann Company, in general, are pretty big guns, I'm sure if there was something wrong, they would have simply told me so, then fixed it. IMHO

Please don't take this post in a negative way, I completely understand what your saying! That's why I felt it was so important to write this up the way I did.


Regards,

Joe
 
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