Rod Shuqom - Director of Sales
Steve Atneyel - Director of Operations
Michael Weiss - Technical Director and Mechanical Engineer
BenzBoost: We are just going to start with the basics. First tell everybody who you are and what you do. Basically, where Weistec came from and who Weistec is.
Steve: My name is Steve Atneyel, one ofthe owners of Weistec Engineering. Weistec started about a year and a half ago. We started doing development; we being myself and Michael Weiss my partner. We are an engineering firm specializing in calibration and design. This particular project is one of many we will probably do.
BenzBoost: What is the pricing on the kits?
Steve: MSRP is $15,000. We also have a dealer network.
BenzBoost: That is Stage I?
Steve: Stage I and Stage I plus.
BenzBoost: And Stage 2 would be?
Mike: It's not set in stone yet. For select customers we have done a limited release on it. But really soon we will have a full release.
BB: I know you don't have the full price, but do you expect it to be much more expensive?
Steve: It's going to be an additional price on top of the Stage I. We are thinking somewhere under $3000.
Mike: If you buy a Stage I with a StageII upgrade you will receive a small discount.
BB: How does the Stage II differ? Justhigher boost?
Steve: It's more boost. Fuel system upgrade including injectors. Cog upgrade, spark plugs, and thetuning.
BB: You said you sold them worldwide so obviously exporting the kits is a possibility. I already saw the fitment, but if you could go over the fitment, and is it a do it yourself? Can someone actually buy this and do it themselves in their garage or does it need to be an approved installer?
Steve: You would need the mechanical ability but I think it is pretty straightforward. The instruction manual is very straightforward there are a lot of pictures. Our warranty requires a certified technician; we have many qualified dealers that customers can turn to for purchase and installation.
BB: So export all over the world, if I'm anywhere you will get the kit to me?
S: Qatar, Taiwan, Japan, China, Russia, Germany, Finland, South Africa, it's everywhere.
BB: Someone on the forum wanted this clarified, are the blower screws made by Lysholm?
BB: There we go.
BB: Another question asked on the forums was, do you do your own track testing? Do you have ¼ mile times, 60-130, or maybe some road course times?
S: The only thing we truly don't have numbers for is road-course.
BB: Those are very driver dependent.
S: There are thousands of variables butwe have done track testing and we have done 60-130. We have done all that. Honestly, the best thing is a third party. It just holds so much more water.
BB: Agree 100%. How close are you to receiving the CARB certification? That is very difficult to get so how are you able to do it?
S: We have done CARB testing for many companies. I'm sure you read the forums, we've done it many times before and we are close to completion.
BB: CARB is going to make this kit extremely appealing. If I would have known this kit was coming with CARB certification I might be in a Benz instead of a BMW.
S: I think you should get into one.
BB: Haha, we'll see. I could use one.
R: Alot of the experience here is in certifying vehicles especially Steve, approving vehicles for manufacturers.
S: As we are an engineering firm, we market this product as our own, but we do a lot of private label work for other companies. An example of the things we have done in the past is certifying compressed natural gas. Full certification, full calibration, and the full engineering that Michael does. The M156 supercharger is just one of the things we do so our limitations are not just this.
BB: Let me ask you this, you areobviously really focused on this [M156] but what is the long term picture?
S: The long term picture is to sellmore of these. Part of the reason why we want a CARB certification and why we are relentlessly working on that is because we have a lot of dealer interest. Dealerships in California, and even New York,Texas, they really want certifications. They cant legally put it on the car without certifications.
BB: Do you have any relationships withdealers right now?
S: Yes, we do. They are waiting on that [CARB].
BB: California dealers?
S: California, New York like I said, Ohio.
BB: Before I get in to some of the other question, let me ask you about the tuning, who does the tuning?
S: I do.
BB: Your background in tuning is...what?
S: Tuning a lot of OEM. A lot of standalone. It started off like everyone else as a hobby but then it got more professional doing it for large companies, certifying big companies.
BB: What companies?
S: I can't disclose. You know the example of one of them, they say it on the forum.
BB: You also offer MHP tuning as an option, why was that done or what is the benefit of that?
R: We figured why not work together and supply him with superchargers and he can create his own tunes that he can package with his products. We do our own tuning in house for any stage. Andy is one of the authorized dealers to create his own tuning if he likes.
BB: The natural progression will be the bolt on's, do the naturally aspirated tuning, and then if you want more power you move to you basically. So if the products are on there it is sort of a natural step.
BB: Here are some of the more difficult questions, nobody get offended, please. Jim's car, the highest dyno that has been posted up until this point was 640 wheel horsepower at a claimed 14.5 psi. That is the one that Jim claimed was spinning on the dyno. How were the tires spinning on the dyno? Because, when you look at the way the power is ramping in it has traction and then it loses it up top. Once it already has traction, and the way the boost comes on, it is not like it is a sudden surge later on. It is always the same boost from beginning to end. Why was it spinning on the dyno and is it more likely it was a torque limiter issue?
S: Well we had the Dymags on the car and those things are extremely...
S: It's not the lightweight thing.
M: I think a carbon fiber wheel at a high rpm produces a resonance that with high power and the way it is strapped on the dyno causes traction issues. We have a video, I have to dig it up, but two guys are sitting in the trunk. You can see smoke coming from the tires.
BB: Would I be able to get this video?
M: I have to see if we still have it.
BB: There was a lot of speculation about torque limiter issues and I think you know where it comes from; let's get into that. Is the transmission an issue? Are the torque limiters an issue?
S: Let me explain this so people can understand this as well as yourself. When you are spraying nitrous in a motor, however you inject it, the computer does not realize the extra air is entering the motor; even when sprayed dry in front ofthe MAF. The concentrated oxygen that is chemically bonded along with nitrogen does not influence the MAF the same way air does. So with nitrous everything happens in the cylinder. The MAF doesn't read that stream of air coming in. So it is thinking X amount of torque is coming in due to the air going past the MAF. It is not working the transmission properly. That is the basis of how the transmission works. It reads torque through the MAF.
M: It's not prepared for the power thatit is going to be making. The engine is making the torque but thesensors aren't letting the tranny know that it is actually going tobe making that power.
BB: So then how do you let the tranny know it is making that power?
S: With our supercharger, as you are making boost, the mass airflow meter is seeing 100% of that air because the supercharger is sucking through it. We are not hitting any torque limiters because the motor is actually seeing the torque being made. Whereas, a nitrous car it physically doesn't, the sensors don't see the torque being made. We also calibrate the computer to take a more proactive approach to the extra torque that is beingmade.
BB: So this is only an issue on nitrous cars?
S: It will be an issue on nitrous cars.
BB: So if someone gets a blower and they want to put nitrous on top of it, not a possibility?
S: Depending on how you do it. Right now, I would not recommend it. It is an evolving thing. The way you would have to do it won't work properly.
BB: Has the transmission taken everything you have thrown it at it thus far?
M: Not one transmission issue.
BB: Nothing? No slipping, nothing?
BB: Is it possible to upgrade thetransmission?
S: I am sure it will be.
BB: But not yet?
S: Not yet.
BB: With the Stage III's do you think you will run into problems with the transmission?
S: We are not sure.
BB: Too early to tell?
S: Too early to tell. I would say this. Anything we have done, even with Jim's car, which makes high 600 and more to the tires, which we have done, no issues yet.
BB: After that 640 whp dyno that tailed off, which could have been higher, there was a 573 whp that was 10-11psi. Earl then said he made 551 whp at 5-6 psi. Why is there that discrepancy?
M: The boost pressure, the car, everything was not correct that was posted.
BB: On the 570?
S: That 570 was put up by MHP. He wanted to see us making more power than the Stage 1 numbers that wereleased at that point. That was just the graph we had and we gave it to him.
M: It was a preliminary Stage I plus on93 octane.
S: Here is the thing though and I think we should be open about it. SLS cams drop boost.
S: The duration is much more. The way the SLS works, the head design is very different. The CC on the chambers is less. The reason they might work on a blower car and that we even experimented with them is that they do drop cylinder pressure quite a bit. So you can get away with theoretically running a lot of boost on the stock high compression bottom end.
M: We dyno'd a stock car with SLS camsover 6 months ago and knew this. We thought maybe we can pull tricks out of the bag and use this to make power differently on a stock bottom end.
S: The reason I bring this up is because if you hear a boost number, some of these boost numbers say Jim's car, if you put stock cams back in Jim's car it would make 20pounds of boost with stock cams. Maybe even more.
BB: You offer the supercharger for the regular C63, CLK63, etc., and the SLS, are the power the numbers the same for the SLS?
S: No they are different. The SLS is basically our Stage 2 package right from the get go. It will come with a fuel system upgrade. It will come with different cogs and spark plugs.
M: The amount of power that car deserves from the get go.
S: We have not finished all the testing, which is why it is not 100% released. We are thinking somewhere around 700 crank though.
BB: That is big. The SLS price thoughis much higher correct, what is it?
BB: Why is it such a large jump?
S: Yep. The most expensive part abou tthis. The lower manifold is a full cast aluminum piece, the Y is a cast aluminum piece, and all of this requires a serious amount of tooling and a serious amount of time and a serious amount of money.
BB: I guess I'm just surprised. It is the same blower. It is the same motor almost and I'm just surprised it is almost a $15 grand jump.
S: It is two extra cast pieces that weadd. So the tooling involved in that in relation to the quantity of SLS units we will sell.
BB: Have you sold any SLS setups?
S: We have pre-sold.
R: Two of them.
BB: But the SLS will have smaller numbers?
S: What do you mean?
BB: Smaller numbers sold?
S: Oh yeah, exactly. It is just business at that point. That is why the price is different.
Break after 20 minutes to go for a ride in Earl's car, then we returned to complete the interview.
BB: We discussed this when we went for a ride in the car but we'll do it again sort of. A lot of people are asking questions about when you went to the track and the pulley gave out. Now the design has changed, would you mind explaining that?
S: We knew that at high boost obviously there is way more load on the belt. On Jim's car we added our auxiliary belt wrap kit. What was happening was it was putting so much pressure on the rest of the system and that is when the pulley gave out. From that, we went with a full billet idler set for the whole drive system. Not only are we now including it with our high boost applications, every kit gets that now. It is standard.
M: Preventive maintenance.
S: We don't want to deal with the potential issues. The solution was just to include it for everybody. The problem with Jim's car was adding the auxiliary belt wrap kit and putting so much pressure on a plastic pulley and breaking it over and over again. It happened twice at the track.
M: It happened once before that but they already flew out here from Chicago and wanted to see the car go down the track.
BB: Was there a clean pass?
S: Not really. The cleanest one was that video, I'm sure you have seen it. He had the car in manual mode as that is what he was used to from the nitrous days and tranny issues that they faced with it.
BB: Some people have asked this, the nitrous was removed?
S: Oh ya, the bottle...
BB: I saw where the bottle is in the warehouse, you just know how people are saying maybe nitrous.
S: Honestly, we removed the whole system just so there were no questions.
M: There were a lot of people at the track specifically looking at the car for nitrous.
S: They were in there with a magnifying glass looking at the car to make sure nothing was going on.
BB: That is pretty much everything, anything you want to say?
S: Only thing I want to say is, for people who want performance numbers ¼ mile, things like that, it will happen. It is a fairly new company, we are not 20 years old.
BB: People live in an instant gratification world now. It is important to note this was not an overnight process.
S: This was a hobby for us. It became an occupation but the Mercedes industry was a hobby.
R: That is why we saw these cars needed to be supercharged and we were capable of producing a solution.
BB: There was no solution. And there really isn't, other than you guys. Unless you guys know of something else?
S: If you saw our first video. One of our first videos, world's first supercharged. That scanned data image was probably two years ago.
BB: A lot of progress since then.
S: It is.
BB: I think that is going to be it gentlemen, I appreciate your time.