Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Some MINE'S Trivia (Part 1)

Having a well known MINE'S tuned car means people contact you to ask questions about their products.  Often, I can answer, but there are times when a call to MINE'S is required.

Recently a Facebook friend asked me a question - one that I had heard before but had repeatedly ignored. The question is - "if I have a used MINE'S VX-ROM, can MINE's tell me what spec engine this particular MINE'S VX-ROM is designed for?"  He even sent me these photos of a used VX-ROM he was looking at.

Looks like it's all sealed still...

Both photos courtesy of Fabian Zellner

The answer is - maybe, but probably not worth the effort.

First, it looks like MINE'S has also heard this question too many times - I found the following explanation on their English website:

"Q: I have a Mine's VX-ROM. And the plaque has a serial number on it. Can you tell me its tuning contents through this number?

A: We can not tell you its tuning specs only by this serial number.   If you give us its numbers and letters on either side of VX-ROM through email with attached photos, we could give you some information such as its maximum boost pressure, Speed Limiter, vehicle year and etc...If you are in Japan and send us your VX-ROM, we can check it, confirm its tuning specs, and send it back to your own expense."

Sounds promising, except that knowing MINE'S and how conservative they are in their approach to tuning cars,  I would think that, for RB26 GT-Rs, maximum boost pressure is 1.0kg (just in case you are still running the ceramic, prone to shatter above 1.0kg, OEM turbos), removing the speed limiters is a no brainer, and vehicle year... well not sure but since each VX-ROM is vehicle specific and each RB GT-R didn't really change that much within each generation, not sure how useful the year of the vehicle will be to you.

In any case, I was on the phone with them concerning my MINE'S gauges (see Part 2 ) so I went ahead and tried to get more information about how one could get more information about a VX-ROM one picks up used somewhere.

This is what Takayanagi-san at MINE'S told me - All VX-ROMs have a basic map which improves upon the OEM ECU.  That is, it removes the speed limiter (all JDM cars used to have a speed limiter that kicked in at 118kph), raises boost to 1.0 kg, increases the rev limit, optimizes fuel management, and optimizes spark timing management. Just like it says here.  All this alone is good, however it turns out that Mine's can/will tweak each VX-ROM to fit the particular spec of each car, when you first buy the VX-ROM new.   So when buying a used VX-ROM, you should try to make sure that it fits your engine spec.  

Looking at photos like this, you would think one could call Mine's, give them the serial number found on the VX-ROM, they could look up the data, and all such particulars would be given to you.

Unfortunately, for whatever reason, Takayanagi-san claimed that the serial number alone would not suffice, that in fact, each unit would have to be opened up to see what the spec was. He also told me they would not look at any VX-ROM for which the seals were tampered with, as they would have no idea what had happened to that unit.

Actually, from a business perspective, this makes total sense.  Why spend time and energy researching something for someone who doesn't buy from you? I suspect that if you WERE to walk/send a used VX-ROM unit to MINE'S, there would be a small fee involved...anyone have any experience in doing this?

1 comment:

Adam said...

Thanks for another interesting post Aki, always interesting to hear information directly from the source.

My car came into Australia with a MINE'S VX-ROM. While I haven't sent my ECU to them, it was interesting to confirm all the settings for myself.

My car had no speed limiter, raised rev limiter (8500ish RPM) and was running 11PSI (.75 Bar) with boost restrictors on the unit that came with my car, obviously I have no other information on the state of tune that the car was at before coming to Australia but it would be interesting to know the full details of my ECU and have a glimpse further into my cars past.

I have swapped to a Haltech unit after some recent tuning and the new flexibility is great. MINE'S units unfortunately don't inspire much confidence in second hand import buyers here in Australia with many believing that the raised boost limit kills the stock ceramic turbo's and with it being unable to be tuned for 98 RON we have here without sending it back to MINE'S themselves.