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Kraftwerks SC inbound, advice would be helpful.

Old 11-26-2018, 01:54 PM
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Originally Posted by s2000Junky View Post
The only advice I would have, is don't buy a Krafworks, but since I'm too late for that, so sorry!
But muh Black Friday dealzzzz yo! 25% off!
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Old 11-26-2018, 10:24 PM
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Originally Posted by s2000Junky View Post
The only advice I would have, is don't buy a Krafworks, but since I'm too late for that, so sorry!

Haha, so I have people telling me to send my car 1000+ miles to LHT who have done 50+ KW kits, and someone telling me not to get the kit at all. I'm officially confused.
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Old 11-26-2018, 10:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Dethred View Post
Haha, so I have people telling me to send my car 1000+ miles to LHT who have done 50+ KW kits, and someone telling me not to get the kit at all. I'm officially confused.
LHT is the only route in which I'd suggest wanting to run the KW kit. I heavily considered the kit myself, but given all the research I've done on the kits as well as the fact that I'm really into doing installs myself. My advice to you is to pine over the LHT install videos as well as getting info from the KW fb group in terms of helpful parts. I'll post a pic of a help document I saw on there for useful upgrade parts for your kit.

Here's what I do know LHT does:

-Taps the intake manifold side of the head all the way for a longer stud for the mounting bracket. In the videos they explain that the hole is enclosed at the bottom, so by fully tapping it you won't be getting any shavings into the head, you'll just feel the tap bottom out.

-Marks the stud on the front of the timing cover that you use to mount the supercharger bracket. A mistake with a lot of the installs is the stud is threaded in too far so you essentially have almost no threads remaining for the nut to catch when you tighten it down on the bracket. My solution would be to just use a longer and stronger ARP equivalent stud; not sure why LHT doesn't do this, but there must be a reason.

- Extends the bracket that bolts to the vtec solenoid/header side of the block to utilize one more mounting point. Kraftwerks has since released an updated bracket that adds on to the existing bracket by integrating a mounting point with the front timing cover. I go over this in my own thread (Supercharging in 2018-19; best option?) with pics of what I'm talking about.

As you can see I think it's clear that LHT has either recognized or experienced fundamental weaknesses with the Kraftwerks mounting system. A lot of lateral torque is placed on the brackets and bolts as the belt tightens and yanks on the headunit. Ensuring the bolts stay torqued is key. I'm not a structural engineer but the bolts they utilize aren't very large and threaded into an aluminum head at only 8 ft/lbs....there's only so much you can do there; ensuring those bolts stay tight is key. I think you can be a lot more confident so long as you follow their lead in ensuring the kit is properly mounted and reinforced. I don't think the standard Kraftwerks by-the-book install method is enough to ensure reliability.

There's a lot of bias towards the KW kit sucking for a few reasons. One was the brackets shearing off bolts, pulleys being sheared off, etc. I think this could've all come down to bolts coming loose over time and not periodically being checked on, as well as not using stronger ARP bolts/studs in the key mounting locations. If all of the mounts stay tight and aren't allowed play everything should stay in place, but if things get loose, lateral movement will begin to start eating components. The cog belt drive is also an item of content as it doesn't allow any "slip", which to a degree is beneficial to supercharger systems, primarily when the rev limiter is being hit. Not allowing the belt to slip in those situations puts a lot of shock on the supercharger and the components by the sudden start-stop motion of banging off the limiter.

The Rotrex head unit has also been a hit or miss in terms of reliability, but not just on this car, but all platforms that utilize it. Premature bearing failures seem to be prevalent. The head unit locking up while just cruising and not under any kind of load seems to be an occurrence all too common. Don't get me wrong, I love the way the kit sounds with the cogged belt setup; it sounds like a legit jet. I, like you, just don't seem to keen on the idea of having to either drive or send my car over a thousand miles to and fro just to have this kit installed so I can consider it reliable....kinda defeats the purpose of producing a kit that anyone can buy but apparently not just anyone can install. Belt tensioning seems to be a very sensitive issue with this system, and too tight or loose can have very detrimental and catastrophic events. It uses a manual tensioning system, so there's a definite learning curve in terms of optimal belt tension. LHT couldn't tell you what that is, because they do it by feel, and ultimately there's really nothing scientific beyond feel for getting proper tension, so it really isn't their fault.

Not trying to down the kit or your decision fully, it just seems to have quite a bit of problems in terms of reliability and then follow-up support that leaves many customers wanting. A KW kit isn't entirely off of the table for me either as it seems the kit seems to be getting minor tweaks as time goes on as well as LHT slowly sharing more and more of their secrets. When you do receive the kit please do tell us if the upgraded bracket addition on the vtec solenoid side is included. In their latest video it seems like the dealership whos car they tuned did their own install and had the updated bracket stiffener.

Here's the help list I was referring to:






Last edited by Kyle; 11-26-2018 at 11:03 PM.
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Old 11-26-2018, 10:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Dethred View Post
Haha, so I have people telling me to send my car 1000+ miles to LHT who have done 50+ KW kits, and someone telling me not to get the kit at all. I'm officially confused.
Because they seem to be the only guys in the country that have most effectively learned all the weak links and address them during instillation to give their customers the most favorable results. But the truth is, its not the most sound and reliable supercharger kit on the market out of the box. The KW kit deficiencies aside, Rotrex blowers arent the most bullet proof and the cogged system just exacerbates that. SOS would have been the way better option. Always a good idea to do some real good homework and weigh all the options before you make a big purchase like that. You wont find any better information then right here on this website.
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Old 11-26-2018, 11:29 PM
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Originally Posted by s2000Junky View Post
Because they seem to be the only guys in the country that have most effectively learned all the weak links and address them during instillation to give their customers the most favorable results. But the truth is, its not the most sound and reliable supercharger kit on the market out of the box. The KW kit deficiencies aside, Rotrex blowers arent the most bullet proof and the cogged system just exacerbates that. SOS would have been the way better option. Always a good idea to do some real good homework and weigh all the options before you make a big purchase like that. You wont find any better information then right here on this website.
Basically the TL;DR version of my post. Listen to this man, he knows his sc'd s2ks.
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Old 11-27-2018, 06:37 AM
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So I perused the LHT videos out of boredom and more or less found and screenshotted some of the major things they do. Figured this would help you out.

#1) The updated kraftwerks kit comes with a stiffener that attaches to the vtec solenoid mounting bracket and to the front of the timing cover for added rigidity. Make sure your kit is the updated version with this additional piece. Up until recently LHT would make their own version of a more robust mounting solution. If they’re putting it on the cars now I think they feel confident they no longer need to manufacture their version. Don’t hold me to that.







#2) They fully tap the drilled hole in the head by hand with a bottoming tap so they can install a longer bolt. I’m not sure if KW supplies a bolt or if they have you re-use the OEM bolt in that spot, but they instead use a longer ARP bolt after tapping the hole. If you re-use the factory bolt for this you’ll only get like 1/8-1/4” of thread engagement. In their video they actually had to remove a bolt that had sheared off and the remainder of the thread of the bolt they removed was incredibly short. Following pics are: removed remnants of sheared bolt, inside of the hole so you can see it’s a factory drilled hole that doesn’t go all the way into the head but instead has a bottom, tapping the hole basically making it a threaded hole the entire depth, what the bottoming tap looks like, longer ARP bolt installed









#3) They ensure the stud going into the front timing cover has ample length protruding so the nut can have full thread engagement. They achieve this with the bracket off of the car, pulleys etc installed, with the nut fully threaded, and they mark where the thread protrudes on the back side of the pulley. Once they know where that is they install the stud into the motor until the marking they made on the threads is just no longer visible. Personally I'd just use a longer stud to get full thread engagement on both ends, but this works for them and that's plenty. I'm also including a picture of an install from a video by Ballade....They make this mistake, so I'm now seeing why there's so many potential issues with these kits. Not trying to bash Ballade or the installers, it seems to be a common problem, and the Kraftwerks documentation and instructions aren't the best from what I've heard...nowhere near as detailed and picturesque as the SoS instructions.

Here's the one done by Ballade, straight from their video....note how there's almost no threads engaged in the nut....





And then here's the one LHT made note of for not being properly installed...funny enough this car is also Lapis blue, but was from Alabama lol, so not the same one Ballade did haha.





And here's the pics of them installing it properly. 1st pic is making note of the nut being fully threaded on the front of the bracket, 2nd pic is them marking the protruding stud with aforementioned nut fully engaged so they know how far to thread the stud in to get proper nut engagement, and then the last pic is what it SHOULD look like with the bracket mounted and nut installed, threadlocker included. I still feel like they should use a longer stud here...but that's just me....Maybe that's something someone else can play around with.







#4) The VTEC mounting bracket solenoid gasket that Kraftwerks supplies is a piece of shit. Good call on flanders mentioning that; I completely forgot to include that. If you look at the pics below it almost looks like they used some kind of silicone when installing the gasket; they didn't. That's literally the gasket crumbling and squishing apart, mixing with oil, and turning to goo....The gasket is not the right size or shape, and it deforms and falls apart quickly. You can see a big chunk of it was caught in the OEM gasket screen on the solenoid side....not something you want getting lodged in there as it will impede oil flow and your VTEC engagement may not function properly, if at all. Just purchase an OEM lower solenoid gasket, part number is 15825-PCX-015 and push the mesh screen out of it and use that instead of the supplied kraftwerks gasket. Again, on the bracket side, the gasket has the screen removed, on the solenoid side, the screen remains.







I think that's basically it. If you noticed a majority of their modifications and reinforcements are made at EVERY mounting point for the kit, minus where the head meets the block. Again, most people have problems with bolts shearing off and pulleys shearing off. I think this can definitely be attributed to the main bracket loosening in areas and allowing excessive lateral movement placing way more strain on the mounting components and pulley hardware/bearings. Ensuring that you're using tougher bolts, proper torque, full thread engagement, proper belt tension, Loctite in the correct areas is absolutely paramount for the longevity and reliability of this kit. Beyond that I'd want to assume the kit is safe as it seems the mounting solution should be pretty damn stout with the upgraded hardware and revisions, so truly I think the only real potential weak point is proper belt tension as well as the Rotrex blower which may or may not prove reliable so long as everything is mounted properly and stays tight.

Also, one other thing they do is install the coupler "backwards" so the air filter isn't facing the driver's side of the car. They made a little more power in a back-to-back dyno comparison by doing this. It looks better, the filter isn't resting right on the charge pipe, and it's able to pull in cool air from the opening in the side of the fender. This isn't really for reliability or anything, but it definitely looks and performs better essentially for free....They extend the filter location using a piece of pipe instead of just the coupler like KW does, but even with just the coupler the filter facing the passenger side would still look better and probably still reap some benefit of being in that orientation vs how KW instructs you to orient it.





Hope this helps you bro. I watch a lot of LHT videos (lol) and I have a decent memory, so it wasn't too difficult for me to remember which videos this stuff was showcased in. I wish you the best in your install. I don't think the KW is a bad kit, but it's very installer dependent and a lot of care must be taken to ensure certain procedures are followed and things are mounted correctly and snug. I feel like I'm selling out LHT by indexing this, but they have all that info out there on youtube, so meh. I love the work they do and the attention they pay to detail. Clearly it pays off for them, their customers, and this kit. I have the videos showcasing these fixes bookmarked. If you'd like to be linked to them so you can see them going over it yourself let me know and I'll link them.

This forum and community has been great to me even though I got out to a rocky start due to my own ignorance. Luckily these guys are patient, have tons of knowledge, and are willing to help. If my way of being able to somewhat give back is to play detective and watch videos than so be it. Really interested to see how you make out with the install and how things work out for you down the road in terms of reliability. Also, you mentioned some pretty high HP goals in this thread. You bought the standard KW kit with the C38-81 blower correct? Unfortunately that won't net you quite as much power as the C38-92. See if you can give KW a little extra money to include the C38-92 blower over the -81, it's only $2-250 more according to their website if you're just buying head units, and they do their kitting in-house, so it shouldn't be a problem for them to include that one instead....Or, if the kit is already on the way see if you can return the -81 unopened and exchange it for the -92.

Last edited by Kyle; 11-27-2018 at 09:38 PM.
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Old 11-27-2018, 08:55 AM
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Good job on documenting the kraftwerks tweaks Kyle, should be helpful for a lot of people.
When I saw the VTEC solenoid bracket picture I wanted to mention that you should never use the crap gasket kraftwerks supplies, only use OEM gasket.
Kind of ridiculous how they keep supplying all these inferior parts.
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Old 11-27-2018, 09:44 PM
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Okay, I fully updated my above post with what I think are all of the major tweaks and fixes that LHT implements. I'd suggest you study their videos yourself as they do a few other things that don't necessarily make the kit more reliable, but they're aesthetically more sensible and functionally as well, such as using a hole saw on the air for the intercooler piping and feeding it through instead of just hacking off the ears like most shops do. The air dam is important for directing airflow to the intercooler, oil cooler, and radiator, and hacking those bits up is not advisable whatsoever, don't do it.

Also, you were concerned about the power steering rack grinding. Don't be. I watched LHTs video on that as well and it's very straightforward. Just grind off about 1/3 of the bolt / ear. They said they didn't have to remove as much material as they did, but this was a good general idea. It clearances the crank pulley from hitting the rack and also allows you some room for belt installation/removal. I believe they mentioned that there's only about 1/8" clearance if the rack isn't ground, and roughly about 1/4" after it's ground, which is JUST enough to prevent contact if the motor does move around at all. Leave enough of the head and shank of the bolt intact so you can still fully engage the bit in there in case the bolt ever needs to be removed in the future. Here’s a before and after:







Cheers and good luck. I'll see if anything pops up or comes to mind that would be good to know.

Last edited by Kyle; 11-27-2018 at 09:47 PM.
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Old 11-27-2018, 09:48 PM
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Originally Posted by flanders View Post
Good job on documenting the kraftwerks tweaks Kyle, should be helpful for a lot of people.
When I saw the VTEC solenoid bracket picture I wanted to mention that you should never use the crap gasket kraftwerks supplies, only use OEM gasket.
Kind of ridiculous how they keep supplying all these inferior parts.
Good call man, that completely slipped my mind when I was posting after work this morning, I was pretty tired (3rd shift life) Definitely needs to be replaced with OEM...that's quite possibly the saddest excuse for a gasket I've ever seen lol....I think KW should just instruct you to buy a gasket from your local dealer instead of bothering to include theirs.
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Old 11-30-2018, 09:27 AM
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A couple of guys I know didn't shave the rack bolt. They just shaved 2-3mm off the KW pulley and it cleared.
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