This is the first part of a 3 part article. This first part will be an overview, the second part will be my impressions of the supercharger kit, and the third part will be the interview. The interview will be posted last due to the time it will take to transcribe the interview which is over 30 minutes. Part 2 will be posted on Monday next week with Part 3 following.
Let me begin with the Weistec facility. It is located in Santa Ana, CA. Not huge, as it does not need to be since Weistec is primarily an engineering firm. They are not an install, dyno, or repair center. I met the two owners Steve Atneyel and Michael Weiss. They were nice, courteous, and professional. They were not at all upset I was late (hey, CA traffic).
We began with walking into the back (no cameras allowed, they made an exception obviously) and going over some of the components that make up their supercharger kit as well as showing me their preparation for the Stage III low compression built motor setup that is coming. In the first shot below you see the parts laid out that make up the supercharger kit.
For those who have been wondering, yes, it is a Lysholm unit. A 2.3 liter Lysholm unit to be exact. They are also able to accommodate customers who may want to work outside the basic kit boundaries. The point is really to show they have flexibility if needed.
Speaking of flexibility, here are shots of their Stage 3 kit with a darton sleeved block which will be offered after the Stage 1 and 2 are wrapped up with CARB certification. The block should be good for up to 1500 horses. In the five pictures below you get shots of the block as well as the stock crank which is forged. There are no current plans to change the stroke. As far as the top half of the motor is concerned Weistec states they will not modify the cams but do offer upgraded heads which were featured on the car I had the pleasure of sampling (which belongs to BenzBoost member ecampbell).
The rods and pistons are also obviously changed. The picture below shows the stock piston and rod with the aftermarket piston. The stock pistons are made by Mahle (same manufacturer BMW uses as well as other German OEM's). They are considered the weak point in the motor, before the rod. Yes, the P31 internals will support slightly more boost but ultimately on 91 octane the fuel will become the limiting factor with boost.
After I toured the facility we did an interview, which as stated will be posted next week, as well as went for a ride in ecampbell's car. I will write a full article of impressions which will be Part 2 but suffice it to say I ran out of superlatives.
Just in general, I was blown away by Weistec. I underestimated them and I believe the vast majority of Mercedes forum posters have as well. They took plenty of time to answer every question I had. They took me on an extended test drive to sample the kit. I'm trying to look for things to critique but I do not have even much to nitpick. Even the bathroom was super clean which compared to other SoCal tuners, yes, is something to be proud of.
What it really boiled down to for me was the OEM aspects of what they do. No fluff, no fuss. The kit installation (which you will be seeing photos of in Part 2) is incredibly clean. The only factory part which needs to be permanently modified is a section of the factory AMG plastic motor covering which can be replaced for $60 if one wishes to return the car to stock.
If I sound like I am glowing about Weistec it is because I am. They seemed like they came out of nowhere and frankly I (and others) did not know enough about them to be commenting to begin with. I have visited most of the European tuners in Southern California. I have done business with many of them. Very few operated at a level of professionalism and quality which I felt was on par.
We will get into more of the details in Part 2 but I was almost shocked they were not even willing to sling a little bit of mud. And believe me, they could. Totally classy, politically correct, and professional. I gave my word I would not reveal all the details and I will not but if they wanted to bury certain competitors they most certainly could. They just seem like a close knit group of four guys who like what they do. I came away from Weistec wishing I had their setup on one of my own cars. From the clean install, to excellent tuning on 91 octane (no meth, not fans of it), and to the CARB certification coming in the next month they deserve a tremendous amount of respect for what they have achieved thus far. What more is there to say?