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my recview of Phuz DP

i have to caution that my car is not stock, but given my previous experience with cars in general, I can make a couple conclusions that may help you in deciding if this is a good thing for you.

04 V70R GT with Phuz IC, K&N, downpipe, KellyR intake, and resonator removed and run with and without stage 1 RICA PPC from george @ Viva

observations: Build quality is excellent. Yeah yeah, people complained about the whole doughnut hole/flange thing, whatever. it took a whole extra 5 minutes to set it up right and tighten it correctly. to all the whiners out there, if you're paying someone to install it for you - they should know better and do that in the FIRST place! I got it with the ceramic coating (I am a ceramic engineer after all!).

Sound: Initially I was worried about the dp causing issues in the sound department with the wagon (Has slightly different acoustic properties than the sedan, and many people on the forum, including myself, have noted that exhaust modifications can easily induce droning in the cabin). But I am thoroughly happy with the result. It improves the sound, and makes it sound more like an european sports car. bit deeper, you can hear it a tinge more from inside the cabin. Outside the cabin, there is a noted difference, but not an annoying one.

Performance: I had the PPC-RICA stage 1 programme unloaded because I needed some things done to my VR, and just in case my local tech needed to connect VIDA to it - I had the software unloaded. And since I had it unloaded, I decided to run the car for 2 full tanks of gas before reloading the programme to see how it reacts to the dp.

Without tune (i.e. stock) the car feels quicker off the line across the powerband - and the power delivery is smoother too! Believe it or not, according to the data that I had (i use actual amount of gas used up by filling up the tank until it clicks, and comparing volume that way) on mixed mode driving[note:I live in suburbia] I got an extra 1 mpg having the dp installed. I surmise that with the coating and less restriction on the exit end, it allows the turbo to work closer to it's max efficiency range under the stock programming that volvo has given the car. If you had a stock R - the computer's general response to anything remotely not normal or bad is to give it more fuel. This is why installing any of the aftermarket IC's give both power and efficiency to the system - as the car is able to keep it's intake temps down, and run closer towards max efficiency/power mode - and not have to put in extra fuel at the same to increase MPG at the same time. Adding on the coated dp has also (I surmise from the performance data) reduced operating temps under the hood by a bit - which would also explain the nudge up in MPG.

After loading in Stage 1.

This is the part that's annoying. If you haven't gotten your vovlo's ECU/TCU/whatever units updated to take advantage of the current software.. you just may want to do it. I had an odd hiccup every so often under random conditions where the car just didn't want to 'go'. Injectors+pump and all that are okay. But it turns out that I needed the new volvo base map to get things running smoothly. So I have the eh data and the fixed data to also compare.

The car now REALLY pulls, folks. It's no joke. The volvo, has never felt like it pulled to me (granted, I'm used to a Group N spec rally car, and other high powered things). Between the mass, the comfort setup of the car and all that - it was not until I loaded the tune that there was a SIGNIFICANT difference in that mode of operation. The car is peppier and so on. It's closer to a STi in feel than an EVO in it's pull for those of you who have driven those cars. It definitely brings the grinning factor up by a few notches. Downside, apparently, at the high power setting, MPG does go down. by 2.

I realize that this seems weird with me including MPG changes. But the reason that I got the PhMIC in the first place was to get better MPG, reliability and performance at the same time. And since I got the PhMIC before the huge surge in gas pricing - it literally has paid for itself with the gas pricing shift during that period and MPG earned! So to say that I am happy with Matt's work is an understatement!

I also don't exactly drive like an old man. I've been away for a while for family issues on the other side of the planet. So, I've been itching to drive drive.. and I've got a fairly heavy right foot because of it.

To me, the only big issue for me in the long run is that I will probably be going through brake pads faster... but that's a nice problem to have in my book under these conditions.

Will I go get stage 2 for my VR? I'm not sure. There is an outside chance that I may be forced to sell the VR. Frankly, I'm really happy at the moment, as I have even more zip to, how shall we say, scare the local kiddies with the sports cars and what not.

I feel that I have finally earned the moniker that I have on the car via the license plate frame - You Just Got Beat By a Wagon


Thanks Matt!


Modified by vsigma at 6:07 PM 3-19-2009
 
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