Aston Martin advice from Bamford Rose independent specialist

Aston Martin advice from Bamford Rose independent specialist

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Discussion

BamfordMike

1,140 posts

91 months

Wednesday 21st February
quotequote all
Ex Boy Racer said:
The cat situation is quite alarming.
I would get my V12 updated now but I assume that it would negate the warranty. is that the case?
In many ways AM would be smart to allow it as it might save them a fortune in new engines...
Probably wouldn’t negate warranty imho. If making a claim and the auto maker rejected, and the case went to court, it’s the onus of the automaker to prove beyond all reasonable doubt and without any shadow of doubt that the modification caused the failure. Very tough to do that.
Removing a cat brick reduces temperatures and relieving back pressure is only a good thing (a reliever of combustion detonation for example), finally the AMR V12 (allegedly) produces 603BHP meaning if taking a 565 motor to +600 BHP, a 450 motor to 530 or a 510 motor to 600, how can the increased power cause the failure when the factory releases a spec at same / similar output.
Because of the ‘beyond any shadow of doubt’ aspect, when pressed correctly, I doubt any claim for a component would be rejected because the cats were removed because an automaker will not want to thrash that one out in front of a judge, could well go against them especially given the right witness statements which is why they will likely honour a claim - at least that’s been my experience. Also, primary cat removal looks totally standard from outside, component removal would be needed to ascertain if the cats were removed.

On the V8 and to Aston’s credit there are no time bombs such as issues like Porsche liner wear or oil seals. The V8 apart from the few sporadic tappet shim issues rightly deserves the label of being called bombproof.
The V12 has in early engines anyway the potential of liners wearing oval and / or small end bush wear causing the dreaded DB9 tick. All V12 engined cars will have sticking breather valve issues causing oil pullover and likely misfire, most if not all V12’s will suffer coil failure at some point causing misfire. It’s the misfire caused by coils or breather circuit valve failure which puts at risk the cat which in turn can cause catastrophic engine failure similar to Porsche liner example. As mileage clocks up, how widespread the cat issue is remains to be seen but yeah, when a car is in 3 year maker warranty or extended, if it were me underwriting those policies I would be well happy someone had removed the cats limiting the cheques that would otherwise have been written in case of cat ingestion.

I haven’t had a DB11 apart yet but I very much doubt the cats are ceramic, probably metallic which tolerate a misfire and don’t break up like the cheaper ceramic bricks (I stand to be corrected), Merc V8 cats in the hot V are also most likely metallic. The low mileage’s of Aston’s is probably saving them at this moment from the cat ingestion problem turning into a common problem such as Porsche liner wear, but as the cars get older the reasons for a misfire only become more real, so it really is a time will tell issue to see how widespread the problem becomes and it’s the no brainier to whip out the cats to prevent the issue, with no cats present the engine can misfire as much as it likes and there will be no detriment


BamfordMike

1,140 posts

91 months

Wednesday 21st February
quotequote all
Ex Boy Racer said:
One other question...
If the upgraded V12's give 600bhp or so due to the new inlets and titanium exhausts, would the BR manifolds increase that to 670bhp? Now, that would be very interesting!
I wish anything close on 670BHP were possible, if that number is out there, it’s because of a dubious dyno test with exaggerated transmission loss numbers.

If the motor was 565BHP, drop the secondary cats and optimise the ECU will return approx. 590BHP (GT12) A calculator no doubt gets the rest but new inlets sounds good.

I say that because During testing on last 2 V12VS we’ve done I don’t see a drop-off in airflow at 5 or 10 degree blade angle off the maximum, so that being the case why would a larger plenum chamber deliver more power? The inlet manifold on V12VS is already bigger volume than 510 V12Vantage and likewise the throttles are also larger diameter. I think the inlets are, well, just made out of a lighter material and that’s the performance benefit.

We’ve yet to test a 565 motor at more than 545 at stock, our full kit is around +70BHP.

For an AMR car or car with power pack, because the secondary cats are removed, I would not advise the full BR power pack, just a primary decat of existing manifolds and fit a high flow secondary cat with sound baffle. At that spec that’s about all the BHP to be screwed out of that motor, it’s at its limit. The bang for buck of primary decat on top of a power pack is good, the bang for buck of full BR kit on top of power pack is less because of diminishing returns and is why everyone will be happier all round in that example with simple primary cat delete. Of course it’s also much better to have exquisite looking manifolds compared to manifolds better suited to a tractor.

MarkM3Evoplus

341 posts

134 months

Thursday 22nd February
quotequote all
Hi Mike,

How easy is it to remove the primary cats from a NP Vanquish, keeping the original manifolds? Presume cut out & re-weld?

Thanks,

Mark

BamfordMike

1,140 posts

91 months

Thursday 22nd February
quotequote all
MarkM3Evoplus said:
Hi Mike,

How easy is it to remove the primary cats from a NP Vanquish, keeping the original manifolds? Presume cut out & re-weld?

Thanks,

Mark
Hi Mark.

Come on, you more than anyone knows that the words how easy combined with classic Vanquish seldom go together wink

The job when manifolds are in fabrication shop is simple and straightforward, yes. The exhaust note returned from decat and improvement of a more sprightly to rev up engine on Classic Vanquish is very, very pleasing.

Problem is getting the exhaust manifolds to the fab shop in the case of classic Vanquish!

Requires a subframe drop and many ancillaries out of the way to gain access to manifolds. On classic Vanquish as they age, a commonly seen issue is primary pipes cracking at joint with head flange, leaking gas into the underbonnet area and into cabin, the fabric wrapping on the manifolds of the classic Vanquish goes some way to conceal the exhaust gas leak, so it’s common to have to do a fair amount of recovery to the manifold, but that’s still cheaper than bespoke manifolds for Vanquish.

An issue on classic Vanquish is heat generated in the underbonnet area which is root cause of a few Vanquish niggles (starter motor failure / heat build up causing coil failure), removing the cats significantly reduces under bonnet heat so there are a fair few positives for ridding a Classic Vanquish of primary cats, it’s not just about the extra go and insurance of not risking a cat break up wrecking a motor.

In total it’s a 30hr job, but it is something probably best done when combined with other works and the duplication of labour brings the time down - if refurbishing a subframe that’s the ideal time for the exhaust drop and cat removal

Ken Figenus

3,946 posts

51 months

Thursday 22nd February
quotequote all
I had a chat with Mike on a similar train of thought - when its spark plugs time on more recent cars, the painful spark plug access labour cost could really be negated in tackling the primary cats...
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MarkM3Evoplus

341 posts

134 months

Monday 26th February
quotequote all
BamfordMike said:
MarkM3Evoplus said:
Hi Mike,

How easy is it to remove the primary cats from a NP Vanquish, keeping the original manifolds? Presume cut out & re-weld?

Thanks,

Mark
Hi Mark.

Come on, you more than anyone knows that the words how easy combined with classic Vanquish seldom go together wink

The job when manifolds are in fabrication shop is simple and straightforward, yes. The exhaust note returned from decat and improvement of a more sprightly to rev up engine on Classic Vanquish is very, very pleasing.

Problem is getting the exhaust manifolds to the fab shop in the case of classic Vanquish!

Requires a subframe drop and many ancillaries out of the way to gain access to manifolds. On classic Vanquish as they age, a commonly seen issue is primary pipes cracking at joint with head flange, leaking gas into the underbonnet area and into cabin, the fabric wrapping on the manifolds of the classic Vanquish goes some way to conceal the exhaust gas leak, so it’s common to have to do a fair amount of recovery to the manifold, but that’s still cheaper than bespoke manifolds for Vanquish.

An issue on classic Vanquish is heat generated in the underbonnet area which is root cause of a few Vanquish niggles (starter motor failure / heat build up causing coil failure), removing the cats significantly reduces under bonnet heat so there are a fair few positives for ridding a Classic Vanquish of primary cats, it’s not just about the extra go and insurance of not risking a cat break up wrecking a motor.

In total it’s a 30hr job, but it is something probably best done when combined with other works and the duplication of labour brings the time down - if refurbishing a subframe that’s the ideal time for the exhaust drop and cat removal
Ouch, 30 hrs, but yep, they are a pain in the a&*$ to work on!

Just changing the ASM relay to the electronic version was much harder than anticipated, as I need to get to a decent earth, which meant moving the relay box above it out of the way........almost left it for you to do Mike, but persevered in the end!




BamfordMike

1,140 posts

91 months

Tuesday 27th February
quotequote all
Ready for further Upgrade of Diablo Blanco......





.... is Bamford Rose Twin Throttle inlet manifold.


Developed on our Vantage GT4 and now made production ready for all V8 road cars, the on-throttle response is super fast and the better breathing delivers +20BHP throughout the rev range from 1000 rpm.

A few development part pics and video clips:





https://youtu.be/O19VSJ2vjRw

https://youtu.be/uX2g1k6kJUU


The production Twin Throttle inlet manifold part:







Indeed in the background is a pair of Bamford Rose V12 exhaust manifolds - Diablo Blanco's brother, a AMR V12Vantage is awaiting this upgrade!



JohnG1

2,991 posts

139 months

Wednesday 28th February
quotequote all
BamfordMike said:
Ready for further Upgrade of Diablo Blanco......





.... is Bamford Rose Twin Throttle inlet manifold.


Developed on our Vantage GT4 and now made production ready for all V8 road cars, the on-throttle response is super fast and the better breathing delivers +20BHP throughout the rev range from 1000 rpm.

A few development part pics and video clips:





https://youtu.be/O19VSJ2vjRw

https://youtu.be/uX2g1k6kJUU


The production Twin Throttle inlet manifold part:







Indeed in the background is a pair of Bamford Rose V12 exhaust manifolds - Diablo Blanco's brother, a AMR V12Vantage is awaiting this upgrade!


Very disappointed.














I thought you were offering V8 ice cream vans...

Wayne95

270 posts

180 months

Wednesday 28th February
quotequote all
Looks like its for the 4.3, does it also go on the 4.7 v8?

Is this worth doing alone, or is it an addition once the exhaust and headers are done first?

BamfordMike

1,140 posts

91 months

Thursday 1st March
quotequote all
Wayne95 said:
Looks like its for the 4.3, does it also go on the 4.7 v8?

Is this worth doing alone, or is it an addition once the exhaust and headers are done first?
The twin throttle upgrade is for both 4.3 and 4.7L engines, the delta increase is the same on both. There is no reason why the twin throttle upgrade can not be fitted in isolation but i’d say the twin throttle upgrade is best considered in addition to exhaust manifolds because the biggest bang-for-buck in terms of performance gain comes from exhaust manifolds.

Phil57DBS

41 posts

9 months

Friday 2nd March
quotequote all
Hello at all
Hello Mike

sorry for bad english...
2 months ago, I just bought a DBS Touchtronic year 2010, my first Aston in my dreams !
a friend gave me a Fabspeed X-pipe (instead of secondary cats) and i bought BMC sport air filters.
The sound became Italian? beautiful and much more acute! he climbs faster in the engine laps...
but it seems I lost some roundness to the motor ?
Please your advices for finalize the ECU specific for my upgrades ?
i want to keep the valves rear exhaust...for my village's people where i live.
What do you think off all that ?
thanks in advance for answer and others advices...
Phil
(with a lot of financial effort, a worker soon to retire.!.with my "Martine")

oh my god...wonderful Bamford Rose V12 exhaust manifolds (in 2 parts) and cats Diabloblanco's car !!!

BamfordMike

1,140 posts

91 months

Tuesday 6th March
quotequote all
Phil57DBS said:
Hello at all
Hello Mike

sorry for bad english...
2 months ago, I just bought a DBS Touchtronic year 2010, my first Aston in my dreams !
a friend gave me a Fabspeed X-pipe (instead of secondary cats) and i bought BMC sport air filters.
The sound became Italian? beautiful and much more acute! he climbs faster in the engine laps...
but it seems I lost some roundness to the motor ?
Please your advices for finalize the ECU specific for my upgrades ?
i want to keep the valves rear exhaust...for my village's people where i live.
What do you think off all that ?
thanks in advance for answer and others advices...
Phil
(with a lot of financial effort, a worker soon to retire.!.with my "Martine")

oh my god...wonderful Bamford Rose V12 exhaust manifolds (in 2 parts) and cats Diabloblanco's car !!!
Hi

An x-pipe centre section without a primary decat will indeed make the exhaust note more Ferrari, more tenor. We used to (but not any more) fit an X-pipe to control and reduce overall noise, normally when a primary decat has sent the total noise over a limit / threshold and the X-pipe takes away the rawness and a few dB. But, and as you experience, the down side to an x-pipe is a slightly higher pitch exhaust note and loss of that classic Aston deep bass, baritone burble sound. For that reason we now install a sound baffle after the catalysts and we don’t fit x-pipe unless customer wants the sound characteristics the X-Pipe returns. The baffle cats do not eliminate the Aston burble or send the exhaust note higher pitched.

An ECU remap which changes spark or fuelling whilst primary catalyst is present is certainly not advisable due to any change of ECU parameters to give more power will overheat the primary cat risking failure. Therefore to do anything meaningful from an ECU remap the primary cat must either be removed from the current exhaust manifold or fit the bespoke manifolds.

We always advise retention of factory exhaust silencer. It’s a better approach to make more noise upstream of the silencer and have the perfectly engineered factory silencer play that tune than it is to fit an aftermarket silencer and introduce error states. The factory silencer will always return a better quality note with no noise / vibration or harshness issues than aftermarket. The factory silencer has valves which can make the exhaust note silent, most aftermarket silencers lose functionality of valves.

Enjoy your car!

Felonious

51 posts

108 months

Tuesday 6th March
quotequote all
Hi Mike.

First, many thanks for your many contributions. Hugely interesting reading, and valuable too.

Can I conclude that on a V12VS the best way to liberate some sound (and potentially a few meager bhp) is to replace the secondary cats with straight-throughs? On a year-old / 3k mile car, do you imagine that this could increase the chances of primary cat failure in any way?

For those in need of a real-power upgrade, tweaking the ECU without replacing the primary cats is a big mistake, so the best bet is to replace the manifolds (optional), remove primary cats and replace secondaries with sports cats? And tweak the ECU. Again, correct (or the ramblings of a half-wit?).

Thanks.


BamfordMike

1,140 posts

91 months

Tuesday 6th March
quotequote all
Felonious said:
Hi Mike.

First, many thanks for your many contributions. Hugely interesting reading, and valuable too.

Can I conclude that on a V12VS the best way to liberate some sound (and potentially a few meager bhp) is to replace the secondary cats with straight-throughs? On a year-old / 3k mile car, do you imagine that this could increase the chances of primary cat failure in any way?

For those in need of a real-power upgrade, tweaking the ECU without replacing the primary cats is a big mistake, so the best bet is to replace the manifolds (optional), remove primary cats and replace secondaries with sports cats? And tweak the ECU. Again, correct (or the ramblings of a half-wit?).

Thanks.
Hi.

Yes, best way to increase exhaust note and extract a few BHP (BHP will translate into the engine feeling a tad keener to hit the redline) is a simple and straightforward secondary decat. I do not believe there is any possible way to link secondary decat with any greater risk of primary cat failure.

Yes, for real power it’s either a primary decat or bespoke manifolds, both with high flow secondary cats and ECU remap. And yes, as a hard and fast rule I would never remap the engine with primary cats present other than lifting in-gear restrictions (Vanquish) or turning a power restricted DB9.2 in to a full fat Vanquish.


Felonious

51 posts

108 months

Tuesday 6th March
quotequote all
All clear - thanks, Mike. Decision made, then: secondary de-cat to spice things up and when I feel in need of a bit more of a punch in the back I know who to call.

I'm interested to see how long my willpower lasts and I come calling. I don't give it long. My willpower's generally pretty fragile.

HBradley

1,037 posts

115 months

Wednesday 7th March
quotequote all
Felonious said:
All clear - thanks, Mike. Decision made, then: secondary de-cat to spice things up and when I feel in need of a bit more of a punch in the back I know who to call.

I'm interested to see how long my willpower lasts and I come calling. I don't give it long. My willpower's generally pretty fragile.
Sadly another lamb to the slaughter! Once you start with Mike's magic, it's very hard to resist!!laugh

soofsayer

538 posts

69 months

Wednesday 7th March
quotequote all
I collected my db9.2 from Mike on Monday after primary decat and remap taking the power up to 570-580.

I decided to do it instead of the secondary decat and map due to the worry over primary cat failure as my car is not in warranty with AM.

The power delivery is much better, the throttle response is much crisper, the engine revs better from low down and goes nuts as it climbs past 4k, and the noise is sublime. And of course it is much faster. I also seem to have increased my mpg by about 5% although that might just be coincidental.

Felonious

51 posts

108 months

Wednesday 7th March
quotequote all
5% improved mpg? Let me consult my man maths calculator.





Great! It says yes.

Phil57DBS

41 posts

9 months

Wednesday 14th March
quotequote all
Mike thanks for answer.

Problem for me is :
the time/money spent for 2600 km go and return trip + 3 days immobilization + hotels ......
for the factory fitted BR kit, is a lot for me frown
Ideas please ?
Cordialy

ps : must we remove subframe and suspensions to fit BR manifolds ?
perhaps no, i see they are in two parts versus others (Velocity) in only one part !


Edited by Phil57DBS on Tuesday 27th March 13:37

BamfordMike

1,140 posts

91 months

Monday 19th March
quotequote all
The ‘Fly and fit’ upgrade for both Diablo Blanco and the new addition to the garage, an AMR V12VS occurred sometime over the last few days, somewhere deep in snowy Europe.



Not wanting to miss out on upgrades was another local V8 Vantage 4.7L paddle shift for a lightweight flywheel and twinplate clutch



The AMR V12VS...





The AMR comes standard with larger volume inlet manifolds, titanium exhaust manifold back exhaust system with secondary cat delete pipes and high flow silencer.








The performance test we run to benchmark standard performance versus upgraded is 4th gear full throttle acceleration from 1500 to 7000 rpm. A very reliable and easy test to perform spanning 25 to 113 mph.

Great hopes were expected from the AMR car which has the factory power upgrade kit fitted compared to a standard car.
However, during the acceleration in standard form pre BR mods the AMR didn’t feel as punchy quick as either the Flugplatz or Silver V12VS we have upgraded recently.

Flugplatz std recorded 11.4 seconds
Silver V12V recorded 12.22 seconds
Silver AMR recoded 12.90 seconds

Which is strange given the booty which comes standard on AMR cars - made a nice noise mind!

A look at each cars airflow consumption (airflow in must mean a relative power out), and it can be seen that despite the factory power kit, the AMR car has lower airflow than both std V12VS we have previously tested. Strange to say the least



Off with the exhaust system that wouldn’t look out of place on a tractor, and on with the new....





.... then re run the acceleration test, and now there is a much happier V12VS AMR. Snorty exhaust note, punchy power output.

Both Flugplatz and Silver V12VS reduced acceleration across the test to

Flugplatz modified recorded 10.4 seconds, an improvement of 1.0 seconds

Silver V12V modified recorded 10.92 seconds, an improvement of 1.28 seconds

We also achieved the same gains on the AMR car

The Silver AMR modified recorded 11.87 seconds, an improvement of 1.03 seconds

Considering that on both GT12 and the V12VS the power kit the factory sell, they declare is at approx. 600BHP up 35BHP over std, that additional BHP returns a 0-60 mph time reduction of 0.2 second, meaning the 1.0 second gain across the acceleration we perform is indeed quite an achievement.

New airflow curve post modification of the AMR car



And despite the addition of large volume inlet manifold, secondary decat and high flow silencer, here is the airflow consumption of the AMR car with BR kit versus std V12VS cars with BR kit - practically identical apart from peak power speed



All's well that ends well as now the V12AMR adorns BR kit - it’s BR faster and snortier, but the AMR kit / V12VS power kit didn’t quite hit the spot expected.