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No problem. Here is my take on the "Empire of Dina (archive)

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Posted by n. (Hope it does not strike back) Stepan on January 27, 2000 at 18:28:31:

In Reply to: Would you please explain why??? (eom) posted by Dan B on January 27, 2000 at 13:24:10:

: : With my own hands I build a 3.0 V6 Alfa engine
: : which was pumping out 280 h.p. at 6000 rpm and 240 lbs of torque at 4000 rpm (street legal, 12 valves 10.5 compression). I know something about high performance products, their prices and quality. For the money Dinan charges they make CRAP. Again, their products are in the middle, but they charge like if their products were top of the line. Just wanted to make sure that I am getting correct message across.

: : Stepan.

The thesis I am going to argue here is that Dinan makes middle of the pack, sometimes even lower end, products and prices them like if these products were some sort of second coming (in Biblical sence, of course).

I am not anti-Dinan or anti-anything. I simply do not care. Nevertheless, this board seems to be overly excited about Dinan, its "R&D" and finest products. This forces people new to the world of after market mods consider Dinan and its prices as the best and normal, i.e. forcing them spend quite a bit of money and be taken for a ride, while doing so.

I will present my case in a chronological order.

(i) Dinan rear anti-sway bar. Extensive "R&D" resulted in identical geometry to the OEM bar with the middle link hole located exactly where the OEM hole is. The difference is diameter: 17 mm as opposed to 14 mm. This a tough one: take diameters of E34 aftermarket bars, take diameters of E39 OEM bars and make a wild ass guess. Anywhere from 16 mm to 18 mm would do. Then comes a question of bushings. Dinan provides rubber 17 mm bushings which lasted me for about 3,000 miles each set. Price of the set is around $50 and bar itself is around $300. What would top of the line company do ? Let me guess ... supply 17 mm urethane bushings and 25 mm urethane bushings for the front OEM bar. They last forever and greately add to stability and rigidity of the chassis.

I was stupid enough to buy this product and finally installed Eibach set for $429. I am very happy with it.

(ii) Dinan springs for 540 Sport. The only reason I bought them ($500) is that at the moment (9 month ago) there was no other set available. I am very pleased with ride height and the rebounding rates of these springs. But quality and craftsmanship ... Rear springs are to short: I had to install 5 mm spacers inbetween rear upper spring caps and the rubber liners. Otherwise, the rear springs were rotating freely around shocks.

Front springs are actually loosing their blue protective cover on the parts which are the most exposed to the air flow from the wheels. What the hell is this ? What kind of quality is this ?

(iii) Front camber plates. The price is around $270 from Dinan. They are not adjustable and no doubt that the price is dictated by an extensive "R&D". Just two metal plates bolted together. With Dinan facilities and experience this product can be developed in a matter of days and production costs should not exceed $50 -$70. At the same time, BMPD sells adjustable camber plates (0.1 degree increments) for $250.

(iv) Dinan engine software and CAI. I addressed CAI question in the post above. Let me note here, that the joint between CAI and AMM is screwed up: on certain engine speeds there is a detachment of boundary layer due to the construction of the joint which results in noise, turbulization of the flow and, thus increased pressure losess. So much the extensive "R&D". Software. It is priced competetively, for a change, but the resulting claimed power gains are lower then ones demonstrated by the "Alfa" - chip, RMS and Garret. The last three do provide dynos. Dinan ... I was not able to get one from them. And, from 5000 rpms on my engine runs lean. Result of "R&D" or just incompetance ?

(v) "High performance" AMM for more then $500 (for M3). This is 70 mm Euro AMM availbale at your local dealership or BMPD for around $350. If JIMMY did install it then Dinan did take him for a nice ride: OEM AMM has 87 mm diameter and restricting air flow to the engine would a revolutionary way to increase power.

(vi) Dinan struts and shocks. These are Koni's available for $190 (not $290) (front) and $120 (not $190) (rear). "R&D" drives prices up again ?

(vii) Dinan SC ... I am not going there.

It is my beleive that the thesis which I put forward has been spoken for. I welcome any comments.

Stepan.


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