Code injection header

Analysis of:

"Page 3 - SURE Halo Disaster"

Screenshots of original publication


Reference 3.1
Statement by Kevin Pugh:

"Then along came the Halo's... Halo's were SURE's version of the fuel injector seals. Its known, that on Mazda direct inject engine, the seals can begin to fail after 60K miles, high boost levels or high compression levels. The stock seals do indeed suck, but the community answered this issue with a design by a forum member several years ago. These were later sold to a large Mazdaspeed vendor and became manufactured at a higher level to keep up with demand. Since their introduction, several companies have come up with their own version of the seals, but none of them have failed. Enter SURE, who decides to enter the injector seal market and chooses to develop their own line of seals."

Reference 3.1 (Direct Link):


Analysis:

SURE Motorsports released the Halo fuel injector seals to the market in July, 2012. The SURE Motorsports Halo product was designed with a thick base in order to create a reusable seal that could be installed more than once. Upon reports of the Halos leaking, further in-house analysis showed that the initial Halo design could not be reused for the following reasons:

  1. The thick base of the Halo product required additional torque beyond OEM specifications to create an effective seal.
     
  2. Applying additional torque stressed the stainless steel studs included with the product. Because of this, stainless steel studs could not be used.
     
  3. A stronger bolt would allow for more torque, but led to a high stress factor in the factory casted aluminum cylinder head.

Evidence:
1. During in-house testing procedures following the Halo issues, fatigue was documented in the factory cast aluminum cylinder head

By applying additional torque to the Halo seals, a successful seal could be achieved. The amount of torque needed to create a seal was outside the factor of safety for the stainless steel studs and the factory casted aluminum cylinder head. Some SURE Motorsports customers have been able to use the Halos successfully, using the factory bolts, without damaging the cylinder head.

A thinner base would also allow the injector to crush the seal with factory torque specifications. Upon gathering this data, it was determined that the design of this product was flawed, and SURE Motorsports discontinued the Halo product.

The employee leading design, testing, and manufacturing of the Halo product left SURE Motorsports in September, 2012, shortly before the first Halo issues were reported. SURE Motorsports assumes all responsibility for all SURE Motorsports products produced.

Evidence:
2. Production process of the Halo product: Reference #3.4


Reference 3.2
Statement by Kevin Pugh:

"They also decided, to have these seals "tested" by several cars in England, as opposed to the USA...

Being a USA based company and having several high horsepower cars in their own backyard in Florida, begs the question... "why would you test these seals across the pond, not here?""

Reference 3.2 (Direct Link):


Analysis:

This is false. SURE Motorsports Halos were tested in the United States, not in England.

12 pre-production Halo units were tested on 3 third-party Mazdaspeed vehicles in the United States. SURE Motorsports received positive feedback from the use of the Halo product on these vehicles.

Evidence:
1. Invoice of beta tester #1

2. Emails between Mark Scallan and beta tester #1

3. Invoice of beta tester #2

Following pre-production testing, SURE Motorsports began to fulfill orders for the production run of the Halo products. This includes Kevin Pugh’s reference to “cars in England,” correctly cited as TotalMPS. TotalMPS is a SURE Motorsports distributor in the United Kingdom. The TotalMPS order was fulfilled from a production run of 1,050 Halo units, for distribution and use on TotalMPS shop vehicles in July, 2012. TotalMPS did not receive any pre-production samples and did not conduct any testing for SURE Motorsports.

4. Halo injector seals were sent to UK distributor TotalMPS on 08/22/12

In addition to testing in the United States, SURE Motorsports would consider supplementary testing in other countries to be an acceptable practice. Doing so would help to ensure compatibility between Mazdaspeed and MPS model vehicles.


Reference 3.3
Statement by Kevin Pugh:

"Some have speculated that another vendors seal was duplicated and sent across the pond for testing. This theory is an interesting one because those seals have had absolutely no failures to date."

Reference 3.3 (Direct Link):


Analysis:

Speculation that any Halos were duplicated from another vendor's seal is false.

The Lead Engineer employed by SURE Motorsports during this time designed the Halo fuel injector seals based on the factory fuel injectors and factory cylinder head.

Evidence:
1. Factory injector, cylinder head, and parts Halo hardware

The 12 pre-production (testing) and 1,050 production (final) model Halo units were manufactured using the same unique design.

Photos supplied by Kevin Pugh show the dimensional variations between Halos and similar products on the market. Although the Halos share a common cup design with similar products, the dimensions of the Halos are unique to SURE Motorsports.

A mazdaspeedforums.org user, referenced by Kevin Pugh in his publication, supplied dimensions of various Mazda aftermarket injectors. The results of this independently conducted research demonstrated that the dimensions of the Halo product are of unique design.

Evidence:
2. Images referenced by Kevin Pugh, supplied by a mazdaspeedforums.org user

The Halo product was tested in the United States. For information on Halo testing, see Reference #3.2 .


Reference 3.4
Statement by Kevin Pugh:

"So, what happened with the seals the USA cars were getting? The tolerances were way the hell off, causing mass leaks, oil spray,fuel spray on a live running engine and seal seizes inside the head, which caused enough damage that a new cylinder head had to be purchased. Was it a cost savings issue that caused these seals not to meet the original tolerances? We don't know, but SURE seems to know the truth behind it."

Reference 3.4 (Direct Link):


Analysis:

The SURE Motorsports Halo design had critical dimensions that were flawed, resulting in the product not sealing properly. The Halo seals were manufactured according to the original design. The outer diameter of the product was altered prior to preliminary testing procedures. 

Internal SURE Motorsports records documenting the production process of the Halos are disclosed below.

Evidence:
1. 05/18/12 – Mark Scallan initiates 12 Halo injector seals prototypes (email)

2. 06/08/12 – Mark Scallan receives and signs off on 12 pre-production Halo injector seals (packing slip)

3. 06/11/12 – Mark Scallan states the outside diameter (OD) is incorrect, and asks that the Halo injector seals be reworked to a new OD specification (email)

4. 06/13/12 – Mark Scallan receives and signs off on 12 Halo injector seals, reworked to 0.659'' OD (packing slip)

5. 06/18/12 – 3 sets of Halo injector seals (total of 12 units) sent out for third-party testing. Reference #3.2 . (invoices)

6. 07/02/12 – Third-party Halo testers report positive results with the Halo injector seals (email)

7. 07/18/12 – Mark Scallan receives and signs off on a production run of 1,050 Halo injector seals. This batch was manufactured with an outside diameter of 0.659'' (packing slip)

8. 07/20/12 – Orders for the Halo injector seal product begin to ship to customers

9. 07/25/12 – 20 Halo injector seal parts do not pass SURE Motorsports quality control and were rejected (packing slip)


Reference 3.5
Statement by Kevin Pugh:

"All the while when these Halo injector seals were having issues, they were still being sold after multiple reports from forum members having these failures."

Reference 3.5 (Direct Link):


Analysis:

This is false. All Halo orders were indefinitely put on hold on November 27, 2012, while SURE Motorsports internally researched the cause of the problem.

During SURE Motorsports' internal research, 5 orders for Halos were placed between November 13, 2012, and November 26, 2012. These customers were notified of the internal research and offered a refund for their order. 3 customers were refunded 100% of the purchase price and 2 customers chose to keep their purchase and were shipped the product.

Evidence:
1. Invoices of orders placed between November 13, 2013, and November 26, 2013

The last Halo order to ship was on November 26, 2012. As of March 13, 2013, the product was discontinued and is no longer available.

During the internal research period (November, 2012, until March, 2013), the Halo product remained visible on the SURE Motorsports website. During this time, 5 additional orders were placed for the Halo product. These 5 customers were notified that the Halo product was indefinitely on backorder. On March 13, 2013, all Halo backorders were cancelled and all affected customers were notified.

Issue Response Timeline:

1. 09/25/12 – First documented Halo issue – customer broke stud broach while tightening with an allen key. This first issue was unrelated to Halo sealing problem. SURE Motorsports should have included instructions.

Evidence:
2. Email about first documented Halo issue - broken studs

2. 11/12/12 – Second documented Halo issue. First report of leaking issue with Halo seals.

Evidence:
3. Email from Stealth01 about second reported Halo issue

3. 11/12/12-11/27/12 – In-house testing to identify source of leaking issue.

4. 11/27/12 – All Halo orders indefinitely put on backorder. 100% refund of the purchase price or 110% in store credit issued to affected customers.

5. 11/27/12 - 03/13/13 - Continued in-house investigation of Halo issues

6. 03/13/13 – Halo product discontinued, all backorders cancelled.

Evidence:
4. Final Halo order to ship

6. Cracked head that occurred during in-house testing procedures


Reference 3.6
Statement by Kevin Pugh:

"Many of these customers immediately contacted SURE to report their issues."

Reference 3.6 (Direct Link):


Analysis:

The first reports of Halo issues came in from multiple users located in New Jersey, beginning on November 12, 2012. At this time, no prior leaking issues had been reported. Cullen Mariacher, owner of SURE Motorsports, communicated with these affected customers via telephone, email, and text messaging.

During this initial troubleshooting period, these affected New Jersey customers were assisted and compensated on an individual basis. See Reference #3.7 .

All additional affected customers were refunded 100% of the purchase price or 110% in store credit. SURE Motorsports requested customers affected to return new or used Halos as part of the refund process.

Evidence:
1. Box of returned and unused Halo injector seals


Reference 3.7
Statement by Kevin Pugh:

"SURE's response to this was, 'installer error.'"

Reference 3.7 (Direct Link):


Analysis:

Before determining the full extent of the Halo issues, several potential causes were suggested to affected customers. These included installation error, torque specifications, stud material, cup design, base thickness, and lack of instructions.

The initial affected customers stated that their Halos had all been installed by the same New Jersey-based mechanic. At the time, Cullen Mariacher noted that the sealing issues could be the result of installation procedures used by the customers’ mutual mechanic.

Evidence:
1. Invoices of New Jersey-based customers affected by Halo issues

The Halo product is covered under the SURE Motorsports Lifetime Warranty. Upon the return of new or used Halos, additional affected customers were refunded 100% of the purchase price or 110% in store credit.


Reference 3.8
Statement by Kevin Pugh:

"Now, this is where things get interesting:

1. The SURE Seals never came with installation instructions

2. Those non existent installation instructions, also lacked what the studs were supposed to be torqued to"

Reference 3.8 (Direct Link):


Analysis:

SURE Motorsports did not include the necessary installation instructions or torque specifications for the product.


Reference 3.9
Statement by Kevin Pugh:

"3. SURE Blames End User Of Installer Error

4. What?"

Reference 3.9 (Direct Link):


Analysis:

Before determining the full extent of the Halo issues, several potential causes were suggested to affected customers. These included installation error, torque specifications, stud material, cup design, base thickness, and lack of instructions. See Reference #3.7 .


Reference 3.10
Statement by Kevin Pugh:

"Many owners have torqued their Halo seals from 12 ft lbs to almost 40 ft lbs, but guess what? They still don't seal! Better yet, the studs snap off with 40 ft lbs of torque. 22 ft lbs seems to be the sweet spot that the seals should be torqued to for proper sealing."

Reference 3.10 (Direct Link):


Analysis:

By applying additional torque to the Halo seals, a successful seal could be achieved. The amount of torque needed to create a seal was outside the factor of safety for the stainless steel studs and the factory casted aluminum cylinder head. See Reference #3.1 .


Reference 3.11
Statement by Kevin Pugh:

"So, SURE's recourse at this time was, $6 Toyota seals until a revised set of Halo's would be released. Guess what? No Halo's have been released to this day."

Reference 3.11 (Direct Link):


Analysis:

SURE Motorsports' resolution was specific with each individual customer affected during the internal research of the Halo issues.

During the internal investigation of the issues, a statement regarding the Halo product was made on November 27, 2012, by SURE Motorsports.

The statement below was posted on mazdaspeedforums.org by a SURE Motorsports representative:

"It is unacceptable for the SURE Motorsports product line to let anyone down. We sincerely apologize for any and all inconveniences. Our commitment to the Mazda platform should be understood; we are dedicated to the Flying M and the enthusiast. Thank you for your patience while we dive into this troubleshooting effort. We are currently in the process of testing various Halos in order to isolate the root cause of the blow-by. We have yet to pinpoint the immediate cause, as it may be discovered in the design, manufacturing, torque requirements, or some combination of those factors. This matter has been escalated to the top of our priority list. Whatever our findings, we are dedicated to achieving a greater SURE product.

We stand behind our products 100%. Until we identify the cause, here is our current action status:

- For any Halo owners experiencing blow-by, we will provide new OEM Mazda or OEM Toyota seals as temporary replacements.

- Regardless of the root cause, our lifetime warranty will cover all Halos in question once we have identified the cause. We will also accept refunds for new Halos in original packaging. We cannot accept refunds on used Halos, but as you will see below, we are dedicated to making things right.

- If more detailed torque requirements are needed to create a seal, we will deliver new Halos with detailed torque requirements.

- If an improved version of the Halos are required, that is what will be delivered.

- The Mazda community is our DNA, and without it, there is no SURE Motorsports. Once we determine a solution for the replacement Halos, we will include with replacement Halos a generous SURE Care Package and a $25 SURE gift card.

- Furthermore, one displaced Halo user (to be chosen at random) will receive the entire SURE product line for installation on their vehicle. We will be working with the MSF community in facilitating installation assistance. We will also send a group SURE Care Package for everyone assisting in the installation efforts. More details to come.

- We will be tracking this entire process closely. Please email info@suremotorsports.com if you are affected or have concerns. Please include your name, place of purchase, and order number. SURE Motorsports is determined to continue making the best possible products for the Mazda platform and Mazda enthusiast. Once we identify the root cause, we can be more detailed. Again, we send our sincere apologizes and thank you for your continued support.

Your SURE Motorsports Team"

The Halo product was discontinued on March 13, 2013. No replacement Halos have been issued since. An updated warranty policy regarding the Halos has been implemented allowing for affected customers to receive 100% of their purchase price or 110% in store credit upon the return of new or used Halos.

2. Statement made by SURE Motorsports, posted on mazdaspeedforums.org by Stealth01 (as posted by Kevin Pugh, incorrectly quoted as "Steath01")


Reference 3.12
Statement by Kevin Pugh:

"Im including pictures that reference OEM seal, c-pe seals and SURE's seals, so you get a visual on whats happening. Thanks to the forum members affected by this that provided all of these pictures and measurements.

Below are reference OEM Mazda injector seals.. Note the color of the OEM seals:

The next set of pictures are SURE's Seals next to the cp-e's seals. Please note that the shorter seals, would be SURE's seals:

Now this picture clearly shows how far off these seal's really are...

Feel free to download about 100 high res photos of various other SURE Seal Failures below:"

Reference 3.12 (Direct Link):


Analysis:

The SURE Motorsports Halo design was intentional and unique to SURE Motorsports. It was designed as a reusable seal that could be installed more than once.

The pictured measurements referenced by Kevin Pugh have no relevance to the effectiveness of the Halo product. The critical value affecting the seal is the measurement of the base thickness. 

Although the Halos share a common cup design with similar products on the market, the dimensions of the Halos are intentional and unique to SURE Motorsports.

Evidence:
1. Reference #3.1

2. Halo measurement video