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2002 Chevy 1500 5.3
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TOPIC: No Mileage Change? New Approach

No Mileage Change? New Approach 16 Aug 2019 07:16 #1

  • Ron Hatton
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It has been an issue that pops up from time-to-time that a vehicle experiences ZERO change in mileage, no matter what is done.

And I mean no matter WHAT! They report (both PRE- and POST-Groove!) that their mileage doesn't change whatsoever. Flatlands or mountains, 35 or 135 MPG. Octane boost or no. No change.

There can be only one way this could happen, and that lies in the BRAIN that controls the fuel delivery, or the ECU (Engine Control Unit).

Following a call with a client expressing this concern, I decided to try something different. I asked more QUESTIONS. This client is unique, as he began to tell me about all the work he had done on his ride. EGR replaced. Intake manifold replaced. O2 and Catalytic converter replaced. ALL BEFORE THE GROOVE!

What did he get? ABSOLUTELY NO CHANGE. (well, he HAS recorded as much as a 0.68 MPG variance.)

So, he began to speak about emissions. It turns out that this truck has California Emissions (ALERT #1). Second, it was released as a "LEV" or Low-Emissions Vehicle. (ALERT #2)

We are now embarking on an experiment. I offered to split the cost on a replacement ECU for his truck. On this particular model, there were over FIFTY DIFFERENT ECU's USED! So, I scanned, selected one from the NON-LEV crowd with the configuration most closely matching his application, and placed the order. (This was yesterday.)

He did a check unbeknownst to me, and when I called him back told me "If I replace this ECU, it MUST be programmed by the dealership, and that's almost $200!!!"

I advised him NOT to do that. We're approaching this from a country-boy perspective. We're going to put it in, and go through the reprogramming Gadgetman Style. Then, and ONLY then, if it doesn't respond, we'll take a look at that option.

I will try to keep you all updated on the progress, but until then, I want you ALL to post the vehicles you have that mirror this report so we can work together as a team to solve this problem.

It is so frustrating to have this happen, and when it DOES, we want to be able to solve for this, because it is harming our clients, ourSELVES, AND the PLANET!

Ron
Ron Hatton
Developer of The Gadgetman Groove
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No Mileage Change? New Approach 16 Aug 2019 08:20 #2

  • GregK
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A bold, brave move to make, this. “Hold my beer” confidence.
If a “simple” ECU swap gets efficiencies to happen, and if it’s repeatable and repeated, and verifiable that the Groove does better things for a car than CARB’s mandates, things around here are going to get interesting.

More details as they come to light, please!

the most problematic groove job for me was a Nissan Titan pickup...I'd have to go back and check for the model year and engine. It has a different intake snorkel and PCV setup, and it's also a direct injection rather than multiport.

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No Mileage Change? New Approach 16 Aug 2019 23:28 #3

  • Tracy Gallaway
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I second your thoughts on this, Greg! I wonder, if this might be a way to go on my '02 Subaru Outback. Sheila, (the Outback) runs Great, but to date I've been frustratingly unable to report any validated real improvements in MPG's....

Shiela, is a California Girl too...It's interesting to note that there has been proliferation of Power mods and other mods to many Subaru vehicle systems for many years now. IF you want to Go Fast, make the car handle like on Rails, and etc. etc, well, the aftermarket beckons.

But for Economy, one doesn't see much out there (except Present Company).

I still haven't gotten serious on MAP sensor and EFIE mods for Shiela, though I Know Greg, Ron, and probably others would coach me on those. I'm unsure what to think, though others success, esp Greg's, with those mods, give encouragement.

An ECU swap Does Indeed seem Bold, compared to the MAP and EFIE mods...] A Brain Transplant, vs. adjusting the Nerve Inputs to the Brain the car was born with...

Tracy G
Tracy Gallaway
Founder and Constant Aide to Gadgetman
Gadgetman Reno, NV
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No Mileage Change? New Approach 17 Aug 2019 11:33 #4

  • GregK
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Brain transplant, indeed. Awesome analogy.
Maybe we should look at what "california emissions" is - what makes them so special/difficult compared to the rest of us in North America?

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No Mileage Change? New Approach 17 Aug 2019 17:20 #5

  • Ron Hatton
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Second Vehicle: 2006 Mountaineer.

Just had a client stop by. While HE is cool, his WIFE is (as she SHOULD be...) concerned about the money they put in the tank.

This vehicle is (once again) California AND LEV, and AGAIN, zero change in MPG's.

Go figure...
Ron Hatton
Developer of The Gadgetman Groove
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No Mileage Change? 17 Aug 2019 18:55 #6

  • Verrnon Franklin
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Anxious to hear of remedies. Have had same experience with my 2002 Explorer, non California style.

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No Mileage Change? New Approach 24 Aug 2019 11:03 #7

  • GregK
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I've had thoughts about this, and I'd like to share:

I'm starting to think that it's more important now than ever to have a vehicle scanner that has the capability of displaying live data - we should have the ability to see what the computer is seeing from the sensors, so that we can reverse engineer to an extent and possibly find simple common sense solutions rather than being forced into drastic surgeries. simply going by the Check Engine or MIL lights, then reading the code seems to be increasingly inadequate, especially where one doesn't get tripped.

thoughts, friends?

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No Mileage Change? New Approach 07 Sep 2019 12:47 #8

  • Wes
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Well, ultimately I think any car newer than '96 to get the most out of these mods will require some type of ECU tuning. The problem is finding a place that is trustworthy and one who is an expert at tuning...
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No Mileage Change? New Approach 07 Sep 2019 13:07 #9

  • GregK
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well, we CAN alter signals sent to the ECU by the sensors. reverse engineering the logic employed by the factory program is what's key. then we can move forward into optimization.
Perhaps Ron's idea to swap ECUs has some validity to it from an R&D perspective after all.
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No Mileage Change? New Approach 08 Sep 2019 03:25 #10

  • Grant Goldade
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Has anyone here looked into custom pcm tuning? Some tuners, not all, promote mpg tunes as well as all out performance tuning. They can be done remotely, though Id personally prefer to have them done on a dyno. Not everyone has that option available though. You datalog your vehicle as you drive and send the files to your tuner (or if you're game learn and do it yourself)... he then changes the settings to optimize your engine. I know of one guy in Canada that has done this on his 3.7 Mustang. When he asked them to tune for an HHO system they thought he was nuts. So... he contacted a while later without telling them about it and they went ahead and tuned it... great power, great mileage :) and no trying to trick the pcm and hoping it doesn't flip a sh.t
Dealing with LS powered Chevies I'd look at (if url doesn't show search lt1pcmtuning and Solomon) He actually explains what he does and tells what software and hardware you can use to do the same. Westers Garage in Canada has a great reputation, with their proprietary 3D mapping and dual octane tables in the LS pcm's. I used their tunes years ago and always had nice HP/MPG gains. It would be interesting to see the datalogs once the Gadgetman Groove mod has been done!
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No Mileage Change? New Approach 08 Sep 2019 15:16 #11

  • GregK
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do they have a website?

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No Mileage Change? New Approach 09 Sep 2019 13:07 #12

  • Grant Goldade
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The forum wont let me post a link in my messages but you can google Solomon pcm tuning for Ls/Chevy tunes. It depends somewhat on vehicle you wish to tune but most any modern vehicle with aftermarket performance support can be retuned/flashed.

lt1pcmtuning DOT com
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