First I have to say I'm sorry for not getting to this sooner and for not spending the time I should be on the groovy forums. Things have been really busy of late and I haven't taken the time like I should have to keep every one updated on my groovy projects.
Anyways, I have been able to make some time for it now and I hope my groovy family can help me. I have done 2 project vehicles- a 95 Ford van and a 2000 Lincoln Town Car. So far I haven't seen hardly any improvements. It was a sacrifice to spend $500 to get the bits and my family thinks I'm crazy. But I did it because of the many great reviews and i respect Ron Hatton, even with just the few talks I have had with him. Hopefully you all can help me change my family's opinion of the groove around;).
I would like to start with our family 95 Ford 1/2 ton van. Here is my previous post on it-
. I checked the previous records and we were getting about 13-14 mpg. Now we are getting about 12-13 mpg. The power on the van does seem to have increased some, but that is not really what I was after. The big thing was that I was hoping to increase the gas mileage, which is about the same or even a little worse. The other thing is that we now have moisture in our oil, which we definitely didn't have before. So if any of you have suggestions, PLEASE let me know! Ask any questions you need to of me. I just want to prove that the groove can work!Thanks!!
Hi Andrew, I'm Tracy G in Reno Nev. I'm still a fairly new Gadgetman, but let me see if I can give a few ideas...First your Grooves look great in that Ford TB! Nice work there, along w/ the IAC gasket of metal tape ya made. Remember to aggressively check for any possible vacuum leaks, example that vac. hose on the TB bottom looked pretty pale.
Anything that is connected to vacuum below the throttle plate is to be considered Guilty untill proven OK. Replace any old vac hoses--if hard/ rotten don't cut 'em back, REPLACE 'em! Does the TB itself have a good seal to intake? Manifold gaskets need checked, try spraying w/ a little carb clean at idle listen for idle speed reactions. Things you might not think of like power brake hose, any vacuum hose tee's, again ANYTHING connected to manifold vacuum below throttle plate all the way to manifold to head gaskets needs checked (sorry I know the manifold gaskets on that van aren't any fun but if original... A Mityvac or similar vacuum hand pump is invaluable for doing these checks. You cut nice Grooves on this puppy and they are creating a spike in manifold vac on the intake stroke--they HAVE to 'cause of the Power increase you are seeing. The Vac Spike makes any vacuum leak worse and the leaks all need fixed to get full potential of the Groove(s).
How many miles on your van? Many tech's say that O2 sensors can't be trusted past 60 K miles. Is the check engine light staying off? The Groove isn't a cure all for other issues. Forget the Groove for a moment--think of the issues that affect fuel economy. If you need a tune up add 20% to the plug gap, re-gap the plugs anyway if they are OK. Cap/rotor/wires (I've had great experience w/ Borg-Warner Nascar Select ignition parts at Pep boys, O'Reilly, etc. done dozens of tune jobs w/ those). Tire pressure, filters, it all matters.
After all of that, did you do a computer re-learn on this van? You pull both battery cables(pull Negative first reconnect last) then connect both cables w/ jumper wire turn key on to run position headlight switch on, this drains power out of tiny capacitors in computer and dumps "learned memory". Leave like this at least an hour, turn key/lights off then reconnect cables. You then do the Re-learn for the van computer its described in detail elsewhere in Groovy Service bulletins and in posts.
The PCV re-route did you cap the Vac. port on intake manifold that PCV originally went to then route or tee the PCV hose into the breather hose from the air filter ass'y to the opposite valve cover? Been lots of confusion on that one, again look around the site its described in words and pics. It cant be cold in NM now is water under oil cap mix w/ oil? Check Radiator cap (cold) is any gook there? Hope not!!
I hope those ideas help, Andrew, glad you are back! Others can chime in here too.......... TracyG Gadgetman Reno
Founder and Constant Aide to Gadgetman
Gadgetman Reno, NV
Hey Tracy! Thanks for the encouragement and helpful tips. The vacuum is probably where I'm going to head to next. (I just finished ordering a mitvac hand pump...lol!) The o2 sensors were also something I was already looking at getting replaced. BTW, I really don't know a lot about the oxygen sensors and I was wondering if there are any special o2 sensors I should try to get? should I just get the manufacture recommended ones, or is there a certain brand/type I should be looking for?
Anyways, I do maintenance regularly on our vehicles and I just replaced and gaped the sparks plugs as Ron Hatton suggests, plus a lot of the other regular check ups. I have reset the van's computer several times as well. My biggest concern at this point is the moisture in the oil. It has actually been this way since last Feb (i know...long overdue...ive just been swampped lately), so it has been in the cold, even up to Wisconsin. Is there a chance that the work i did with the PCV would allow moisture into the oil if something wasn't done right?? I will keep everyone updated as much as I can. I will probably have to spread the vacuum line checks over a period of a couple of days. If anyone has any helpful ideas, hints or tips, keep shooting them my way. Thanks!!
Karl, thanks for your time and post. I don't believe there is an airflow of any kind in that yellow region...right above it, yes...but not what you have circled (if i remember correctly). I hope this next question doesn't sound dumb...but how exactly do i get a manifold vacuum reading? I like to think I know a lot about engines, but this gadgetman stuff as showed me the small fraction i really know. It has been gr8 learning new things!
Stick with it and we'll figure this out together. First of all, you can purchase an analog gauge to hook up to a vacuum port on your intake which will tell you your vacuum readings. They are fairly inexpensive and definitely worth it.
Concerning moisture in your oil....
Please explain how you handled the PCV valve. What did you plug? What did you reroute? If you plugged off the valve itself, there may be moisture accumulated in the crankcase. Is your passive ventilation tube free and venting as well? Otherwise, the first place I'd look is the head gasket (coolant leaking into the oil). How much moisture is accumulating
I reviewed your IAC reduction and wonder..how thick is the foil you used for the gasket? I use aluminum flashing. If you used foil, the gasket did not hold. Be sure to seal both mating surfaces with RTV as well.
I see Nick has already asked about the moisture in the oil. That could be a leaky headgasket, and if so that would certainly stop all gains.
Here's a few ways to check for a leaky headgasket. You usually won't have all of them.
Check the dipstick. If there's water in your oil, the oil will be more white and milky looking.
Check the cap on your oil. Run the engine a bit to warm it up, then take off your oil cap, and look up inside it. If it's got some white coloring instead of being all dark, that's another indicator.
Check for colored smoke out your tailpipe.
Check for air bubbles in your radiator. With the engine warmed up a bit (but obviously not too hot to safely remove the cap) and running, take off the cap. If you see a lot of bubbles coming up through your liquid that's another indicator.
I am so happy you came into the fold. Now that you've had a challenge (two of them, I believe) and come here for help, you have helped us ALL! And the family is coming to your aid.
I will address the older vehicle first. I'm not worried about the 2000. One at a time.
All of what is being suggested is 100% SPOT ON. You have a vacuum leak somewhere, without a doubt. but WHERE IS THE BLOODY THING?!?!?!
If you are unable to find the leak in the hoses (be sure to have the brake booster vac tested) then it may be a little deeper in the engine. That we'll handle when and if we need to. Rarely, an intake manifold gasket will develop a leak. That is the hardest one to find because of its location.
Not to worry. Check ALL connected EVERYTHINGS to the intake manifold. Then, check the manifold itself. If it's "composite" (aka PLASTIC) there is a high possibility of warpage.
Be thorough, be patient, and you WILL find the answer. You just have to play the cards you've got.
Add your cards to ours and you are guaranteed to be playing a winning hand.
Hi again, Drew. Here are some pics of a vacuum gauge. First 2 are the guage tool itself w/ an analog dial to read and the vacuum hose on the tool that is hooked tightly to a vacuum port or nipple on the engine. Third is a vacuum port on my Subaru's intake manifold w/a red vinyl cap blocking the unused port off. Fourth is the vac. gauge hose connected tightly to the vacuum port on the manifold.
One tip is along w/ a Mityvac or similar vacuum pump tool AND an analog vacuum gauge like the one here is to get legnths of several sizes of vacuum hose. You also want various sizes of vacuum caps for dealing with vac. ports/ nipples etc. Also handy for temporary plugging vacuum hoses are some Golf Tees. Vacuum caps come in rubber and vinyl. I've found that the rubber ones don't last too well but vinyl ones last longer.
I've worked with carburetors for years and so I keep a good stash of all this stuff around. Most any shop I've been in NEVER seems to have enough of any of these handy parts. When you get your Mityvac read the booklet carefully there is a LOT of info there, it's a short course in itself!
Manifold vacuum is defined as simply the amount of difference in air pressure between the outside atmosphere and the air inside the intake manifold. Go back to the videos Ron has on the site front page and watch them carefully. Manifold vacuum is what we are affecting (among other things) with the Groove. That's why all the talk about it here. As Tarzan would say, "Vac Spike good, Vac Leak bad!"
Kill vacuum leaks! TracyG Gadgetman Reno
Founder and Constant Aide to Gadgetman
Gadgetman Reno, NV
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Hey every one! Thanks for the Awesome insight and encouragement! I'm waiting for the vacuum pump to come in...is there any way i can check my vacuum lines with out that hand pump?? maybe an air pressure system with soap or smoke?
I'm also doing some research on which O2 sensors I should get...maybe someone could give me some tips here? I don't like going to the manufacture and paying outrageous prices when i can usually get the same thing offline for cheaper. I know like with spark plugs there are lots of different options you can go with and different things you can do to get better gas mileage. Are oxygen sensors that way as well? Or can I just go with any o2 sensor that matches my vehicle? I don't want to pay just for a brand name, but if there is a certain one that is more expensive, but in the long run will pay for itself, then let me know. Thanks!!
Hi again Drew! Vacuum hoses/lines--check the condition. Determine the internal diameter of the hose in question then get some of the same I.D. size hose new. If the old hose is hard or if you squeeze the end and you see any tiny cracks, Or if it feels soft spongy or rotten, REPLACE that hose. Dont just cut the hose end back and reattach, replace it w/ the proper ID hose. The new hose should push onto whatever metal or plastic tube/nipple firmly. Watch out w/ old plastic nipples/ connectors they get brittle and can break. New plastic connectors come in lots of sizes/styles, and there are various sizes vacuum hoses too. Look around under the hood and pull the engine cover off and dig in. Auto parts stores carry all this stuff, you may need to look around your area to find out. Junkyards for me are a great source of diferent plastic hose connectors/fittings. For larger diameter hoses look at bulk fuel hose. Carburetor fuel line/hose is cheaper than fuel Injection hose.
Many Fords use a Tee to connect different vac. hoses mounted on firewall/ body metal look for that too and inspect. You can just look touch and squeeze sometimes there is a clamp that needs squeezed w/ pliers and pulled back to get a hose off whatever. You can also carefully spray cheapo carb. cleaner on a junction or fitting to see if rpm reacts at idle. Also to check intake manifold gasket junctions. Careful w/ this I once had a fire under a Lincoln's hood when a bad plug wire arc'd and set off accumulated carb cleaner!!!
O2 sensors--some say get the dealer part more$$ maybe better. I'd just got to parts store and get whatever brand they have. Bosch and Denso are most common brands I've seen. If yours are original or w/over say 60K mi. replace, eliminate the vairable.
The Mityvac is best to check integrity of something a vacuum line leads to--example the vacuum advance module on an older distributor or any type of diaphragm operated by vacuum (brake booster). Be glad your Ford isnt from late 70's to mid 80's---Vacuum line Hell! Look for a label/sticker on your van w/ a vacuum hose diagram under hood someplace, that's the FIRST thing I look for. If ya get time sometime go into a Pick n pull/ Pick a Part type junkyard and just look at engine bays and examine vacuum hoses/connections on different stuff to learn how the industry does this stuff. I have big Ziplock bags w/ lots o' different connectors/caps/tees/golf tees/whatever related to stay in control of this stuff. Remember what Tarzan said!
Good luck, have fun, learn! TracyG Gadgetman Reno
Founder and Constant Aide to Gadgetman
Gadgetman Reno, NV
Well, I'll be honest and say I too have had difficulty with Ford products. The power increases, but the MPG gains are stubborn.
O2 sensors should be replaced with OEM or similar. If the O2's can be checked with a scan tool before an after, especially with a graphing scanner, do so.
As far as your family's perception of money and time spent, I know exactly what your going through. Be patient and keep asking questions and applying wisdom. If you are applying the Groove to tired vehicles in need of maintence, do the maintence. The Groove will help but only as good as the current maintence is.