2007 Buick Rendezvous 3.5litre V6
31 Aug 2016 16:26 #85
Hey you all!
I was very pleased with what I read from you, Greg!
For now, I am trying to regain control of all the assets of Gadgetman Technologies, and am experiencing some challenges with Google/YouTube.
I've got back into the site as far as the hosting company is concerned, but with my limited access, (and limited technical expertise) I haven't been able to get into the backend of the site itself. (If you have experience with Joomla! and want to help... hint-hint!)
I want to open a back-channel dialog with the best and most active of guys here, as we're going to be launching an actual hard product. A new throttle body I call the "G-Force Throttle" that is designed around the tech, rather than the other way around.
For the guys who have kept the faith, it's going to be a good day in Gadgetman Land!
Just a quick update on how things are going with Wendy Rendezvous:
I got my notice last week from the gubmint that it's coming time to renew the tags on my girl, and they gently reminded me that they wouldn't be issued until she passes the bi-annual emissions test (which is a sham, a make-work and taxes initiative, but that's a rant for another place and time). A few years ago, this jurisdiction moved away from tailpipe testing (except for diesels) unfortunately, and made the test a simple and quick ECU scan for emissions codes, because now that she's Grooved, I'd love to see what the numbers are...but I'll have to find another way...
Anyway, being the proactive guy I like to think I am, I took her to the local parts retailer last week to see if they would read any codes given the Low Engine Power incident a month ago so I could see if anything was lurking that would cause a fail at test time, and the young employee was more than happy to jump out from behind the counter with reader in hand. He scanned and there were no codes, but I noticed that afterwards that Wendy wasn't driving like she was grooved and was eating more fuel than usual...hmmm, I wondered. Tailpipe still smelled clean, but it took longer for the temp gauge to come up to the normal range for closed loop...maybe it's the cooler late summer/early autumn weather...
I decided to continue to drive and see what happened.
the result has been that fuel economy is back to where it was before the scan, so I suspect the reader may have de-railed or undone the last re-learn prior to it, and Wendy has figured that out and fixed herself. So I should be in good shape for the official emissions test in a few weeks, provided I don't automatically fail because of the PCV re-route. (I seem to recall the last time I had it done, he didn't bother to lift the hood and have a look, so maybe that's a time saver for the testing places so they can get more cars through in an hour and make more $$$). I'll be sure to ask the tech if he knows of anybody/anywhere in town who still does the old dyno/tailpipe test for the next time, two years from now. Or maybe I should do some research and see if one still exists nearby and go for that so I can see the numbers.
first, though, I'm going to add a second groove to the TB, the upper groove, once Tracy's reverse bit gets here (Thanks for the loan, buddy!!), install up-gapped plugs and zero resistance wires (finally!!) and swap the factory MAP sensor out for the one that's calibrated for a wider range of pressure differentials (like I've talked about inmy MAP thread, in case you're following along with that one too). I'm hoping for a consistent 50+MPG, considering I'm now in the upper 30s/low 40s.
UPDATE - "Emissions test" passed. the tech, a really nice woman, didn't bother to lift the hood. she just plugged her gubmint-approved scan computer into my OBD port, saw there were no dash lights or stored codes, and Wendy passed.
One thing I've noticed is that my temp gauge isn't reading in the proper range according to the owner's manual, and that means a sticky or stuck open thermostat, so fuel economy in this autumn weather is way off due to Wendy's ECU never seeing proper engine temp to go into closed loop. I've got cabin heat - it gets plenty warm for me so far - but not quite up to the "Sahara Desert at High Noon" it was a year ago. Given what YouTube tells me about getting to the Thermostat housing, I'll take her in for a flush and thermostat replacement next week.
Further, I've been poking around on the interwebs looking for insight and ideas about giving Wendy a Plasma Ignition system. General consensus is the Factory DIS system shouldn't be messed with because the workarounds required to keep the computer happy are rather involved...unless I'm willing to replace the factory ECU altogether. (look up megasquirt... for people having issues getting gains, this may be the answer. And that's kinda sad) So I guess this means I should have the garage who does the cooling system work put my Granatelli spark wires on and replace the plugs with the Iridium ones I have (and have upgapped) and call it a day.
Congrats on a nice easy smog test. In the past, I've been stuck in failed-smog-test-Purgatory. Back in '03, my 74 Dart Sport Slant six failed 6 times in a row, due to the original 1 barrel carb and other stuff. After it finally barely passed, I undertook the Super Six 2-bbl Carter carb/factory 2 bbl. intake conversion. With that setup and the Dutra Duals exhaust mods, it always passed evert time since. Here in Reno, they also do the scantool smog test for OBDII vehicles. Even older stuff, though they do the tailpipe probe test, you don't get the # values on the printout anymore...
I'd also suspect a partway stuck open t-stat on Wendy. An inexpensive infrared thermometer, one of those pistol-gun type ones, would be super handy right now. You could check temps on the exhaust manifolds, cat converters, the t-stat housing, etc. Pretty easy to identify temp patterns w/ one of those. However...
The Groove is known to decrease engine temps, and Wendy's Groove job has been quite successful, no? When more of the fuel is burning INSIDE the engine, it also is burning faster. There is less time for heat transfer to cylinder heads, piston bore walls, and into the cooling system. Though engines are designed to operate with cooling syst. temps around 180-200F. That heat is actually wasted energy. Increasing the combustion efficiency decreases waste heat. I bet the low operating temps Wendy has now, are most likely a combination of the t-stat, and a very successful Groove job!
Results of a t-stat replacement will be of interest here. I'd find the spec's for the recommended t-stat opening temp. IF the existing one is OK, you could go up maybe 10 degrees. But I'd want to take infrared temp readings on Wendy first if possible.
I for one will be waiting to see what happens on this. IF the stock t-stat is OK, or only stuck a small amount, I'd think about a hotter t-stat. I've tested t-stats by putting it in a pan of water on the stove, along with a thermometer in the water, and heating to a boil.
Yes a Plasma conversion on yours would be daunting. You will get nice gains from just the Granetelli's and new plugs anyway. Someone may come up with a handier way to get Plasma spark on newer stuff like Wendy, in the future.
Gadgetman Reno, NV
what has me thinking stuck open/sticky t-stat is this: temp gauge only seems to get up to a certain point and then fluctuates around it slightly, unless Wendy's been sitting. if there's air moving past the radiator, it goes down; sitting (in traffic or parked) it goes up. start it up after being run, temp goes up, then comes back down as water pump circulates coolant.
I grooved in early June in the 80s, but now that days are in the 40s/50s the gauge really shows what's happening - especially at night when it's in the 30s. so t-stat is open most if not all the time to some degree at least.
Factory t-stat is 195...another possibility is that this is a 180 degree t-stat mistakenly installed at the last coolant flush. I doubt I'll have to go up above 195, but I'm just going to put a new one, correct one in because it's time. I'm starting to see some dark, muddy residue from "DexKill" building up in the reservoir, so that crud might be what's keeping the t-stat open too if it's been collecting in the water jacket. a switch to the yellow coolant may be what cures this problem, after a good flush.
I LOVE the IR thermometer idea! I think my uncle has one I can borrow, but they're also on sale at our version of Harbor Freight, Princess Auto, who are opening a new store in my hometown (FINALLY!!!!) next week...Costco has them for not much $$$ as well...
No T-stat update, but I finally got around to putting the Zero Ohm Granatelli Spark plug wires and overgapped ( >30% over factory gap) Iridium Spark plugs in...the front side of my transverse-mounted engine. I simply ran out of daylight to do the engine roll and start digging around in places I can't even see...but I did the computer re-learn and drive cycle to see what the ECU would do.
The first start was ever so slightly harder than "normal", but it idled down/warmed up as usual, and subsequent starts seemed slightly more effortless than "normal" This is good.
What's better is that there were no misfire codes thrown. I was a bit concerned about this, considering the overgapped plugs (of a colder heat range) coupled with the (almost literally) zero ohm resistance wires are WAY out of factory spec, but So far, so good.
The drive - I'm blessed with being in a small city surrounded by farmland, so getting out to open and clear (and freshly paved!) roads is easy. Normal city driving speeds of 25-40 MPH, my mileage readout was somewhat high - OK, relearning...
Expressway speeds of 40-50MPH got the "usual" post-groove results in the low-mid 30MPG range. Still no codes, smooth running engine...still good.
Time to head home, so I jumped on the highway, 60-70 MPH...HOLY! 5.4L/100km or 44+ MPG steady at level cruise into a headwind...on 87 octane e10 gasoline...and no codes with my foot feathering the gas.
With the plugs and wires mismatched between the cylinder banks.
To say I'm pleased is understatement.
Once I get that mismatch remedied, and can get my T-stat replaced, I'm wondering if I might hit a consistent 50 MPG combined on 89 octane E5...or better. Heck, I've not even dug into Throttle plate shaping or an upper groove.
2007 Buick Rendezvous 3.5litre V6
05 Nov 2016 22:44 #94
As Tracy would say: Holy barking spiders Batman!!!
To get 44mpg on that horse is amazing.
Shows what is possible when one knows the system and has the tools/little known upgrades to apply to the system. Shows what is possible if the powers that be wanted us to get good mileage out of these chip controlled beasts that they force on us but that is another post.
Hopefully this is not a fluke and the ECU doesnt catch on and changes things back to stock programming. We dont want to have that happen. We would like to stay out of the Matrix.
Thanks for your kind words, guys. Yes, this is exciting, inspirational...
I can't wait to do the back bank and change out my t-stat so she stays in closed loop now that it's cold(er) outside.
One interesting thing as an aside: when grandad gifted this to me just over a year ago, I found the computer readout for lifetime efficiency of the vehicle. when I got it, it was 15.5L/100km (15.2 MPG); now it's sitting at 11.7L/100km (20.1 MPG)...so in a year, 25k miles of driving, I've gained at least 5MPG or saved at least a gallon for every 60 miles I drive. That's a lot of CO2 saved from the atmosphere we share and money in my pocket (at ~$3/gallon over 25k miles, that's $1250...totally paid for the Gadgetman Groove bits and all the other stuff I've bought to make the groove happen this well on this truck). Over the remaining lifetime of this vehicle, I'm certain I will have handily beaten all estimates for what this truck costs to operate from the factory/gubmint and help make the world an easier place to breathe, with cleaner water. Now if we can just get more people on board!