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TOPIC: Greetings good folk

Greetings good folk 29 May 2019 22:48 #1

  • Johnathan
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Hi there everyone. I joined the forum quite a while back. I'd jump on occasionally to read. I enjoy all the info and I am hoping to have funds for the license program soon. I worked as an auto mechanic since high school but am now a father of two and a full time stay at home dad. My wife owns her own business and does very well at it. She has always made most of our money so when she got pregnant with our first she said, "i think we both know who's staying home now." Haha. I am very grateful tho as not many dads get this opportunity. I'm hoping to supplement our income with weekend groove jobs as well as use it to help family members and so on.

So I'm not able to afford the license kit just yet but I would like to do some of the other mods to my truck if someone could point me to a good thread it would be most appreciated. I have a 02 GMC Sierra 2500 4x4 gas 6.0 I'd like to do the spark plug gaps and the pcv re route thing. I know there's the factory gap specs but is there a rule of thumb for over-gapping? Also with the pcv, from what I understand, you just cap off the inlet (leak) bringing the crankcase gas into the throttle body or intake manifold. But then what do you do with the pcv valve? If it's unhooked from the vacuum source I'd think it would just make a mess everywhere. I could do a breather catch can but I haven't seen Ron or anyone mention needing that so I guess I missed some info somewhere on the whole pcv deal. Anyways thanks for your time and I appreciate any response! -Johnathan
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Greetings good folk 30 May 2019 10:19 #2

  • GregK
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Welcome!
When you sign into the forum, you probably land on the "Recent Topics" page. The answers you seek will be under the "Browse Topics" page. It's a tab right above where the forum welcomes you, at the left margin of the page.
Click there, and go exploring. This has all been discussed there, and you might even find someone has shared a tip or trick specific you your vehicle.

Pre-Groove Prep is always a smart idea to ensure that the groove "takes" right from the start, and re-routing the PCV and/or opening the gaps now will give you some small benefit. But before we go down those roads, given the age of this vehicle, how are the tranny and diff fluids - when was the last time they were changed? (the synthetics they're using now are quite good for efficiency) what about the gaskets/hoses - any leaky ones?
How about the upstream oxygen sensor(s) and catalytic converter(s)? O2s need replacing every 60k-100k Miles, and converters melt/get clogged. Oh, the cooling system - when was the last time that was flushed and the cap and T-stat replaced? How's the battery/alternator/charging system/grounds? If these things can't be checked off as taken care of (maintained), you might run up hard against them when you do get the groove on...as I'm sure you recall advising your clients when you were working as a mechanic.

I've found that engines need PCV/blowby vapours, so rather than letting them vent, I've re-routed the hose to where the factory breather gets it's source of clean air on the intake tube, after the MAF and filter...but my "valve" was simply an orifice tube. if yours is an actual check valve that is held open by manifold vacuum, you'll need to find a fitting that isn't restrictive. another thing I've done on mine is open up the diameter of the hoses, from whatever the factory diameter was to 3/4" - if the factory helped those vapours to move with some vacuum, by removing the vacuum, you'll have to open up the road so they can move just as easily, right? (another difference between our method and stock is that we encourage those vapours to move when they're being made most - when the throttle plate is more open under a power demand - rather than constantly, except when manifold vac drops at high demand time. The engineers have it bass ackwards, don't you think?)

Spark plug gap - when was the last time you did a traditional tune up on this truck? plugs, wires, (coil/cap/rotor?), air filter, cleaned the MAF...
To me, it's most important to get as much of the ignition energy the coil makes to the spark gap as possible, and that means replacing used wires with new ones with as low resistance as possible. They are NOT all the same, as I'm sure you know, and I am a convert to the Granatelli wires that are zero resistance or as close to it as we can come without needing to operate at absolute zero. Call Granatelli Direct - they gave me the price they charge their distributors (like Summit) when I did. once you get all the energy going to where it belongs, then you can worry about the gap...and yes, you can make it much bigger than what the factory engineers specify when you make sure the energy gets to where it belongs

All of this should give you some time to yourself once the kids are in bed and responsibility handed off to the wife...
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Greetings good folk 30 May 2019 15:03 #3

  • GregK
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Aaand there you go: Ron has dropped the price of bits, just for a guy like you in time for (and until) Father’s Day!!

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Greetings good folk 30 May 2019 21:08 #4

  • Johnathan
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Thanks for the reply Greg. You brought up a lot of good things to check that I honestly haven't done yet. I just got the truck last fall and it's got close to 180,000 on it. It was a work truck in a past life but that's why I got a deal on it. I looked over everything best I could when I got it but I've had most of my time wrapped up in the kids and building a house. We just finished and moved into it in April.

I haven't done much of anything to it yet other than changing the oil and front ball joints and pittman arm. For being someone's work truck I was surprised how long many of the stock suspension parts lasted.

You made some interesting points about the vapors. Are you saying that there's a mileage difference between venting the crankcase versus sucking it back into the intake? I know what you mean about the engineering. I'm no engineer. I could never come up with all that stuff myself. But even for an average guy working his own vehicles I'm sure everybody runs into those issues where you think "hmm, there's no way they could've missed this". Almost like there's an agenda to make things difficult and inefficient for the small guy. Lol

Oh and my alternator took a crap on me today while I was out with the kids. Fortunately I was able to stop and buy one and had enough battery to make it back home. I also mentioned the gadgerman sale to my wife today but sadly I was shot down. She doesn't see it as a necessity right now. =( I got to find time tho to get all the other stuff checked out on the truck. Thanks for the advice.
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Greetings good folk 31 May 2019 08:22 #5

  • GregK
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Yes, but it’s a small difference in a stock/factory/unmodified engine.
It’s mostly there for environmental reasons now, to recycle Unburned hydrocarbons. That’s not as much of an issue with our groove, but even as we burn them more completely and fully, the water vapour remains and theoretically increases, being a natural byproduct of combustion.
I’m sure you’ve seen the rainbow-like oil floating on top of a puddle of water. Same thing happens with that water recycled into your intake: a certain portion of the fuel comes in contact with it and it’s surface area increases dramatically, making it much more likely to vaporize under vacuum, and burn. They used this principle in WW2 bomber engines, they use it in racing, and it is starting to make a comeback for passenger vehicles, with a Bosch water injection System for BMWs. I’m tempted and am considering wrapping a coil around my exhaust manifold to run the vapours through, and then put them back into the intake to see how much leaner I can make my car run.

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Greetings good folk 31 May 2019 10:00 #6

  • GregK
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another thought - if the bits aren't important to her, why not look and see if Ron has a grooved TB for your truck in his Garage sale offerings? It's a lot more cost effective to prove to your wife why getting the bits is a good idea...impress her with saving 30% or more on the truck's fuel bill monthly, and then let her extend that to her car, etc etc. a little more financial breathing room/savings/retirement/college funds for your young family every month...and the air will be cleaner too!!

EDIT - it looks like he does, on the garage sale table
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Last edit: by GregK.
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