• Blue Bullet Blog-The C6 Ownership Experience
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  • Blue Bullet Blog-The C6 Ownership Experience
  • Blue Bullet Blog-The C6 Ownership Experience

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  1. #211
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hib Halverson View Post
    All stuff I'll check myself before I take the car back to the dealer.
    Thanks for the suggestions.

    When the dealer in Corpus Christi looked at it, he said the compressor would run momentarily then the pressure switch on the low side would open taking the compressor off-line.

    Right now, we're in Albuquerque NM on a Corvette Caravan reverse prerun back to California and the compressor has continued to work since is "came back alive" on Monday.
    Sssshhhh, Hib.... it might hear you

    Happy drivin' >>>>>

  2. #212
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    Fortunately, the A/C in the Blue Bullet II continued to work for the rest of the trip which was a good thing. The last leg of the run was across the Southern California low desert last Friday. It was only 100°F between Kingman AZ and Barstow CA–a regular cold wave.

    Now for a recap of the trip. The first part of our latest road trip adventure took the The Fairest Sandra the Red, Duchess of Goleta, and I to Corpus Christi on the Texas Gulf Coast and one of the better kept secrets of the Corvette hobby: "Vettes and Jets on the Lex".

    Organized and staged by the "Vettes and Jets Organization" as a fund-raising event for the Wounded Warrior Project, three hundred fifty Corvettes are lifted onto the flight deck of the decommissioned aircraft carrier, USS Lexington, CV16, for a weekend display which is open to the public. "Vettes and Jets" takes place every other year on odd-numbered years.

    CV16 was the second aircraft carrier to be named Lexington. The first Carrier Lexington, CV2 launched in the late 1920s, was sunk by the Japanese Navy during the Battle of the Coral Sea, the first naval battle in which the ships involved never saw each other and the attacking forces were all aircraft. CV16, originally laid down as the USS Cabot, had its name changed to Lexington in mid-1942 after shipyard workers in the United States demanded the Navy Department name the new carrier after the first Lexington.

    The second carrier, USS Lexington, or the "Blue Ghost" as the Japs called her during World War II, is an Essex-class aircraft carrier that, after her initial deployment in August 1943, fought in every major battle in the Pacific Theater of World War II. Three different times, "Toyko Rose" the Japanese propagandist, claimed the Jap Navy had sunk the ship, but it never did. After the War, the "Lex" was a front-line attack carrier during the early Cold War then, later, was one of the Navy's training carriers on which thousands of Navy pilots learned to land and take-off from a carrier deck. The USS Lexington was decommissioned in 1991 and now serves as a military museum and tourist attraction in Corpus Christi. It was designated a National Historic Landmark in 2003. Though her surviving sister ships Yorktown, Intrepid, and Hornet carry lower hull numbers, Lexington was laid down and commissioned earlier, making it the oldest aircraft carrier in the world still in existence.

    In 2006 Stephen "Maverick" McCravy and Mike Ross had the idea to put Corvettes on the flight deck of the USS Lexington to help raise money for charities. The first "Vettes and Jets on the Lex" in 2007, put 300 Corvettes on the CV16's flight deck. The USO and the Wounded Warrior Project where the charities. The second "Vettes and Jets" put 325 Vettes on the ship in September of 2009. That event focused on just one charity, the Wounded Warrior Project. As "Maverick" McCravy told us, "We wanted to make more of an impact for our wounded Veterans and to let them know how much everyone cared and supported them. This time we raised $32,500 for the WWP. It did not stop there. We knew that the 2011 event would be on the 10th anniversary of September 11 so we raffled a Camaro, changed it to a 2-day event, added a Saturday night dance and a live auction. The event was another huge success. We raised $50,000."

    The 2013 edition of "Vettes and Jets on the Lex" was a hell of a lot of fun–all for a good cause, The Wounded Warrior Project, one of my favorite charities. We arrived at the Lexington at 5:00 AM on Saturday morning for the loading of the cars. We drove up the concrete ramp on the starboard side of the ship and onto the Lexington's starboard elevator which is at the hanger deck level. Once the elevator has a full load of 14 Vettes, it goes up to the flight deck where Vette and Jets volunteers directed us to our parking spot for the next two days, adjacent to the island
    .vjonl2-jpg

    With the car on the deck of the ship, we were on foot for two days but our hotel, the Quality Inn–a total dump which we put up with it because there were no more rooms at any of the hotels in walking distance of the Lexington–was our home for the next three nights. In the Quality's only defense, at the side of the property, there was a hose with which we were able to wash the Blue Bullet II after it's 1841-mile trip from California and the room had a refrigerator to keep our beer and Mike's Hard Lemonade cold. If we couldn't have kept the beer cold, in spite of full hotels in the area, we'd have looked for another room.

    For a WWII and aviation history nut like me, exploring the Lex was fascinating. The USS Lexington Museum has a number of self-guided tours that take you into the engine room, the bridge, the living quarters in the bow and a hanger deck full of exhibits. The flight deck, besides parking 350 Corvettes, is also home to an F-14 Tomcat, and A-6 Intruder, an A-4 Skyhawk and a number of other classic Navy and Marine aircraft. There are more warbirds and displays of aircraft engines on the hanger deck.

    The first night of the event there was a meet and greet at the host hotel the Radisson and the second night we had a catered barbecue dinner on hanger deck of the ship followed by a 90-minute comedy program which featured three comics, all with roots in Texas.

    There were also both live and silent auctions of Corvette- and military-related items including a Citadel, Wounded Warrior Project commemorative .45-cal. Model 1911 semi-auto pistol which went for $3800.00. There were also two 50-50 raffles, one each day.

    The weather was typical of Corpus Christi this time of year, warm, humid with scattered clouds. On Sunday, Tropical Storm Ingrid spun off some rain squalls during the day. Sunday evening, just after the Lexington closed to the public at 5:00 PM, as they unloaded all the cars, it began to rain pretty heavy. After unloading we retired to "Blackbeard's on the Beach", the famed, pirate-themed, "semi-tourist-dive-bar "on Corpus Christi's beach for lots of beer, whisky and a burger or two.

    Monday morning, we headed for our next stop, Austin TX and drove though rain for most of the day. We left town just in time as Ingrid brought a lot of rain to that area of the Texas Gulf Coast.

    Bottom line on Vettes and Jets on the Lex 2013 was $67,737.00 raised for the Wounded Warrior Project. In the process, a great time was had by all 700 or so Corvetters who put their 350 cars on the flight deck of the USS Lexington.
    vjonl1-jpg

    A couple of other organizations have tried unsuccessfully to duplicate Vettes and Jets on the Lex. The only ones who've been able to pull this event off is the "Vettes and Jets Organization". If you want to experience one of the most unique weekend Corvette events in the country and help raise money for our wounded veterans, make plans for Vettes and Jets 2015.
    Last edited by Hib Halverson; 09-23-13 at 10:30 PM. Reason: corrected errors and added images

  3. #213
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    For the second part of our road trip, my Wife, the Fairest Sandra the Red, and I preran the first three legs of the 2014 National Corvette Caravan in reverse order, from Amarillo, Texas to Barstow, California. This pre run trip, the fourth one I’ve done as Section Captain for southern California, southern Nevada and southwestern Utah, was to visit several of our overnight stops and meet with the folks in those places who will help us stage events.

    In Amarillo, we met with Holt Davis, Section Captain for Arizona and New Mexico, and Larry Teague of the Amarillo Area Corvette Club. The parties discussed what type of event will be staged in Amarillo for the two Section's visit on Sunday night, 24 Aug. 2014. The original plan was a group dinner but finding an air conditioned venue large enough proved difficult so, tentatively, the group dinner has been moved to the previous stop, Albuquerque, New Mexico.

    The next morning, after a quick photo op at Cadillac Ranch just west of Amarillo,
    _jay9641-2-jpg
    The Fairest Sandra the
    Red with the BB2 at
    Cadillac Ranch


    it was on to Adrian TX on I-40, 22 miles east of the New Mexico line. Adrian was the middle of old Route 66–1193 miles from L.A. and 1193 miles from Chicago. The famed Mid-Point Cafe has been there since 1928. The Mid-Point slogan is, "When you're here, you're halfway there." On the 2009 Caravan, on the morning of Day Three, we used the Mid-Point Cafe for our departure event. It was, also, where the SoCal/SoNev Section joined with Captain Tuna Dobbins' Oklahoma/Texas Panhandle Section. Three hundred Corvettes staged in three lines on the street in front of the Mid-Point was quite a sight. On the 2014 trip, we'll be in Adrian late afternoon on Day Three. My idea is to stop at the Mid-Point for the Cafe's famed "Ugly Crust" pie along with shopping at Fran Houser's Sunflower Station country-style gift shop which is next door.
    698-04-jpg
    Caravaners at the Mid-Point
    Cafe, 31 Aug. 2009.

    We met with Dennis Purschwitz, owner of the Mid-Point Cafe over breakfast and discussed the logistics of the Caravan's stop at the Mid-Point with 350 Corvettes and 700 folks hungry for an afternoon snack and a photo op at the signage marking the mid-point of old US 66. We also stopped in at Sunflower Station and spoke to Fran Houser, who owned the Mid-Point from 1990-2012. When John Lassiter was developing the movie "Cars" Fran was the inspiration for "Flo" in the movie. Houser decided to sell the cafe and get into the more relaxed crafts store business. We chatted about our previous visits to the Mid-Point when she owned it and told her to, just prior to our visit next year, stock up.

    From there, PreRun4 moved on to exit on I-40 where we turned north on US84 and what was the pre-1937 alignment of Route 66. We did this part of old 66 on PreRun2 in 2011, but the scenery is so beautiful, we wanted to drive it again.

    That evening we were in Albuquerque to meet with Capt. Davis and her top deputy, Sherry Maples, along with the group sales staff at the Crowne Plaza hotel. That meeting resulted in a contract with the "CP" and its sister hotel next door, the Fairfield Inn. All the Caravaners will be in those two properties. The two Organizing Teams, also, used this opportunity to discuss a joint event, likely a catered New Mexican style dinner at one of the Chevrolet dealers in Albuquerque.

    The final stop for PreRun4 was Williams, Arizona. Like all the other overnight cities for the 2014 Caravan, Williams will be a new destination. In October of 1984, Williams was the last city bypassed by Interstate 40. Route 66 was decommissioned the following year. Williams is a quaint, friendly town, known for it's western atmosphere and for being the gateway to the Grand Canyon. Over dinner at the Red Raven on Old 66 we discussed the Caravan's visit to Williams with Mayor, John Moore, President of the Chamber of Commerce, Gioia Goodrum.

    _jay9669-jpg
    The Blue Bullet 2 at
    the famed Red Garter
    Bed & Breakfast in Williams



    The Caravan's events will be a Show/Shine Corvette Show on Route 66 in the center of town on a Friday night. The Show will last about 2 1/2 hours and during that time Caravaners will have the opportunity to have dinner in one of Williams many eating establishments which range from fast food to, Mexican, to Italian, to American and to a couple of fine steak houses.

    On a Friday night in late Summer, Williams will be rockin' and there are all sorts of bars and clubs to share a glass of beer or wine and take in live music. There are a couple of car-themed spots, "Cruisers Route 66 Cafe" and "Twisters:. Expectedly are several western-themed eateries as a small theme park called "Wild West Junction" which has great food. Then there are a number of crafts, novelty, gift and clothing shops. Notable are "Addicted to Route 66" where you can find virtually any Route 66 item in existence and "Thunder Eagle Native Art" perhaps the finest Native American jeweler in the country. In short, Caravaners can count on a unique experience in Williams, Arizona.

    The next morning, we stopped at Wild West Junction and had breakfast at the Branding Iron Restaurant. After a tasty meal we put some gas in the Blue Bullet 2 then headed west on I-40. We decided to do short side trip up to Seligman and see if we could catch John Delgadillo who runs the famed Snow Cap Drive-In just as he's opening up. A fixture on old 66 in northwestern Arizona, the Snow-Cap was started 60 years ago by John’s Dad, Juan. The Snow Cap, famed for its whacky decoration, fun-loving staff and wonderfully-chilly ice cream cones on hot days, has been a Caravan stop since the first event in 1994.

    We got off 40 at exit 139 then drove old 66–marked on a lot of maps as “Crookton Rd”–westbound to Seligman. This stretch of old 66 is sparsely-traveled and in very good condition so we set the cruise control for 100 mph–that’s what you’re supposed to do on roads like that, right? Needless to say, we were in Seligman in no time. In fact, we were too early. The Snow-Cap wasn’t open and wouldn’t be for several hours, so we got back on 40 and continued driving home.

    Gas in Barstow, then SR58 over to Kramer Junction and on to Mojave. Between my Sis living in Henderson, Nevada and Caravan pre runs, I drive this route all the time and, when I go by the southeast corner of Mojave Airport, I always see this big unmarked hanger and a brilliant blue and white, but otherwise unmarked, Boeing 747 sitting in front–somebody’s expensive private transportation, I suppose. I’ve wondered who owns it and if they’ll give me and 50 of my friends a ride. Heck, we’ll bring our own beer.

    Down the 14 freeway to SR138 and a trophy run across the western Antelope Valley to I-5 south. South to Magic Mountain then right on SR126 to US101 north and Goleta. Home-sweet-home after nearly two weeks on the road. Good thing, as I was out of clean underwear. Ok. I know–too much information.

    The 3800 mile road trip ended and, on looking at my vehicle maintenance log, it was time to change the oil filter, so I screwed on a fresh UPF48R. Then I ran the car back down to Graham Chevrolet to have the HVAC checked out. They had the car for two days. No codes were set in the HVAC controller and the A/C worked fine during their road tests Nevertheless, for the system to have quit while we were down in Texas, there’s a problem somewhere. I’m just going to have to keep driving the car until it happens again.

    One problem was once-again obvious on this trip and that’s the amount of interior heat which comes off the center console and the sides of the tunnel in this car. I talked about this in a post #129 when I discussed installing a “Thermal ABS” tunnel close-out plate. Putting that on made the situation better, but still, on long trips on hot days, too much heat comes off that console.

    My next try at reducing the amount of heat radiated by the tunnel was to install a 180° thermostat. For more than a year after I bought the car, I waited for some manufacturer to come to market with a 180. Rumors I read on other forum sites was that there were no 180s for 09-13 LS7s–since the stock ‘stat was a 186, there was little incentive for a thermostat maker to sell a 180. Well–about two weeks ago I was wandering around at Rockauto.com and found a Stant 180° unit listed for LS7s. I ordered it and, typical of RockAuto, it arrived quickly. Sure enough, while it looks a little different, it’s the right size and has the correct bypass spring. I tested it and a stock ACDelco thermostat and true to their advertised opening points, the Stant from Rockauto started opening at 178-180°F and the ACD started opening at 186-188°. The Stant was full open at 200-202,° but the ACD was not full open at 210° which was as hot as the water in the pot would get. The bottom and sides of the pot were at 212° so the water was boiling.
    _jay9831-jpg
    'Stats in the pot on the stove
    at 205°F. The Delco, at left, is
    partially open. The Stant from
    Rockauto.com, at right,
    is full-open


    So far, the thermostat seems to make a contribution to reducing temperature. At highway speed in sixth gear, my engine coolant temperature went from about 199-200° down to 194° or so. Because at low rpm, the LS7s water pump turns quite slowly, if I downshift to fifth, the rpm goes up and the coolant temperature drops to 184°F.

    I still have more work to do on this heat problem. I've said before that the ‘12s and ‘13s have two sets of cats. The rear set is right under the tunnel about where your thighs are. Cats are big heat sinks, that is they store and radiator lots of heat. I’ve thought about pulling the exhaust, cutting the rear set of cats out of the system, then wrapping the exhaust behind the remaining set of cats with Design Engineering Exhaust Wrap and, finally, adding some more thermal insulation from Design Engineering to the inside of the tunnel.

    What would really be cool is to find the source for the “Aerogel” GM is using in the C7 tunnel for thermal insulation and try some of that stuff.

    All I need is the time to do it.
    Last edited by Hib Halverson; 12-31-13 at 12:50 PM. Reason: added html code

  4. #214
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    Been a while since I've stopped in, here.

    Last week, I spent some time getting the Blue Bullet 2 ready for a run over to Henderson NV for the TG weekend at my Sis's place. Here and my brother-in-law put on a killer turkey day spread. No breakfast for me on Thursday so I show up there that afternoon famished and ready for max pig-out.

    Usual pre-trip drill. Tires at 27-cold. Fire the motor and warm until I see 150°F oil temp. Wait 10-min then check oil–Red Line 10W30 to the full mark. Clean windshield. Install Valentine One. Sync the iPod with all the songs on my desktop. My Wife, the Fairest Sandra the Red, Duchess of Goleta, and I will hit the road at 8AM on Thursday. Catch us if you can.

    Three projects for the BB2 while I'm over in NV. The first is to find a Nevada exhaust shop and convert the car to an 11 exhaust with only two cats.

    Second is to let my 94-year old Mom drive the car then take a pic of her driving it for her Christmas card. She hasn't driven a manual in about 30 years, but the clutch in that car is so easy to push, I don't see it as a problem. That'll make a great Card for all of her elderly pals.

    Third, it will be the first long trip with the engine fitted with MSD Multiple Spark Coils. Some know these coils as a product which has been problematic in the past, but MSD ceased production of them for a year and a half while it redesigned the part then found a new supplier. I have MSD stuff on other cars, so I wanted to try MSD LS-series coils on my LS7 and see how they do.
    Hib Halverson

  5. #215
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    Big-assed, deliciously juicy turkey, yummy mashed potatoes and Sam Adams Winter Brew...ah...yes, it was a great TG dinner!


    The drive over to Henderson, which is about 20 miles outside of Vegas, was typical. The first part (US101S>SR126E>I5N>SR138E>SR14N>SR58 to Barstow) was an easy run. Not much traffic and the part of the trip over 138 we ran at a speed appropriate for a Z06. The rest of the trip, from Barstow to Henderson (I15N>NV SR146>I215) was hard driving in heavy holiday traffic.

    What I really noticed on this trip was much heat is still coming off the center console/tunnel of my '12. Even with the outside air from 46° to 65°, depending on our elevation, the area around my lower body and my back uncomfortably warm. I had the HVAC on vent for most of the second part of the trip. It was almost warm enough inside the car to enable the A/C.

    The insulated tunnel close-out plate I installed a while back helped but, clearly, there is more work to do. I didn't get the exhaust fixed over in NV, so I'm shopping for a 2011 exhaust midsection and cats. I have some thermal barrier material from Design Engineering ready to go when I make the change over.

    As for those MSD LS7 ignition coils?
    So far, so good.
    Last edited by Hib Halverson; 12-31-13 at 12:57 PM.

  6. #216
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    Besides eating too much and having a great time with family, over the Thanksgiving weekend, since Henderson is a short drive from Hoover Dam and the spectacular, O'Callaghan-Tillman Memorial Bridge, we decided to go see the wonder of civil engineering that spans Black Canyon, a little over a quarter mile south of the Dam.


    The Bridge relocated US 93 from the top of the Dam to a four-lane bypass over the canyon. This bypass had been discussed as far back as the 1960s to relieve traffic congestion on the winding two lane road that leads to and from and goes over the Dam. After 11 Sept 2001, most commercial trucks were banned from the part of US 93 which crosses the Dam. The resulting effect of the ban on interstate commerce and increasing congestion, had the States of Arizona, Nevada and the Federal Government making plans to build the Bridge. It took about ten years to design it, solve all the regulatory challenges then build it. The actual construction took seven years.
    bridge1-jpg
    This view of the Bridge is looking sourth from old US93 on the Nevada side. Image: Cygnusloop99


    O'Callaghan-Tillman Memorial Bridge was the first concrete-steel composite arch bridge in the U.S. The arch and the columns are concrete and the bridge deck is steel and concrete. The Bridge has the widest concrete arch in the Western Hemisphere. It's the World's highest concrete arch bridge and, at 840 feet above the Colorado River, it's the second-highest bridge in the country. The Bridge, and the greater Hoover Dam Bypass project, was completed within budget at a cost of $240 million. The bridge, itself, cost $114 million. The Bridge is named for Mike O'Callaghan, a Korean War Hero and former Nevada Governor and Pat Tillman, the football star who was killed by friendly fire in the Afghanistan War after giving up a million dollar career in the NFL to enlist in the Army.


    When you drive over the bridge, you cannot see the Canyon or the Dam, but there is a walkway on the north side of the Bridge which is accessible by driving down old Route 93, now designated Nevada State Route 172, and parking in a visitor parking area half a mile or so from the Dam. The Bridge's pedestrian walkway offers an incredible view of Hoover Dam, its power houses and Lake Mead behind it.

    dam-jpg
    Hoover Dam looking from the Arizona end of the pedestrian walkway. Image: Author.


    The Dam was built in the early 1930s to mitigate problems with flooding on the lower Colorado River and to generate hydroelectric power for the growing southwestern United States. Hover Dam was the first a number of large dams built in the western U.S. to control flooding of major rivers and to generate electricity to power the amazing growth of the West through most of the last century. While, today, there are many dams in other parts of the world which are larger and generate more power, Hoover Dam still rates at one of the world's man-made wonders.


    If you're in the Las Vegas area, take a short run down to Boulder City and drive your Corvette across the Mike O'Callaghan-Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge, then take the old road down towards the Dam, park in the visitor's area and walk across the Bridge and finish your day with a visit to the Dam itself.

    bridge2-jpg
    This medallion marks the center of the Bridge's arch. Image: Author.
    Last edited by Hib Halverson; 12-05-13 at 01:40 PM.

  7. #217
    Member navy2kcoupe's Avatar
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    "Dam".........that's impressive, Hib!
    Nice write up.
    Andy
    Andy Anderson - PROUD VIETNAM VETERAN.

    Vietnam Veterans Corvette Club - Founding Member #1

    "Dream as if you'll live forever...........Live as though you'll die today" - James Dean

    "Money isn't everything.........but it SURE DOES keep the kids in touch!"


  8. #218
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    It is quite something to see.
    Quite an engineering marvel.

    NCM Lifetime Member

    The more you sweat in peace, the less you bleed in war.

  9. #219
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    Happy New Year and I hope you all had a great Chrstmas.

    Haven't driven the Blue Bullet II since the TG trip to Henderson but the next couple of weeks are going to be pretty big for the BB2.

    First off, I bought all the parts I need to convert the car's exhaust to 2011 specs. I've learned that the 2011s had the best stock exhaust and I want to test that. I caution you, if you're thinking about trying it, doing so may not be street legal in some states. I'm going to try it off-highway then run on the chassis dyno and see if there is a difference. The parts needed are a set of 2011 cats, which have different connections at the rear, and a 2011 exhaust mid-section which has a different connection at the front.

    Next, I'm going to do the so-called "wiggle test" to all the valve guides in my LS7 engine.

    Ok, so you're wondering why.

    Well, some LS7s, fortunately the 2006 to early 2011 engines, may have trouble with excessive valve guide wear. It doesn't occur in all engines from those years but it has occurred in some of them. A number of LS7s have had cylinder heads replaced under warranty due to worn guides and there have even been some complete engine replacements. There hasn't been a lot of discussion of this here on the CAC, but over on the Corvette Forum there has been quite a bit. To read some of it, go to the CF's C6 Z06 forum and search for "valve guide wear". When reading, keep in mind that some forum posts are by trolls or people who know enough to be dangerous, so take what you read with a grain of salt. Nevertheless, the problem with guide wear and GM's slow-like-molasses response to it is a bit of a tarnish on the LS7's legacy. Rather than going down in Chevrolet engine history as a glowing milestone, unfortunately, it's going down in Chevy history as a milestone but with a little asterisk.

    What are the symptoms of worn guides in LS7s? Generally, if you hear louder than normal valve noise when the engine is at operating temperature and your engine has been using more oil than normal, you may have a guide problem. If you think you do and the engine is still under warranty, go to a dealer and tell them about it. They will check the engine for guide problems and repair if necessary. If you engine is out of warranty; you need to have the engine "wiggle tested" and repaired if necessary.

    The valve guide problem doesn't occur in all engines but is not uncommon. My investigation–still underway at this point–indicates that a machining error at the GM supplier which machined and assembled all those heads causes the wear. I'll be revising the CAC's LS7 technical feature on the engine to reflect my findings once my research is complete.

    Ok. Back to the "wiggle test". It is the service-manual-mandated method of checking valve guide wear of cylinder heads installed on a car. The executive summary is:
    1-Remove the coils and rocker covers
    2-Start with #1 cylinder. Remove the spark plug, then roll the engine over by hand to TDC #1 and pressurize the cylinder with shop air .
    3-Remove the intake valve spring, retainer and locks. I use a special tool made by Lingenfelter Performance Engineering to do that. There are other types on the market, but LPE's works best.
    4-Set up a dial indicator with its stem perpendicular to the valve stem, 90° to the engine centerline and touching the valve stem a close to the top of the valve guide possible.
    5-Hold the valve stem tip and release the air pressure. Push the valve stem towards the center of the engine and zero the indicator. Pull the stem toward you, read the indicator and record the number.
    6-Reapply air pressure and reinstall the valve spring.
    7-Do the same steps to the exhaust then release the air pressure and reinstall the spark plug
    8-Repeat the procedure for the other 7 sets of valves.
    9-Replace the rocker covers and coil sets.

    I'll post the full procedure to the LS7 article in the near future.

    My engine has 15,000 miles on it. If it had a problem with worn guides, it would show up in a wiggle test.

    Now, I have no reason to believe my engine has a problem. There's no abnormal valve noise nor does it use oil–in fact, since I converted the engine over to Red Line 10W30 at 1100 miles, I've only had to add one quart of oil.

    The reason I want to do the wiggle test is to learn the procedure, photograph the work for the article and to learn if excessive guide wear can occur without additional valve noise or oil use.

    I'll let you know what happens.

  10. #220
    Member froggy47's Avatar
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    What tolerance are you looking for?


    .00something?

    2004 Z06/Z16 stock
    Black/gray 1996 LT4 Coupe (sold)


    2006, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 SCCA Regional Solo Champion

    Ready to buy a 2012/2013 C6Z from motivated seller, don't need to sell my c5, or ask the wife or bank. PM if you have a lead for me. Thanks!

    Link to my DIY videos http://www.youtube.com/user/1947froggy?feature=guide

  11. #221
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    Production is .001-.0024
    Service maximum is .0037.

    I'm going to be looking for about .002. A little less in the intakes would be nice and a little more on the exhausts is ok. Anything beyond .0024 and I'll start to wonder.

    Accuracy is key. Getting the indicator set up right is important. Also, because the tolerances are for a point on the valve stem just at the top of the guide and it's not easy to measure there, you measure a little higher in the valve stem then use trig to derive the actual number.

  12. #222
    Member froggy47's Avatar
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    Thanks.

    2004 Z06/Z16 stock
    Black/gray 1996 LT4 Coupe (sold)


    2006, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 SCCA Regional Solo Champion

    Ready to buy a 2012/2013 C6Z from motivated seller, don't need to sell my c5, or ask the wife or bank. PM if you have a lead for me. Thanks!

    Link to my DIY videos http://www.youtube.com/user/1947froggy?feature=guide

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    A couple of weeks ago, Sandy and I drove the Blue Bullet 2 down to L.A. Harbor at San Pedro to visit the USS Iowa.

    "BB-61" was the first of the Iowa class "Fast Battleships". The four Iowa class ships were the last battleships built by the United States and each served almost 50 years. There were four of them, Iowa (BB-61), New Jersey (BB-62), Missouri (BB-63) and Wisconsin (BB-64). All were built between 1939 and 1944 and all four saw service in World War 2, in the Korean War and he early Cold War. New Jersey fought in Vietnam. Missouri and Wisconsin fought in the First Gulf War. All are now museums.

    The Iowa was decommissioned in 1990, was stricken from the Naval Register in 2006 but remained part of the National Defense Reserve Fleet until 2011 when she was donated to the Pacific Battleship Center as a museum ship.

    Whereas an aircraft carrier is a way to extend air power in a place with no runways, battleships were surface combatants with a lineage going all the way back to the first ship in the Navy, the USS Constitution, aka "Old Ironsides".

    The Iowa, running 30 knots through rough seas while firing it's 16-inch main battery at a Japanese Imperial Navy ship 26 miles away is the mystique-driven idea of a Battleship. In reality, there were only two occasions in WWII where American and Japanese Battleships engaged. The Iowa was part of the American fleet in the last one, the "Second Battle of the Philippine Sea" (known more popularly as the "Battle of Letye Gulf") but was not one of the Battleships which engaged Jap forces.

    For the most part Battleships in WW2 were gun platforms used for shore bombardment and in the Korean War and Vietnam that's all they were used for. In the early Cold War, they were used along with aircraft carriers to project American Naval Power. In the latter stages of the Cold War, as part of President Reagan's 600-ship Navy, the Iowa class ships were recommissioned and fitted with Harpoon anti-ship Missiles and Tomahawk Cruise Missiles. During the first Gulf War, Missouri and Wisconsin launched cruise missile attacks against targets in Iraq along with using their 16-inch main batteries in support of ground forces.

    The USS Iowa takes about three hours to tour, if you want the full tour and time to read all the reader boards. The ship has been in San Pedro only since 2012 and there are parts of it which have not yet been opened to the public such as the engine room and the main battery turrets. The Iowa also has a really cool "ship's store" with lots of Iowa memorabilia and souvenirs. If you're really interested in this stuff, there's a great book called USS Iowa at War which is sold the the Iowa's store or is available on-line at this web page. I read it and truly enjoyed the story of this great ship.

    I'm looking forward to going back to the Iowa in three or four years when more of the ship is available for public tours.


    jan2014-026-jpg 187563_002-jpg
    Last edited by Hib Halverson; 02-17-14 at 09:15 AM.
    Hib Halverson

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    A couple of weeks ago, after the trip down to L.A. harbor to visit the USS Iowa, I upgraded the exhaust on the Blue Bullet II by retrofitting it with the system off a 2011 Z06.

    The 2011 system has less restriction because it's the only Z06 exhaust with an X-pipe and two catalytic convertors. 2006-2010 Z06es have an H-pipe and two cats and 2012 and 2013s have an X-pipe and four cats. The switch to a four-cat system for the '12 model year was required by an obscure change in California emissions requirements which may also have been adopted in some other states with strict regulations. GM figured that it might as well make all the cars with four cats.

    C5/C6 exhaust systems have four parts: exhaust manifolds, head-pipe and cat assemblies, mid-section and mufflers. On a '12 and '13 the second set of cats is where the main cats were on a C5, in the mid-section, housed the cavity at the head of the transmission tunnel. The X-pipe is behind them. On an '11 mid-section, the X-pipe is where the second set of cats is now located.

    GM didn't make my retrofit project easy because it changed the design of the connection between the cats and the mid-section so, to make the change, you have to install both a set of 2011 cats and a 2011 mid-section. The most difficult part of the job is removing the headpipe/cat assemblies. Two of the eight fasteners which hold the cats to the exhaust manifolds are very difficult to reach and all eight of the nuts holding the cats are likely to be seized by thermal cycling.

    To get those nuts loose, first, you must spray them with an penetrating oil and not just WD40 but an industrial strength penetrant such as Aerokroil. Spray the area at where the stud and nut meet generously, then let the penetrant work for 24 hours.

    After a 24-hr. penetrant "soak," remove the two front outside nuts on each cat. They are the most difficult to remove because of restricted access. To get at them, you'll have remove both front wheels and lift the engine an inch or so. Remove the nuts on the two front powertrain mounting studs, then, using a 6x6 section of one-inch thick wood between the oil pan and a bottle jack, lift the engine until the cat outlets bottom on the tunnel close-out plate.

    You need a 15-mm, 3/8-drive deep socket and a 3/8-drive breaker bar and the socket must not be longer than 3.5-inches. It's difficult to find a deep-but-not-too-deep 15-mm 3/8-drive socket so, you may have to cut or machine a longer deep socket. Once you have the not-so-deep, deep socket, put it on the breaker bar and stick the socket though the opening between the bottom of the frame and the top of the engine cradle. Get the socket on the nut then push hard. When the nut breaks loose, trade the breaker bar for a ratchet and take off the nut. The other three nuts on each side are much easier. They can be removed by any 15-mm, 1/2-drive deep socket, a long extension and a universal joint. You also can use an impact gun and impact socket/extension combination.

    Once you get the manifold-to-cat nuts off, the rest of the job is pretty simple. Replace the manifold flange gaskets, if necessary. Replace the '12/'13 cats with the ’11 cats. Tighten the nuts. Blow the powertrain mount cavities clean with shop air. Lower the engine. Replace the powertrain mounting nuts and tighten. Install the 2011 mid-section. Tighten all connections. Reinstall the rear exhaust hanger bolts.

    I took some extra steps when before I put the 2011 parts in place as part of my ongoing program to reduce the amount of exhaust heat that radiates into the interior. I wrapped the headpipe/cat assemblies aft of the cats and the mid-section with Design Engineering "Titanium Exhaust Wrap". In general, exhaust wrap products insulate the exhaust part to which they are applied such that less heat is radiated from the part and more heat is kept in the exhaust flow. The advantages of this are less heat where you don't want it (the interior) and slightly increased performance in some cases because of improved exhaust flow. Keeping exhaust gases hotter within the exhaust system mitigates increases in density due to the exhaust cooling and that increases gas flow. That can increase exhaust scavenging which may increase horsepower.

    794-02-jpg 794-03-jpg
    2011 system with wrap----------2011 system on the car

    The beauty of DEI's Titanium Exhaust Wrap, compared to other exhaust wrap products, is it doesn't have to be soaked in water before application nor does it have to be sprayed with a preservative to get the best results. When you first start the engine on a car which has had exhaust wrap installed, the wrap will emit some smoke and a burning odor, but after a short period the smoking and stinking stops.

    Lastly, I attached sections of another DEI thermal insulation product, Floor and Tunnel Shield, to certain parts in close proximity of the cats, over the brake pipes that run along the lower part of the driver side frame rail next to the headpipe/cat assembly and along the side of the trans tunnel below the tunnel close-out plate. Floor and Tunnel Shield is a heat reflecting, 10-mil aluminum film, bonded to layer of glass fiber insulation and backed with a high-temperature adhesive. It will withstand 1750° direct heat and the adhesive can withstand 450°F. Total thickness is 3/16-in and it can be easily shaped and trimmed.

    794-04-jpg

    During my first road test, I noted the exhaust was just slightly louder and the engine felt different when it was at mid-range RPM.

    On the 28th, I have a chassis dyno test scheduled. After that I'll know if the retrofit 2011 exhaust improved the car's performance.

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    My original dyno test session, at Westech Performance Group (Mira Loma CA) on Feb 28 got postponed to Mar 7. It's been a while since I checked-in here and I'm sorry about that.

    During the dyno test three weeks ago, I was surprised. I expected an increase, but not quite as much as I got.

    I made three passes on Westech's dyno and averaged them then compared that to the three run average from my base line session. The difference was 11.0-rwhp SAE and 11.6-rw lb/ft SAE. That's a pretty significant difference. I expected about half that. so, now, I'm at 464.7 rwhp and 441.2 rw lb/ft, SAE-corrected. The only change was removing the '12 cat assys and the '12 mid-section and replacing them with '11 cat assys and catless, '11 mid-section.

    A revealing test, for sure.

    I also noted in all the dyno runs so far, the engine gets pretty rich in PE over 4000 rpm so, my next step is to get my Inovate Motorsports LC-1 wideband O2 sensor installed, fire up my HP Tuners PCM Edit software then do some calibration work.

    Then I'm going to put one of Zip Products' "Mamba" air intake systems on the car

    Once again, thanks to Eric at Westech for great service on the chassis dyno. One of the reasons I'll make a 300 mile round trip to run there is their chassis dyno set up, a Superflow AutoDyn, and the professionalism with which they run it. For more info on Westech's chassis and engine dyno services, click here

    Just before I ran on the chassis dyno, I changed the oil. The car had gone 15,334 miles since the last oil change. Because I use Red Line 10W30 synthetic oil I run it to an extended drain interval which can't be done with Mobil 1 but can be done with Red Line. During that distance, I changed filters three times. Also, I only had to add 1.5 quarts of oil during that period which is a very low oil use number. I've sent the oil out for analysis and I'll report back when I have the results.

    As for road trips...the next one Sandy and I are going to do with the Blue Bullet 2 is a wine tasting tour in late April with our Club, Corvette Club Santa Barbara. We're headed north to some central coast wineries in the Paso Robles CA area.

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