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

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  1. #376
    Blue Bullet Blog-The C6 Ownership Experience Tuna's Avatar
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    What's the latest on the blue-bullet?
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  2. #377
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    The short answer is: the car's going back to Katech for a third visit, this time at their expense. The long answer is coming soon.

  3. #378
    Blue Bullet Blog-The C6 Ownership Experience Tuna's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hib Halverson View Post
    The short answer is: the car's going back to Katech for a third visit, this time at their expense. The long answer is coming soon.
    Are you planning to buy a C8?
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  4. #379
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    No. In fact, we just took delivery of a C7 ZR-1. After studying the C8 issue, I decided that, for what we like to do with Corvettes–long road trips–the ME car would not make much sense as the rumor is that it has less room for luggage. I was able to find a dealer who'd sell one to us at sticker so we took a Museum Delivery on the Last Great Front Engine Corvette.
    Last edited by Hib Halverson; 04-24-19 at 01:52 PM.

  5. #380
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    By the time I had 3000 miles on the engine since the rebuild, it was obvious to me, via careful checking of oil levels using the required "LS7 procedure" (run engine until oil temp is at lest 150°F, shut the engine off, wait exactly five-minutes then check the oil) starting as soon as I left Katech with the rebuilt engine, that the engine's oil consumption was, once again, in my opinion, too high.

    Katech asked me to observe the oil use checking procedure GM dealers use when dealing with a customer complaint of high oil consumption. One facet of that procedure is there must be at least 4000 miles on a "new" engine before a dealer can conduct an oil use test. Katech and I agreed that I'd continue to monitor oil use until the 5000 mile mark. Actually, I went to over 5000 miles. Oil use worsened after the first 3000 miles and continued to gradually increase until I ended the test at 5358-miles after the rebuild. I should add that in my opinion, for the near $20,000.00 one pays for a Katech engine which is broken in on an engine dyno, from "day one", its oil use in a normal street duty cycle should stabilize at a reasonable rate and do so sooner than 4000 miles.

    In reality, since it was rebuilt, in 5358 miles, my Street Attack LS7 has used 7.4995-qts for an average of 714 miles per quart. In the last 764 miles of this test, it used 2 ⅛-qts or 359.5 miles per qt.

    When I picked up the car after the rebuild at Katech at the end of October 2018, I promised Katech President, Steve Spurr, that I would not make any changes in calibration for the first 4000 miles. Once the rebuilt engine reached 4000 miles, I began working on idle quality, again. You have to understand that when it comes to tuning, I'm much more into idle and part-throttle drivability that are most DIY "tuners". I started with the calibration Katech put in the ECM after the rebuild, which, I might add, was better idle-wise than was the first Katech cal. The only tables I changed were idle spark advance, tables controlling adaptive spark and adaptive throttle opening, along with re-enabling DFCO. The result was a relatively smooth, 700-rpm idle...not as smooth as a stock LS7, but considering the Torquer 116 cam has a bit more overlap and 5.5° less lobe separation, the idle is pretty nice.

    Other than that, I've made no changes to Katech calibration. I did install my wideband O2 sensor and ran some on-road acceleration tests (uphill, third gear, 1500-7000 rpm) which seem to indicate the engine is rich at wide-open throttle but, if that's the way Katech wants it's Street Attack LS7s calibrated, it is what it is.

    While it is true that, technically, I've voided Katech's warranty, again, I'm confident that there is no freakin' way that modestly changing the tables for idle spark and adaptive idle functions would cause oil consumption to skyrocket. I defy anyone who feels otherwise to prove that it will.

    I've had some PMs from other ZO6ers on the Corvette Forum about pistons which suggest maybe the type of piston, ie: Mahle forged in combination with the required piston-to-bore clearance is causing the problem. GM is using a forged Mahle piston in the ’19 ZR-1's LT5. Over 2000 ZR-1s are on the road at this point. My guess is, of the first 1500 or so, there are enough cars with 4000 or more miles on the engines that if the LT5 had an oil consumption problem because of its pistons in normal street use, we'd have known about it by now. Also, GMs Performance and Racing Center builds 5.5L V8s for Corvette Racing. The cylinder case in the 5.5 is an LS7 block and GM uses a forged piston. At LeMans in 2018, those engines used half a quart of oil in the 3000 race miles run over 24-hours in that race.

    My belief is that, this time, the problem with high oil use is related to rings, ring end gap, oil drain back holes or cylinder wall preparation, but that’s just speculation on my part based on some conversations I’ve had with a friend of mine who owns an aftermarket piston company.

    I just bought a Snap-On borescope and plan using this this coming weekend to see if I can get a good look at the cylinder walls.

    My belief is that getting reasonable oil consumption from a Katech Street Attack LS7 is not "rocket science". Lastly, my definition of "reasonable" is half or better of the oil use a stock LS7 exhibits. When it was stock, my LS7 used a quart of oil every 8000-10,000 miles of "normal" driving, so my hope would be that a Katech Street Attack LS7 could exhibit oil consumption of 4000-5000-miles per quart in a "normal driving" duty cycle.

    Katech is aware that the rebuild’s oil use is just about as bad as that of the original build. This time, Katech has agreed to pay to ship the car back to them, again, and further, has agreed to cover the cost of a second rebuild. There is a thread on the CF about all of this which has more detail.

  6. #381
    Member LLC5's Avatar
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    That's way too much oil, just change the filter and your good to go. Normally cat's don't go bad from oil contamination, but in this case with that much oil I would be concerned.

    I wonder if the ME C8 was designed to hold 2 golf bags?
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  7. #382
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    Yesterday morning, Pilot transport picked-up the "Blue Bullet" and will take it to their yard in Brighton MI by way of Arizona and Indiana, two stops the driver must make to pick-up other vehicles.


    Pilot Transport's, Ann Ruble, first put paper floor mats in the car then covered the seat with plastic.


    Pilot Transport driver, Phil Ruble, loading the Blue Bullet for it's third trip to Katech.

    I should add that, this is the second time I've worked with Pilot Transport.This time my driver was Phil Ruble who has his Wife, Ann, along with him to assist in loading cars and doing clerical work. Pilot Transport personnel have done an excellent job for me in getting this car back to Katech, twice, now. Pilot also has some of the best rates for closed trailer transportation of collector and special interest vehicles. Anyone needing to have a car shipped should consider Pilot Transport.

    Phil Ruble told me the car will arrive at Pilot's yard in Brighton a week from today. Once it arrives, Katech's people will pick the car up and take it to their facility on Clinton Township.

    Hopefully, after a few months and a third rebuild, my Street Attack LS7's days of oil ingestion will be over.

  8. #383
    New Member Pacha's Avatar
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    Hay Hib, It appears your thread on the other site has been locked, at least I can't get to it. What's the latest on the Katech build of your LS7?
    "Would the child I once was, be proud of the man I’ve become?"


  9. #384
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pacha View Post
    Hay Hib, It appears your thread on the other site has been locked, at least I can't get to it. What's the latest on the Katech build of your LS7?
    The Corvette Forum locked that long-standing thread about my Katech engine "adventure" then temporarily took it off-line. This was done to allow CF moderators time to review the 600+ posts for Corvette Forum rules violations. I kinda had a hunch this was coming after I PM'ed with the moderator of the C6 ZR1/Z06 forum about two weeks ago. I PM'ed with him again after the thread was taken down and he said that Katech's status as a Corvette Forum "Premium Supporting Vendor was not a factor in the CF's decision to review the thread but he did say, after the thread was closed Katech did request some action. I'm told the entire thread will be reviewed, posts that violate CF rules will be removed, then the thread will go back on line but in some other forum the CF has for disputes between members and vendors. My assumption is that the thread will remained closed. As of this writing on Wednesday afternoon 25MAR the thread has not gone back on line.

    Obviously, I'm disappointed that the CF took that action but will admit that the thread itself and some of the posts in it had reached a point where CF rules were being at least "bent" if not violated.

    Fortunately, here on the CAC there are not quite as many rules covering discussions of disagreements such as that between Katech and myself.I'm working on a longer article which will bring the Blue Bullet Blog up to date on the Katech Street Attack LS7 oil consumption story but it will be a while before I post that.

    For now, I want to cover how the engine in the Blue Bullet performs after spending 35,000 bucks and nearly two and a half years of my life trying to get Katech to produce a truly steerable "Street Attack LS7." First, let's look at some of Katech's engine dynamometer data. The SAE-corrected data for Rebuild1 and Rebuild2 are shown below.

    767-65-jpg

    As you can see, there was inconsistency between the two engines' performance above 5100-RPM. By 6600-RPM the variation was greater than 25-hp. The only significant difference between the two engines was that, during Rebuild1, Katech installed their "Red" oil pump which has a scavenge pump capable of 30% more oil flow and an oil feed pump capable of 20% higher pressure. I remember back in Winter 2017/2018 when I drove the car back to California wondering why I had 90-100-psi oil pressure. Katech's own product information states, "This pump is designed for engines with higher oil flow demands such as looser bearing clearances, aftermarket lifters, piston squirters or oil-fed turbos/superchargers. Otherwise, the blue pump is recommended." My engine had none of those requirements and I never specified an oil pump with higher. I've often wondered who decided my Street Attack LS7 needed that. For Rebuild2, I specified Katech's "Blue" pump which has more scavenge flow but doesn't generate higher pressure. Can I say conclusively that the Red pump took 25 more horsepower to drive? No, I can't, however, the difference in oil pumps was the only variation between the two engine builds and the higher an oil pump's pressure output, the more power it takes to drive the pump.

    So where is the engine dyno data for the third rebuild? I asked Katech about that and was told it had run Rebuild3 on the engine dyno but the test data was suspect because, when the engine was being prepared for testing, the wrong dyno headers were installed and that detrimentally affected the power and torque output. By the time the mistake was discovered, the engine had been removed from the dyno cell. How in the heck does a company which charges 20,000 bucks for an engine rebuild stay in business making mistakes like that?

    Surprisingly for a company in the business of building "tuner cars" costing five figures, Katech does not have a chassis dynamometer. It relies on outside vendors for its chassis dyno testing and, after every one of the three rebuilds, the car was run on a DynoJet. It is unknown if Katech used the same dyno shop each time. The results before and after Rebuild1 are shown below. The chassis dyno session on 20NOV2017, showed the car was pretty potent with 545–almost 546-hp at the tire at 6250-RPM, SAE-corrected.

    767-66-jpg
    Eleven months later, during chassis dyno testing after Rebuild2 on 26OCT2018, the Blue Bullet made 537.64 at the tire at 6750-RPM, SAE-corrected. That second rebuild was strange to me in that it produced the highest power and torque numbers on the engine dyno, but in the car, it produced the lowest power and torque at the rear wheels. Go figure.

    767-67-jpg

    Another 13 months went by and, on the DynoJet after Rebuild3 on 20NOV2019, the car made 540 at the rear wheels at 6750-RPM, SAE-corrected.

    767-68-jpg

    And then, a week ago, I ran the car on the Mustang chassis dyno at Full Throttle Kustomz in Fillmore CA. The car performed well with a best of 546.8-hp@6545-RPM and an average of 534.65-hp@6659-RPM at the rear wheels. Figuring about 10% for parasitic loss, that's a best of 608-hp at the flywheel and an average of 594-hp at the flywheel. All of FTK's chassis dyno numbers are SAE-corrected. Peak torque at the rear wheels bested at 510.5 lb/ft@5276-RPM and averaged 492-lb/ft@5264-RPM. The torque curve is above 400-lb/ft at the tire from 3700-RPM to 6800-RPM, which makes the car a ball to drive, that's for sure.

    767-70-jpg

    So...Katech's DynoJet and FTK's Mustang numbers were fairly close and, from that data it's obvious that Katech can build strong running LS7s. Six hundred horsepower is pretty impressive, especially with stock exhaust manifolds and cats. Sadly, it took Katech three rebuilds to produce one of its "Street Attack LS7s" that didn't burn oil voraciously.

    There were two reasons for running the car on the Mustang dyno at FTK.
    1) To verify Katech's chassis dyno data.
    2) To get a baseline on FTK's Mustang dyno with which to compare with a future dyno session after two additional modifications I'm gong to do to the car.

    767-71-jpg
    FTK's Ray McLellan, accomplished car builder and tuner with the Blue Bullet on his Mustang chassis dyno.

    The first of those modifications is a reinstallation of my Zip Products "Mamba" Air Intake System which should provide a modest decrease in intake restriction. The second change is a pair of modified C6 Z06 mufflers. At one time, there was a Corvette Forum DIYer who modified stock C6 mufflers. In short, he would cut open a Z06/ZR1 muffler, replace the factory 2.5" perforated snake bend with 3" piping, then weld the muffler closed. After that, he eliminated any restriction at the muffler inlet, replaced the stock 60-mm bypass valves with larger, 76-mm valves and installed four-inch outlets. What I like about these mufflers is they look stock and they retain the OE exhaust bypass system.

    767-72-jpg
    A stock C6 Z06 muffler undergoing modification.

    767-73-jpg
    Stock 60-mm by-pass valve vs. aftermarket 76-mm valve.

    I have a set of these modified mufflers I bought on-line which I'm going to try. Rather than repainting them, I took them to Xtreme Performance Heat Coatings in Oxnard CA and had them coated with a thermal barrier. Once I get the mufflers installed, I'll go back to FTK and run on their dyno again, but it may be a while before that happens because I'll have to wait until California's COZID-19 "stay-at-home" order is lifted.
    Last edited by Hib Halverson; 03-26-20 at 06:50 PM. Reason: Revised and added content
    Thanks Pacha thanked for this post

  10. #385
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    The thread on the CF about my car has been put back on-line, however, it has been heavily revised. A lot of the posts by interested parties have been deleted.

    I am working on a reply to
    Katech's final comments at the end of that thread which were posted just before the thread was locked but before I had an opportunity to reply.
    Hib Halverson

  11. #386
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    Mine was one of the posts that was deleted.........America???

    Anyways I just checked and the thread is still close as far as I can determine.

    DH

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