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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
UPDATED! MTI Delivers!!! Jim G's SSR is now QUICK!!

Well, guys and gals, Reese at MTI Racing finished up his reprogramming of the VCM on my SSR today and dynoed it. It was AWESOME.

To review, when I took the SSR to Reese's shop recently, the baseline mods and numbers at that point were alreayd better than stock:

4.56 rear axle ratio versus stock 3.73
6000 rpm shift points versus 5600 rpm stock
Dyno tune using HP Tuner at a competitor's shop

256 peak hp at the rear wheels
263 peak ft lb of torque at the rear wheels

and per my G-Tech RR solid state onboard accelerometer:
0 to 60 in 6.5 seconds
1/4 mile in 15.07 at 92 mph

Reese installed Dynatech Supermaxx headers, a Rush air filter, and the brand new MTI stainless steel "Dual Shotgun Exhaust" for the SSR. Then, he did his magic tuning the SSR's VCM to bring out all the potential that the mechanical mods make possible.

Today at noon, he couldn't restrain himself. The results on the dyno were so good that he just had to call me to report that we had broken the 300 barrier on torque, with an actual reading of 301.4 ft lb at 4200 rpm! That boys and girls is a 38.4 ft lb gain in peak torque! I couldn't wait to get to the shop after work to see the whole dyno chart!

When I got there, I was immediately VERY impressed. The gap between the "before" and "after" torque and horsepower curves was just unbelievable.

I held off posting until just now, because I wanted to get the dyno chart home and do my "counting the squares" routine under both the "before" and "after" torque and horsepower curves. It was worth waiting to do the calculations.

To be scrupulously fair, I only compared the portions of the curves where we had data for both the before and after runs. The after run covers a narrower rpm range than the before run because with Reese's new EFILive software. he doesn't yet have the dyno control to defeat automatic downshifting, so he couldn't get readings below 3600 rpm that could be viewed as rock solid accurate. In addition, the before run stopped at 5800 rpm because that was around where the tachometer redline is, and Reese had been afraid to go beyond that without first doing some research on the valvetrain. By the time he did the last run today, he knew that my engine was perfectly happy to at least 6500 rpm, so ran the dyno up to 6350. So, I ony used the range from 3600 to 5800 rpm as the valid range for reliably accurate comparison.

The results were staggeringly good, but also illustrate how just "peak" numbers do NOT tell the accurate story of what REALLY happened:

The gain in PEAK horsepower was "only" 276 hp "after" versus 256 hp "before", a gain of 20 hp at the rear wheels.

The gain in peak torque was a truly unbelievable 301.4 ft lb after versus 263 ft lb before, for a gain of 38.4 ft lb at the rear wheels! That's AT LEAST 46 ft lb at the crankshaft, and maybe as much as 49 ft lb. And remember, this is with a vehicle that has been aggressively regeared (22.2%) which reduces the horsepower readings on a dynomometer even though obviously no real power loss occurred via regearing. So, this torque gain is PHENOMINAL.

But, it gets much better.

In that 3600 to 5800 rpm range, the AVERAGE power gain was a full 30.0 horsepower! There are points where the power went up as much as 39 horsepower!!

The torque in that range increased an AVERAGE of 33 ft lb!! You can clearly see points on the dyno chart where the torque gain exceeded 40 ft lb.

Of course, these impressive gains occurred RIGHT where I want them most: spanning that critical 4000 to 5000 rpm range that my regeared SSR spends the majority of its time in when accelerating under full throttle from 0 to 60 mph AND from 0 to the 1/4 mile.

The SSR is still at Reese's shop tonight as he works on correcting a couple of problems created by a competitor, so I obviosuly don't have new actual street performance measurements yet. But, I HAVE entered the new dyno curve into my modeling software, and it has spit out my new projected statisitcs:

The projected 0 to 60 has now broken into the magic 5's: a projected 5.93 seconds.

The 1/4 mile projection is now 14.5 seconds.

By the way, the above nubers are with ME (235 lb) plus 14 gallons of fuel in the tank.

With a 160 b test driver, and 2 gallons of fuel at a dragstrip, the software says my SSR will run:

0 to 60 in 5.75 seconds
1/4 mile in 14.4 seconds

Understandably, I can't wait to actually DRIVE the "reborn" SSR. Can you imagine what 33 ft lb AVERAGE gain in torque is going to feel like? This baby now packs performance consistent with its appearance!

And, Reese says we have only just begun. Both of us have noted that the huge gains occurred in the 5100 rpm and under range. Above that, there are gains, but they are smaller than the gains below 5100. (The averages above INCLUDE those "smaller" gains in the averages, so imagine what the averages for the under 5100 rpm range would look like!!). This led both of us to exactly the same thought: We now have exhaust flow that GREATLY exceeds the intake flow capacity. In fact, Reese has assured me that the combination of headers and MTI Dual Shotgun exhaust will not limit our flow until we exceed at LEAST 525 horsepower. He is suddenly VERY unhappy with the stock air intake, bridge, MAF, intake manifold, heads, and cam, and wants to know if I am game for some further experimentation. I am, subject to the limits of my bank account!

He's especially interested in learning more about how easy or hard it would be to adapt an LS6 intake manifold to the SSR's 5.3 Liter engine. Does anyone know what intake Chevrilet used on the 05 SSR? Is it the Corvette intake, or a different variant?

I think at this point we have to conclude that Reese has successfully started to apply his vast C5 and C6 knowledge to the SSR, and that he and his team at MTI really know what they are doing. I don't know about you guys, but I'm getting more done on MY SSR at MTI before the long lines start forming.

Oh, and by the way, we just clean blew past my first *analytical and scientific" target as expressed in an earlier post here just a few short weeks ago. I think we need a new target. How about let's us 03 and 04 SSR owners blow past those 05 SSR owners 0 to 60 times (5.5 seconds approximately) before they realize what we've done to them!

Jim G
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
JRSSR: IF you ever have a warranty issue, the stance you take with your dealer, and the law supports you, is that he has to show that it is reasonably likely that a modification you made caused the specific problem you are trying to get warranty service on.

Most car compnaies and dealerships are pretty tolerant of any changes EXTERNAL to the engine. Once you get INSIDE an engine, it gets tougher, as they cannot readily see what you have done to assess its probability of impact on the issue at hand, without dissassembling and measuring everything.

It's pretty hard for them to argue that a rear axle ratio change caused, for example, an engine emission problem or a transmission problem, since the stiffer rear axle has zero impact on the engine's emissions, and actually makes life EASIER for the transmission (same power applied but with lower force and more rpms).

On the other hand, if the issue at hand is a sheared rear axle or reduced gas mileage, they have a right to investigate (my stiffer rear axle lowers my cruising gas mileage at 60 mph by 7.4%).

If you have an aftermarket catback exhaust, it's hard for them to argue it is the cause of any problem since they sell the Corsa aftermarket exhaust as an accessory in their parts department!

You can't just "duplicate" my mods, for severa reasons. First of all, you have an 05, not an 04 like mine, so it will react differently. Secondly, retuning software is not yet available for the 05 (which is why we can catch and beat you if we move quickly!). Dpoing the mechanical mods without the compensating retuning is exactly like in the old days doing the mechanical mods and not rejetting the carb and recurving the spark advance. Very dangerous. You need a skilled tuner to do the whole package correctly. That's why I went to an established shop that knows the next closets thing to an SSR: the Corvettes. What Reese has dine is NOT easy. It took considerable skill and experience. I SAW what the dyno curve looked like after the mechanical mods but before his retuning, It was ugly, and it drove less than great, as he warned me it would until retunded.

In addition, MTI's Dual Shotgun Exhaust is not available anywhere else. Reese designed and dimensioned that on the basis of his C5 and C6 work.

Plan on maybe visiting MTI, as Fred from North Carolina is planning with HIS 05. (You might want to act swiftly to get in line before him).

Jim G
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Update on 5-25-05

I drove the SSR home tongiht after work, after Reese finsihed up the other work!

It rocked.

It's hard to find more than 50 feet of unoccupied lane in Atlanta anytime around rush hour, but I tried my best, knowing that I have an aesome responsibility to the rest of you guys to tell you at least SOMETHING after the writeup above!

The SSR is MUCH crisper than it was. Lane changes were something I looked for excuses to perform. It is no longer necessary to provoke a downshift to feel like you are moving QUICKLY. It's very responsive, and CLEANLY so.

Surprisingly, the biggest places I noticed the extra power were when I was not consciously trying to use it. I would pull away from a light a little quicker to try to change lanes a bit down the block, and found the vehicle "running away from me" a couple of times when I subconsciously used the same throttle setting as before the mods.

The biggest reinforcements were on 2 occasions. In the one incident, I hit the throttle to get across an intersection and the engine hit 6000 in 1st just like that. In the second incident, I pulled out of a driveway and needed to cross 2 lanes of traffic and then turn left, as cars were approaching from both directions. I felt I had a fair bit of time so did not hit the gas hard, but found myself being slammed back as the truck took off that much quicker than before.

The most fun was at the gas station. I had to go in to get something, and when I returned, there was a Mustang, with a state trooper in uniform in it, facing the SSR, waiting for me to back away from the pump so he could get to it. His wife was beside him. When he saw me get into the SSR, he went into a vigorous series of thumbs up accompanied by audible "yes"s. When I started it up (with its MTI Dual Shotgun exhaust), he went nuts.

He was jumping up and down in his seat, grinning ear to ear and waving. The young lady at the cash window starting grinning. Other patrons started to point (not sure if at the SSR or the trooper). The trooper's wife shook her head with that "I do not know this man, I am merely seated near him" look. While he watched me drive away, someone else pulled up to the pump. I didn't stick around for the scene bewteen the trooper and the driver that stole his pump . . .

I'll pass on more info as I get some miles in with the new mods.

Jim G
 
G

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ditto on the neato!!!!!!!!!

:cool :cool :cool Way to go Jim! You are driving me nuts!!!Like I said in my PM I'll try and call ya tomorrow. Your enthusiasm is contagious! Boy, it's great to be a 60 yo kid!
Congrats, Fred fryguy from NC
:thumbs :thumbs :flag
 

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Hey Jim G........

Don't worry, he could never imitate your '04 SSR.
I heard that GM has no plans for making an elephant fit the '05 Hood !!!! :glol :glol :glol
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hey, that elephant's trunk is part of my performance package: When he points it forward and inhales, he not only pulls the SSR ahead, he also sucks off the road any car that happens to be in my way!

Jim G
 

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Thanks Jim....

JimGnitecki said:
Hey, that elephant's trunk is part of my performance package: When he points it forward and inhales, he not only pulls the SSR ahead, he also sucks off the road any car that happens to be in my way!

Jim G
Short and sweet!!!!
Usually after reading one of your posts, I need a nap!!!! :lol
I thought that only happened to guys!!!!
 
G

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Warranty

Jim,

First off, let me say congrats on the mods. I have followed them and find it interesting, informal and for the most part, factual.....in one case I have to take exception.

Your advice on the warranty I question.......in your case you have raised shift points. I don't know, but suspect that if you encounter an internal engine problem like valves, pistons, rods, or whatever and a manufacturer could prove you had modified the electronics to raise the shift points you would be on thin ice with the warranty. I'm not a lawyer but I'd hate to argue that one in court.

You also mention that GM offers Corsa.....I suspect that Corsa went through a certification process to get GM to use their product. Since your MTI is "one of" I suspect GM would have issues. Right on the box of a Corsa system it has the GM logo. I know because I had them on my Vette. I have no idea whether they are lesser than, equal to, or superior to your MTI's but they are GM approved so there are no issues with warranty.

I have owned 60 cars in my life and modded most of them to my hearts content....however....I accept the fact that warranty can become an issue. There is a point where the gain may not be woth the pain....


rickoshea
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
rickoshea: It would be really hard for GM to successfully argue that an exhaust system hurt an engine if no diagnostic codes were thrown and recorded in the VCM.

As far as the shift points: The magic in selecting 6000 as the shift point is that (a) GM sets the redline on the 5.3 liter at 5900 itself, and (b) that is BELOW where GM itself sets the actual engine rev limiter.

But most importantly of all, Reese himself is so confident of the Chev smallblock engines, even the pedestrian versions, that he had no hesitation in running mine up to 6500 rpm on the dyno. He told me that we could also pump the output WAY up and never have to worry about hurting that engine, It's like a Honda motorcycle engine: bulletproof. THAT's the best "warranty".

If you read my threads a lot, you will also have noted that I differentiate very strongly between using the engine and drivetrain and ABusing it. Unlike some other SSR owners, some right on this board, and unlike the manufacturers of the microtuners, I have NOT tightened and shortened the shifting to the point that the tires bark on upshifts, as that DOES put a shock load on the driveline and especially the transmission. Reese tightened the shifts for me MODESTLY, in line with his C5 and C6 experience, and since our SSRs produce much less power than the C5s and C6s, this is a VERY conservative approach. His approach and mine turn out to be very similar: tighten up the sloppiness that GM puts in for "comfort" of the normal driver (like "imperceptible shifts"), but do not go for cheap thrills by abusing the vehicle. :)

Jim G
 
G

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if you are comfortable

Jim,

So....since Reese is "comfortable" and it comes apart at 6.5K on his dyno....is he going to "warranty it?" I seriously doubt it.

I too, am very "sure" of the GM small block. I had one that used to see 8K a lot and I built it myself and I expected no one to warranty it. It was the infamous "301" and would run.

My point was/is....if you are going to play then you just might have to pay.....not a manufacturer. Right, wrong, built for comfort...or whatever...GM designed, built and sold us our vehicles......they warranty that....not the mods.

We also might have to decide whether GM might consider repeated runs to 6.5K on a dyno "abuse" or not..........

Rickoshea
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
rickoshea: I don't mean to belittle the importance of warranty. It's just that I am very confident in Reese's work. And I know that he has an excellent relationship with at least one local Chevrolet dealership that understands performance work.

I guess the best way of illustrating that confidence is to point out that I am 1000 miles away from home, and the SSR is literally not only my daily driver but also my only vehicle here. I wouldn't be taking any risks with it.

I will also be posting a thread here in a day or 2 on "attention to details", in which I describe some corrections that he and his guys made on my SSR to work done by one of their competitors, that will illustrate WHY I have such confidence in Reese and his team.

Jim G
 

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Another amazing adventure of Jim G. in the land of MODS. Truly excellent reading! :thumbs

Warranty issue: Your truck your choice.

Untill Chevy and a lawyer hack this issue out I think it's hard to speculate an outcome. If you're afraid of voiding your warranty, easy to solve, just don't do anything and leave it at that.

For some good warranty info check here: http://www.alternativeauto.com/waterbox/wb_archives/warranty.html
and a good book to buy is here: http://www.dummies.com/WileyCDA/DummiesArticle/id-2669.html

Any lawyers out there want to elaborate on this?
 
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