Solving Your Fuel Efficiency Puzzle.

Imprving both engine EFFICIENCY and ECOMONY.


  • Post 8: The Role of Sensors in Fuel Delivery

    The role of sensors in managing fuel delivery

    If you haven’t started at the beginning, then you are missing some things in your education. Please go to Post 1 and start there NOW to be sure you get a thorough understanding.

    There is more computing power in the modern vehicle than what was used to take the Apollo 13 mission to the moon?

    True!

    The sad thing for us is when we buy these fuel consuming beasts, it actually works in the reverse. We become slaves. Slave to those that program and design the systems that drive them down the road, for they are the ones that determine how much fuel it takes to move us to our destinations.

    In the past 100 years, technology has advanced to a phenomenal degree. We allegedly have the most fuel efficient vehicles than have ever been made. While I believe this is true to a certain degree, it is also true these systems enable the Slave Masters to control what can and cannot be done to improve your engines fuel ECONOMY. And economy is not to be confused with efficiency.

    The industry considers the measure of the exhaust to be representative of a system’s efficiency, NOT the amount of fuel required to get the job done. But the public is programmed. Programmed to put their faith in the liars cheats and thieves that are running our world.

    In the interest of taking some of our power back in one small area (how much fuel we use) we face a number of obstacles, the vast majority residing in the actions and limitations set forth in the programming of the ECU. Ignition Timing, Injector Pulse Width, Catalytic Converter Temperature, and many other aspects that affect fuel economy are pre-set and immutable.

    What we’re going to do today is to talk about the role of various sensors in the computer’s calculations that determine the amount of fuel to deliver while the engine is running. ALL of these systems must be considered in your quest for 100+.

    I’m going to start with the air and move with it through the engine, considering the actions of each sensor start to finish. Then, we will consider what can be done with each to further enhance the results of The Gadgetman Groove.

    Now, some of these will enhance a NON-Grooved engine, but they are to be used with caution on engines that are not vaporizing the fuel completely, for it is this wasted energy is what we want to reclaim, enhancing not only Efficiency, but Economy as well. It is this waste fuel that causes most of the wear in our engines, so reducing it will also enhance engine operation and life-span.

    Study this diagram for insight into MAF sensor operations.

    The first sensors the air encounters is the MAF and/or the IAT. The Mass-Air Flow sensor is a device that measures several dynamics. It measures both the amount of air passing over it, the temperature and even the relative humidity as it acts on a heated element (resistor) and uses the current flow through the circuit to determine the how much fuel should be delivered according to the amount of air, thereby managing the Air-Fuel Ratio. To get more technical data on the MAF, go to the Wikipedia article.

    The Intake Air Temperature sensor does essentially the same thing, in the same way (using a resistor) and is much simpler in construction as well as operation. Use the information from the Wiki article on the MAF to learn about its function.

    From there, the air will be drawn through the throttle assembly. Here, the Throttle Position Sensor (TPS) has its role in the ECU’s functions. Using a variable resistor that is actuated by the throttle controls (whether cable or computer controlled throttle assemblies) the ECU can determine how much fuel should be delivered. It also uses this sensor to determine shift points in many vehicles.

    HINT FOR DEVELOPERS:

    The TPS is also a key component if you’re working on

    fuel vaporization systems to determine vapor delivery rates.

    Now, the air enters the intake manifold. Here, the air is presented to the MAP or Manifold-Absolute Pressure sensor. Again, turn to Wikipedia for good information.

    This video explains in simple terms how the MAP sensor functions.

    This sensor is designed to measure the difference between the pressure inside the intake Manifold and the outside or ‘Absolute’ pressure using (again) a variable resistor. Using the value presented to the ECU, the computer calculates the proper measure of fuel to deliver, once again referencing all the other sensors to confirm the proper AFR.

    From here, the air enters the head, where the fuel is delivered to the air stream as it enters the combustion chamber. To determine ignition timing, the ECU utilizes both the Crankshaft or Camshaft Sensor and the Knock Sensor.

    Here’s a short video on what the knock sensor does and how it does it:

    There are more in-depth videos on YouTube if you want to look for them. Remember, knowledge is power. Actually, knowledge is only POTENTIAL power. If you don’t use it, it is not very powerful, now, is it?

    Once the ECU has made it’s determination of proper ignition point, it will send the signal to to the ignition circuit commanding a spark be delivered.

    HELPFUL HINT

    Don’t use Motorcraft spark plugs!

    Their design is defective. When the internal resistor

    burns out (they all do in time!) the anode of the resistor can fall into

    the combustion chamber, necessitating engine rebuild.

    This happened to us in Provo Utah. $4,000 in repairs and one week later,

    We could finally continue our trip.

    Ford/Motorcraft is facing class-action lawsuits because of this.

    When the fuel in the combustion chamber is ignited, it is then pumped out to the exhaust manifold, where it is exposed to the Oxygen Sensor.

    Here is a nice video by ADP Training on its operations. (I do so LOVE YouTube!)

    NOTE:

    The O2 Sensor compares the oxygen level in the exhaust with ambient air.

    The method of measuring the external O2 content is unclear, but

    it is known that grease and oil deposits on the OUTSIDE of the sensor and

    sensor wires may cause erroneous readings.

    This sensor is only read during ‘Closed Loop’ operations. During ‘Open Loop’ operations, fuel management is calculated based on all sensor activity, disregarding the oxygen content. This can be a pain in some systems as the engine operations in some systems drop into Open Loop whenever there is a change in engine speed.

    Using the values determined by the Upstream O2 sensor, the ECU will alter the fuel trims to maintain proper AFR.

    Now, the air is in the exhaust and the process should be complete, shouldn’t it? But it is most DEFINITELY NOT!

    From the upstream O2 sensor, the exhaust gas passes down the pipes to the Catalytic Converter. Here is the most insidious aspect of the programming of the ECU fuel management systems. Using yet another oxygen sensor, they are able to manage catalytic converter function.

    As the operating temperature of the Cat is closely controlled to maintain its catalytic function (they operate best at 900-1000 degrees F. (According to this Ehow.com article) In order to maintain this temperature, the ECU will either decrease or increase fuel delivery, despite what the upstream O2 indicates. They do this by using the heater circuit, which will increase in resistance as the temperature increases.

    Now, we’ve covered about all the sensors I can think of. At least, I’ve covered the ones of which I’m aware! Let’s move on to how they work together and (more importantly!) what can be done to effectively regain management of your own fuel delivery needs.

    Management of Sensors to Increase Fuel Economy

    The management of many of your sensors will enable you to take maximum advantage of whatever methods you’re applying to enhance your fuel economy. From managing the system electronically to simply relocating your sensor points, much can be done to convince the ECU that less fuel is perfectly appropriate, even desirable.

    While I’m not a big fan of adding more electronics to an already complex system as they tend to reduce or even eliminate the ECU’s Adaptive Memory circuit, which we rely on for prolonged increases in mileage with The Gadgetman Groove. While I couldn’t find a decent article of video on its role in the ECU, here’s an article from Wikipedia on what Adaptive Memory is all about. They use these principles to ensure optimum operating efficiency, adapting to various environmental and driving conditions and habits.

    As all sensors respond to whatever environment they are designed to monitor, if you alter the environment to which they are exposed, you will have an effect on the ECU and its fuel management system. If you know how they operate, you can figure out how to adjust its signal to the ECU.

    IMPORTANT NOTE

    In altering the signal from any sensor, you MUST consider the ECU

    considers the input from ALL the sensors simultaneously,

    comparing the values for consistency.

    Some alterations may result in error codes in other regions

    as well as for the sensor with which you are experimenting.

    Make your changes SMALL and INCREMENTAL or

    you will be making diagnostics

    VASTLY more difficult!

    Mass Airflow and Intake Air Temp Sensors

    Let’s start with the MAF/IAT sensors. Many developers have come out with devices that alter the signal they send. As they use resistors to manage the fuel delivery, one can simply present an obstruction that diverts some of the intake air around the sensor element to convince the ECU there is less air entering the engine.

    You have to be careful reducing air flow!

    If you reduce the perceived air flow too much,

    you risk over-heating the resistor and potential

    catastrophic failure of the MAF!

    Alternatively (as in the case of an IAT) one may simply replace the IAT with an appropriate resistor. I use a 3.3 ohm resistor, and the ECU likes it just fine in most cases. We have them available for only $5.00, post paid for US customers. Email us if you want one.

    With the MAF, the wiring is a bit more complex, so if you’re planning on adjusting these, I encourage people to use the help of professionals like Mike Kehrli of FuelSaver-MPG.com. They make the most reliable devices I know of, and Mike is absolutely dedicated to customer service. Check out his company’s offerings. He carries my highest recommendation.

    Again my reminder to make your changes

    SMALL and INCREMENTAL.

    You make your road to 100+ much more difficult

    if you ignore this advice!

    Throttle Position Sensor

    Now, I don’t have anything to offer in the area of the TPS. The reason I don’t is because in many vehicles, the transmission shift points are controlled to a large part by its feedback. I do not recommend modifying this sensor at this time.

    Manifold-Absolute Pressure Sensor

    There are two different types of MAP sensors. Voltage-Based and Frequency-Based. With the voltage-based MAPs, all that is necessary it to reduce the supply voltage by a minimal amount. This can be done most effectively with a MAP adjuster, although you may insert a resistor into the circuit. The problem with the resistor approach, you are locked into one value, while if you use a ‘MAP enhancer’ you have the added ability to adjust it to your own particular driving styles. (Heavy load conditions versus low-load or cruise conditions)

    Because of the unique waveform The Gadgetman Groove creates in the intake air stream (which is why we can inhance combustion so effectively with The Groove) we had to design our own MAP enhancer, called “The MAPster”. The MAPster has an additional circuit that normalizes the pressure curve to a great degree. This will stabilize the pressure perceived by the ECU and is advantageous for ALL engines, not only those with The Gadgetman Groove.

    If you want more information on The Mapster, you can find that on GadgetmanGroove.com HERE.

    Before you go, The MAPster only works on voltage-Based MAP systems! For systems with Frequency-Based MAP sensors, Go to Mike Kehrli!

    Using a potentiometer (concealed by a rubber plug on The MAPster) one can adjust the supply voltage to the MAP sensor, thereby altering the output voltage while maintaining normal operational parameters. You can literally starve an engine for fuel to the point it shuts down with this little thing!

    That’s not to say your mileage will necessarily increase, for if you go too low, your mileage will actually DROP in some cases, so be careful with your adjustments of this device. “Make your changes small and incremental!”

    Oxygen Sensors

    With Upstream Oxygen sensors, due to the complexity of the signal, I recommend leaving them alone. That being said, with the advent of utilizing water as a fuel source through generating Hydrogen on Demand. (There are none better at information on HHO than GabeT123, the founder of HOD-info.com)

    Again, if you decide to attempt altering this signal, it’s your party. If you do, then rely on Mike Kehrli to assist you. He’s not real good at telephone calls, but email works VERY well with him. He also has a single unit called the “Digital Quad EFIE” that will allow adjusting the values from all four O2 sensors so common in today’s engines.

    Downstream Oxygen Sensor

    Since my discovery of the role the heater in managing fuel delivery, I have spent years trying to get someone to make a device that manages the perceived temperature of the Catalytic Converter, only to come up with an even simpler solution.

    Having many friends in the development community, Mr. Mike Holler offered to test my theory and tested many vehicles. What he discovered is the system can tolerate ½ ohm resistance without error codes. So, we are now releasing (as a test run) a resistor pair to solder into the heater circuit. This should elevate the perceived temperature of the Cat by about 200 degrees.

    REMEMBER

    This is not recommended for every vehicle.

    Reducing the Cat temp will reduce its ability to catalyze fuel.

    You MUST ensure the engine can consume all the fuel,

    or you will cause HIGHER LEVELS OF POLLUTANTS!

    Get The Gadgetman Groove BEFORE you apply this modification!

    Every system is different. Every single one has its own driving history as well as its own maintenance history (or lack thereof!) that will affect your efforts at 100+.

    Remember this when you approach a new modification. You should treat each one as an individual, with its own personality, and start from the beginning. Inspect the system thoroughly, and perform your modifications making each change SMALL and INCREMENTAL to guarantee the greatest chance of success with the least amount of effort.

    If you would like to help us solve our energy problems,

    then Join Us In Gadgetman Land!

    We have taught people in more than 40 states and more than 20 nations

    to apply our discoveries and we want YOU to become a part of our network

    of people that can say “I’ve had ENOUGH!”

    and want to help us change this planet for the better.

    Join Us in Gadgetman Land!

     


  • Post 7 Diagnosing Error Codes

    If you haven’t started at the beginning, then you are missing some things in your education. Please go to Post 1 and start there NOW to be sure you get a thorough understanding.

    Diagnosing Error Codes

    By now you know The Gadgetman Groove causes a good amount of changes to a vehicle. Changes that can cause the ECU to go bonkers. After applying The Groove, I have seen error codes for O2 sensors, Catalytic Converters, Air Control Systems, and Throttle Positions Sensors. Those are codes I have come to accept as normal. How about codes for the ABS (Anti-Lock Braking), Charging System and (God bless the programmers) even for Suspension System Errors!

    http://www.obd-codes.com/ is an excellent resource for the diverse ways error codes can be triggered. Register and use it. You’ll be glad you did!

    Now, to be fair, the last three listed were really caused by doing too much at once with an engine and not allowing the computer to properly adjust, which is one of the many reasons why I advise my Gadgetmen to “Make your changes small and incremental.” Make a SINGLE change, let the computer adjust and tune itself. Then and ONLY then, make your second change.

    The proper way to go about this process is to first realize it is very much a process. That means it’s not a one-shot solution to the criminal actions of the car manufacturers (to benefit the oil companies and the people investing in them) as they continue stealing billions of dollars every single day from the American People. Maybe we should file charges against them for “Theft by Unlawful Taking.”

    Shell Oil broke the 1,000 mile per gallon barrier in the late 70′s. (Watch the movie “Gashole” for a real education!) So why is it now, pound for pound, mile for mile, with the most fuel efficient engines ever devised, our consumption is the HIGHER NOW THAN IT WAS IN THE 70′s?

    I digress. Our job as Gadgetmen is difficult. We must overcome EVERY aspect of their control systems if we are to get every ounce of power out of our fuel. If we do it correctly, then the ECU won’t know what happened and we’ll be cruising at 100+ on every vehicle in the nation. Unfortunately, We, the People have been programmed very well. We have been programmed to trust the Automotive Service Industry that have been trained by the establishment to trust the computer and whatever it says.

    But the computer is a STOOPID beast. It only knows what it’s been told. What we’re doing requires telling it that it’s okay to get better mileage. It has been programmed to ensure a certain amount of waste in our vehicles. It is the WASTE we want to eliminate.

    On to the diagnostics.

    The most common error codes I see are lean codes. Lean codes indicate too much Oxygen in the exhaust and is always caused by vacuum leaks. When you see this, know there is a service issue, usually due to poor maintenance. One loose hose won’t bother the wasteful system, but once The Groove is applied, it will cause the leaks to draw more air, generating this error code.

    One other possibility is a leak in the Grooved throttle body. In this case, it is usually easy enough to find, as the leak could not be in a worse position. Due to the turbulence in the area where The Groove is inserted, the leak is magnified many times.

    Don’t fall into the Ego Trap and think it couldn’t happen to you! I have performed this modification on more than 1600 engines and I STILL get an occasional leak. So, always check your work FIRST when you get these codes.

    Vacuum leaks can occur anywhere there is vacuum. The latest surprise I had was in the 5.7L Dodge Ram. It seems on the underside of the intake manifold there is a pan and a pan gasket that routinely blows. (I found this one showing the blow-by gas in the breather hose. I told him to put his finger over the hose to feel the hot gas coming out. It was SUCKING! Boy, did I feel bad!)

    Check all your hoses. Get a hand-held vacuum pump and learn to use it. Don’t short yourself on this vital tool! GET ONE.

    I recommend also doing a pump-down test on the brake booster for this can be a real problem. Not only is it hard to find, it is quite expensive for the client to have repaired and I will never like giving a client that kind of bad news.

    So here’s what you do when you get error codes.

    1. Pull the codes. The quicker you pull the code, the closer you will be to finding the solution, for many times one error can cause other errors. DON’T TRUST THE COMPUTER!!! (If you don’t have a code reader, then go to your local parts house and ask them to do it for you.)
    2. With the codes in hand you can start your search.
    3. POST ON THE FORUMS! It is only by sharing our problems that we find solutions. Sharing our solutions makes us all grow stronger.

    Lean Codes equal a vacuum leak. Period. End of discussion. No questions asked. Now, all you have to do is find it. I use the internet to help me locate them when I’m having trouble. You should too!

    If you have found a code after a system has been running for a while indicating Cat below efficiency or below temp, that is actually a GOOD sign. (I keep an OBD reader in the seat of my Expedition, because this will cause my mileage to drop from 24 to 7 if I don’t clear it!)

    Just think: What keeps the Catalytic Converter hot? Where does that heat come from?

    Burning Fuel! So, if the cat temp drops, remember it is supposed to! In fact, if the cat temp does NOT drop, then you haven’t done something right. Go back and do it again. We are testing a new solution for this dastardly system for the ECU is using the cat to create more waste. If it doesn’t have enough work to do, it will force what they call ‘Over-Fueling’.

    I call it “THEFT”.

    We are creating engines that run vastly cleaner, vastly more powerful and vastly more efficient. It is the wasteful systems that keeps us slaves to petrochemical corporations.

    The people who designed these systems are criminals. In fact, our entire world is being run by criminals, whether it be the Government, the Corporations or the Religious Organizations.

    I have decided to take my power back and to help as many as I can to do the same. It is not an easy path, to be sure, but somebody’s got to make the changes possible to lead us to a new era of freedom.

    Welcome to the revolution.

    Please post your comments and your questions, or email me and I’ll add it in!

    Next up: The role of Sensors in Fuel Delivery

     


  • Post 6: Hidden Weaknesses

    If you haven’t started at the beginning, then you are missing some things in your education. Please go to Post 1 and start there NOW to be sure you get a thorough understanding.

    Within the normal engine, there are, as we have already seen, many areas where leaks can occur that will have a negative effect on your engine’s efficiency. In this post, we will cover two locations that are generally difficult to identify as problem zones for your engine efficiency. Two are inside your engine, another two in your exhaust.

    Let us consider first the one that is least considered. That is the intake manifold gasket. This gasket, when it goes bad, is virtually unnoticed. Unlike the head gasket, when this one goes bad, there is no symptomology beyond perhaps a gradual decline in mileage and performance. This is generally dismissed as simply age.

    Nothing could be farther from the truth. Age causes decay, no doubt. This is something I am reminded of every day! In the engine, the same is true. When the intake gasket goes, the leaks can be quite problematic for the Gadgetman.

    We will take for example the most notorious from my experience, GM V-8 engines.

    In the V-8′s, GM has designed yet another flaw into the engines, this one affecting the longevity of their gaskets. In these engines, they decided (in their infinite wisdom) to route the exhaust gases through the intake manifold.

    Think about this for a moment. One port has cold air going into the head, the next two 800 degree exhaust gases are ducted up into the intake manifold, and the next cold air into the head. No matter WHAT you do, this area is going to experience a tremendous amount of stress. As a result, the gasket begins to decay rather quickly.

    Intake 5.7 L

    Sample Intake Manifold Gasket Set

    This is a standard gasket set for this series of engine. You can easily see the problem areas would be the seal BETWEEN the exhaust and the intake ports.

    All right, then how do you detect when this gasket is bad? This is really terribly simple and (in most cases) easy to check. As the gasket ages, it decays. As it decays, the seal is compromised, leaving a gap between the intake and the head. Fortunately, this leaves the formerly tight seal somewhat loose. This, in turn, leaves the bolts below torque standards.

    So, all you need do to check them is to put a socket or a wrench on the bolts and give them a turn. Should you find the most central bolts looser than others, then it is a certainty the intake manifold gasket has lost its integrity. If you have the time, then one should replace the gasket. As an intermediate measure, you can simply re-torque all the bolts.

    This will NOT cure the problem, but it WILL reduce the leaks. Any reduction in the vacuum leaks is a REAL good thing as you well know by now! If you opt to replace your intake gaskets on your GM V-8, I recommend you use the new Fel-Pro gasket sets. These are made from stamped aluminum with a neoprene type seal around the ports and will last MUCH longer than the standard (and cheaper!) sets.

    15780793_fel_ms98000t_pri_larg

    This is a good test, no matter what your engine, as ALL gaskets decay. So, if you find all your other efforts to get the mileage up failing, check this one! I recommend checking it while you’re under the hood the FIRST time if they’re easy enough to get to.

    There is yet another area that is not considered for vacuum leaks, and that is the injector seals. If  you notice dry, cracked hoses-or oil-soaked lines, then you would do very well to take a can of Carburetor Spray and spray a little bit on the base of each injector while it’s idling. ANY change in engine speed indicates a leak. This is a really good way to check all areas of the intake manifold, and is an excellent tool for you to use.

    Cheap, fast, and accurate, the spray will uncover many leaks that would go otherwise unnoticed. Take your time. Spray a short burst and wait a second or two. Then, move to another area and spray a short burst. You’ll be very pleased with just how well this technique serves to locate hidden leaks in the system.

    There is one other area that also remains ignored or dismissed by both mechanics and vehicle owners as well, thinking it to be unimportant, and that is in the seal between the exhaust manifold and the exhaust pipe, the exhaust flange or “donut” gasket. It is a round seal, and it, being exposed to extreme temperatures, also decays as in the case of the intake manifold.

    Removing a defective Exhaust Flange Gasket

    Removing a defective Exhaust Flange Gasket

     

    If the exhaust gasket is leaking, the same thing happens.

    Wait a minute here. How can an EXHAUST leak cause problems with The Groove? Well, consider the Oxygen sensor and its placement. In many, MANY systems, the O2 sensor is located just past this seal. When the exhaust leaks out, it takes with it the heavier portions of the exhaust which is your unburned fuel. This increases the relative oxygen content of the exhaust, and the ECU sees this increase in oxygen content and does what it is PROGRAMMED to do: keep the Air-Fuel Ratio at a predetermined level.

    So, it adds fuel to adjust the exhaust AT THE SENSOR to the programmed level.

    The modern vehicle is a complete system, and it is ALL tied together through the ECU. Many many maintenance issues will be revealed in the process of Grooving a vehicle. The more of these deficiencies you can identify and CORRECT the first time you’re under the hood, the more pleased you or your customer will be with the results.

    Now, GET GROOVY!

    Next up: Diagnosing Error Codes with The Gadgetman Groove

    If you would like to learn this amazing fuel efficiency technology, we want to hear about it! Use this form to contact me, Ron Hatton, the developer of The Gadgetman Groove and we’ll see what we can do about that.


  • Post 5: Lac and Vacuum

    If you haven’t started at the beginning, then you are missing some things in your education. Please go to Post 1 and start there NOW to be sure you get a thorough understanding.

    In order for you to be able to find the more difficult leaks, you’re in for a surprise. There are only two locations where all the elbow grease in the world won’t help you. I know, you’re diligent and thorough and a true ‘Gadgetman’ and you found all there is to find and STILL The Groove hasn’t produced.

    Always remember this: “If a vehicle fails to respond, there is ALWAYS a very good reason for it!” All you have to do is find that reason and you will (in almost every case) solve this frustrating condition. You just have to look somewhere else!

    Do you remember Post One? If you haven’t been there, go back and read it again, all the way to here if you need the refresher. It details the function of an engine. From the intake air through to it exiting the engine. I want you to pay very close attention to the operation of the valves, for here (especially in older, more tired engines) is where you will find a true killer of the vacuum.

    As an engine ages, depending on a LOT of variables, things just don’t work like they used to. Also depending on what the problem is, you will most certainly find that “cleanliness is next to Godliness” when it comes to your engine.

    Inside all HC based motor oils is a compound known as ‘Lac’ (considered a ‘carbon deposit) and is the source for the brown staining (plaque) that appears on all surfaces inside an engine, beginning (when so equipped) at the top of the carburetor. It is the foundation of what we call ‘Lacquer’. Think about that for a minute, for you know what lacquer is and what it’s used for.

    Layer upon layer, it coats everything it touches from the gas tank (YES, it’s in your fuel-it comes from oil, right?) through to the combustion chamber. I’ll just detail the moving parts here for your reference. From the gasoline side, they are: Fuel Pump, Pressure Regulator, Injectors (everything inside a carburetor) and valves. From the oil side, well, everything the oil touches. This includes all seals, bearings, and (here it comes!) the valve stems and springs.

    mgb_sticky_2in_valveNotice the brown coating on ALL the surfaces the oil contacts.

    Over time, this lac coats everything. Mechanical parts lose their tolerances and begin to move more slowly. Seals become stiff and inflexible. Injectors move more slowly and the pressure regulators fail to regulate. In fact EVERYTHING in the engine begins to fight with itself and whatever it’s coming into contact with.

    In the case of the valves and valve springs, as they gather up this blanket of goo, they move more slowly. The springs aren’t so springy and the valves begin to stick in the valve guides. Almost invisible except when you know where to look, these engines rolling into your shop can also provide the most dramatic examples of what The Groove (and you!) can do, once you know how to fix it.

    But how do you KNOW they’re going bad???

    First, THIMK. While you can’t readily test your intake valves, you don’t really need to. You CAN, however, test the exhaust valves.

    Here’s a short video that shows an extreme case in a 29 Model A:

    What direction does the exhaust go? Rather elementary, I know, but we tend to forget the basics. Start the engine and walk back to the tailpipe. Take a piece of heavy paper and simply lay it against the exhaust and watch it. In a properly maintained (CLEAN) engine, the paper will be blown outward in a steady stream. When the exhaust valves are not sealing properly, it will draw in from the tailpipe, and pull the paper toward the engine.

    I used to use a $20 bill for this until I did it one day and it was yanked out of my hand into the tail pipe! Revving the engine returned my deposit, but it was quite filthy when it came home to papa.

    That dramatic example should prove to you that when this engine is on the intake stroke, it is pulling in exhaust gases rather than fresh air (as it is supposed to do!) and causes your vacuum to suffer, and suffer BADLY.

    If the exhaust valves are dirty, you can bet your bottom dollar the intake valves are suffering as well. This MUST be corrected.

    While there are a variety of motor flushes on the market, I simply don’t like them. I feel they tend to thin out your motor oil too dramatically, they’re messy as well as bad for the environment and require an immediate oil change. What I have been using for the last 25+ years is Castrol brand automatic transmission fluid.

    All you need do is add one quart of any type of Castrol ATF into the crankcase with your regular oil and drive the vehicle. Within a couple of dozen hours of run time, check the valves again. You are sure to find them operating much more efficiently.

    Add a quart into your gas tank every now and again and you will find the same thing happening with everything from the fuel pump to the injectors working better as well. If the valves are REALLY bad, then you may consider using a quality motor flush first, and then use one quart as instructed with your oil change to complete the process.

    So, if your vehicle didn’t show gains, this is one area that should not be overlooked.

    Next up: Hidden Weaknesses.

    If you would like to learn this amazing fuel efficiency technology, we want to hear about it! Use this form to contact me, Ron Hatton, the developer of The Gadgetman Groove and we’ll see what we can do about that.


  • Post 4- Check Your Work

    If you haven’t started at the beginning, then you are missing some things in your education. Please go to Post 1 and start there NOW to be sure you get a thorough understanding.

    In performing this modification, it is immediately important that your work be done well, leaving the vehicle with the ONLY changes to be The Groove in the intake and the PCV vacuum port capped.

    Sometimes, we (yes, “WE” meaning me, too!) make mistakes. We overlook stuff, especially when we’re excited or walking unfamiliar paths. I’ve modified more than 1500 engines with The Gadgetman Groove, so you would THINK I never miss a beat by now. But you have to remember that every vehicle is different

    But the Truth is that I, too, am only human.

    The very FIRST thing to do is to check your work. How the vehicle responds to The Mod determines what you should do. We’ll start with the most common problems here, starting with the R&R (Removal and Reinstallation) of the throttle assembly.

    If you’re new to this, or dealing with a rather complex system, it is a good idea to take some pictures of the engine before you begin. Take a few seconds here-maybe as much as a minute, and take shots from all angles around the work you’re about to do. That way, if you find some problems after install, you can compare the pictures before to what’s left.

    (SIDEBAR: Remember to clear the ECU of all adaptive memory while the TB is off !!!)

    So, now you have your pictures and you’re ready to begin. You remove the throttle assembly and it’s starting to come off the engine. LOOK OUT! WATCH THAT GASKET!!

    Some engines have rubberized seals on their TB’s, some have actual gaskets. If they have a gasket, then there is a possibility the gasket is damaged. Honda’s are the absolute WORST for this, as their gaskets many times have an adhesive that dries to something along the line of epoxy. Many times, I have had to tap the TB with a hammer to get it loosened for removal, only to find the gasket completely destroyed.

    I keep some 1/32″ gasket material on a shelf above my workbench for just this eventuality. I simply cut a new gasket for cases like this.

    In the event your gasket separates, leaving portions on each surface, ALL the material needs to be removed and new material applied. Make sure you’re prepared for this (or there’s a part store handy) or you are liable to leave a DRAMATIC leak.

    In the event yours has a rubberized seal, then it is considered ‘reusable’, and all that is needed is to inspect it for damage and/or leaky spots. Sometimes they’re leaking before you touch them. This will leave traces on the gasket surface. Get yourself a flashlight. Where it has held its integrity the seal will look like new. Any discoloration that is NOT broken by a clean surface IS a leak.

    Replace the seal. Do not think the seal will automatically regenerate because it’s in the hands of a Master Gadgetman! Trust me. Bite the bullet, spend the three bucks and get a new one. Use a pick to remove it from the slot in which it resides and clean the slot with carb spray and place the new one in the groove.

    Standard seal for a GM Throttle Assembly

    That takes care of the removal part. Now onto the Groovy part.

    The first thing you will want to do is to check your Groove. Here’s a video I took while working with a trainee in instructing him in the fine art of Grooving:

    With your grooved and cleaned throttle assembly in your hands, you should, with flashlight in hand, inspect The Groove. Shine your trusty penlight into the groove, and look very closely at the entire throttle body, aiming the light toward your eye, with the throttle body between. Do this from two directions, both from the inside out and the outside in and if there is a spot where you’ve cut through, it will show.

    I promise to do a better video on checking for leaks the next TB I get that cuts through. I will update the video and this post at that time.

     

    If you find a hole, all you need do is simply put a patch on the OUTSIDE of the throttle assembly. Do I need to tell you to prepare the surface? It tells you that on EVERY package’s instructions! If you fail to clean the surface of all grease AND OXIDATION then you are setting yourself up for failure.

    I will clean the outside of the offending area with a good solvent, and then use a 1/8″ drill bit (it fits the Dremel) to abrade away all oxidation. THEN and ONLY then do I mix up my JB-Kwik and apply it to the opening. After it’s hardened somewhat (10-15 minutes) I will re-inspect it to make sure I got the hole covered. This is especially important if you have a large hole.

    In the event of a larger hole, mix in some of your aluminum shavings with the epoxy. This will thicken it somewhat so less will go through the hole. Then, when you apply it to the TB, take a large pinch of these shavings and drop it inside The Groove and, using your finger, press it gently against the area that had the penetration. Hold the TB with the epoxy at the top and your finger inside for a couple of minutes while it hardens.

    It is advised that you take your bit at a slow speed and clean The Groove from any epoxy that made its way into your brand new groove. This will enable you to guarantee a better shape, which will give you by extension better results.

    Then, and only then are you ready to reinstall the Groovy TB.

    Once the throttle body is back in, you are going to need to find the PCV system’s vacuum port(s). This is usually very straightforward, but sometimes can be quite difficult to locate, as in the case illustrated below:

    Potential trouble spots for the 2003 Honda Accord

    In this system, the PCV port is UNDER the intake manifold!

    In the case above, the 03 Honda Accord, this is a real horror story, for the intake manifold needed to be removed to eliminate the vacuum leak they call the PCV port. Still, it is what it is, and it must be addressed to get the most from your Gadgetman Groove installation.

    There are literally a thousand or more locations where a leak can occur in the vacuum system. It isn’t always possible to locate them all, nor is it always fiscally feasible to repair them once they’re located. Many people simply do not have the funds available for some repairs, as in the case of a leaky intake manifold gasket or a bad brake booster.

    The booster you can check before The Groove is applied. I do HEARTILY recommend checking this FIRST, so you know about it and can inform the client BEFORE the work is completed. I have found that about 20% of vehicles older than 5 years have leaks there.

     

    The MityVac 8500 is my choice.

    This is the MityVac 8500. One of the most complete vacuum and low-pressure testers on the market for the price. At less than $50USD, you really can’t go wrong!

    The last one was on a 2002 Dodge Ram 1500. Of course, I didn’t check it until AFTER Grooving, so the customer was disappointed. You see, in his case (which is a good one for this illustration) he is living off social security and has little money available for vehicle maintenance. So long as the brakes were stopping the vehicle, he was fine with it.

    Still, the booster wouldn’t hold ANY vacuum. That made it as much a leak as the PCV system! But, as the booster was about $150, and the labor another $200+, he was ill-equipped to have the repair done. I did offer, should he get the parts, to perform the work for him (reluctantly).

    Here’s where it comes to do a little leg-work before finding a problem. Go to all the shops in your area. Focus on the smaller ones, with only a few people, and preferably run by an old-timer. They tend to love making new, younger friends with whom to share their knowledge. They are also more likely to give a discount to customers you send their way.

    I’m going to close here, as it’s as good a spot as any!

    It’s time for you to move on to Post Five:LAC and Vacuum.

    If you would like to learn this amazing fuel efficiency technology, we want to hear about it! Use this form to contact me, Ron Hatton, the developer of The Gadgetman Groove and we’ll see what we can do about that.


  • Post 3- Stage One Diagnosis

    This is part 3 in a series. If you haven’t started at the beginning, please go to Post-1 and start your training at the beginning, and do it NOW!

    Where does all the energy in your gasoline go? This graphic was borrowed from the EPA website as a confession of sorts, as they admit here for the world to see that 1t least 60% of the energy in your fuel is considered lost through heat in your exhaust.

    Engine Energy Losses EPA 60 percent

    Look closely at this! As the EPA is willing to admit that 60% of your fuel burns in your tailpipe, how bad do you think it REALLY is?

    As our challenge is to glean every ounce of energy in the fuel to deliver power to the piston, from the above graphic, you can see that if we are able to get ALL the fuel to burn inside the engine, we could at LEAST double the mileage of every car in the nation.

    Because engines are terribly inefficient (what else would you call 60% of your fuel burning in your tailpipe?) already, and we are working to increase that efficiency, The Groove will many times reveal overlooked maintenance issues. It’s not that The Groove CAUSES them, it is only they become more apparent after The Groove is added.

    The most common deficiencies are found in the vacuum system. There are sometimes hundreds of locations where a vacuum leak can occur. This can make diagnosis a little time-consuming. Fortunately, most leaks will present little issue. It’s the really BIG ones we’re going to be looking for as they represent the greatest threat to your obtaining maximum efficiency.

    The most common places vacuum leaks are located are in the hoses. These are relatively easy to locate and identify. It’s the ones that are most difficult to locate that we’re going to look for. First, I want to explain EXACTLY why vacuum leaks are so bad when connected with a Gadgetman Groove modification.

    As The Gadgetman Groove modification is a vacuum-based modification, the entire intake system needs to have its full integrity. ANY opening in the intake manifold can cause a vacuum leak. The reason for this can be found when you start thinking in PRESSURES and FLOWS.

    Just think about it like this. Take a garden hose and apply 5 psi of pressure, then poke a hole with a straight pin. It will drip a little. The Groove will cause an amplification of the pressure curve (the lows are lower, the highs are higher) then the range of pressures are increased.

    Remember the garden hose? Now apply 50 psi to the same hole. It will shoot a stream of water 30 feet into the air. As this applies to vacuum leaks, consider that The Gadgetman Groove increases the magnitude of the pressure wave created by the motion of the piston as is draws in the air/fuel mixture.

    As the pressure drops during the first half of the downstroke, the low pressure is vastly lower, allowing the outside air to enter at VASTLY higher rates than would occur normally. This means that ALL openings (including mechanical parts) will let in more air than usual.

    Under normal conditions, the ECU can adapt to this, effectively masking the leaks. After The Gadgetman Groove is installed, the ECU cannot be effective at this, and the symptoms of a leak become magnified as the airflow into the intake is magnified. Additionally, as the wave hits its enhanced lows (which we depend on to affect the vaporization of the fuel) the leak allows air in, effectively deflating the effect The Groove creates.

    In other words, the wave The Groove creates is diminished when any access to outside air is present. If the low end pressure is reduced below approximately 24″ Hg, the fuel is less completely vaporized, diminishing the possible gains. Larger openings can not only eliminate the gains but have been known in extreme cases to cause a reduction in engine efficiency.

    The Crankcase Ventilation System is one system that is an engineered flaw in the system. In the interest of reducing HC emissions caused by friction and heat on the motor oil as well as the blow-by gases entering the crankcase, this system was designed to evacuate these gases into the intake manifold so they may be burned in the combustion chamber.

    The vacuum is harnessed to effect this evacuation, in direct contradiction to all principles of engine efficiency. Applying a reduced pressure to your crankcase actually causes more blow-by to be sucked into the crankcase. It also forces the lighter components of your oil to vaporize, leaving your oil thicker and less able to flow through the system.

    All in all, this is engineering overkill.

    So, we simply cap off the vacuum port(s) that supply the vacuum. This will then reverse the flow through the system, allowing the crankcase to vent naturally through the breather tube which is before the throttle plate, thus enhancing the level of vacuum available to the combustion chamber, and increasing the vaporization rate of the fuel.

    We will go into the vacuum system in earnest in the next post. For now, you have an understanding of just how important the intake manifold is, and why great care should be taken to ensure integrity of all areas of the intake manifold.

    Here’s a video that shows how Eric the Car Guy does his tests. This is a really good way to find leaks at the intake manifold. (notice this is the 3200 series of GM engines)

     

    Many mechanics swear by smoke testing. But The Truth is that is NOT an effective test to determine if a system is holding or not holding a vacuum. The ONLY way to know if a system can hold a vacuum is to APPLY a vacuum. For that, you are going to need a hand-held vacuum pump. The one I use is the MityVac 8000, which is used also to make bleeding your brakes a one-man job.

    The testing is really a very simple procedure. I cannot stress strongly enough how important thorough testing is when faced with a fuel efficiency issue, to say nothing about the effects of a leak on your Gadgetman Groove modification.

    So, learn to master this testing procedure and add many many miles to every tank of gas!

    Next up: Post 4-Checking Your Work

    If you would like to learn this amazing fuel efficiency technology, we want to hear about it! Use this form to contact me, Ron Hatton, the developer of The Gadgetman Groove and we’ll see what we can do about that.


  • Post 2- What is The Gadgetman Groove and what does it do?

    Okay, so now you have an understanding of the modern gasoline engine and how it works. You know more than most people out there! (Ain’t you SMART!) (if you haven’t read Post 1-The Basics, please do so now.)

    There are TONS of stuff you can do to your engine in the quest for better fuel efficiency. But what are they and what are the effects of them? The answer to that question lies in the technology you’re applying. Here, we are only going to be dealing with The Gadgetman Groove and what it does.

    “What is it?” is vastly easier to answer than “What does it DO?” when you’re talking about a computer-controlled engine because every manufacturer has their own protocols and their own management system. Even this is unpredictable, because about every two years, they change their ECU’s. And THAT changes EVERYTHING.

    Still, an engine is an engine is an engine. They all operate on the same principles. It is only the management system that changes and they still have to abide by some rules. The rules will never change. Only the way they are managed. That, my friend is GOOD news!

    Since the principles of operation remain the same, there are a number of things that ARE predictable. Like how The Groove affects the airstream and how that impacts the fuel and how THAT impacts the engine and the exhaust.

    The second most popular video I have on YouTube is titled: “How does The Gadgetman Groove WORK?” and is quite appropriate for inclusion here. As you watch the following video, pay close attention. It should be fairly easy to follow now that you understand how an engine works. To FULLY understand the effects of The Groove, though, you’re going to have to start thinking in pressures and flows. There, you are going to have a LOT of your understanding enhanced.

    So, in a nutshell, The Gadgetman Groove is exactly what it sounds like: it is a groove (a very specially shaped one!) machined into the intake air stream that, when PROPERLY applied and PROPERLY shaped causes some very predictable-and DESIRABLE-changes in the properties of combustion.

    With more than 4,000 engines modified, I can say with absolute CERTAINTY you will love the results. You just have to be aware there are sometimes (frequently) additional concerns before you get the most from your modification.

    Now that you’ve got a better understanding of what’s going to change inside your engine and what is REALLY going on inside your intake system, we’ll move on to Post 3-Stage One Diagnostics.

    If you would like to learn this amazing fuel efficiency technology, we want to hear about it! Use this form to contact me, Ron Hatton, the developer of The Gadgetman Groove and we’ll see what we can do about that.

     


  • Post 1-Understanding the Basics

    You are at the right place to begin your lessons in how to make the most of your Gadgetman Groove modification. Whether you are an official Gadgetman or a mail-in modification customer, this is where you need to be!

    As with all new technologies, there is a learning curve. With The Gadgetman Groove, this is somewhat more complex as we are dealing with changing combustion characteristics. Characteristics that have a dramatic effect on the way your engine burns fuel.

    There are many things that will be affected by its application. In order to understand what’s what about that, we’re gong to start by examining the various systems that are used to control fuel delivery. We will talk about how they work so that we might have a more full understanding of the effects of The Groove on your engine’s operations.

    To start with, we’ll go through the control system, and consider the role of each in determining optimum efficiency as programmed into your ECU. But we’re going to approach it from the intake to the exhaust with an eye for details.

    If you don’t already have a good grasp of how a normal gasoline engine works, there’s a really great article on HowStuffWorks.com that goes over the basic principles. Here, we’re going to expand on that DRAMATICALLY! For you YouTube junkies out there, here’s a real cool video produced in 1941 by Chevrolet:

    (FYI: There are instructional videos by the millions on YouTube. Simply search for what you want to learn about and watch the miracle of the internet occur!)

    As much as I LOVE old information, you may find another video more informative.


    The crankshaft turns, starting the whole process. As the crank turns, the piston is drawn down, pulling in whatever is available to it. The air and fuel is pulled in through the valve, then it starts upward on the compression stroke. Just before the top of the compression stroke, the spark plug ignites the mixture, pushing the piston down, thus turning the crankshaft.

    At this point, the piston is lifted by the crankshaft, pushing the (partially) burned fuel out of the chamber through the exhaust valve and out the tail pipe.

    That’s the whole process, but there are a lot of sensors used in modern engines that are used to meter or adjust the “air-fuel ratio” or AFR. They are located everywhere through the system, from your air filter all the way to the muffler. Now, we’re going to start with the process of explaining it all and how they all work together to make your engine run.

    In the old days, it was really simple, as the video above shows. Air is drawn into the engine over the venturi. Fuel was delivered in direct proportion to the amount of air the engine drew in. It is not so simple now. When the carburetor was replaced with more advanced fuel delivery systems, a computer was introduced to control and manipulate the fuel delivery to eliminate all the adjustments we used to have to make every season and at different altitudes on carburetors.

    Since the fuel must be delivered in a certain proportion to the air (AFR, remember?) the amount and density of the air had to be monitored. This is handled by a sensor in the intake air stream, called either the Intake Air Temperature (IAT) or the Mass-Air Flow sensor. The names are different sometimes, as is the appearance but they serve the same function (basically).

    This sensor is located somewhere between the air filter and the throttle assembly.

    After that, the air enters the throttle assembly. This is a round plate on an axle that is turned by either a cable attached to the gas pedal or to the computer directly. Attached to the other side of the axle is the Throttle Position Sensor. This sends a signal to the ECU to help the computer manage other aspects of the fuel delivery system.

    From there, the air enters the intake manifold, where it meets the Manifold-Absolute Pressure sensor. This device measures the difference between the intake (manifold) and the outside (absolute) air pressures to help adjust for acceleration and altitude differentials.

    Think about it. As the piston descends, it pulls on the air, reducing the pressure inside the intake manifold. When the throttle plate opens, it allows air into the chamber, causing the pressure to rise. This device can only tell the differential between the two pressures and then adjusts the AFR to accommodate for the difference.

    From there, the air enters the head on its way to the intake valve. This is where the fuel injectors are located, generally spraying the fuel into the port just before the valve. The downward motion of the piston draws that fuel in along with the air.

    After the air/fuel mix is ignited by the spark plug, the burnt gases are pushed out of the chamber into the exhaust system, where we get to the first Oxygen Sensor (O2A).

    O2A senses the amount of oxygen present in the air stream, and is the first sensor the computer monitors to ensure proper combustion. As the exhaust contains both air and fuel that has not combined (burned), the ECU can detect both the temperature and the content. With more fuel burning, the sensor heats up and the computer will reduce the amount of fuel delivered to the engine. If it’s too cool, it increases the AFR.

    There is only one more sensor we have to be concerned with. The “Post Catalytic Converter Oxygen Sensor” or Post Cat O2 which is mounted either IN or just past the catalytic converter. This is sometimes referred to in your error codes as “Bank One (or two)  Sensor Two”. We’ll just call it O2B for the sake of simplicity.

    Here, it is (allegedly) used to monitor the efficiency of the cat as it burns off the “waste fuel”. That’s fuel that’s not consumed in the combustion process. (Sidebar: The EPA ADMITS to more than 60% of the energy in your gasoline being ‘lost’ in the exhaust. That’s 60 cents of EVERY dollar being burned your tailpipe!)

    Okay. Now you have a good (albeit basic) understanding of how the modern gasoline engine works. What we’re going to be talking about next is what The Gadgetman Groove does, and how it may affect the fuel delivery.

    I want you all to understand what The Gadgetman Groove can do for your engines, as well as how the ECU responds and what deficiencies you may encounter as you start to apply it to your ECU managed systems.

    I invite you to add comments or refinements to this post, for it is only through sharing information that we can make this technology understood. After all, I am only a garage-level tinkerer. I want you to make me SMARTER!

    Now, you’re ready to go on to Post 2- What is The Gadgetman Groove and what does it DO?

    If you would like to learn this amazing fuel efficiency technology, we want to hear about it! Use this form to contact me, Ron Hatton, the developer of The Gadgetman Groove and we’ll see what we can do about that.



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