• Category Archives Education Engine Function
  • These posts will provide a basic understanding of how an engine and its various systems work.

  • Post 4-Flubbing the Dub

    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 any modification or repair, it is important that your work be done well, leaving the vehicle with the ONLY changes to be the work you’ve done. When performing or experiencing Wave-Form Technology everybody can “Flub the Dub”.

    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 1800 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 Wave-Form Technology 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.

    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 free.

    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: Varnish and Vacuum.

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

    Email me personally at Gadgetman@ GadgetmanGroove.com with any comments or suggestions, too!

    Post 1-Basic Flows in a Gasoline Engine

    Post 2-Intake Flows and Wave-Form Technology

    Post 3-Improving the Vacuum System

    Post 5-Varnish and Vacuum

    Post 6-Hidden Weaknesses

    Post 7-Diagnosing Error Codes

    Post 8-The Role of Sensors in Fuel Delivery

    Post 9-Adjusting Your Spark Plug for Maximum Efficiency


  • Post 2- Intake Flows and Wave-Form Technology

    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-Basic flows within a Gasoline Engine, 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 going to deal with Wave-Form Technology (as created by the Gadgetman Groove) and its effects on fluid flows.

    “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 engine efficiency.

    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 creates a special kind of turbulence that creates some desirable changes in combustion of your fuel.

    With more than 4,000 engines modified world-wide, I can say with absolute CERTAINTY you will love the results. You just have to be aware there are additional concerns to help you get the most from your fuel.

    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-Improving the Vacuum System.

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

    Email me at Gadgetman@ GadgetmanGroove.com right now!

    You’ll be glad you did.

    Post 1-Basic Flows in a Gasoline Engine

    Post 3-Improving the Vacuum System

    Post 4-Flubbing the Dub

    Post 5-Varnish and Vacuum

    Post 6-Hidden Weaknesses

    Post 7-Diagnosing Error Codes

    Post 8-The Role of Sensors in Fuel Delivery

    Post 9-Adjusting Your Spark Plug for Maximum Efficiency


  • Post 1-Basic Flows Within a Gasoline Engine

    You are at the right place to begin your lessons in how to make the most of your gasoline engine. Whether you’re a veteran mechanic or just learning, you’ve got to understand how they work to be most effective as a developer.

    As with all new technologies, there is a learning curve. When talking about engine sciences (including The Gadgetman Groove modification) it can get pretty confusing when we’re 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 this video on how an internal combustion engine works 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.

    Email me with your questions and I’ll do the best I can!

    Gadgetman@ GadgetmanGroove.com

    Post 2-Intake Flows and Wave-Form Technology

    Post 3-Improving the Vacuum System

    Post 4-Flubbing the Dub

    Post 5-Varnish and Vacuum

    Post 6-Hidden Weaknesses

    Post 7-Diagnosing Error Codes

    Post 8-The Role of Sensors in Fuel Delivery

    Post 9-Adjusting Your Spark Plug for Maximum Efficiency