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.

You can always email me personaly at Gadgetman@ GadgetmanGroove.com with any comments or suggestions, too!


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