Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Trunion Upgrade Kit

There have been some posts in the last months on the GRRRR8 Forum about upgrading Trunions in our engines since Comp-Cams released a trunion upgrade kit (part# 13702-KIT ) which replaces the standard needlebearings with some nice upgraded ones. Per Comp Cams's description:
"... rocker arm retro-fit trunion kit that replaces the cageless, loose OEM needle bearings and powdered metal trunion with a premium 8620 steel alloy trunion and caged roller bearings for added durability. The new design from COMP Cams® utilizes caged roller bearings that greatly reduce the possibility of the bearing failure experienced with stock LS1 needle bearings, which can send loose needles throughout the engine upon failure."

While a lot of people would say this may not be a common failure (or at least not until you start getting into serious HP) a lot of people are doing the upgrade just for peace-of-mind. Also the people who have done the upgrade say it also quiets down the valve-train noise a decent amount. This instantly got me curious since I'd still like to quiet my engine down some more (exhaust is SUPER quiet ever since the mid-muffler install, now it's just the engine noises that are loud ).

I contacted Brian of Reckart Performance Tuning who seemed to be the go-to guy for this upgrade. What's really nice is that he doesn't just sell you the bare kit like most other vendors - he also offers to install the kit in either new or core-exchange rockers, so that you don't have to have any downtime (or you can even send your rockers in and he'll install the trunion upgrade for you and ship them back ASAP).

I recently received the rockers and I must say they look & feel super solid yet rotate very smoothly. I've heard people compare the stock rockers to feel/sounding like loose marbles in your hand when you shake them, but these things are solid!Now I just need to have them installed so I can give a full comparion to the 'before' vs 'after' sound.

So if you're interested in this upgrade, contact Brian over at Reckart Performance Tuning or find him on the GRRRR8 Forum as 'Brian@RPT'

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Fuel Mileage

It's been a bit of a boring few weeks - no new developments, no new mods - just commuting to work and that's it. A while ago I found myself getting gas at a different location (& different brand) than I normally do; I usually fill up with 76 Premium (which is only 92 Octane here + of course the lovely 10% ethanol...) at various gas stations, but instead I filled it up with Chevron 92 Premium. Driving around for a week or so on that gas I checked my avg fuel mileage and I'm seeing 13 mpg instead of my usual 11-12.. now that's not much to write home about, but I still found it interesting.

Then I've recently found there is 1 particular '76' location where with the gas from that station I swear my car runs/idles smoother and I saw even a 13.5 mpg average - I've repeated this experiment 3 times now and between the two different 76 stations I frequently visit, this one consistently gives me a smoother running engine (at least that's what It sounds like to me) & better mileage. Obviously this measuring is not a fully scientific method and there willl be tons of people saying : Premium 92 at one place is the same as Another or All brands are the same etc etc, but I tend to drive similar/the same enough on my commute and based on how I hear the engine run and the dash-display I have to believe there's something to this. So it looks like I've found a new place to get gas ;)

Also just for fun - one day I happened to get gas and did only in-town driving. Lots of errand-y stuff and it totaled out to be about 13 miles all together. The gas-mileage for that little jaunt was a whopping 5.3MPG!
No wonder that while I can hit 22-25mpg on the freeway, as soon as I get into town it just starts to plummet down towards the low teens!

So today's word of advice: If you're concerned about fuel-economy... don't build a stroker ;)