Friday, July 1, 2011

Trunions Upgrade Kit Installed

So I finally had some time on my hands to get my Trunion Upgrade Kit from Brian @ Reckart Performance Tuning installed. I decided to make the drive up to Ellis Groo over at Speed Secrets who had rebuilt my stroker since he had tuned it and it also needed a little tweak to the tune.

The trip going the 'long' way turned out to be about 70 miles. I had reset my trip meter when starting and I was pleasantly surprised to see that my total was 21.2 mpg including a bunch of stop & go traffic on the freeway! Not too shabby :)

403 Stroker getting 21.2 mpg? NICE!
I had never been to Ellis's Shop before but seeing how it's a bit of a drive I definitely got a renewed appreciation for him coming to pick up my car & delivering it back to me when he was doing my stroker rebuild! Not a drive I'd like to make frequently because the roads are horrible and let's be honest here.. Seattle Traffic SUCKS Big Time! Next time I think I'll try the east-side approach through Bellevue instead.

The shop had 6 bays and 1 lift, and every spot was full! Good to see business has been steady for Ellis - he definitely knows what he's doing and deserves the business.

The official "Speed Secrets" Shop
Ellis is a busy guy!

We decided to simply pull the nose of the car in enough to work out of the on & off drizzle that was happening at the time. Obviously the engine was hot from the drive so Ellis put a fan on the manifold for a bit to get things in the workable temperature region. Once the actual work began it was as Brian @ RPT had mentioned a fairly simple job (but one I'd still prefer the professionals to do for me ) and didn't take very long.

Coils & Valve Covers Removed

Stock Rockers Removed

New Stock Rockers w/ Trunion Upgrade Installed

After the install Ellis took it for a test drive to make sure everything was running as it should. Then it was on to the tune. Since Day 1 I had an issue where if you tipped in the throttle just a tiny bit, much as someone unfamiliar with the car would do, the RPMs would drop to around 700 or less and sometimes it would stall all together. This was painfully evident at my last oil-change where the tech could NOT get the car going because he kept stalling it and I had to drive it up the rack for him (& off too because he didn't wanna touch it anymore). I had learned to just wait for the car to start rolling before applying the throttle and then to push through that first 2-5% throttle travel so it was second nature for me.

However, I wanted it fixed. That way if I ever had to drop the car off at the dealership, or the wife needs to drive the car, there are no unfortunately accidents with the car stalling when it's supposed to get going. Ellis probably spent more time on the tune than the rocker install as we kept stopping & going through the area while he monitored data on his laptop. He did indeed find that for some reason the throttle was actually closing in that scenario causing the issues. After a few revisions & relearns the car seemed to respond MUCH better and I was totally happy with the tune.

After a quick oil-change (& switching to synthetic) I was ready to head back out by lunch time. The drive back was a total joy and the car practically felt like new again. The engine was DEFINITELY much quieter than before and especially when warmed up, which is what I was hoping for. No matter what speed the car just purred along so I am definitely VERY pleased with this upgrade and would highly recommend it to anyone!

Also if your LS based car needs ANY work and it is at all possible to drive to Snohomish, GO SEE ELLIS!

Speed Secrets (owned & operated by Ellis Groo)
Phone: (425) 922-8944
Address: 1422 Ridge Ave,
Snohomish, WA 98290

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