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[Z06] Katech Street Attack Z06 SN# 97

 
Old 03-15-2019, 12:19 AM
  #281  
Dirty Howie
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Originally Posted by Hib Halverson View Post
On Tuesday morning, I did a conference call with both Katech's President, Steve Spurr and Katech's Director of Aftermarket Operations, Jason Harding. The next major step in this adventure is likely going to be for me to ship the car to Katech, againonly this time, they have agreed to pay the freight. Katech agrees that the engine's oil consumption rate is too high.

Next week, I'm headed to B.G. to do an R8C on a C7 ZR-1 and, also, go over to the Plant to do an interview with Plant Manager Kai Spande for a Corvette Magazine article. After that, I'll drive the ZR-1 to California. When I return to work in a couple of weeks, my plan is to borescope a couple cylinders in my Katech Street Attack LS7's cylinders, then get the car ready to ship.

Once Katech's calibrator agrees that changes I have made to the engine's idle calibration do not affect oil consumption, the car goes on a truck headed for Michigan.
Well I'm glad to hear they don't expect you to pay for all of this 3 (THREE) times !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


DH
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Old 03-15-2019, 01:06 AM
  #282  
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Originally Posted by Dirty Howie View Post
Well I'm glad to hear they don't expect you to pay for all of this 3 (THREE) times !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


DH
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Old 03-15-2019, 10:29 AM
  #283  
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Wait... you futzed with the tune again on the 2nd motor? Why would you give them any kind of "out" after your first experience?

Enjoy the new ZR1!
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Old 03-15-2019, 11:23 AM
  #284  
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Hib, while you're at the B.G. plant see if you can get some pictures of the C8 for us.
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Old 03-15-2019, 11:35 AM
  #285  
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Hmmm......trying out a new ZR1 on a long road test back to California..... could there be a chance that it will soon grace your shop along with the other cars you have Hib? Just wondering.

Good news on Katech shipping the car back for further work. Will they supply wing nuts on the motor mounts this time? Just for ease of taking engine in and out and in and out.... geez..... sorry you are having to go through this....... mojo they get it right this time..... third times a charm right?

Last edited by Huskerman; 03-15-2019 at 11:41 AM.
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Old 03-15-2019, 12:19 PM
  #286  
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Originally Posted by Tool Hoarder View Post
Wait... you futzed with the tune again on the 2nd motor? Why would you give them any kind of "out" after your first experience?

Enjoy the new ZR1!
My thoughts too...
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Old 03-16-2019, 04:19 PM
  #287  
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Originally Posted by moose.b3 View Post
Hib, while you're at the B.G. plant see if you can get some pictures of the C8 for us.
Ah....they've already told me I won't be going on the plant floor. I'll get as far as Spande's office.
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Old 03-16-2019, 06:16 PM
  #288  
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Just tell them you have to use the restroom and then wander around a bit like you are lost........ Brilliant!.......

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Old 03-16-2019, 07:18 PM
  #289  
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Originally Posted by Huskerman View Post
Just tell them you have to use the restroom and then wander around a bit like you are lost........ Brilliant!.......
Sheesh. Why didn't I think about that before? Heck, once I get that far, I'll just use the Plant's Wi-Fi and live stream the C8 line.
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Old 03-17-2019, 06:10 PM
  #290  
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Originally Posted by Tool Hoarder View Post
Wait... you futzed with the tune again on the 2nd motor? Why would you give them any kind of "out" after your first experience?

Enjoy the new ZR1!
"Tool Hoarder", that's a great question. The answer is a bit long.

When the engine in my ZO6 was given the Street Attack LS7 treatment by Katech, early-on there was, in my opinion, evidence that it was consuming too much oil. I even have video of oil smoke spewing from the exhaust during on-road acceleration test runs from 1500-7000-rpm in third gear. That footage was shot in early January of 2018 before I made any changes to fuel or spark during high-load/high-rpm operation. I made this clear to Katech when I noticed the oil smoke–I even sent a copy of the footage to Jason Harding on 15JAN2018–and told Katech about that again some months later when it and I began discussing a rebuild. In fact, in the summer of 2018, I asked them to split the cost of rebuilding the engine, but it demurred with the explanation that the changes in WOT fuel and spark calibration which I made later (after it was already obvious the engine was consuming too much oil) was the sole cause of the engine failure. Further, Katech's position was that since I had changed calibration, its warranty was void because it specifies warranty coverage requires no user cal changes.

The problem with the Katech calibration that was in the ECM when picked-up the car in December of 2017 was that idle quality and part-throttle/low RPM drivability were poor. The idle speed was way high...so high the engine, with a 875-925-rpm idle speed, would not pass the Califronia state emissions test. When the idle is above 900-rpm you flunk, instantly. In addition, to the idle speed issue, the idle was not stable and was surging. Finally, low-speed drivability was poor–to the point of intermittent stalling at tip in when trying to start the car rolling our of an intersection after waiting to say...turn left. This happened a number of times in the drive from Katech back to California in Dec. 2017. There was no way I was going to live with that. In January of 2018, Katech did email me two additional calibrations, but neither solved the drivability problems. At that point, Steve Spurr, Katech's President, emailed me and said they were no longer able to support me with additional calibration files via email. I was in a tough spot as Katech wasn't going to help me with any more cals, but if I started calibrating with my own stuff, I'd void the warranty.

One of the reasons I selected Katech's "Torquer 116" camshaft for my Street Attack LS7 build was I believed that cam in an engine with stock exhaust manifolds and cats would pass the California emissions test, aka the "Smog Check" which is required every two years. As it turned out, the car had to pass the CA Smog Check in the Spring of 2018 and, once I recalibrated the engine's idle such that it would idle at 750 with reasonable stability, it passed easily. I won't have to test again until 2020.

After that, in the late Spring of '18, was where I f**ked-up and began changing WOT fuel and spark. I leaned the WOT fuel too much and fried the cats. Katech, also, felt that because of the lean air/fuel ratio, the cylinder walls wore out. Finally, the engine was exhibiting a ton of knock retard which I thought was due to too much advance and the 91-oct gas we have here in the West, but the KR was actually caused by a combination if the lean AFR and the oil ingestion that was occurring in the last few months before I shipped the car to Katech for the first rebuild. The problem with oil vapor is it is really low octane and when there is a lot of it in the intake charge and the air/fuel is lean, the engine will knocks big-time and then, of course, the EST function retards the spark which you see on your logs or on a scanner as "knock retard".

My position was that Katech was culpable for the high oil consumption the engine exhibited early-on and I was responsible for additional damage to the engine in the period just before Katech and I decided the car needed to be shipped back to them for repair. That's why I suggested a split in the cost of the rebuild but, unfortunately, Katech was unable to agree to that.

Ok, fast forward to the situation after the rebuild...


By the time I had 3000 miles on the engine since the rebuild, it was obvious to me, via careful checking of oil levels using the required "LS7 procedure" (run engine until oil temp is at lest 150F, shut the engine off, wait exactly five-minutes then check the oil) starting as soon as I left Katech with the rebuilt engine that the engine's oil consumption was, once again, in my opinion, too high. Katech asked me to observe the oil use checking procedure GM dealers use when dealing with a customer complaint of high oil consumption. One facet of that procedure is there must be at least 4000 miles on a "new" engine before a dealer can conduct an oil use test. Katech and I agreed that I'd continue to monitor oil use until the 5000 mile mark. Actually, I went to over 5000 miles. Oil use worsened after the first 3000 miles and continued to gradually increase until I ended the test at 5358-miles after the rebuild. I should add that in my opinion, for the near $20,000.00 one pays for a Katech engine which is broken in on an engine dyno, from "day one", its oil use in a normal street duty cycle should stabilize at a reasonable rate and do so sooner than 4000 miles.

In reality, since it was rebuilt, in 5358 miles, my Street Attack LS7 has used 7.4995-qts for an average of 714 miles per quart. In the last 764 miles of this test, it used 2 ⅛-qts or 359.5 miles per qt.

When I picked up the car after the rebuild at Katech at the end of October 2018, I promised Katech President, Steve Spurr, that I would not make any changes in calibration for the first 4000 miles. Once the rebuilt engine reached 4000 miles, I began working on idle quality, again. You have to understand that when it comes to tuning, I'm much more into idle and part-throttle drivability that are most DIY "tuners". I started with the calibration Katech put in the ECM after the rebuild, which, I might add, was better idle-wise than was the first Katech cal. The only tables I changed were idle spark advance, tables controlling adaptive spark and adaptive throttle opening, along with re-enabling DFCO. The result was a relatively smooth, 700-rpm idle...not as smooth as a stock LS7, but considering the Torquer 116 cam has a bit more overlap and 5.5 less lobe separation, the idle is pretty nice.

Other than that, I've made no changes to Katech calibration. I did install my wideband O2 sensor and ran some on-road acceleration tests (uphill, third gear, 1500-7000 rpm) which seem to indicate the engine is rich at wide-open throttle but, if that's the way Katech wants it's Street Attack LS7s calibrated, it is what it is. Also, while I've not been able to confirm it so far, I've wondered if my wideband, an Innovate Motorsports LC2 is accurate. I was going to check it against the wideband my chassis dyno service, Westech Performance Group in Mira Loma CA, uses but decided to forgo any chassis dyno testing until I have the oil use issue sorted out.

Back to your original question, "Tool Hoarder"...

While it is true that, technically, I've voided Katech's warranty, again, I'm confident that there is no freakin' way that modestly changing the tables for idle spark and adaptive idle functions would cause oil consumption to skyrocket. I defy anyone who feels otherwise to prove that it will.

I am hopeful that Katech will arrive at the same conclusion.

I've had some PMs from other ZO6ers on this forum about pistons which suggest maybe the type of piston, ie: Mahle forged in combination with the required piston-to-bore clearance is causing the problem. I'm not going to speculate whether that is or is not an issue.

I can only say that GM is using a forged Mahle piston in the 2018 ZR-1's LT5. Over 2000 ZR-1s are on the road at this point. My guess is, of the first 1500 or so, there are enough cars with 4000 or more miles on the engines that if the LT5 had an oil consumption problem because of its pistons in normal street use, we'd have known about it by now. Also, GMs Performance and Racing Center builds 5.5L V8s for Corvette Racing. The cylinder case in the 5.5 is an LS7 block and GM uses a forged piston. At LeMans in 2018, those engines used half a quart of oil in the 3000 race miles run over 24-hours in that race.

My belief is that getting reasonable oil consumption from a Katech Street Attack LS7 is not "rocket science". Lastly, my definition of "reasonable" is half or better of the oil use a stock LS7 exhibits. When it was stock, my LS7 used a quart of oil every 8000-10,000 miles of "normal" driving, so my hope would be that a Katech Street Attack LS7 could exhibit oil consumption of 4000-5000-miles per quart in a "normal driving" duty cycle.


Let me know what you think.

Last edited by Hib Halverson; 03-17-2019 at 06:14 PM.
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Old 03-17-2019, 06:15 PM
  #291  
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Originally Posted by Tool Hoarder View Post
Wait... you futzed with the tune again on the 2nd motor? Why would you give them any kind of "out" after your first experience?

Enjoy the new ZR1!
"Tool Hoarder", that's a great question. The answer is a bit long.

When the engine in my ZO6 was given the Street Attack LS7 treatment by Katech, early-on there was, in my opinion, evidence that it was consuming too much oil. I even have video of oil smoke spewing from the exhaust during on-road acceleration test runs from 1500-7000-rpm in third gear. That footage was shot in early January of 2018 before I made any changes to fuel or spark during high-load/high-rpm operation. I made this clear to Katech when I noticed the oil smoke–I even sent it a copy of the footage to Jason Harding on 15JAN2018–and told Katech about that again some months later when it and I began discussing a rebuild. In fact, in the summer of 2018, I asked them to split the cost of rebuilding the engine, but it demurred with the explanation that the changes in WOT fuel and spark calibration which I made later (after it was already obvious the engine was consuming too much oil) was the sole cause of the engine failure. Further, Katech's position was that since I had changed calibration, its warranty was void because it specifies warranty coverage requires no user cal changes.

The problem with the Katech calibration that was in the ECM when picked-up the car in December of 2017 was that idle quality and part-throttle/low RPM drivability were poor. The idle speed was way high...so high the engine, with a 875-925-rpm idle speed, would not pass the Califronia state emissions test. When the idle is above 900-rpm you flunk, instantly. In addition, to the idle speed issue, the idle was not stable and was surging. Finally, low-speed drivability was poor–to the point of intermittent stalling at tip in when trying to start the car rolling our of an intersection after waiting to say...turn left. This happened a number of times in the drive from Katech back to California in Dec. 2017. There was no way I was going to live with that. In January of 2018, Katech did email me two additional calibrations, but neither solved the drivability problems. At that point, Steve Spurr, Katech's President, emailed me and said they were no longer able to support me with additional calibration files via email. I was in a tough spot as Katech wasn't going to help me with any more cals, but if I started calibrating with my own stuff, I'd void the warranty.

One of the reasons I selected Katech's "Torquer 116" camshaft for my Street Attack LS7 build was I believed that cam in an engine with stock exhaust manifolds and cats would pass the California emissions test, aka the "Smog Check" which is required every two years. As it turned out, the car had to pass the CA Smog Check in the Spring of 2018 and, once I recalibrated the engine's idle such that it would idle at 750 with reasonable stability, it passed easily. I won't have to test again until 2020.

After that, in the late Spring of '18, was where I f**ked-up and began changing WOT fuel and spark. I leaned the WOT fuel too much and fried the cats. Katech, also, felt that because of the lean air/fuel ratio, the cylinder walls wore out. Finally, the engine was exhibiting a ton of knock retard which I thought was due to too much advance and the 91-oct gas we have here in the West, but the KR was actually caused by a combination if the lean AFR and the oil ingestion that was occurring in the last few months before I shipped the car to Katech for the first rebuild. The problem with oil vapor is it is really low octane and when there is a lot of it in the intake charge and the air/fuel is lean, the engine will knocks big-time and then, of course, the EST function retards the spark which you see on your logs or on a scanner as "knock retard".

My position was that Katech was culpable for the high oil consumption the engine exhibited early-on and I was responsible for additional damage to the engine in the period just before Katech and I decided the car needed to be shipped back to them for repair. That's why I suggested a split in the cost of the rebuild but, unfortunately, Katech was unable to agree to that.

Ok, fast forward to the situation after the rebuild...


By the time I had 3000 miles on the engine since the rebuild, it was obvious to me, via careful checking of oil levels using the required "LS7 procedure" (run engine until oil temp is at lest 150F, shut the engine off, wait exactly five-minutes then check the oil) starting as soon as I left Katech with the rebuilt engine that the engine's oil consumption was, once again, in my opinion, too high. Katech asked me to observe the oil use checking procedure GM dealers use when dealing with a customer complaint of high oil consumption. One facet of that procedure is there must be at least 4000 miles on a "new" engine before a dealer can conduct an oil use test. Katech and I agreed that I'd continue to monitor oil use until the 5000 mile mark. Oil use worsened after the first 3000 miles and continued to gradually increase until I ended the test at 5358-miles after the rebuild. I should add that in my opinion, for the near $20,000.00 one pays for a Katech engine which is broken in on an engine dyno, its oil use in a normal street duty cycle should stabilize at a reasonable rate and do so sooner than 4000 miles.

In reality, since it was rebuilt, in 5358 miles, my Street Attack LS7 has used 7.4995-qts for an average of 714 miles per quart. In the last 764 miles of this test, it used 2 ⅛-qts or 359.5 miles per qt.

When I picked up the car after the rebuild at Katech at the end of October 2018, I promised Katech President, Steve Spurr, that I would not make changes in calibration for the first 4000 miles. Once the rebuilt engine reached 4000 miles, I began working on idle quality, again. You have to understand that when it comes to tuning, I'm much more into idle and part-throttle drivability that are most DIY "tuners". I started with the calibration Katech put in the ECM after the rebuild, which, I might add, was better idle-wise than was the first Katech cal. The only tables I changed were idle spark advance, tables controlling adaptive spark and adaptive throttle opening, along with re-enabling DFCO. The result was a relatively smooth, 700-rpm idle...not as smooth as a stock LS7, but considering the Torquer 116 cam has a bit more overlap and 5.5 less lobe separation, the idle is pretty nice.

Other than that, I've made no changes to Katech calibration. I did install my wideband O2 sensor and ran some on-road acceleration tests (uphill, third gear, 1500-7000 rpm) which seem to indicate the engine is rich at wide-open throttle but, if that's the way Katech wants it's Street Attack LS7s calibrated, it is what it is. Also, while I've not been able to confirm it so far, I've wondered if my wideband, an Innovate Motorsports LC2 is accurate. I was going to check it against the wideband my chassis dyno service, Westech Performance Group in Mira Loma CA, uses but decided to forgo any chassis dyno testing until I have the oil use issue sorted out.

Back to your original question, "Tool Hoarder"...

While it is true that, technically, I've voided Katech's warranty, again, I'm confident that there is no freakin' way that modestly changing the tables for idle spark and adaptive idle functions would cause oil consumption to skyrocket. I defy anyone who feels otherwise to prove that it will.

I am hopeful that Katech will arrive at the same conclusion.

I've had some PMs from other ZO6ers on this forum about pistons which suggest maybe the type of piston, ie: Mahle forged in combination with the required piston-to-bore clearance is causing the problem. I'm not going to speculate whether that is or is not an issue.

I can only say that GM is using a forged Mahle piston in the 2018 ZR-1's LT5. Over 2000 ZR-1s are on the road at this point. My guess is, of the first 1500 or so, there are enough cars with 4000 or more miles on the engines that if the LT5 had an oil consumption problem because of its pistons in normal street use, we'd have known about it by now. Also, GMs Performance and Racing Center builds 5.5L V8s for Corvette Racing. The cylinder case in the 5.5 is an LS7 block and GM uses a forged piston. At LeMans in 2018, those engines used half a quart of oil in the 3000 race miles run over 24-hours.

My belief is that getting reasonable oil consumption from a Katech Street Attack LS7 is not "rocket science". Lastly, my definition of "reasonable" is half or better of the oil use a stock LS7 exhibits. When it was stock, my LS7 used a quart of oil every 8000-10,000 miles of "normal" driving, so my hope would be that a Katech Street Attack LS7 could exhibit oil consumption of 4000-5000-miles per quart in a "normal driving" duty cycle.


Let me know what you think.

Last edited by Hib Halverson; 03-17-2019 at 11:06 PM.
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Old 03-18-2019, 08:46 AM
  #292  
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Hib, sad to say, the more I read your in-depth reports the more I'm losing faith in Katech being the end all, be all of the LS world. I honestly feel they're grabbing at straws and looking for ways to dodge their warranty responsibilities. I totally agree with you that your relatively minor changes to their totally FUBARed tune WOULD NOT contribute to oil consumption, especially in light of the fact that your engine was proverbial "2 stroke" before you did anything. It also troubles me that all I hear is crickets when it comes to a response from Jacob. Just saying...
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Old 03-18-2019, 09:16 AM
  #293  
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Originally Posted by Undy View Post
Hib, sad to say, the more I read your in-depth reports the more I'm losing faith in Katech being the end all, be all of the LS world. I honestly feel they're grabbing at straws and looking for ways to dodge their warranty responsibilities. I totally agree with you that your relatively minor changes to their totally FUBARed tune WOULD NOT contribute to oil consumption, especially in light of the fact that your engine was proverbial "2 stroke" before you did anything. It also troubles me that all I hear is crickets when it comes to a response from Jacob. Just saying...
Hey Dave... you still around VB or 100% Florida now?
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Old 03-18-2019, 09:24 AM
  #294  
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Originally Posted by Tool Hoarder View Post
Hey Dave... you still around VB or 100% Florida now?
I'll be back there in May.
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Old 03-18-2019, 09:27 AM
  #295  
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I've been following all this with great sympathy, but what crosses my mind is that if this is how someone so highly regarded in the community is treated, then what could a lowly car owner expect in terms of support and assistance if they were in a similar situation.
You've been very patient and polite in explaining this whole debacle, not dissing Katech...but this is most definitely not good PR for them. It would certainly scare me off if I was contemplating having such work done by them. They could have handled it better
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Old 03-18-2019, 09:31 AM
  #296  
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It'd have been a lot cheaper and quicker to build a 100% new motor and make a happy customer. Clearly there's 3 sides to every story, but there should be no scenario where a car is eating more than a quarter every 3K miles. GM makes a 755 horse LT-5 that doesn't eat oil like that. My C7 uses almost no oil and I track it 4-5X a year. I add 1/2 quart between OCIs.
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Old 03-18-2019, 10:03 AM
  #297  
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Im also curious what piston/ring package theyre going to put in Poor-shas build. He sure knows how to drive and hell wring the motor out...

It will be a good comparison because he has raced every C7 platform without mentioning oil consumption.

jason
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Old 03-18-2019, 03:05 PM
  #298  
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Originally Posted by Undy View Post
Hib, sad to say, the more I read your in-depth reports the more I'm losing faith in Katech being the end all, be all of the LS world. I honestly feel they're grabbing at straws and looking for ways to dodge their warranty responsibilities. I totally agree with you that your relatively minor changes to their totally FUBARed tune WOULD NOT contribute to oil consumption, especially in light of the fact that your engine was proverbial "2 stroke" before you did anything. It also troubles me that all I hear is crickets when it comes to a response from Jacob. Just saying...
I'm not going to go as far to say that Katech's "tunes" were FUBAR but I do feel that the first one needed some improvement with idle and drivability. The second one would likely have been "ok" to some folks, however, the **** type I am about idle and drivability; it wasn't exactly what I wanted.

Katech has said they want to see this problem to an end and my goal is to help them facilitate that.

I think there is something to be learned by all in getting a Street Attack LS7 to perform they way they have in the past but do it with less oil consumption.
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Old 03-18-2019, 03:14 PM
  #299  
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Originally Posted by Quiky One View Post
Im also curious what piston/ring package theyre going to put in Poor-shas build. He sure knows how to drive and hell wring the motor out...

It will be a good comparison because he has raced every C7 platform without mentioning oil consumption.

jason
One common thread I have found in talking with those who mainly track their cars but do not use them for a lot of street driving is that track rats don't give much thought to putting in a quart of oil or so after each track day. If they don't do a lot of street miles they may never see oil consumption in normal driving as an issue. For example, let's say you have a track car that gets maybe 1000 miles on the street in six months. Add a quart of oil in six months of street driving and some are likely not going to notice it.

On the other hand, if you're like me and drive a lot on the street then a quart every 700 or 1000 miles begins to add up.

Now, I don't track my car much, but if I did, my bet is oil use would be quite high. Track engines which use a lot of oil sometimes end up having problems with detonation because oil vapor is low octane. If mine was mainly a track engine, I'd like to see oil consumption of, say...a quart every thousand track miles or so and that's using something like 5W40 or 15W50. Corvette Racing gets 6000 race miles to a quart of oil...probably some special 15W50, Mobil 1.
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Old 03-19-2019, 12:04 AM
  #300  
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I truly feel for you Hib.. I am a tinkerer and I can't often leave well enough alone. I also have a (more modestly) modified car (2008 Z06) I like to think of as a great Road AND Track car for my needs. What I've learned in many phases of my life and my cars is that the jack of all trades is the master of none. It seems a very trackable (normally aspirated, at least?) street car is just not meant to be in Cali...
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