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C7 Throttle Body response, getting to know it

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C7 Throttle Body response, getting to know it

 
Old 01-08-2019, 03:35 PM
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Default C7 Throttle Body response, getting to know it

There is a much debated problem w/ the throttle response of the C7ís, in all models Stingray, Z51 and Z06, manual or auto, the issue has been described in this and other forums, just to mention a few descriptions:

- Throttle Lag

- Delayed response

- Car feeling heavy or not nimble

- Difficulty climbing hills at low/moderate throttle

- Uncertainty when passing other cars or unpredictable response at low/moderate throttle

- Stumble when shifting on manual transmissions

You name it, this has been my issue w/ this car since test driving at the dealership. I've tried a Throttle controller, AFM disabler, ECM Tuning, and arguably the three most talked about ported throttle bodies (PTB) out there. I have also combined some of the above w/ some success but still not enough. One just needs to hop into almost any other comparable car to feel they respond better.

After spending so much time/money, I decided to take it upon myself to find out, I also have all the equipment needed at work (measuring, testing, simulating, machining etc.)

Long story short; it is the throttle body. Between idle (~5 degree throttle) to ~30 deg throttle angle the amount of mass air flow (which is proportional to power) puts our C7 at a weigh to power ratio similar to that of trucks and SUVís, both in terms of absolute value and rate of change. Not to be confused w/ the weight to power ratio that is usually published, which is calculated at WOT, above 35 deg throttle angle our C7ís shine. It is on the part throttle range (idle to 30 deg) that the issue exists.

Iím not going to speculate on the reasons, but I can tell you that our throttle body p/n is used in many GM vehicles and that such throttle response helps w/ fuel economy. That helps to keep parts cost low and meet EPA requirements for the fleet. However, I do not think one size fits all and that a sports car needs to sacrifice performance for economy.

The throttle controller and the tune improve response by making the throttle plate move faster between the 5-30 deg range. Faster, but it still needs to go through a tortuous path for the air flow, and the manifold pressure doesnít recover as fast. It is a transient process, and it is from the intake manifold where the pistons suck the air from. Notice that this is not true throttle response, it is just tricking the ECM into thinking you have pushed the accelerator pedal harder. The actual throttle response is the same, only physical changes to the throttle can make for a true throttle response.

The existing aftermarket ported throttle bodies also helped, they do change the throttle physically, but their effect only starts to take place at about 25 deg in what I thought was the best one of them. Definitely a step in the right direction, but I noticed they were not optimized and that more could be extracted from them, that is a throttle body that can increase the absolute value and rate of change of mass air flow right from idle and up to 35 degrees to achieve the same weight to power ratio (in that range) of similar sports cars that feel nimble and fun to drive at part throttle.

Another long story short, I reversed engineered 10ea C7 OEM throttle bodies, 3ea C7 aftermarket ported throttle bodies, and a benchmark (competing car maker model) OEM throttle body. Optimized/modified the C7 OEM throttle body to meet the benchmark throttle response as well as the goal stated above.

The modified throttle body is made (CNC machined) from a brand new OEM throttle body, flow tested and engine tested. It has been in my C7 since September 2018, works beautifully, no codes, no issues. Driven in different conditions/modes for a few thousand miles now, just waiting for a hard freeze to see how it does on cold weather, it also needs to be tested at high altitude and in different C7 models to make sure it works in all cases, so, still a ďBetaĒ version.

See pics below for more insight into what Iím talking aboutÖand most importantly what do you think? All comments welcome, Iím learning as I go and appreciate your input.







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Old 01-09-2019, 07:50 AM
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Very impressive. Looks like you are on to something. (countersunk)
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Old 01-09-2019, 10:25 AM
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Very impressive work. Thanks for sharing, and best of luck testing. Please keep us updated.
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Old 01-09-2019, 10:28 AM
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Long time lurker. Would love to get my hands on something like this. Great job! Hit the nail on the head. This one ups anything Iíve seen on the market and/or forums... impressive indeed...
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Old 01-09-2019, 12:47 PM
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I'll echo the others. Really impressive work! Welcome to the forum. "subscribed"
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Old 01-09-2019, 07:22 PM
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nice work, im deff suscribed!!
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Old 01-09-2019, 10:02 PM
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Very well done article , thank you for posting.
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Old 01-10-2019, 10:12 AM
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Are you changing the motor, as you show "high resolution" motor?

How can we minimize backlash?

Are you planning to make a better unit, or just working to make yours better?

Great information so far.

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Old 01-10-2019, 05:17 PM
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Thanks everyone. To answer a few questions:

I started trying to improve my own, and also as a hobby. When I saw it worked and the time/money it took to do it, I started to think it might have potential as a business.

About the motor, there are two different p/n of TB for the C7ís, depending on model year. The older p/n motor was not able to control idle RPM for the modification within (about +/- 30 RPM). In any case, and regardless of model year (TB p/n) the motors need to be the latest T/B p/n, fully compatible GM/Delco motors, and a part modified this way needs to have it.

Backlash; the reason I said minimized is b/c one cannot really get rid of it, at least I have not figured out how, but after having played around w/ several OEM TBís from different Mfg lots, one can sort the center cluster gears according to tooth thickness and pitch diameter, at the same time, sort the whole gear train of each TB according to shaft center distances, then simply match and swap them.

Iíve also added below a plot of the minimum measured performance of the modified throttle bodies. The fun factor seems to be on the rate of change (slope/gain of curve) from idle (5 deg) to 25 deg. The plots look very similar (a matter of scaling) but the mass air flow gains tell a different story:

OEM: 1.2 grams/sec-Deg (Baseline)

Best Aftermarket: 1.5 grams/sec-Deg (25% Increase)

Modified/Optimized: 2.3 grams/sec-Deg (92% increase)

BTW, after about 35 deg they all perform the same, I find the WOT HP gain claims from some aftermarket PTBís hard to believe.

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Old 01-12-2019, 12:55 AM
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I'm not an engineer, so please help me understand how your different motor and backlash optimization would flow more air at 20-25% throttle angle than the best PTB on the marketplace.
Have you done other porting or modifications to the flow path that other porters have not?

I hope you really have something here.

Thanks...
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Old 01-12-2019, 07:58 AM
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You know what's even easier? Do not try to drive in 5th or 6th gear at 1300 rpm?

THe only time i have an issue with throttle responsw was trying to ease away from a stop in traffic. If you keep RPM'S above 1700 or so, you never have an issue. (M7)

But it looks like you had fun, so well done... BZ...
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Old 01-12-2019, 07:34 PM
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I've an '18 LT1 M7 I always run in "Touring" mode. I've 4K miles on it; to date I've seen no untoward issues with throttle response. For some perspective, I'm not a beginner at hipo; I've driven everything from assorted twin-turbos, Vortech, Paxton Novi, Kenne-Bell, even an original Boss 429, among others, on the street and the Salt Flats. Our trottles are computer moderated and I have found others who expect a DBW system to "feel" identical to direct, hard-linkage. That isn't going to happen, to varying degrees for varying reasons under different conditions. But, that said, I see absolutely nothing amiss with my stock Stingray. Now, once one start modding the ballpark changes, of course.
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Old 01-13-2019, 10:37 AM
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Finally a real tech thread. Thank you.

I went with the Katech PTB and noticed a difference in throttle response mainly in cruise. Car would react faster with throttle inputs and actually needed less throttle to make changes to speed or maintain it while climbing a hill. I have an A8 and that's the only change that was noticeable. Very interested to see what you come up with.
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Old 01-14-2019, 10:15 AM
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Originally Posted by db2xpert View Post
I'm not an engineer, so please help me understand how your different motor and backlash optimization would flow more air at 20-25% throttle angle than the best PTB on the marketplace.
Have you done other porting or modifications to the flow path that other porters have not?

I hope you really have something here.

Thanks...
db2xpert, you are right, using the latest TB p/n motor or minimizing backlash does not increase flow at all, it just eliminates a tiny bit of dead band in the system, I hardly believe it is noticeable. The same goes for the half-shaft and the countersunk screws, there are claims that it increases airflow/HP at WOT, but I think it's hardly noticeable/measurable. Nevertheless, they are little steps in the right direction, and they should be included IMO.

The airflow gains (from 5 to 35 deg) are due to the new shape that was given to the active contour of the modified throttle body, that is all the red surfaces in the last picture of post #1. I'm not sure I'd call it porting, as porting usually refers to smoothing corners and improving the surface finish of the flow path. This is a new flow path w/ a matching reworked plate.

The aftermarket PTB's were only ported at the top/upstream active profile, where a corner radius was added. In figure 12 of post #1 you can see the extent of the aftermarket porting, it only works from 25 deg and up, nothing happens between idle and 25 deg (plots overlap w/ OEM contour). The same goes for the bottom/downstream active profile, where nothing was modified (plots overlap w/ OEM).

In this design/mod, the gains start from idle (~5 deg) and both top and lower contour were reshaped. I'm hesitant to disclose more detailed (drawings/graphics) info but I'll post some pictures later to give you a better idea.
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Old 01-14-2019, 10:25 AM
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Originally Posted by rrsperry View Post
You know what's even easier? Do not try to drive in 5th or 6th gear at 1300 rpm?

THe only time i have an issue with throttle responsw was trying to ease away from a stop in traffic. If you keep RPM'S above 1700 or so, you never have an issue. (M7)

But it looks like you had fun, so well done... BZ...
Exactly, that is what I used to do on my A8, drive in M mode and keep RPM's at about 2000 or higher. But wanted the same effect in D mode and w/o having to get into performance shift mode.
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Old 01-14-2019, 10:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Avanti View Post
I've an '18 LT1 M7 I always run in "Touring" mode. I've 4K miles on it; to date I've seen no untoward issues with throttle response. For some perspective, I'm not a beginner at hipo; I've driven everything from assorted twin-turbos, Vortech, Paxton Novi, Kenne-Bell, even an original Boss 429, among others, on the street and the Salt Flats. Our trottles are computer moderated and I have found others who expect a DBW system to "feel" identical to direct, hard-linkage. That isn't going to happen, to varying degrees for varying reasons under different conditions. But, that said, I see absolutely nothing amiss with my stock Stingray. Now, once one start modding the ballpark changes, of course.
True, many feel this way and there is nothing wrong w/ that, it is a matter of feel/taste. I don't have that experience w/ high performance cars. I came from a Subaru BRZ, then a VW GTI and now the Stingray and I felt the difference in throttle response since day one. Both the BRZ and the GTI felt smaller, nimbler. But; how come? The C7 has more than double the HP and it is lighter. I thought it was in my head, until I measured/calculated the weight to power ratio at part throttle of the C7, then went into a 375 HP/ 5700 lb SUV and did the same. The weight to power ratios were the comparable and felt comparable (200-300 lb/HP) at part throttle. Then, I knew it was real.
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Old 01-14-2019, 10:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Oh4GTO View Post
Finally a real tech thread. Thank you.

I went with the Katech PTB and noticed a difference in throttle response mainly in cruise. Car would react faster with throttle inputs and actually needed less throttle to make changes to speed or maintain it while climbing a hill. I have an A8 and that's the only change that was noticeable. Very interested to see what you come up with.
Had exactly the same experience w/ aftermarket PTB's and decided to find out how much more modification it can support. So far so good. Still needs more testing though.
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Old 01-14-2019, 11:24 AM
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Wow, this thread is awesome.

I came from a long line of fine, high-revving German automobile (still have it, by the way). The one thing that upon first test drive always bothered me was how sluggish the throttle response was on the C7. Almost like nothing happens at the first 1/2" of pedal travel. Unlike the German with the 6 individual throttle bodies that always seems to jump and pounce straight off the throttle tip-in, the C7 doesn't seem to want to do anything fun until you depress the throttle past 30%. I always just assumed it's the nature of the beast...

Now I know why.

Looks like a ported throttle body is definitely in the books, and here I am thinking that the C7 is good to go to the track bone stock.
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Old 01-15-2019, 11:04 AM
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The car is fantastic on the track. Its daily driving where it is sluggish.
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Old 01-15-2019, 11:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Manta-C7 View Post
db2xpert, you are right, using the latest TB p/n motor or minimizing backlash does not increase flow at all, it just eliminates a tiny bit of dead band in the system, I hardly believe it is noticeable. The same goes for the half-shaft and the countersunk screws, there are claims that it increases airflow/HP at WOT, but I think it's hardly noticeable/measurable. Nevertheless, they are little steps in the right direction, and they should be included IMO.

The airflow gains (from 5 to 35 deg) are due to the new shape that was given to the active contour of the modified throttle body, that is all the red surfaces in the last picture of post #1. I'm not sure I'd call it porting, as porting usually refers to smoothing corners and improving the surface finish of the flow path. This is a new flow path w/ a matching reworked plate.

The aftermarket PTB's were only ported at the top/upstream active profile, where a corner radius was added. In figure 12 of post #1 you can see the extent of the aftermarket porting, it only works from 25 deg and up, nothing happens between idle and 25 deg (plots overlap w/ OEM contour). The same goes for the bottom/downstream active profile, where nothing was modified (plots overlap w/ OEM).

In this design/mod, the gains start from idle (~5 deg) and both top and lower contour were reshaped. I'm hesitant to disclose more detailed (drawings/graphics) info but I'll post some pictures later to give you a better idea.
Thanks, look forward to the additional pics.
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