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TOPIC: 2004 Chevy Astro van 4.3L V6 TB Grooved by Mail

2004 Chevy Astro van 4.3L V6 TB Grooved by Mail 17 Nov 2016 23:17 #1

  • TracyG
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Here is another Groove By Mail Groove job. I did this for a nice guy named Victor, in Anchorage Alaska.

I had to think of just which category to put this one in- as it could go in the GM, Get Grooved by Mail, or even the Personal License Kit Program categories. This is the fifth Groove I've cut using the new Super Bit, the first on a TB for a customer. The Large Super bit was actually easier to use than the old type, as it cut faster, yet ran cooler. This new bit is the same as are included in the new PL Kits.

First, about cutting this Groove. I held the Dremel 4000 at #15 on the speed knob. After each downward cut bottomed, I turned off the Dremel, and submerged the bit in used power steering oil to cool it. I've noticed that the new bits don't seem to get so hot, the oil is an "insurance policy" to protect the cutter. The speed is lower than I've used w/ the old HSS bits, yet it cuts faster. There was only very slight bit chatter, easily controlled. These new Carbide bits are pretty severe-looking with really wide flutes. But- boy, do they work! ;) They have an identical side profile as Ron's previous ones. Aluminum did not build up in the flute gaps, at ALL!

Mounted the TB in my Panavice as always, re-positioning as I went to keep the cutting zone close to level. I use both hands to hold the flex shaft. The Groove came out OK, but the radius curve in the TB bore wall right under the plate necessitated a slight angle change after first placing the bit against the plate. This caused moderate scalloping and slight "steps" in the flat area in the Groove. Groove holds reasonably tight to the bit, tested after cutting. TB's with a straight bore wall, should result in smoother Grooves. Moving the bit slightly to the left to clean up scallop ridges was noticeably faster and easier than the old bits, and seemed to cause less "wallowing out" of the Groove.

My current opinion of these new bits is: These bits, if used right--will do a beautiful job. Four rules emerge:
1. Use Meduim-low Speeds!
2. after each cut bottoms against shaft taper, turn Dremel off, submerge bit in oil to cool.
3. Mount TB in a vice, and both hands to hold flex shaft steady, it's MUCH easier this way!
4. stay alert for bit chatter, excess vibration can kill Carbide tools.

The TB: This Chevy 4.3L Vortec cable-drive TB required lots of Epoxy work. I choose to fill in the giant rectangle opening on the upper bore wall, the IAC inlet channel. I cleaned up this grungy junkyard TB and pulled the IAC valve. I stuff a clear box tape-wrapped hose into the lower IAC valve bore to keep epoxy out. JB Quick and regular JB Weld won't stick to the slick side of clear box tape. I mix and fill in the big rectangle upper opening, it took 4 or 5 steps of fill to get it slightly over filled. I used the old G-Man trick of box tape as a dam to hold epoxy in place. Epoxy was filed/shaved/sanded smooth to match TB upstream wall contours. Then drilled 2 holes thru to intersect the IAC valve bore. With this involved technique, I act to smooth out airflow along upstream wall. I think this big IAC inlet duct would mess up boundary layer airflow heading right for the Groove, under the plate. The drilled holes give the IAC restriction, yet will allow sufficient air in for fast idle or A/C engine load compensation. I tried to allow enough IAC airflow for a cold climate (Alaska). IF it was going to say, Arizona, I would only have drilled one hole.

There is a thin area of casting wall next to the Groove, that is part of the IAC inlet duct, so I epoxied that spot. Then on the second Groove cut the bit broke thru casting next to the left end of the shaft. I roughed the aluminum exterior w/ a needle file on both exterior ends of the Groove. Covered both spots, filling in the breakthrough. Proceeded to finish Grooving, then checked my work w/ a flashlight. I could see faint light where the bit cut into the backfill of the IAC lower duct. The epoxy was thin there, so I added more JB Quick. One thing I re-learned was, USE Enough Hardener!! :oops:

Blew 'er off w/ compressed air, a final inspection, re-installed the cleaned IAC valve, boxed 'er up, and mailed 'er out to Victor in Alaska!! With the 7 page Instruction set, of Course! :) :cheer:

I made this long post on this Groove job, and info on the new Super Bits, as info to help all you Gadgetmen, whether Newbies, old hands, or prospective new PL kit Gadgetmen. I want all you guys to get some tips from my experience, so I go into detail of things. IF you wanna learn, you can see the pics below, and figure what pics go with what I'm yakkin' of here. :)

Please post any Q/A you have! ;)

Tracy G

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Tracy Gallaway
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Last Edit: 27 Nov 2016 04:42 by Gadgetman. Reason: Layout and insert pics
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2004 Chevy Astro van 4.3L V6 TB Grooved by Mail 18 Nov 2016 03:37 #2

  • merculiv
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This is Victor from Alaska.

Great work, and information about your professional work on the TB!

Even though I am not a mechanic I am learning quite a bit from your posts in these forums and by watching the videos on Youtube.

I plan to have the van in the shop either Wednesday morning or Friday morning(next week). I am having new shocks and this new TB installed. Excited!

Will have the cert mechanic here in Alaska get in touch with you, if he has any questions installing and configuring. I'm certain the instructions should be enough. :)

Great work BTW! I will get in touch with you as soon as the piece arrives.

Best Regards
Victor
Last Edit: 18 Nov 2016 04:00 by merculiv.
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2004 Chevy Astro van 4.3L V6 TB Grooved by Mail 18 Nov 2016 12:05 #3

  • TracyG
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Hello Victor, I'm glad to see you in here! :cheer:

When your Groovy throttle body arrives, please read the instructions I sent, and give me a call or email with your questions. Just to re-cap, here is what we are doing- The Groove mod increases intake manifold vacuum during the Intake stroke. This is to increase fuel vaporization, therefore combustion efficiency.

Added mods talked about in your instructions, will boost this effect. The PCV re-route mod is simply capping the PCV valve intake man. vacuum port, then tee'ing the PCV hose to the crankcase fresh air inlet hose. Increasing the spark plug gap gives a stronger spark.

RVS treatment of the engine, transmission, and differential(s) reduces parasitic friction.

The Gadgetman Groove and extra mods are all proven in years and hundreds of applications.

Finally, it's how you drive that determines fuel efficiency.

Victor, I'm very glad you joined in here, Welcome to our forum! :cheer: :woohoo:

Tracy G
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2004 Chevy Astro van 4.3L V6 TB Grooved by Mail 18 Nov 2016 22:33 #4

  • Jreyes
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Hello Tracy G.

PL kit just arrived today, looking forward to seeing grate results out of the best way, for the first time applying the groove on my vehicle.

First of all thanking Ron H. for this discovery and being able for others the opertunaty to perform the groove. I'll be applying it tomorrow since I need to review GG' training program.

Thankyou Tracy for a detailed summary of expertise advice on this topic. Your right on target on this one, I'll be applying it to the same TB as my vehicle GM 4.3L cable driven. Well, I might need to return back to the store for more epoxy if nesesary :)

Thanks
Juan
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2004 Chevy Astro van 4.3L V6 TB Grooved by Mail 19 Nov 2016 17:40 #5

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Hi Juan, glad you got your Pl Kit! Wow what a co-incidence that yours is same as this one. I hope I gave enough photo detail on the epoxy work. The epoxy for the Idle Air control channel isn't absolutely necessary. It's an advanced technique. But the epoxy in the other spots, esp. that thin bore wall area in the lower IAC channel, is a must. The metal must be clean, and I used my needle file to scratch cross-hatch into the aluminum to improve the epoxy bonding.

IF you have not yet Grooved your TB when you read this- it might be a good idea, when you do Groove it, keep the bit flat face against the plate, and don't worry about the radius in the bore wall right under the plate. Some scarring of the plate is normal, doesn't hurt anything. Use the plate as a backstop, don't push into it, use enough downwards pressure of the bit into the aluminum to cut smoothly.

We'll be here to help. ;)

Tracy G
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2004 Chevy Astro van 4.3L V6 TB Grooved by Mail 23 Nov 2016 13:53 #6

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Follow the instruction package carefully, especially the part about letting the engine come fully up to temperature on first start before restart or moving it. Things have changed significantly for the sensors with the Groove applied - letting the computer compensate on its own as it learns the new dynamics makes the probabilities of engine/computer codes lower and mileage gains higher. Make sure your tech is fully aware of this, Victor; it's important. if my own groove experience is any indicator, these "60degreev6" engines take quite well to the groove when proper and deliberate care is applied to this part of the process; once you've witnessed it yourself, then you can get into RVS treatments, upgapping spark plugs, low-resistance wires etc to take your Groovy van up to the next new level of efficiency.

If memory serves, Alaska doesn't put ethanol in its gasoline...I'm envious!
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2004 Chevy Astro van 4.3L V6 TB Grooved by Mail 23 Nov 2016 23:36 #7

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hi Victor, by now you should have your Groovy throttle body. I called your mechanic yesterday, and described the install process. I also described up=gapping the spark plugs, and the PCV re-route, and he seemed to understand all of it. Do bring the instructions along when you go see him.

And- as Heysoundude says, the computer relearn is important to follow. When all is ready, the van should be started from cold engine and allowed to fully warm up. Avoid the accelerator pedal during the warm up, and subsequent re-starts. Then do the re-learn drive. It's useful, to take a sniff of the exhaust pipe w/ hot engine before, then after the Grooved TB is installed and re-learn is complete.

Change to a cleaner exhaust smell, and increased off-idle power are sure signs of success.

I just saw your texts, that's good on the new upstream O2's. My phone doesn't text, Sorry!

We'll be awaiting your reporting of your results! ;)

Tracy G
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2004 Chevy Astro van 4.3L V6 TB Grooved by Mail 23 Nov 2016 23:53 #8

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Sure will follow the instructions.

Will be purchasing new 02 upstream sensors for the van since this is whats recommended.

Got new spark plugs, plug wire set, TB gasket and shocks going on in two days.

Will be the first to test drive it this Friday night or Saturday morning, which ever comes first.

I will give a forum update as to the MPG I get and also a performance and power test comparison.

Patient guy here in Alaska! I will be one of the first to have a grooved engine up north! :)
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2004 Chevy Astro van 4.3L V6 TB Grooved by Mail 24 Nov 2016 10:47 #9

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I'm not sure replacing them at this point is the greatest idea: on one hand, they'll send hyper-accurate info to the computer during the re-learn, but for the next while, as your engine self-cleans the carbon out, some of it will doubtless damage those new sensors. If the current ones have never been replaced, I'm sure it's time (they're probably way overdue - 60k miles is about their lifespan) and doing it now will help make a big jump in fuel economy be realized right from the start. One way or the other this works out...no worries there. just a matter of when - sooner or later?
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2004 Chevy Astro van 4.3L V6 TB Grooved by Mail 26 Nov 2016 23:46 #10

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Just to share the prosses I took on performing the groove on my vehicle, much the same procedures as Tracy's expertise advise towards a GM cable-driven 4.3L TB.

I Started first by modifing the IAC air duct

With a piece of 1/4 inch stainless steel tubing I had laying around finding it with a 90 degree curved angle. Decided to use it for this mod, also trimed at desired mesurement. Hammerd down each side of the curved angle tube for a proper fit at the air inlet duct.

Grinded the upsteam inlet wall and the stainless steel tube with the stone bit before applying the JB quick.
One the epoxy was filed had to trim the excess tube that was sticking out. There's the tricky part, when cutting at a desired angle. Swich to a grinding wheel to shape/ grind /smooth out/ for a clean and better finish.

Got finished with the IAC mod went ahead and began applying the groove. At first, was nerve-wracking when I started, tend to go off like a bouncy rabit. Grabbed the dremel more firmly and by taking the time to go steady at it gave me great results. Threw the process was useing trans oil to keep the bit lubricated. Also applying epoxy as needed like Tracy explication to this topic.

For a finish look, removed, with TB cleaner all the carbon buildup from the throttle. Including the use of aluminum polish for a better shine done with a polish buffing kit.

Jr

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2004 Chevy Astro van 4.3L V6 TB Grooved by Mail 27 Nov 2016 00:41 #11

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Juan, my Hat is OFf to you! Your very first Gadgetman Groove, just look at THIS work, folks!! :woohoo: :P ;) :cheer:

Wow- well you did your homework with the PL Kit Training DVD and info, all right! You not only displayed Outstanding craftsmanship and careful attention to details here...

You also, to me anyway- just validated the whole concept of the Gadgetman Personal License kit.

thank you for being an excellent study, and for awesome pictures of your work. If Ron was ever going to have like a TV ad for the Pl Kit, well this Grove job would be the pics and example to use!!

Juan, please tell us more, what the results are like so far. Any comments on other parts of the process, any questions?.. We're all eyes here, Trust me!!

Juan just proved that the Pl Kit, can give results like this!

Yabba-dabba do!! :lol: :woohoo:

Gawsh, Juan, do some More Grooves, buddy!

Tracy G
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2004 Chevy Astro van 4.3L V6 TB Grooved by Mail 27 Nov 2016 04:46 #12

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I am truly excited about what you guys have done with this "Groove Thang"!

Tracy, you are Da Man!

And to the rest of you, congratulations on broadening your horizons. This world would be a lot better off if we didn't put so much faith in those with the largest bankrolls-like GM, Ford, Chrysler, Nissan, Toyota, Infinity, Saab etc, etc ad infinitum.

Just wait until you see what the SECOND generation of this technology looks like! You are going to LOVE it!

I am SO ready to get back to being Gadgetman! I miss my family!!!!
To get your Personal License, go to www.PersonalLicense.GadgetmanGroove.com TODAY!
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