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About drtidmore

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  • Birthday 12/04/1952

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  1. I would politely disagree. Mobil 1 was introduced in 1974 and I started using it shortly thereafter in all my cars. I did change from Mobil 1 over to Pennzoil once they introduced their full synthetic (based on the lubricant that they developed for the space shuttle main engine turbo pumps). Yes, that first gen of synthetic used a petroleum-based carrier fluid, but ALL the lubricating and viscosity related components were synthetic. I have had no issues with oil leaks that would not have appeared regardless (dried out oil pan gaskets, etc) and I have had the opportunity to pull open a couple of the engines after many miles and have always been amazed at how damned clean and pristine they look inside. The big advantage with synthetics OVER conventional oil is synthetic's lubrication molecules can handle a LOT more heat without their lubrication properties deteriorating and the fact that it does not sludge up an engine. FULL synthetic oils have simply replaced the petroleum-based carrier fluid with a fully synthetic fluid. This does not really change the lubricant's ability to do its job, but it means that NO fossil fuel was needed or used. Yes, synthetic oil is expensive but I can still hear my mechanical engineer dad saying, "oil is cheap, engines aren't" and this applies even with the price of synthetic oils.
  2. Yes, that would be simpler than the headlights. I run my fog lights full time as running lights and have since the car was new. I did upgrade the fogs to LEDs once a suitable LED came to market as I had replaced fog light bulbs so many times of the years that I long ago lost count.
  3. Hopefully it did NOT come across like I was condoning 230 as acceptable, but rather pointing out that GM set the high speed cooling fan cut-in at 230 due to the engine's specs. I am all in on running at cooler temps as I have mine setup with a 170F thermostat and the cooling fans set to kick to high at 180 and not return to low until 170.
  4. The short answer is NO! The software IS in the BCM for twilight sentinel but it is not quite that simple. The mentioned headlight switch with the TW slide is the first needed item and then the wiring from that slide pot into the BCM. Then a bit of custom hardware to enable the popup doors and headlights to operate needs to be added (a few relays) under the BCM control. I did investigate doing this exact mod a number of years ago, but it was one of those things that never made it out of mind, into the Reatta. The Reatta is the ONLY car I have owned since the late 70s that did NOT have Twilight Sentinel so I do miss that little bit of automation. Understand that this is NOT a plug and play mod!
  5. http://www.autozone.com/ignition-tune-up-and-routine-maintenance/ignition-coil/duralast-ignition-coil/367748_576410_17367 http://www.autozone.com/ignition-tune-up-and-routine-maintenance/ignition-control-module/duralast-ignition-control-module/18730_728908_1343 Notice that they even go so far as to state in the description on the ICM that the parts are engineered and manufactured by Wells Electronics. If you have not already replaced the plug wires, now would be a good time to do so along with new iridium plugs.
  6. They private label it under their store brand Duralast. When you open either up, the instructions are pure Wells Electronics.
  7. The specific coil that you purchased is something of an unknown other than RockAuto selling it as proper. The vendor website states "OEM design and Quality" and while that may sound comforting, that could be misleading. The original Magnavox "OEM" design has a checkered history. Most of the aftermarket Magnavox style parts are of the same design as the original and with that all the inherent weaknesses. New in of itself is not necessarily better! FYI, both the coil pack and the associated ignition control module (ICM) underneath should be replaced together as a failure in coil most definitely can damage the ICM . Wells Electronics did a complete re-engineering of the Magnavox style ICM and coil pack and the change is pretty phenomenal. I know that the conventional wisdom is to swap out the Magnavox setup for the later designed Delco setup with the 3 individual coil pack, different ICM and the proper mounting bracket). This is a sound strategy. However it is NOT the only solution. The Wells Electronics version of the Magnavox design (sold thru Autozone) incorporates even more modern electronics than the Delco and as a result starts MUCH quicker (1/3 rev) and under more extreme conditions. Of course you are still stuck with the single, replace it all, coil setup. Again, I am NOT knocking the Delco setup as it was a huge improvement over the original Magnavox and you really can't go wrong with the swap over but the difference that the Wells setup delivered on my Reatta was profound. Starting my Reatta had never been an issue, taking a couple of so revs to fire but now I just basically bump the starter and it is off and running. Again, Wells did a complete redesign of both the coil pack and the ICM so while the single pack design is maintained, the rest of the setup is definitely NOT the OEM Magnavox design.
  8. Pretty much the ENTIRE 440T4! The 440T4 origins are the TM125 3 speed which was GMs 1st transverse FWD transaxle and the engines it was designed for (ie early 80s) were LOW HP, low torque. The 440T4 more or less took the TM125 and grafted on a 4th clutch to provide an overdrive gear. I could write a dissertation on the weak points on the 440T4 when trying to drive more HP and torque thru it. It was NOT a bad design, just one without a lot of reserve strength. Mild supercharging the pre-Series I engine has been fairly successful against the 440T4 but such pushes the stock 440T4 transmission to the very edge of the design. In the pre-Series I SC engine used on the Pontiac GP, GM got away with the stock 440T4 other than beefing up the final drive section and the drive shafts/CV joints. The 4T60E began the effort of ongoing upgrades to the design over the years to keep pace with the ever increasing outputs of the various engines that GM mated to the design. The final 2003+ 4T65E-HD was a fairly robust transmission even against the vastly more powerful LS series V8 and Series III SC 3800. By the time 4T65E production ended , GM had redesigned and beefed up everything about the old 440T4 design, but at the same time, the family heritage was strong and as has been noted, it IS possible, with some effort, to transplant the mechanical heart of the 2003+ 4T65E into a 440T4 housing while maintaining the 440T4 purely hydraulic valve body and so no need to deal with the issue of electronic controls on the 4T60E/65E transmission.
  9. I suspect that the previous owner confused the formal designation of the engine vs the fact that the LN3 (introduced in 88) was a major redesign of the venerable Buick 3.8 liter V6 engine and therefore he may have thought that the pre-LN3 were series 1 and the LN3 was series 2. Regardless, 88-90 used the LN3 engine and that engine did NOT have a "series" designation but is very closely related to the Series 1 so it came to be known as the pre-Series1 engine. The major change that the Series 1 brought was 5 more HP thanks mainly to the tuned air intake plenum. The similarity between the pre-Series 1 and Series 1 is SO close that you can bolt on the Series 1 supercharger with no change to the heads or the engine (the ECM will have to be recalibrated however). Many Series 1 engines developed issues with the new thermoplastic, tuned intake plenum warping over time, so personally I prefer the pre-series 1 engine.
  10. There are a LOT of variables that impact the air vent temp, but it is a good rule of thumb that you are going to get, best case, 25F cooler air OUT of the vents as compared to the air going INTO the evaporator (ie the interior temp). So, if the interior temp is say 100F, you can expect 75F vent temp and if the interior is 75F you will get 50F vent temps typically. You have to set the AC to MAX COOL, interior getting nice and crisp and at highway speeds to get the vent temp to its lowest. About the best you can expect as an end point is in the lower 40s / upper 30s even though the evaporator itself may well be running around 32F. Assuming you are running everything factory, understand that the engine cooling fans, which also cool the A/C condenser run ONLY in half speed until the engine coolant temp is about 230F and that usually means that the evaporator is NOT able to adequately condense the A/C refrigerant so the cooling capacity of the system is degraded until you get some forward velocity so that the airflow over the condenser improves. Several of us have modified our Reatta's engine cooling fan operation to run at high speed full time or to switch to high speed at lower engine temps so as to provide better summer, stop and go A/C performance, not to mention lower transmission temps (the engine itself, per a GM engine designer, is happy as a lark at 230F). Just because you don't think the A/C is cooling adequately in stop and go summer heat does not mean there is an issue with the A/C. Remember that as the interior approaches the set temp, the Reatta A/C system controls the blower AND moderates the vent air temp to maintain the temp. In the very worst of summer I tend to just set the temp to MAX COOL and leave it as I really prefer the A/C to output its coldest air, regardless of the interior temp. The Reatta A/C is a subtle system. It is never in your face with massive amounts of frigid air. I have owned many auto-air systems and the Reatta is one of the most subdued I have encountered. That is not to say that it does a poor job but it is NOT going to produce icicles either.
  11. Sorry, I did not catch that it included a reflective film. Pretty cool that it is self contained and uses GPS to determine speed and direction. Will be watching to see what you think. The price is certainly attractive. I would be open to adding this to my Reatta as I miss the C5's HUD every time I drive the Reatta.
  12. My C5 vette has the factory HUD and I consider it a great safety advancement. I seldom glance down at the gauges as everything I need is right there on the windshield. As for aftermarket HUDs, they leave a LOT to be desired. Part of the GM HUD and all "proper" HUD systems is the area onto which it projects. While you can't see any difference in the windshield area there is an internal coating that reflects the image back such that even in direct sunlight it remains clear and bright. Also the angle between the reflecting surface and the projection plane needs to be proper. I too remember when the SSEi as well as the GP began to offer the HUD and it was clearly not part of the original design of the dash while the Corvette team while designing the C5 planned all along for the HUD and integrated it such that there was no bulge above the dash like on the Pontiacs.
  13. This is what Ronnie and I have been discussing as to ship the sensor without damage. Great idea Dave! Also, here is a couple of shots showing the orientation that I have been describing
  14. The sensor leads are actually quite robust. I don't see ANY need for a screen and besides there simply is NOT sufficient room for such without impeding the flow of the expanding refrigerant. As I mention, I am going to recommend that the sensor be oriented such that the sensor itself is inline rather than broadside to the refrigerant flow (the sensor alignment runs parallel with the external connector so it is easy to orient). This way the sensor leads will take the brunt of the refrigerant stream. I really don't think there would be any problems even oriented broadside to the stream but it is so easy to orient it to be inline that there is no reason to not do so.
  15. Rotating the sensor in the refrigerant stream will not make any real difference in the registered temp but WILL reduce the mechanical load that the refrigerant stream places on the thermistor element itself. The small amount of difference that this thermistor will make could almost considered immaterial especially since it gives us an extra 1-2 degrees of cooling before the BCM will cycle the compressor off. I see no reason to trim the value as we are talking such a small offset and again it is in our favor when trying to optimize the cooling out of the evaporator