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Blue Bullet Blog-The C6 Ownership Experience

Thanks Hib. Hope you are doing well. Enjoy your new “Big Z” too.

The "Bad Assed Bee", our ZR1, sits out in the carport under a cover. Last year, we drove it almost 15,000 miles. For this year, we had been saving that car for long runs with our Club or to other Corvette events but with so many of that sort of thing being cancelled, it continues to "rest". Our next long trip, the "Vettenet Southwest Tour" won't be until this August and that will take us over to New Mexico. Eventually, I have to do some work on it. I have different front and rear stabilizer bar mounts which Jim Mero recommended to take some of the limit understeer out of the car and I have a set of braided-stainless-steel covered Teflon brake hoses for it I bought from Zip Products. I hate the brake pedal feel. I've bled the brakes until I'm blue-in-the-face so I'm hoping they will firm it up a bit.
Hib, i'd like to see what Steve @ Ketech has to say now that you proved that air filter setup was on the car when it left there shop?

this i dont think will bankrupt Katech but im sure it will put a dent in there annual sales, i can tell you it stopped me from spending about $4k with them and a few local friends have also changed directions and are no longer wanting to deal with them.

in the performance world we ask around research whos good to use hows there work to find a shop that is reputable before we spend our money, now you being in the corvette world for so long you clearly must have a lot of folks asking you about shops and products so how much did they loose from you not being able to recommend them? not one but 2 engine that left there shop had issues but some how its your fault because your air filter, plugs and tuning. in those pictured i didnt see any lean conditions, overly rich washed down cylinders or even detonation i did see signs of excessive oil consumption, i hope you learned not to use what ever plugs those was oh and that oil filter ever again lol

warranty well even the big guys like GM and ford dont want you changing anything and if something fails right away its your fault but when things get legal they have to prove what ever you done was the cause of what ever failed witch in this case was not any thing you did it was the products they got from Mahle they even admitted it so its clear as day it should have been on there dime and you should have gotten a full refund on the second rebuild cost, again what ever tuning you did was to fix the mess they left you with lets get real IF you f'up both of those engines they WOULD not have installed a 3rd and cut you a check for $10k but they did so...
Hib, It appears your previous thread on the other forum is back up with most but, not all the comments under Katech Street Attack Z06 SN# 97
Yeah, I went back and looked a bit better and all my comments were gone! :ugh
Follows is my response to the second part of Katech's post to the Corvette Forum which is reproduced in post #391 above.

The 1st Engine that Hib tuned excessively and without regard melted the catalyst and damaged the engine. The engine returned to Katech making 152whp less than what it left with (390whp). After Katech flashed the same calibration that it left with, it was within 54whp (490whp). The car had initially left with 544whp. The report below shows calibration and dyno summaries

Dyno Comparison:The calibration that Hib left on the car came back with less power than a stock LS7.Green Line: 1st Engine as it left KatechBlue Line: 1st Engine as it returned to Katech with Hib's CalibrationRed Line: 1st Engine as it returned to Katech with reflashed Katech Calibration from Green Line.


Katech's dyno data is accurate.

I retarded the spark because knock retard was rampant–likely due to oil ingestion. I gave up after retarding as much as 12-degrees but there was still KR.

In "RunFile_007.drf, it's easy to see KR in the jagged power and torque curves at higher engine speeds. Why "RunFile_008.drf exhibits less KR jaggedness, even in-spite a more aggressive spark curve, is a question I cannot answer, but I'll offer an opinion: maybe the engine was on 100-octane unleaded fuel for that run.

For more on why I made changes to spark and fuel, see a Corvette Forum post on 19MAR.

Bottom line: my calibration did not damage the engine. Katech's own report on the failure of the first rebuild illustrates that. Engine part images show no damage due to high combustion temperature because of retarded spark and/or lean air:fuel ratio. In fact, the text of Katech's report states that parts such as pistons, valves and valve seats were in "good used" condition.

“Ring / bore wall interaction may have caused the engine oil consumption but not 1 engine on the planet would have lived through Hib’s tune.”
That 1) I was able to drive a couple thousand miles with a retarded and lean cal, 2) Katech was able to dyno the car and 3) images of parts from the engine don't show damage due to high combustion temperature invalidates that "engineer's" statement.

Hib pulled as high as 12deg of timing at high loads. This has SEVERE risks of high EGT’s and damaged components.
In posting to the Corvette Forum on 20MAR, Katech may believed that, but there is no evidence to support its claim of "high EGTs and damaged components". None of the images of engine parts from the failed first rebuild show damage due to high combustion temperature. Katech failed to back up its statement about "high EGTs" with exhaust gas temperature data which, if it existed, would support that position. It is my opinion that post's author resorted to sensational rhetoric even though he/she knew there was no data to support the statement.

Over the last nine months, I've spoken and emailed with a former Katech employee who left the company in the Fall 2018. He was the engineer who oversaw both the first and second rebuilds of my LS7. He told me that both he and his supervisor, who, also left Katech, believed that my calibration work did not cause the failure.

This source, also, stated that, after the report on the failure of the first rebuild was completed and submitted to management, it was edited by Katech staff at department manager and executive levels to portray my calibration work as the cause of the failure rather a ring or bore finish problem.

MAF Sensor Calibration Curve Differences:

The graph with the hole in the MAF curve is after Hib was done with his tuning. The graph that has no hole present is our calibration. Hib admitted that this is sloppy cal work.
Originally posted by Hib Halverson:
Ok. I admit, that's sloppy cal work but, at that point it was a "work-in-progress".
A tactic some use when attempting to discredit another is to take out of context statements the person he/she is attempting to discredit has made. In my opinion, that's what Katech did above. I made the "sloppy cal work" statement in my 19MAR CF post when I explained my changes to the MAF table. Whomever wrote the Katech post of 20MAR took part of that explanation out of context.

Lastly, there are these gems...

There was a lot of wasted time that we paid dearly for, between four and eight times what it costed Hib.
That's ridiculous.

Yes, after the second rebuild, the amount Katech spent on diagnosing the top ring's coating failure was greater than what I paid for the second rebuild, but it's a diagnosis that Katech had to make after two of their engine rebuilds failed with the same characteristics and symptoms.

Ironically, had Katech validated the durability of the Mahle plasma-coated top ring in an LS7 engine before putting it in customer engines, they'd have spent that much money, anyway, because, wait for it...had they built an LS7 for validation, it would have failed in the same way my two engines did. Then, Katech would have had no choice...it would have to find out why.

Ironically, the $10,000.00 Katech held out of the refund I should have received actually lessened the cost diagnosing the failure. Katech should stop complaining. In my opinion, I helped them pay for their screw-up.

Now he’s not stopping, voided our warranty, took our money, and runs our reputation through the mud
That is preposterous.

I didn't run Katech's "...reputation though the mud."

In my opinion, Katech created its own "mud pit" by: 1) failing to validate the durability their Street Attack LS7 after the change in ring package, 2) after a customer experienced multiple failures of rings and bores, blaming that on the customer and finally, 3) trolling the customer on the Corvette Forum after Katech's actions were made public.

He takes our generosity and slams us for it. He changes things without our prior knowledge and expects us to figure out what he did, what kind of impact it had, and how we should fix it all on our dime.
Katech misrepresents my "changing things". On 8JAN2018, in an email to Jason Harding, former Katech Director of Aftermarket Operations, I stated that I was going to change the calibration myself because: 1) after three emailed calibrations did not improve the car's poor drivability, Jason's boss decided Katech would no longer support their product with additional calibrations via online delivery and told me that in an email and 2) as the car was registered in California, with its Katech-calibrated, 900-RPM desired idle, it would not pass that State's emissions test. That email proves that, in fact, Katech knew I was changing calibrations and disproves Katech's statement that I did so without its prior knowledge.

We’ve got other things to do and good honest customers to serve.
The implication is that I was dishonest dealing with Katech. That is a distortion of fact. Katech is just trashing a customer who had legitimate complaints.

All the people who work in the engine shop and the car shop at Katech assembling engines and building cars are not to blame for this unpleasant situation with my engine needing to be rebuilt three times.

In my opinion, the people who bear the responsibility for Katech's deficiency in product validation, customer relations and ethics are those who managed the company's aftermarket departments and those at the executive level who set policy for those department managers.
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