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Old 11-26-2012, 04:16 PM   #1 (permalink)
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GMPP Upgrade Kit Problems

Hi all - Hoping someone can lend a hand with a problem I'm having as the dealership is stumped.

I have a 2007 GXP that was completely stock when I bought it about 6 months ago. It had all of 4000 miles on it at the time and ran like a top. After purchasing it, I found these forums and discovered the GMPP tune. Of course, unable to resist the temptation, I purchased the kit. Because I had read here of issues related to crimped wires, I purchased the pre-wired / plugged kit from Crate Engine Depot. I had it installed at the dealership (a GM dealership) and everything went fine.

Almost immediately, I noticed that the car was apparently "missing" at higher RPM's, but only when the turbo was heavily engaged. This got progressively worse over a week or so until I determined that, once I hit a combination of ~4000 RPM and ~18 lbs. of turbo, the engine would begin missing. By missing, I mean that it would go completely loose power and shudder. The minute I let the RPM's drop back, it was fine. The check engine light only came on one time in the course of about 2 weeks of this problem and automatically corrected itself after about a mile of "limp mode" driving (no key cycle required).

However, it will rev to high RPM's without any issue so long as the turbo does not kick in. Conversely, I can get the turbo to kick all the way to 23 pounds without issue so long as I keep the RPM's below about 4000 (not easy to do, by the way).

The dealership has now had it for several days and tells me they are at a loss as to the problem. They've replaced the sensor O-rings and pressure tested the turbo and found no problem or resolution. They also claim there are no issues with the coil pack. According to the tech, the car is throwing no diagnostic codes and only has one "misfire" code in it's history. They currently have a snapshot device on it, but it has found no problems, either. GM has them going through troubleshooting, but I'm hoping someone here might have an idea. To my knowledge, there are no other modifications other than the GMPP tune. Prior to the installation of that kit, the car ran just fine, so I have to believe the upgrade either is the problem or is at least related.

I've searched this forum ad nauseum, but haven't found anyone really talking about the same issue (I.E., high rev w/ high pressure misfires). Any help anyone?
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Old 11-27-2012, 03:06 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Update - For anyone paying attention, the service tech informs me that they've replaced the spark plugs and apparently corrected the issue as it's running great now. He tells me the plugs had been swapped at some point with the incorrect type (I don't know what type were in there) and they were fouled with carbon.

However, now that the plugs are good, it's throwing an intermittent code for a clogged cat.

So, my saga continues, albeit to a lesser degree.
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Old 11-27-2012, 03:13 PM   #3 (permalink)
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The original plugs for a 2007 were AC 102's colder plug that were latter replace with the AC 108.
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Old 11-27-2012, 03:21 PM   #4 (permalink)
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The original plugs for a 2007 were AC 102's colder plug that were latter replace with the AC 108.
AC 108...yup, now that you mention it, that's what the tech said they replaced the incorrect ones with. He said that it didn't occur to them to check the plugs sooner as the car only has ~7000 miles on it and plugs don't normally go bad that quickly. These were bad (according to him) as they were the wrong type.

I'm an attorney, not a mechanic, so I'm pretty much putting my faith in him to figure it out.
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Old 11-27-2012, 03:48 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Pull the upgrade off and see if it fixes the problems......
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Old 11-27-2012, 03:52 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Pull the upgrade off and see if it fixes the problems......
They did that and it did seem to fix the problem. Of course, that isn't exactly the end result I'm hoping for... Obviously, I'd rather keep the tune (and resultant performance increase) and figure out what else is going on.

Apparently, there is an 8-year warranty on the catalytic converter that will allow them to swap it out at no charge. Sounds good to me...
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Old 11-27-2012, 04:26 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Pull the upgrade off and see if it fixes the problems......
How would they do that? They'd have to remove the new sensors, cut the splices, replace with the old type sensors (from where?) re-splice them and finally, re-program the ECM. Then reverse everything aftwerward.

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They did that and it did seem to fix the problem. Of course, that isn't exactly the end result I'm hoping for... Obviously, I'd rather keep the tune (and resultant performance increase) and figure out what else is going on..
If they said they did, I don't believe them!

As for the cat issue... A number of folks have had bad cats, but 7000 miles is awfully short (IMO) to see that happen.
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Old 11-27-2012, 04:36 PM   #8 (permalink)
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How would they do that? They'd have to remove the new sensors, cut the splices, replace with the old type sensors (from where?) re-splice them and finally, re-program the ECM. Then reverse everything aftwerward.

If they said they did, I don't believe them!

As for the cat issue... A number of folks have had bad cats, but 7000 miles is awfully short (IMO) to see that happen.
The tech told me that they ordered new sensors from GM and used those to revert to the non-tuned mode. Since I used the CrateEngineDepot kit, the wires were not spliced, and all they had to do was unplug the cables and re-plug the new sensors. Whether they re-flashed the ECM or not, I don't know. Whether they actually swapped the sensors or not, I don't actually know, either, I guess.

As to the cat, if it's bad, so be it. Particularly if it can be replaced under warranty.
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Old 11-27-2012, 05:30 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Yea the ced kit is reversible. The ECM is another story.

The spark plugs ate an interesting mystery. Did they will they show them to you?
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Old 11-27-2012, 07:55 PM   #10 (permalink)
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sodbuster, im heading out of town for a few days so cant be of much help but keep me posted if you need some help.

email me at tom@crateenginedepot.com
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Old 11-28-2012, 09:50 AM   #11 (permalink)
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sodbuster, im heading out of town for a few days so cant be of much help but keep me posted if you need some help.

email me at tom@crateenginedepot.com
Thanks, Tom. Hopefully, I get it back today and everything is good.

BTW - The dealership was impressed with your kit. They said they do the Cobalt upgrade frequently and would spread the word about it to those that may be interested.
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Old 11-28-2012, 03:18 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Update - Got the car back this afternoon and everything is running great. All is right with the world...

The tech gave me the "old" plugs and they are "Autolite Double Platinum APP5263". I don't know what plugs are supposed to look like, but he said these look bad. All four look like this:



I tried taking my own pictures, but it wasn't working.

As to the cat, it only threw a code during the first test drive after they replaced the plugs, so they didn't replace it.

Now my only problem is keeping the tires on the road...
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Old 11-28-2012, 04:07 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by sodbuster95 View Post
The tech told me that they ordered new sensors from GM and used those to revert to the non-tuned mode. Since I used the CrateEngineDepot kit, the wires were not spliced, and all they had to do was unplug the cables and re-plug the new sensors. Whether they re-flashed the ECM or not, I don't know. Whether they actually swapped the sensors or not, I don't actually know, either, I guess.
Ahhh, I see. Then yes, much easier to swap back
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Old 11-28-2012, 09:08 PM   #14 (permalink)
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So the car did not have the original AC Delco 102's but Autolite plugs.
I do not know why people do this since the AC Delco plugs are excellent and do not need to be changed.
Glad the dealer figure it out and TomatoSoup is correct about the CAT been fine.
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Old 12-04-2012, 06:52 PM   #15 (permalink)
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So the car did not have the original AC Delco 102's but Autolite plugs.
I do not know why people do this since the AC Delco plugs are excellent and do not need to be changed.
Glad the dealer figure it out and TomatoSoup is correct about the CAT been fine.
Agree. Nothing wrong with AC delco. But, are the AC's platinum at both tips? Maybe the former owner swapped thinking he'd have plugs that would last a LOOONNNG time and give greater performance. Personally I don't like them since they last a long time, but generally are not as conductive as a standard copper plug, so no real performance improvement, and they are 3x's the price.

Edit: This is from Oreilly's website about the Autolite dbl platinum APP5263, "Platinum is one of the most durable metals used in spark plug tips today. Due to its durability, it virtually eliminates gap erosion and lasts longer than standard plugs. Autolite® Double Platinum Spark Plugs feature: Original OE design. Platinum to platinum firing. 30% more durable. Maintains optimal performance longer. Virtually no gap erosion. Nickel-plated threads and shell. Top fuel efficiency over the life of the plug."

$4.49 ea. but if you read what it says, it never says increased performance, only that you will get peak (stock) performance and fuel efficiency over a longer period before needing replacement. they are supposed to be gapped at .044

They also sell an iridium autolite for $6.99, again only touting long life and premium performance over that time, NOT increased performance. again gap is .044

They also sell an AC Delco iridium plug for $7.99
http://www.oreillyauto.com/site/c/de...3435&ppt=C0334

Edit: interesting, this plugs part number is 41-108, and the gap is .035, that is what is supposed to be stock in my car, so that's an iridium AC Delco plug, wonder why autolite opened there gap? And why would someone replace a more expensive iridium plug with a dbl. platinum?

Oh, and this search was for my '09 GXP
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Last edited by Shadofax; 12-04-2012 at 07:22 PM.
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