Member Tech News

From John La Bella - 12/8/2014

3M Sound Insulation in a C6

I took some sound measurements on my Corvette with an application downloaded from the i-phone.  The rear hatch and behind the seats was covered with the 3 M insulation #08840 obtained from Dave Grant via John Tully. Here are some results. With Jerry C (almost a doctor) using the sound meter i-phone in the passenger seat the following was obtained on Crenshaw Blvd going up the hill to PV:

1 Cruising under low acceleration the meter read 50 to 60db. To get a feel on what that means using the meter in my kitchen with only the refrigerator motor running (no conversation) the meter read 45db. The i phone meter calls this level of noise a "quiet" street.

2 Accelerating up Crenshaw Blvd the meter went up to 70db. The meter calls this level of sound "normal" conversation.

3 If I switched the wild exhaust on the meter read 90 to 100db. The insulation didn't seem to help the in cabin drone at all. The exhaust noise must still enter the car  unimpeded?

4 Next test is to take readings on the freeway. Stay tuned.

Update:

I removed the passenger seat to consider putting insulation on the driver and passenger tunnels and under the seats. Turns out after removing the seat it was observed that there was enough high quality insulation so no additional insulation, to my surprise,  was needed. However the ZO6 model may not have this insulation based on my old 2004 ZO6 experience.

Probably will put some insulation in the door panels in the future especially behind the speakers.

From Chuck H. - 7/14/2014

C7 Stingray Impressions

I and 3 other Vette Set club members rented a torch red standard 2014 Corvette coupe automatic with black interior and transparent top from Avis at LAX.  We each had 3 hours to drive the car, and do whatever.  I drove and my wife rode as passenger.  I am comparing it to my 2007 coupe automatic with a Z-51 package.

It was noticeably lighter in the steering being very quick and responsive to turns of the smaller steering wheel.  It hugs the rode with precision.  The ride in touring mode is noticeably smoother than sport or track.  I liked the louder exhaust note in sport and track.  I was in sport when I punched the throttle easily breaking the rear tires loose. 

The drivers compartment almost gave me a "wrap around" feeling which I liked.  The power adjusting steering wheel is sweet as is the steerable backup camera which is a necessity with the limited vision to the rear.  I didn't get into the electronics a lot, but I think that will be fun to learn.  The radio has better sound than my C-6.  The nav system is improved although I didn't use it much.  The paddle shifts are plus with the fingers on the right, andld 2004 ZO6 experience.

Probably will put some insulation in the door panels in the future especially behind the speakers. minus with the fingers on the left so I hit plus a few times when I meant to downshift because of my habit with the C-6 shifters.  I think it will be a easy habit to change.

The seats are comfortable with the bigger bolsters making a snug fit, and they hold you in place when cornering.  My wife doesn't like the arm rest on the center console being angled back which limits where she can rest her left arm.

The rev matching when changing gears is really nice, but I did notice a couple of times when going downhill with no throttle, and when shifting to a lower gear for engine braking purposes that the rpm boost was a little too much and our speed increased just a second before slowing as you would expect.  Not a big deal.

Would I buy one?  Absolutely!!  But I'm waiting for the 2015.

From John L.. 7/12/2014

C7 Stingray Driving Impressions

Background
          In 1979 I was thinking of buying a new 1979 Cadillac Seville. However being in my early thirties  concerned me that a Cadillac was an "older man's" car and maybe not suitable for my image and performance.  Going for a test drive with the dealer for 5 minutes while the salesman was "bending"  my ear didn't seem to be very desirable. However an exotic car dealer near LAX would rent me a 1979 Seville for $100 bucks for a whole weekend! I drove the car for a whole weekend and without hesitation purchased a new Seville which my wife and I drove for the next 20 years.

Now for the last eight months there has been much "hype" by car magazines on the new C7's. Also when at Win Chevrolet one could not help but walk around, sit in and look over the  C7. The 1979 Cadillac experience came to mind. Both Avis and Hertz would rent a C7 for about $250 per day with 100 free miles and 75 cents for each additional mile. It seemed to me and my trusty partner Tonto, err Jerry C., that if four Vette Set members got together and split the cost we could evaluate the C7 for less that $100 bucks a piece! Sounds like fun and it was! Next we had to find two other club members who might be interested in evaluating a C7. Frank B. had been talking up the C7 for some time and since the nubs on his 2012 C6 were almost worn out we considered him a likely candidate for our evaluation team and a future purchase. The fourth member of our team was Chuck H. who was extremely enthusiastic about the C7 and had just about worn out his C6 paddle shifters from intense use! This made him a excellent member of the team since a C7 was extremely likely in his future.

With our team assembled and extremely excited ( Jerry C. could hardly control himself.) we picked up a torch red C7 coupe on July 8th at 9 AM. Each of us would get to drive the C7 for 3 solid hours as well as going over it with a "fine tooth" comb. When I drove Jerry was the passenger. When Jerry drove I was in the passenger seat. This resulted in good feedback during our 6 hour trek. The following is my summary of my experience driving the C7.  For the record I own a 2008 C6 with beefed up suspension ( Z51 sway bars and shocks) and automatic transmission. My comments concerning the C7 are relative to my 2008 C6.

C7 Evaluation

      First I am not going to discuss the exterior styling  of the C7. As they say beauty is in the eye of the beholder. It certainly is more "flashy" than the current C6 and you will just have to decide for yourself how it stimulates your senses. Driving down the road it will certainly cause more head turning than the current C6. If that was one of Chevrolet's goals then they have succeeded in that category.

To evaluate the driving experience we (Jerry and I) drove from Palos Verdes Drive South along the ocean pass the Trump golf course to Palos Verdes Drive East followed  by a left turn to Palos Verdes Drive North to Crenshaw Blvd. This drive is excellent because the roads have many turns, bumps, and  straight aways necessary to evaluate the cars handling performance. The total length of this trek is about 10 to 12 miles. It should be noted that after we finished driving the C7 three times on this "course" we immediately hopped in our C6's and drove the same course for comparison.

The C7 has a mode selector that lets you select the suspension, exhaust note, and shift points. For this evaluation I remained in the "sport" mode which is somewhere between the "track"(most aggressive) and "touring"(as close to a Lexus as you can get) modes. The first impression one gets when driving the C7 in the sport mode is that the car is significantly more "nimble" than the C6. That is when flinging the car through turns, such as those on PV Drive east, where the posted speed is 15 mph, the steering is more "quick" and requires less effort. This translates to giving the car a smaller feel since the steering effort is less. Somebody has done their homework here and the result  is extremely positive!

Another interesting by product of the exterior design is that when driving the car the width of the hood looking out the driver's windshield seems more narrow compared to the C6. That is it appears you are driving a narrower car than the C6. If one looks a the specifications the C7 is 1.3 inches wider than the C6. However the "edgy" design of the top of the hood gives the opposite impression. Between the nimble steering and the "smaller" car feel the C7 is definitely fun to  drive !

The C7 interior deserves some discussion. The standard seats are firmer and provide more lateral support than the C6. They hold one in place when cornering. However I still would definitely need to consider the sport seats when they become available. The dash layout is more of a dealer's choice. It has more displays and is formatted in a totally different manner than the C6. Some displays are selectable. It is a real light show! We did not play around with this since we were more concerned on how the car drove rather than all the new gadget features. We will leave the displays to the reader for evaluation.

Of concern by many is the outward visibility from the cockpit. The C7 comes with a rear view camera standard. You will need it! The rear window is less of a "wrap around" window than in the C6. The rear hatch pillars block vision that make the back up camera a must and require you adjust the side mirrors precisely to maximize the rear view.

BOTTOM LINE

The C7 handling performance is definitely a plus over the current C6. The 5 or 6 performance settings  add to that experience. The exterior styling and interior cabin layout are somewhat subjective. I'll leave that evaluation up to you. Would I buy a C7?  If I owned a C4 or C5 in a heartbeat. Am I going to
trade my C6 for a C7? Not soon.  However that's what I said when I sold my C5 for my C6!

From George - 6-10-2014

My 1992 Corvette Coupe sudden engine power loss.

 
On three occasions I experienced a sudden and complete loss of engine power. The engine just died while I was driving. It happened once on a surface street and twice on the freeway! Very dangerous indeed! I had the car flatbedded to the dealer and they could not find anything and there were no codes that showed up. They drove it often and got it warmed up and it never shut down on them. I wrote to Vette Magazine requesting their help in solving the problem. Their response was that it could be several things and did not state any of the potential causes. Chevrolet was just as useless in suggesting any possible causes.
 
As a last resort I brought it up during a general meeting "car talk" segment. Many thanks to Paul Jackley and Jimmie Tanimura for explaining what the probable cause was...the engine control module or ECM. They explained that with an ECM that has been in service for a long period of time (I had about 180,000 miles on it at the time) some of the soldered joints can crack and with engine operating temp the cracked connections will open and cause a loss of power and the problem is intermittent which I experienced. The most significant thing they stated that got my attention was that when the loss of engine power occurs the ECM will not give any codes! That explained why the service techs at the dealer could not retrieve a code. Armed with that knowledge I told the dealer to replace the ECM. So far I have not had any more problems. It was a little disconcerting to be on the freeway and go from 70 mph to zero with the driver information center (DIC) fully lit up and a dead engine with traffic behind me!
 
Chevrolet no longer makes these ECM's but rebuilt ones can be bought and there is a core charge. I hope that no one ever experiences that problem