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  1. Introduction: Turbocharger Bypass (or blow off) Valves Unless it’s an extreme racing application, gas engines utilizing a turbocharger typically need some way to “blow off” the boost pressure in the event there’s a sudden reduction in power request from the driver. Consider the scenario where an engine that is operating under full boost pressure, the turbocharger is spinning at full speed, and the driver suddenly takes their foot off the accelerator pedal. In order to slow the engine speed down, the throttle blade will close. However, the turbocharger is still spinning at full speed and continuing to compress air. Eventually, the compressed air behind the compressor will build up so much pressure that it will push back through the compressor (this is called compressor surge). Compressor surge can destroy a turbocharger in short order, so to avoid this scenario, automakers incorporate a mechanical valve that diverts the compressed air coming out of the compressor outlet back into the compressor inlet. Old School: Pressure-Mechanical bypass valves Bypass valve found on 1.4L Turbo (RPO: LUJ/LUV) Historical bypass valves were pneumatic-mechanical devices. They would use the pressure supplied to the intake manifold while the engine is under boost to push the bypass valve closed, and keep it closed. If the pressure in the manifold drops because of a throttle closure, the pressure from the compressor would push the bypass valve open to avoid compressor surge. On most modern applications, there’s also a bypass control solenoid that allows the ECU in the vehicle to disable the pressure signal even if there’s positive pressure in the manifold. It might do this because of a boost control system failure to ensure the engine is not allowed to develop any boost. One drawback to the legacy system is its complicated and failure-prone. There’s plumbing from the manifold to the control solenoid, and more plumbing to the bypass valve assembly itself. It’s always possible the bypass valve itself could fail, as well. Modern Era: Electronic bypass valves Bypass valve found on 1.4L Turbo (RPO: LE2) The newer turbocharger designs from General Motors aim to reduce system complexity by utilizing an electronic air bypass valve on the turbocharger. Here, a self-contained electromagnetic-mechanical device attached directly to the turbocharger compressor housing can bypass the air by simply receiving a signal from the ECU. One of the two pins is connected directly to a fused +12v source, and the ECU controls the ground pin. The default position (unpowered) results in the valve staying closed (through spring pressure). In order to open the valve, the ECU supplies the ground signal, which energizes the coil and pulls the plunger against the spring to open the valve. GM 2.0T (RPO: LTG) and 1.4T (RPO: LE2) engines use the electronic bypass The 2.0T LTG engine made its debut in the 2013 Cadillac ATS, and 2013 Chevrolet Malibu, and so far as we know, is the first application to use the electronic bypass valve. Later, in 2015, the overseas Chevrolet Cruze arrived with the 1.4T LE2 engine which also uses the same electronic bypass valve. In 2016, the US and other global markets received the 1.4T LE2 engine in the Chevrolet Cruze and certain models of the Buick Encore. 2016 was also the first model year of the Gen6 Chevrolet Camaro that has the LTG as an option. Virtually every known “next generation” GM turbocharged engine design at the time of writing has, or will have an electronic bypass valve, including: 1.2T RPO: LIH 1.35T RPO: L3T 2.0T RPO: LSY 2.7T RPO: L3B 3.0T RPO: LGY 4.2T RPO: LTA Limitations in the OE electronic bypass valve design The OE bypass valve relies on a relatively weak spring to keep the bypass valve closed when it isn’t energized by the ECU. While it may be adequate for OE boost levels, performance enthusiasts that are looking for higher boost or are using a modified turbocharger may run into issues with the bypass valve leaking. The other limitation related to the return spring is that when there’s a transition from an open bypass event to closed bypass event, again, it relies on this spring’s ability to push the valve closed. GFB (GoFastBits) DV+ bypass valve upgrade kit Several aftermarket companies have approached solving the limitations in the OE electronic bypass valve in various ways, but GFB has taken a unique approach. With the DV+, rather than just beefing up the original design, they redesigned the entire valve control system to leverage the compressor boost to open the valve during an open event, and to hold the valve shut when it’s supposed to be closed. In our testing, we have not observed any issue with the OE bypass valve being blown open by excess boost. We compared boost levels on the OE bypass valve versus the DV+ (as well as another aftermarket bypass valve upgrade) and found no differences. This isn’t to say that as the vehicle components age, they won’t develop problems. In fact, we’ve seen a few LE2 engines lately appearing to not hold boost correctly, and we’re looking into whether the bypass valve might be causing the problem. Where these valves can really shine, particularly the DV+, is during bypass open-to-close transitions. Not only does the piston have a stiffer return spring, but the piston travels a shorter distance, and the valve design leverages the compressor boost to get the valve closed more quickly. This results in a noticeable improvement in boost response when going from off pedal to on pedal. Installation of the valve is straightforward. Simply remove the OE valve by disconnecting the battery, disconnecting the electrical connector, and removing the three screws that attach it to the compressor housing. After partial disassembly of the OE valve, the DV+ is assembled on the OE coil assembly and is reattached to the turbocharger with the three new bolts they provide with the kit. Installation took approximately 20 minutes and required no tuning changes. Conclusion The GFB DV+ is a great modification if you’re looking for the best performance you can get out of your 2.0T LTG or 1.4T LE2 engine! It’s a simple, low cost way to improve the vehicle’s boost response. For this application, the part number is T9363 and is available at any of GFB’s distributors. Link: https://gfb.com.au/products/blow-off-and-diverter-valves/dv-plus/t9363/ NOTE: The web site does not list the LE2 as compatible with this product, but we have tested and confirmed it is, on our development vehicles.
  2. We provide the ability to flash back to stock for service visits, however we cannot make any claims or guarantees regarding warranty:
  3. History of Big Wheels No, we’re not talking about the toy trike you used to have when you were a kid, we’re talking about turbo wheels, and making them BIGGER! When it comes to mods for a turbocharged engine, upgrading the compressor and turbine wheels inside an OE frame turbocharger is an easy way to get decent performance gains without much hassle. Custom “ground-up” designed turbo kits that utilize standard aftermarket turbochargers can yield impressive power, but they tend to be expensive, and in some cases require modifications that are not reversible. For enthusiasts looking for decent gains with a drop-in part need to look no further than a turbo with upgraded wheels! First, it was the Compressor Wheel The first big wheel turbo kits for the 1.4T addressed the compressor wheel size. These turbos utilized a custom machined compressor wheel and compressor housing to increase airflow on the intake (cold) side. Several companies have experimented with different compressor wheels sizes, but in many cases it was hard to justify the cost vs performance gain. Exhaust Flow Challenges On this particular engine, exhaust flow has always been a challenge. The OE turbocharging strategy aims to eliminate turbo lag as much as possible in order to make the vehicles drive as similar to a naturally aspirated engine as possible, which is what most people are used to. This requires a relatively small turbocharger (from a wheel size perspective). Small turbochargers spool very quickly and provide peak boost at a lower RPM, but there’s a trade-off: the cost is having less than spectacular high RPM performance. This is because as engine RPMs rise, so do the exhaust flow requirements, and a turbine wheel size that’s optimized for low to mid RPM operation suddenly becomes a restriction at high RPM. Next, it was the Turbine Wheel Compressor wheels (compared to turbine wheels) are relatively easy to make bigger. In most cases, you take a block of billet aluminum and cut a new compressor out of it. Turbine wheels, on the other hand, are much more challenging (and expensive) to make because they need to be made out of materials that can tolerate the excessive heat of the exhaust stream. The other challenge is whether the OE turbo frame can be bored out enough to accept a larger compressor and turbine wheel. And beyond that, yet another challenge is the core itself. The OE turbocharger on this engine can spin in excess of 250,000 RPM. Installing a larger compressor and turbine wheel adds weight to the rotating assembly, which adds stresses to the shaft and bearings. And now, it’s all about the (exhaust side) A/R “A” what?? A/R. The “internet” defines this separately as “Aspect Ratio”, “Area / Radius” and “Area Ratio”. The short of it is that the A/R describes the ratio of the area of the turbine inlet to the radius of the wheel itself. There’s an A/R characteristic on the compressor side as well. It’s the radius of the compressor wheel compared to the area of the compressor discharge. Modern day big wheel turbo offerings now offer all three upgrades: compressor, turbine and modified A/R to improve exhaust flow characteristics. Supporting the Community As the premier tuner of the 1.4L turbo engine markets, TRIFECTA considers it their duty to provide ongoing calibration support for quality parts that are popular with the community. When the big wheel V2 came out – the first modified OE frame turbo with an upgraded turbine wheel - we jumped all over it. More recently, we were approached with an offer to receive the updated exhaust housing for the V3 turbo, which includes the A/R change. We were excited to have this opportunity! 2016 Chevrolet Sonic 1.4T Manual Transmission Test Vehicle We have several 1.4T equipped vehicles in our test fleet, but for this development process, we chose our 2016 Sonic as the test vehicle mainly because it’s largely stock. We pondered the question: How would a turbocharger like this perform on a vehicle that has few other modifications? Can we make a case for this turbocharger as a “sooner” rather than “later” upgrade? (we plan to add more mods to this vehicle and re-evaluate gains at each mod) Vehicle Specs: 2016 Chevrolet Sonic LT 1.4L turbo (RPO: LUV) engine Manual transmission TRIFECTA ECM and FPCM calibration 60lb Siemens-Deka fuel injectors RacerX cold air intake system Spec upgraded clutch WaveTrac limited slip differential ~22000 miles on the vehicle Installation Notes Well, there’s not much to note! This turbocharger is a drop-in replacement for the OE turbocharger. It took a DIY mechanic about 4 hours to do. The turbocharger replacement procedure calls for new gaskets and seals, but given the relatively young age of this car, we reused all of the gaskets and seals without issue. The only item we needed was some coolant to replace the coolant lost when disconnecting the turbocharger’s coolant lines from the block. Dyno Test Notes After installing the turbocharger, we took the car over to our local dyno. All pulls were done in 3rd gear, and were performed on a Dynojet 424xLC2 chassic dynamometer (with the load cells disabled). For turbocharged applications, we provide results as UNCORRECTED. Below are some highlights from the dyno sheet: Vehicle Config Max HP Max TQ HP Gained vs stock TQ Gained vs stock Stock turbo / cal 132 156 – – V3 / cal – 2000 RPM 44.6 117.2 - 5.1HP - 13.39TQ V3 / cal – 2750 RPM 78.8 150.5 - 0.87HP - 1.65TQ V3 / cal – 3000 RPM 95.2 166.7 + 8.18HP + 14.29TQ V3 / cal – 3750 RPM 170.6 239.1 + 66.54HP + 93.27TQ V3 / cal – 3892 RPM* 182.5 246.3 + 75.47HP + 101.85TQ V3 / cal – 4183 RPM** 193.0 242.3 + 82.4HP + 103.1TQ V3 / cal – 4891 RPM* 203.5 218.6 + 79.01HP + 84.9TQ V3 / cal – 6000 RPM 190.2 166.2 + 64.4HP + 56.28TQ * - PEAK HP and TQ RPM samples ** - Maximum gain vs stock (HP AND TQ) Additional Notes: Stock turbo / cal configuration includes upgraded clutch and Wavetrac LSD All V3 samples include TRIFECTA calibration V3 is ZZP Big Wheel V3 turbocharger Discussion of Test Results In general, we were quite impressed with the results. This particular dyno is notoriously “stingy” and we managed to break 200WHP and hit almost 250WTQ. We noted a slight drop in power below 3000 RPM (likely due to the increased exhaust flow required to spool the turbo), but by around 2750RPM, the power levels were almost the same. The power curve is surprisingly flat. We expected to see the power take a nose-dive at higher RPM, but with proper calibration we were able to get the power to hold decently - past 6000 RPM. We have further dyno results that show a smoother curve at higher RPM, but we chose this dyno chart to highlight the gains. For a vehicle that has so few mods, it performs amazingly. We would, however, caution that anybody planning on purchasing this turbocharger also upgrade their clutch – slippage on the stock clutch at these power levels is almost certain. We also noted that we could not achieve a manifold pressure much beyond 280kPa. The pre-throttle body pressure can rise as high as 310kPa, but even with the throttle body wide open, the manifold pressure would not rise beyond 280kPa. We believe either/both of the following are true: 1. Throttle body is causing a pressure restriction, and/or 2. There’s turbulence inside the intake manifold disturbing airflow. If this issue is resolved, we believe the peak torque numbers could rise even higher, though high RPM horsepower numbers aren’t likely to change much. Fuel injector upgrade is a requirement for this turbocharger. At the time of writing we had only evaluated the 60 lb/hr Siemens-Deka fuel injectors, but we suspect 42 lb/hr or larger will be necessary. This vehicle has the OE intercooler and exhaust system (including the OE catalytic converter). We used the wastegate actuator provided with the V2/V3 turbocharger. We plan to retest the vehicle with additional modifications. Calibration Availability The V3 turbocharger is popular this season. A number of our customers have either installed it or are planning on it. At the time of writing, our calibration is still under development but is largely complete (past 90% completion). TRIFECTA customers may contact our support team and request calibration support for the V3 at this time. As always, any future refinements will be available to our customers at no charge.
  4. To that end, if any of our tech-savvy followers or customers want to help us fight Covid-19, we invite you to join our Folding@Home team! Folding@Home is, in a nutshell, a method of crowd-sourcing CPU cycles to help researchers simulate how new drugs might interact with the virus. The more CPU (and GPU) cycles people can donate, the faster researchers can go through iterations which may accelerate the path to a vaccine! For more info on Folding@Home, visit: https://foldingathome.org/ Our Team Number is 252535! https://stats.foldingathome.org/team/252535
  5. Hi Pete, This is a do-it-yourself modification, and you do not need to remove any modules from the vehicle. All you need is a Windows 7 or greater laptop and our interface cable. You can check out our user guide for a better look at the flashing process: https://www.trifectaperformance.com/ezflash-user-guide.html/
  6. TRIFECTA products are only installed using EZ Flash software With the exception of in-person dyno tuning, all TRIFECTA products are installed using a Windows based application that runs on a Windows PC, or inside a Windows virtual machine (VM). This application is called EZ Flash, and the splash screen will look as follows: In some cases, TRIFECTA has provided “rebadged” versions of EZ Flash to resellers, however, at present, none of those resellers are active. TRIFECTA products are only installed using EZ Flash, and never installed using any other piece of software. TRIFECTA products are only installed using a USB to OBD-II adapter Over the years, TRIFECTA has supported only four different types of USB to OBD-II adapter for installing its products: The “black box” which is a retangular box with a USB connection on one side and a 15pin D-Sub connector on the other side, which the OBD-II cable attaches to. (pre-2010, no longer supported) Special version of the Tactrix OpenPort2 USB to OBD-II adapter. (pre-2010, no longer supported) The “red cable”, which is a special version of the OBDLink SX OBD-II diagnostics tool. It is a one-piece assembly with a USB connector on one end of the cable and an OBD-II connector on the other end. It may carry the TRIFECTA logo, though some units in the field will say OBDLink SX (see below). The “black cable” which, like the “red cable” is a one-piece assembly. It carries the TRIFECTA logo and the model number TFEZ010U (see below). Illustration: TRIFECTA “Black Cable” Illustration: TRIFECTA “Red Cable” TRIFECTA calibrations are never installed using stand-alone handheld devices or any other “flash cable”. TRIFECTA will vigorously investigate alleged instances of sales of “fake” product Individuals or entities that choose to engage in the activity of selling products or services that are advertised as TRIFECTA products or services, and that are mutually understood to be genuine TRIFECTA products or services by both the buyer and seller, but are in fact not genuine TRIFECTA products should be aware that they are likely: Violating various laws regarding fraud and misrepresentation Causing damages to the TRIFECTA brand Displacing profits that TRIFECTA was entitled to Exposing themselves to substantial civil monetary penalties Exposing themselves to criminal penalties TRIFECTA will vigorously defend its brand, will investigate all alleged instances of fraud, and, when appropriate, refer the results of its investigation(s) to authorities if it believes a crime has been committed. Contact us if you have concerns If you are located in North America, and you believe you were sold what was represented as a TRIFECTA product or service and you have a reason to believe it was not an authentic TRIFECTA product or service, please contact us via email at: genuine@trifectaperformance.com
  7. If you are a current TRIFECTA customer, we offer this update to you at no charge! Contact us for details: https://www.trifectaperformance.com/contact Applications: 2014--2019 CTS V-Sport 2016--2019 ATS-V
  8. This car is equipped with a Manual transmission, and will join our Automatic transmission ATS-V in development duty, ensuring we are able to faithfully serve owners of both gearboxes as we continue to push the limits of the ATS-V!
  9. Hi, Performance is actually not reduced versus stock under 35mph. The dyno is only one way to measure performance, and it can be inaccurate at lower loads depending how throttle was applied after starting the "run". If you check out the Reviews section of our Equinox product page, I think you'll see our Equinox customers all generally agree it is anything but under-powered from low rpm. Yes, you can flash the ECM back to stock at any time. See above for our comments on warranty.
  10. Hi Charles, If warranty is of utmost importance, we would advise simply not modifying the vehicle in any way until after the warranty period is over. We actually wrote an article about this here: Its really a personal decision, and is typically a fairly low risk one, but there is no definitive way of knowing if the dealership has means of discovering the calibration. Our advice is to weigh how much you want the additional performance versus the possible consequences, and follow your gut. It may be helpful to browse through our customer testimonials as well, in case you need a friendly "nudge" from someone other than the manufacturer of the product. https://www.trifectaperformance.com/testimonials/
  11. The wastegate calibration comes at no additional charge if you already have a TRIFECTA tune. 👍
  12. No change in daily drivability/reliability once properly calibrated.
  13. Probably not. The Sonic was a perfect candidate for this given it and the Trax are both on the Gamma II chassis. While it wasn't a direct swap, it was no doubt exponentially easier than trying to do this with a Cruze. For the Cruze, we'd need to source a donor vehicle that uses AWD on the Delta II chassis, but unfortunately none exist.
  14. What is “Lean Cruise”? From the late 1990s through the mid 2000s there was this mysterious feature enabled in some non-US V8 (LS1) engine software calibrations that was purported to improve fuel economy. Some of the aftermarket calibration product suites referred to it as “Lean Cruise” and what it did was it allowed the vehicle to operate at fuel mixtures leaner than stoichiometry (14.7:1 air to fuel ratio on non-ethanol gas) under certain light-load conditions (such as steady state cruising) – generally up to 17:1 or 18:1. How does “Lean Cruise” improve fuel economy? “Lean Cruise” has positive impacts on fuel economy, but not largely for the reason most people think. It's widely believed that running a leaner mixture means less fuel is being consumed, and hence the fuel economy improves. This is true, but it is by far the smaller effect versus another: reducing pumping losses. Pumping losses occur, particularly on large displacement engines while the engine is under light load because a gasoline engine's power output is currently regulated by a throttle blade (though newer engine designs are beginning to use variable valve lift technology as an alternative). In the steady-state cruise scenario, the throttle blade needs to be mostly closed to maintain a specific vehicle speed. Because the throttle blade is mostly closed, the pistons operating on the intake stroke are literally fighting against the throttle blade to pull a full cylinder's worth of air in but cannot. “Lean Cruise” reduces pumping losses because it requires the engine to operate with the throttle blade opened further than it would otherwise if it were operating at stoichiometry. The engine cannot generate power as efficiently at leaner mixtures, so the engine needs to be operated under a higher load at the leaner mixture. Naturally, the LS1 engine was a perfect choice to implement “Lean Cruise” on. “Lean Cruise” is not allowed by US EPA / CARB regulations “Lean Cruise” was only enabled in certain non-US software calibrations where the emissions standards allowed it. Running the engine at a leaner mixture increases combustion chamber temperatures and dramatically increases the amount of “oxides of Nitrogen” (also known as NOx) emissions. The other emission-related issue is that the catalytic converters used on modern day vehicles, (also known as Three Way Catalysts) require the engine management software to oscillate the fuel mixture between slightly lean and slightly rich in order for it to be able to do its job. TWCs cannot function properly if the fuel mixture is run in the ranges that “Lean Cruise” utilizes. Newer engine designs lose the pumping losses benefit from “Lean Cruise” Remember what we said about pumping losses? GM's answer to that issue was to solve it using two other technologies (though only one of which is relevant to the LF4): 1. Variable valve timing (VVT), and 2. Active fuel management (V4 mode on the V8 engines). The LF4 enjoys a great benefit from VVT because both the intake and exhaust camshafts can be independently phased. Under light load cruising conditions, the engine control module (ECM) sets the camshafts for more “overlap”. “Overlap” is the amount of time both the intake and exhaust valves are open. By setting both valves to be open, instead of fighting against the throttle blade, the intake stroke can pull exhaust gasses back into the combustion chamber, thus reducing pumping losses with the added benefit of inducing Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) which is also beneficial for controlling emissions. The other way VVT can help reduce pumping losses – a technique that is also used on the V8 engines, is by retarding the intake valve event such that it begins as late as possible after top dead center (ATDC). This effectively shortens the length of the intake stroke, and the engine spends less time fighting against the throttle blade. Active fuel management (AFM) further reduces pumping losses by effectively shutting off 4 of the 8 cylinders (though newer AFM designs allow for shutting off up to 7 cylinders). It does this by disabling the camshaft lifters on 4 of the cylinders, so those cylinders are no longer fighting against the throttle blade. This feature doesn't exist in the LF4, but newer V6 engine designs like the LGW, LGX and LGZ all can disable 2 cylinders on the fly. “Lean Cruise” was removed from OE software “Lean Cruise” disappeared from OE software when the newer series of engine controllers was developed starting with the Gen IV V8 in 2005. In 2006, the L76 engine was introduced. This was a 6.0L engine that had VVT – the first of its kind. Later variants of the Gen IV V8s such as the L94 and the L99 used VVT primarily to improve fuel economy by reducing pumping losses. It is clear that GM found better results with VVT than using “Lean Cruise” without having to maintain two different emissions standards and software calibrations for various regions. Any modern “Lean Cruise” implementation would require some trickery Because “Lean Cruise” as a feature hasn't existed in the operating system of the engine controller since around 2004, any implementation that attempts to mimic the effects of it would require some amount of trickery. It's certainly possible to calibrate the ECM to go into open loop fuel mode, and command leaner mixtures, but what are the possible side effects of that? One is that many of the ECM's diagnostics won't run if the commanded EQ Ratio isn't 1.0 (stoichiometry) and in closed loop fuel control mode. O2 sensor self tests, EVAP purge events, sensor plausibility checks are just a few examples of diagnostics that require the ECM to drive the mixture specifically to test that the engine is operating properly. Another IS that it cannot operate in closed loop fuel control mode if the commanded mixture isn't EQ Ratio 1.0. The fuel trimming system is designed to detect deviations in actual engine performance vs predicted engine performance, and provide a feedback-based correction mechanism. One more is that the TWC (catalytic converters) cannot operate properly while closed loop fuel control is disabled, and the vehicle would produce emissions in excess of the limits allowed by the US EPA and CARB. And last, running the engine at leaner-than-stoichmetric fuel ratios would cause combustion chamber temperatures to rise. Direct injected (DI) engines are already prone to a phenomenon called “stochastic pre ignition” (SPI) in which the fuel charge ignites too early. While the LF3 and LF4 seem to be relatively immune to SPI, it has been known to cause pistons to break between the ring lands on other GM turbo engines. The likelihood of an SPI event occurring would be increased by both increased combustion chamber temperatures and running a leaner mixture. A lopsided trade-off between benefit and concern As stated in the introduction, we won't be offering “Lean Cruise” on our products because we don't feel the trade-off between benefit and concern is a good one – largely because we have failed to find any substantial benefits at all. We have experimented with mimicking “Lean Cruise” in the newer engines and we haven't found any substantial fuel economy gains. We can't speak for claims that others are making but when we measured actual fuel consumption changes, the improvements were within the range of statistical noise. And this makes sense: when you consider the largest benefit “Lean Cruise” offers is reduction of pumping losses, the LF4's engine design itself (smaller displacement, turbocharged, independent VVT) does far more than “Lean Cruise” did back in the LS1 days. We'd also challenge anyone who is using a “Lean Cruise” tune to check actual MPGs versus what is reported on the instrument cluster. If a modern “Lean Cruise” implementation is reliant on trickery, it stands to reason this would skew the ECM's ability to estimate the fuel economy as well. Having said all of this, aftermarket engine calibration remapping is a dynamic process. We continuously challenge our previous notions in the light of what we learn along the way. It is possible one day we will make a discovery that changes the trade-off between benefit and concern.
  15. The Sonic cousin: Buick Encore / Chevrolet Trax In a quest like this, the first thing to do is figure out which parts can be borrowed from other vehicles that have the feature you want. It turns out the Chevrolet Sonic, Chevrolet Trax, and Buick Encore all share something in common: the chassis. Known as the GM “Gamma II” chassis, it started in the US in 2010 as the Chevrolet Spark. In 2011 the Chevrolet Aveo was introduced. In 2012, the Aveo was renamed as Sonic, and in 2013 the Buick Encore and Chevrolet Trax were introduced with optional AWD. The Sonic, Encore and Trax use the 1.4L turbo MPFI engine (RPO: LUJ/LUV). Borrowing the AWD System For our project, we obtained a 2015 Chevrolet Sonic RS and an AWD Chevrolet Trax. The Chevrolet Trax has a transverse mounted 1.4L turbo engine, mated to a 6 speed automatic transmission. A transfer case attached to the transmission sends power to a rear differential via a propeller shaft. An ECU (Rear Differential Clutch Control Module) controls the amout of torque transferred from the propeller shaft to the rear differential. Not as easy as it Sounds Given these vehicles are all “Gamma II” chassis vehicles, we just need to unbolt the AWD system from the Trax and install it in the Sonic, right? Not quite. To name just a few challenges: We had to cut the spare tire well out of the Sonic to make room for the rear differential. We had to swap the rear suspension from the Trax in its entirety because the Sonic suspension doesn't have a provision for the propeller shaft. The propeller shaft will need to be shortened. Maybe a Rally Spec car instead of a Hot Hatch One other issue we've run into so far, is that the Trax suspension sits higher than the Sonic suspension. The overall ride height will be about 1.5” higher than the original suspension. Maybe we should make this into a Rally spec car instead of a Hot Hatch!
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