The 2007 Pontiac Solstice GXP and a few months later the 2007 Saturn SKY Redline were the first Production GM Vehicles to receive the newly developed 2.0L Direct Injection Turbocharged Power Plant designated the “LNF”. With pressure on the engineers to meet the release date they did many things correct on the new platform…one of the things they were struggling with was the compression ratio combined with the 15-16lb of boost needed to hit the advertised target of 260hp/260lbs of TQ.. They were clearly plagued by knock or as we refer to it as KR.. so to hit the release date the engineers made a compromise… they reduced the Timing tables and went with CAM tables that were not 100%… In the end the engineers needed just a few more months to “Get it right” so for the 2008 and 2009 model years they were able to change the spark plugs and bump the timing tables as well as give the CAM tables a small lift.. this now allowed the 2.0 LNF to hit its targeted HP and TQ rating!
But what about those already released 2007 models that left the dealerships with the wrong spark plugs, reduced timing and CAM tables.. well it was never made public and they were just allowed to be..
Lets jump back to 2008… Here at RPM-Motorsports we were basically “Living” on the dyno… developing our tuning program and we noticed a trend.. We would throw a 2007 “Stock” on the dyno and it would make around 195-200 wheel HP… next we’d throw a 2008 “Stock” on the dyno and it would make 220 – 225 Wheel HP… then we would take our stg1 RPM tune file and load it on the 2007 and it would sound like there was somebody dropping “Mables” on the valve cover.. “What’s that you say”.. its Knock…Lots of Knock.. enough we would not finish the dyno pull… throw that 2008 back on the dyno and load the RPM Stg1 file on it and no Knock and it made 286 Wheel HP.
As we dove into the programing differences between the 2007 and 2008 model years we found several discrepancies… we took and corrected those discrepancies on the 2007 model year using the 2008 as a baseline and threw the car back on the dyno.. car still knocked.. we then pulled the spark plugs and noticed the 2007 had a different spark plug over the 2008… we swapped the plugs with the model from the 2008 and threw it back on the dyno… and like that our 2007 acted right and made 225 Wheel HP on a stock tune and 288 Wheel HP on our Stg1 tune..
It took having access to a multitude of local cars with the participation of their owners to have the opportunity to drill down and make this discovery.. From that time forward RPM has always made it a point when working with a 2007 Solstice GXP or SKY Redline to update the tables and spark plugs to the correct ones.. this is not something that has been made widely public and its through our continued commitment to the Kappa Platform that we do everything we can to keep these cars running smoothly and better than they were when they were delivered to their first owners!
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