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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Diablo Sport tuners are out for many cars. No they dont make one yet! This is just a message for the guys that make them. (Sorry if I got any of you excited with the thread title.)

Please produce one for the volt that will allow me to use 1 or 2 KW's more power from my battery.

Im sure GM would cringe at this idea, but it would give me the ability to never use gas again for the daily commute to work and back.

Would it take longer to charge? Yes. Im fine with that.

Please feel free to add any other options you would like the tuner to offer.

Hopefully the guys at Diablo Sport read forums.
 

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This is probably a bad idea for your warranty. You know they do record the data from the Volt and adding a device that tweaks your battery range or consumption may invalidate your battery warranty.

Read the fine points before you act.

One I would like is the original Sport mode settings to make the max acceleration greater in Sport mode.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I agree with you from a warranty aspect that this would be a bad idea, but the Volt does allow you to use more of its reserve battery in the event that you run out of gas. So I think the change im looking to make wouldnt harm anything with the car.
 

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I own a Diablosport Predator for my Sierra. All it does is reprogram the PCM to attain higher performance from the engine. My specific unit has a program for 93 octane gas, but I use the program for 87 octane that runs better than factory. I was also able to increase performance by tweaking the Injector Slope (after logging Long-Term Fuel Trim)

I can't really see what use a Predator would be with the Volt, since the Volt's engine runs over a fixed range of speeds and the engine is already tweaked for performance. Reprogramming the Voltec drivetrain is a whole different game compared to reprogramming the PCM...
 

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I think people have the totally wrong idea that a little of something you get away with means you always can.
Sure, you can regen-charge faster than with the EVSE - for a little while. Sure, in some modes you can use more battery - rare ones.

I can also gash my arm once in awhile, with no net long term problems to my health. But every day? You're not getting that what you can get away with a little or in a rare emergency isn't wise to do all the time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Gash your arm? :/ Im talking about using one more KW from a battery. You are a little scary.

Hotrodding is an American past time and always will be.
 

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I own a Diablosport Predator for my Sierra. All it does is reprogram the PCM to attain higher performance from the engine. My specific unit has a program for 93 octane gas, but I use the program for 87 octane that runs better than factory. I was also able to increase performance by tweaking the Injector Slope (after logging Long-Term Fuel Trim)

I can't really see what use a Predator would be with the Volt, since the Volt's engine runs over a fixed range of speeds and the engine is already tweaked for performance. Reprogramming the Voltec drivetrain is a whole different game compared to reprogramming the PCM...
I agree 100% with you. The Volt was engineered almost to the perfect combination, and its ICE is running just for CS more and recharge in Mountain Mode. Retuning the ICE for more HP is a waste of money and time.

I did almost the opposite for my Buick Regal, which is to save gas and increase its MPG. I probably lost some HP in the top RPM but I hardly run at high speeds, which is a waste of money, too. So my engine was improved to run better at low RPMs and save gas. That is what American gas vehicles should be tuned for - to save gas!

More HP is only for racing, and we should not be racing on the streets.
 

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Sorry 'bout the scary analogy, but it's really not that bad a one given an understanding of the electrochemistry.

Only one more kwh - 10% more than has been tested safe for battery life, and you want to do it every day - which will cumulate damage. A little experience electroplating at different current densities is most instructive here - it's quite similar to what goes on inside a battery. Get it right - smooth coating, repeatable. Get it wrong, dendrites that fall off the object, with permanent loss of the metal which can't take place in the reaction any more.

So, just like many things that could damage my health - a little I easily recover from if it's rare - say I drank too much tequila one night.
The net effects on my liver are how many nights I do that. Once might be fine (And I've heard that excuse on abusing the Volt system enough that it irks me now - it's fine if you do it once, so now I demand that it's fine-always. Gheesh.) - a few times might be fine. Becoming an always-drunk alkie? Not so fine. That was the point I was trying to make.

Yes, I've been frustrated when my engine comes on just as I top the last hill and it's all downhill to where I'm going. Breaks of the game. It's not that bad. And one more kwh is just how much gasoline? Does it even register? It surely keeps the ICE ready to go, oiled up, and perhaps someday, actually broken in. You might even avoid those maintenance burns etc and actually get something out of the gas you paid for.
 

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OP - sit back and watch a little before you get upset with someone on here. There a lot of knowledgeable people around this forum. As you can see, DCFusor is one of them.

Oh and I have no idea how he is at a party. You will also find that there are plenty of smart asses around here also!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I welcome knowledge. I shun extremist views. Comparing yourself to a car is too far.

Ok I'm going to go shop for a supercharger for the generator and fill it up with e85. ; ) sarcasm don't hurt yourself.

I'll keep my car mods off this forum in the future.
 

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I'm not sure about the Sport Tuner but it sounds interesting.

I agree with Solar_Dave that GM should make Sport Mode more sporty. Push up (or really down) the 0 - 60 time. Yea you would lose a little range but its your choice - just don't press the button.

Oh well... I guess it is just another little sacrifice in the design we all have followed from the very beginning.
 

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I welcome knowledge. I shun extremist views. Comparing yourself to a car is too far.

Ok I'm going to go shop for a supercharger for the generator and fill it up with e85. ; ) sarcasm don't hurt yourself.

I'll keep my car mods off this forum in the future.
LOL It was just an analogy, not an extremist view. From one modder to another - you don't need to keep your ideas off this forum just because folks disagree with you about whether or not your mod is a good idea. I've been modding Mustang's since I was 15 and practically grew up on the strip so trust me I know what's it's like to get the "bug". And I'm very familiar with Diable Sports products. DC Fusor is a modder himself, just check some of his past posts (even tho I'm sure my Cobra could take his SS :D) - so it's not like you're getting feedback from the type of folks who are just afraid to touch their cars.

But when you're talking about battery mods, even small ones, on a $40k vehicle that will likely void your 8yr/100k mile warranty of course most of us think its unwise. Like DC Fusor, I was an engineer in copper electroplating for about 7yrs and can vouch for what he says. Even small increases in the SOC window could significantly shorten the overall battery life. GM did a lot of engineering work to optimize battery performance and strike the best balance between range and life expectancy. I don't think Diablo Sport has the expertise or even the equipment for that matter to begin to characterize the battery profile much less try to improve on it. It's a completely different field from modding ICE's. Even the control system in the Volt is broken apart into several modules so it's not like you can just plug into the OBDII port and reprogram a single ECU to advance your ignition and change your fuel curves.

I'm all for modding but the Volt doesn't really lend itself to performance mods, mostly cosmetic and comfort. I for one would not do anything to tinker with the powertrain control system under warranty. Nissan was sure their batteries would work fine in hot climates but now it's looking like that's not the case. The risk is not worth the reward.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I appreciate your reply. I was beginning to think this was a really uptight forum. I just wanted to voice an interest for a product. If companies see a consumer need they will start working on stuff like this. Even if its a few years out.

I don't mind modding expensive toys. Yes this car is just another toy to me. Not a lifestyle. I did it to both Hummers and my Escalade. I got the same reaction on those boards to running exotic fuels and other changes.

I have a background in electronics. I understand the battery issues and I have no problem swapping batteries at some point if needed.

I like my cars to be different and always have. Thanks again for the nicer reply.
 

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IF I were you I would learn to hypermile, then in 10 years if you want to extend the battery range go ahead.

But in any event, coming from an EV guy I can say even if you could get into the bottom 20% you wouldn't want it, your power output in that area should be greatly reduced or bad things happen. And if you want the top 20% its more doable but again it wears out the battery much faster the more you charge, doing up your own custom charger you could maybe charge slow enough to do it but it will wear things out faster.
 

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I'm all for modding but the Volt doesn't really lend itself to performance mods, mostly cosmetic and comfort. I for one would not do anything to tinker with the powertrain control system under warranty. Nissan was sure their batteries would work fine in hot climates but now it's looking like that's not the case. The risk is not worth the reward.
I think there is plenty of room for performance mods; to suggest that the Volt is engineered in an almost perfect combination will likely stagnate progress. Americans have always modded our cars and the Volt is just waiting for the creative gear head/engineer to tweek just the right bits. For example, I think that like the LEAF, there is a low end limiter so that you don't get 100% of power/torque right away; you can potentially reprogram to give instant torque. Now, that would be fun!
 

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I think there is plenty of room for performance mods; to suggest that the Volt is engineered in an almost perfect combination will likely stagnate progress. Americans have always modded our cars and the Volt is just waiting for the creative gear head/engineer to tweek just the right bits. For example, I think that like the LEAF, there is a low end limiter so that you don't get 100% of power/torque right away; you can potentially reprogram to give instant torque. Now, that would be fun!
You think there is plenty of room based on what? Anecdotal data or sound engineering judgment? The fact is GM has kept so much of the Volt's battery control algorithms secret you have no way of knowing how much upside if any is available. So unless you were on GM's engineering team you can't really make such a blanket claim. And just because we've been able to performance mod ICE cars of the past in no way suggests the same is true of the Volt. Most cars don't go through anywhere near the level of engineering development the Volt went through. As a result most cars become an end product that still has a lot of upside. This is especially true of American muscle cars where manufacturers are pressured to keep MPG up, use 87 octane, and keep HP down (for insurance reasons) but it's relatively easy to improve them after the fact.

Based on what we do know, however, it's highly unlikely that any meaningful gains are to be had from tweaking the Volt's existing HW. If you haven't already done so, you should read Chevrolet Volt Charging into the Future to get a better understanding of the Volt's development. Or read some of the SAE papers at http://gm-volt.com/forum/showthread.php?7423-New-SAE-papers-published-on-Voltec-design. The fact is GM spent considerable resources optimizing the battery performance so I stand by my statements.

Think of it this way, why would GM leave anything on the table? You can bet they did everything they could to maximize range without sacrificing battery life. With battery range being arguably the biggest motivator (or demotivator) for buying an EV they eeked every last bit. And it's not just the battery, it's every aspect of the design. They spent more than double the normal time in the wind tunnel to get the lowest drag coefficient. Even the rolling resistance of the tires and the shape of the wheels is designed to maximize range. They avoided power seats and put in seat heaters to reduce HVAC usage. The list goes on. So to suggest some creative gear head is going to tweak a few things and then voila is highly unlikely IMO. An electrochemist working hand in hand with a controls engineer maybe. Which is what GM has working on it :D

I'm not stagnating progress, just stating facts. Like I said in my last post, I'm a long time modder myself, but I really don't think you're going to see any aftermarket performance companies like Diable Sport spend the rather enormous amount of resources it would take to even discover whether or not any improvements are to be had with the Volt. They are still a business and need an ROI which doesn't exist as far as I'm concerned. This just isn't why people buy a Volt.

Also, I would like to make the point that even if someone does eventually "jail break" the Volt to where you could change GM's software settings, and you do something for example to increase low end acceleration at the expense of range (like your example above) or say widen the SOC window to 70% for increased range at the expense of battery life - you haven't truly "improved" on GM's design. You've simply traded one thing for another, but the net performance remains the same. A true performance enhancement would improve one metric without proportionately reducing another.

If you're still not convinced, here's one last point to consider. The Volt is going into its 3rd year of production so GM has had a lot of time to flush out ways to increase range without sacrificing other aspects. The only thing they have found is tweaking the battery chemistry itself to produce an extra 0.5kW and a mere 3 miles of additional range (which is still actually a significant improvement). With the PiP, Ford Fusion and other PHEV competition on the way you can be sure GM is putting a lot of effort into this and so far this is all they have.

You might eventually see performance upgrades available in the form of better batteries with higher energy density that you could trade up to or perhaps a 6.6kW charger. But as far as taking the existing hardware and getting more out of it - not likely, GM has already done it.
 

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I'm not stagnating progress, just stating facts. Like I said in my last post, I'm a long time modder myself, but I really don't think you're going to see any aftermarket performance companies like Diablo Sport spend the rather enormous amount of resources it would take to even discover whether or not any improvements are to be had with the Volt. They are still a business and need an ROI which doesn't exist as far as I'm concerned. This just isn't why people buy a Volt.

Also, I would like to make the point that even if someone does eventually "jail break" the Volt to where you could change GM's software settings, and you do something for example to increase low end acceleration at the expense of range (like your example above) or say widen the SOC window to 70% for increased range at the expense of battery life - you haven't truly "improved" on GM's design. You've simply traded one thing for another, but the net performance remains the same. A true performance enhancement would improve one metric without proportionately reducing another.
Joule Thief,
Thanks for the post. I didn't mean to imply that you were a cause of stagnation. I was responding generally, summarizing comments and that part was in response to someone else's comment in this thread about the Volt being perfect. People buy cars for different reasons and the Volt is no different in this regard. Still, you're probably right that companies like Diablo Sport would not bother spending time on our cars because, well it's low volume compared to the regular ICE based cars.

Regarding mods, in cars with ICE performance mods typically improve some metric at the expense of others; e.g. tweaking things to either get more horsepower and torque will reduce gas millage. An EV will be no different since we're unlikely to get something without cost. Which mods we choose depends on what's important for us. For example, since my commute is only 20-30 miles before I can charge again, I wouldn't mind losing range for being quicker off the line. As another example, on the LEAF forum and here, we see people aiming for high miles/kWh 4-5mi/kWh (me included most of the time) but there are guys who race the car in autocrosses and get 0.6 mi/kWh! I welcome performance mod options so that I can choose.
 
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