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Old 06-07-2013, 07:22 AM   #1
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Performance chip for 2005 8.1 Vortec

Does anyone have an opinion on chipping my 2005 Adventure w/ 8.1 Vortec engine?
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Old 06-07-2013, 07:42 AM   #2
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Welcome to irv2 jlipe.
What most of us had done with our Workhorse 8.1's was the Ultra Power upgrade.
Had mind done at the Tenn irv2 Rally back in 05 its paid for itself with better mileage, and a great ride using cruise control most of the time.
The 8.1 and Allison trans best combo ever made together, the UP only improves on the seat of your pants experience.
Brazels has people in different locations that can install for you, give them a call you will not regret it.
Safe travels.
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Old 06-08-2013, 04:42 AM   #3
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If it would get you 1MPG more on average over 50,000 miles it would save you $3,125 based on comparison of 7 to 8 MPG at $3.50 a gallon. I guess there are some performance enhancements also.

Not at this time for us, maybe if the motorhome was newer? Or didn't already have 40K on the odometer.
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Old 06-08-2013, 08:05 AM   #4
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If it would get you 1MPG more on average over 50,000 miles it would save you $3,125 based on comparison of 7 to 8 MPG at $3.50 a gallon. I guess there are some performance enhancements also.

Not at this time for us, maybe if the motorhome was newer? Or didn't already have 40K on the odometer.
ok look at it this way. Say your motor pops at 50k from running "epa lean". What would you do then?
It adds fueling. For the $$$ its worth it just for a return on resale. Your rig would definitely be worth more than one w/o UP. My rig had 30k when I installed it. I couldnt imagine not having it now. Just purrs down the road at 65ish without issue. Even up big grades towing a trailer.
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Old 06-08-2013, 08:16 AM   #5
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So with the UP it runs more rich ? As in less MPG ?
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Old 06-08-2013, 09:16 AM   #6
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So with the UP it runs more rich ? As in less MPG ?
it adds fuel in certain areas of the stock "map" where it can make more power. Obviously your foot still plays a part in your mpg. Keep in mind your rig, my rig, and Joe WH owners rig all have the "same" tune from the factory...even though our needs /driving habits may be totally different. Mine requires a better map because I have a better intake/exhaust system and I mostly operate at sea level and it high heat/humidity conditions. 1mpg might be optimistic. Maybe .5 is more realistic. Rig drives much better imho.
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Old 06-10-2013, 01:52 PM   #7
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So with the UP it runs more rich ? As in less MPG ?
No UP doesn't make it run more rich. Look at your exhaust pipe on a stock 8.1 motorhome. The stock 8.1L in the motorhome application is very sooty. I've talked to Steve Brazel who designed the UP programming and what they do is lean it out a bit in the mid-range throttle position while at full throttle the air/fuel mixture is fixed at original factory spec.

I've had my UP mod since 2006 and now have 66k miles, and like other said it just purrs at 65 mph and I pull the steeper hills about 5-10 mph faster. With my 40 ft coach pulling a car, I am right at the 26,000 lbs gross weight and I know my 8.1 is working it's tail off all the time. I get the oil analyzed before each oil change by Blackstone Labs. I send the test results to Steve & Jon Brazel so we all can keep an eye on the condition of the engine and know that 60 more hp is not causing any deterioration in the parts inside.

I am a very happy camper with Brazel's UltraPower!
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Old 06-14-2013, 08:02 AM   #8
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is there any UP for 2007 8.1 with the 6 speed Allison ?
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Old 06-14-2013, 02:48 PM   #9
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I've read through the UP threads and a couple of things bother me.

1) The dyno graphs don't look right - why are horsepower and torque not crossing at 5252?
2) What is the improvement at part throttle openings - I have read people say they can feel the power, but at partial throttle openings, the difference is much less - dyno runs are performed at wide-open throttle, which is not a state we spend much time in. Are the differences people notice at cruise and pulling smaller hills due more to the change in shift points in the transmission (the UP upgrade changes shift points as I understand it)?
3) The gains at WOT are huge; I'd think the performance truck guys would be interested in this since it adds a lot of torque and horsepower.

This last one I wonder about a lot; the types of gains a simple ECU update are akin to what one gets when putting a smaller pulley and exhaust on a supercharged car - they are more akin to the power increase seen on blown vehicles, than on naturally aspirated vehicles, where ECU changes typically don't net such large gains. Maybe GM left a lot on the table.

Are there any dyno's with A/F measurements taken via either wideband O2 sensors at the headers or sensors placed in the tail pipe?
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Old 06-14-2013, 03:19 PM   #10
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There have been many discussions on ULTRA POWER this is one of them.
Here is another plus getting rid of the TUBA.
Some of the real old discussions, 2005, were lost when we went to new software on irv2.
You can do a search on this forum and find many bigger threads.
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Old 06-14-2013, 10:44 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by lemosley01 View Post
I've read through the UP threads and a couple of things bother me.

1) The dyno graphs don't look right - why are horsepower and torque not crossing at 5252?
2) What is the improvement at part throttle openings - I have read people say they can feel the power, but at partial throttle openings, the difference is much less - dyno runs are performed at wide-open throttle, which is not a state we spend much time in. Are the differences people notice at cruise and pulling smaller hills due more to the change in shift points in the transmission (the UP upgrade changes shift points as I understand it)?
3) The gains at WOT are huge; I'd think the performance truck guys would be interested in this since it adds a lot of torque and horsepower.

This last one I wonder about a lot; the types of gains a simple ECU update are akin to what one gets when putting a smaller pulley and exhaust on a supercharged car - they are more akin to the power increase seen on blown vehicles, than on naturally aspirated vehicles, where ECU changes typically don't net such large gains. Maybe GM left a lot on the table.


Are there any dyno's with A/F measurements taken via either wideband O2 sensors at the headers or sensors placed in the tail pipe?
I've also wondered about the curves presented with the dyno tests.

I think that the scaling they used was part of the problem. When they did my testing, they did not test above 4500 rpm. The abrupt end of the test may have caused distorted curve of torque. When I tried to replot to a common scale, the curves didn't extrapolate well to 5252.

I was not under the impression that UP changed (reprogrammed) shift points!

There may be lesser throttle angle position to a set of driving condition then previous to UP.

IMO, feeling improvement at part throttle is totally butt testing with too many variables to account for perceived changes.

I do see gain near wot on hill climbing and holding RPM close to peak torque or slightly above.

What I don't know, is whether my style of driving is the same now as it was before UP up grade.

I do know that mileage has increased .1 to .2 mpg over the last 50k miles compared with the first 30k of non UP.

If I really believe the mileage gain is attributed to UP, then I have recovered cost of UP but not of the dyno test. And I have perceived improvement in performance.
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Old 06-15-2013, 02:57 PM   #12
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UP not worth the price

To the OP: After over a year of running with the UP, I was finally able to recieve a refund, as the claims of "1-3 mpg increases" and "butt dyno" simply were not true in my opinion. I actually got WORSE gas mileage with the UP for the year's use. Save your money for gas, and enjoy your motorhome!

I know some here like their purchase, but I also know lots here didn't get what they thought they would get.

Don't take it personal if someone doesn't have your point of view or post any direct attacks to me simply because your point of view is different. Hey...if you like your purchase...good for you! It just didn't work for me!
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Old 06-15-2013, 04:46 PM   #13
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Don't take it personal if someone doesn't have your point of view or post any direct attacks to me simply because your point of view is different.
This wasn't directed to the OP.
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Old 06-16-2013, 11:13 AM   #14
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I posted the original UltraPower evaluation on this Forum in 2005. Prior to the UltraPower installation I had been averaging about 6MPG. My original result was a 1MPG pick up in gas mileage and a noticeable increase in power, especially when climbing hills at higher RPMs. In 2006 I had my coach dyno'd. The rear wheel HP was 330 and the Torque was 490. At that time I was still getting about 7MPG.

In 2006 the fuel additive MBTE was removed from gas and over the next few years it was replaced with ethanol in most areas. Like most folks I have experienced a reduction in gas mileage from the use of the ethanol additive, in my coach and autos. Subsequent to the change in the gas additive I have observed a loss of about 1 MPG, so I'm back to where I started at about 6MPG. I have no idea where my mileage would be today without UltraPower, but I suspect it would be heading toward 5MPG.

In case you are wondering, I'm still happy with the increase in power.

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