Product reivew: The Black Ice-Olater by VMax - Intake Phenolic Spacer
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2008-2013 Cadillac CTS Performance Mods Discussion, Product reivew: The Black Ice-Olater by VMax - Intake Phenolic Spacer in Cadillac CTS Second Generation Forum - 2008-2013; Many of you have been following my other thread, chronicling my Trifecta / Bad News Racing ECM/TCM tune, on my ...
  1. #1
    Wag-O-Neer is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Product reivew: The Black Ice-Olater by VMax - Intake Phenolic Spacer

    Many of you have been following my other thread, chronicling my Trifecta / Bad News Racing ECM/TCM tune, on my 2010 AWD 3.6DI Wagon:

    http://www.cadillacforums.com/forums...xperience.html

    Well, with that review nearly complete, it's time to look forward to my next performance mod: The VMax Black Ice-Olater. This product is a 9.75mm phenolic spacer for your intake manifold. It's designed to greatly reduce the radiant heat from your cylinder head, into the intake manifold. As your heads get hot, they radiate heat directly into your manifold, causing the charge air (IATs) to rise. As IATs rise, the ECM retards timing, causing you to lose horsepower. Cooler charge air is more dense, allowing the car to make more power. I'm not teaching anything you guys don't already know.

    Rev Extreme has documented ~20WHP/25WTQ, as a bolt-on solution, that requires no additional ECM tuning. I don't expect to see quite that much, since my car is a CTS4, and the DTL will be greater than that of a RWD CTS. However, the claims have piqued my interest enough for me to try the product. Since my car is tuned by Trifecta (Big thanks to Jerry @ Bad News Racing), I have the unique opportunity to be able to configure the car in a few different ways to document the gains. I plan on documenting the horsepower of my car, on an AWD dyno as follows:

    1. I will tune the car back to stock and take a baseline
    2. I will tune the car with my Trifecta tune (Tune only) and document the increase in HP and TQ
    3. I will tune the car back to stock, and install the Black Ice-Onater
    4. I will tune tune the car with Trifecta tune and Black Ice-Onater

    Also, I've been asked to demo Rev Extreme's ported throttle body. All documented power gains w/ the phenolic spacer, will include the upgraded throttle body. He sells these as a set, so I believe they should be treated as one entity. Plus, I just don't care to do a TB only mod. Although the power gains of the TB are very modest ~5WHP, the low end power delivery is supposed to be much more linear than stock. Sometimes better power, doesn't always mean more power.


    As before, I will take some pre/mod data logs. This time, I'll be focusing squarely on IAT, and the affect it has on ECM timing retardation. As the Trifecta tune is, these are very popular in the Camaro 3.6 world. The Camaro owners are claiming that the intake manifold is cool to the touch, after driving the car. Now, I'm sure ambient air temp is still low in many places, but still.... I challenge anyone to go out to their stock CTS and try that! Not me....

    When it's all said and done, hopefully I would have seen ~25WHP from the tune, and ~15-20WHP from the phenolic spacer, over stock, on 93 octane. If I can come away with 40-50WHP, as well as the much needed transmission tuning, for the small amount of money for the price of admission, I'll be a very happy CTS owner.


    Tracy has recently started a thread on this product, but I think the community here would also like an unbiased, uninterested 3rd party review. I'll be doing the install myself, so I'll also be able to comment on the difficulty of that, as well.

    It's also noteworthy that the Cadillac engine cover as well as strut tower brace should fit with the spacer. I'll find out.


    loosend and loosend like this.

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    rics8 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: My next product reivew: The Black Ice-Onater by Rev Extreme - Intake Phenolic Sp

    you should talk to the guy over at sts. they think I'm BS when I say you can get close to 50hp out of the 3.6llt

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    Wag-O-Neer is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: My next product reivew: The Black Ice-Onater by Rev Extreme - Intake Phenolic Sp

    Quote Originally Posted by rics8 View Post
    you should talk to the guy over at sts. they think I'm BS when I say you can get close to 50hp out of the 3.6llt
    Well, people are going to think, what they want to think. I really don't know what my final gains are going to be from the Tune, TB and Spacer, but we're gonna find out.

    So hey, anyone know that the final drive gear (1:1) is on the AWD 3.6 CTS w/Auto? I'm guessing it's 4th gear?

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    kingtj is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: My next product reivew: The Black Ice-Onater by Rev Extreme - Intake Phenolic Sp

    Here's wikipedia's info on the transmission:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GM_6L50_transmission


    Quote Originally Posted by Wag-O-Neer View Post
    Well, people are going to think, what they want to think. I really don't know what my final gains are going to be from the Tune, TB and Spacer, but we're gonna find out.

    So hey, anyone know that the final drive gear (1:1) is on the AWD 3.6 CTS w/Auto? I'm guessing it's 4th gear?

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    Re: My next product reivew: The Black Ice-Onater by Rev Extreme - Intake Phenolic Sp

    Quote Originally Posted by kingtj View Post
    Here's wikipedia's info on the transmission:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GM_6L50_transmission
    Shoot, I guess I could've done that. Thanks....

    So, 4th is 1.16, so that'll be it then.

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    Wag-O-Neer is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Product reivew: The Black Ice-Olater by VMax - Intake Phenolic Spacer

    FYI Tracy...

    I've secured an AWD dyno, have talked to the shop owner, so I'm ready when you are. He's going to allow me to turn wrenches and swap parts, while I'm strapped to the dyno, so hopefully the install of the spacer and throttle body are straight forward. I'll be paying by the hour...

    But after looking at your thread of the install on the Camaro forum, I feel, I'm competent enough to knock it out pretty quickly. Flashing the car back and forth to a bunch of different configurations will probably take some time though.

    Anyway, I'm ready for ya....

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    Megathumper is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Product reivew: The Black Ice-Olater by VMax - Intake Phenolic Spacer

    this sounds interesting...

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    Re: Product reivew: The Black Ice-Olater by VMax - Intake Phenolic Spacer

    Can't wait to see the results!

    Good luck

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wag-O-Neer
    FYI Tracy...

    I've secured an AWD dyno, have talked to the shop owner, so I'm ready when you are. He's going to allow me to turn wrenches and swap parts, while I'm strapped to the dyno, so hopefully the install of the spacer and throttle body are straight forward. I'll be paying by the hour...

    But after looking at your thread of the install on the Camaro forum, I feel, I'm competent enough to knock it out pretty quickly. Flashing the car back and forth to a bunch of different configurations will probably take some time though.

    Anyway, I'm ready for ya....
    Is like to see how this turns out.

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    Wag-O-Neer is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Product reivew: The Black Ice-Olater by VMax - Intake Phenolic Spacer

    I'm very interested too. I'm also really interested to see what the inside of my intake manifold looks like, in relation to oil ingestion. If there's oil inside the OEM sump at the neck of the IM, you better believe I'll be asking for an RX catch can. I've had the car for 3000 miles, and I've already needed to add a 1/2 quart. Vehicle oil life counter says 54%. Looks like I'll be changing the oil every 4-5K miles in this dune buggy, for peace of mind. As with my other cars, I always send an oil sample out to Blackstone Labs, for their input on the health of the engine internals. It's such an easy and cheap thing to do, it makes no sense to me, to not do it.

    It's also noteworthy that the dyno I've secured is a notoriously low reading dyno. I've seen probably 20 cars on this dyno, and they all have read low. I really don't care about the dyno number itself, but rather the difference between pre and post mod numbers. It's good that I'll be able to do testing on all of the configurations I mentioned in my original post, without even unstrapping from the dyno. Same day, same dyno, same dyno operator, and never unstrapped will leave no doubt as to what the gains are here.

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    Wag-O-Neer is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Tracking number says it's here tomorrow!

    If my work week allows, I'll take a day and spend it at the dyno shop qualifying this bad boy.
    kingtj and kingtj like this.

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    Wag-O-Neer is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Lookie lookie...

    I know it's just a dark iPhone pic, but that 20hp right thar.....


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    Woohoo

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    Re: Product reivew: The Black Ice-Olater by VMax - Intake Phenolic Spacer

    What a tease

    Get it done already so we can all order one lol

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    Wag-O-Neer is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Product reivew: The Black Ice-Olater by VMax - Intake Phenolic Spacer

    Couple things here....

    1. The product certainly appears to be good quality. The construction is solid, and all edges, ports, and bolt holes are very smooth and defect free. It's some sort of composite material, akin to a very dense plastic, but not quite sure what it is. One side is smooth and shiny, the other is dull and textured.

    2. Looks like we're going to change the dyno'ing procedure just a bit. Original plan is outlined in my first post, but now I'm thinking I'll have to probably visit the dyno shop at two different times. This is because after I drive the hour and half to the shop, and I make the initial stock and 'tune-only' pull, the engine is going to be too hot work on. Especially for something like removing an intake manifold. The car would need a lot of cool down time, even with the dyno fans, to be able to turn wrenches on it. Especially since I've been reading that the rear most manifold bolts are very tight quarters. I'm paying the dyno shop by the hour for the use of the dyno, so.....

    So, what now? I'm going to take the car to the shop in it's current state. I'll flash it back to stock, make a pull or two, then flash it back to the Trifecta tune, and make another pull or two. That will give me the gains from the Trifecta tune. Then, I'll take it back home, and at the earliest convenience, I'll swap to the Vmax black Ice-olator and head back to the dyno shop. Again, I'll flash back to stock w/spacer and make a pull or two, then flash back to the Trifecta w/spacer and make a pull or two. In the end, I'll still have dyno runs in the same configuration as I originally intended to, but it won't be same day.

    Another thing to mention is my pre/install IAT data logging. I went ahead and made 3 pulls and logged IAT. I was shocked to see that my intake temps were only ~5* above ambient all the way through a 3rd gear pull. However, after I turned the car off and let it sit for 10 minutes, my IAT soared to nearly 60* above ambient and took a good 2-3 miles of light throttle to bring those back down. Now, this kind of confused me, as I would've thought that during my 3rd gear pulls, IATs should have risen, right? Well, after showing the logs to Tracy, he cleared it up. Our car's IAT sensor is actually pre-intake manifold, right where the MAF is. So, no matter what, you'll always see IAT right near ambient. The reason it went up when the car was sitting was because there was no airflow passing through the air intake system, so the radiant heat from the engine compartment, soaks it. As soon as you get moving again, you see the IATs drop. So, that means even after the spacer install, my data logging of IAT, won't show anything. So now what?

    Well, yesterday I went out and purchased a non-contact, infrared, laser targeting thermometer. You've seen them. I can just point and shoot anything and it will return surface temp. So now, I'll shoot the top of the intake manifold in stock form, when I get to the dyno shop, and after we've made our pulls. Then, after the spacer is installed I'll do the same. I'm hoping to be able do correlate the gain on the dyno graph, with the surface temp of the intake manifold, before and after the install. We know/hope that the surface temp of the intake manifold will be lower after the install. What we don't know, is how much power is coming from the heat reduction, and how much power is due to the increase in runner length.

    So, that's where we are right now....
    Anyway, I'll keep updating.
    cracing and cracing like this.

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