Switched from VCMuzzler to S-VCM - Page 8
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Thread: Switched from VCMuzzler to S-VCM

  1. #106
    Registered User SimTech's Avatar
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    So, CroMath stated that both the S-VCM and VCMTunerII are essentially the same from a functional stand point. The VCMTunerII offers some added bell and whistles but the one question I had, and I'm still learning all of this stuff. Do both units have a "fail safe" (for lack of a better term) for when the engine starts to over heat? I know it would be rare with this engine but just a question.

    The other question those who have either, what kind of reliability have you all had?? From the threads I've read so far appears pretty good.
    2015 Ody EX

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  3. #107
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    Quote Originally Posted by SimTech View Post
    So, CroMath stated that both the S-VCM and VCMTunerII are essentially the same from a functional stand point. The VCMTunerII offers some added bell and whistles but the one question I had, and I'm still learning all of this stuff. Do both units have a "fail safe" (for lack of a better term) for when the engine starts to over heat? I know it would be rare with this engine but just a question.

    The other question those who have either, what kind of reliability have you all had?? From the threads I've read so far appears pretty good.
    Yes, the S-VCM controller and VCMTuner II both monitor the actual coolant temperature in real time and deactivate themselves if the temps get too high. Based on the testing and feedback on this thread, S-VCM turns itself off and allows the actual temperature to go through to the PCM at 207F. I believe the S-VCM website says about 210F is when the actual temperature is sent through, so that checks out, give or take a couple of degrees. I don't know what the number is for the VCMTuner II, but I wouldn't be surprised if it was something similar.

    The S-VCM in our van has now been installed and functioning for 10 months and it's still rock solid - no VCM activations and no problems from the unit itself. And that's saying something, given the kind of vicious cold temperatures Calgary saw this past winter. It handled the summer heat last year just as nicely. It's proving to be plenty tough enough for the job and space it has to live in.
    Last edited by CroMath; 04-08-2019 at 07:44 AM.
    2015 EX - Shear Comfort seat covers, Husky Liners floor liners, OEM cargo liner, S-VCM, Street Guardian dashcam, Lubegard Red

    There is no contradiction in having a soft heart and a hard mind.

  4. #108
    Registered User John Clark's Avatar
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    My VCMTunerII has been trouble free since installation. No P0128 codes as I would get about once or twice a year with the Muzzler.
    2008 Odyssey Touring-Silver
    2011 VW Jetta SE-Black-Totaled
    2012 VW Passat-Black
    2002 GMC Sierra SLT LB Z71-Red
    1998 Nissan 200SX SE-Blue

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  6. #109
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    Quote Originally Posted by SimTech View Post
    So, CroMath stated that both the S-VCM and VCMTunerII are essentially the same from a functional stand point. The VCMTunerII offers some added bell and whistles but the one question I had, and I'm still learning all of this stuff. Do both units have a "fail safe" (for lack of a better term) for when the engine starts to over heat? I know it would be rare with this engine but just a question.

    The other question those who have either, what kind of reliability have you all had?? From the threads I've read so far appears pretty good.
    I'll guess that if you're careful enough to worry about overheating, on these engines, it will never happen. As you've probably found (by not finding), overheating problems are not common at all on these engines.

    I've had 100% reliability, no codes, no problems at all on my home-brewed 77 Ohm resistor. Yes, it offsets the temperature gauge by a tiny amount, but I don't worry about that and can make a mental correction if needed. I do plan to one day wire in a switch so I can easily enable/disable that 77 Ohm resistor module from the driver's seat. But it is a low priority, and would be done more to enable VCM on a trial basis for road trips rather than to get an accurate coolant temp reading.
    2011 Odyssey LX, 106k miles
    1999 Odyssey EX, 234k miles, original owner

  7. #110
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    John Clark, the world needs more mechanics like you! And thanks for sharing your knowledge with us.

    I'll add a data point of one: someone was saying they like the mileage they get with VCM: 18-24. I get 24 mpg with my '02 Ody with 232k miles, and if it burns any oil it's too little for me to measure over 6,000 miles of use.

    Somebody else was saying they like their mpg of 25-28 with VCM, while someone else who's defeated theirs gets 28-29 mpg.

    So it's hard for me to even consider replacing my '02 with anything that has VCM. Fortunately my (original) '02 transmission doesn't have any shifting troubles yet

  8. #111
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    Quote Originally Posted by RayBerggren View Post
    So it's hard for me to even consider replacing my '02 with anything that has VCM. Fortunately my (original) '02 transmission doesn't have any shifting troubles yet
    I think we've reached a point where VCM is really not a big deal anymore. The advantages and disadvantages it offers (especially in VCM2 form) are very well understood and the technology available to disable it is sufficiently advanced, inexpensive and easy to use. You pay a hundred bucks and VCM goes away forever. Done. That's it. Simple as that.

    I'm glad your '02 is still serving you so well; that's awesome! Seventeen years is a long time. But if you decide that the time has come for a replacement, VCM doesn't need to be a serious source of concern or worry. You know about the potential issues and can prepare yourself appropriately if you choose to.
    2015 EX - Shear Comfort seat covers, Husky Liners floor liners, OEM cargo liner, S-VCM, Street Guardian dashcam, Lubegard Red

    There is no contradiction in having a soft heart and a hard mind.

  9. #112
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    Well the problem with buying used (especially high mileage) is you don't know what the previous owner(s) have done, so I could be buying significant engine damage right at the cusp of showing up.

    Buying new, you could de-VCM it from day 1, but that leaves me scratching my head.

    Hopefully Honda has figured out how to tame this beast since they're still making it, but I'll reserve judgment on that until there's a fleet of them that have never disabled the VCM and still run forever without a hiccup, which is what put Honda on the map in the first place.

    Fortunately they still make Ody models w/o VCM right?)

  10. #113
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    No, all Odyssey engines have VCM; from 2011-2017 it was VCM2 and from 2018 onward it is VCM3 (which so far seems far better sorted out than its predecessor).

    If you are buying used, it's true that you can't be absolutely certain what condition the insides of the engine are in, but you can get clues from the outside to let you make at least a minimally educated guess. First, the spark plugs, specifically in cylinder number 3. If they are oily black, your wallet could well be in the red. "But that's easy to disguise by changing spark plugs early" you say? True - then look at the engine mounts. They are too expensive to fudge on a van you're about to unload. If they're trashed, especially the active one, be aware of what that could mean.

    The simple act of disabling VCM can also help clean up stuck rings if they're not too badly gummed up. A piston soak in Seafoam or B12 can sometimes help too if it's not too bad. But even if those things don't work perfectly, disabling VCM stops whatever damage has occurred from progressing - if you can live with the condition of the van as it is, disabling VCM preserves that. You don't HAVE to fix anything that has already happened.
    Last edited by CroMath; 04-14-2019 at 01:40 PM.
    2015 EX - Shear Comfort seat covers, Husky Liners floor liners, OEM cargo liner, S-VCM, Street Guardian dashcam, Lubegard Red

    There is no contradiction in having a soft heart and a hard mind.

  11. #114
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    You make some great points. I just figure with my luck the seller had to replace engine mounts, knew enough to put clean plugs in her, then stopped driving it. Result being I inherit the premature wear, which would otherwise be a non-factor in anything Honda.

    Paying a pro $75 for diagnostics designed for a used car buyer is a good idea anyway, and of course "enough" damage would show up on a compression test. It's that murky area of "it appears to be in good shape and thus a good value" when it's not what it appears that I worry about.

    Now I see why people say the best years are '07-10. That's a small range for what seems to be the most common make on the road around here.

  12. #115
    Registered User BertS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldskewel View Post
    I've had 100% reliability, no codes, no problems at all on my home-brewed 77 Ohm resistor. Yes, it offsets the temperature gauge by a tiny amount, but I don't worry about that and can make a mental correction if needed.
    With testing I've done I don't think you can count on being able to tell an overheating condition until the temperature gets very high - the gauge isn't linear.

    I have a VCMTuner II and with my Ody fully warmed up while driving my ODBII scan tool registers a 162 F coolant temperature. If I let it sit idling for over 2 minutes it changes to show the actual temperature of 194 F on the scan tool. There is no difference in the temperature gauge needle position with this 32 F difference in temperature. I did this test with the scan tool after sitting with my vehicle running and parked for over 3 minutes while staring at the needle and seeing absolutely no movement and wondering if the VCMTuner II was working correctly. The test proved it was.

    There is also a chart for S-VCM which shows that with an 82 Ohm resistor the actual temperature would be over 250F before the coolant temperature registered by the system would exceed 210F - the temperature threshold above which the S-VCM passes actual temperature data on to the system.

    As far as VCMTuner II reliability, It's only been 3 months since I installed it, but I've had no issues to date.
    2007 Odyssey Touring - Silver, Depaxed | VCMTuner II

  13. #116
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    Quote Originally Posted by BertS View Post
    With testing I've done I don't think you can count on being able to tell an overheating condition until the temperature gets very high - the gauge isn't linear.

    I have a VCMTuner II and with my Ody fully warmed up while driving my ODBII scan tool registers a 162 F coolant temperature. If I let it sit idling for over 2 minutes it changes to show the actual temperature of 194 F on the scan tool. There is no difference in the temperature gauge needle position with this 32 F difference in temperature. I did this test with the scan tool after sitting with my vehicle running and parked for over 3 minutes while staring at the needle and seeing absolutely no movement and wondering if the VCMTuner II was working correctly. The test proved it was.

    There is also a chart for S-VCM which shows that with an 82 Ohm resistor the actual temperature would be over 250F before the coolant temperature registered by the system would exceed 210F - the temperature threshold above which the S-VCM passes actual temperature data on to the system.

    As far as VCMTuner II reliability, It's only been 3 months since I installed it, but I've had no issues to date.
    From deeper knowledge on other cars, these things are typically piecewise linear mappings from the sensor reading to the gauge angle. Sometimes user-programmable by editing the firmware. And yes, they typically compress things in the middle, to prevent people from worrying about variations that the designers consider ignorable. Sheeple like to see a gauge that tells them things are all good, and thats what they're given. But being piecewise linear, the gauge does actually move as the temperature changes, although it can be a really small amount.

    I have looked at the info from S-VCM and the other one, and as soon as I see anything that I know to be incorrect or misleading (and there's plenty of this to be found on the more advanced solutions), I look at everything with doubt, including things like the data you cited from them.

    They have a solution for a problem that does not really affect me (reports of engine overheating of these engines are rare and seem to only happen on really neglected Odysseys) and oversell its importance. Just my opinion.

    Personally, I'd be FAR more interested in an ATF temp gauge vs. being concerned about accuracy of a coolant temp gauge.
    2011 Odyssey LX, 106k miles
    1999 Odyssey EX, 234k miles, original owner

  14. #117
    Registered User BertS's Avatar
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    I'm just passing on the knowledge of what I observed - the needle didn't move even when temperature on the scan tool jumped from 162F to 194F after idling a few minutes and the maintenance mode kicked in. It tells me with a resistor product the actual temperature could be above 210F and climbing but the needle could be in the same position.

    I know overheating isn't very common, but if it did occur, I would want to know about it as soon as it is happening and before it gets too hot and possibly damages the engine. It's a long story that I don't want to get into, but there are reasons I'm sensitive to this possibility.
    2007 Odyssey Touring - Silver, Depaxed | VCMTuner II

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