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DPChip lifts GoSee Colorado LT-R diesel tow tug engine efficiency 

May 07, 2012
DPChip lifts GoSee Colorado LT-R  diesel tow tug engine efficiency

It is eight months since GoSee's 2010 Holden Colorado LT-R VCDi 3 litre 4x4 auto crew cab pickup became the third of our tow tugs to be DPChipped (DP31). Doyen of the Berrima NSW DPChip team Reinhard Leimroth plugged in a chip and AWD dyno tuned the Colorado on September 7, 2011.

The Colorado diesel replaces a Holden Captiva diesel auto and a Rodeo diesel manual which were also DPChipped.

It joins the GoSee tow tug flagship our 100 series Toyota Sahara turbo diesel auto which has improved across the board in towing performance and fuel efficiency with DPChip enhancement of its engine map.

Berrima (NSW) Diesel Service, the company behind DPChip has been working exclusively on diesels since 1956. The DPChip is available for all EFI diesel 4wd's and independently alters both fuel and fuel timing to optimise the entire engine map.

GoSee emphasises that our prime objective in fitting DPChip is better towing performance in GoSee Electronically Fuel Injected .(EFI) tow vehicles.

As it happens engine efficiency has improved in all our EFI vehicles across a variety of towing situations which include strong headwinds and hilly country. Readers should note the deliberate use of the words engine efficiency not fuel economy. The GoSee tow tugs have not made big gains in terms of fuel economy. It is certain that if weight is added to a tow vehicle it will be less economic.

This obviously includes weight added in the vehicle to its carrying capacity as well asweight behind like caravans, horse floats and trailers on the towbar.

But with well engineered vehicles, designed to tow, their engines, transmission and gearing produce an efficient result within the engines towing design parameters. In GoSees experience this efficient result often up to doubles their fuel usage compared with when they are being driven unladen with pure fuel economy as the goal.

Strong winds, bad driver habits, traffic conditions and high road speed certainly increase fuel consumption when towing. Another factor is human nature, which means that if more power is available it will be used.

Over the last two months fuel consumption figures for the Colorado auto are now consistent in normal towing at around 13 litre per 100 km. When the Colorado is not towing it is in the 8's in high gear highway running and round town 10's.

GoSee is happy with these fuel figures, but the real benefit is in the extra power which is being delivered efficiently when it is needed for towing.

As the Berrima Diesel Mainline Dynolog chassis Dyno Report shows maximum torque, measured at the flywheel went up to 380Nm between 2100rpm and 2500rpm compared to the standard 333Nm at 1600rpm. Variables apply, DPChip says and the 402Nm quoted on the DPChip website for the Colorado LT-R four-speed auto is an optimum result with the DPChip fitted.

Here is the link to the Dyno Report:

The Chip is certainly helping the Colorado with power and engine efficiency where it is needed.

GoSee thinks the 3lt VCDi Auto has improved about 11 percent compared to the dyno numbers before the DPChip was fitted.

Reinhard Leimroth  of DPChip (L) with Graham and Alan from GoSee.
Reinhard Leimroth of DPChip (L) with Graham and Alan from GoSee.

GoSee has used the same driver and Jayco Westport 19 ft caravan thoughout the eight months of the evaluation. There is a marked difference in our immediate reaction to the before and after DPChip when we compare the former GoSee GXL auto Captiva and the LT-R VDCi Colorado 4x4.

The power delivery improvement in the Captiva was more marked with an overall benefit of a 22 percent increase in power. The Captiva had slight turbo lag before Berrima Diesel gave it a chip and none after the chip went in and the Captiva was dyno tuned.

This comment needs to be seen against the balancer that the Captiva is a Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV) designed to carry people and the Colorado is a small, truck-like ute designed to handle workloads and towing. But overall there has certainly been a learning curve and bedding in period involved in getting the best from the LT-R VCDi Colorado and by association the DPChip.

GoSee has seen 16 litres per 100km towing, 12s around town and 9s with trips included from the Colorado.

After the Colorado's 60,000 km service GoSee travelled to Beaufort with our Jayco Westport caravan. On route to Beaufort GoSee encountered heavy head winds. Travelling home two days later was worse with gale force cross winds which gusted to 140khm and some sections of tail wind. Fuel use for the overall trip was 16.35 litres per 100km at about 90 kph.

Before the DPChip when towing the Jayco Westport to Bendigo into rotten head wind fuel use was 16.57 litres per 100km, then on the way home, with no wind 15.05 litres per 100km.

Hayman Reese Digital scale records Jayco Westport ball weight
Hayman Reese Digital scale records Jayco Westport ball weight

On the trip north to have the DPChip fitted Geelong/Canberra/Berrima (two fills averaged) 9.32 litres per 100km was the result and on the return run two fills averaged 9.57.

A 1,650km return business trip to South Australia (not towing) was a real pleasure, comfortable and a breeze in the long-legged Colorado. At the 630 km fill, the fuel light had just come on as we pulled in we had 15 litres left in the 76 litre tank so probably another 100 kms comfortably at that rate.

The GoSee TravelSmart Club memberFuel Use Calculator crunches those numbers to tell us that the Colorado averaged 9.68 litres per 100 km, which is 10.33 kilometres a litre or 29.17mpg. So going all the way to empty would have taken the Colorado to 784.95km.

GoSee Jayco Westport caravan comments -

Colorado empty wheel arch height above ground level - Engel, Dual battery and tool box fitted to left side Ute- (about 80 kgs) LF 870mm, LR 865, RF 870, RR 890.

The Westport is fitted with 2 x 9 kg LPG Bottles. One full 20 kgs, the other 14 kgs.

Weights / measurements done without gas bottles but equal tothe 275 ball weight figure from previous weighing from Jockey wheel 240 kgs.

From ball (propped up with timber) 201 kgs, so you would think with gas bottles fitted ball weight would be *236 which is better than last thought.

Westport handling without Hayman Reese WDH: Picked up the caravan at North Geelong and came home via Ring Road - about 15 kms, just tow ball, no WDH - ute sat low in rear. Caravan low at front.

Cross wind blowing. Ring Road at 90 kmph felt like the back wheels were steering the vehicle. First time it has felt like that. Slowed down to 80 kmph and felt safer.

Wheel measurements without WDH Ute: LF 880mm. LR 850, RF 890, RR 860 Caravan front/road 355mm, rear 450, 200 clearance from road to bottom of tow tongue.

Fitted Hayman Reese WDH -Ute: LF 870mm, LR 860, RF 870, RR 865 Caravan front/road 420mm, rear 390, 305 clearance from road to bottom of WDH tow tongue.

This is the set up used for past tests and trips with the Colorado LT-R auto.

201 kg on the Jayco Westport  ball
201 kg on the Jayco Westport ball

Jayco Westport Caravan details:

1999 Jayco Westport 17.71-1 Length 19'.

First Reg 1999 Width 8'.

GVM 2600 kgs. Ball Weight 185 (*See notes).

Tyres 4 x 185R14/102 LT80 Bluestreak by Bridgestone.2 x 80 ltr Water tanks 160kgs.

2 x 9 kg LPG Bottles 18kgs.

Standard Specifications: Holden Colorado LTR VCDi 3 litre VCDi 4x4 diesel four-speed auto details:

Engine diesel turbo charged common rail intercooled electronic fuel injection.

Capacity 2,999 cc.

Size 3.0L.

Cylinders Turbo diesel 4.

Valve Gear overhead valve.

Bore x Stroke 95.5x104.9.

Max Power 120kW @ 3600 RPM.

Max Torque 333Nm @ 1600 RPM.

Compression Ratio 18.3.

No. of Valves 8.

Fuel diesel.

Capacity 76 L

Towing - Braked 3,000 kg.

Gross Vehicle Mass 2,900 kg.

Ground Clearance 225 mm.

Engine Transmission: Limited Slip Differential standard feature.

Service interval 6 months/10,000 kms.

Warranty 36 months/100,000km.

ANCAP crash test rating 3 star.

Editors Note: Also see -

DPChip in place  under  battery bracket
DPChip in place under battery bracket
GoSee Colorado LT-R  at DPChip Berrima NSW
GoSee Colorado LT-R at DPChip Berrima NSW
GoSee Colorado LT-R on dyno at  DPChip Berrima
GoSee Colorado LT-R on dyno at DPChip Berrima
 Berrima Diesel
Berrima Diesel
Hayman Reese WDH with drop shank
Hayman Reese WDH with drop shank
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