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Old 06-21-2006, 06:24 PM   #1
jblaine
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Default Hydra: Car dies momentarily

So, here's a fun one.

A week or two ago, I shifted from 2nd to 3rd, let out the clutch, and started pressing the gas in "around town" mode. No boost, just tooling around. The dash lit up like a Christmas tree (loss of electrical or ECU control) for .2 seconds, the car fell on its face, and then continued right on. I glance at my radar detector which shows voltage. Fine.

"Ummm... thaaaaat was cool."

Take the car out and datalog a bunch of conditions. Nothing wrong.

Check all grounding spots. Fine. Tight.

"Maybe it was a fluke..."

A few days later, I am idling in a parking space for 2-3 minutes. Car shuts off. No stumbling before shut off, nothing. Fine --> OFF.

"Sweet."

A few days later, I am idling at a stop light for 2-3 minutes. Car shuts off. No stumbling before shut off, nothing. Fine --> OFF.

"Yay, this is great."

Last night I datalogged the whole way to my parents' house for a visit, as usual. And all the way back. For the sake of the datalogging/goal at hand, I had 'Closed Loop' turned off completely. Everything ran perfectly fine. I logged no abnormalities in any of the maps or conditions.

So, I am going to keep Closed Loop off based on the wild assumption at this point that my WB02 sensor is screwed and causing trouble. It doesn't really make any sense though, because I use Closed Loop between 2000-3200RPM. Idling is 950RPM and the car still died those 2 times...

Let me hear any ideas.
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Old 06-21-2006, 08:13 PM   #2
Element Tuning
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"(loss of electrical or ECU control)"

Under all situations did you loose all electrical power or just power to the ECU and engine function?

I had something similar happen to me once but the dash lights stayed on. My cam sprocket sensor cam loose from the mount so the ecu lost the cams sync and the engine died.

Of course it doesn't happen when data logging Murphy's Law.

Phil
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Old 06-22-2006, 11:36 AM   #3
jblaine
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What happens is the car loses all "power", I glance at the dash and it's lit up as if I had just gotten into the car and only turned the key to ACC. Then, in a flash, all of those lights go back out and the car continues as normal.
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Old 06-22-2006, 12:51 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jblaine
What happens is the car loses all "power", I glance at the dash and it's lit up as if I had just gotten into the car and only turned the key to ACC. Then, in a flash, all of those lights go back out and the car continues as normal.
Even with no ECU your dash lights will turn on so I'm not leaning towards a problem there. It sounds like you have an ignition switched power issue. We had something really strange like that happen when I worked for TurboXS and it was a bad daytime running light module. Unplug that module which is located behind your glove box and see if you continue to have problems. You will no longer have day time running lights if you do this by the way.

Thanks,
Phil
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Old 06-22-2006, 02:38 PM   #5
jblaine
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Just want to make sure my description was clear -- a better way to describe it is this:

It's exactly like the state you are left in when you stall a WRX. You're sitting there in gear with the dash lit up. That's exactly what happens for an INSTANT then the car continues.

I will yank the DRL module out. Never like it anyway. Weight savings
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Old 06-22-2006, 05:01 PM   #6
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Well if that's the case it opens the doors for other issues such as:

Loss of power to ECU (definitely possible). Check for a bad relay, harness, broken wire to Hydra etc. While the car is running you can gently move the wires around the harness area to see if you get a reaction.

Loss of crank or cam signal (definitely possible). You can run the crank trigger test under tools/crank trigger test. This diagnostic will show you if there is a loss of either signal. It stores it an dumps it into a log. Here is what it looks like: The 1st normal the second bad, the third there is no cam signal



Loss of all spark producing items (not likely all at the same time)

Loss of fuel (possible, clogged fuel filter, bad pump, bad pump controller). This one is a real pain to diagnose. All the Hydra does here is supply a PWM to the OEM fuel pump controller based on RPM and it does the rest. Noisy pump, replace. Pump ok, then jump pump to power to bypass OEM fuel pump controller and test.

Thanks,
Phil
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Old 06-22-2006, 08:03 PM   #7
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I assume 'Tools -> Crank trigger test' is part of 2.17 + reflash as I don't have it in my menu with 2.14v11.

I wiggled all of the Hydra harness wires gently - nope

I poked and prodded at the fuel pump relay wiring - nope

Cam position sensor seems firmly attached and plugged in

Funny enough, as I was sitting there with the Hydra connected poking around in menus (not changing anything really), it died on me. I was too slow to notice the error message that flashed on the Hydra software interface for .1 seconds as it does

I'll replace my fuel filter as the next step. I am also installing a Cobb crankshaft pulley on Saturday, so I will have hands-on access to the crank position sensor to diddle with it.
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Old 06-22-2006, 08:52 PM   #8
BlackEyeII
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Default Yikes

I hate electrical stuff, I fear taking out my turbo timer...
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Old 06-22-2006, 09:03 PM   #9
Element Tuning
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jblaine
I assume 'Tools -> Crank trigger test' is part of 2.17 + reflash as I don't have it in my menu with 2.14v11.

I wiggled all of the Hydra harness wires gently - nope

I poked and prodded at the fuel pump relay wiring - nope

Cam position sensor seems firmly attached and plugged in

Funny enough, as I was sitting there with the Hydra connected poking around in menus (not changing anything really), it died on me. I was too slow to notice the error message that flashed on the Hydra software interface for .1 seconds as it does

I'll replace my fuel filter as the next step. I am also installing a Cobb crankshaft pulley on Saturday, so I will have hands-on access to the crank position sensor to diddle with it.
Jblaine,

You can use 2.17 for testing the triggers but don't download with it. The error message was most likely a lost connection due to a power loss. That error only comes up when that happens but it can also happen when the map is out of sync with the Hydra. It's called a syncronization error or check sum and pops up in a grey box in the middle of the screen. I would focus on a power loss issue more than the crank sync since you saw that message pop up.

If you want to rule out the Hydra right away you can send it off for testing of the power circuit.

Thanks,
Phil
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Old 06-22-2006, 09:15 PM   #10
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could the turning off be related to your fan relay? The common thing from your post may be that you were idling long enough to kick your fans on, and driving at slow enough speed in city traffic to kick them on as well, and when they kick on that happens?

don't know just trying to think of somethign to link those that is electrical.

Ben
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Old 06-23-2006, 09:22 AM   #11
jblaine
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Ben, that's a very real possibility. In fact, I was sniffing down that trail yesterday just before posting my last report.

When the car died while sitting there yesterday, I noticed the coolant temp was 82C, which is what I have my fans set to kick in at. "Hmmmm"

I started the car up again and kept increasing the "on" temp for the fan. I'd wait for the coolant temp to rise to the threshold, the fan would kick in fine and the car would continue fine.

It is definitely something I will check further as I continue.
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Old 06-23-2006, 09:24 AM   #12
jblaine
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Element Tuning
The error message was most likely a lost connection due to a power loss. That error only comes up when that happens but it can also happen when the map is out of sync with the Hydra. It's called a syncronization error or check sum and pops up in a grey box in the middle of the screen. I would focus on a power loss issue more than the crank sync since you saw that message pop up.
The error I saw was not in a box. It was where the 'online' tag normally is (or just to the right of it).
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Old 06-23-2006, 09:59 AM   #13
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Well, I don't know if this is a valid test, but it looks fine to me. The instructions said to crank the engine for 10 seconds during the test and I wasn't about to bother to de-fuel my lines or pull fuses this morning. I ran the test with the car idling. I ran it 4 or 5 times and got the same results.

Although... it is "long short" where your picture shows "long short short"

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Old 06-23-2006, 11:09 AM   #14
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jblaine,

You can run the crank trigger test with the car running. This is the correct signal for the WRX (2 vs 3 for the cam signal on the STI).

The fan issue is interesting. Watch the AFR in a data log when the car cuts out. The standard refresh rate of the main screen is only 1 hz so monitoring the voltage there will not help nor the AFR. When there is a sudden demand for current such as when the radiator fans come on or the AC, a sudden drop in voltage occurs. The amount depends on the state of the electrical system in a particular car. If you see that the car leans out under this condition then increasing the "injector response curve" will help. Monitor this map to see what the voltage is dropping to. Increase the value at the lower voltage site to increase fuel delivery which will compensate for the drop in voltage. What voltage is seen at the ecu (reported by Hydra) once the fans are running and AC if you use it?

Usually cars with standard flywheels can handle this but I've tuned some cars with extremely light flywheels and it needs to be spot on.

Thanks,
Phil
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Old 06-23-2006, 11:25 AM   #15
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Check your Pos connection to your battery as well.

I had this exact same thing happen and it turned out that my pos. connection to the battery had come loose just a bit. Has never done it since. I mean it was just a little loose. Car would run great then for a split second it would shut down then come back on like nothing happened.
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Old 06-23-2006, 01:49 PM   #16
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Okay, I poked around at lunch.

* Battery terminals are plenty tight. Checked when this started, but checked again.
* AC has not been on any time the car has died, so I am leaving it out of the picture.

At idle, voltage is 13.1 to 13.3 as recorded by the Hydra.

When the radiator fan kicks in, voltage drops to around 11.8-12.0 and AFRs lean .3 or .4.

As a test, I set my idle AFRs to 14.9:1 (which are never that lean) then forced a fan kick-in. AFRs dropped momentarily to 15.3 then stabilized back at 14.9 and the car ran fine the whole time.

I was unable to get the car to die at all over the last hour of screwing with it at idle.
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Old 06-26-2006, 11:24 AM   #17
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Replaced fuel filter Saturday.

Car died for .3s this morning in 2nd gear.
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Old 06-27-2006, 05:02 PM   #18
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Sory to hijack but i've been having trouble with my spark and fuel cutting for no reason when clutching into a stop sometimes so i thought i'd run a crank trigger test just out of curiousity. It's a 99RS cas and my log is very inconsistent....long long short long short short long long short long short long long etc., there seems to be no real pattern. The log was at idle aswell jsut incase that throws the readings off. Some of the longs are shorter than other's aswell. Should i look deeper into this?
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Old 07-25-2006, 09:49 AM   #19
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Replaced 5 year-old alternator with SubaruBucks.

Problem still persists. Happened in 5th gear at cruise RPM/load on the interstate last week

I will remove the daytime running light module next.
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Old 07-25-2006, 02:28 PM   #20
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Try the running module but it might be time to send the Hydra in for an inspection of the power supply system.

Thanks,
Phil
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Old 07-25-2006, 07:13 PM   #21
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my car tried to die every couple of minutes i found it was the 30 amp relay next to the ecu. it would get hot and shut the car off for a brief sec. dont know if that is any help
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Old 07-26-2006, 12:03 PM   #22
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How did you fix it? Replaced it?
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Old 07-26-2006, 11:06 PM   #23
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i pulled my carpet back and turned on the AC to keep it cool when it gets hot that seems to work good im still trying to think of something to stop it from happening
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Old 09-01-2006, 01:03 AM   #24
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jblaine.... you get this fixed?

My hydra did this once and then never again...
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Old 09-01-2006, 01:57 AM   #25
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Nope, happened tonight after 2 weeks 4 days of not doing it.
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