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Old 03-18-2009, 04:40 AM   #1
AKSubieDubie
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Default Fireballs = blown motor(s)?

O.K. I am about to start crying. Seriously..

I have:
NEW OEM STi crank

ACL main bearings (.001-.00125 #1, .0015 all the rest)
Cosworth rod bearings (.0015 - .002)

11mm 08 sti pump with the 2 shims from my old 10mm pump. I took some 600 grit sand paper and sanded the plunger after reading about some people having problems with it sticking.

Eagle Hbeam rods

Wiseco 100mm pistons.

Manley dual valve springs, +1mm manley valves

ARP studs, stock gasket

STOCK manifold & uppipe, ATP 3076R, 3'' catless downpipe and "catback"

Running 20psi with 90octane + 375cc/min nozzle Meth/H20 injection (about 10-11% water/meth to fuel.. decent)

**

Here's how I "broke" it in:
put 400 ish miles on it, pretty easy ones, then I set the rev limiter back to stock but didn't really start laying into it often till after 500 miles.

Changed the oil at 500 or so.
I let it idle probably for 5 or 6 hours, probably more total.

I set the rev limiter back up there. Get the MAF all scaled, and it's within 2%.
I got the fuel dialed i pretty good today, they were 10.8 or so past couple days. I get it to 11.2-11.5 with 50/50 meth inj to keep it a little on the safe side.


I'm using 5w40 rotella. A tad looser clearances + bigger pump.
****

I was out at the ice track not getting on it that hard. I'm there with suby_do for a few hours he's with a couple chicks and I'm ripping around. It blows fireballs every now and then if I'm at the right boost and the A/F is down there at like 11:1.

I'm going around datalogging and figuring out where all the negative "knock correction advance" are.. I found some from 2000-2150 rpms and 0.50-0.90 load. It varies from -1 to -3.5

There also was a -1.5 event about where it looks like I lifted the throttle at 7100 rpm. I think this could be my (50/50) BOV snapping shut, as it's kinda loud and metallic when it does.

I go into romraider and yank a half degree up top anyways, and 2 degrees at the 2000rpm event tapering the cells close to it as well.

I wait for a little bit and decided to log some more


As I go around, I let off the gas and push the clutch in so i can yank the Ebrake to slide around a corner. I hear the usual pop-thump with a little flash of orange behind me. The check engine light comes on, and the car dies (with clutch in, it popped at 4 or 5000 rpm)... I'm like.. wow thats wierd. I start it back up and It only took an extra 1 or 2 compression strokes (usually only takes 2 for it to fire up)

I eventually decide to just re tune it to get rid of any knocking, even though I know the check engine will come out. If it came on, It'll come back on.



We go to leave, the girls go home, and we drop my buddys car off. We rip around for a little bit trying to get the ECU to set up it's "advance" values for further fine tuning. We go to take off next to this truck, he gets on it a little and Im like whatever. We take off slowly and get up to the speed limit (45).

I catch up slowly and as I'm next to the truck it sounds like he's getting on it, and I'm only at about 10-15% throttle and I hear a rod knock noise.. I goose it 5 or so % to see if It still makes it and It did. I pull into a parking lot, it dies again randomly. I get out to check oil-It's perfect, right on the full dot. I see little teeny flakes, but that was from the assembly lube with the moly disulfide stuff.

We think for a bit and determine it could be the oil pump relief sticking open. It could be the exhaust rattle that comes from the rear.

We get the Idea that the pickup tube could have broken (I lightly dumped into a little snow and got stuck at the ice track), but I crawl underneath and there arent' any dings in the oil pan.


I decide to drop him off, and keep the rpm's below 2200 or so. I make it home without hearing any noises, and I get it into my garage. I rev it up to 3000 goosing it and it makes no noise, then i hear the distinct "rod knock" sound and think NNOOO!!! I shut it off.

I pull the dipstick, and It's still full. I go upstairs with a bright flashlight and really good magnifying glass and look at it. The teeny shiny things are hard to see (from the moly assm lube) but I notice a couple bigger flakes.. definitley something.


** Anyone else have this issue? I'm 60% sure this is exactly what happened when I blew my other turbo (then my motor within a couple hours of putting on the new one). It "backfired", blew a little ball of fire and got a check engine light. I think we pulled that code last time and it said "camshaft timing over advance" ... something along those lines.


The light came back on while puttering it home below 2200 rpm.. but I don't have a scanner. If only romraider or some other program let you check the CEL with the tactrix unit.

Here's my base timing table.. with the little ping/knock fixes that I mentioned above.. As you can see it's somewhat conservative. A lot depends on other things though such as MAF scaling / etc..
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Last edited by AKSubieDubie; 03-18-2009 at 05:24 AM. Reason: table
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Old 03-18-2009, 09:49 AM   #2
Homemade WRX
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first question...do you have an oil pressure gauge?
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Old 03-18-2009, 10:08 AM   #3
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Why 90 octane? +1 for oil pressure gauge
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Old 03-18-2009, 10:22 AM   #4
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You let the engine idle for 5 to 6 hours at one time? You did this to a new engine???
You should NEVER let a new engine sit at the same rpm for any given length of time, let alone 5 hours!! Not that this is what destroyed your new engine, but wow..........
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Old 03-18-2009, 10:57 AM   #5
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My car shoots big fireballs out the exhaust, 3-4', and afterfires so loud sometimes that I had a group of people on the street start yelling about somebody shooting a gun.

It sounds like you have other problems but afterfire/fireballs combined with an avcs overadvanced CEL could indicate a cam timing problem.

And you can check CELs with a tactrix cable using ECUExplorer.
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Old 03-18-2009, 10:57 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 305mouse View Post
Why 90 octane? +1 for oil pressure gauge
90 is the highest grade we have up here. You either tune for it or add Torco.
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Old 03-18-2009, 04:41 PM   #7
AKSubieDubie
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I mean 5 or 6 hours total combined. I think the longest it sat running was like a hour. I don't see why it would be bad for it. I think there are just too many rumors about break ins.

Ecuexplorer? I THINK I tried it before.. but it didn't work on 32 bit ecu's?
I'll have to look into this again.

And no oil pressure gauge. I have one for my truck but I took it off awhile ago- Only thing is I don't know if it's a dummy gauge or what. It just reads 100 psi all the time, and 110 psi when it's -20 outside. Could just be my truck's roudy oil pump.. 5.4 modular (glowshift gauge)
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Old 03-18-2009, 06:49 PM   #8
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Dude, that sux. Don't feel too bad, I went through 3 builds before getting it right.Good luck man. Time to pull the pan and see if any of those bearings are loose...
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Old 03-18-2009, 06:52 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AKSubieDubie View Post
Ecuexplorer? I THINK I tried it before.. but it didn't work on 32 bit ecu's?
I'll have to look into this again.
ECUExplorer can read CELs and change the idle RPM on the fly with 32 bit ECUs. Or at least my 05 STI.
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Old 03-18-2009, 07:19 PM   #10
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Sorry but you spent all that money on your engine and didn't bother to buy a Oil Pressure gauge!?!?!?!


I can't feel sorry for you...

-Jerod
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Old 03-18-2009, 07:28 PM   #11
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what was the reason for building a new motor?did the other motor spin a brg?if you had metal thru the old motor I'll bet there was still a minute amount of material still in your sandwich oil cooler that your oil filter spins on to and the material gradually made its way back to your bearings.
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Old 03-18-2009, 07:43 PM   #12
AKSubieDubie
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Quote:
Originally Posted by john 1badSTI View Post
what was the reason for building a new motor?did the other motor spin a brg?if you had metal thru the old motor I'll bet there was still a minute amount of material still in your sandwich oil cooler that your oil filter spins on to and the material gradually made its way back to your bearings.

That's possible. I had the machine shop clean the piss out of it, and I cleaned the piss out of it too for a good half hour with gas (ran out of brake cleaner)

No blown head gasket. Just drained oil, still looks like theres a bunch of assy lube in there, but I'm beginning to doubt it. There is still teeny tiny metallic looking flakes in there but only a few bigger ones (.002 or .003 thou?)

. It's draining (for awhile) as we speak.. I cut up an old black t shirt and I'm going to strain it to see if i can catch any big chunks should there be any.

Last edited by AKSubieDubie; 03-18-2009 at 08:13 PM.
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Old 03-18-2009, 07:43 PM   #13
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I have to agree with the oil pressure gauge comment. Even i wanted to get boost, egt, and oil pressure out of the way before going any further then intake and exhaust.
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Old 03-18-2009, 07:50 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AKSubieDubie View Post
That's possible. I had the machine shop clean the piss out of it, and I cleaned the piss out of it too for a good half hour with gas (ran out of brake cleaner)

No blown head gasket. Just drained oil, still looks like theres a bunch of assy lube in there, but I'm beginning to doubt it. There is still teeny tiny metallic looking flakes in there but only a few bigger ones (.002 or .003 thou?)

. It's draining as we speak.. I cut up an old black t shirt and I'm going to strain it to see if i can catch any big chunks should there be any.
jeff spounagle had a post on here where he cleaned the hell out of one off a motor with a spun bearing he cut it open and it still had pieces of bearing in it even though he thoroughly cleaned it out so he thought.also even if he had a gauge on it the left over material would have already done its damage regardless of what the gauge might have read.
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Old 03-18-2009, 07:50 PM   #15
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how long after oil pressure drop can engine damage occur?
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Old 03-18-2009, 07:54 PM   #16
AKSubieDubie
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Quote:
Originally Posted by john 1badSTI View Post
jeff spounagle had a post on here where he cleaned the hell out of one off a motor with a spun bearing he cut it open and it still had pieces of bearing in it even though he thoroughly cleaned it out so he thought.also even if he had a gauge on it the left over material would have already done its damage regardless of what the gauge might have read.

Hmm...

Yeah. I think the oil is cooled first the goes into the oil filter though?
Smaller pieces could get through though.
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Old 03-18-2009, 11:00 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by john 1badSTI View Post
what was the reason for building a new motor?did the other motor spin a brg?if you had metal thru the old motor I'll bet there was still a minute amount of material still in your sandwich oil cooler that your oil filter spins on to and the material gradually made its way back to your bearings.
Quote:
Originally Posted by AKSubieDubie View Post
That's possible. I had the machine shop clean the piss out of it, and I cleaned the piss out of it too for a good half hour with gas (ran out of brake cleaner)

No blown head gasket. Just drained oil, still looks like theres a bunch of assy lube in there, but I'm beginning to doubt it. There is still teeny tiny metallic looking flakes in there but only a few bigger ones (.002 or .003 thou?)

. It's draining (for awhile) as we speak.. I cut up an old black t shirt and I'm going to strain it to see if i can catch any big chunks should there be any.
Quote:
Originally Posted by AKSubieDubie View Post
Hmm...

Yeah. I think the oil is cooled first the goes into the oil filter though?
Smaller pieces could get through though.
You would be surprised. I spun a bearing in my H6 a while back and I ran perhaps 20 gallons of cleaner thru the oil cooler. (a Recirculating cleaner bench). I cut it open, and holy ***. After looking at how it is constructed, it is pretty much impossible to get everything out. While a very good cleaning might push what is easy to get out, there will always be some left.

I have resused them in the past, but no longer.

Jeff Sponaugle
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Old 03-18-2009, 11:24 PM   #18
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Hmm Yeah I'll see about ordering a new one I guess.. and some bearings..
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Old 03-20-2009, 12:24 AM   #19
AKSubieDubie
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Alright.. pulled code finally. P0021.. intake cam over advance bank 2 I believe. Same one as before.

I did a little digging on this code, and it seems people seem to get them when their little screens in the AVCS banjo bolts get clogged.

I removed mine when doing the motor. I have a couple little thoughts on what could be happening...

Lack of oil pressure in that area, keeping the intake valve advanced when it shouldn't be. Could have helped that fireball come about.

Hmm...
I'll be tearing it down very soon for inspection.
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Old 03-20-2009, 01:06 AM   #20
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You said you "yanked the e-brake to slide around a corner"....possible oil starvation during a high speed turn?? Spun Bearing? thoughts, anyone?
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Old 03-20-2009, 02:25 AM   #21
AKSubieDubie
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All of this was on the ice, with tight corners and a fairly narrow track (2 car widths), so I can't go too fast. But it's possible.

The oil was at the full level, right on the "F" hole.
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Old 03-20-2009, 12:10 PM   #22
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I'm willing to bet your Oil pressure was low - Clogged Cooler or failed pump...

You really should invest in an oil pressure gauge immediately after you get it back together... Even if its the only gauge you run - its so well worth the money.

I say this and don't have one myself - but I have $0.00 into my motor and if it pops--- I won't be out anything...

Keep us posted...

-Jerod
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Old 03-20-2009, 02:17 PM   #23
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What everyone has said sounds dead-on to me. Oil pressure gauge is a must. also, how many oil changes did you do? I did 3 within the first 1000 miles. The first two we saw assembly moly and bits of the skirt coating. The last change we didn't see anything.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AKSubieDubie View Post
right on the "F" hole.
This made me LOL
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Old 03-20-2009, 05:47 PM   #24
AKSubieDubie
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I did one change at 400 or 500 miles... and all this started at ~700.

Also I have an AEM Wideband & Eboost2 gauge =D

I'll figure out what the deal is with the glowshift oil pressure gauge that I had on my truck.

I'm yanking the motor here in a couple hours so I'll see what else is inside pandora's box...
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Old 03-20-2009, 06:26 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AKSubieDubie View Post
Alright.. pulled code finally. P0021.. intake cam over advance bank 2 I believe. Same one as before.

I did a little digging on this code, and it seems people seem to get them when their little screens in the AVCS banjo bolts get clogged.

I removed mine when doing the motor. I have a couple little thoughts on what could be happening...

Lack of oil pressure in that area, keeping the intake valve advanced when it shouldn't be. Could have helped that fireball come about.

Hmm...
I'll be tearing it down very soon for inspection.

You may need some new AVCS cam gears then. They advance with added oil pressure and are retarded with no oil pressure. If you have bearing particles and gunk packed inside your adjustable cam gears you'll always be advanced. I don't know if you can rebuild them. Someone had some pics on here of an AVCS cam gear taken apart.
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