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Old 04-11-2009, 08:45 PM   #1
williaty
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Default Post-Install Problems with Cams

I have a 2005 2.5RS with intake, throttle body spacer, EL headers, and a cat delete. Since it's an 05, the ECU is tuned via RomRaider and EcuFlash. I just installed the Delta 2000 Grind cams and things are less than stellar.

Before you ask, yes, I read the huge Delta Cams thread and tried all the suggestions in it. I'm now looking for ideas that might not have made it into that big thread.

Specifically, I have two discrete problems that may or may not be related. The first problem is that the cams didn't produce cammy goodness. In fact, you could quite easily mistake the car for stock. The second problem is that the car will not return to idle without stalling unless the idle speed target is at or above 950 RPM.

Looking at the performance aspect first, these cams still make the car feel like stock. In fact, I could not pull away from an 07 2.5i and he ended up having to lift to avoid catching me. If you look at the graph below, you can see that the engine loading is lower with the cams. Engine loading is a measure of how much air is making it into the cylinder each time it fills. A plot of engine loading and torque will have the same shape so a change to engine loading shows up as an equivalent change in torque. As you can see, the cams' loading is lower than the stock loading except for in the last 1000 RPM. All the cams really did is shift the entire load plot 600RPM to the right. From the glowing reports so many rs25.com members have made, I don't think this is how it's supposed to feel or behave.


The second problem is that the car refuses to return to idle without stalling. It will idle fine on first start and will idle fine if you can manage to use your right foot to get it stabilized back to idle. Even if the idle speed target is set to 650RPM, the car never throws any misfire codes. Immediately after an ECU reset, the engine will stall without any fight at all if you let off the gas and let the engine try to return to idle, just like you shut it off with the key. After a couple hundred miles of driving, the engine will sometimes manage to barely make it to idle and other times will stall after struggling for a moment. Immediately after a reset, when watching the engine via RomRaider, the ECU will shut off the injectors when I lift my foot off the gas (which is correct) and then simply never turn them back on before the engine dies. After some driving to get it to the point that it fights for a moment before it dies, you can watch the injectors turn back on, then the car goes really rich, stumbles and bounces up in RPM, then goes really lean, stumbles and drops in RPM, then goes really rich again and dies.

I have had a professional mechanic remove the valve covers and rocker assemblies to verify that the cams are correctly installed, then confirm that my lash job was correct. Valve lash is set at 8 and 10 based on Delta's recommendation. However, Delta made that recommendation based on the assumption that my stock lash was 10 and 15 (according to Qman on rs25.com). Looking it up, my stock valve last is actually 8 and 10. Neither Jon nor Ken addressed this when I PMed them so they must not think it's a problem. I have also tried all the tricks to teach it how to idle listed in the big Delta Cams thread without any improvement.

Other random things people have asked me:
The MAF has been cleaned
The air filter is new
The spark plugs have about 10k miles on them and are set towards the tighter end of the stock gap range


Can any of you think of anything?
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Old 04-11-2009, 09:36 PM   #2
Jerry Xu
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Doesn't sound encouraging.
Just to throw it on the table, have you try this my friend:

http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/showthread.php?t=781242
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Old 04-11-2009, 09:38 PM   #3
williaty
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry Xu View Post
Doesn't sound encouraging.
Just to throw it on the table, have you try this my friend:

http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/showthread.php?t=781242
No I haven't. Largely because, like you, I don't have an IACV
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Old 04-11-2009, 09:53 PM   #4
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That is right. Off the table...
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Old 04-11-2009, 10:05 PM   #5
Jerry Xu
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Asking a simple question: When you valve lashing the new cams, do you remember that you extended the are lash screw quite a bit or not at all? I believe we have to on the new cams if it is made correctly.
The reason I am asking this, as silly as it may sound, if they actually did a wrong grind (probably very slim chance if at all). Did you do any measurement of the lopes before on the stock cams and after receiving the new cams?
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Old 04-11-2009, 10:07 PM   #6
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I had to significantly extend the little adjuster thingies on the rocker. No, I didn't compare the ground vs stock cams.
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Old 04-11-2009, 10:08 PM   #7
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How much of a support do you think you will get from Delta? After all, they should be rather aware of all the issues and consequences of installing their cams, and hopefully you're not the first case with such symptoms...
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Old 04-11-2009, 10:11 PM   #8
williaty
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I have contacted both of the public-facing representatives of Delta with the problem. One of them just forwarded me to the other. The answer I got said, basically "It's not the cams, check the compression".

The problem with that suggestion is that I already know the compression is low on this motor.
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Old 04-11-2009, 10:16 PM   #9
Jerry Xu
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About the lash. Yesterday I was speaking to Jon about my own project. I asked him about your case and the lash setting. He said the lash cannot be set too small otherwise will overheat or something. He said that all these are made exactly the same for the RS and most people have no problem. problem is usually other than the cams. Just to pass this on to you--you already heard that.
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Old 04-11-2009, 10:18 PM   #10
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Well, it's set to what Delta recommended, 8 and 10.
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Old 04-11-2009, 11:00 PM   #11
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cam problems, welcome to the club

as far as the feel goes, they don't have the "freight train" pull described in the rs25.com thread. all of the power is from 4k on, but coming from a previous tune, it doesn't really feel that much different. I had Ed from Equilibream Tuning, in the bay area, tune me before and after the cams went in. He seems to be extremely knowledgable in terms of tuning, and he could not come up with an idle solution except for raising it so the engine won't stall out.

I thought the lash is supposed to be 7 and 9. that's what i'm set at.

there is definitely a gain in power according to this plot: http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/show...2Fa+dyno+plots but it's high end. the low end loses.

...
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Old 04-14-2009, 09:55 PM   #12
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Well, yesterday it started raining. The car became almost undrivable, stalling on 80 or more percent of all times I lifted my foot off the gas. It also popped up a P0506 DTC, which is Idle Speed too Low. Looking in some reference books, that means that the ECU has used all its command authority in terms of timing and throttle position to attempt to hit the target idle speed and is missing by greater than 200RPM. In other words, it's advanced the timing as far as it's allowed to, it's opened the throttle as far as it's allowed to, and it's still idling at 300RPM with a 950RPM target.

Today (raining again), I decided to go out and buy a compression tester and a leakdown tester since Jon at Delta had expressed interest in those figures. Before leaving home, I reset the ECU to clear the CEL and then let it idle for about 45 minutes. Getting down to the city to but the tools was a nightmare. Getting back was even worse due to getting caught in rush hour stop and go traffic.

The leakdown tester turned out to have a busted regulator, so I don't have those numbers. The compression numbers are, in PSI:
Cylinder 1: 150
Cylinder 3: 140
Cylinder 2: 145
Cylinder 4: 140

All within 10%, as they should be.

I also cleaned the grounds that I could find and verified that the main wiring harness was properly connected as requested by Ken at Delta.

Reset the engine, let it idle for an hour, touched the throttle, and moments later got the P0506 CEL again.

That was all I could put up with for one evening.

Last edited by williaty; 04-14-2009 at 10:11 PM.
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Old 04-14-2009, 11:38 PM   #13
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my valve lash is set at 6 and 8 and i had the stalling problem so i drilled the throtle plate 1/8 hole if i remember and that fixed it
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Old 04-15-2009, 12:36 AM   #14
sa4baru
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^ drilled a hole in the throttle plate... that worked? what's you idle set at? so far, your lash is 6 &8, mine 7 &9, and ty's 8 & 10...

i turned off the p0506 CEL. there was no way around it.

950 idle is not high enough. set the idle higher and the car won't stall out, it'll be drivable albeit not the perfect solution. instead of stalling out, the misfires will begin... but imo, misfires (real or not) are better than the car shutting off all of the time.

...
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Old 04-15-2009, 12:45 AM   #15
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Actually, the fact that he drilled a hole in his throttle plate and you're also having the P0506 (which I didn't know) is VERY interesting. With 3 of us having problems with 05 RSes, that suggests the 05 idle control routines may have a little harder of a time dealing with cams than other ECU revisions. I wonder if there's anyone with an 05 RS who has had success with cams without "extreme measures".

Now, what his drilling a hole in the throttle would have achieved is to mimic having the throttle slightly farther open. If the P0506 CEL is being triggered because the ECU has opened the throttle as wide as it's allowed to at idle and still can't get enough air, drilling a hole in the throttle plate could, in theory, remedy the problem.

As a circumstantial corollary to this, the first little bit of pedal travel, since doing the cams, feels like absolute mush. I think I can only feel it because I have such a flat throttle mapping. If there's something going on at very small throttle openings that requires a little more travel to get the same effect, that certainly would impact idle.

Wait a minute... sa4baru, you tried my throttle mapping and didn't like it right? You ended up going to a slightly "punchier" version, IIRC. Did you happen to do that while you had cams? If so, that might explain why you liked the punchier version.


Damnit, I really wish I had the ability to alter the limit to how far the ECU can open the throttle for idle. That would be a 5 minute test to potentially get all of us running like clockwork at a stock idle speed!
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Old 04-15-2009, 12:57 AM   #16
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^ yes, i did try your throttle map, and it was just too sluggish. i raised the #s slightly for that 'punchier' feel and i love it. and, yes, it was with the 2000s.

the inability to alter the the opening limit of the throttle at idle is HUGE! access that map would probably be the solution...

it definitely seems that the 05 ecu has a harder time dealing with cams than previous versions - haven't heard much about the 06+ ecus with AVLS.

the only other person i can think of with a 05 & cams is (what's his name on rs25.com) who did the whole donor cam program - he has the outback. i never really got to the bottom of how he's setup, but iirc, he has his idle at 950 through ecuexplorer and he has no check engine light to signal misfires - he actually removed the bulb behind the cluster (iirc, that thread is huuuuge.)

the hole in the throttle plate really could be a solution... very interesting.
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Old 04-15-2009, 01:04 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sa4baru View Post
^ yes, i did try your throttle map, and it was just too sluggish. i raised the #s slightly for that 'punchier' feel and i love it. and, yes, it was with the 2000s.
Yeah, see, that really dovetails with what I'm thinking here.

Quote:
it definitely seems that the 05 ecu has a harder time dealing with cams than previous versions - haven't heard much about the 06+ ecus with AVLS.
Well, that's probably because there's only, AFAIK, one car with them in right now Leastways, I think 2.5i is the same guy doing the testing for RalliTek. If not, then there's 2 cars.

Quote:
the only other person i can think of with a 05 & cams is (what's his name on rs25.com) who did the whole donor cam program - he has the outback. i never really got to the bottom of how he's setup
That's NW OBS. Now, the thing about him is that he doesn't actually have an 05 RS ECU. I have NO idea what this is about, but when he went to have his 05 reflashed, both he and the tuner were shocked to find out he wasn't flashable. There's a thread of his about it somewhere, but it's been a long time since I've read it, so I don't remember the details. I know he ended up having to use a PP6 though. I know there's also a couple of 05 RSes that got a particular option package outside the US that also came with one of the old-style ECUs.
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Old 04-15-2009, 01:09 AM   #18
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NW OBS, that's him, and not flashable(??), that's weird. i didn't know that some 05's had a different ecu...

at any rate, try raising the idle for now. at least you'll be driving around comfortably.

let's keep on this - i've got faith you/we can find a solution
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Old 04-15-2009, 01:44 AM   #19
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How about this idea:

If you don't want to drill a hole, put a small pc thick tape on the TP so it cannot shut completely. You can even change the tape thickness to study the effect on idle. this would be reversible at least.

Reading this thread keeps me awake way too late.
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Old 04-15-2009, 06:39 PM   #20
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if that tape found its way into the engine, it could be the end of the engine very quickly.
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Old 04-15-2009, 07:10 PM   #21
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yea man tape? nah i dont think so.

those cams look like they suck!

idle ? dude your losing power thoughout the power band!

but that .01 g rev above 6 k looks worth $500 , not.

your compression checked out and your mechanic said they were installed correctly.

sounds and looks to me like an inferior design to the stock cams .

you could just rev it at lights but whats up with the loss of power accross the entire range!!

****ty ass cams thats what.
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Old 04-15-2009, 07:13 PM   #22
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are delta cams regrinds? it sounds like you got an off set
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Old 04-15-2009, 08:52 PM   #23
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so, if the hole in the throttle plate lets more air in during idle, and seemed to fix the 'engine stall' problem, would that mean that there is too much fuel at idle? would that be why the injectors shut off - the ecu responding to too much fuel?


i don't think the cams are bad, it's gotta be the 05 ecu. as far as i know there's like a total of 4 people with 05rs and these cams, all with the same problem.


and, isn't your compression a little low? shouldn't it be above 150 all around? i just had a compression test, cyl#1 = 155, 2 thru 4 = 165. low compression could contribute to the stock feel, no?
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Old 04-15-2009, 09:50 PM   #24
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Ok, so the tape idea doesn't fly. How about sticking a short copper wire into the side of the TB? The wire should keep the TP from shutting down too low. To preven the wire from getting into the engine, we can secure the other end out of the TB. Does this idea suck also?

Guys, don't you want to try it before you decide that you need a permanent HOLE or holes, haha.
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Old 04-15-2009, 10:05 PM   #25
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Mmm swiss cheese throttle plate. Delicious.

Subscribed as I also have an 05 RS. No cams, but I would certainly like to someday. It's good to have a headsup.
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