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Old 02-27-2013, 10:51 AM   #1
WRX_FTW
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Default Bipolar 04 sti, runs like crap or runs fine, $ for solution ;)

- 04 sti 105,000 miles
- all sensors (heads and other reused parts) assumed to have same miles
- block is brand new oem with 2,500 miles (timing belt, gaskets, etc)
- knock sensor was replaced 2,500 miles ago
- passenger side avcs solenoid replaced with brand new oem 1,000 miles ago
- passenger side avcs cam gear replaced with brand new oem 1,500 miles ago
- passenger side cam gear replaced with oem spare I had laying around 300 miles ago
- engine broken in with amsoil, now running shell rotella t6
- MODS; kstech 73mm megamaf cold air intake, perrin 2.4" silicone inlet, fp green 2.4" 7cm, aps 500 fmic, turbo xs 50/50 bov, tgv deletes, grimmspeed 3x thick phenolic spacers, withchunter 820cc injectors, arp head studs, stock heat range denso iridium plugs, 08+ sti oil pump, gates racing blue timing belt, killer b oil pickup tube, gpmoto equal length manifold/uppipe, aps 3.5" turboback exhaust, dxd/southbend stage 1 cryo treated clutch, opensource "break in" tune.

My issue started after about 500 miles on the new engine. I would throw a p0011 code randomly, but out of range for what the service manual calls for (supposed to return after 2 driving cycles 40-60 miles). My cel would stay gone from 100-400 miles at a time. I checked for a screen/filter in the banjo bolt first which was not there. Next I checked the timing which it was correct. I then cleaned the avcs solenoid which did nothing. Took it to the shop that did my engine to have the cam gear replaced which did nothing. I then replaced the oil control valve (avcs solenoid) with a brand new one for peace of mind, but code still came back. I also triple checked timing and its dead on. I had a period where I threw misfire codes for 1 and 3, cleared them to only have a p0011, to clear it and have 1 and 3 misfire codes come back, then p0011 again after a reset. Everytime I've thrown a p0011 the car has driven fine and did not notice anything other than indicator lights on dash. Occasionally my car will run like pure crap (like the crank position sensor is bad, bad fuel, or something along those lines) with really bad sputtering on low load and worse with more throttle but it would clear up after a few miles and no cel would be thrown. I've logged avcs, cylinder roughness, crank and cam sensors, and throttle sensor and everything seemed fine.

Today I was driving home from work and my car started running worse than it has, sputtering, hesitating, etc... Most notably from 1500-3500 or so rpms. It did it for 20 miles until I got home while I was trying to log. I got no roughness, no knock, etc.. The ONLY thing I found off was the avcs and I don't know if it was "supposed" to do it. My avcs on both sides in 5th gear at ~40mph would be at 26-30° for a while, then would both drop to 0° with same constant load, throttle, and boost, then would climb back up to 26-30°, and my engine sputtered like **** the entire time I was crusing at that speed. The whole time I never once threw a cel (or any indicator light for that matter, oil pressure), but when I checked my cels with my ap it had a p0011 listed. When my car is idling and in neutral, if I rev and hold constant at 1500+/- rpms, the engine will sputter and idle down and back up while keeping the throttle constant. While doing this, EVERYTHING shows up as fine while logging except there are roughness counts on cylinder 1 ONLY, up to 5 in a sequence.


Sorry for being long winded but I want to be thorough. I am in desperate need of help with this issue and will pay for a proven solution from any board member up to $1000. I am scared to get a full tune due to my issue, obviously going full throttle and having an issue could be major trouble, so I've stuck with the break in tune for now. Also, I treat my car right and let it get to full operating temp before driving.
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Last edited by WRX_FTW; 02-27-2013 at 11:01 AM.
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Old 02-27-2013, 11:11 AM   #2
WRX_FTW
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Also to note, my car usually sputters and runs rough 1 day a week on average (sometimes weeks with no issue, sometimes 2-3 times a week, being driven 5-6 days a week), and its ALWAYS after my car has sat for 8 or more hours.
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Old 02-27-2013, 11:55 AM   #3
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how did you torque the cam sprocket bolt?

depending on how it was "torqued" the cel can be from
the cam bolt being tightened by impact gun and not torques properly
leading to a false reading to the cam sensor in relation to the "actual"
cam timing.
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Old 02-27-2013, 12:34 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaxscuby View Post
how did you torque the cam sprocket bolt?

depending on how it was "torqued" the cel can be from
the cam bolt being tightened by impact gun and not torques properly
leading to a false reading to the cam sensor in relation to the "actual"
cam timing.
The cam gear has been removed since it was installed. My front timing cover wouldn't come off due to the nuts in the rear cover free spinning with the bolt so I had to rip it off, so I had to replace the covers and take the gear off in order to do so. So you can say its been double checked, and I don't use impact on anything. Also, would it cause seemingly random fluctuation in engine performance? I like where your head is at though.
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Old 02-28-2013, 01:09 AM   #5
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No one wants money for no manual labor?

Side note: it rained yesterday and the day before when the car was acting up. It's dry today and it ran like crap for less than a mile on my way to work then cleared up and ran fine. I still have the scoop on my car and as I said I'm running a fmic. Also, I had to add coolant to my car and burp it due to a slow leak in my lower hose at the clamp so there was some water/coolant on the passenger side. I'm not sure but I don't think it has rained everytime my car runs crappy, but its usually when it's cold, but not everyday that it is cold out.

Is it a possibility that I could have a boost or vaccum leak or unmetered air getting in that would cause my car to run ****ty only on occasion?
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Old 02-28-2013, 03:19 AM   #6
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Sounds like this could be a fueling issue. Start by ditching those injectors. Modified stockers may flow more fuel, but they're never going to have the same atomization characteristics or efficiency as injectors that are designed and manufactured to flow X amount of fuel.

The misfires on cyclinders 1 and 3 are occurring because when you shut your car off and the injector nozzle closes, it will still drip fuel into the combustion chamber. When you start your car back up, there is uneven fuel distribution across your cylinders, the result being your misfires / rough idle. Give the car a little gas, the fuel burns off, misfires go away.

An injector issue would explain all of your other hesitation issues as well. Make sure your fuel rails are clean, check the connections on the injectors, see that the injectors themselves are seated / sealed properly, check your fpr, etc. I would also test for vac leaks just to make sure that the misfires aren't being caused by ingested air post-maf.
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Old 02-28-2013, 08:19 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scoobasaurusrex View Post
Sounds like this could be a fueling issue. Start by ditching those injectors. Modified stockers may flow more fuel, but they're never going to have the same atomization characteristics or efficiency as injectors that are designed and manufactured to flow X amount of fuel.

The misfires on cyclinders 1 and 3 are occurring because when you shut your car off and the injector nozzle closes, it will still drip fuel into the combustion chamber. When you start your car back up, there is uneven fuel distribution across your cylinders, the result being your misfires / rough idle. Give the car a little gas, the fuel burns off, misfires go away.

An injector issue would explain all of your other hesitation issues as well. Make sure your fuel rails are clean, check the connections on the injectors, see that the injectors themselves are seated / sealed properly, check your fpr, etc. I would also test for vac leaks just to make sure that the misfires aren't being caused by ingested air post-maf.
First of all, thanks. Also, without touching or changing a thing, my car decided to be in a good mood this morning on the way home from work and ran like a champ (weird thing to bitch about, I know).

The misfire codes came up when the car was shut off, ran into a store, and came right back out and (hot) restart, and drove down the road less than a mile. So, what you're saying makes sense. Also, EVERY hot restart, the car will idle rough/low and act like it wants to cut off and there will be a little black smoke (unburnt fuel to my knowledge). I still have the stock injectors so this could be tested for free which I will be sure to do. Do you have any suggestions on aftermarket side feed injectors that fit the stock rails and don't require a resistor box to be added (same as stock, low or high impedance, can't remember which is which).

On the other hand, could this in theory cause a p0011: intake cam over advance or performance (in this case emphasizing performance rather than advancement) bank 1? Someone verify for me, if the intake cam is over advanced what would be taking place in terms of the combustion process/"fire triangle"?

I had a somewhat severe incident the other night but feel like and hope very much it was directly related to me messing with my coil pack wires. I unplugged the coil packs during idle one at a time on my passenger side to verify they were working, which they seemed to be fine. I drove around a while after plugging them back in and all seemed well. Later that night on the way to work on the highway I get a flashing cel and the car starts shaking and will not run correctly to save its life. I limped to work and wiggled the coil pack plugs before I started it up when I got off work and didnt have anymore issues. I also checked for dormant cel's and there were none. This was about 3 weeks ago, so this isn't what started everything.
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Old 02-28-2013, 12:26 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WRX_FTW View Post
First of all, thanks. Also, without touching or changing a thing, my car decided to be in a good mood this morning on the way home from work and ran like a champ (weird thing to bitch about, I know).

The misfire codes came up when the car was shut off, ran into a store, and came right back out and (hot) restart, and drove down the road less than a mile. So, what you're saying makes sense. Also, EVERY hot restart, the car will idle rough/low and act like it wants to cut off and there will be a little black smoke (unburnt fuel to my knowledge). I still have the stock injectors so this could be tested for free which I will be sure to do. Do you have any suggestions on aftermarket side feed injectors that fit the stock rails and don't require a resistor box to be added (same as stock, low or high impedance, can't remember which is which).
I can't really recommend a good side feed injector, I would just convert to top feeds and forget about it. I know the conversion isn't for everyone but in all honesty, I'd be spending the extra money now instead of having to worry about it later. But yes, I'm almost positive that the the misfires and rough idle on hot starts is an injector issue, even if the DTC is being caused by something else.

Quote:
On the other hand, could this in theory cause a p0011: intake cam over advance or performance (in this case emphasizing performance rather than advancement) bank 1? Someone verify for me, if the intake cam is over advanced what would be taking place in terms of the combustion process/"fire triangle"?
In theory this could cause the P0011 because the intake valves could be opening / closing too soon, but let someone else chime in on this part. Like you said, I would just start by swapping out the injectors and see if your issue subsides.
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Old 02-28-2013, 06:50 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scoobasaurusrex View Post
Sounds like this could be a fueling issue. Start by ditching those injectors. Modified stockers may flow more fuel, but they're never going to have the same atomization characteristics or efficiency as injectors that are designed and manufactured to flow X amount of fuel.

The misfires on cyclinders 1 and 3 are occurring because when you shut your car off and the injector nozzle closes, it will still drip fuel into the combustion chamber. When you start your car back up, there is uneven fuel distribution across your cylinders, the result being your misfires / rough idle. Give the car a little gas, the fuel burns off, misfires go away.

An injector issue would explain all of your other hesitation issues as well. Make sure your fuel rails are clean, check the connections on the injectors, see that the injectors themselves are seated / sealed properly, check your fpr, etc. I would also test for vac leaks just to make sure that the misfires aren't being caused by ingested air post-maf.



This is something I've never heard about, but wow, makes so much sense. I've been running modded stockers on my setup and every once in a while would give me a bad idle on start up. Never really thought much of it. Cool to learn something new.
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Old 02-28-2013, 07:39 PM   #10
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I would be looking at the cam position sensor/ replacing it. sounds like the engine has no idea what the timing is at certain times. I have also seen Crank position sensors do the same thing (run fine sometimes, not run others, run like crap intermittently.) but the code you gave leads me to think CAM POS. SENSOR being bad. fuel/ ignition timing is based directly on that sensor and the crank sensor.
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Old 02-28-2013, 08:12 PM   #11
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I would be looking at the cam position sensor/ replacing it. sounds like the engine has no idea what the timing is at certain times. I have also seen Crank position sensors do the same thing (run fine sometimes, not run others, run like crap intermittently.) but the code you gave leads me to think CAM POS. SENSOR being bad. fuel/ ignition timing is based directly on that sensor and the crank sensor.
I replaced it, but with a spare I had from another head. It could be bad as well, but I figured, what are the odds? I'm tired of spending money on this issue so if I can fix it for free, obviously I'm going to try that first. That's why I'm basically offering a reward, so I don't have to spend any more money on such a headache from that point forward. I'm looking into replacing both sensors with new oem, when I can swallow spending $180 yet again to maybe fix something. The reason I'm hesitant is because everyone seems to be almost certain that if it were the sensors, the cel would be for the sensor and not the cam over advance.

Btw, the code has always been for advance and never once retard, if that has anything to do with it?
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Old 02-28-2013, 08:21 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scoobasaurusrex View Post
I can't really recommend a good side feed injector, I would just convert to top feeds and forget about it. I know the conversion isn't for everyone but in all honesty, I'd be spending the extra money now instead of having to worry about it later. But yes, I'm almost positive that the the misfires and rough idle on hot starts is an injector issue, even if the DTC is being caused by something else.



In theory this could cause the P0011 because the intake valves could be opening / closing too soon, but let someone else chime in on this part. Like you said, I would just start by swapping out the injectors and see if your issue subsides.
I forgot to ask, do you have any advice on how to check the fuel rails and fpr? Also, do you recommend a particular cleaning agent for the fuel system? The car sat for 2 years while under the knife almost on empty, so it could be trash.
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Old 02-28-2013, 09:27 PM   #13
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This is something I've never heard about, but wow, makes so much sense. I've been running modded stockers on my setup and every once in a while would give me a bad idle on start up. Never really thought much of it. Cool to learn something new.
Stock injectors that are modified will certainly flow more fuel, but they're never going to be as efficient as injectors that were manufactured this way from the factory. There's a reason people only ever recommend ID1000's if you're going bigger - it doesn't matter if you're on a VF series turbo or a rotated GT35r. Injectors that are modified to flow more fuel are never going to offer the same tuneability / driveability / efficiency / etc. as injectors that are supposed to flow that much fuel.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WRX_FTW View Post
I forgot to ask, do you have any advice on how to check the fuel rails and fpr? Also, do you recommend a particular cleaning agent for the fuel system? The car sat for 2 years while under the knife almost on empty, so it could be trash.
To clean the rails, just soak them in sea foam, brake cleaner, or any fuel system cleaners that you find at your local auto store... They're all going to do essentially the same thing. Any of these will clean out any build up, bad fuel, or whatever might be impeding fuel flow.

As for the fpr, it's either good or it isn't. Since it's post fuel filter, they don't usually get clogged up or need to be cleaned. Best way to check to see if it's good is to swap it out with a known working one, but if you have a fuel pressure gauge you can check it this way as well. At idle, fuel pressure should be around 38 psi. When you disconnect the vac line from the regulator, pressure should go up to about 43 psi. If it doesn't, the diaphram is probably bad and needs to be replaced. Otherwise, try pulling the vac line off just to see if it smells like fuel. If it does, this can also be an indicator that it's bad.

Fueling issues are a pain in the ass because there are so many variables that could be causing or contributing to the issues that you're having. The best way to go about it is just start with the basics and go from there. Doing this will at least give you an idea of which direction you should be headed. Just throwing money at your engine replacing parts and sensors is generally unnecessary and won't lead to any other solution other than spending more money.
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Old 02-28-2013, 10:15 PM   #14
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How many fuel filters are on my car from the factory? I only know of the in tank filter, but am used to vehicles with an in line filter and assume most cars utilize them. The sti uses a return system correct?
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Old 02-28-2013, 10:28 PM   #15
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How many fuel filters are on my car from the factory? I only know of the in tank filter, but am used to vehicles with an in line filter and assume most cars utilize them. The sti uses a return system correct?
Yes, your car has a return fuel system. 02-03 WRXs have a fuel filter in the engine bay, 04+ WRX / STi only have the one inside the tank. IIRC, recommended service intervals are 60k miles, but when and if you change it is really at your discretion.
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Old 02-28-2013, 11:53 PM   #16
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Yes, your car has a return fuel system. 02-03 WRXs have a fuel filter in the engine bay, 04+ WRX / STi only have the one inside the tank. IIRC, recommended service intervals are 60k miles, but when and if you change it is really at your discretion.

I don't believe this is true actually. I talked to one of the guys at the dealer in the parts about this. I thought I was having a clogged/dirty filter at one point and tried to pick one up. But the in tank one is SUPPOSED to be a lifetime piece. And the part is ~80 bucks actually.

What I did, was pull the cardboard filter out of it and put it back together and back in the tank, and put an older WRX filter in the engine bay. Those are much cheaper BTW,


He actually gave me a print out of the fuel system and all the part #'s too if you want any of them.
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Old 03-01-2013, 01:08 AM   #17
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Does the fuel system flow in any particular order? I'm leaning less toward a filter or any other component that would affect the entire system being that my issue is confined to one side of my engine (as it seems at least). It could be the injectors on 1 and or 3, the rail for them, possibly the fpr as I think it's located on that side as well but could be mistaken. I don't know, I'm kind of shooting in the dark until I swap out the injectors and put some miles on it after adjusting the fuel. Would it be a bad idea to run injector cleaner/stabilizer/octane booster/seafoam or whatever thru my fuel system? If I could safely do that, what steps should I take to prevent engine damage if it could occur while its in the system?
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Old 03-01-2013, 04:01 AM   #18
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I don't believe this is true actually. I talked to one of the guys at the dealer in the parts about this. I thought I was having a clogged/dirty filter at one point and tried to pick one up. But the in tank one is SUPPOSED to be a lifetime piece. And the part is ~80 bucks actually.

What I did, was pull the cardboard filter out of it and put it back together and back in the tank, and put an older WRX filter in the engine bay. Those are much cheaper BTW,


He actually gave me a print out of the fuel system and all the part #'s too if you want any of them.
Just because they're in the parts department at a Subaru dealership doesn't mean they know what they're talking about

Like I said, pretty sure the recommended service interval is 60k miles, but it's definitely not one of those things that guys stress over.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WRX_FTW View Post
Does the fuel system flow in any particular order? I'm leaning less toward a filter or any other component that would affect the entire system being that my issue is confined to one side of my engine (as it seems at least). It could be the injectors on 1 and or 3, the rail for them, possibly the fpr as I think it's located on that side as well but could be mistaken. I don't know, I'm kind of shooting in the dark until I swap out the injectors and put some miles on it after adjusting the fuel. Would it be a bad idea to run injector cleaner/stabilizer/octane booster/seafoam or whatever thru my fuel system? If I could safely do that, what steps should I take to prevent engine damage if it could occur while its in the system?
No, seafoam isn't going to harm your engine, even if it's a modified Subaru. Start by getting a can of the Lucas fuel system cleaner (or comparable product), dump it in your tank and fill up. Drive the car until you're down to about 1/4 of a tank or when you would otherwise need gas again. Done.

Next, get a can of seafoam (or the Subaru recommended version), dump about 2/3 of it into your oil and let the vacuum line from your bpv suck up the rest at idle. Might sound like your car wants to stall, but just let the vacuum suck it up slowly. Don't rev the car or anything like that to keep it running. If this is done correctly, you shouldn't have any issues.

Now, you can either let the car idle for a while or you can drive it around to cycle the additive through your engine - results vary for different people, but this is at your discretion as it doesn't matter how you decide to go about it. I wouldn't drive for more than 50-75 miles with it in my oil, though your engine would still be fine if you left it in for longer. At this point, do an oil change (including the filter) and you're done.
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Old 03-01-2013, 10:06 AM   #19
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this sounds simple but did you try cleaning your throttle body???
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Old 03-01-2013, 05:13 PM   #20
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this sounds simple but did you try cleaning your throttle body???
No but I've monitored everything pertaining to it and it all checked out. I'm not opposed to trying it though. I don't know if already posted this, but I have cleaned the maf.
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Old 03-08-2013, 10:22 PM   #21
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I haven't messed with anything (even checking wires), and my car has been running fine driving it 6 miles to work and 6 miles home everyday. I haven't had time to swap out injectors since I've been working 7 days a week and its been freezing out. I bought a wideband to monitor my afr more accurately also, I'll also be purchasing an in cabin fuel pressure gauge in the near future.
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Old 03-14-2013, 08:34 AM   #22
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Location: Burlington, NC
Vehicle:
04 STi RIP, 04 FXT
Stg 3, 02 SRP WRX 37k

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Ok so today was the magic day that my car decided it wanted to run somewhat like **** again. God this is so annoying. It is mainly in higher gears under load at lower rpms. I tried to record it with my phone but its not very easy/safe to do so in morning traffic by yourself and get a quality video. I kept hearing what sounded like a small/faint backfire every once in a while, say 1 time for every few miles.

Progress: I checked injector/coilpack/maf/cam and crank sensor plugs and they are snug, checked for a dormant cel and there aren't any. (Aside from the aforementioned measures, I've literally done/changed nothing since the original post, just to keep things clear)

I really wish this would either happen constantly or never at all. The fact that it comes and goes is what's so confusing, and hard to diagnose even when things are changed.
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Old 03-14-2013, 11:16 AM   #23
Coopsubaru
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Join Date: Mar 2013
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I see that you said there was no banjo filter in the oil line to the turbo, how good did you look outside of the bolt housing. They tend to come out of the bolt and get jammed up blocking the oil flow. I only say this because I also thought my screen was removed until I looked INSIDE the mating connector and saw that the oil screen had completely came out of the banjo bolt itself. Wouldn't hurt to look again and use a flashlight. As far as the misfires and rough idle, I had the same issue that I chased for about 6 months and it ended up being a valve adjustment needing my shims adjusted. I havent had a problem since. Just some thoughts..
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Old 03-14-2013, 11:20 AM   #24
Coopsubaru
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^^ more on the oil screen. This is some information from the following site
http://store.forcedperformance.net/m...Info_SubaruOil


This turbo screen is not to be confused with the screen that filters the oil for the AVCS valve which does not affect turbo oil supply since it is after the "tee" that splits off the oil supply line to the turbo. The AVCS filter can also become plugged and affect the performance of the AVCS solenoid, but luckily when the AVCS filter becomes clogged there is no catastrophic failure of a $1000+ component as in the case of the turbocharger filter, just a check engine light due to the non functioning AVCS.


Most enthusiasts are not aware that they even have a turbo oil filter in their oil supply line; much less that it requires periodic cleaning with each oil change. The following text is from the Service Bulletin titled "Turbocharger Oil Supply Mesh Screen #02-103-07";

"the mesh screen which is located inside the banjo bolt that secures the turbo¬charger oil supply pipe to the back of the right side cylinder head should be checked to make sure it is not clogged or restricted especially if the condition of the oil is questionable or as to when the last oil change was performed. If clogged or restricted, it will reduce or cut off the oil supply to the turbo resulting in failure. The oil supply pipe should also be checked to make sure that there are no obstructions."
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Old 03-14-2013, 07:35 PM   #25
WRX_FTW
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Join Date: Mar 2010
Chapter/Region: South East
Location: Burlington, NC
Vehicle:
04 STi RIP, 04 FXT
Stg 3, 02 SRP WRX 37k

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When I got the avcs cel's on my forester, both screens/filters had dropped. Also when I pulled my engine apart on my Sti there was only 1 filter in the whole system and at the time I didn't know what it was so I put it back when I took all of the parts to the shop.

As for you valve adjustment solution, did you have an equally randomly occurring issue, or was it fairly consistent? How hard is it to do a valve adjustment on boxer engines anyway?

Does anyone know if by some chance a leak in the turbo manifold could cause this? I don't know that there is a leak, but don't want to overlook it as a possibility.

Last edited by WRX_FTW; 03-14-2013 at 07:43 PM.
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