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Old 08-12-2003, 05:50 AM   #1
Cusco
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Exclamation Check this spark plug out!

SO I was under load and boost going up a hill when all of a sudden at the next stop light the car starts doing this little lub dub limbo dance, sounds like I am miss firing or I completely lost a cylinder... Run it a little bit more and now there is white mist coming out of my oil catch can.. smells like a raw fuel...

I stop car and smell oil dip stick, smells like fuel...hmm


I take spark plugs out and voila! a spark plug with absolutely no gap in cyl #3.. what is going wrong, what is going to happen to my car and what could I have already done to it??? it was like a 100 degree *f day and such so maybe I Was running super rich cause of the low density of air under boost? My cars been reading high 500 and mid 600 celcius EGT when cruising at about 3k rpm...

Thank you.

John

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Last edited by Cusco; 08-12-2003 at 07:14 PM.
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Old 08-12-2003, 09:59 AM   #2
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pic doesn't work. I would definately do a compression check. Do you think the plug was probably put in that way? kind of strange if not. -Wayne
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Old 08-12-2003, 07:15 PM   #3
Cusco
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Default pic works

I just got the picture to work and so I am sur eit wasnt put in that was because after I put it in the car was runnign just fine. then after that little flog adventure it went out.

John
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Old 08-13-2003, 12:09 AM   #4
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Pic doesn't work....clear your cache and report back to us.
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Old 08-13-2003, 02:36 AM   #5
Cusco
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Default argh..

how do I post pics? grrr i havea free picture host at www.villagephotos.com and also a website hosting at graffiti.net but none seem to work unless I am logged on.. hahah
maybe i will just get a host and have poeple go directly to the site? hmm
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Old 08-14-2003, 12:21 PM   #6
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Well, I see the picture. I don't have an explanation for you, but I have had that happen to me twice on an old mazda I had. Both times, it happened going WOT uphill at highway speeds (this is a car where highway speeds alone is often enough to require WOT, and this is without the option of a 5th gear). I was constantly tinkering with the engine's tune, so it's difficult to say just what caused it or eventually kept it from happening again, but the two most likely causes were too-high cylinder temps (ran dangerously low on oil the first time) and overadvanced ignition (undid the recent couple extra degrees of advance the second time and it didn't happen again for the next few hundred miles in that state of tune).

I tend to suspect that timing alone was not responsible, as I later ran even more advanced timing than in either case and toyed with the carb until it could go WOT uphill without eventually overheating. I also tend to think heat had something to do with it because it happened both times the hottest-running cylinder.

In niether case did I hear anything like detonation, and I think the engine would not be still running these days if the piston had managed to whack the plug. I'd sure like to know how the electrode gets bent like that, though!
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Old 08-14-2003, 03:38 PM   #7
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Well, most likely, the electrode was softened due to high EGTs, and it happened to bend that way while soft. I doubt it was caused by detonation, and seriously doubt it was caused by the piston hitting it.

Another possiblity is that you ingested something large into the engine and it hit the electrode on its way through. Just some thoughts...
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Old 08-14-2003, 08:00 PM   #8
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I've seen this in other engines but the plug seats close to the piston in certain positions and the high heat, increased clearances, parts flexing, and high rpm's allowed the piston to hit the plug. It only takes a slight tick to bent a hot electrode. You could barely see the hit on the pistons. This were on racing engines, on your WRX-??
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Old 08-14-2003, 11:46 PM   #9
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When I fragged my old RS-T's motor the plug looked the same. A piece of piston broke off and hit the plug adjusting the gap to zero. Mine didn't destroy anything else on its way out of the motor luckily...but it still caused an engine rebuild to replace pistons...

Hopefully you have a different cause...
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Old 08-15-2003, 06:24 AM   #10
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Can you post a pic of the end of the plug?
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Old 08-15-2003, 02:32 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by Cusco


Whoops. That's no good.

It kind of looks like your plugs was loose and leaking... which explains the dirty, black base. Going up a hill under boost is a bad idea itself, but coupled with a loose plugs that leaks air will cause EGT to sky rocket. I've seen a header melt on a honda engine that had four loose plugs.

Have you put in new plugs? If so, how does the engine run?
If it runs like it's on 3 cylinders, do a leak down, not a compression test. With a leak down, you can hear where the air is leaking, so you'll know whether you damaged a piston, or valve.

Matt
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Old 08-15-2003, 02:47 PM   #12
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Keep in mind that #3 cylinder is the most susceptible to heat related issues due to it's location.
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Old 08-15-2003, 02:53 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by US2JDM
Keep in mind that #3 cylinder is the most susceptible to heat related issues due to it's location.
yeah.
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Old 08-15-2003, 05:04 PM   #14
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I'm thinking maybe you dropped it on your driveway when you pulled it out?

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Old 08-15-2003, 05:13 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by TexRex2002
I'm thinking maybe you dropped it on your driveway when you pulled it out?

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Old 08-17-2003, 10:14 AM   #16
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No offense man, but unless you dropped your plug as stated above, you are horribly out of tune..way too much boost, and way too much timing.......I'd look towards getting the car tuned professionally, but not before doing a compression check all around (static and leak down)

Either one will tell you in short order what the problem is. If one cylinder is low, put a bit of ATF on top of the cylinder, and re cracnk the motor - if cylinder pressure jumps up significantly (usually it will pin, or come close to pinning the gauge), then its an issue in the block. I compression remains low, the issue is in the head. To this date I have yet to see a WRX leaking compression from the head.....its been rings every single time.


Adam

Last edited by Z1 Performance; 08-17-2003 at 01:38 PM.
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Old 08-17-2003, 01:25 PM   #17
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could you rotate the plug and get a detailed picture of the back of the strap? i see a lot of silver flakes on there. thats dett.. also if you can get a picture of the ceramics down inside.

i agree with adam
that thing looks pretty far out of tune
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Old 08-18-2003, 07:18 AM   #18
Cusco
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Thanks for all the input you guys. I am running pretty mild for tune when it comes to ignition timing. I will post the ignition and air fuel ratio maps on the site and hopefully this will clear up what is going on with the car. As to this date I have replaced the plugs and the car has been running fine. I've been staying out of the throttle on extremely hot days. The plugs were not loose when I pulled them out and I did not drop the plug either . It came out as it looks on the picture. I will try to get a picture of the back side as well as the other end of the spark plug. so far so good and it has been a good month or so since the incident.


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Old 08-18-2003, 07:49 AM   #19
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Sorry for the OT
What software and what ECU is that for?
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Old 08-18-2003, 11:02 AM   #20
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Those are not datalogs though, those are the actual tables......in order for it to be worthwhile, we need to see the actual logs of the runs.

Plus, what is your base timing starting out at? Without knowing that, your timing settings in the rev range are meaningless.

MMurray the software is the Electromotive Tec II

Adam
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Old 08-19-2003, 06:56 AM   #21
Cusco
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Z1 Performance: As you can tell I am still very uneducated about the program I am using. what do you mean "base timing?" I got kinda lost there. I ran off a base timing map I got from 8complex around the beginning of this year. from there I have modified the timing as well as looking at other 99 RS owners with tec 2 as a reference guide. the car was dropped off today at a local shop, only 4 wheel dyno in oregon, mustang dynometer, and hopefully it will be tuned when I pick it up tomorrow afternoon. my capabilities of tuning reach only so far so I decided that it was time for the pros to do it instead of me. I don't want to see another fouled plug or getting real bad gas mileage and all that other good stuff you know. ultimately, I don't have money to rebuild my engine again. when I get home, I am using a freinds computer at the moment, I will go ahead and post some of teh datalogs that I made. I guess I will just have to post them as a downloadable file? I dont think anyone wants to wait for the page to load 25 datalog pictures.

John
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Old 08-19-2003, 10:47 AM   #22
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For the datalogs, hose them on a site and just post the link.

As for base timing, in order to know your actual advance, you need to know what timing figures your car has at idle - this is your base timing. Facotry base timing should be in the 16 degree advanced range (give or take). However, this is using the stock sensors. Your TECII uses a trigger wheel and magnetic pickup. This trigger wheel had to be mounted to the crank pulley, and often times, this process will skew your base timing number. So instead of 16 degrees advanced, you might be at 10 degrees, or 20 degrees. This difference will then obviously skew your overall advance numbers......make sense?

Have the shop take a base timing measurement with a timing light to start with, so they at least know what they have at the outset, otherwise you are really tuning completely in the dark

Rather than using a shop with the only 4 wheel dyno, I'd find one that is familar with, and uses the Electromotive systems day in and day out. According to Electromotive's site, that place is:

Oregon
Matrix Engineering - Portland, OR 97239 - (503) 443-1141

Now, I have no clue who they are, nor how good they are, but at least by being a dealer, they are probably more capable at tuning than just any old shop. Your results may vary though, and don't hold me responsible!

Good luck

Adam
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Old 08-22-2003, 01:55 AM   #23
Cusco
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Default okay got some story...

Z1 Performance: I am getting the car dyno'ed at Matrix Engineering. They dyno'ed the car and I ran, after they tuned, a 168 hp @ 5500 and 174 lbs/ft @ 4750. HEre's the weird thing. intercooler efficiency is A-Okay. They could only muster 2 more hp and lost one lbs or torque after 3 hours of tuning . my base run was at 165.2 HP @ 5500 and 175.1 lbs/ft @ 4750. HE said it was really weird that I was running so low on power, especially since the car is running on 12 lbs of boost and is a twin turbo setup. MEaning the car used to make 10 psi at 2k RPM and now its making the same amount, more like 12 psi, at almost 4k RPM. Something is definately fishy. He is guessing something is up with the turbos. they are running in parallel. im not losing it through the clutch cause I have a new resurfaced and lightened flywheel with ACT 6 puck unsprung clutch kit. the clutch is only 2k miles old. so I dont know whats goign on

oh yeah they looked at the spark plug, they said somehtign definateyl hit it cause the car was runnign really conservative he said on timing and no sounds of pre ignition or detonation. and the spark plugs, other than looking fouled, looked good.

I will add the pictures tomorrow ASAP. and I guess the TEC system on my car is reading 5 degrees positive. so on the teC it says 20 degrees, the car is running actually 15 degrees.


Only quareel with there tune on my car was that it ran like a car car, WOT or it would die and buck hahahah so not great tuning in my experience but they went for mass power I guess. it seemed liek the MAP started at 3k and above RPMS so then I guess the IAC was doing the rest, pretty sad.. I had to hold the throttle down on lights so it wouldnt die. in other words the MAP was utterly useless on the road. but they have very good rep with all the WRX cars and such, just they can never figure out my car. WEIRD.

WIll try and host the datalaogs on my homepage.
John
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Old 08-22-2003, 02:52 AM   #24
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Default pictures

okay this is a link to the picture hosting webpage. it has the pictures all in there. the base map dyno run is named HVOLK-base1.jpg and the new map made by Matrix Engineering and its dyno run is DXPRQ-new1.jpg. the rest are spark plug pictures form different angles.
http://www.villagephotos.com/pubbrow...elected=425372
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Old 08-22-2003, 10:50 AM   #25
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Not to scare you, but first thing I would do is rip that ACT disk out ASAPO and get the standard disk in there. That ACT 6 puck lasted all of about 25 minutes on my car, and totally sheered first gear due to its lack of springs. The standard OEm disk is more than up to the task of holding the power, when mated to the ACT pressure plate.

Second point is - do a compression test.
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