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Old 08-16-2003, 02:36 AM   #1
PunksWRX
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Default 3,700 detonation free miles and then Ping!!!!!

I'm well aware of the STi detonation issue, but has anyone had a det free car and then all of the sudden have lots of pinging? For the first 3,700 miles of my STi's life I have had absolutely no detonation. I have a Knock-Link installed (set at maximum sensitivity) and even at 7,000 rpm only the first green light has blinked and very occassionally the second green light. The other day after I filled up with Texaco/Shell 91 octane (premium here in Colorado) my Knock-Link lit up like a Christmas tree and audible detonation could be heard as the orange and red lights of the Knock-Link lit up. I figured I had a bad tank of fuel and as the tank level dropped I added 1/2 tank of 93 octane from the one station here in my city that sells 93. I expected the knock to improve with the 93 octane fuel diluting the suspected bad gas but the detonation is still occurring and tonight it seems as severe as it was initially. Tonight I reset the ECU and tomorrow I'm planning on adding some octane boost to see if it helps. I'm just wondering how many guys with detonation problems had them from the start when they took delivery of the car or if the detonation just started all of the sudden like in my case? It just seems weird to have had not detonation for the first 3,700 miles and BANG. All I have done to the car in the last 100 miles is add my EGT probe to the passenger manifold and install my oil temperature probe in the oil drain plug.

Stumped in Colorado!

Punk
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Old 08-16-2003, 10:50 AM   #2
wolverine
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Happened the same to me... well, except earlier... I was not fine on 91 initially, so I mixed my gas to get 93.. Then, I was fine for like a week (only the 1st and 2nd green lights of the knocklink lighted up on rare occasions of WOT--yes, I do have the knocklink installed too--great product!).

Then, BAM, all of a sudden, a couple of days ago, it was not even not hot--in the low 80's at night, my knocklink lighted up (and I heard audible det too) like crazy, and I was not even WOT, just close... Seems like ECU is getting dumber, like Shiv and TurboXS mention with their ECU's.
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Old 08-16-2003, 12:10 PM   #3
Red Rocket
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I can think of two things. One is that the initail bad tank of gas was REALLY bad, or the gas did not have enough mixing and you're still getting pockets of bad gas. The other is that the ecu had not encountered the temperature/humididty(?) conditions you've recently been driving in. Also remember that the ecu will intentionally let the car reach det under partial load driving, it's part of the learning process.

Kevin
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Old 08-16-2003, 12:30 PM   #4
davidm_sh
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Default Re: 3,700 detonation free miles and then Ping!!!!!

Quote:
Originally posted by PunksWRX
I'm well aware of the STi detonation issue, but has anyone had a det free car and then all of the sudden have lots of pinging? For the first 3,700 miles of my STi's life I have had absolutely no detonation. I have a Knock-Link installed (set at maximum sensitivity) and even at 7,000 rpm only the first green light has blinked and very occassionally the second green light. The other day after I filled up with Texaco/Shell 91 octane (premium here in Colorado) my Knock-Link lit up like a Christmas tree and audible detonation could be heard as the orange and red lights of the Knock-Link lit up. I figured I had a bad tank of fuel and as the tank level dropped I added 1/2 tank of 93 octane from the one station here in my city that sells 93. I expected the knock to improve with the 93 octane fuel diluting the suspected bad gas but the detonation is still occurring and tonight it seems as severe as it was initially. Tonight I reset the ECU and tomorrow I'm planning on adding some octane boost to see if it helps. I'm just wondering how many guys with detonation problems had them from the start when they took delivery of the car or if the detonation just started all of the sudden like in my case? It just seems weird to have had not detonation for the first 3,700 miles and BANG. All I have done to the car in the last 100 miles is add my EGT probe to the passenger manifold and install my oil temperature probe in the oil drain plug.

Stumped in Colorado!

Punk
Hey Paul-

Just to let you know I made a nice email for Gunnar noting most of these threads, TXS article, and Vishnu article regarding the detonation issue. He said he is going to talk to the engineers next time he sees them and ask them about this issue and what EXACALLY the fix does for it. Hopefully he will get that done sometime soon.

On a side note I just filled up with 91 BP (ambient temps ~82F) and flogged the car a bit in the 3500-4500rpm range and didn't hear a peep of detonation.

Just curious do you have a boost gauge? How much boost are you seeing? Currently I am seeing 14.5psi peak and around 13psi at redline.
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Old 08-16-2003, 12:41 PM   #5
Janq
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Exclamation I too got knocked out! :(

FYI;

Several weeks ago BenHayat had asked me if I was getting any signs of knock on my STi (he bought a Z06!) and I confidently replied negatory. Two days later guess who came knock, knock, knockin' at Janq's door?!

I had 1100 miles on my carefully broken in STi that had only been running Mobil 93 octane as per my fill-ups. Not being sure what fuel the dealer originally placed in my tank I gently drove the car down to half a tank then filled up with 93. Drove it again to half a tank and filled up with 93. I repeated this 2 more times and used only Mobil fuel which I have been using in my new & perf. vehicles for decades. Alos I drove the car _everywhere_ with the A/C on for the first 1K miles to acclimate the ECU to high load operation.

After burning off the dealers fuel I kept my STi full of Mobil 93 exclusively for the first 1100 miles and had zero signs of detonation even at high load (A/C on), high revs or when purposely bogging the engine.

Then while leaving my neighborhood I decided for no real reason to change from my normal & preferred fuel supplier, Mobil, to a lesser cost vendor right down the street, Sheetz.
What a mistake that was!

I filled up a 1/4 tank to full on Sheetz 93 paying about $.04 less per gallon and definitely I got what I paid for.
About 20 miles into that tank I started getting very pronounced knock in all gears, load or no load, from 3.5K RPM on up at nor near WOT. I was to say the least horrified.

But I did not panic. I just took extra effort to burn off that gas ASAP by putting in a 200 low RPM commuter speed miles in one day. Whilst burning off the bad fuel I noticed that if I stayed in the throttle at WOT the revs would pass 6K RPM and the ECU would just then begin to I guess detect the knock and do somethign about it as the audible effects would lessen, but not go away.

After clearing my tank out completely and going down to the yellow light indicating fuel is required ASAP I refilled with Mobil 93 from my neighborhood station. Immediately the problems went away. They've pretty much stayed away sense as I'm now at 1976 miles as of last last nights run.
Iv've had just a few times where the knock would recur and always its been when I topped off with something other than Mobil (Shell and BP 93 octane). Typically I fill my cars up at the half and rarely let them go to a 1/4 tank thus I refill relatively often (every other drive).

My lessons learned:
* Keep using Mobil 93!
* Like Mikey my car likes it, though she'll eat anything in a pinch.
* If & when knock is audibly detected stay on the gas and allow the ECU to adapt/adjust and do its work.
* Avoid low quality, discount, non-name brand fuel suppliers. Stick to what you know works and stay out of trouble.
* If asked about your car knocking play it safe and respond; "Not as far as I know.", then knock on some wood for safe measure.

Thats my story, I hope it helps.

- Janq

Notice: I am not an employee of Mobil nor are they a client of mine and I do not have any ties personal or otherwise to the ExxonMobil corporation. I just happen to have had excellent results with their products and they are my preferred fuel supplier.
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Old 08-16-2003, 03:26 PM   #6
PunksWRX
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Kevin - I agree that humidity and temperature play an enormous factor in inducing knock but our weather has been really consistent here lately so I'm pretty sure that is not the case/cause. I'm definitely thinking some dummy just filled the premium tanks at the station with s**t 85 or 87. Pisses me off since I also paid $1.88 per gallon of this crap.

Dave - I'm seeing the same boost levels as you with my factory boost gauge (megapascal sucks). I'm glad you made Gunnar aware of this problem. In the past he has been really helpful in these cases.

Janq - I think you are right. The Sti is very particular about fuel and good quality fuel seems to be critical to avoid knocking. The ECU is definitely aggressive allowing advance when fuel conditions warrant. Right now I'm planning on sticking with BP and Conoco as we don't have Mobil here in Colorado.

I reset my ECU last night but still noticed some pretty significant knock after the reset. I then added a bottle of the NOS octane boost which at $10.99 is rather expensive but it has helped a lot. I'm not seeing any orange or red on the Knock-Link since adding this and I'm driving the car pretty agressively. If you read the fine print on a lot of those octane boost products it says reduces knock by eliminating combustion chamber deposits. They don't eliminate knock by upping the octane. At least this expensive NOS stuff says that it can up the octane by 7 pts.

Fun stuff.

Punk
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Old 08-16-2003, 04:21 PM   #7
scoobynation
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hey just wonderin...where could i pick up a knock link up at and how much are they?
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Old 08-16-2003, 10:35 PM   #8
modvp
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maybe the stations are selling 89 octane as 91? I have heard it's a common practice at some locations.
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Old 08-16-2003, 11:50 PM   #9
Terminator1
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Quote:
Originally posted by modvp
maybe the stations are selling 89 octane as 91? I have heard it's a common practice at some locations.
Take this into consideraton, when you go to the pump, if they have a one hose pump instead of a seperate hose for each grade of fuel, if you fill up with 93, well the person before you got 87, well guess what, your first gallon of 93 octane is going to be 87, so try and go to pumps with three seperate hoses, so you get what you paid for, there is usually a gallon of fuel run off before you get the good stuff!
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Old 08-18-2003, 11:02 AM   #10
VVVV
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A lot of the knock problems are showing up in SoCal, where they have mandatory high ethanol gas year round. Did you fill up at a gas station that uses more ethanol than the others? (Some do it voluntarily). I have been switching gas back and forth (91AKI in Denver), and have used gas from single hose pumps, and haven't had a problem yet (knock-knock).

Also, what station has 93? I haven't found anything up here that has better than 91 (unless it is leaded).
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Old 08-18-2003, 12:01 PM   #11
Terminator1
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Quote:
Originally posted by VVVV
A lot of the knock problems are showing up in SoCal, where they have mandatory high ethanol gas year round. Did you fill up at a gas station that uses more ethanol than the others? (Some do it voluntarily). I have been switching gas back and forth (91AKI in Denver), and have used gas from single hose pumps, and haven't had a problem yet (knock-knock).

Also, what station has 93? I haven't found anything up here that has better than 91 (unless it is leaded).
I'm sorry I'm on the east coast in Greensboro, NC, we have 93 octane and also can buy Nascar race gas too. Just picked up my new 2004 STI this morning, man everyone is staring at me? Didn't know I was that good looking, actually had the production guy from Saturday Night Live tried to buy the car out from me, but I had a deal with the GM to save the car for one day for me!! :-)

it's sitting in my garage saying take me out for a spin!! Gotta grant it's wish see ya!!
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Old 08-18-2003, 01:14 PM   #12
essogas
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Ping can come at any time. You never will really know if your car will develop it or not. My Mustang got it after 9000 miles and never went away after that. So, I just keep my fingers crossed with the STi.
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Old 08-18-2003, 11:59 PM   #13
PunksWRX
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Scoobynation - check this link out:

http://link-electro.co.nz/knocklink.html

VVVV - The Farm Crest Store in Colorado Springs at 30th and Centennial has 93 octane Super Unleaded. I believe the Woodland Park Farm Crest also has the 93 octane fuel.

As it stands now I'm almost 100% certain some yahoo put the wrong fuel in the station tanks. I have run the fuel out of the tank and filled up with BP 91. The knock has stopped and all is quiet as indicated by the Knock-Link display. Only the first green LED will flash all the way to redline. The Knock-Link has alerted me twice to bad fuel - once in my WRX and now in my STI. With my stereo thumping away it was not the audible ping that alerted me that something was wrong it was the dancing LED's on the Knock-Link display. Once I was aware that there was a problem I turned down the tunes, rolled down the windows and sure enough I could hear the pings as the Knock-Link indicators flashed orange and red. The Knock-Link has proven to be worth every cent I paid for it.

Punk
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Old 08-19-2003, 12:10 AM   #14
Ringboy
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Bought mySTi in SLC. Drove it home to OKC on 91 the whole way (it was my only option). WOT a few times just after 1000 mi (I-135) and no obvious signs of det. A week later played around some more and heard some slight pinging around 4-5 grand WOT on 91-93. To make long story short, det got worse and worse. I have been using Sinclair 93 from 1800-4000 mi. Car is @ dealer right now and ECU has been shipped.

Boy I never thought I would have so much fun in a Kia!!!
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Old 08-19-2003, 12:21 AM   #15
ToddStratton
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Quote:
Originally posted by VVVV
A lot of the knock problems are showing up in SoCal, where they have mandatory high ethanol gas year round. Did you fill up at a gas station that uses more ethanol than the others? (Some do it voluntarily). I have been switching gas back and forth (91AKI in Denver), and have used gas from single hose pumps, and haven't had a problem yet (knock-knock).

Also, what station has 93? I haven't found anything up here that has better than 91 (unless it is leaded).
As Punk mentioned, the Farm Crest gas stations carry 93 here in Woodland Park and Colorado Springs. It is 10% ethanol (according to the sticker--not "up to 10%") but I have used it for almost 60K miles in my STi and WRX combined. I've never heard a ping from either (the wagon is modded) and always have gotten good mileage.

TRS
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Old 08-19-2003, 10:32 AM   #16
staticx313
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Luckily I always fill up at a BP or Exxon right by a drag strip. A lot of high octane fuel is used up there every week, so that way I never have to worry about bad gas , or so I hope.

Robert~
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Old 08-20-2003, 09:35 AM   #17
VVVV
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Thanks guys. I checked some Farm Crest stores up here, and none of them have any better than 91. I guess I'll just get some Tolulene for track days.
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