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Old 02-16-2004, 10:15 PM   #1
gpatmac
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Default Ignition Advance Multiplier question

Why is my IAM so quickly setting itself to 4 or 0 (the hi-det map, I'm assuming)?

My setup is WRX wagon w/ STI 2.5L shortblock, FP Green turbo, and Greddy FMIC. I'm using a UTEC for tuning and the Delta Dash to assist. I have the Walbro and recently installed the stock injectors hacked to 740cc/min.

Everytime I try to tune the short term and long term fuel trims, I reset the ECU which defaults the ECU to an IAM of 8. For whatever reason, though, after a short period of driving, the car begins to run sort've rough. I've checked the IAM and it has slid to either 4 or 0 which makes the car feel as though it's not firing on all 4 cylinders.

My understanding was that the stock ECU has the 2(?) different maps (or IAMs) that are designed as a safety feature when the car is filled with crappy gas. Obviously, one map less agressive timing for when it sees the knock caused by the crappy gas. The other is designed to be more agressive when the car is filled with 'good' gas....no knock.

I also am seeing that the Delta Dash is showing the knock sensor/knock correction activity as reading much differently than the UTEC does. I'm guessing that the stock knock sensor (which both the ECU and UTEC utilizes) is read differently by the ECU and by the UTEC.

Thanks for taking the time to read this.
(I'm cross-posting this on WRXHackers)
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Old 02-17-2004, 11:30 AM   #2
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The IAM starts at 8 as you describe. Depending on the code in the ECU you have the IAM will rise up (advance) in a pretty short time period.. Most US cars take a few dyno pulls. JDM cars take a single pull. If your IAM is ever anything other then 16 you have knocked. If its ever less then 12 you have an issue and have knocked badly. I expect your engine to blow in a short time period and I am not kidding. It takes audible and very hard knock to get the ECU to kick into the Hi det fuel maps. This happens when the ECU runs an IAM below 4.

When this happens you A. Lose Lambda function and Oxy sensors are ignored, B. you drop into the Hi det idle and fuel maps which have several extra points of fuel and C. your ignition timing runs off the base map without the advance map.

Stop doing what you are doing or you are going to knock that motor to death.

Clark
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Old 02-17-2004, 01:03 PM   #3
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The UTEC isn't picking up on any knock (above 60% TPS, of course). I haven't monitored the knock sensor with the DD yet, though. I can't hear any, either, but I haven't listened with the det can provided with the TXS TUNA.

The car is parked and not moving any time soon.

As soon as I read your post, I went outside to check on a big problem I'm having. I have an oil leak which I'm guessing is caused by blow-by because I had quite a bit of oil to collect on top of the block near the block breather (the one nearer the passenger side.) Last night I wiped down the underside of the car and with a rag and a long screwdriver, sopped up what was on top of the block. I went to physical training this morning and came back home, read your post and then went out to check if anything had built up again. It's as bad as it was before.

My initial thought was to cinch down the hoses on that PCV, but that would only hide the real problem of the unsealed rings (I'm assuming that's the origin of the leak.

I'm calling my friends down at Subaru.

Thanks for your reply. Hopefully it's not already destroyed...but I know it probably is.

Also, fwiw. My ST/LT trims are set good. My AFRs are generally 14.7:1 and generally rich (in the 10's) beyond that. Timing is moderate. Boost is never above 15psi.
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Old 02-17-2004, 01:13 PM   #4
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It might be a knocked out Ring... Best to comp test it.. If you have oil in your breather lines you either have blow by or you overfilled the oil.. Good luck man

Clark
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Old 02-17-2004, 01:20 PM   #5
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Thanks.

Knocked out ring = engine rebuild?

Waiting on Braun from the local Suby service dept. to call me back. I need to buy a comp. tester.
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Old 02-17-2004, 01:56 PM   #6
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http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...temnumber=9603

no 1st hand experience, but it looks good and is relatively cheap.

hth
ken
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Old 02-17-2004, 02:17 PM   #7
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Hey thanks. If I can't find one around here, the one you posted looks like a good one.

I'm going to head to Napa right now, but that's enroute to Subaru. While I am not eligible to receive any warranty work anymore, they are too cool. If they do a test for me, it'll either be free or inexpensive.
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Old 02-17-2004, 04:05 PM   #8
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I'm at the Subaru garage right now.

They think it's the oil pressure switch on top of the block being loose or not having silicon tape on it. That would be the knee-jerk reaction based on the position of that and the PCV both being in the middle of where the oil is pooling.

They're doing a compression check for me, gratis.

I tried to explain to my mechanic (who's also one of the founding members of the Hawaii i-club (now nasioc), and whom we consider 'one of us') that it's more than likely blow-by. He wouldn't understand about the IAM and being able to monitor the stock knock sensor.
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Old 02-18-2004, 01:20 AM   #9
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Compression check showed between 150-165 on all 4. Had a spark plug that was gapped to about .008 (vs. the others at .028). I plugged the center block breather. Although I have the breathers all (1 on pass. side of block, one each on heads) going to a catch can, the translucent hoses show no sign of oil. Either they're not doing their job or the leaks aren't coming from the PCV hoses (maybe at the base of the PCV.)

Mechanic said that it is most probably the oil pressure sensor on the front of the block beneath the alternator. He said I probably needed to put on some teflon tape and re-tighten it.

Plugs were burnt looking around the top of the threads.

Some pics:
cylinder #1
cylinder #2
cylinder #3
cylinder #4

plug ends

One more thing. Since I've been back from the shop, I've noticed that the DD is showing absolutely no knock. Not saying that this is new, but I'm just starting to use it vs. the UTEC knock detection that I had been monitoring. UTEC never showed signs of knock.

Also, when I got back to work after leaving the shop, my IAM was still on 4. I reset it back to 8. I'll see what happens tomorrow.

Last edited by gpatmac; 02-18-2004 at 01:47 AM.
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Old 02-18-2004, 01:53 AM   #10
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Does a successful compression test rule out a knocked out ring?
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Old 02-18-2004, 10:52 AM   #11
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rings are fine man. Thats great news. Sounds like the top end is ok. Do you hear any metalic noises in the engine that could cause false knock?

No codes other then misfire correct?

Those plugs look a little on the lean side to me. Any idea what the AFR is at WOT on boost? DD should show the sensor pegged at 11 to 1 for example. I cant think of a reason why you would drop down in IAM but Knock.... Either from rich misfire or from lean knock.

Clark
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Old 02-18-2004, 11:15 AM   #12
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As far as the plugs go -- even if you just idled or cruised for a few seconds after a WOT pass, you couldn't really get a true reading unless you've done some damage to the plugs themselves (ie, cooking them).

Plug conditions would be indicitive of the enviornment at the moment of removal.


But Clark's right, the insulator on the first plug in the picture looks to have become nice and hot at some point.

Last edited by bryan carbon; 02-18-2004 at 11:24 AM.
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Old 02-18-2004, 11:16 AM   #13
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Clark
If our cars run rich condition, do we get misfire code?
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Old 02-18-2004, 02:03 PM   #14
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Bryan. You are correct in the respect of what some call the dust coating or top coat of soot or carbon on a plug. But, you can look in other areas to determin what that plug has been through. The picture is not the greatest put notice how the center is clean and white almost ashy and the outside is carbon'd up black. He also mentioned a tight gap on one plug which happens when you run lean and overheat the plug. The best way to check for det and for leaness is to focus on the center electrode. When the plug was new it had a 90 degree edge. I bet its rounded off almost like the edge of a pencil eraser.

WRX2. Rich misfire is very common on the EJ and most detonation and knock come from running rich. You will get misfire codes if your AFR is overly rich and the plug cannot lite the mixture.

Cya

Clark
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Old 02-18-2004, 05:12 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by AZScoobie
rings are fine man. Thats great news. Sounds like the top end is ok. Do you hear any metalic noises in the engine that could cause false knock?

No codes other then misfire correct?

Those plugs look a little on the lean side to me. Any idea what the AFR is at WOT on boost? DD should show the sensor pegged at 11 to 1 for example. I cant think of a reason why you would drop down in IAM but Knock.... Either from rich misfire or from lean knock.

Clark
If I'm misfiring, I see/hear no indication (besides that ungapped plug). No noise, although I found that a bolt was missing on my A/C which could have been vibrating. I'm going to inspect more thoroughly for more missing bolts.

Also, since I've reset the ECU with the DD, whatever codes I may have had are gone. I need to be a little more vigilant and use the tools I have.

I am driving it and every thing is skosh. Lack of available time is killing me.

The AFRs at WOT are pretty rich which might explain the misfire, but not explain the condition of the plugs. I believe that the discussion going on in the 'another one bites the dust' and remarks from Mark Ramirez directly address my oil leak problems (although, to me it seems like it answers where the oil is coming from, but not so much why...probably because I don't thoroughly understand the dynamics of oil pressure and what needs lubrication)

I'm interested in the check valve that Graham talks about.
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Old 02-18-2004, 05:29 PM   #16
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I got oil coming out of not the PCV breather but the other breather that is also tied into the valve cover breathers. There was enough oil coming out of there to pool on the block and drip down the turbo oil return line and get on stuff under the car. After putting a real hose on there with a clamp I haven't gotten any more oil coming out of there. That is a closed system between the crankcase and the valve covers. Is that vent just capped off on your car?
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Old 02-18-2004, 06:31 PM   #17
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I have made the suggestion that dwx metioned to you several times. Did you ever get the area cleaned?? My oil leak is gone ever since I clamped the hose on the crankcase vent tube and my motor is running strong. I also tied the line into the driver side valve cover with a ' T '.

The oil pressure is not the problem you are seeing, even Mark stated that the added pressure is not need on the EJ257 because it does not have oil squirters for the pistons. Mark runs the standard WRX oil pump on his EJ257 too by the way.

As far as your timming being off, I recall reading in one of your threads that you put the motor back together with a damaged cam gear correct? Have you since replaced it? If not your motor could very well be out of time. I would also suggest that you drop the cash for the STi timming belt or the Power Enterprise belt since the tolerance rating on those belts is alot beter and they fit much tighter than the standard WRX timming belt. I choose the STi timming belt for my hybrid. I am not claiming any of these to be your problem I am just giving you ideas on where to start looking.

-Matt
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Old 02-19-2004, 03:45 AM   #18
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I cleaned it around Monday or Tuesday before plugging the 257 specific breather. Without running it too hard, it sure enough leaked.

When I went to the dealer to get my compression checked, we plugged it then. I wasn't able to clean the top of my block until tonight, so after doing that I went out for a short cruise with the Delta Dash hooked up. I was trying to see what happens to AFRs and anything else after my TPS crossover point. (some of you might know what I'm referring to.)

Anyhow, as soon as I got home I pulled the hood and sure enough, the oil was pooled in the same places where it was before. Starting to look a little black, too, but that might be just because of my vantage point onto the top of the engine. I'll be better able to see tomorrow when I've got light.

As far as the cam sprocket is concerned, I haven't swapped in the new one yet. I'm banking on everything being skosh with it since the teeth are only a little chipped. I am limited in time due to all of the preparations my unit is doing to prepare for deployment. I should be able to get it changed this weekend. And I no longer have the cash for a stronger timing belt.
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Old 02-20-2004, 02:38 PM   #19
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I called Ron @ APR looking for some advice. His was to clean thoroughly and monitor while idling to maybe around 2k rpm. I believe I was seeing some seapage coming from the oil pressure sensor.

W/o taking the alternator off, I was able to get it off and then I put some teflon tape on.

More to follow.
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Old 02-21-2004, 03:10 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally posted by gpatmac
One more thing. Since I've been back from the shop, I've noticed that the DD is showing absolutely no knock. Not saying that this is new, but I'm just starting to use it vs. the UTEC knock detection that I had been monitoring. UTEC never showed signs of knock.

Also, when I got back to work after leaving the shop, my IAM was still on 4. I reset it back to 8. I'll see what happens tomorrow.

I've seen you on the ecutek forums so you probably know what I'm about to say, but I'll go ahead anyway -
the "knock sensor" parameter in deltadash will almost never give you any useful information. This is because the sampling rate is not quite fast enough to pick up the knock sensor's output 100%. The chances of you actually seeing a knock event on that parameter is almost none, especially if you're monitoring any other parameters at the same time.

With that said, the best indication DD can give you of knock is a low or negative value in the "Knock Correction" parameter or a low (less than 13) value in the "Advance Multiplier" parameter. Since you are saying you're seeing an IAM of just 4, that's an indication that something is severely wrong -

What this means is that the ECU is only using 4/16th's of the advance map and that is like saying your ecu is running very close to "worst case scenario" mapping. If you've read the Active Ignition Timing article on ecutek's website, you'll understand exactly what I'm talking about.

Since you're also using a utec and you're not picking up any knock with that, you might want to look into a sensor problem somewhere. I'm afraid I don't know enough to suggest which sensors are causing the problem.

Also, you said one of your spark plugs was gapped at 0.008? That alone will be a source of serious ignition problems. I didn't see where you said you fixed it, but please do fix that if you didn't already and reset the ecu.

Now, the oil pooling, you ought to be able to go in there with a mirror-on-a-stick and locate where it's coming from.
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Old 02-21-2004, 07:07 AM   #21
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Leak is fixed!

I knew that the DD gives less than accurate readings from the knock sensor. I just wanted to add the redundancy to my UTEC (have 2 logs going at once - 2 laptops) because of the initial scare that Clark put in me.

Good news about the leak, and good news (for now at least) about the IAM. I'm back to 16.

I think that my tune is SO rich that I'm misfiring (not good ) and I think it's mainly in #3 because that's where the mis-gapped plug came from. I'm going to go check them all again tomorrow.

My method is that I'm trying to cure one problem at a time. Now that the leak is fixed, I was aiming to lean out my fuel. I have, up until now, been driving at less than 25% TPS/low rpm/low boost, but with the ST fuel trims/zero column tuned well.

Now I'm going to throw in some Xylene and start to lean out the rest of my map.
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Old 02-21-2004, 10:16 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally posted by AZScoobie
The IAM starts at 8 as you describe. Depending on the code in the ECU you have the IAM will rise up (advance) in a pretty short time period.. Most US cars take a few dyno pulls. JDM cars take a single pull. If your IAM is ever anything other then 16 you have knocked. If its ever less then 12 you have an issue and have knocked badly. I expect your engine to blow in a short time period and I am not kidding. It takes audible and very hard knock to get the ECU to kick into the Hi det fuel maps. This happens when the ECU runs an IAM below 4.

When this happens you A. Lose Lambda function and Oxy sensors are ignored, B. you drop into the Hi det idle and fuel maps which have several extra points of fuel and C. your ignition timing runs off the base map without the advance map.

Stop doing what you are doing or you are going to knock that motor to death.

Clark
I have an alternative theory on how the IAM can end up at either 4 or 0 without experiencing any knock at all. I believe the ECU's supervisor will unilaterally set the IAM to 4 when it wants all its subsystems to operate in a limited limp mode and the ECU's supervisor will unilaterlly set the IAM to 0 when it wants all its subsystems to operate in a severe, total limp mode. If my theory is true, then all the major subsystems (not just the fueling subsystem) are always comparing the IAM to what EcuTeK misleadingly calls the "Fuel Map Knock Switch Threshold" and when the IAM is equal to or less than that threshold, they switch to their "limited limp mode" strategies and when the IAM is 0, they switch to their "total limp mode." One common condition that will prompt the ECU's supervisor to order a limp mode is severe misfire. Loss of either the front A/F sensor or the MAF sensor can also prompt a limp mode. Although knock can be severe enough to drive the IAM down to 4 and trigger a limp mode, I don't believe that's the case here.

Since you're running a UTEC, you won't see the full effect of the limp mode (limited boost, severely retarded ignition, etc.) because the UTEC has usurped control of ignition and boost. You will see the switch to the extra rich fuel map, though, because the UTEC relies on the stock ECU to drive the fuel injectors.

Suggestion - read your stock ECU's trouble codes. You almost certainly have misfire type trouble codes set (Px3xx). Fix your misfire problem and you'll fix your IAM problem. I doubt you have a knock problem.

Last edited by Jon [in CT]; 02-21-2004 at 10:32 AM.
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Old 02-24-2004, 03:02 PM   #23
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Jon. Thats a great theory. To bad its incorrect.

Clark
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Old 02-24-2004, 04:09 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally posted by AZScoobie
Jon. Thats a great theory. To bad its incorrect.

Clark
Ha ha. It's more likely to be correct than:
Quote:
... most detonation and knock come from running rich.
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Old 02-24-2004, 04:19 PM   #25
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gpatmac,

You have a WB02, correct? If so, what are your true AFR's?


-Dave
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