Installshield's NA Build

Installshield 2

Gothenburg Superiority
^ah cool, missed that in the sig...just saw stage 1 and forgot how many clutch options we have haha...

I'm pulling the entire engine and gear box though...I really need the space in the bay for a few days to really get in there and clean it, and treat a few areas with some rust removal...so, i'm hoping that is the hardest part...with the engine on a crate i'm sure it'll be a lot easier to deal with getting the box on and off, and lining up the clutch properly...so i'm not too concerned about it at this point...unlike the twiggy issue i just had; i'm dealing with name brand parts that are a direct replacement...not some critical components made by who-the-hell-knows haha...
 

Installshield 2

Gothenburg Superiority
^ awesome man, thanks...Do you know if the twiggys are steel or cast iron? I vaguely remember Andrew saying they were originally steel, but they switched to cast iron just before manufacturing...

Again, its been a while since i had any metallurgy classes...they 'appear' to be steel, but carbide treatments and this and that can make nearly any metal appear to be something else...
 

Installshield 2

Gothenburg Superiority
oh ok, i do remember reading that. Nice to know they'll last as long as the stock set did...I have a barely used FS-ZE intake cam (was going to repin it years ago to be a ms exhaust cam), and the one i just pulled out with over 130,00 miles...if i didn't mark them, i wouldn't know the difference...neither have any sign of wear than just a shiny lobe surface...actually the shims i pulled out last week are pretty near perfect also...

i've said it a lot...but i love mobil 1...I know there are plenty of debates with oil, but for the price and how readily it is available in my area...i'm happy with it.
 
V
13 CX5
No problems with the fidenza. Got mine bolted to the stock clutch. I was much happier with the downshift performance and the lack of super slow down rev.
 

Installshield 2

Gothenburg Superiority
#5.1 General Camshaft Info

This is going to take a few write-ups. The camshafts of a particular engine are BY FAR the most complex, least understood, and overall confusing critical engine part throughout most automotive communities. To attempt to explain them, i'll start by stating: I really wish modern engine's didn't even have them...

If 'our' generation of car enthusiasts has anything similar to a carburetor...as in something that needs to be scrapped entirely...and a better 'system' used in its place...the cams are next on the list...

In principle, camshafts do something relatively simple...they 100% control every single valve's opening and closing event. The part itself is simply a metal shaft with a series of journals that it rides on, with a distinctly noticeable series of lumps sticking out of it...the lumps lift the valves off their seats and physically push them into the combustion chambers; letting air/fuel in...and burned exhaust gas out...the valves are housed in a small cylinder cast into the head, and retainers are used to hold springs around the valve stems...so when the cam lobes are not pushing and 'lifting' the valves, the spring tension returns them to a closed position...

So in terms of how they actually work...thats it...simple, right?...Right off the bat that simplicity is where problems start...We've already lightly gone over all the problems with air properties, and also how the abilities of an engine to suck air in actually change with engine speed...so immediately you can see that something that can't physically change shape or dimensions isn't going to be that efficient at meeting the demands of the engine through ALL speed ranges...nor can it effectively deal with all the problems with air in the first place...and by the way, this 'simple' cam shaft set up is exactly what our engine's have.

A very common trend in modern engine design has been centered around taking these simple parts...and making them a lot more complex, yet still holding on to the original idea surrounding them. EVERY production continues to use some form of a cam shaft...they're still lumpy sticks that physically push valves open...But modern tooling equipment, modern computer controls, etc...have allowed most manufacturers to some how manipulate the cam shaft while the engine is running...these systems are all pretty different, but attempt to accomplish the same thing. While we've all heard of V-TEC, things like VarioCam Plus and Double Vanos may not ring a bell quite as much. To keep it short, these systems change the cam's physical position in the head, switch to a different set of cam lobes, and adjust the timing of the open/close events...while the engine is actually running...some systems do all of that, some only do part of that...but its always in an attempt to better match the cam's physical attributes at a specific engine speed...rather than the one size fits all issue we're faced with...

My argument since college has been...they need to STOP doing that...cams need to be gone. Technology is literally already here to allow complete valve control by a completely different system. Computer controlled pneumatic actuators that use pressurized air to open and close the valves was introduced to F1 back in the late 80's, but it was deemed unfair and back burnered to keep the field leveled...Systems like this would give 100% control of every aspect of the valves...the timing...the lift...the duration that they are opened, the speed with which they are opened...everything...and could be adjusted on the fly as the engine revs...but for now, its no where in sight...

Ok, so with that out of the way...forget that, as well as things like V-Tec...its not relevant to these cars...

When dealing with a typical 'fixed' DOHC engine...there are several geometrical figures related to the cam grind that is important...I always mix some of this up, so please correct me if something is backwards...Also, keep in mind that a 4 stroke engine creates one universal constant: A rotation of 2 crank degrees has to create only 1 degree of cam rotation. The cams have to spin at half the speed of the crank, or it would quickly be incorrectly timed. This relationship is kept in check by the tooth count on the timing belt, crank sprocket, and cam gears.

Base Circle: BC is a fairly simple measurement of the overall cam lobe. The lobes 'reach' out from the cam's center origin, and the opposite side of this reach remains a perfect circle. the BC is just the diameter of that circle, without any of the reach. Its harder to explain than it is to just look at a picture:

https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRc4LAb05ndTVIAJ6Zs3PbQisTw0MUUOK08SxA-faABOunrpjU7

Duration: The time in crank degrees that a cam lobe physically opens the valves. The degree figure can be different depending on how its measured. Some manufacturer's start with duration at .003" of lift (nearly immeasurably pushed off the valve seat), some start with .006" (usually described as 'advertised duration')...while others, for sake of comparison, also list a duration number of degrees at .050" lift

Max Lift: The measurement of the farthest length that the valves are pushed open. Measurements for this can be made two different ways. the first would be max valve lift; how far the valve is pushed away from its seat in the cylinder head...and max lobe lift; the difference of a cam's base circle reduced from the lobe's 'nose to heel' (refer to the pic above) measurement. Both numbers are usually slightly different, so when comparing a cam to cam, you'd go with the max lobe lift...comparing head to head, you'd go with the max valve lift...if that makes sense...max valve lift is not just effected by the cam lobes, but also the 'lash' measurement...which is the physical space between the cam's base circle and the tappet it pushes on...with our solid lifter/tappet design, lash is adjusted by shims which are available in various thicknesses...So using a thicker shim will not only reduce valve/lobe lash from the base circle, it will also add more material for the cam lobe to push on... For example, running a smaller lash clearance...will result in HIGHER max valve lift, running 'looser' lash will create slightly less max valve lift...but the cam lift values remain constant.

Center Line: This is a very important, and often overlooked measurement of a cam shafts relationship with the pistons...the center line of an intake cam shaft is expressed differently than an exhaust cam shaft, but they are both a way of 'timing' either camshafts point of max lobe lift. Intake cam center line is measured in degrees AFTER Top Dead Center. Which is simply how many degrees of crank shaft rotation after TDC that the intake valves are opened all the way. Exhaust cam center line is a measured in degrees BEFORE TDC. That makes sense as the intake cam needs to be fully opened as the intake stroke (piston travelling down the cylinder) leaves top dead center...while the exhaust cam needs to open the exhaust valves as the piston is travelling up in the cylinder, pushing exhaust out...you'll see a center line figure in crank degrees with a before or after description, like mentioned...but sometimes see an CL figure in cam degrees...both mean the same thing, just make sure you're comparing apples to apples.

Ramp Angle: RA is a measurement of the lobe's face, which translates into how aggressively it opens and closes the valves. High RA go from seated to max lift very quickly, low RAs do the opposite. Most cylinder heads and valvetrains are designed around a particular RA, so its not something that is usually messed with in terms of aftermarket cams. For our purposes, a cam with nearly indentical RA should be used if possible. Adjustments to tappets and other parts may be needed if you stray too far from that.

That makes up the main 5 measurements of each cam, but just as importantly...there needs to be a few measurements that illustrate their relationship with each other...

Lobe Separation: (sometimes referred to as LSA) While this number is generally used for a single cam that uses both intake and exhaust lobes, the principle behind applies to dual cam engines...the only thing to remember is that this measurement is a sum of angles on both cams, as there is no way to simultaneously measure both. The LSA is the measurement in CAM degrees between the intake lobe's max lift, and exhaust lobe max lift. In our factory head with factory cam gears, this number is held constant (assuming the timing belt is installed properly and doesn't slip). Its also the basis for making adjustments to the timing by using adjustable cam gears, which i'll get into later...

Overlap: The holy grail of Natural Aspiration...overlap is a function of the LSA. To make it more useful this measurement is determined by knowing the LSA, and incorporating it into crank degrees. So overlap is expressed with a number X stated in crank degrees. Increasing duration and/or reducing LSA both INCREASE overlap. Decreasing duration and/or increasing LSA DECREASE overlap. Overlap, basically, is the number in crank degrees that the intake valves are opened while the exhaust valves are opened. When thinking of overlap, you start with the exhaust stroke from BDC. The piston moves up, the exhaust valves fully open, and begin to close as the piston approaches TDC...as this is happening, the intake cam begins to push open the intake valves...the number of degrees the crank rotates with both slightly opened is your overlap. Like duration; overlap can be expressed at a few different points of lift...it may be overlap at .003", .006', etc., but the quantifiable number is crank degrees.

So with the basics out of the way, i'll get into what all this means in the next one. At least now we have it down what the actual measurements are, and what they represent...

Most thorough cam explanations are related to popular engines for modifications...So if you dig deeper on this, you're quickly going to run in to very in depth descriptions of V8's using a single cam...everything above is mostly the same in principle, its just the way the measurements are made...as well as the way things are adjusted...that are different.
 
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V
2002 323 Protege
It gets even more complex and somewhat frustrating when you add variable valve lift into the equation :( It really does become a case of why make it so complex, when theres better methods.

In regards to full independent valve control the Fiat MultiAir does elements of this IIRC, havnt read about it yet though :)
 

Installshield 2

Gothenburg Superiority
#5.2 Cam Timing Adjustments

With the basics out of the way, I can go over the basic principles of adjustment. I'm stabbing in the dark with some of the recommendations and things i'm currently trying on my car, as i've not yet properly degree'd the cams for this specific engine (a must for the future build, but enough is changing with the bottom end it doesn't make much sense to do it now). By the way, cam degreeing is just a tedious process of getting very accurate measurements of exact TDC position and cam LCA's...with those two critical ingredients, you can then make much more informed adjustments...I'll have all that info when i actually do the work.

Lets assume we have a set of 'hotter' cams and a good set of adjustable cam gears. I have a pair of twiggys that i'm currently using, others have gone with similar spec'd cams from other suppliers...but for now, i'm not getting that specific...as this will be an over-view of what adjustments actually do, how you do them, and why some adjustments work...and some won't...

Also...This pretty much ends any useful information for a Turbocharged application...from here out, we're no longer friends...Its all NA now...

First...think of a naturally aspirated engine as a normal 4 stroke system...but one that has access to 2 intake phases...the first phase can be made available before the cylinder even moves down...All engines have the normal intake stroke, which uses cylinder vacuum and ambient air pressure to pull/push air into the chambers when the intake valve opens...a turbocharger uses 'wasted' exhaust pressure to spin a turbine that adds additional air pressure to the intake tract...good for them...but a naturally aspirated engine can ALSO utilize this wasted pressure, with some pretty crazy results if your math is right...that is whats accomplished with overlap, but first we need to look at the most critical phase of crank rotation for building power...

The phase actually begins with the exhaust stroke, which at first will seem counter intuitive, but since the closest relationship the 4 valves have is just as the exhaust side closes...and intake side opens...and intake charge enters after, its the easiest way to picture it...

With that said, we can line up what types of adjustments are possible...and their outcomes

With an adjustable cam gear you can advance or retard either cam...independently...independence is great, but also confusing...to start, here is what happens with adjusting just one at a time...and also, advancing cam timing means making the associated event happening sooner...so that means moving the cam's position into the cranks rotation. our engine's rotate clockwise, and so do the cams. To advance a cam, you move the cam clockwise (NOT THE GEAR; a reminder for myself...i've f'd that up countless times)...to retard a cam, you are making it happen later...and to do that you adjust the cam counter-clockwise...i'll start with the exhaust, since we're trying to keep that as the first part of the phase...

these are very general, by the way...and are effected by literally every modification made to a car...just a cat-back exhaust or simple intake system can effect what these adjustments may do.

Advance Exhaust Cam: This makes the exhaust event happen sooner, increasing lobe separation, reducing overlap, and generally moves max VE to a lower rpm...

Retard Exhaust Cam:
This makes it happen later, decreasing lobe separation from the intake side, increases overlap, and generally helps with higher end breathing...

Advance Intake Cam: This makes the intake event happen sooner, decreasing lobe separation (remember, the exhaust cycle has already happened), increasing overlap...Of the four examples here, this one can be the most misleading. Some claim this on its own will raise the power band, but many have said intake cam adjustments really only effect the first few thousand rpm...a lot of builders only mess with the intake cam alone to get an acceptable idle, then move both at the same amount to change the power band... This adjustment can quickly ruin dynamic compression and cylinder filling at ALL rpm; resulting in a lumpy idle or frequent stalling...and hurting power everywhere...

Retard Intake Cam: This makes the intake event happen later, increasing lobe separation decreasing overlap...quickly fixing any idle issues, increases dynamic compression ratio...but can also 'choke' the engine off as revs climb, as the event happens too late in relation to piston speed...

With the intake cam; advancing it by itself is the riskiest move for power output...depending on the cam specs it can be the only adjustment that can quickly hurt power at all rev ranges...While you can overly retard an intake cam, its only going to be really noticeable at higher rpm...not low...but overly advanced, and you can have an undriveable car pretty quickly...

Remember that every degree of cam change is 2 degrees in crank rotation...Retarding an exhaust cam by 2 degrees and not touching the intake cam...will add 4 degrees of effective overlap...so you can see pretty easily; small adjustments can make a noticeable difference...and overall most engines are limited to pretty much no more than 10 degrees of cam change total...

Now quickly forget about individual adjustments, we'll have to come back to that...What happens when you adjust both cams in the same direction by the same amount? Thats actually easier...

Advancing both cams: This is generally a way to move the power band down, making max VE happen sooner...at the cost of higher end breathing and peak HP. Low engine speed operation is generally more stable, and idle quality is maintained better...

Retarding both cams: This does the opposite, moves the power band higher up...and since HP is a function of revs, this generally yields a higher peak HP number. Making the events happen later is happier with higher piston speeds, the air charge has a little more time to get in there in relation to piston location and speeds...because of this, low end torque output will suffer and idle quality/stalling can quickly become a problem.

And then there is overlap. Overlap is a way to utilize that wasted pressure mentioned earlier...creating a phenomenon known as scavenging...when the exhaust valves remain slightly open, exposing the chamber to the exhaust gas leaving the system, just as the intake valves open...a vacuum is created by the exhaust pulses within the exhaust system...that pulls in fresh air BEFORE the cylinder even drops for the intake stroke...properly tuned overlap can give some very considerable increases to output...but its something that can only work its magic over a very brief period of crank rotation...and an even more brief engine speed...too much overlap and it'll reverse itself...when the descending piston will pull exhaust gas back into the chamber, stalling fresh intake air from coming in at the same time, and obviously not helping anything...

finding the proper overlap number in crank degrees...and finding when to do it (by figuring out the LCA numbers)...is the hardest part of NA building...

To finish with the individual adjustments...An easy way to remember which directions quickly hurt things, is through the lobe separation already discussed...if you increase lobe separation, you're quickly closing overlap...and obviously you'll reach a point where there is no overlap entirely...at that point, scavenging and its potential power is gone...and you're simply using only cylinder vacuum to fill the chambers...so you'll have a perfectly fine low end output area (overlap doesn't really work well with low exhaust speeds anyway), idle, and an engine that happily starts... but will have pretty much nothing as the revs increase...on the other end, decreasing lobe separation has the opposite effect...and you'll usually have physical room with the gears to introduce very little lobe separation to a point where you have massive amounts of overlap...and created a situation where the engine may not even start...so just stating, if you put some gears on and can't even get the car to a tuning shop...close the overlap by increasing the lobe separation, and you'll get there fine...

Again, generally, most tuners/builders...after knowing the LCAs...will use that information to retard the intake cam enough to have a relatively stock like idle... then retard the exhaust cam to dial in the overlap value appropriate for the operating range...this increase in overlap will start to lump out the idle again (with a fixed head, you'll have to live with that for peak power)...even increasing idle speed a little to help with that...then finally retarding both to move the powerband to where it'll make the most peak HP...depending on the application that can be handled a little differently, but thats one way of doing it...and a bunch of dyno runs sure help...

Thats about it for cams shafts...at least for the time being...It'll be a little bit until i can get around to degree'ing my set, so not sure what i'll do in the mean time other than other work on the car...but hit me up if you have any questions...or if i'm totally wrong about something haha.
 
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Installshield 2

Gothenburg Superiority
My next troubleshooting issue: idle haha...

I mentioned over the weekend that i mixed up my cam gears when reinstalling everything, which had some pretty detrimental problems with idle (i.e. no idle, constant stalling except on start up)...

I've been reading posts as much as i could about similar issues, and the EGR valve comes up a lot...i'm aware of what it does and everything, but i've never had idle problems other than on a computer reset (would do those pretty regularly with whatever work i was doing), so never needed to mess around with mine...but after tonight, that might be whats up...so just to clear up what i've been facing:

I retarded my intake cam 2 degrees, and advanced the exhaust cam about 3 degrees..in an attempt to close off some overlap in order to prevent stalling at intersections...before these adjustments, its kind of hard to explain the issue i was facing. The car would start immediately and idle fine when cold...as it would warm up, and idle revs would start to lower...it still would be acceptable...the lopey idle was completely awesome, so i wasn't trying to remove that...sitting parked and blipping the throttle, holding the throttle at 3,000 rpm, or revving up past 5k real fast and letting off...all created the same thing...revs would fall to around 1500 rpm rapidly, but then slow down in descent and ease onto the normal ~750 rpm...no problems...

but...if i drove the car for more than 50 feet at nearly any speed...pushed the clutch pedal in and let off the gas...revs would fall like the engine was shut off...immediate stall. Intersections, full blown highway speed, you name it...if the car had been actually driven, not just revved in neutral, same result...9 out of 10 times the revs would drop to zero and the computer would make no attempt at catching it for idle...it was no different than simply turning the key off...

So i made those adjustments, albeit before i had quite as much info on the cams in front of me...those adjustments worked, it hasn't stalled since...but, on paper, its not lining up...the cams aren't nearly aggressive enough to create that much of a stalling problem even with the previous settings i had...and more importantly, it doesn't explain why it'll stall once driven...but not while parked...also, the current adjustments were still creating the same descent in revs, it is simply that the computer seems to have time to just barely catch it before a complete stall...revs plummet down to nearly 500 rpm or less, then bump back to 800 once or twice in series...then settle around 750...

coming home from work, after 200+ miles of break in on the cams...i finally revved them out a little...wound out 2nd gear twice, and was pretty happy with the results...the noise at higher rpm now is pretty ridiculous, doesn't sound like the same engine...but aside from that, all of a sudden...pulled up to an intersection near my house...revs fell just like they did before the cam upgrade...it safely caught itself around 1500 and eased down to 750...no fussing, no bumping...nothing...

So now i'm pretty sure its either my IAC or EGR valve, or both...its possible that running the car a little harder and heating things up, free'd up that egr valve and let it close properly when i reached an intersection...getting stuck open or not closing fast enough is what causes the problematic idle and stalling..at least for a lot of owners...If this is what the problem is, i'm actually thrilled...as i was beginning to worry that the mp3 computer simply couldn't handle these cams with nearly any overlap...and that it wouldn't be until i get the microtech that i can really play with them...at 156,000 miles, i'm probably just going to order a new part entirely...rather than clean it...

but does anyone have any recommendations on this? I've never touched mine, never needed to...but the descriptions in the various threads of EGR problems are exactly what i have...only difference being i have some not so factory cams...
 
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Sport23

Uxor
Contributor
V
2003.5 MSP
I haven't had an issue with my EGR but I did swap it out with a Canadian EGR when I put my 626 IM on. If you're going to buy a new part anyway I would recommend getting the Canadian one.

Other than EGR and IAC; there could possibly be an issue with your throttle, tps, or a very slight vacuum leak. Have you done anything with the IM or throttle body? Do you have thermal spacers?
 

Installshield 2

Gothenburg Superiority
Nope not recently...and I didn't notice a problem until the cam swap. Positive that hammering on it cleared it up this evening though. Ill check all that stuff this weekend and see how bad the build up is.
 

Installshield 2

Gothenburg Superiority
Did a little messing around this morning...just getting more frustrated haha.

First, i took a long piece of heavy duty aluminum foil, and layered it over itself a couple times to have a small square pad...I trimmed it into an octagon like shape...then placed it between the egr tubing on the header (where the big nut screws over the outlet from the header to seal the tube running back to the egr valve and TB)...

then drove around...car completely warmed up...no change, still drops revs like a bastard...I then removed the foil gasket thing to make sure it hadn't already had a hole burned through it, and it was fine and in tact...I was hoping to see if this would block off exhaust gas from getting to the egr valve (which i'm confident it properly did) and that it wouldn't create a vacuum leak effect if the valve sticks open...it didn't change anything, so i'm now pretty confused...as maybe its not the egr at all...

I then reset the computer again...i only had 150 miles or so since the last reset during the cam install...and i ended up starting the car with a pcv line not hooked up to the intake manifold; so wasn't sure some caching was screwed up because of that...

computer reset...go for another quick few mile drive...stalling 100% back (no new adjustments to the cams, by the way)...drops from 3,000 rpm to zero in less than a second with no attempt to catch it...

safe to say...i'm a little lost...Sport23, i did go over every vacuum line i could find...disconnected and reconnected nearly anything i could reach...checked my air filter, slightly dirty but not outrageous...looked in the intake tubing to the MAF, seems clean as hell...same with the IAT...throttle body moves by hand perfectly, no binding or hanging up on anything...

so whats left? IAC? I guess for now i'll just plan on removing both this weekend and see where i'm at...sucks if they're beyond cleaning, as both parts combined will be at least $350, and thats with aftermarket stuff (nearly $500 for OE it looks like)...
 

Installshield 2

Gothenburg Superiority
another update:

I removed the EGR valve, apparently i have the right tools as it was extremely easy...With the valve removed, the plunger inside was closed (i'm assuming that blocks exhaust gas from entering the TB)...while there was a bit of carbon build up, it wasn't to any extreme like some members have said...gently tapping it had some dust coming out, but nothing crazy...

so i then removed the 4 screws holding the solenoid body to the plunger housing...which ended up completely destroying the plunger body (the cast iron was so rusted and brittle, an edge just snapped off from the torque...of a screw driver...so its dead now, and needs replaced...2 of the 4 screws put up enough of a fight to also easily bend...so i was kind of expecting this part to be replaced before i removed it, nbd...

So i'm getting a new thing entirely anyway...but i doubt this was my problem. The spring in the middle is easily moved by thumb pressure (something some guys claimed impossible on their valves)...if i push the plunger down, the shaft of the plunger on the upper hole is crystal clean...nice shiny brass that is easily seen with a flash light...Which, to me means...its almost never moving. There shouldn't be a single clean anything in side of that valve after this many miles...

to my understanding, and please correct me if i'm wrong...the egr valve needs to close for idle and low speed operation...and opens at high way speed when the engine is at a higher rpm...If this is how it works; it always seemed in my case that the valve closed very slowly...that lifting throttle from high rpm, letting revs drop, and watching to coast to idle...wouldn't close the egr in time...and for a few seconds it would bump around a lot until it finally seated...and then it wouldn't give problems again until the egr was opened back up (i.e. sustained revs for more than just a few seconds)...but...i really have no idea if this is the problem.

On the solenoid side...i'm not exactly sure how this thing operates...so i don't know if that is where there was a problem, or if everything was working fine...and you can't get it to do anything logical without an electrical source...

I'm picking up a new egr tomorrow morning, so i guess i'll just hope it helps...How brittle the face was suggests that maybe there was a very small vacuum leak at that location anyway, but i doubt that...the bolts holding it on were nice and tight, and the gasket was in near perfect shape....its possible too that the solenoid side simply failed, but everything was nice clean and greased, and easily movable by hand...and also, i've faced vacuum leaks with other people's cars...they do different things in different heat ranges...but don't get all sporadic between idling parked and simple driving...whatever...

so i'm still pretty lost haha...and now leaning more towards the IAC...thats the only part left in this equation that gives problems like this, at least from what i can tell...
 
V
2002 323 Protege
Still have your P5 ECU?

Stil using the stock flywheel so cant be a combination of flywheel and cams.

Im trying to think of anyone else thats had this problem, but everyone i can think of had a piggy back at least or a microtech. Sleepy has a Emanage, Orion Microtech, Lord Worm Microtech, CrazeeD had AEM.

Rambling Thoughts:
- The turbo guys are unlikely to have this problem as to me it seems almost like a lack of vacuum or something which is causing the ecu to not catch before it stalls. (Unlikely tbh).

- I know in some cars the EGR also functions to warm the car up when the car is first started. Is this the case for the Mazda? If so then perhaps this is why it doest occur when its cold (or did i misread?).

Youve probably posted this but did this occur before you adavanced the intake by 3 degrees? If not could this be related?
 
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MakeMeGoFast

Pursuit of HP happiness
Contributor
V
02' Protege ES
Hey Install, was thinking maybe a mod could move all the N/A tech related posts to another thread (then sticky) that way we could keep the discussion on the subject fairly organized. You're posting a ton of great info and it would be a shame for someone to miss out on it since its somewhat hidden within your build thread. I know I have a ton of questions I'd like to ask that I don't want to clutter up your build thread with especially while you're trying to troubleshooting.
 
V
2001 Mazda Protege ES
My car had what appeared to be problems related to a stuck-open EGR valve- it'd idle around 500 when the car was stopped or in neutral (it's automatic), so i got bored and took the valve off one day to clean it. Valve didn't appear too dirty... gasket was fine, plunger moved fine, solenoid looked good but i didn't test that...
...i managed not to destroy those screws holding the solenoid onto the valve body, or any other part of the valve- lolz... Given my luck with rusty screws and bolts that's amazing. I'm pretty sure they twisted a little... but they didn't snap, so we're all good and still using the old, cleaned, EGR valve. (that's held together by 4 stripped out phillips head screws)
-which didn't solve the problem, after the computer reset/EGR cleaning i took the car to a car wash and on the way there it almost died and was wanting to idle around 100...
...the computer got used to it and the 100RPM idle went away for a while, but recently it's been back again. It sort of shows up randomly, usually it idles around 500 +/- 50 RPM, but sometimes it's less, sometimes it's a nice 750 or 800, and there's been one or two days where i had to keep on the gas so it wouldn't stall when i was stopped.

Recently i took the valve cover off so i could put some sealant around the cam gear..... things......... and i could have damaged a vaccume line while during that, but i don't think i have a vac leak. (*think)

I think the IAC (that's the valve on the throttle body that you need tamper-proof screw driver......bits..... to unscrew right?) can get dirty and cause some problems, you might try that. I haven't because it's not the biggest problem for me right now, but maybe cleaning it would help you... and if it does help let us know eh
 

Sport23

Uxor
Contributor
V
2003.5 MSP
Still have your P5 ECU?

Stil using the stock flywheel so cant be a combination of flywheel and cams.

Im trying to think of anyone else thats had this problem, but everyone i can think of had a piggy back at least or a microtech. Sleepy has a Emanage, Orion Microtech, Lord Worm Microtech, CrazeeD had AEM.

Rambling Thoughts:
- The turbo guys are unlikely to have this problem as to me it seems almost like a lack of vacuum or something which is causing the ecu to not catch before it stalls. (Unlikely tbh).

- I know in some cars the EGR also functions to warm the car up when the car is first started. Is this the case for the Mazda? If so then perhaps this is why it doest occur when its cold (or did i misread?).

Youve probably posted this but did this occur before you adavanced the intake by 3 degrees? If not could this be related?
Ice I think you may have nailed it. The cams may be affecting the amount of vacuum or the rate at which it stabilizes. The stock ECU may just be a bit too slow to catch itself. Someone had twiggys on a stock ECU for a while and it idled at about 700rpm iirc. There's a youtube video linked on the forum somewhere.....

I don't think the EGR does not help during cold starts. It does seem that the (MSP) ECU will sometimes test the EGR @ idle when the engine is fully warm. Occasionnally I will see large AFR swings at idle for a minute or so before normal closed loop operation returns. I will see afr or ~14:1 for a few seconds then ~11:1 for a few seconds, it will repeat a few times and the idle normally. I assume the ECU is testing the EGR function when this happens.
 

Installshield 2

Gothenburg Superiority
Thanks for the input, guys.

makemegofast...that stuff is public property now man, any mod or anyone who wants to copy and paste it can put it where ever they want....and please ask away within this thread, this part of the build will be kind of slow anyway (thats the whole reason for all that tech stuff, i don't really have much else to do right now haha)...

Ice...I have an MP3 ecu; have had it in for a few thousand miles with no issues...Also, i never advanced the intake cam...After i first installed the cams, i figured the stalling was simply a product of too much overlap...so i retarded the intake 2 degrees, advanced the exhaust 3 degrees...idle quality was drastically improved...but i only got about 15 miles on the car before i ran into that failing cam plug issue...so the cams came back out, noticed the sheared pin, etc...so it was down for over a week...

then got the cams back in, accidentally switched my gears during the reinstallation...so started it up with something like 17 degrees of overlap...and again it idled well enough, lumpy and everything, but acceptable and at the right rpm...but...drive 10 feet, stalls coming...guaranteed...then i realized i had the gears reversed, so i adjusted everything back now that my valve cover has the window...took 5 minutes...and after those adjustments, it didn't stall once...

so the cams are related to this problem...but i'm almost positive its either the egr or iac...if it was simply the cams, it wouldn't matter if i was driving along normally, or sitting in my drive way bouncing off a rev limiter...just the cams would have it stall every time no matter what...as nothing is physically changing in with the cams when i rev it, they're always the same...the egr sticking open or not closing properly makes perfect sense...but i won't know until tomorrow morning...

Also, i've talked to Orion about it already...He is running stock cam gears, and his stock computer actually handles idle...and it doesn't seem that he is stalling like I am...but also doesn't seem that the microtech has anything to do with it...but i'm not familiar with how most guys run standalones yet anyway...

I picked up the new egr earlier tonight...and while the design of the revised unit is a little different...i did notice just how 'easy' the new part is compared to the old...my old egr valve could be pushed in by hand, and spun in the housing...but with a lot of resistance and the occasional sticking (seems to me it would stick closed more than anything, though)...the new part is completely different in ease of actuation...so HOPEFULLY this is all it is...i did read guys saying they thought their current valve was fine, but after cleaning or replacing noticed a huge difference...

Thanks for the help, though...i'll update tomorrow morning when i throw the new one in...
 

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