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  #1  
Old 6th January 2018, 13:33
PeterRobinson PeterRobinson is offline
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Default Firing on three cylinders

Hello all,

Some advice/help needed...

My Sylva Striker 4age (Omex open loop) is only firing on cylinders 2,3 and 4. One day in the summer, cylinder 1 just stopped working. I know this because the exhaust primary pipe stays cool instead of red hot, it sounds uneven, and is down on power. It still goes like stink on the three cylinders (I just unplug no.1 injector to use it) but it is obviously nothing like what it should be.

Would really appreciate any help, advice, crazy suggestions (the crazier the better) or obvious ideas to help with this.

Many thanks in inticipation.

Peter Robinson, Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands

PS this is not a spoof - I don't know what to try at this point!!
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  #2  
Old 6th January 2018, 15:28
Mitchelkitman Mitchelkitman is offline
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Do you know that it's not firing on #1? I've no experience of elec control systems like these, but does it tell you it's not firing? Can you look at something which says it isn't (I'm not being flippant, I just don't know). If you know it is sending the correct 'command', then it's a case of why isn't it getting there..... Maybe check plug, lead or more likely? coil pack. Just random thoughts, but hope it helps.
ETA my first sentence wasn't written very well - I can see from the evidence you've given that it's definitely not firing the mixture - my brain was 'in computer mode'.

Last edited by Mitchelkitman; 6th January 2018 at 15:31..
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  #3  
Old 7th January 2018, 08:47
Phaeton Phaeton is offline
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You seem to think it's the injector, but have you checked out the spark plug & the HT lead, have you swapped them with ones from 2,3,4, does the fault stay on 1 or move to the other cylinder?

Exactly the same with the injector, can you swap 2 of the injectors over, again does the fault move or stay where it is?

Have you checked continuity from the Omex plug to the injector plug, never had anything to do with Omex but the Shitreon Paxo boys run them, you have to make your wiring harness, which is the most likely place for a fault, I suspect a bad joint somewhere.

Just as a matter of interest which Omex is it, there are diagrams available online for pinouts
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  #4  
Old 7th January 2018, 12:05
PeterRobinson PeterRobinson is offline
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Thanks Phaeton, I've had another go at the problem of #1 cylinder.

This morning I swapped the spark plug lead to cylinder #4 and #4 still works ok.
I strongly suspected the injector and so I swapped injectors #1 and #2 and the fault is still with #1.
I bought new HT leads in case there was some intermittent fault but the fault is still with #1.
I suspected the fuel wiring but with engine running I could simply swap the connectors on the injectors so that #1 wiring was driving # 4 cylinder (it's a semi-sequential Omex 500 system). Of course it could barely keep running for the couple of seconds it took to make the switch as only cylinders #2 and #3 were firing, but the moment the connector hit the #4 injector it was back to life on 3 cylinders, showing (I imagine) that the wiring is OK.
That leaves the spark plug #1. I've changed the spark plug already to no avail, and I've seen/heard a spare plug firing normally when attached to the #1 HT lead!

I'm well known for doing something stupid/obvious and forgetting I've done it...! What might it be that I've missed or done? I'm familiar with the whole engine and it has worked until the summer, being Rolling-roaded as it stands at 195 bhp @ 7950 rpm.

Thanks again for any thhoughts,
Peter
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  #5  
Old 7th January 2018, 12:20
Phaeton Phaeton is offline
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It appears you've covered off most of the electrical side

2 suggestions, physically change injectors 1 & 4 over, they are just held in by the rail onto rubber grommets (I think) little while since I did 4AGE, my last MR2 MK1 had a V6 fitted.

You also need to consider either a compression or leakdown test across all four, just in case it's dropped a valve or damaged a piston, unusual on this engine but you never know.
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  #6  
Old 7th January 2018, 18:35
PeterRobinson PeterRobinson is offline
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Phaeton,

Yes I swapped a couple of injectors but the problem remained with the same cylinder and the other three ran fine. So it's not a non-functional injector itself.

Your ideas of compression failure are interesting as I've done the obvious things now. Although I have put my palm on the bellmouth and felt the suction alright hmm that kind of demonstrates it is mechanically ok. I know it must sound as though I'm making this up - I wish I was!

Peter
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  #7  
Old 7th January 2018, 19:32
Phaeton Phaeton is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PeterRobinson View Post
I know it must sound as though I'm making this up - I wish I was!

Peter
Nope honestly I belive you I've had gremlins like this in the past which defy all logic. So to recap No1 has had from one of the other cylinders, spark plug, HT lead, injector, injector lead & each occasion the No1 part has worked on the other cylinder & the replacement part failed on No1.

Just one thought what coil pack is it? A Ford EDIS? Does 1& 4 share a coil, can you swap the leads over at the coil pack end rather than at soak end.
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  #8  
Old 4th February 2018, 16:05
PeterRobinson PeterRobinson is offline
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Just to keep you all abreast of this problem, I will bring you up to date with today's developments.

I spent much of the day explaining the four stroke engine cycle to my mum. She sniggered far too much if you ask me - I don't know whether it was the repeated mention of "suck-squish-bang-blow" or the accompanying hand gestures that perfectly mimicked an 80mm reciprocating stroke

But two evenly spaced spark events per engine cycle and two squirts per engine cycle ensure that the ECU does not treat cylinder 1 any differently at all from cylinder 4. Coupled with the fact that I have moved every component from cylinder 1 to cylinder 4 - injector, injector wiring, ignition lead, coil output terminal and spark plug - and the problem is always with cylinder 1, means that the problem is breathing/mechanical. Thus I finally accepted my inevitable descent into madness and took the cam covers off to check that the cam lobes were still there. They seemed to be in good condition. and the followers were still pressed up against the cams as though the valves are still retained. On reassembly the engine still runs with its consistent uneven 3 cylinder note and the #1 exhaust primary pipe stays cold.

This is a wonderful car - an absolute driver's tool and a joy to control on road or track but it is making me quite deranged at the moment. Even if it costs money I need to solve this problem so I put up a budget/reward of 150 pounds for anyone who can solve the puzzle, or part of the reward if necessary just for a suggestion leading to the solution even if is just the suggestion of a troubleshooter who can shed a light on it. I'm in Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham. Thanks all.
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  #9  
Old 4th February 2018, 16:17
Phaeton Phaeton is offline
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I know you said you thought you could feel the suck & blow but I think it's time for a compression or leak down test.shame you're not closer you could borrow mine but you're best part of 100 mile away
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  #10  
Old 4th February 2018, 16:20
Mitchelkitman Mitchelkitman is offline
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My money (or yours?) is on it being an earthing problem - with the spark 2&3 being 'commonised' and 1&4 similarly - a weak spark for #1 that looks ok when it's visible, but not enough oomph under pressure!
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  #11  
Old 7th February 2018, 15:54
PeterRobinson PeterRobinson is offline
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Great Mitchel, just the sort of out-of-the-box thinking I need... What should I try doing next then?
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  #12  
Old 7th February 2018, 16:11
Mitchelkitman Mitchelkitman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PeterRobinson View Post
Great Mitchel, just the sort of out-of-the-box thinking I need... What should I try doing next then?
I guess look at the engine earthing strap, and the earth to the coil pack/mounting. I can understand the line of thought that it may be a compression (ie probably valves) issue, but think if that was the case it would 'backfire'. Going back to basics, we need (albeit controlled) fuel delivery, air delivery and spark to get the bang. If you have fuel, air and spark there will be a bang (not at the correct time if a valve is leaking, but it will happen). Thinking aloud, if (unlikely, but not impossible) inlet valve is stuck shut then there would be no fuel delivery into cylinder, but then is would build up on back of valve and (probably after a short while) cause such a build up in the inlet manifold that it would make the other 3 too rich. Problems such as these are intriguing, as they seem impossible - when the outcome is found we'll all say.... "Oh, of course"
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  #13  
Old 13th February 2018, 13:20
PeterRobinson PeterRobinson is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mitchelkitman View Post
I guess look at the engine earthing strap, and the earth to the coil pack/mounting. I can understand the line of thought that it may be a compression (ie probably valves) issue, but think if that was the case it would 'backfire'. Going back to basics, we need (albeit controlled) fuel delivery, air delivery and spark to get the bang. If you have fuel, air and spark there will be a bang (not at the correct time if a valve is leaking, but it will happen). Thinking aloud, if (unlikely, but not impossible) inlet valve is stuck shut then there would be no fuel delivery into cylinder, but then is would build up on back of valve and (probably after a short while) cause such a build up in the inlet manifold that it would make the other 3 too rich. Problems such as these are intriguing, as they seem impossible - when the outcome is found we'll all say.... "Oh, of course"
Yes Mitchel, yes. The coil pack (being a Ford Escort Zetec one) is supposed to earth itself through it's mounting screws! Eaugghh! Now, I've mounted it lazily using cable ties instead, which works for a while as it earths through all the other HT leads, but the coil is a cheap EuroCarParts one and it starts to break down internally, and the spark weakens. All else being equal (spark plug gaps etc) the first thing that fails is the spark that has to run through the longest HT lead giving a high resistance - in my case, #1 cylinder right at the front of the engine. Obvious really!! ROFL.

I got the idea of tethering the coil with nylon ties from Paul Boyd, 750 Motor Club racing Sports Specials champion. He told me it was fine and I saw it on his immensely beautiful and successful Eclipse racecar with Duratec engine. Now I'm hoping the coil is my last major problem and perhaps I can even reach my ambition to race in Sports Specials myself! The Striker is 480kg dry and could also get aluminium front hubs and calipers to help overcome some of the power deficit.
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  #14  
Old 13th February 2018, 14:29
Mitchelkitman Mitchelkitman is offline
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I'll take the cash at Stoneleigh if that's ok
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  #15  
Old 13th February 2018, 20:53
PeterRobinson PeterRobinson is offline
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If it's still working by Stoneleigh I'll be delighted! Quite by coincidence I've spent exactly the 150 quid budget today lol New coil pack (35) 4x new iridium spark plugs (40) and fitting and wiring of the coil and diagnostics (50) all plus vat.

Can I interest you in a free sponsorship deal?? Does "MitchelKitMan online diagnostics" want promotion through my maverick entry to the SportsSpecials (formerly Kit Car) championship?? Thanks
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  #16  
Old 14th February 2018, 13:40
Mitchelkitman Mitchelkitman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PeterRobinson View Post
If it's still working by Stoneleigh I'll be delighted! Quite by coincidence I've spent exactly the 150 quid budget today lol New coil pack (35) 4x new iridium spark plugs (40) and fitting and wiring of the coil and diagnostics (50) all plus vat.

Can I interest you in a free sponsorship deal?? Does "MitchelKitMan online diagnostics" want promotion through my maverick entry to the SportsSpecials (formerly Kit Car) championship?? Thanks
I'm just an enthusiastic amateur - no desire to become a online diagnostic expert, but thanks for the offer.
Is it working now?
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