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Old 11-08-15, 21:32   #1
88vlbt1
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RB30E Cylinder 6 not firing

Hi VL Gurus,

Trying to give as much info as I can here.
Hope I don't get flamed for the post, but I've given the search button a good workout and been lurking this forum for a few days trying solutions and I'm really scratching my head on this problem. I'll try to be as concise as possible and hope not to leave anything out, so please bare with me. I'd like to get some ideas before I go pulling the plenum apart again and breaking something old and flaky unless I have to. I'm also not a mechanic, or claim to know a lot about cars, I've only tried things I've read from this forum.

Backstory:
I bought a fairly schmick VL BT1 N/A off a mate a few years back and she sat in the garage for about 2 and a half years being started only once or twice. I finally got around to getting her home after about half a can of Carby cleaner and "start ya *******" down her throat. Reluctantly made it home with a lot of smoke, some new fuel and from as far as I could tell, only on 4 or 5 cylinders.


Problem:
I cannot for the life of me get the car to run on all cylinders, it appears the number 6 cylinder at the moment is the culprit, I've got rough idling and very sluggish acceleration even in neutral (to the point it almost stalls).


Things I've done/checked:

1. Changed Oil and Filter: The oil that came out of it was plentiful (So no leaks) and not milky in anyway, for sure it was black, but didn't seem abnormal.

2. Air and Fuel Filter

3. Spark plugs and leads: So after a couple days of troubleshooting, I pulled the new plugs back out and found the first 5 to be black and the number 6 plug almost clean as a whistle, albeit smelly of petrol (put a lighter to it though and nothing, so could be something else). I've swapped leads from dizzy to plug and still no fire, arc'd the dizzy connection to a screwdriver so it appears the cylinder is getting spark, swapped plugs 1 and 6 and still 6 not firing.

4. Distributor: Removed the cap and cleaned any corrosion off rotor, scraped the flux up off the contact points and checked for pitting. Firing order is correct

5. Timing: Checked timing and doesn't have an affect on the misfire.

6. Injectors: I removed the injector lead so I know that the cylinder isn't firing as there's no difference when it's disconnected. I put a light tester probe on the contacts and am getting a solid stable light (I thought it should pulse, but it does the same for the other injectors). I removed the injectors and using a syringe, carby cleaner, and a 9v battery, tested and cleaned those. (Spray looks to be plentiful). Blew air into the fuel rail at injector 6 and isn't clogged. I also put the injectors back with the number 6 injector moved to another cylinder, and still am getting miss on number 6 with a different injector.

7. Compression Test: (PSI)
DRY
C1: 162
C2: 167
C3: 140
C4: 120
C5: 170
C6: 170

WET
C1: 230
C2: 260
C3: 245
C4: 215
C5: 270
C6: 260

8.ECU: I get your regular 14, 23, 24, 31 error codes and also 12. So error code 12 looks to be "Air flow meter circuit" So I removed the electrical connection to the AFM while idling and there was a dramatic difference. So it seems to be doing A job, don't know if it's doing a GOOD job, and might be the issue, but I put it down to how it's not an intermittent problem. could AFM issue prevent the 6 plug from firing all the time?

9.Coolant seems fine and not leaking at all

So I'm here now with a second hand Fuel pressure regulator and solenoid, about to embark on splitting the plenum again in the hopes it may resolve the issue, but I'd like to check if there's anything further I can check before putting it back together.

-AAC hose was torn (about to replace) *not the one from the Intake. happened while removing plenum to get to injectors
-Exhaust gas looks ok. no smoke
-I have yet to check valve springs, comp test seems to indicate these are ok
-Fuel pump?
-CAS? (My last VL wouldn't even start when this packed it in)
-AFM?

I'm trying to get it all good for a blue slip on my own without having a mechanic do anything (kind of my new hobby), and trying not to spend too much money as it's just a spare time thing for me at the moment.

It seems to be getting air and spark, injector is working fine, don't know how to check if fuel is getting in the actual cylinder. The other plugs being sooty and black indicates its running rich?

But yeah, if you guys are able to offer any insight or advice on what to check it would be greatly appreciated.

Sorry for the long post.
Cheers
88VLBT1
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Old 12-08-15, 23:11   #2
Carnal
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id suggest its only spark or fuel as its only the one cylinder and comp test was okay.
as you said it smelt of petrol it sounds like there is no spark.
did you check if there is spark at the end of lead #6?
try removing the spark plug but leave it in the lead, then wrap a wire around the metal thread on the plug to a ground point (battery will do) and watch the plug when cranking, it should spark, (pull the fuel relay out first before doing this or it will start).
if its not sparking then check that whole system starting with the lead.
if it does spark then move onto the fuel side of things. (also double check you have your leads in the right firing order on the dizzy)..

you can check for fuel in the cylinder by cranking it with the spark plug out and a sheet of paper over the hole (will spray out onto the paper) - make sure you disconnect the dizzy before doing this.

good luck
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Old 13-08-15, 10:37   #3
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The hint is in your No6 plug mate, buy yourself a noid light kit off ebay and try again. You should see it pulse.

I'm pretty sure the injectors should have 12V at them constant when the ignition is turned on, the ECU then grounds the signal to complete the circuit and make them fire. I would look at the loom or the connection at the ECU.. if you had another ECU sitting around swap it out.

I must commend you, 99% of people wouldnt of done half of what you have.
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Last edited by Duke57TT; 13-08-15 at 10:39.
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Old 13-08-15, 11:39   #4
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Pull hose off going into rail and crank/prime car to make sure plenty of fuel is going into rail!
If you un plug AFM and she runs better, well then I would change that too!
Yes remove plug 6 to see if you have spark!
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Old 13-08-15, 12:16   #5
88vlbt1
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A lot of great tips and ideas, I'll give them a go and get back to you all as soon as I can.
Cheers!.
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Old 14-08-15, 17:20   #6
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Keep in mind that Injectors 2,4,6 all fire at same time & wired to the same ECU trigger circuit.

Sounds like ECU isn't getting the number 6 firing signal from CAS or ECU has gone fubar.
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Old 03-11-15, 00:29   #7
88vlbt1
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Sorry for the delay in the reply,
Haven't had much time to work on this lately and just managed to squeeze in a bit of it today.

I managed to siphon most of the fuel out of the tank and put fresh premium into it. The stuff that was in it was absolute crap. This has greatly alleviated the rough running, and has at least made the vehicle drivable, but I'm still getting a massive flat-spot on acceleration, and the number 6 cylinder still not wanting to come to the party. All manner of spark has been tested for that cylinder. After a while of running since troubleshooting this, the plug in cylinder 6 has managed to get a dry brown colour to it, is this normal for nothing happening in the cylinder?

I've put a multimeter on the AFM and am getting 3.6v out of the mixture connections, and 2.4v+ out of the base voltages. I've read that the base voltages should not be outside of 1.1-1.4v, and that the unit would need to be replaced, should they be outside this range.

Sitting at 2000 rpm, the LED's on the ECU are acting a bit weird, I'm only getting the green light flashing, but it's not flashing evenly, it's more random and sporadic. The red LED stays solid the entire time testing this.

These are steps I've picked up from another thread, so I cant confirm the validity of the steps.

So at this stage I'm looking at the ECU, CAS or AFM getting replaced. No NOID light kick at the moment. been having trouble finding one. Do I need one that takes a specific Bosch connector?

Is there another way to test the injectors are pulsing correctly without the NOID kit?

Cheers in advace

Last edited by 88vlbt1; 03-11-15 at 17:28.
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Old 04-11-15, 20:30   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 88vlbt1 View Post
Sorry for the delay in the reply,
Haven't had much time to work on this lately and just managed to squeeze in a bit of it today.

I managed to siphon most of the fuel out of the tank and put fresh premium into it. The stuff that was in it was absolute crap. This has greatly alleviated the rough running, and has at least made the vehicle drivable, but I'm still getting a massive flat-spot on acceleration, and the number 6 cylinder still not wanting to come to the party. All manner of spark has been tested for that cylinder. After a while of running since troubleshooting this, the plug in cylinder 6 has managed to get a dry brown colour to it, is this normal for nothing happening in the cylinder?

I've put a multimeter on the AFM and am getting 3.6v out of the mixture connections, and 2.4v+ out of the base voltages. I've read that the base voltages should not be outside of 1.1-1.4v, and that the unit would need to be replaced, should they be outside this range.

Sitting at 2000 rpm, the LED's on the ECU are acting a bit weird, I'm only getting the green light flashing, but it's not flashing evenly, it's more random and sporadic. The red LED stays solid the entire time testing this.

These are steps I've picked up from another thread, so I cant confirm the validity of the steps.

So at this stage I'm looking at the ECU, CAS or AFM getting replaced. No NOID light kick at the moment. been having trouble finding one. Do I need one that takes a specific Bosch connector?

Is there another way to test the injectors are pulsing correctly without the NOID kit?

Cheers in advace
Yeah, if you are handy with electronics you can put an LED and 200ohm resistor together and make your own.
get a long screw driver and stick the plastic end on your ear and the metal end on the injector near where it fits manifold. have a listen and compare the sound each of them make... if 6 sounds very quiet in comparison, the set need to come out for a clean & service.
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Old 05-11-15, 00:25   #9
88vlbt1
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So I've finally managed some success with this.

After changing the fuel out, I started probing about the engine bay with my $10 bunnings multimeter, checking the AFM, checking the CAS voltages etc, for some reason now the number 6 cylinder is firing. The car is now idling quite well on it's own, but still super sluggish on anything between 700-about 1500 rpm. Not 100% sure what has brought the number 6 cylinder to the game, but I have confirmed all of the cylinders are definitely firing by going through and disconnecting each injector one at a time and getting a drastic difference on each of them. My best guess would be a dodgy CAS connector, as it's the only thing I hadn't touched on the car until now.

I did originally do the screwdriver as a stethoscope trick and I could hear the injector firing, which had me super confused at first, but no real confirmation that it was what I was actually hearing, OR if the injector was firing at the correct time. But yes, I was going to hit up jaycar for a 12v LED, but didn't know about the 200ohm resistor, very handy to know for future, cheers for that.

So headache 1 gone for now.

Next one is, I'm still getting error code 12 - (Air Flow Meter Circuit) from the ECU, and it sounds like it's trying to suck in the front bumper off the car when I rev it from idle.

Disconnecting the AFM will cause the engine to idle higher, then lower, then eventually die. I've had a look inside and it looks like the hotwire is fine and still there, but I suspect the actual circuitry in it might be cactus, either that, or my ECU is borked.

I'll see what I can come up with over the next week or so. Could more than likely mark this thread as solved and I'll do some more research on some threads already with code 12's.

Cheers heaps for the tips and help!.
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Old 06-11-15, 09:55   #10
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If it's the MAF & knowing that the cost of a good quality one is astronomical, I would recommend using an R35 MAF instead. Brand new, better design, easy to source, plus your ECU can be modified to match the voltage requirements for them and we've had great results with them even in the intercooler piping if/when you add a little boost further down the track it's ready to be relocated.

These days the R35 Mass Air Meter can be bought with a 3" housing to make installation a breeze on most cars.

KR
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