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Old 01-18-2017, 11:55 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Surging while accelerating & hesitation in lean burn

Ever since purchasing this car I have been trying to get it running beautifully. As I've mentioned I get bucking at high loads during lean burn. I also get surging power while accelerating with the gas pedal held steady. Its not huge, but its definitely noticeable. I've verified I'm not moving the pedal with a TPS readout on my scangauge.

Things I have done:
- New 12V battery and its been load tested
- Cleaned up 12V ground connections and checked them over again
- New correctly indexed spark plugs
- Cleaned EGR plate
- New EGR valve


Here are my ideas on what the culprit could be:

1) Ignition coils
These have rusty laminations and are starting to pull away from each other just a bit. I'm sure this weakens the magnetic field. I just don't know how bad it really effects things. Here is a picture of one of them.




2) Rust blocking the injectors
Since I had issues with my fuel lines (since fixed), its quite possible that I got some rust in the fuel lines and its blocking the injectors. I think that this isn't the case because it doesn't misfire or hesitate or anything odd at high engine loads, so why would it at low loads?


3) Low engine compression
Its quite possible a previous owner ran the engine low on oil. I haven't done a compression test on it to see what kind of condition its in. I'm not quite sure the correct procedure to do this, but I imagine I have to disable the IMA so it doesn't spin the crud out of it while testing.


Any ideas are welcome. Thanks guys.
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Old 01-18-2017, 12:40 PM   #2 (permalink)
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both of my high mile insights exhibited the same issue and i have done much the same as you in trying to eliminate it.

most likely the issue is that the engine needs perfect balance in power between each cylinder or you get misfires with how lean it is during lean burn. this is most likely attributed to fuel injectors being semi clogged and slight variances in the cylinder compression. another possibility is slight miscalibration of the upstream oxygen sensor and the ECUs inability to accurately detect cylinder misfires on each cylinder and tune the injector pulsewidth on each individually.

getting the injectors cleaned and balanced, verifying fuel pressure is within spec and doing a compression test is probably your next steps in trying to figure it out. they are on my list, but i haven't had time to follow through with it. i have an injector flow bench, so my plan is to clean the injectors and place the injectors according to flow matched with the cylinder that matches the flow between the 3(you will never get the injectors perfectly balanced so you may as well use that to your advantage with a high mile car).

the next thing is that the car reacts much more aggressively to this issue in cold weather, creating a heated intake duct would likely help by increasing IAT during lean burn to help smooth things out. others have made a duct right off their catalytic converter as a intake air heating element. when my IATs are below 75F the '01 car runs like dog poo and doesn't even want to lean burn and keep any form of momentum.

engines wear naturally, so your compression variances normally will also be a factor.
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Old 01-18-2017, 02:19 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I should really put this is my signature. But the car is a 2000 5mt. Its not that high of miles though at 135,000.
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Old 01-19-2017, 02:47 PM   #4 (permalink)
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the problem seems to crop up with the age of the cars, not necessarily with lots of miles but it is also likely a combination of the two. it's not an uncommon issue for these cars to hunt and misfire during lean burn according to other members complaints, also considering both my cars have done it no matter how much general maintenance i put into them.
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Old 01-19-2017, 07:12 PM   #5 (permalink)
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the problem seems to crop up with the age of the cars, not necessarily with lots of miles but it is also likely a combination of the two. it's not an uncommon issue for these cars to hunt and misfire during lean burn according to other members complaints, also considering both my cars have done it no matter how much general maintenance i put into them.
I think this is correct. It is my own experience and I have observed this on other cars.

If one google searches, top left, on the "high load lean burn miss" you will get 4 pages of threads on this subject, so it has been discussed a great deal.

On my hypermiler I installed new plugs, coils, EGR valve, and fuel injectors. I also cleaned the EGR plate again. Though I achieved some improvement, primarily with the coils, I never really fully solved the problem. It still goes ragged at high load before LB drops.

I drove a bunch of cars at 2016 Insightfest and every one I drove except for the 2500 mile Dogbite exhibited the trait to one degree or another.

When I was discussing this a year ago, Peter suggested that there is something being overlooked in all our efforts. One suggestion he made is that the throttle position sensor may be the cause. Hardly anyone talks about replacing that, but it is on my to-do list. I have a low mileage throttle body which I intend to try when I can get a chance.
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Old 01-20-2017, 04:26 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jime View Post
When I was discussing this a year ago, Peter suggested that there is something being overlooked in all our efforts. One suggestion he made is that the throttle position sensor may be the cause. Hardly anyone talks about replacing that, but it is on my to-do list. I have a low mileage throttle body which I intend to try when I can get a chance.
FYI: Evening out TPS (Throttle Position Sensor)
If TPS degradation is the cause then that could fix it (too).
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Old 01-20-2017, 10:59 PM   #7 (permalink)
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One thing to note regarding the EGR system is that there is a cross passage in the cylinder head that runs over to the exhaust manifold side. That can also clog. If it does, then all the EGR plate cleaning and new valves in the world will not help. You will still be getting an incorrect A/F ratio due to lack of EGR flow.

You can access that passage by removing the adapter that bolts to the cylinder head that the EGR valve mounts to.

Regarding your coils, they need to be replaced before they split open the protective casing and short out. If this happens, it will blow the #7 fuse under the dash and shut you down cold.

I agree with you assessment regarding the fuel system. Not the issue. As to the compression, if the car starts and runs, then it is more likely than not nominal. These engines are very durable and last a very long time. I doubt yours is worn out.
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Old 01-22-2017, 09:22 AM   #8 (permalink)
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As I've mentioned I get bucking at high loads during lean burn.
I don't think lean burn works at high loads?
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Old 01-22-2017, 10:36 AM   #9 (permalink)
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High loads... for lean burn. Eg when pressing the pedal any further will drop you out it. My old car had this and it drove me nuts until I replaced the coils.
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Old 01-22-2017, 12:15 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I don't think lean burn works at high loads?
Seems to me that "load" is a kinda ambiguous term. Certainly the car won't maintain LB at anything like full throttle, but it can be "nursed" along to some fairly decent levels.

On the OBDII C&C gauge, if you watch the LOD, parameter you can nurse it up into the low ninety % with extremly smooth throttle technique. I "think" iirc the number it display is percentage of WOT MAP. So one might call that "high," but one certainly doesn't get much power at that level, so maybe it isn't high.
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