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Old 07-26-2013, 09:04 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default VR4 back n the road, Flash ECU and other stuff

I am in the process of putting "Melow Yellow" back on the road after a few years in storage with the occasional drive.

My car in a 94 VR4 which I have owned from new. It has 134,000 miles and had a very comprehensive go through at 120,000 miles (120K service + new oil and water pumps, new A/C (compressor, evaporator and core inside the car), new drive shafts, new wheel bearings, suspension bushings, Tein coil-overs, AP6pot front brake upgrade, many new sensors etc.

It ran great but I got into track-days on bikes so didn't get much use.

About 4 years ago it developed a low idle and became difficult to start when hot. I got the fish smell from the ECU so guessed it was bad.

So now I have decided to put it back on the road and started with the ECU. The old one was fried as you can see from the picture. I was amazed that it even ran let alone run as well as it did.
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VR4 back n the road, Flash ECU and other stuff-img_00000615.jpg   VR4 back n the road, Flash ECU and other stuff-img_00000616.jpg   VR4 back n the road, Flash ECU and other stuff-img_00000617.jpg  
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Old 07-26-2013, 09:08 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: VR4 back n the road, Flash ECU and other stuff

I got a flashable ECU from Jester which didnt fit my stock mounts. So after swapping e-mails decided to put the new ECU in the old box.

The old box needed 2 mounts making as the new Board s shorter and I wanted it anchored down securely.
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VR4 back n the road, Flash ECU and other stuff-img_00000607.jpg   VR4 back n the road, Flash ECU and other stuff-img_00000612.jpg   VR4 back n the road, Flash ECU and other stuff-img_00000610.jpg  
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Old 07-26-2013, 09:26 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: VR4 back n the road, Flash ECU and other stuff

It took me a while to figure out how to fit the flash wire to pin 57 of the car side connector - my old eyes kept missing the pull out tab on the car side connector.

Anyway got it fitted, held my breath and hit the starter - and wow it fired right up with not even a full rotation of the motor! Impressed!

Took it our for a ride and the good news is that it pulls harder and cleaner than I ever remember it pulling.

The bad news is that as soon as I slowed down it became evident that all is not well at part throttle below 4000 RPM. It runs like only 3 cylinders are operating and idles at 4-500RPM.

So the original reason for the ECU - poor idle and occasional stall is still there and part throttle low RPM power and smoothness is worse.

I am swapping e-mails with Adam and getting the diagnostics sorted out on my laptop.

I am also beginning to think that the old ECU's "limp home mode" was masking at least part of what's causing the low RPM part throttle issues that I now have.

So I am now at the start of looking at the Idle Air Control system, the fuel pump pressure regulation and the fuel pump electrical feed - as each of these has been implicated in low idle and poor operation at low revs/part throttle.

And so my journey begins
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Old 07-26-2013, 10:06 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: VR4 back n the road, Flash ECU and other stuff

... and ends with a bump. I have juts been reading through the various archives and came across Jeff Luciu's (Stealth 316) write up on the Idle Air Control Servo. The symptoms and the ECU damage resulting from a shorted IACS is a very good match for what I have.

So before I brew up my new ECU i'll pull the IACS and given its done 134,000 miles already I'll replace it anyway.

SO Mellow Yellow is back off the road until my new IACS arrives.
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Old 08-02-2019, 10:05 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: VR4 back n the road, Flash ECU and other stuff

So here I am 6 years later (after starting and then exiting a whole new company) I have finally got Mellow Yellow back on the road after a couple of false starts.

I ended up going for a complete re-build and hired FFTec a local (Hayward, CA) Mitsu and DSM shop to do most of it. So first off, anybody in the SF Bay Area looking for a 3000GT specialist - Dave Womer at FFTec is the man.

The objective was a daily driveable track-day weapon for my loack road courses (Laguna, Sonoma and Thunderhill). So the focus was on drivability, lots of area under a big flat torque curve and manageable heat - i.e. the ability to run 30 minute hot-lap session in 90+ F heat.

3Si sourced me a new built stage 3 motor and built drive-train (braced, Torsen center, Quaife front, KAAZ rear). We went with a pair of 3SX executioners on it with 3SX Stainless headers. Switched to an AEM ECU with dual AFR and ditched the MAF. Added water/methanol and a 90mm DSM throttlebody. I went with dual side-mounts because I need to keep good airflow through the radiator for track-days.

So where we ended up (after several hours on the dyno') is a motor, drive-line and all the support systems to run at >700 WHP dialed back to just shy of 500 WHP (>600 crank HP).

I switched out the Teins for a set of Mr Mueller's custom Ohlins - and OMG what an improvement over the Teins!!

Braking is AP 6 pot up front and stock 2 piston MKII rears.
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VR4 back n the road, Flash ECU and other stuff-20190802_143237.jpg   VR4 back n the road, Flash ECU and other stuff-20190802_143116.jpg   VR4 back n the road, Flash ECU and other stuff-20190802_152643.jpg  
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Motor: All forged internals, Stge 3 heads, Stg 2 cams, 3SX S/S headers, 3SX Executioners V2, CSX racing SMIC, 760 injectors, 90mm TB, Aeromotive fuel pump, dual AFR, AEM V2 ECU with full-time closed loop, Snow Performance Stage 3 Water/Methanol, 3SX fuel rail, Mishimoto radiator, tons of other details, Tanabe 3" turbo-back.
Driveline: Clutch Masters 850 twin plate, rebuilt and braced 6 speed, 2 piece hybrid propshaft, Quaife front, Torsen center, KAAZ rear diffs, AP 6 piston brakes, Ohlin coil-overs, rear adjustable camber arms
Interior: rear seat deleted, Corbeau race seats.

Last edited by OldMadBrit; 08-02-2019 at 10:12 PM.
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Old 08-02-2019, 10:11 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: VR4 back n the road, Flash ECU and other stuff

The next job is to rework the front end to
1) significantly increase airflow through the radiator and intercoolers
2) route ambient outside air to the intakes
3) extract heat from the front and especially the rear turbo
4) incorporate a new under-tray and adjustable splitter. I still have operational active aero - so am hoping to incorporate the front dam actuator into the design and operation of the tray and splitter.

Then it will be off for for refreshed paint (over winter) while I re trim the interior.
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Old 08-02-2019, 11:31 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: VR4 back n the road, Flash ECU and other stuff

that all sounds awesome!

will the color change?
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Old 08-03-2019, 06:52 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: VR4 back n the road, Flash ECU and other stuff

Quote:
Originally Posted by vashtsdaytona View Post
that all sounds awesome!

will the color change?
No I plan to keep it the same Martinique Yellow. I may go for a slightly richer pearl coat.
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Old 08-04-2019, 05:15 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: VR4 back n the road, Flash ECU and other stuff

Went for a 170 mile shake down run yesterday (Sat) and chose a route that included stop and go City driving, open freeway, grid-locked freeway and about 80 miles of open - out of the way canyons and hills around Nor Cal. Air temps started out in the high 70's and rose to high 90's by the end of the run.

Found a weird issue with the clutch, which started to drag after about 100 miles and got progressively worse as the day progressed - to the point that I need to shut the engine off to engage 1st and then it would creep forward with the clutch depressed (with the brakes off). 3 hrs after I got home, when everything had cooled down, it was working fine again.

I'm going to work through the usual suspects (check bracket pedal bolts, adjust the pedal free play, bleed the line etc. However, given that it cleared when it cooled down, I have a feeling that the extra heat from the rear turbo maybe cooking the clutch fluid. So I may need to insulate and/or relocate the clutch fluid lines.

More on this later as I figure it out.
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Old 08-04-2019, 05:50 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: VR4 back n the road, Flash ECU and other stuff

Were you in the Bay area this whole time? I just moved to LA after ~4 years in the bay area. Woops!
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