Started it up Thursday night and immediately realized I’d forgotten to tighten the passenger side manifold. Then, after that was tightened down it would no longer start.
It refused to start again on Friday.
However, on Saturday it started first crank but I had 3 problems:
1. CEL for p1340 camshaft (g40) and crankshaft position sensor (g28) with incorrect correlation code.
This was caused by my passenger side intake cam being off 1 tooth. I suspected this cam was off because when I assembled the heads I was careful to get the cams timed correctly but once I installed the head in the car I thought the cam was off 1 tooth so I moved the cam back a tooth. This was unnecessary and caused my CEL. I moved the cam forward a tooth, bringing it back to its original correct position and that resolved the issue.
I later realized that when the cam chain tensioner is compressed the cams alignment marks may not align correctly with the arrows on the caps. You are supposed to be able to count 15 chain pins between timing marks but this is sometimes difficult.
2. Low oil pressure switch light would illuminate when revving past 2,000 RPMs
This was simply a broken wire in the harness behind the driver side head. My poor harness is getting pretty beat up from age and the several engine removals. I’ve had a few other harnesses laying around from other cars and they each had their own problems. I may build my own harness in the future to fix some of these problems and make the engine bay a little cleaner.
3. The 034 fuel pressure regulator housing was leaking from the small vacuum fitting plugs.
These plugs don’t have any o-rings or anything but wrapping some teflon tape on the threads sealed up the leaks.
It’s been almost 1 year since I received my RPM rods. When I received them I wrote about their appearance out of the box.
This post is a bit of a follow up. So far I am happy with them, especially for the price. However, I have only 2 miles on my motor so I can’t comment yet on longevity.
Shortly after I received the rods I went to a friend’s machine shop to end balance the rods. I had been under the assumption that the reason these rods were so inexpensive was because they would require final machining and balancing. As it turned out all rods were already within 1g of one another and required no machining.
One thing you will want to check is wrist pin bushing clearance. Mine were all fine except 1, which was a bit tighter. I ran it because it didn’t seem overly tight and I was told that it felt normal and the bushing would break in. We’ll see how it goes. If you assemble them and they are too tight then you can have a machine shop open them up.
As I mentioned in my previous post, the RPM rods come with ARP bolts & assembly lube. I want to point out that the torque instructions that RPM includes for the rod bolts is incorrect! They incorrectly list the bolts as 3/8″ when they are in fact 5/16″. The proper torque, according to ARP, should be 32 ft/lbs and not the 50 ft/lbs listed by RPM.
I believe these same H-Beam style connecting rods are being sold by several other vendors. One includes Nick Audilee @ ProjectB5. The pictures he has show on his website are identical packaging & wrapping. He prices his at $650.
I have discussed off-brand connecting rods with several people in the B5 S4 community and many believe all H-beam rods come from the same Chinese source that supplies IE, VAST, Rosten and a few other companies. I found one source, Racing Parts Maximum (RPM), that sells these rods for $390 shipped with ARP 2000 bolts. I ordered them last week and yesterday they arrived from California.
A visual inspection shows these rods are very similar, if not the same. We will see how they work out in the engine. If they fail, oh well.
The rods came with a calibration sheet from RPM that included crankshaft and pin end weights. I will be rebalancing them myself to verify.
The RPM rods also come with ARP 2000 bolts. These bolts cost $140 if sourced independently so it is a big savings to have them included. There has been some speculation on the forums that these bolts were Chinese fakes but they have ARP markings and appear to be quality. A rep from ARP confirmed they were authentic.
I weighed two of the rods (without bolts). They were 522 grams and 523 grams.
This post has some comparison rod weights:
- Stock 2.7T rod/no rod bolt: 529 grams
- Pauter standard 2.7L rod/no rod bolts: 530 grams
- VAST standard 2.7L H-beam rods/no rod bolts: 515 grams
- VAST custom 3.0L stroker H-beam rod/no rod bolts: 479 grams
- Rosten Connection Rods/no rod bolt: 542 grams
- IE Connection Rods/no rod bolt: 555 grams
So far, so good. I’ll post more info after they’re balanced and installed.
It was bound to happen.. my 1-2 shift collar locked up at the track in October. The early 01E transmissions have a 1st/2nd gear shift collar tolerance that is too tight. If any burring or wear develops in the collar it will not slide smoothly. In addition, the stock brass synchronizers wear down prematurely and need to be replaced. I bought a rebuild kit from Scott @ Advanced Automotion. He took good care of me and helped me through any questions I had. I also sent him the center differential to modify to have a 4:1 rear bias. To make the rebuild easier I ordered a instructional DVD from JHM. This DVD was very helpful, without it the rebuild would have been a lot more confusing and stressful.
If you want to tackle this job you’ll need a few basic mechanics tools and some more specific tools like a gear puller, hydraulic press, c-clip and snap ring pliers and various little picks and things.
I borrowed a used core trans from a friend to reduce down time. This one was also in need of a rebuild. I used a pair of vice grips to shift through the gears. 1 and 2 were impossible to engage.
I popped off the tail housing and pulled out the center diff, and reached inside and pulled out the debris magnets.
They had some metal on them, but nothing abnormal.
Pulled the shift level out.
To remove the tail housing a bolt on the end of the input shaft had to be removed. To do this, I had to engage two gears at once to prevent the input shaft from spinning. The input shaft bolt is on quite tight and since I was working alone I had to strap the trans to the bench to keep it from rotating.
Once the bolt was out I had to pull the housing off from the input shaft. Undid the case bolts first. There is a bearing race that is pressed onto the shaft and holds the housing. I used a gear puller, though a modified steering wheel puller like that one used by JHM in their rebuild video would have worked better. I would tighten the gear puller a little, then pry between the case, then tighten the puller, then pry a little more, etc.
Then off came the 5th and 6th gears.
Then popped off the center housing & the gear sets. I installed a worm clamp on the end of the main shaft to prevent the front diff shaft from balling out and the bearings falling all over the place.
Here’s the center casing partially disassembled. Reverse and the input shaft have been removed, along with the shift forks and front diff shaft. I also painted the case.
After this I didn’t take many pictures. The remaining process involved pressing the gears off from the input and main shafts and reinstalling them with new synchronizers and 1-2 shift collar. That part was straight forward and went very quickly.
Reassembly was basically the opposite of removal. Some bearings & guides were heated and hammered on. I spent about 12 hours over the course of 3 weekends with the whole thing. I’m sure I could do another in a day or two.
The transmission has been completed for a few months waiting for the right time to install it. Hopefully soon!
I’ve been doing some bench flashing to get myself used to the flashing tools and the process in general. Pretty simple, here’s how I did it:
What you need:
- DC power supply
- Flashing cable (Ebay, Galleto, etc)
- Small gator clips
- Small gauge connectors
Set up your DC power source. I have a $17 Pyramid PS-3KX that does 13.8v. I tried using an ATX (computer) power supply (12v) but it would shutdown after a minute or so of powering the ECU and harness. Not sure if I was overloading the power supply or if it was because the power supply was 10 years old.
The wiring is simple. Power the ECU and power the cable. Then connect one K-line wire between the two.
- Pin 1 -> Ground
- Pin 2 -> Ground (can be shared/connected with pin 1)
- Pin 3 -> 12v
- Pin 43 -> K-line on your ODB cable (Pin 7)
- Pin 62 -> 12v
ODBII cable pins
- Pin 4 -> Ground
- Pin 7 -> K-line on ECU (Pin 43)
- Pin 16 -> 12v
ODB pinout reference. NOTE: The ODB pin out on Ross Tech is from the vehicle side. The pins on your cable will be reversed.
The car got a few new parts over the past 3 weekends. WOTBox, ER intercoolers, new charge pipes and a larger fuel pump.
A few weeks ago I installed my WOTBox. It’s a hardware based 2-step launch control.
It wires into the clutch & accelerator pedal and cuts the ignition at a predetermined RPM when you have both pedals to the floor. The install was very easy and the color instructions that N2MB includes are wonderful! I haven’t been able to get the thing to work correctly though.. When it’s set up it incorrectly cuts the ignition when the clutch pedal is out. But I think I’m setting it wrong. I learned last night that there’s a secondary rev limiter “hidden” in Motronic that you can enable. I’m trying to find out more about it and see if it’ll build as much boost as the WOTbox.
Next up was the replacement charge pipes. The first set of charge pipes I was sent didn’t fit well at all. I think they were meant for another car. At first I couldn’t get a lot of sympathy about the poor fitment. A few months later I saw some install photos of the pipes on another person’s car and could tell an obvious difference. So I emailed photos of my pipes and the fitment to the actual guy who fabricated them at Vast. He immediately shipped me a replacement set.
Old pipes, the meth nozzle rubbed right into the timing cover.
New pipes. They fit sooooo much better.
At the same time I was installing the charge pipes I also installed the larger ER intercoolers. The install was annoying and I ended up cutting more than I probably needed to. They fit alright, better than the RS4s. It was still tight on the passenger side with the AC condenser very close behind.
I ran some intake temp logs last night and it showed a measurable improvement.
The old RS4 intercoolers + meth dipped to ~15* above ambient and rose to ~30*
The new ER intercoolers + meth stay a little flatter. They dip to ~5* above ambient and rise to 15*.
So an improvement of 15* up top. Not bad, I guess. Not really worth the $$ I spent on the ICs but I might spend some time revising my “custom” shroud setup.
Finally, the most recent install was a Walboro 255lph pumpthat I did Saturday @ Chris’ bonanza. Between the heat, my allergies and the gasoline everywhere it was a pretty miserable task. I didn’t tighten the top lid down enough and it leaked all over the place on the way home, so I spent some time Sunday making sure everything was tight. The good news is I have enough fuel now.
Pink is before on the stock fuel pump. Too lean.
Red is the Walboro. Getting better.
Today I went to my friend’s house and installed my WOTBox 2-step launch control. The instructions are awesome! Full color photos and very detailed and specific instructions. It was pretty easy to set the stall RPM, but after I set it I went out for a drive and found that the box was cutting the ignition even when the clutch was out and preventing me from accelerating past the specific RPM. So I disabled the box until I could figure it out later.
Afterwards I wanted to track down an exhaust rattle I’ve been hearing since I put the car back together 3 months ago. I couldn’t find anything loose. It sounded like the source of the noise was the turbo itself, so I used a long extension and placed on end on the turbo and one end against my ear. Sure enough I could hear a metal on metal rattle. The wastegate flapper on the passenger side turbo was loose.
I put the car up on jackstands and crawled under. Fortunately the passenger side wastegate actuator bolts were kind of accessible. A few small turns of the adjuster nuts tightened up the wastegate. No more rattle.
As an added bonus, the adjusted wastegate actuator seems to have greatly improved my part throttle boost oscillation!
I’ve been wanting to install some height adjustable coilovers ever since I bought the car. I went back and forth on what to buy. For a while I wanted a set of Vogtland GTs because of the good reviews they were receiving. Unfortunately, it seems that their quality control has taken a dive and many owners are complaining of low speed clunking coming from the rear. So then I thought I might purchase a set of Konis, but I worried they would be too soft.
I was exhausted with the research and the idea of spending over $1000 for something that I might not be happy with. So I went the opposite route and bought one of the lowest priced coilvers on the market: Vmaxx.
I picked the Vmaxx setup because of the price and because Strat, the US distributor, is right down the street in Victor and I wouldn’t have to pay shipping costs. The guys at Strat were very nice and answered all my questions. Their kitchen is nicer than the one in my apartment…
This weekend I installed them. I didn’t attempt to remove the front upright pinch bolt. Instead, I disconnected the shock at the tower and at the lower control arm. I then disconnected the front sway bar and lowered it, so I could push the upright downwards and lift the shock over and out the front. I used a floor jack to compress the shock for a little more clearance. This whole process went pretty quickly, with the exception of a stripped sway bar bolt.
Removing the rears were more difficult because several bolts were corroded. My weak Craftsman impact wouldn’t budge them, so I had to use a long breaker bar. This took forever. After the old coilover and housing came out I had problems getting the new shock up into the housing. The mount was slightly larger than the housing so I had to break out the grinder and trim it. I then used a punch to line up the shock mount holes in the housing.
This was when I first set the height.
The front was too close so I raised all 4 corners up 1/2″. I still need to dial in the height, maybe sometime this week, and probably roll the fenders a little. When turning, the driver side tire occasionally rubs the liner.
My old setup was a Bilstein shock/spring combo. They had almost 100k on them and one of the rear shocks were blown so the old ride quality was poor. My initial impressions of the ride quality with the Vmaxx are good. I think they’re a little software than I’d like. I would not say they’re bouncy. I’m sure they’re no match to a more expensive setup but for me they’re fine.
Today was rear wheel bearing day. I almost stripped the axle bolt but managed to break it free by slipping a box end wrench over the 14mm socket. The rest of the suspension was a challenge, but with a hammer and an air chisel it came apart. I took the knuckle to my friend Darrel’s shop to use his press. I almost ruined the new bearing when I pressed the hub in without supporting the bearing from the bottom. Oops. It went back together very smoothly though.
After that I plumbed the meth up and installed the new coolant tank. Then realized I didn’t have enough G12
I replaced the rear main seal. It wasn’t too bad of an install, I hope it doesn’t leak.. After that I installed the resurfaced flywheel from Vast and the Southbend OFE stage 3 clutch & RS4 pressure plate. It felt good to finally install some new parts. I feel like I’m making forward progress.