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  1. #1
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    Question Consistent Single Cylinder Timing Retard

    Cliff notes: for the past few weeks, I noticed that my cylinder #5 is pulls timing pretty regularly, often pulling 6-9 degrees of advance.
    Things I've tried:
    • e50, e70, e85
    • Run only 8 deg advance
    • Compression test
    • Swap plug and coil for #5
    • Test ethanol of fuel (reads exactly 85% ethanol)
    • No codes thrown


    Setup FBO, Cobb V3, 455LPH LPFP, e50-e85 (depending on trial).

    I normally run E70 and have tried going to e50 to bring HPFP up and it is still chatty. I even went so far as to set timing to 8 degrees flat, and this is quiet but number 5 still pulls a few degrees from time to time. The other cylinders are typically quiet. Lastly, I went full 100% e85 and #5 still pulls timing progressively, on a moderately aggressive tune (9-10 deg in midrange ramping to 13.5 at 6k).

    I've done compression tests, as recently as this weekend: on a cold engine, all cylinders read 150psi with 8 cranks, 115-120psi on 2 cranks, and 90psi with 1 crank. They are read the same which is good. Looking at the plugs, my #2 smells like fuel (prob leaky injector), but the rest are good.

    Following the compression test, I cleaned all plugs and moved the coil and spark plug from #5 to other cylinders to rule those out as culprits.

    At this point I'm out of ideas and looking for advice or possible theories. Does this truly appear to be knock? The only thing I've changed recently, is I went from Cobb V2 to V3, which likely doesn't matter (the maps have to be regenerated and re-loaded).

    Here are some logs:
    Change is constant

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    Seafoam the crap out of it... seriously.

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    How many miles on the engine and when was the last time the valves were cleaned?
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    For whatever it's worth Cyl 5 has always been the nosiest in both my N54s.

    Sounds like we can rule out the following with a fair degree of confidence

    -Ring/in-cylinder damage causing compression loss
    -Overly aggressive ign advance
    -A lack of octane
    -Worn cyl 5 ignition components

    Probably not a fueling issue if you aren't experiencing issues across an entire bank, but maybe cyl 5 injector is getting tired or for whatever reason isn't flowing properly? You've covered everything obvious...
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  5. #5
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by brusk Click here to enlarge
    How many miles on the engine and when was the last time the valves were cleaned?
    The engine has 60k on it and it was walnut blasted 10k miles ago (and the valves were not crazy bad before the cleaning).
    Change is constant

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by JoshBoody Click here to enlarge
    Seafoam the crap out of it... seriously.
    +1 I'd try this next as well
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    Yeah, try the seafoam. Could be some carbon deposit on the piston causing a hotspot.
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    I've never used it. Looking at youtube, do you all recommend pouring it slowly in the chard pipe (via BOV hole)? I'd rather not add it to my fuel tank.
    Change is constant

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by The Ghost Click here to enlarge
    I've never used it. Looking at youtube, do you all recommend pouring it slowly in the chard pipe (via BOV hole)? I'd rather not add it to my fuel tank.
    Get an IV bottle and allow it to be sucked in via the vacuum port on the intake manifold. That allows it to hit the valves as well Click here to enlarge.
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by lulz_m3 Click here to enlarge
    Get an IV bottle and allow it to be sucked in via the vacuum port on the intake manifold. That allows it to hit the valves as well Click here to enlarge.
    What do you mean by a "IV bottle?"
    This is the kind I'm planning on getting later today: http://seafoamsales.com/sea-foam-motor-treatment/
    Change is constant

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by The Ghost Click here to enlarge
    What do you mean by a "IV bottle?"
    This is the kind I'm planning on getting later today: http://seafoamsales.com/sea-foam-motor-treatment/
    Intravenous type canister and drip tube. I "borrowed" one of these from a shop i used to work at, works remarkably well.

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    Could possibly be bad injector spray pattern or oil contamination from a bad valveguide. This is all theoretical though. It could by phantoms caused by whacked knock sensor(s).

    Sucks but if this isn't something that happens to a lot of other guys, maybe it's worth an injector swap and recode and perhaps changing out the knock sensor(s) and clear adaptations.

    Depending on your anxiety level, maybe even get a usb borescope camera and eyeball the cylinder via the plug hole.

    Good luck. Car gremlins suck. Even the small unsettling ones!
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    I used two cans of Seafoam, using a modified bike pump. The results were the same: running e70-e85 with 8 degrees of advance causes it to pull 3-6 degrees of timing from #5 Click here to enlarge

    Has anyone else seen large corrections in just one cylinder?
    Change is constant

  14. #14
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    Is your injector #5 coded in correctly?
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    Not consistently, I think everyone has seen phantom 6-8 degree corrections that appear once out of a few dozen logs. At this point I agree that you may want to swapping the injectors.
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  16. #16
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    Would think it's an injector issue at this point...Either that or you have a lot of buildup on that particular piston maybe?

    Edit: nvm that was already mentioned.
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by The Ghost Click here to enlarge
    I used two cans of Seafoam, using a modified bike pump. The results were the same: running e70-e85 with 8 degrees of advance causes it to pull 3-6 degrees of timing from #5 Click here to enlarge

    Has anyone else seen large corrections in just one cylinder?
    i was about to comment and tell you seafoam is completely pointless lol back when i began walnut shell blasting,seafom didn't do $#@! to valves. let it sit. and sucked it off, nothing. and this was with the mani off and seafom on buildup. i think i cleaned yours a while back? but from my experience for some odd reason CYL 5 is ALWAYS the worst cylinder of buildup, and cyl 1 the least. if you got access to inpa. just swap injectors? with 5 and another cyl? as bavarian said.
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    Have to use good technique with seafoam... most important part IMO is at the end of the can let the motor ingest a bunch and stall. Let it sit off for 30min (the thought is that its soaking into the carbon on top of the pistons), then drive the car under lightish, medium load at first then giving it a little more. If done correctly should have a cool spy hunter smoke screen... which is so much fun.

    No solid proof that it helps, but worth a shot. More for the cyl than valves.

  19. #19
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by JoshBoody Click here to enlarge
    Have to use good technique with seafoam... most important part IMO is at the end of the can let the motor ingest a bunch and stall. Let it sit off for 30min (the thought is that its soaking into the carbon on top of the pistons), then drive the car under lightish, medium load at first then giving it a little more. If done correctly should have a cool spy hunter smoke screen... which is so much fun.

    No solid proof that it helps, but worth a shot. More for the cyl than valves.
    you can just clean the intake valves first, then open each valve and pour seafom into each piston lol let it sit for 30 mins then start the car. idk sea from is sketchy on these cars haha i doubt it will help tho....
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by sammy_0559 Click here to enlarge
    you can just clean the intake valves first, then open each valve and pour seafom into each piston lol let it sit for 30 mins then start the car. idk sea from is sketchy on these cars haha i doubt it will help tho....
    Yeah, the problem is you don't want to hydrolock the motor. I thought about putting a small amount through the spark plug hole of #5 , but don't want to lock the motor (bend a rod).

    Josh, I went through the "let it sit after pouring" process 3 times, with it sitting 5-10 mins each time.

    I am going to go the injector swap route next, but need to order the DCAN cable.
    Change is constant

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    The thought of pouring lots of seafoam directly into the cylinder scares me...that's just asking for things locking up, no?

    Gotta be an injector flow issue....
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by The Ghost Click here to enlarge
    Yeah, the problem is you don't want to hydrolock the motor. I thought about putting a small amount through the spark plug hole of #5 , but don't want to lock the motor (bend a rod).

    Josh, I went through the "let it sit after pouring" process 3 times, with it sitting 5-10 mins each time.

    I am going to go the injector swap route next, but need to order the DCAN cable.
    why not crank the engine wo the spark plug to get the seafoam out?
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by xbox_fan Click here to enlarge
    why not crank the engine wo the spark plug to get the seafoam out?
    That sounds messy to spit the seafoam back out of the spark plug chamber, but sure beats locking the motor up.

    I still think it's an injector/fuel delivery problem isolated to Cyl 5. Could be a hotspot on the piston I guess.
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by 135pats Click here to enlarge
    That sounds messy to spit the seafoam back out of the spark plug chamber, but sure beats locking the motor up.

    I still think it's an injector/fuel delivery problem isolated to Cyl 5. Could be a hotspot on the piston I guess.
    I agree that the injector sounds more likely to be the gremlin here. I just thought that leaving the plug out mitigates the risk of hydrolocking the cylinder. I guess one can run a hose to make sure the seafoam goes nicely into a bottle to.
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    Just my 2c but I wouldn't put seafoam in my engine period, esp if I had cat converters in.

    If you pour it in an engine that's off, it'll just go to one side of the piston and sit there. If you do it when running it seems safer (no hydraulic possible?) but I can't see it having anywhere near enough time of contact with anything to do any good.

    I've cleaned plenty of engine parts with some very strong solvents long ago and carbon absolutely laughs at everything except a razor blade or something very solid and physical scraping it off. You don't really want to remove carbon from a piston anyways unless it's pretty thick from an oil leak or something.

    Swap that num 5 injector.
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