So because I ran into the turbo problem in my first week of ownership I have had little time to address the cars other issues. Prepare for another novel.
1.) The tune needs some driveability work and the closed loop boost control does not hold boost well. The problem is I have a LINK ecu. So I have to spend $100 for tuning software and before I do that I need to figure out how to source a nonexistent ribbon to serial adapter. Bummer.
2. The car does not come up to operating temperature. Not a major problem until the recent cold weather. This caused the car to stall right after I merged onto the highway at 6:30 am. It was a scary situation with no shoulder and cars barreling down on me. At least this was an easy fix. New thermostat, the old one wouldn’t seat properly so it constantly leaked. A good lesson in the importance of engine operating temperature.
3.) And the final major problem. Intermittent no start and by intermittent I mean completely random. I believe all car problems have a root cause that can be found by establishing the indicating factors. This problem did not.
The symptoms: Random no start. Car would crank and crank, try to fire and the die, repeat until the battery wore down. Eventually I found that if it was in this condition I could jump it right away and it would start successfully. The car would start successfully 6 times in a row, then not work one time and then be back to working again. This would happen after sitting for 8 hours or 10 mins but it typically started ok.
The weekend I installed the turbo I did basic voltage checks and trouble shot the whole fuel system and found nothing wrong. I also could not get the problem to reoccur while I had the car in the garage. Went away for work for 2 weeks and then spent all last week trying to fix the problem.
Took the car to advanced autoparts; battery, starter, alternator all test fine. Car would not repeatedly fail so I began to carry a multimeter with me at all times. When it reoccurred and I had the meter I recorded a cranking voltage of 10.2V, low but not terrible. It would be 10.6-10.8V when the car started successfully. I replaced the main ground wire, start successfully, and then the problem came back 3 starts latter.
I was starting to pull my hair out and decided to call Flyinmiata to talk about the LINK ecu. When I tell tech help I have a LINK he asks “are you the original owner or second hand?”, not a good start. I explain the situation he suggests the ecu may not be seeing enough voltage while cranking. Then gives me a speech about profitability of the company and if I have any more questions he will have to CHARGE me for tech help. I get off the phone and pull out the credit card. Results:
Thanks DIYAutoTune you guys are awsome to deal with!
So this past weekend I must get the problem fixed. Im studying schematics and ripping the whole car apart ohming wires and looking for a bad ground.
I then notice the ribbon cable for the LINK keypad has a tiny ding in it (about the size of a pen tip). I remove the keypad and the car starts! I plug it back in and it wont start. Finally!!!! When I inspected the ecu early it appeared to have all the smoke still in it and now same situation with the keypad. So I don’t know what the deal is but Im finally pretty confident I have the problem.
Now I get to move forward with my MS3X build. Flyinmiata “you’re dead to me” I cant wait to get rid of this ecu.