The hotwheels rocketcar

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Jif
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The hotwheels rocketcar

Postby Jif » Wed Feb 26, 2014 5:46 pm

Been having some non-critical (so far) trouble with the Solstice for a few months now. It's been down on power and the turbo behavior has been weird. it feels like air is being held back or absent while under load, and then all of the sudden it kicks in. Basically it feels like an old turbo with bad lag. This car does not have noticeable turbo lag when healthy. Also, during WOT and high boost I can hear the sound of air moving incredibly fast and forceful. It's not the release valve/BOV and did not do this before.

Also, and I believe this to be a symptom of whatever is causing the above, there's a sudden delay after shifting like everything's in limbo, and then the car lurches forward a split second later. It feels as though the clutch is slipping or there's a more terrible driver behind the wheel than myself. This happens under 0 boost.

And then there are the smells. My sense of smell is terrible, and I'm bad at relating smells to objects. One smell that has been around for months could possibly be similar to burning brakes or ceramic. I could be mistaken. The other smell, which I just started noticing recently, is definitely eggs.

I had a mechanic check the clutch because at first I was afraid of burning it out. He said everything look good. He said he checked the synchro and the master cylinder (I believe he said the slave was very hard to get to and didn't want to get into that without my consent) and whatever else was easy to look at and said everything appeared in good shape.

The car has thrown absolutely no codes. The car drives, to most people, without any issues at all. The mechanic I left it with drove gingerly and didn't detect anything wrong. It wasn't until I drove that he saw what I did.

We finally had some good weather last weekend so I jacked it up and took a look at the intercooler:

Driver's side bottom of intercooler.
0222141409c.jpg
driver's side bottom of intercooler
0222141409c.jpg (229.76 KiB) Viewed 7408 times


Close up. Dunno what those hoses connect to or do but I can blow air through those holes
0222141409d.jpg
close up
0222141409d.jpg (154.93 KiB) Viewed 7408 times


everything on the front of the car is damaged. it rides so low I can't even park over the parking concrete blocks. The car hits absolutely everything thats on the road. I hit a dead rabbit doing 80+ that couldnt have been more than 6" off the ground. I also ran over the tire tread of an 18 wheeler that was in the middle of an I95 on-ramp in philly doing 40mph, and there was no way to avoid it. 3 vehicles in front of me drove over it and didn't need to swerve as they cleared it entirely, so i didn't even know it was there. Well it got stuck under my car and I had to pull over and back up to get it out.
0222141416a.jpg
shit is all fucked up down there (that's what she said?)
0222141416a.jpg (145.98 KiB) Viewed 7407 times



so obviously there's damage to the Intercooler. I don't know if it's damaged anywhere internally or behind it, but a fair amt of fins are bent or damaged from debris. Should I get the holes welded closed and hope nothing else is functionally damaged? I can probably buy a used OEM IC for $100 or less. Is that a better plan?

ALSO- are these holes likely causing all of my issues? I'm going to repair this regardless, but does it sound like something else could also be wrong? I want to methodically repair the car, but want to prepare in case there's a huge repair bill coming.

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Harness
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Re: The hotwheels rocketcar

Postby Harness » Wed Feb 26, 2014 6:44 pm

Judging by the pictures, there is a massive gash in your intercooler's side tank... and thats bad. The condition of the fins would be irrelevant as the tank area is open. When it comes to turbo charged engines, any loss of air is a loss of power and you have a significant loss of air.

When the air enters your intercooler, it is at a temperature that would be very unhealthy to your intake manifold and intake valves, thus creating the demand for cooling. The reason the air is hot is because it went through your hot turbo charger (duh) but mainly because your air has been compressed . The compression process causes the air to become very hot and needs to be cooled.

Now, if you were paying attention, you know that the air in your intercooler is compressed air and needs to stay that way right up until it's cramed into the engine. If it leaks out anywhere you are losing air compression (turbo boost) and that loss of boost can cause all types of problems, one being an alteration in the air/fuel ratio that could potentially overheat your catalytic converter and cause a rotten egg smell (it's all coming full circle now isn't it?).

Replace the intercooler then smoke test the intake with the air inlet blocked off near the air filter (before the turbo). Until you do this, take it easy on the engine. Your catalytic converter('s) do not like it when you fuck with the engines stoic (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stoichometric).

You have watched me smoke test Darkfoxx's intake when he had it in my bay. It is MUCH more important on your car for a proper smoke test to be performed and at a higher then normal pressure. Every little vacuum leak on your car is a loss of power. On Foxx's car, every little vacuum leak is a loss in gas milage and not a loss in power until the leak is significant. I have the equipment to do this properly and it would only take me a few minutes. The vast majority of garage monkeys do not know how to properly check your car. The turbo charged engine can be complicated and frustrating to work problems out of. Either bring it to me or find someone who ain't no jimmy boo boo.
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Jif
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Re: The hotwheels rocketcar

Postby Jif » Wed Feb 26, 2014 6:50 pm

Harness wrote:Judging by the pictures, there is a massive gash in your intercooler's side tank... and thats bad. The condition of the fins would be irrelevant as the tank area is open. When it comes to turbo charged engines, any loss of air is a loss of power and you have a significant loss of air.

When the air enters your intercooler, it is at a temperature that would be very unhealthy to your intake manifold and intake valves, thus creating the demand for cooling. The reason the air is hot is because it went through your hot turbo charger (duh) but mainly because your air has been compressed . The compression process causes the air to become very hot and needs to be cooled.

Now, if you were paying attention, you know that the air in your intercooler is compressed air and needs to stay that way right up until it's cramed into the engine. If it leaks out anywhere you are losing air compression (turbo boost) and that loss of boost can cause all types of problems, one being an alteration in the air/fuel ratio that could potentially overheat your catalytic converter and cause a rotten egg smell (it's all coming full circle now isn't it?).

Replace the intercooler then smoke test the intake with the air inlet blocked off near the air filter (before the turbo). Until you do this, take it easy on the engine. Your catalytic converter('s) do not like it when you fuck with the engines stoic (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stoichometric).

You have watched me smoke test Darkfoxx's intake when he had it in my bay. It is MUCH more important on your car for a proper smoke test to be performed and at a higher then normal pressure. Every little vacuum leak on your car is a loss of power. On Foxx's car, every little vacuum leak is a loss in gas milage and not a loss in power until the leak is significant. I have the equipment to do this properly and it would only take me a few minutes. The vast majority of garage monkeys do not know how to properly check your car. The turbo charged engine can be complicated and frustrating to work problems out of. Either bring it to me or find someone who ain't no jimmy boo boo.

so replace intercooler and take it to you. makes sense.

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Re: The hotwheels rocketcar

Postby Darkfoxx » Wed Feb 26, 2014 7:04 pm

Probably unrelated...but how is the air filter looking? Have you replaced or cleaned it?
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Re: The hotwheels rocketcar

Postby Jif » Wed Feb 26, 2014 10:06 pm

Darkfoxx wrote:Probably unrelated...but how is the air filter looking? Have you replaced or cleaned it?

ya cleaned it last weekend but it wasn't even dirty. also changed spark plugs in the fall and they didn't really need to be changed.

What bumble said matches exactly what i suspected. I didn't know a hole in the IC could cause the cat to go bad, but I suspected, even before finding the holes, that the IC was busted and the cat was going bad.

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Re: The hotwheels rocketcar

Postby Darkfoxx » Thu Feb 27, 2014 10:50 am

Yeah it sounds spot on. Sounds costly though!

Looked around and it seems like it'll set you back ~$373 for the part.
http://www.gmpartscenter.net/oem-part/p ... r/25820725
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Re: The hotwheels rocketcar

Postby Jif » Thu Feb 27, 2014 8:21 pm

Darkfoxx wrote:Yeah it sounds spot on. Sounds costly though!

Looked around and it seems like it'll set you back ~$373 for the part.
http://www.gmpartscenter.net/oem-part/p ... r/25820725

i have a sale pending for $150 for an oem IC with under 500 miles on it. i've seen cheaper but probably not in as good of shape.

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Re: The hotwheels rocketcar

Postby Harness » Fri Feb 28, 2014 12:46 pm

Jif wrote:
Darkfoxx wrote:Probably unrelated...but how is the air filter looking? Have you replaced or cleaned it?

ya cleaned it last weekend but it wasn't even dirty. also changed spark plugs in the fall and they didn't really need to be changed.

What bumble said matches exactly what i suspected. I didn't know a hole in the IC could cause the cat to go bad, but I suspected, even before finding the holes, that the IC was busted and the cat was going bad.


You have a loss in boost but also you have un-metered air entering your engine when not boosting (air entering the engine not recorded by the mass air flow sensor). An excessively rich mixture results when the computer picks up the extra air from the oxygen sensor in the exhaust and that rich condition is what damages the cat.
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Re: The hotwheels rocketcar

Postby Jif » Tue Aug 05, 2014 2:41 pm

Replaced my battery yesterday (known it's been bad since late winter) and without having driven a full drive cycle yet it is running dramatically better. I didn't think a bad battery could impact a car much so long as it still powered shit, but once again it looks like i've been proven wrong.

crossing my fingers that this holds up.

I still have a boost like when near max PSI, but it's not too bad and may be related to the cracked piping connecting the air intake to the turbo. it's before the air is pressurized so i can't imagine it being the cause of boost leak, though.

Might have to spend some more time under the hood checking piping clamps again.

BTW if anyone needs a new battery Pepboys is running a $25 off $100 when u order online.

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Re: The hotwheels rocketcar

Postby Harness » Tue Aug 05, 2014 7:38 pm

Jif wrote:Replaced my battery yesterday (known it's been bad since late winter) and without having driven a full drive cycle yet it is running dramatically better. I didn't think a bad battery could impact a car much so long as it still powered shit, but once again it looks like i've been proven wrong.

crossing my fingers that this holds up.

I've noticed this condition more and more these days. I suspect it's because the alternator is required to do more work but could be many other things in a modern car. Also, I have come across a few cars bleeding A/C voltage from the alternator but that's a wall of text in itself.

I still have a boost like when near max PSI,

Sorry Jif, this sentence doesn't make any sense. Are you saying you have a loss of boost? That's what it sounds like you're saying and I'll go with that.

Any leak after the turbo is a loss of boost and any leak before the turbo is a vacuum leak. A vacuum leak will have an effect on your gas mileage and performance but a loss in boost is a much larger performance problem and will be much easier to "feel" going down the road. A leak before the turbo will more likely give you idling concerns and initial takeoff problems as air not registered by your mass air flow sensor is entering your intake.
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Re: The hotwheels rocketcar

Postby Jif » Wed Aug 06, 2014 1:28 pm

Harness wrote:
Jif wrote:
I still have a boost like when near max PSI,

Sorry Jif, this sentence doesn't make any sense. Are you saying you have a loss of boost? That's what it sounds like you're saying and I'll go with that.

Any leak after the turbo is a loss of boost and any leak before the turbo is a vacuum leak. A vacuum leak will have an effect on your gas mileage and performance but a loss in boost is a much larger performance problem and will be much easier to "feel" going down the road. A leak before the turbo will more likely give you idling concerns and initial takeoff problems as air not registered by your mass air flow sensor is entering your intake.


Yes thats what I meant. I actually think both situations may be occurring.

-During WOT the turbo will rarely reach max expected pressure. Max pressure is in the low 20's, 21-25 supposedly depending on altitude. During WOT the in-dash digital pressure gauge will read upper teens, usually 17-18, maybe 20, and then drop down to 5-10 and quickly start building back up again. It never used to do this. In the past it would hit max boost and stay at max briefly before decreasing at a rate relative to the amount of throttle i continued giving it and whether i shifted gears or not. But it's always been read on the digital display as decreasing. Even if it went from 23psi to 0 in the span of 2 seconds it would quickly count down to 0. Since this issue started, however, it abruptly drops, from 17 immediately to 0 or 5, as if it's blowing out of a seal or untightened hose, then will start climbing again. I've replaced weak worm clamps with t-bolt clamps on the pressurized hose that connects the i/c to the intake manifold, but it didn't get much better.

-There is definitely a takeoff problem, like a delay after hitting the gas and it takes a second for the engine to 'catch up'. Initially I thought the clutch was slipping but $50 later I was told the clutch was fine. The engine has never idled too rough but I will occasionally hear the rpms dip for brief periods before returning to normal (and without running ac/heater). If you remember, we found a crack in the plastic molded pipe that connects the air intake to the turbo. That fucking POS plastic pipe is like $100. if you think that could be the cause, do you think I could hit it with some urethane or epoxy or something to seal it up or bite the bullet and replace it?

Both of those issues have been considerably less noticeable since installing the new battery.

I can't fucking wait to move out of downtown wilmington and hopefully have a garage or driveway to work on our cars.

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Re: The hotwheels rocketcar

Postby Darkfoxx » Wed Aug 06, 2014 1:31 pm

Jif wrote:I can't fucking wait to move out of downtown wilmington and hopefully have a garage or driveway to work on our cars.

Such a good feeling man.
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Re: The hotwheels rocketcar

Postby Harness » Wed Aug 06, 2014 8:19 pm

Jif wrote:
Harness wrote:
Jif wrote:
I still have a boost like when near max PSI,

Sorry Jif, this sentence doesn't make any sense. Are you saying you have a loss of boost? That's what it sounds like you're saying and I'll go with that.

Any leak after the turbo is a loss of boost and any leak before the turbo is a vacuum leak. A vacuum leak will have an effect on your gas mileage and performance but a loss in boost is a much larger performance problem and will be much easier to "feel" going down the road. A leak before the turbo will more likely give you idling concerns and initial takeoff problems as air not registered by your mass air flow sensor is entering your intake.


Yes thats what I meant. I actually think both situations may be occurring.

-During WOT the turbo will rarely reach max expected pressure. Max pressure is in the low 20's, 21-25 supposedly depending on altitude. During WOT the in-dash digital pressure gauge will read upper teens, usually 17-18, maybe 20, and then drop down to 5-10 and quickly start building back up again. It never used to do this. In the past it would hit max boost and stay at max briefly before decreasing at a rate relative to the amount of throttle i continued giving it and whether i shifted gears or not. But it's always been read on the digital display as decreasing. Even if it went from 23psi to 0 in the span of 2 seconds it would quickly count down to 0. Since this issue started, however, it abruptly drops, from 17 immediately to 0 or 5, as if it's blowing out of a seal or untightened hose, then will start climbing again. I've replaced weak worm clamps with t-bolt clamps on the pressurized hose that connects the i/c to the intake manifold, but it didn't get much better.

-There is definitely a takeoff problem, like a delay after hitting the gas and it takes a second for the engine to 'catch up'. Initially I thought the clutch was slipping but $50 later I was told the clutch was fine. The engine has never idled too rough but I will occasionally hear the rpms dip for brief periods before returning to normal (and without running ac/heater). If you remember, we found a crack in the plastic molded pipe that connects the air intake to the turbo. That fucking POS plastic pipe is like $100. if you think that could be the cause, do you think I could hit it with some urethane or epoxy or something to seal it up or bite the bullet and replace it?

Both of those issues have been considerably less noticeable since installing the new battery.

I can't fucking wait to move out of downtown wilmington and hopefully have a garage or driveway to work on our cars.



Take a look at your fuel trims with your little scan tool. Give me readings at idle and at 2000 rpm. They will look something like this: STFT (short term fuel trim), LTFT (long term fuel trim). Engine needs to be warmed up. Also, look for "open / closed loop status". After warm-up, it should be in closed loop.
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Jif
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Re: The hotwheels rocketcar

Postby Jif » Wed Aug 06, 2014 10:21 pm

ok ill try. have been having trouble with that bluetooth adapter. might need to replace it.


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