I know I got a decent deal on this car, but sheesh.
It's been running rich ever since I bought it. Never been much of an issue, besides the really crappy idle. Well, a couple days ago I got it home from work and pulled into the driveway. It was idling rougher than usual, so I opened the door and revved it while keeping my eye on the exhaust. It billowed (yeah, billowed is the most fitting descriptor) black smoke.
That was alarming...so I turned it off, came back a few minutes later and started it back up. Revved it to see much less black smoke, and eventually it went away completely. I drove it a few miles with no incident.
Today, after having it sit for a few days, I went to start it and it popped a few times and then died. I could not get it to fire again. I tried a few more times, but didn't want to press my luck. I smelled gas, so I pulled a few plugs and they were SOAKED. I mean soaked, big time. Pitch black and soaked.
My question...why all of the sudden? I've known it's been rich, but this issue came on kinda out of nowhere. Can I bother with cleaning the plugs or should I just drop some cash on a new set and write the current ones off? Obviously the rich issue is not going to correct itself, so I am going to order the tuning software for my Q+ Unichip. Also need a wideband.
It's been just fine in the month I've had it, rich but fine. All of the sudden, bamm, soaked and black plugs. wtf.
Should note that before the black smoke made an appearance, I got a check engine light after a 2nd 3rd 4th WOT run.
I've heard that after a hard run, and after a long time running rich and building shit up in the cylinders, that some/all of that crap can come loose and foul the plugs up in one fell swoop. Makes sense, I suppose.
Gonna pick up a Harbor Freight spark plug cleaner. Prepping a car for a 24 Hours of LeMons race and the Viper and 3000GT are going into storage in a week or two, not looking to spend a ton of money on it this year, so if cleaning the plugs gets it running (even if it doesn't really address the problem) then for now I'll take it. Maybe get a few more days out of it this year.
Last edited by shifty556; October 17th, 2013 at 09:41 PM.
Just the Unichip, which is supposed to be able to control A/F. But, no wideband.
It ran fine for the 600 miles home, and the probably 1000 miles I've put on it since...
Yeah, all 9 plugs I've removed are covered in black soot. The rear driver one is hard to get to, lol, and my patience was super thin from real-life issues. Doesn't seem like it's oily, thank God. Also, I can see the head gasket on the left hand side... it is labeled UP 157 C. It seems metal-looking. It doesn't look like paper/cardboard (my previous thread, I was wondering if I had a newer gasket or older one)
As far as I know, the Unichip offers piggyback capabilities. Obviously I need a wideband, but the Unichip should be able to do the altering of A/F, according to their site. I'm gonna try cleaning the plugs and re-gapping first. I've read many good things about the HF plug cleaner, but you need to get the fine sand/media off the plugs after you clean them so it doesn't go in the cylinders of course.
Came on the car, and the only thing I was told is that it was tuned with that chip. Could be BS, maybe not. I dunno. If I can remove it easily, it's worth a shot, but the engine is quite modified, so it may cause just as many issues removing it.
I agree with those above...try running without the tuner. I had a "tuned" PCM on mine and it caused several little issues with drivability/electrical. Mike S (99RT10>S) set me up with a stock tune PCM and all is good. I'd try that first. Hope you get it running before putting her in storage!
Can a 95 be flashed? This sounds like a good option, I have all of the upgrades documented.
Mixed reviews, but if you flash it and it's not right, you have to send it back, then try again, then back. A real PIA. Better option for the Gen I is to put a Vec on it and tunes as you see fit. I have a Vec2 and Vec 3 for the Gen I. PM me if you want to give it a try.
I probably panicked a bit too fast. If the HG were blown and putting oil in the cylinders, the oil wouldn't be on the outside where the spark plug socket would come in contact with it.
I cleaned all the plugs with that Harbor Freight plug cleaner. It pretty much sucks, ($10, haha, bound to suck), but it cleaned them enough to start the car. Of course, I didn't get one of the plugs fully connected so it was missing a cylinder. Fixed that, drove it around town a few minutes, then out to the country. I let it rip a little bit and it behaved alright. Still SUPER rich at idle. I think I may actually order the software to tune the Q+ chip. $250, I already have the cable and the chip, so eh... I need to install a wideband, though, and do it right. I COULD just knock the fuel down across the 0-2000 rpm range, that'd help quite a bit. Once it gets past 2000-2500 rpm, it lets loose and drives really nice.
Product of the temperature coming down, fowling of plugs, carbon buildup in cylinders....I'm sure.
But hey, it's driving, and I will probably put it in storage for the winter. My garage is spoken for with our 24 Hours of LeMons effort.
For $250 it might be worth picking up a VEC. You have more resources here in the Viper community with answers to tuning questions. You can also wire in the wideband into the VEC, I'm not sure if the Q Unichip will allow that.
Location: I live just north of the Pacific Northwest.
Rep Power: 14
Running rich will wash the oil off the cylinder walls and cause a lot of wear for you cylinder walls/rings etc. It may also "wash away" your rings.
Your o2 sensors are supposed to adjust the mixture of the engine when cruising and driving. Not sure if your unichip is bypassing that? Maybe just your 02 sensors are plugged and not working causing the rich condition. When in doubt it is a good idea to buy new 02 sensors anyway.
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