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1996 GTS: Major mixture malfunction on Interstaqte

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1996 GTS: Major mixture malfunction on Interstaqte
Old July 9th, 2019, 01:53 AM   #1
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1996 GTS: Major mixture malfunction on Interstaqte

Car has 84k and is 511 whp heads/cam/exhaust w/VEC1 MAP signal wires soldered in place (VEC1 Lambda LED indicator NOT soldered in place.)

O2's are HTK - don't know if OE. Loom connector on passenger side had a corroded pin receptacle. I soaked with white vinegar for 30 minutes, flushed with water extensively, dried, and then applied tiniest amount of dielectric grease to the male pins of the O2 connector. The driver's side look good but I still did the acid process just in case.

Startup and idle Lambda reads dead lean and no scanning. (A symptom of a bad Lambda connection is the display freezes.)

As I drive a few miles to freeway, Lambda is holding a steady mid span level and still no scanning to speak off - some slow wandering was present.

At speed on freeway, notice a "surge" like event as if 1/2 the cylinders were misfiring and then they could instantly clean up, engine was bouncing between these 2 conditions.

THEN I realized the Lambda had got Dead Rich.

All of this was at light throttle. Any attempt to get near anything mid-throttle resulted backfiring through the intake which usually is lean. If I took the VEC1 and cranked the Low adjustment to Max Rich, the backfiring would go away, but this VEC1 setting is absurd - obviously something else is going haywire.

NOTE: Before I did the "clean up" on the O2 connectors, I had identified the oxidation and had repeated disconnecting and connecting this O2. The other O2 could not be disconnected due to it's position, however I tried to press and pull it in various ways with the hope of getting some movement between the pins and receptacles. AFTER THIS, I THOUGHT THE ENGINE WAS RUNNING BETTER ALTHOUGH STILL NOT ENOUGH O2 SCANNING on the Lambda.

Even if the Lambda LED's were totally wrong, there is still something way off. I don't know if any O2 sensor malfunction to account for such extreme behavior.

Which leaves the VEC1 itself and the MAP sensor too I suppose.

I should have codes tomorrow.

And of course, I am in NV, prepping car to drive home to PA....

______________________________________

EDIT: I think the first thing I need to do is REMOVE the VEC1 since it is an unknown and may obfuscate what OBDII codes might be trying to tell me.

Last edited by Squid; July 9th, 2019 at 03:17 AM. Reason: Update:
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Old July 9th, 2019, 08:49 AM   #2
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I would definitely pull the VEC and run the JTEC unaltered. You may not get all the power your combo is capable of, but it might get you all the way home without hurting the motor.
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Old July 9th, 2019, 10:40 PM   #3
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I put the DRB on it and got 2 relevant codes: inlet air temp high and right side rich (LT trim +35%)

The RHS O2 was not cycling while the LHS one was cycling with single digit trims. I've order NGK's from RockAuto and should be here tomorrow. Keeping fingers crossed this will solve things.

I looked at MAP output and adjusted the VEC1 and it appeared to be working perfectly, so I think there is a reprieve on VEC1 removal.
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Old July 10th, 2019, 12:50 PM   #4
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UPDATE: While removing O2 sensors discovered the RHS was double spliced to make it longer. Currently trying to remove in one piece for careful autopsy.
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Old July 10th, 2019, 12:57 PM   #5
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cleaning o2 sensors isnt a good idea. they are cheap and they are a wear item. just put in new ones. you can get them with longer pigtails as well.
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Old July 10th, 2019, 12:58 PM   #6
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I already ordered NGK's but was not aware I could get them with longer leads. I'm assuming you're not referring to universals that have to be spliced in?
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Old July 11th, 2019, 10:29 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Squid View Post
I already ordered NGK's but was not aware I could get them with longer leads. I'm assuming you're not referring to universals that have to be spliced in?
Ive got the NGKs all around in my 01 gts and they do have longer length wiring in general and i had to tie up some of the slack with zip ties. Should work out just fine for you.
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Old July 11th, 2019, 12:21 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Squid View Post
I already ordered NGK's but was not aware I could get them with longer leads. I'm assuming you're not referring to universals that have to be spliced in?
That's correct. No splice, longer length leads. I used to have the part numbers but I don't anymore. You will need to find a site like rock auto that shows diagrams of the connectors and the lead lengths. Summit racing may have pics and connector type descriptions as well.

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Old July 12th, 2019, 12:43 AM   #9
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UPDATE:

I spliced 36" into the RHS O2 harness connector. (I could have added 6" and ran leads under frame like LHS but chose to run the wires behind the heat shield to the AC receiver, then aft around the blower motor, up to the radiator plastic tank, and then down to the engine harness.)

Just completed a test firing with DRB checking levels at idle:
  • Both O2 were dwelling at LOW with a periodic spike to HIGH every 5-10 seconds
  • After 5 min, LT trims were -5%, ST -15% (banks are within 2% of each other)

I'm thinking the O2's aren't scanning because the location at the collector is cooler. Want to give it a short test drive to confirm this. But I am a little disappointed that they don't scan at idle.

Built 1999 by TNT 511 whp, heads, cam, headers, exhaust.

Does it look like I've solved the problem?
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Old July 12th, 2019, 08:37 AM   #10
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Definitely looks better and will probably get you down the road OK. Are you running cats or not? That could also have an influence on you upstream O2 data.
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Old July 12th, 2019, 12:27 PM   #11
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LTMs +/- 5% is well within normal tolerances. It's likely that the O2s aren't switching at idle due to the cooler location and how inactive they can be when cold.

Did you fix the IAT DTC? That can cause big problems but is an easy fix. It's either the sensor itself or the wiring is shorted to voltage.
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Old July 12th, 2019, 12:37 PM   #12
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I've got the K&N "downtubes" for intake due to nitrous system (I disabled and removed tank because the tank was mounted to the spare tire cover (!) )

Is the IAT the little connector on the end of one of the K&N's?
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Old July 12th, 2019, 02:29 PM   #13
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RE: IAT DTC: They have the K&N down pipes angled so the ends of the K&N's are touching right behind the radiator fan - when the fan comes on, it blows hot radiator air on the K&N's - specifically the ends, one of which has the IAT installed.

I think the down pipes should be "splayed" so the K&N ends are as far apart and outboard as possible. However they drilled the nitrous nozzle ports which if oriented at 3 or 9 o-clock fix the splay angle.

Right now the ends are touching and the ports are inboard on the tubes.

If I swap tubes, the splay will be pretty good but the ports would be outboard and the plumbing will not reach.

NOTE: I can't rotate the RHS tube because the nozzle will high the serpentine idler pulley.

Perhaps since the nitrous is decomissioned, I could remove the nozzles or plumbing and get the tubes nice and splayed.
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