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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a ported FP Red with basically full bolt-ons (minus cams and intake manifold) and i want to add cams and a retune on E85. Before i do this i want to check my engine and see how it is doing. I have seen and heard of many rods that have been bent but the engine still ran. The owners just built there motor just in time. Also Joey's had his motor rebuilt just in time because his piston #3 was about to fall apart. These motors were ticking time bombs.

All this scares the shit out me because i am still running stock internals. A engine rebuilt is in the future for me but probably wont happen until Fall 2012.

Is there anything we can do to check the internals without pulling the motor and tearing apart the motor? I know we can do a compression test but that does not tell you how the rods are doing. Can we pull the oil pan and take a look at the rods? What else can be done?
 

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I don't mean to derail the thread but...

To be honest, why even bother with more power (cams) at this stage? Enjoy it for what it is! I also have an FP Red and yeah I have a tune that runs at 27 psi and nets me around the 430-440's in whp. But do I really need that power? Nah, so I run my auto x tune 24/7 which is around 400whp and it does the job! I plan to save save save until my motor goes, then when it finally does, whenever that may be, I'll be ready to turn it into a beast :D.

Although if my motor lasts long enough, I may do cams in like 15k miles when I drop in the new timing chain :)

If you are worried about your motor now, why would you do E-85 (hella TQ) and cams? If you want to be safe(ish) on a red with cams and e-85 you're going to have to de-tune the heck out of it, you'll end up around where you are now, with like nothing to show for it :(

It's your choice, I just would hate to see you drop a pretty penny on some cams/install/tune then end up being even more stressed over the car blowing up in your face.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I don't mean to derail the thread but...

To be honest, why even bother with more power (cams) at this stage? Enjoy it for what it is! I also have an FP Red and yeah I have a tune that runs at 27 psi and nets me around the 430-440's in whp. But do I really need that power? Nah, so I run my auto x tune 24/7 which is around 400whp and it does the job! I plan to save save save until my motor goes, then when it finally does, whenever that may be, I'll be ready to turn it into a beast :D.

Although if my motor lasts long enough, I may do cams in like 15k miles when I drop in the new timing chain :)

If you are worried about your motor now, why would you do E-85 (hella TQ) and cams? If you want to be safe(ish) on a red with cams and e-85 you're going to have to de-tune the heck out of it, you'll end up around where you are now, with like nothing to show for it :(

It's your choice, I just would hate to see you drop a pretty penny on some cams/install/tune then end up being even more stressed over the car blowing up in your face.
huh? You tell me not to do it, but then you say you plan on getting cams haha I obviously plan on doing the new revised timing chain when i install the cams but i will install the parts my self so that will save money. My thought on cams is if i buy a good set of cams (Cos or Ams) i will have them in my car no matter what turbo i run (T3 setup after i build my motor). Didnt you just install your Red? Give it another month of so and you will want more power. I will have had my red for a year next month.

Lots of people run E85 and cams on a stock motor with a FP Red. This isnt my DD, so if the motor blew it would suck but i wouldnt be carless.

Lots of people blow there motor. Doesnt really matter if you just have a couple bolt ons or full bolt ons. Recently motors have been blowing left and right.

I thought this would be a good thread so everyone can have some info on checking there internals so we can reduce the amount of windows in blocks.
 

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I would only do it b/c I'd already be in there for the timing chain. In that case, it only makes sense b/c the install cost/time is virtually 0 :) I also self tune my car, so there is no expense for me in adjusting the tune. If you plan to build in like 6 months it doesn't make much sense to go through all that expense if you're going to be taking apart the block anyways. Unless of course you just have oodles of money to blow (or if you're doing all the work yourself).

From what I've seen, blown motors are either tune related, cylinder 4 related, or rods breaking. You're in rod breaking territory already but you still want more power (you sir are so greedy!)

Lots of people run E85 and cams on a stock motor with a FP Red. This isnt my DD, so if the motor blew it would suck but i wouldnt be carless.
It's good that you wouldn't be carless, but it just seems like you're asking for trouble :p. Not a *lot* of people run E85 + cams + red. Murlo did, we all know what happened to his rods. Hollywood did on FP Green and well, he's on his 3rd build now. There are others too who tried this with bad success :(

Lots of people blow there motor. Doesnt really matter if you just have a couple bolt ons or full bolt ons. Recently motors have been blowing left and right.
The % of people with blown engines on FP red / cams is much higher than the % of people with blown engines and basic bolt ons. I don't think you can argue with that. It's a game of risk, the more power you go, the higher your chances of catastrophic failure. Eventually the odds will catch up to you sir :(

I thought this would be a good thread so everyone can have some info on checking there internals so we can reduce the amount of windows in blocks.
I 100% agree and I would also like to know the answer to this question. I think this is good info and hell I'd like to find out myself. I am just recommending you think about this decision real hard b/c there are a LOT of headaches that come with an engine failure. This board is littered with them :(
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
I would only do it b/c I'd already be in there for the timing chain. In that case, it only makes sense b/c the install cost/time is virtually 0 :) I also self tune my car, so there is no expense for me in adjusting the tune. If you plan to build in like 6 months it doesn't make much sense to go through all that expense if you're going to be taking apart the block anyways. Unless of course you just have oodles of money to blow (or if you're doing all the work yourself).

I 100% agree and I would also like to know the answer to this question. I think this is good info and hell I'd like to find out myself. I am just recommending you think about this decision real hard b/c there are a LOT of headaches that come with an engine failure. This board is littered with them :(
I installed all the parts on my car myself. The only thing i had help with was the tune (Thanks Golden!!!) Alot of engine failures (esp the first year or 2 when the X came out) had to be blamed on tunes. A lot of tuners had no idea what to do and what not to do with the X. Everyone is still learning this new platform today. Of course a FP Red is going to blow an engine with lots of timing and 33 psi (cough Murlo cough). I have not seen to many red/green engine failures recently. I think that is a good thing. There have been a lot of engines that failed due to the high load / low rpm situation.

Tunes are relatively cheap, you just gotta know the right people :shades: Or do it yourself. I have seen a hand full of cars with 40-60whp more than my car on FP Reds and on Greens. My torque is pretty low (~340) so i have plently of room until i get to 400. I am only running 26 psi tapering down to 24 at redline. But thank you for worrying about my car.

Now back on topic... If you pull the oil pan, how visible are the rods? I think i am alil paranoid but I like working on my car. It's my little hobby haha.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Shed some knowledge if you dont mind. I know what the difference is between a compression test and a leak down test but what will the tests show?

A compression test will show if your cylinder's compression. The leak down test will show how much (in %) the cylinder leaks. What does this mean though? The piston rings are worn? Time for new pistons? ???

Thanks!
 

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The only accurate way to test the things you're concerned about - broken piston skirts, bent rods - is to disassemble and inspect.

You can probably get an idea of rod bend by measuring before/after piston compression height in the cylinders at TDC for each cylinder. But if you don't have before values, then you're merely guessing (hoping?) that all of them aren't bent. Although there are probably factory specs for stock engines that you could use as a reference.

A leakdown test is static - there is nothing moving in the engine except the top piston ring downwards to the piston ring land and outwards to the cylinder wall.

A leakdown test will not detect a broken piston skirt or a severely bent rod. Nor will it give any indication about anything other than the top ring - or even if a second or third ring is even installed. It also will not show a broken top ring land - above the top ring.

A compression test has the engine moving. it kinda measures the ability of the engine to suck in air and compress it (with no indication of whether it can expel the used air). The test results are extremely dependent on the engine cranking speed and intake valve closing point, and require the throttle place to be blocked completely open (or the electronic throttle body removed in the case of the X).

A compression test, similar to a leakdown test, will not show broken or cracked piston skirts and probably won't show broken or missing top ring lands either. It won't detect small bends in rods (like less than a tenth of an inch change in length) but may show a severely bent rod due to lower compression height (but if they're all bent the same ... ) . A comp test also will not give any information on 2nd or 3rd ring condition (or existence thereof).

But outside of a dis-assembly and visual/instrumented inspection, those two tests are what we have that's industry standard and non-invasive.

Note that neither of the above tests will give any information on bearing conditions, valve seat wear, etc.

It is always a good idea to get a waste oil sample analyzed for get more data.
 

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I'd like to add boroscope to those already mentioned

  • compression test
  • leak down test
  • oil sample analyzed
  • boroscope
those 4 can be done without any diss-assembly and will give you a relatively good assessment of "health"
 

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You need to cut fueling and ignition to do a compression test. I've only done this in older carborated engines with distributors, so I just disconnected the fuel line from the carb (ran it to a bucket) and unplugged the distributor charge.

Question about doing a compression test on the X - In the evo, can you get away with just disconnecting the 4 wiring harnesses plugs from the injectors and coil-on-plug assemblies? Or will the ecu detect this and prevent the engine from cranking? Will letting the fuel pump cycle with the injectors disconnected from the power prevent any fuel from leaking into the cyls while cranking? Is pulling the MFI relay or any other relays helpful?

edit: also, what size thread adapter does the X require? My compression test kit has a 14mm and 16mm adapter (i think) and neither fit the evo :(

Also regarding visual inspection, I've thought about dropping my oil pan next time I went to do an oil change to try to get a visual inspection of the crank, bearings and rods. Has anyone tried this? How was the visibility? Were you able to see enough to at least make sure no rods were bent. Will you need a new oil pan gasket to try, or is the OEM gasket reusable?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
You need to cut fueling and ignition to do a compression test. I've only done this in older carborated engines with distributors, so I just disconnected the fuel line from the carb (ran it to a bucket) and unplugged the distributor charge.

Question about doing a compression test on the X - In the evo, can you get away with just disconnecting the 4 wiring harnesses plugs from the injectors and coil-on-plug assemblies? Or will the ecu detect this and prevent the engine from cranking? Will letting the fuel pump cycle with the injectors disconnected from the power prevent any fuel from leaking into the cyls while cranking? Is pulling the MFI relay or any other relays helpful?

edit: also, what size thread adapter does the X require? My compression test kit has a 14mm and 16mm adapter (i think) and neither fit the evo :(

Also regarding visual inspection, I've thought about dropping my oil pan next time I went to do an oil change to try to get a visual inspection of the crank, bearings and rods. Has anyone tried this? How was the visibility? Were you able to see enough to at least make sure no rods were bent. Will you need a new oil pan gasket to try, or is the OEM gasket reusable?

Could you pull a fuse for the fuel pump to do a compression test?

I was wondering too about pulling the oil pan. I dont mind buying a new oil pan gasket.
 

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Could you pull a fuse for the fuel pump to do a compression test?
once the car got warm i pulled the fuse and let the car stall from running out of fuel. i then unplugged all 4 injectors and coils. before testing.

the compression tester i had came with a couple sizes that didn't work but there was also an adapter kit that was beside it that had the correct one i needed. i can't recall which it was; i'll look tonight
 

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Thats good because the oil pan gaskets are $400!
(BTW we don't have oil pan gaskets)
you sneaky.... thx :) can you tell much from removing the pan, or would it be a waste of time? anything in the way that needs to be removed?

once the car got warm i pulled the fuse and let the car stall from running out of fuel. i then unplugged all 4 injectors and coils. before testing.

the compression tester i had came with a couple sizes that didn't work but there was also an adapter kit that was beside it that had the correct one i needed. i can't recall which it was; i'll look tonight
thanks, good to know!
 

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Floor it in 5th at 2000 RPM. If the motor doesn't explode you're probably fine for a few hundred more miles.
 

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you sneaky.... thx :) can you tell much from removing the pan, or would it be a waste of time? anything in the way that needs to be removed?



thanks, good to know!

The oil pan is apparently a BITCH TO GET BACK ON.
 

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The oil pan is apparently a BITCH TO GET BACK ON.
You just have to clean up the sealing surface and apply a bunch of sealant...messy and you don't want to do too much. Remember if a bunch is on the outside, that much prolly went inside too. It can be a bitch for sure.
 
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