Larocca's doesn't know how to fix my 93. WTF????

Discussion in 'Fox 5.0 Mustang Tech' started by slvr302, Aug 15, 2003.


  1. forced88lx

    forced88lx New Member

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    And to QUOTE my original response

    Notice where I meantion that his O2 Sensors are UNPLUGGED and is dumping raw fuel into his exhaust.

    Note the meantion of overlap on the custom camshaft.

    Quote from Sarge
    And I told him that if you would READ responses. Before you start to try to flame someone, how about learning how to read posts.

    Facts are: You are just here to flame people. Facts are, I have already told him what his problem was and you can't accept it. Go back to page 1 of this thread and try putting on some READING GLASSES before you try to flame someone.
    #41
  2. Stang8YourImpor

    Stang8YourImpor Banned

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    Hey, force88lx.. Stop being a little ****.. Who cares about what you're trying to explain? I just read this whole thread, and your responces are not helping this guy solve his problem. This is tech, not let's be a little **** and cry. Shaddap. Read the link and admit your wrong...

    Slvr302... I wouldn't think it was in the tune. If you're not pouring black smoke, it's not running rich... If you're not melting pistons with the blower, it's not lean... The stand alone system has fixed those problems. All I can see if that your catted H-Pipe is clogged and you need to replace it... But like you said, your headers still glow with the off road pipe... I understand your need to pass emissions, so stay with a catted pipe, don't go offroad.. A 15 HP decrease in HP with catted vs not is pretty big... The only reason your headers would glow, I can think of, is if they weren't made right? Maybe too thin steel? Thinner would cause it to heat faster and glow? Like I said.. I don't think your problem was the tune and I can't see why the cats/headers would glow if you weren't running rich or lean... All I have to say is STOP SWAPPING PARTS. You're wasting money. (Already 1000 bucks and not fixing it) Shiot... Bring your car to Florida and I'll fix that damn thing with my TwEECer for FREE to finally KILL this thread! lol

    My two cents,
    Nick
    #42
  3. slvr302

    slvr302 Founding Member

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    Wknd_Warrior: The stock h-pipe was used to try and show that my Mac H-pipe is not the actual problem and not totally shot. More importantly to show that a problem still exists and needs to be addressed other than the converters.
    I will give you guys the exact answer on why Larocca has eliminated the O2 sensors when I talk to them next week (they are on vacation this week).

    I know parts go bad as well as new ones. But it is less likely that two converters are clogged, possibly two MAF are bad, maybe one of my 24# or 42# injectors are leaking, ect. I mention the other parts because they too are a possible part that could cause my problem. If I take the approach that "even my new parts could be bad" I could be swapping stuff forever.

    I am not sure if alot of you guys are paying attention to my post with regards to what parts were on the car and when. This is not directed souly towards only you Weekend but many others as well. Alot seem to think my O2s need to be in place to correct this issue but I've said many times that the O2s were in place when n/a and my converters were glowing then. What do I make of that? It's not the O2s. Maybe they suddenly went bad during the swap from the stock motor to the rebuilt one? That's very doubtful. What else says its not the O2s?? The EPEC..which doesn't need any feedback from the O2s to control a/f ratio. A/F is controlled by the tuner at all engine speeds.
    The reason I am running cats is they cleaned up that horrible smell I speak of when running an offroad. And no more nose and eyes burning (regardless of O2s).

    BTW....No matter how good the a/f ratio is, no motor completely combusts all of its air/fuel mixture. Therefore there is always unburned (raw fuel) entering the exhaust. But too much will cause the converters to overheat (melt).

    For you guys that say try another converter, why do you think the stock one wasn't an adequate test enough to eliminate the actual converters as being my problem now???? Is it because you think they may be bad as well? Yes they are used and for how long, who knows but what are the chances?
    Again.... the hp loss between the offraod and Mac converters was not indicative of my converters being clogged. You wont make power with clogged converters. I would have lost more hp than the expected 15-20.

    Stang8YourImpor: I agree with what you are saying as far as running to lean or too rich. My glowing header issue is no longer. That has been taken care of. FYI, I am using FRPP racing shortys. One question I have is just how do you think the Tweecer will fix my problem if an EPEC can't??? You just got done saying that you don't think my problem is with the tune yet you seem to think a Tweecer (which is for tuning) will fix my problem. Explain.

    Everyone please keep in mind that I am not trying to flame anyones responses for trying to help me fix my problem. It may sound like I am coming off that way or kind of aggrevated but I don't mean to be. It's just been that this situation is trying my nerves greatly. I appreciate all responses and welcome more. THX
    #43
  4. fords2fast4u

    fords2fast4u Founding Member

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    i got a question... - where does the smog pump get it's air from>? - i sure didn't think it was exactely "cool" air - coming from the heads and inch away from the valve and all...

    something that hasn't been addresed = the car is not necisarily running rich with a $1200 stand alone system - but with the smell of unburnt fuel and gases burning in the exhaust ( i didn't think just hot air (short of flames) could "glow" converters ) there is fuel getting in there somehow and it is burning

    now what causes exhaust to glow - timing is one, cam swap is another - but surely that has been gone over once or twice

    what does assumed mean? - my theory in this is that you FIRST had this problem when the car was poorly tuned and had alot of extra fuel in the pipes - that's alos when you had the burning eyes/nose - but is that still an issue (still bad exhaust fumes?) - anyways - bare with me - you put it on and toasted them - thus cloging them - making them bad for the rest of the duration of the story - and as for the stocker - were they ever actaully glowing - or were they just hot - and remember wasn't that also when the car was tuned with no 02's and NO EPEC - meaning you would want to fatten the mixture to compensate the extra blower's air, but not be able to do that at the top of the RPM range without doing it at the bottom as well because you say it had no chip at the time - thus, the car was running rich at the time, at idle

    riddle me this - is the car still fumagating the shop - is it still having unburnt fuel come out - if so, i say lean it out and try the stocker again (so you're not spending money) and make sure they GLOW - not just "they too got extremly hot so they assumed they were glowing as well"

    but as everyone else in this thread - i expect to be flamed for one thing or another - so if you choose to CORRECT ME - go ahead - just don't so it with the attitude that you're a God and I'm a mid 90's eclipse driver
    #44
  5. Wknd_Warrior

    Wknd_Warrior TunaMan Founding Member

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    Okay... well I did actually read every post... but its not always easy to remember every little detail...

    Anyway, here's what I think I would do in your situation. I would start with the mechanical aspect. Check the compression and do a leakdown... etc. Make sure that mechanically the valves are seated, and things are in order. This means starting over and checking everything now... not assuming its good because you tested it before and it checked out.

    Then I would move onto electrical (injectors, MAF...). I would put in a different computer, and eliminate/swap parts that can change the tune. Going back to a basic EEC setup would be where I started... because the simpler the setup, the easier it is to troubleshoot it. I would try to take it back to a stock type setup with O2s in there...but that's me.

    I do realize that this will seem late in the game... but you have to start somewhere. Don't assume anything is good without checking/testing it. And because one part works... don't assume the next one does... test everything you can.

    And don't assume because LaRocca's is a "good" tuner... that they can't make mistakes or miss something. I personally like LaRocca's... but it doesn't mean they're perfect, and you shouldn't check the basics over again. Got to start somewhere, because I think its going to be something simple, small, and was just missed in the chaos of it all.

    BTW... I would be willing to give you a hand or swap some parts with mine if you like, or if you think it would help. Let me know, I'm in central western Jersey.
    #45
  6. Stang8YourImpor

    Stang8YourImpor Banned

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    Yo, Slvr302... I was just saying let's get this shiot fixed. I don't think you have a problem other then bad cats... They're probably clogged or melted and you just need a new H-pipe. If it's tuned good, the EGT is good, and the wideband is reading ok it's obviously just the cats in the H-pipe. The tuning before all this work probably caused it and that's all you need... .Hopefully. lol


    Nick
    #46
  7. slvr302

    slvr302 Founding Member

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    fords2fast4u: My exhaust still to this day fumigates the shop. It is horrible with offroad (burning eyes and nose). THE EPEC IS STILL IN THE CAR AS WE SPEAK. I am assuming that this tune (air/fuel) is correct.
    The stock converters were thrown on after the good tune with the EPEC.
    My converters get so hot that they actually will make my entire console by the shifter get too hot to touch. My feet actually feel like there they are over hot coals. Now being that the stock converters put off very close to that same amount of heat in the console as did my MAC ones, they assumed this was an indication that they were glowing too without having one of the guys drive my car home and wait until it gets dark to verify. Like I said....ALOT OF HEAT. SO much it even warped part of the console.

    As far as flaming you and others, I have cleared that up in my last post. Did you see that?

    Wknd_Warrior: I am pretty sure that if I ask Larocca's to start from the beginning again to check every aspect mechanically and electrically to ensure all things are good, they are going to be a little put off by that and I am sure I would paying to have all the tests done once again. Alot of things I haven't been charged for like compression test and leakdown which was done within the last month. They have eaten alot of cost to this day through all the troubleshooting they have done. I have incurred some unecessary cost as well (ie. camshaft). I eventually wanted to change my cam in the future but that is besides the point.
    I appreciate the gester of helping me out and I will let you know.

    I know everyone can make mistakes...even the tops guys. But I figured Larocca has tuned my car on so many occassions throughout this, that the tune shouldn't be the problem. If they tell me the tune is good, that's one aspect that I have to take their word on.

    Stang8YourImpor: If cats was all I need I would be very happy. Alot of people think the MAC converters may be the issue because they are already damaged but what about the swap to the stock converters to be a test (which was done)???

    Its going to cost around $350 to drop new converters on. I know its cheaper than heads but I am figuring the stock converters were an adequate test to eliminate them.....as did Larocca's.

    Also clogged converters cause a big power loss which I don't have.
    #47
  8. Pop-Pops-Pony

    Pop-Pops-Pony Founding Member

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    slvr302...Geesh I'm no expert but??

    Can they do an A/F reading b-4 the cats...Like off the shorty headers...Both sides...Or maybe with the off road pipe since it's straight through...Most A/F readings are done at the back of the exhaust and maybe the hot cats are skewing the readings???????
    If the glowing headers were taken care of that only leaves the cats and the smell without cats...

    First post you said they thought there might be a problem between your wiring harness and the ECC...Might it still be there throwing a false reading to the EPEC too...You said they did data logging but does that show all the other sensors working and/or correct readings...And would that even effect the EPEC??? Don't know...

    Is the tune (A/F) with the EPEC consistant every time you start/run it??? Maybe I mean the dyno and wideband A/F readings...Maybe do a dyno "cold" go out and run it and get the cats hot and do another one????

    It "seems" the problem is b-4 the cats (in the motor) and or systems there...

    Just throwing out some ideas to think and ask them about....Sometimes the harder you hammer at something the harder it gets to think straight...Kind of agree with the starting over thing and checking everything, PITA, but if it's got air, fuel, and spark it's got to run it's just getting them right...
    #48
  9. Ranchero5.0

    Ranchero5.0 The Voice of Reason

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    Still seams like you've changed too much without figuring anything out :shrug:

    I'm still looking for info and data logging for the A/F. One curse of the EPEC or even the stock EEC is it may not be able to adapt to mods, especially during non WOT conditions, like the ones that are torching the cats. On the dyno cruising at 2500rpm I was running as low as 17-1 A/F in closed loop. What are the A/F perameters during cruise? You may end up with weeks of dyno time to 'tune' the EPEC to run correctly at all conditions. Plus for your HP level it's not cost effective.

    BTW, the EGR system injects burned air into the combustion chamber to decrease the oxygen to change the emmisions to the cats and too cool the chambers. If memory serves you get NOX when the chamber temps go too high The smog pump is used the inject fresh oxygen laden air into the exhaust steam to allow complete burning of the spent exhaust gases when the A/F is lean. The cats use exhaust heat to initiate the catylist process of burning 'bad' gasses out of the exhaust. The cats need oxygen laden air to 'fire'. Ford had to run precats on the 5.0 because it took too long for the main cats to fire off and the EPA didn't like the emmisions before the main cats took off.

    Jamie
    #49
  10. HISSIN50

    HISSIN50 "How long does it take to get help in here? SN Certified Technician

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    all this is way over my head, but since i spent half an hour reading it, i have to say something. to see if your cats are clogged, cant you drill a small hole just upstream of them and see how much is screaming out of the hole. thought that was a way to check them. thats all i got.
    now i remember why i do my own work. when i make mistakes (and believe me, there are myriad), it only costs me the price of the part, not some moron at 60 bucks an hour or whatever the going rate is. :)
    good luck.
    note to self: no forced induction for me.
    #50
  11. slvr302

    slvr302 Founding Member

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    Pop-Pops-Pony: I thought the same thing you did as far as checking air/fuel precats. Maybe the readings get skewed but what I found was this:

    Catalytic converters thermally reduce harmful emissions present in the exhaust stream, namely Carbon Monoxide, Hydrocarbons and Oxides of Nitrogen (Nox). The oxygen content through the converter is used by the AFR-806 to calculate the Air:Fuel Ratio. Older style AFR meters relied on the Co or Hc content to determine the Air:Fuel Ratio, and if used on modern vehicles after the catalytic converter, will display incorrect Air:Fuel Ratio readings. The AFR - 806 is accurate on vehicles with or without converters, and before or after converters, as some of the of the gases change through the converter, but the Air:Fuel Ratio does not

    It was on this website http://www.mainlineauto.com.au/support/afr.htm

    Also the last time they did air/fuel was with the offroad h-pipe on.
    I'm not sure on the entire data logging process and EPEC but I asked Larocca the same question with regards to the wiring harness and they said the EPEC comes with its own harness to use. My only problem with that is the new harness has got to plug into some existing factory harness (I guess)...maybe if there is a wiring issue it is from that point. I will have to verify that with them.

    I know at some point they had my car idle for like 30 minutes on the dyno so they could verify a/f didn't change as my converters heated up. Air/fuel held steady but the converters glowed.

    Ranchero5.0: I really don't care what Larocca has changed that didn't fix my problem as long as I am not paying for it. Really the only thing changed was the cam that I will incur the cost for. Sometimes when you come to a dead end troubleshooting, your only choice is to start swapping parts. I would never expect that to be the case with such a well known shop. I still think maybe they may have missed something but I am not sure.
    Sorry but I don't have any datalog info from them. In reading info found on the EPEC it says that idle as well as part throttle air/fuel can beset by the tuner.

    As far as EGR goes..it doesn't come into play at idle or W.O.T. so that can't be my problem. I had changed that anyway when n/a to have no affect on my situation.
    #51
  12. Pop-Pops-Pony

    Pop-Pops-Pony Founding Member

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    OK gotcha...

    My point was neither problem came up until the motor swap right??

    Did the "new " motor have the sensors on it or did you swap the old ones over?? All hooked up right??

    Remember it wouldn't run right with the stock puter..As I understand it with the correct mass air and inj. the stock computer "should" be able to compensate the A/F...I realize the timing and fuel pressure with the blower would be issues with the stock puter...Probably the 42lb. inj. and matching mass air would be too much for the stock puter to handle, the inj. wouldn't hardly have a chance to fire...Any stock mass air and inj. laying around to swap out, not use the blower to see if it'll run right...Should be OK to use stock with your setup to check the basic's and try and get any trouble codes(sensors)...Shoot forgot you'd need an 02 sensor in there too...

    Just curious is the motor running at normal temp?? Wondering if the temp sensor for the electronics might be bad and fooling the puter and EPEC into thinking it's running cold all the time and pushing more fuel into it...Maybe swap out some sensors too and see if that changes anything...

    Damn though I just reread your last...If to much fuel is what causes cats to glow and they ran the car at idle for "like 30 minutes" and the A/F was OK what the "helllll" is going on to make the cats glow?? Backed to clogged again???????? Or burned up????????

    Does NJ do a "sniffer test" for emissions?? Might be informative to know just what is blowing out the pipes too..

    This post sucks...Did you read the one where the guys girl was going to pose if anybody could get it to run...I can see this one being a near record post count too.... :bang:
    #52
  13. slvr302

    slvr302 Founding Member

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    Pop-Pops-Pony
    You got it right.....neither problem came up until the motor swap. All sensors were swapped over at that point. All hooked up. The only thing that was now missing was the smog pump.
    I have a 70 mm maf from a 93 cobra but dont have the matching 24# injectors.
    My car ran fine with the 42# injectors and 80mm maf with the stock computer. I believe Larocca had done something wrong or missed something when swapping camshafts. Then they thought I needed an EPEC so they through that in to see. To the best of my knowledge they were still having a little trouble tuning it and getting my horsepower numbers back up and may have done some kind of mechanical adjustment or something to fix it. I mean my car ran fine with stock EEC when they tuned my motor twice with the blower on prior to swapping two cams. Then afterwards something goes wrong with my factory wiring??? (I dont think so).
    My motor runs normally between 175- 185. But when the coverters start glowing and getting hot, so do the underhood temps. and then my coolant temps starts to get to like 195 and even 200.
    NJ does do a sniffer test. This post does suck and I have seen the post you speak of although I never read it fully.

    At this point I am so confused with all of the information that Larocca, this post, my own research, and other shops have given me, I don't know what I am going to do at all!!!!!! Really!!!
    Alot of info is contradictary and so forth. If this was going to happen to anybody its no suprise that it happened to me.
    This is just my luck. One of the top shops in the country for dealing with stangs, all up in every mag, can't figure out the exact problem with a common set up like mine that they have seen many times over.
    #53
  14. Ranchero5.0

    Ranchero5.0 The Voice of Reason

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    Slvr, sorry to come off wrong about the parts swapping, just bummed that it's kicking our and their collective tails even after changing any suspect part. I don't like these problems, but enjoy working them out. Dad (pop-pop's pony) got things back on track by figuring out the base problems and getting away from the guesswork and flames.

    May be time to drop back and punt. Form what I've read the base problem is without cats it 'smells' pig rich even with a decent A/F. With the cats it's getting hot (195-200) and the cats heat way up and start glowing. Correct?

    A few questions;

    Does the problem seem worse at idle?

    Did it get hot without the cats on?

    I'm almost leaning towards the heads being too big for the combo and it's generally running poorly at idle and low rpms. My AFR 185's are dang near too big for my '93. It acts up below 2000rpm even with a basic 2030 cam 216/220 .533"/.544". In your case it doesn't explain it being 'down' on power or why they can't tune it out at idle, but it may be a base motor issue and they can't work around it and get the idle quality back up. Mine stinks too without the cats if I leave it run in the garage, but it get's 20+ mpg and made 390hp with 6psi of boost and passed MD emmisions with cats. Honestly the car smells no worse than my 38,000 mile '68 fairlane with a bone stock 289.

    I guess as long as they are willing to swap parts to troubleshoot it, see if they are willing to swap on another set of decent heads that you'll have the option to buy if it works out. Either way it'll expose any shoddy work on the shortblock even though the leakdown is good. Laroccas are scratching their collective heads and so am I.



    Jamie
    #54
  15. slvr302

    slvr302 Founding Member

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    Without the cats it smells seriously bad but no heat whatsoever. With the cats my coolant temp is fine for a long while even when the converters first begin to glow. Eventually they get extremely hot causing the coolant temp to rise close to 195-200. The heat does not feel any worse at idle than it does when driving around.

    My question is this: Is it possible to get a good air/fuel ratio yet at the same time still have an excessive amount of unburned fuel enter the exhaust causing my converters to overheat????

    I am confused by this being that I thought any unburned fuel whether it be from a mechanical problem (ie. leaking exhaust valve), electrical problem (ie. misfire or bad plugs/wires), or just running too much fuel pressure, all would result in a rich air/fuel reading regardless of its origin.

    I don't think at all that the heads are too big for my combo at all. The guy I bought the motor from says he never had this issue when he had his Windsor SR. heads which are now my Roush 200, on his 306. He was running all of his smog equipment and using the same exact maf and injectors I was using when n/a. He never had his heads milled and the same guy that put his motor together is the same guy that did mine. He assembled and did port work in the chambers/bowls on both of our heads.
    One thing though...when he first got his motor dropped in, the cam had been installed incorrectly (23* off) and was making horrible power. The guy who assembled the motor assured him until he was blue in the face that all of his work was good so no need to tear into the motor to check. Well needless to say after about 6 months of troubleshooting everything it could possibly be externally, he took the motor down in front of the machinist to find the cam as being the problem!! The only thing the guy could say was I am sorry.. Maybe he screwed up somewhere with my head assembly or work??? Maybe there is something screwy with my combustion chamber??
    Larocca said they would cut me a little break in labor if I want them to find a set of heads in the shop and throw them on to see if my problem goes away. Either way, I have to pay something if a head swap is done. It's not like I can have Larocca put on a set of heads and have them incur the entire cost if it doesnt fix it...I've already sort of hinted towards that and I dont think they want to go for it....So that makes me think they are just guessing too much
    #55
  16. bmo37

    bmo37 Founding Member

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    question is it the cats themselves or the exhaust tubing thats show signs of being hot? also how old are your cats maybe the heat shields fell off and thats y its so hot and u see it. When i replaced my cats with an offroad h-pipe way back when i noticed the heatshields on the cats have fallin off.
    #56
  17. slvr302

    slvr302 Founding Member

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    The cast themselves are glowing. I dont see any other part of the h-pipe glowing. The heat shields are on. You can see them glowing through the entire center. The cats are consdidered new with approxiamately 4000 miles on them
    #57
  18. Pop-Pops-Pony

    Pop-Pops-Pony Founding Member

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    All right I think you hit the nail on the head...Without cats it's fine with them it heats up...Sounds like the cats are clogged or restricted and the exhaust is backing out to the moter and causing the temps to rise there (heat soak)...

    I know the Mac cats are new and I think you've tried other cats but I think thats your problem...I don't care that your not showing a major HP loss with the cats indicating clogged or burned...Means nothing...Could be the cats are fried and it's a reaction in the cats causing the heat...

    I haven't used Mac products but I've seen some and I'm not real impressed with the quality...Header flanges not lining up and the CAI setup is crap...

    See if Larocca has another set of good cats around, try for the stock 4 cat system with the O2 bungs and stock puter...It ran OK b-4 with that setup right?? The heat problems started with the Mac H-pipe install right??

    If they were getting good A/F ratio, timing and fuel pressure with the stock puter you shouldn't need the EPEC or heads and could afford a new Stock cat H-pipe maybe...If nothing else run the stock H-pipe for emmissions and put the off-road on and live with the smell...Shouldn't have your nose down there anyway... :D

    Get back to when the problem started and what was changed when the problem started...Throw everything out thats been done, in your head, and think it through again...

    Hey don't let it get you down...Larocca's lost too on this one and want to throw money at it replacing stuff...Talk it over with them again from the begining with an open mind and see what they think too...I think I'd go with a good tune with the stock puter and off road pipe then try the stock h-pipe setup (used, just in case!!) and see what happens...
    #58
  19. slvr302

    slvr302 Founding Member

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    Larocca only had one set stock of 94-95 converters which they through on the car and they say it didn't help. I do have the stock h-pipe at home.
    I am going to have them put the stock EEC back in because I too don't think I need the EPEC. I don't think Larocca thinks I need the EPEC either but they have just left it in for now.
    My problem had started n/a when I put the converters on. I understand the heat backs up when the converters overheat causing "heat soak".

    My car has always run fine at all times with the stock computer. I glow converters if they are on or have crazy emissions with an offroad.

    The smell from the exhaust is so bad that even if you are standing like 15 feet away you can smell it. If I let my car idle in the driveway with the offroad, the fumes cover a very big perimeter. Even after normal driving with the windows down...when I get to my destination...my clothes smell like **it. And no I don't have any exhaust leaks.
    #59
  20. slvr302

    slvr302 Founding Member

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    Does anyone know the answer to the question I asked above with regardsto: Is it possible to get a good air/fuel reading while at the same time having excessive amounts of unburned fuel enter the exhaust???
    #60

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