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

Discussion in 'Fox 5.0 Mustang Tech' started by slvr302, Aug 14, 2003.

  1. Well maybe we've given you some ideas to think about and talk over with them...Esp. your idea about whether any unburned fuel would show up when they check the A/F ratio...

    Don't like the idea that the stock one's heat up too...Seems to go in circles doesn't it??

    Although to work cats have to get hot, I guess it's just a matter of how hot is to hot...

    Maybe try to get the 'sniffer readings" off the off road pipe and see what the motor is putting out that way...

    Anyway I'd rest on it until you can talk to them again...Post back to keep us updated...

    Good luck...
  2. Converters do have to get hot to effectively do their job. They reburn (oxidize) any unburned fuel (hydrocarbons) that enters them and the secondary air injection (smog pump) aids in this process. They are designed to only burn small amounts (a few hundred parts per million). Yet if too much unburned fuel enters them it overloads the converters causing them to run excessively hot and begin to melt.
    My converters may need to be repalced regardless due to the fact that they have taken a beating on numerous accounts during their short time on my car.
    As far as exhaust gas analysis.....I could do this but the levels of hydrocarbons I would expect to be very high due to the fact that the cam is not emissions legal.
    How will the nunber help me? I mean its not like I have anything to compare the number to other than what they are supposed to be on a stock mustang with all smog stuff in tact.
  3. Well, with an off road reading you could call Catco's tech support people and see if their cats can clean it up.

    Also as asked before, I wonder what the idle A/F is on your combo and what it runs on a stocker. Your problem may even be MAF / fuel pressure related if the puter can't get the A/F leaned out ( 16 or 17-1 ) at idle. Not real sure, just throwing out some ideas. What else did you change between swapping the motor and noticing the rich running / glowing cats.

  4. Just a quick reply...

    You need some numbers to go by to know what's happening with the motor...I'd say without the cats you'd get a "true" A/F and level of emissions from the motor and have something to go on......At this point facts are better than guess'es...If the numbers are extremely high without the cats you can look at the motor combo and work on that...If not the cats should be able to clean it up...

    Another thing...If the motor is putting out unburned fuel wouldn't it would be vaporized and should show up in the sniffer(Hydrocarbons?), I'd think it would effect the A/F reading too, I mean it's not like it'd be a liquid running out the pipe...I "think" anyway, not sure, you'd have to ask somebody that knows...

    I wouldn't put to much into the emissions legal stuff either...Lot of times that just means the manufacture had it tested or not...The real issue is whether or not the motor is burning clean and passes, as far as emissions...

    Try and get your combo setup the way you want to run it...Stock puter or EPEC or whatever when you get the test...That will give you a base to start at then do whatever needs to be done from there...
  5. Ranchero5.0: When the motor was swapped from stock I introduced the 75 mm maf, 24# injectors, and bypassed the smog pump. That's all. I thought it was just a function of my camshaft that was giving me such bad emissions due to the specs which were .555/.565 224/232 112 LSA.
    I put converters on to kill the smell and it did but brought along my problem now.

    I think I may start a post to see if anyone is running a cam close to those specs and whether or not the cats are on. If the cats aren't there, how is the smell.
    I dont necessarilly care if I can past emissions test...I only care about keeping the smell I've been complaining about down to a reasonable level which at this point, is not.
  6. From

    This is a description of the EPEC. This is why I am hoping that Larocca knows how to tune a mustang thus eliminating my problem as being in the tune-

    Manual transmission only.

    The Ford Extreme Performance Engine Control (EPEC) system is a Mass-Air control system that interfaces with your on board EEC-IV and many of the now available SVO air meters, injectors, nitrous, etc.

    The Extreme Performance Engine Control System offers features that are found only in professional systems that cost in an excess of $30,000. The user friendly interface uses terms such as Air/Fuel Ratio during calibration, unlike other systems that expect the operator to calibrate in 'milliseconds of fuel pulse width'.

    The Extreme Performance Engine Control System can be installed and operated in as little as ten minutes, so that the user can concentrate on calibration and not installation. The system is delivered with a default calibration that can be recalled and reverted back to your original calibration at any time in case the user gets into trouble.

    Along with you lap-top or desk-top personal computer the EPEC system will be a formidable force to be reckonedwith for years to come.

    The initial release of the Extreme Performance Engine Control System is intended for the 1988-93 and 1994-95 Mustang and Cobra. This system will also work with vehicles with like equipment and ECC-IBV pinout. Call the Tech Hot Line for more information.

    The Extreme Performance Engine Control System offers features that are not found on any other EFI system at twice the cost. This system offers the most comprehensive list of user calibratable features that are not foundon any other competition system available today. These features include:

    Fuel Control: Idle fuel control, part throttle fuel control, W.O.T. fuel control, transitional fuel enrichment, air temperature correction, engine temperature correction, injector offset correction and absolute throttle position control.

    Spark Control: Idle spark control, part throttle spark control, W.O.T. spark control, air temperature spark correction, engine temperature spark correction, barometric pressure spark correction, absolute throttle position spark correction, mass air-flow spark correction, boost retard, stage 1 nitrous control spark retard and stage 2 nitrous control spark retard.

    EPEC Harness Kits: Hook up your EPEC to a second vehicle.

    -M-12581-Z88 (1998-93 Mustang.)

    -M-12581-Z94 (1994-95 Mustang.)

    Nitrous Controls: Minimum-on throttle angle, maximum-off throttle angle, maximum engine speed, 'ON' delay after maximum engine speed, (STAGE 1, delay minimum engine speed and spark retard), (STAGE 2, delay minimum engine speed & spark retard).

    Engine Speed Limiters: Overall fuel engine speed limiter, overall spark engine speed limiter, stage or launch limiter with dynamic RPM limiter & Cut-in RPM control.

    User Programmable Outputs: These outputs are designed to drive external relays or high impedance solenoids based on the user defined requirements.

    Analog Inputs: Allows the user to use external devices such as thermal couples, fuel pressure transducers, accelerometer etc. for logging data.

    Engine Configuration Parameters: Engine displacement, injector size, air meter transfer function, air temperature transfer function, engine temperature transfer function, barometric sensor transfer function, throttle position transfer function, manifold pressure sensor transfer function, throttle position idle to part break point, throttle position idle to W.O.T. break point, throttle position mode hysteresis & ignition module type.

    Data Acquisition: Up to 16 channels simultaneously.

    High Speed Data Logging.

    Factory Tech Support.

    Minimum Computer Requirement: IBM compatible 80486-66 or better. Windows 3.1, 3.11 or Windows 95.

    A 3.5 floppy disk drive. At least 8 megs of RAM. 16 megs is recommended. 25 megs of free hard drive space. Additional software copies M-12500-V196.

    Requires lap-top or desk-top Computer (not supplied).

    Not legal for sale or use on pollution-controlled motor vehicles.

    Extreme performance engine control EPEC
  7. Great site, I bookmarked it too...!
    for cats but I couldn't find a tech number to call...NJ too...If you haven't been there read the tech tips, just some more info...

    From your post to Jamie it seems more and more like the cats are shot...Either bad to begin with or the tune after the swap messed them up maybe...MAF, inj., and cam have all been changed since with no improvement...

    Either way I don't think the cats themselves will get better no matter what...

    Anyway, with some hard numbers and info you'll feel more confident with your next move...

    We'll see.....
  8. I 've gone over and over this through my head and with other knowledgeable stang buddies and they too are stumped if all the info I have provided is accurate. I may just go with the heads. I don't know. My mind changes back and forth. I just want this to be over with.
    I may even hook all the smog stuff back up as well and get new converters and see about running with my O2s. I'll know more hopefully after speaking with Larocca.
  9. How about an odd and not unusual possibility that the dang MAF and injectors are unhappy with each other. I didn't notice if you had swapped it back to stock for troubleshooting or not. I know it won't support your total power, but it will work for troubleshooting. Once again I don't understand why it couldn't be tuned around with the Epec, but it's one thing that was changed as the problem happened and should be swapped back for elimination as a source of the problem.

  10. How can you run without 02 sensors? Won't you run excessivly rich without them (which is the problem you are having)?
  11. 1hot5.0 - did you read the whole thread?

    he stated several times that the epec is a stand alone system designed to not need the input from those sensors
  12. getting stumped too


    ArtMan here - I answered your other post on the cam specs.

    Ironically I had my car tuned by Jimmy also; bought my EPEC there. I have faith in him. Not withstanding that faith I'd like to look into the a/f ratio before and after the cats again. What could be done is that wide-band O2s could be threaded into the stock holes. I personally would like verification that the a/f readings are properly accounted for before and after your cats. I read your notes above about the dyno accounting for this, but nevertheless I'd like to verify it.

    Secondly, recall that the EPEC has datalog capabilities. No doubt Jimmy has used them to review MAF voltages and injector duty cycles, etc. I think you can reject a sensor as being a source of this problem.

    Lastly I would like to hear that your cats work fine on another car. I know this sounds like overkill, but it would certainly prove that two things are(aren't) going on at once here.

    Keep the thread going.
  13. 1hot5.0: Just like fords2fast4u has mentioned, With the EPEC I don't need any feedback from the O2s.

    I spoke with Jimmy larocca yessterday with regards to all of this. He says the folowing:

    The O2s have been eliminated because they foul fairly quickly when running a blower due to the fact that you run fairly rich when under boost. In time, this makes the O2s become less accurate in readings back to the EEC. The O2s are to keep you close to 14.7:1 when at idle or cruise. He says at idle with no O2s I will run a little richer than if I had the O2s connected (especially on a humid day). The EEC is still recieving feedback from all other sensors (ECT, ACT, MAF) so I am not like in a real "Open loop" scenario. The EEC does have stored data tables that it will refer back to.
    Jimmy also says even when cruising and using a blower, you still want the a/f a little richer than if the motor was n/a.
    Needless to say, I will run a little richer than stoich. at idle with no O2s but nothing that significant. The EEC still relies on info from the maf and other sensors.

    ArtMan: My air/fuel was done last time with an offroad h-pipe so it is correct as per Larocca. The EPEC has datalog capabilities which was done to verify injector pulse width, maf signal, ect.
    If a/f were done with the converters on they can either verify it pre-cat or run it a little richer if verifying at tailpipe.
    Larocca says they have verified air/fuel to be good. They say its not an electrical or tuning problem to the best of his knowledge. He seems to think it is something in the motro whether it be heads or something with my pistons/rings/ring lands ect.

    Here is what is happening now: I borught them my stock h-pipe that I know is working fine. They are going to hook up the smog pump and all to see if my problem still exists with the glowing coverters. If so, they say they have to look into the motor (tear it down). If they say something with my motor I don't know what I am going to do.
  14. So far

    Well from your info so far I understand the following:

    1) Jimmy measured a/f ratios at your tail pipes (downstream from the cats) using the EPEC and the ratio is as it should be. His dyno accounts for having cats on the car - somehow.

    2) The car smells pig rich with the off road H-pipe and good a/f ratios.

    3) Engine does not run hot with off road H-pipe.

    With good a/f ratios what's going on internally that would cause this? I still suspect the measure of a/f ratios. What is Jimmy saying: something internal is leaking oil? If the internals were running hot the ECT would reflect that, right.

    Well please let us know what's happening next - we're all going to learn something on this one.
  15. I read the whole thread but i don't think anyone has suggested this:

    Put the off-road H-pipe back on the car and have it emissions tested as-is. This should give you a good idea how the engine is running and what could be causing The Smell. Once you figure that out and can get the emissions where they should be (taking into account the lack of catalytic converters), then you can worry about putting on cats to clean up the emissions.

    I think that the converter glowing issue is masking the real problem which is the smell (something obviously wrong with the combustion). Your exhaust has got to smell for a reason. Throwing a new H-pipe on there or putting in new cats just adds another variable to the equation. I say, get the emissions without cats figured out, then worry about the cats when you're sure the smell is gone and that the gases coming out the tailpipe are within reason for a non-catted vehicle.

    My $0.02.
  16. Maybe, just maybe!

    I know this sounds like I'm being sarcastic but hear goes. I saw the same problem on a late 80's suburu car. My buddy did a tune up on his sisters car and crossed one of the plug wires. The suburu has a wierd firing order and even with the wires crossed it sounded fine and ran ok.
    It was dark out when we returned to check on other stuff under the hood and saw the converters glowing . We thought the car had some trash stuck under it but closer inspection revealed a hot cat. It may sound funny but you said this happened after or during the engine swap, which you did not do. I've seen good mechanics install wires with out a book, but by memory. They just know the order for Ford ,Chevy,Suburu, whatever. But sometimes you slip up in the heat of the moment or because of deadlines or race staging. Give it a try. I didnt read any replies suggesting this. It cant hurt.
  17. Am I reading this right, their saying you can run the stock puter and no O2 sensors?? Are they burning an add on chip for the EEC?? I can understand the the EPEC not needing them since it basicly replaces the stock puter and the settings are adjusted along with an A/f anylisis for a base reading...I always thought the stock puter needed them for the total picture esp. to see what the engine was putting out and adjust the mix along with the other sensors...I don't know...

    Agree about wanting to run a little richer with a blower...Definatly don't want a lean cond. or to much timing...

    Still don't know what tearing down the engine will show...If you have good even compression and clean plugs the only other thing might be cam timing but they put the cam in and even degree'd it didn't they...And if the HP is up there the cam is probably right or real close...Wouldn't an emissions reading w/o cats verify the combustion process or tell if it was off as per your website... without tearing down the engine??

    I can't knock Larocca's, they seem to be banging their heads along with the rest of us...But... I'm sure they'd love to build your engine too and sell heads and other parts...Still I think their stumped and don't know what to do either so they want to put together an engine they know and have experience with...

    My advice still stands, setup the way you want to and get a reading to find out whats going on b-4 you throw more parts at it...
  18. ArtMan: The last time Larocca measured air/fuel was with an offroad h-pipe. Then they through my converters back on. So the air/fuel reading did not have to account for converters.

    I don't know what "rich" smells like. All I know is it is honestly horrible. Engine does not run hot with offroad h-pipe. Everything is cool.

    I think Jimmy is trying to say that there could be a broken ring land on something causing some oil to get into the combustion chamber and on its way to my coverters. He says a compression test or leakdown test doesn't always show this. (I don't see any blue smoke though).

    Cue-Ball: I think doing an exhaust gas analysis was mentioned already. My question to you is: Being that I have a non-emissions legal cam, how am I supposed to tell where the emissions should be? Its not like I can compare it to a stock set up. My only numbers to go by were in the website "Pops" mentions below. What if my cam is so that it will never fall in that acceptable range?? Or should it regardless of how big it is if it is burning correctly???

    Stealth coupe: I've mentioned that to Larocca already and they say there is no way I would make power if that was the case. In addition I would be backfiring or bogging. (I agree)

    Pop-Pops-Pony: They are saying I will be fine with no O2s and no chip to piggyback the stock EEC. They say there are many cars they've done out there like that. Larocca says that the O2s are to keep u very close to 14.7:1 at idle and cruise by constantly signaling the EEC to either shorten or lenghthen the injector pulse width. Without the O2s I run a little richer at idle and cruise but not to far off from stoich. air/fuel. And not rich enough to create this problem of mine.

    I will ask them about an exhaust gas analysis tomorrow. They weren't able to put the stoch hpipe and smog setup on today.

    I was considering doing the heads a week ago when they suggested them but not too sure. Now they are saying my problem may not be limited to just a set of heads but maybe something further in the motor...I don't think I am going for that. I just think that is way too far to go without a definite diagnosis of the problem. This is crazy...they are saying anything and everything but the kitchen sink.
  19. I would say that it has to be something small and something on the electronic end of things for it to be this hard to find. Are the O2's new (even if they are running in an open loop), , is the O2 wiring right, is the MAF and 42lbers new or used? Can you be sure of the MAF's calibration (sheet from Pro-M)? (or can EPEC tune around that).
    I would say that I have heard all good things about Larocca's although I have never been there. and it is tough to get them to pay for the swaps of heads etc. when you are bringing them the stuff and it is used. Sounds like they are trying to do the right thing by going on with "trying to help out on the head swap". However I would think that a visual inspection and leakdown would show any issues. If there is ring issues wouldn't the spark plugs show damage/issues in a certain cyl?
    I would seriously go back through the items involved in the swap and steer clear of buying anything for the time being. It is a long thread but if I remember correct that is where the issue came from originally. Go through and see what was touched during that operation. Did the motor when coming out damage (on accident) the wiring harness that is left after the EPEC harness. Have a muffler shop cut one cat out and ispect it. If it seems fine (not burned up/clogged) then put it back.
    Check all the wiring for damage and cuts etc. Check everything again like weekend said. I know it will suck but it is what it is.
    My only other advise is don't give up and let the issue drive you into an arguement with a top shop. The more you be-friend them the easier it is for them to try and help resolve your problem.
    In other words it is far easier to get people to do what you want them to with a friendly attitude. Which it seems that you have.
    I had an issue this spring that was driving me crazy and I thought it was my 38lb injectors and 80mm Pro- M MAF (stock EEC with no chip) and I thought it was all sorts of things and all it was was the stupid TPS sensor was a hair out of place. Keep trying....