ENGINE WORK April, 2008
Apr 6 - Installed nose gear fork & estimated breakout force. I need to buy a fish scale so I can accurately set the breakout force and finish up this part of the job. 0.5 hr
Apr 8 - bought fish scale at TurdMart, set nose gear fork breakout force (turned out to need much more than I had estimated with my calibrated elbow) 0.5 hr
Apr 9 - made final adjustment of nose gear fork breakout force, cut off nose gear leg excess (very easy with cutoff wheel), drill 2 sets of holes for cotter pin (very easy-didn't even need a cobalt drill bit), install cotter pin, and grease the nose gear fork fitting. 1.5 hr
Apr 10 - reinstall front wheel & torque axle. Hooked up laptop to ECU and ran engine. Couldn't get either ECUTek Delta Dash or RomRaider (Enginuity) to work. Reset tach p/r to 2. While it seems to idle higher than it sounds, all indications, including EIS & OBD reader, are that it is correct (about 12-1300 rpm). 2.0 hr
Apr 13 - looking at the engine and debating pulling the supercharger pulley, to put on a bigger one. It's all very depressing & discouraging. It looks like it will require a LOT of work and a lot of redoing what's already complete. Cleaned up shop some. I eventually decided that even the most mundane progress is still progress, so I made and attached switch and indicator labels onto the instrument panel. 1.5 hr
Apr 14 - talked to ECUTek support - they said I need a software upgrade for my Delta Dash & a different cable for Romraider.
Apr 17 - Downloaded the Delta Dash software upgrade and ordered the cable from Tactrix. Ran engine & tested Delta Dash upgrade ok. 0.25 hr
Apr 20 - received cable from Tactrix for RomRaider/Enginuity software. Still can't get Enginuity going - now the cable needs a driver. Ran engine with Delta Dash, though, and saw that my intake VVT advance angle is 13.5 for the RT side and 10 for the LT side. So, I figured I must have gotten the timing belt on one tooth off on one side. It looks like I have the same problem Randy reported. 0.25 hr
Ziggy, Siegfried Kamper from Germany, for a long time the only flying STi customer, crashed his plane over the weekend. He said his engine didn't shut off, it just went into some sort of ECU-commanded "no power" situation. It just shut down to idle power at any throttle setting shortly after he'd taken off & reduced power to cruise. It had happened to him once before. In hindsight, we realized an ECU reset might have restored the ECU. Good to know, but the whole thing is also very unsettling. Ziggy is fine, and his plane isn't too bad, but the landing gear and prop are sheared. The airframe didn't look too bad in the pic he sent us.
Another STi victim has decided to pull his Eggenfellner supercharger and replace it with a turbocharger and SDS ECU.
Another STi victim is considering the "Jim Skala solution" - just swap out this poorly-designed and executed mess for a Lycoming.
Apr 21 - downloaded Tactrix cable driver. Tactrix is very quick to ship and to respond to queries. Huge flurry of emails on several things, including Ziggy's crash, ECUs, the STi situation, my cam timing, etc. Consensus is that, with only 3.5 degrees of difference between LT and RT, it can't be off a whole tooth on the sprocket, which makes sense. Robert Paisley later told me the cam timing can only be checked under full power, full rpm with a warm engine. That is the condition that the sprocket timing was designed to. Otherwise, the lack of belt stretch will give you the wrong timing reading. So, I feel better about that. After the news about Ziggy's crash, having to tear into the timing belt again, this time with everything installed, was making me seriously consider tossing this engine. Ran engine awhile with RomRaider software. 0.25 hr
Several of us STi owners are now considering switching the ECU out to the SDS made by Ross Farnham. Ross seems to be the guru in this area, and I believe he's the one making Eggenfellner's ECUs now. It'll take a bunch of time and money, but it'll be worth it to be away from Eggenfellner's kluge. OTOH, we seem to keep pouring more and more money into this thing to try to make it work. We thought the PSRU issue was the last hurdle, but every time we clear one big engineering problem with this engine, another one crops up. We continue to look into solutions to make this engine more reliable and airworthy. The poorly chosen and implemented supercharger continues to be a major issue, as does the problem with supercharger overspeeding. Some of us plan to swap out the supercharger sprocket, some are choosing to stick with it.
Apr 27 - Lots of emails among the STi owners about whether to try the SDS ECU and what to do to resolve our issues with making this STi airworthy. SDS will require a manual throttle body, instead of the Drive By Wire electronic throttle, so we're now looking into what it'll take to find a manual TB.
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