ENGINE WORK  May, 2007

If it's strictly engine wiring, it's on this page.  By now, after 2 years of work, I am pretty much finished with wiring this !&^%$# engine.  If it's more general supporting wiring, it's on the avionics/electric page, so be sure to check there for details. 

May 1 - got a typical minimalist, cryptic & distracted half-answer from Eggenfellner regarding my queries to the STi list.  He did give this useful info: On the STI, use a wide band O2 sensor to set fuel pressure. The adjustment should only be made for full power + boost and should show a 12.5-13 / 1 ratio. Any other flying / power setting will then automatically be leaner.  However, he didn't answer my core questions about "what is idle speed supposed to be on STi?"  and "is fuel pressure supposed to remain constant when a second pump is switched on?", so I re-asked those questions again and got some good answers from other STi customers, the main support for this engine.  

May 2 - Still trying to find out standard idle speed for an STI engine.  Eggenfellner can't seem to provide it.  I called the local Subaru dealer, Subaru of Claremont.  Those people are such dicks!  I would NEVER buy a car from them.  After putting me on hold about 10 minutes, their Service Manager told me he and the mechanics didn't know the idle speed, wouldn't look it up, and claimed they couldn't release such information over the phone anyway.  Heckerpeds.

I also got an email from Robert Paisley, telling me I had my fuel pressure set wrong, but I think he just didn't read my query very carefully.  I posted a response to clear it up and to make sure my pressure is set right (I never got any response to that).  He didn't address my still-outstanding question about the idle speed, either.  I'm hoping another STi customer with a running engine can provide it.  Both Robert and Ziggy, the only flying STi customer, confirmed that running both fuel pumps at once is not a normal condition.  It should be one pump or the other, or the excess pressure can cause a variety of problems, including ECM learning and probably the hard starting I experienced.

I got another extremely terse cryptic half-answer from Jan on my re-asked questions.  He now finally claims the idle speed is 1200.  I don't believe it.  It may be that high at cold startup, but I don't think the idle is really that high.  It sounds to me like a "normal" engine idle, which is typically in the 800 rpm range.  That fits perfectly with my currect EIS tach p/r (pulses per revolution) setting of 3, but 3 makes no sense.  It makes sense that it should be 2, and "2" gives me the same 1200 rpm warm idle speed that Jan claims.  But I just don't think it's turning at 1200 rpm.  Of course, Jan didn't elaborate on any of it, with his annoying little one-word answers, so who knows?   I asked around on the Internet (Yahoo Answers) for someone who owns an STi car, and asked that they tell me what the car tach says when they start it.  I was told the idle speed is 1200 at startup and 800 warm, which sounds about right to me, and fits in with my opinions and my experience with my EIS tach p/r setting of 3.

Jan Eggenfellner also claims that the fuel pressure shouldn't increase by more than 1 or 2 psi when switching on a second pump.  That's what I had thought he was previously claiming.  Yet, both Ziggy and Robert (the only two people to ever get one of these engines flying) have already said it will increase by more than that, and to not use both pumps at once.  Again, no elaboration, details, or useful info with Jan's reply.  He ignored the fact that I'd said I was getting a much greater increase than that when switching on a second pump.  I am getting VERY tired of Jan Eggenfellner and this half-baked, customer-developed FWF I have been working on for TWO YEARS so far to try to get it working.

May 23 - talk on STi list about PSRU.  I'd heard the Gen II PSRUs we got were quite marginal under STi power, and people were eating bearings.  Ziggy, the only one now flying an STi, said he's been through 2 PSRUs and definitely does not recommend using the Gen II PSRU with the STi engine.  He said he was getting about 20 hours out of a PSRU before it died.  Last I heard, Jan wanted $2500 for a Gen III PSRU, plus there's all the trouble of swapping it out (and then hoping it works better then the Gen II, as we customers continue to R&D this engine).  When I get good and calm about it, I will query Eggenfellner about it.  There's also the talk about the radiator design being inadequate.  At least one STi customer is redoing his cowl and radiators for a new design.  I also got a reply from Ziggy about his tach - he says he shows 900 rpm, so there's yet another number.  I've asked him what his EIS "tach p/r" setting is.  I also got an email from someone else with an STi car engine, and he says his shows 700 rpm on a dyno, so that's probably quite accurate.

May 29 - there was quite a string of private and STi list emails over the long weekend.  The summary is that we STi customers are getting VERY pissed about Jan Eggenfellner and his engine.  First, in response to further discussion about the PSRU problems, Jan flipped 180 degrees yet again and said this: the STI was originally sold as a 200 hp engine.   With continued high boost (220HP+) and intercooler, the Gen 2 drive is marginal in every respect. From the input gear to the exit flange.  This is sheer crap.  The way we all got the engine is how Jan sold it.  There wasn't any "horsepower added later" crap Jan is trying now to feed us.  Up until now, Jan & Gary have been claiming that the Gen II PSRU was fine and might "rarely" have a problem with PSRU bearings, and if so, nothing more than a bearing swap would be needed.   Now, Jan suddenly says it's "marginal in every respect" and is refusing to swap them out for Gen III at no cost to us.   The previous cost mentioned was $2500, but now Jan is saying it's $3000 and that's the only PSRU he's now recommending for the STi. 

Here is how one person summed  up the Eggenfellner STi engine situation very well on the STi list:

Let's see here:

Swap stock flywheel to dual mass flywheel.

Swap Gen 1 PSRU to the new and much improved Gen 2.

Switch to [individual customer-designed] manual waste gate control rather than the automated version we were told about.

Add the intercooler and all the intake plumbing that goes to and from.

Modify our cowlings to allow the air into the intercooler.

In my case I had to radically modify the supercharger to fit in the incorrect motor mount that was sent to me.

Open up the engine, change out the cam sprockets and modify the cams to defeat the variable valve timing.

Change out the drive pulley for one that can keep the drive belt in position.

Add a wide band oxygen sensor to be able to monitor the air fuel ratio as we are running at a much lowered fuel pressure to prevent running too rich.

Eliminate the MAF sensor and lose the safety feature of the check engine light, along with any future repercussions of running the ECU in a different mode than originally designed for.

Due to all of these problems the "firewall forward" product I purchased was dropped after only one shipment.

I imagine I have left some things off of the list...

And now I am supposed to pay up again for the Gen 3 redrive because the Gen 2 redrive is "marginal in every respect"?

This is just too much Jan. I am finally having to admit to myself that I have made a very expensive mistake with this engine package and all the problems and countless hours that have gone into trying to make it work.

If the Gen 2 redrive was designed for 200 HP, and adding 10% more power is enough to make it so marginal, it couldn't have been designed properly in the first place. This doesn't exactly make me want to pay for a third redrive for an engine that has never been airborne. Now you are killing any faith I had in the Gen 2 redrive as I near first flight time. It is time to take on some responsibility for what you have actually done to your customers.

I agree 100% with all the above.  You can add to that:

    dropping the supercharger wastegate control system and abandoning us to each solve wastegate control on our own

    having to swap out the inadequate supplied muffler system and defective fuel pressure switch

    customers paying to fix the vendor mistake on the radiators

    extensive modifications to the supercharger mount and supercharger-to-intercooler plumbing, to get them to fit

    supplying the"STi upgrade kit" with no instructions, resulting in more problems

    relocate poorly placed inlet air temp and water temp sensors (shows factory's lack of basic design understanding)

    relocate inlet air duct (was in front of RT radiator inlet, reducing air thru RT radiator; again poor design thought)

    the very sloppy attention to detail noted throughout my engine pages

    over two years of wasted building time, as detailed in my engine pages here

    fixing the cobby wiring harness

    hundreds of dollars in various small parts over the last two years

Then add to it all of Jan's personal attacks on me, his knack for pissing people off, failure to answer questions, cryptic, half-thought-out (and often incorrect) half-answers to the questions he does answer, his many sudden 180 degree turns in products and policies, each customer having to design his own wastegate control, etc.  

I've never said this before, and I've tried hard to avoid getting to this point, but I now can definitely say this Eggenfellner engine was a HUGE mistake, and I would NEVER buy another Eggenfellner engine, nor would I recommend one to anyone else.  I have worked on this engine for 2 years, trying to get it to the point where I expected it to be the day it arrived.  As another STi owner said, if we'd bought Lycoming, we'd have had them running long ago and for much less money.  And less weight.  Of the single batch of 25 STi engines supposedly sold, there are only about 10-12 of us who are apparently "active".  The rest were apparently overwhelmed by all of it and seem to have simply given up on their projects.

May 31 - got an email back from Gary, Eggenfellner VP, in response to my Gen 3 PSRU order and request that Eggenfellner should be providing these at no cost to STi owners.   Basically, his email paints the picture that the Gen 3 is an optional improvement that we can choose to implement or ignore, so Eggenfellner won't pay to upgrade it.    I replied that  Jan's description of "marginal in every respect" certainly doesn't make it sound optional.   I suspect that, no matter who says what on this, they will rationalize it and refuse to take care of it properly.