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Discussion Starter #21
Well, I was still getting a bit uphill pinging on a hot day between 3000 and 3500 RPM, so I have pushed out full advance to 4000 RPM. If I still have pinging, it is very slight. I need to go to a bigger hill now for fine tuning. Latest curve:
 

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Well, I was still getting a bit uphill pinging on a hot day between 3000 and 3500 RPM, so I have pushed out full advance to 4000 RPM. If I still have pinging, it is very slight. I need to go to a bigger hill now for fine tuning. Latest curve:
Ever thought about using a rolling road dyno? JBA (5675 Kearny Villa Rd -858-495-3395) has one.
 

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That was my first plan, but the places I called wouldn't do it. JBA said "Only American Cars".
I just called them and the "American Cars" restriction is only if you want to interface the car ECU computer with their dyno. No problem with an Alfa if you are using the dyno as a simple chassis dyno. Our older Alfas wouldn't interface with their dyno electronics anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter #26
I just called them and the "American Cars" restriction is only if you want to interface the car ECU computer with their dyno. No problem with an Alfa if you are using the dyno as a simple chassis dyno. Our older Alfas wouldn't interface with their dyno electronics anyway.
Well, JBA wasn't very interested when I called. And I did call again after you suggested them again a couple posts earlier. They also did not to have any gizmo to sense detonation. They actually recommended I go to another shop nearby, Cartune. Those guys seemed somewhat interested and use DetCans (headphones with a tube). They wanted $500 for a session.
 

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Have you verified the curve with a timing light?
 

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Well, JBA wasn't very interested when I called. And I did call again after you suggested them again a couple posts earlier. They also did not to have any gizmo to sense detonation. They actually recommended I go to another shop nearby, Cartune. Those guys seemed somewhat interested and use DetCans (headphones with a tube). They wanted $500 for a session.
500 is way cheaper than fixing a engine thats ruined by detonation.
 

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I verified TDC, I have assumed if that is right the gizmo gets the other points correct.
Is there any history of the advance/rpm settings working incorrectly?
Who knows but an error in establishing that single reference point will affect everything else. I would check the curve before spending $500 for a dyno session.
 

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Discussion Starter #32
500 is way cheaper than fixing a engine that's ruined by detonation.
Very true... but I've been fiddling with the advance, pinging and octane boosters on this engine for over 10 years and haven't holed a piston yet.
It's also not like going to a dyno run by an unknown technician is a "sure thing" for perfect setup either... there are lots of variables (weather and load). And those guys are used to having FI, computers and knock sensors these days.
I'd rather get it where I think it is good, and then go to a dyno for a second check.
 

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Try data logging EGT if you think that you have detonation. It is inexpensive if you are using something like a Zeitronix ZT2 which has a type K thermocouple input.

I have used two dynos. One is owned by my friend Al Mitchell who lives 4.5 hours drive away and the other is local. The difference between the two experiences is such that I prefer a 9 hr round trip to Al's.
 

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Discussion Starter #34
Update:
Got the car out for a good 170 mile drive out from San Diego to the Cleveland National Forest and over Mount Laguna. I'm still using the curve from post 21 (https://www.alfabb.com/bb/forums/engine-management/682746-comments-my-123-ignition-curve-2.html#post8444540)
Car ran great. I did a bunch of driving between 3000 and 4000 RPM, and didn't detect any pinging. So I went back to the previous, slightly more aggressive curve from post 24, and ran back up a section of the hill, and didn't get any pinging with that either. But it is weather and exact situation dependent, so I went back to the post 21 curve.
I'm pretty happy with this distributor, it is really nice to tweak it like this!
Just as a final check, I think I'll pull my plugs and scope the cylinders, but I think things are good.
 

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Discussion Starter #35 (Edited)
Last week I pulled the plugs and inserted my scope to check the piston crowns after last weeks 170 mi run, and they looked fine. I was really thinking things were all set.

Well, had the cars out for a local Cars and Coffee this morning, and I caught a little pinging down low, between 2500 and 3000 RPM.
So I took 2 degrees out at 2000RPM and it seemed OK. Here is the current curve, for the record.

Oh, I also confirmed the curve was "right on" with my timing light.
 

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Sort of off-topic, but re the 123 Bluetooth: Does one have to start the app and load (meaning Open and Read) your tuned curve every time you start the car? I havent figured that out yet. Thanks.
 

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No, it saves the curve. Once you write it you only need the app if you want to change the curve.
 

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Discussion Starter #38 (Edited)
Sort of off-topic, but re the 123 Bluetooth: Does one have to start the app and load (meaning Open and Read) your tuned curve every time you start the car? I havent figured that out yet. Thanks.
The meters work whenever the bluetooth is connected. It also seems to download the current curve from the distributor when the car is started, after it connects via bluetooth. But I always download it again to be sure, or use one I have saved.
For example, I may park and turn the car off and then open an old curve, edit it, then save it. Then I turn on the ignition, load the new curve and send it to the distributor.
That's just my method.
 

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Thx — I wish I knew that it reverts to the last curve every time.

The meters work whenever the bluetooth is connected. It also seems to download the current curve from the distributor when the car is started, after it connects via bluetooth. But I always download it again to be sure, or use one I have saved.
For example, I may park and turn the car off and then open an old curve, edit it, then save it. Then I turn on the ignition, load the new curve and send it to the distributor.
That's just my method.
 

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Thx — I wish I knew that it reverts to the last curve every time.
It does. You don't need your phone or the app or anything to drive the car, not unless you use the immobilizer function.

Once it's programmed it just acts like any other distributor. Be pretty silly if you had to log into the distributor every time you wanted to drive.
 
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