Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Throttle Body Cleaning and the Importance of it on Classic Rides

"Spray this can of magic snake oil and get better engine response immediately"

Some might immediately dismiss the sales pitch claim from workshops.

But it is actually critical to do this regularly especially on older engines.

For most pre-1991 cars with engines that uses electro-mechanical injection or carburettors, there might be weakened piston rings and valve stem seals that will result the mixture of engine oil and unburnt fuel together with other contaminants that will return to the air intake via the positive crankcase pressure hoses.

The mixture of contaminants returns to the intake unfiltered and will accumulate along the air intake system ( throttle body, intake pipes and manifold walls ). Like the cholesterol choking up the veins of the human body, the gunk reduces the volumetric pressure of the air entering in the combustion chamber. This is due to reduction of the surface area (YES, even if the diameter is reduced by microns, it will affect the air intake volume) and also the surface friction of the gunked up walls of the intake.

Gunked up Throttle Body

By spraying petroleum-based chemicals down the intake system while revving the engine, the actual effect is cleaning the entire intake system, from the intake pipes' walls to the throttle body plates, down to the intake valves itself.

It can be easily done on your own without having to make a trip to the workshop.

This is our recommended method of ensuring a good clean of the intake system for the older Mercedes' engines.

1) Use a reputable brand of petroleum-based throttle body cleaner ( It must be petroleum-based so as to mix with the fuel injected for proper combustion when sparked

2) Remove the air filter box to ensure clear view of the throttle body itself

3) Spray 5-6 seconds with the throttle body fully opened ( without turning on the engine )
If you are running KE Jetronic, you may have to depress the air flow flap manually in order to see the actual throttle body.

4) Let it soak for 5 mins

5) Spray the throttle body cleaner around the air filter element to wet it with the petrol-based cleaner.

6) Re-assemble air filter box with element

7) Start the engine (Engine may die on first few tries, restart engine if it dies by holding partial throttle)

8) The wet filter will ensure the throttle body cleaner is transferred to the entire air intake system gradually. This is because the first application on the throttle itself will be sucked in and fully consumed on the first few seconds. The application on the filter will ensure a longer period of cleansing of the intake system.

9) Drive the car around normally to standard operating temperature of 85 Degree Celsius.
(Do drive slow as the engine may cut off if under heavy throttle as the mixture from the filter might wet the spark plugs )

It is recommended to do the throttle body cleansing every 1000-2000 km and the effect will be instantaneous. You will feel the throttle lighter to depress and a smoother engine revving.

If you found this post useful, do share it with fellow classic rides owners!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Open Pod setup on the Mercedes W124/W201 M102 engine

This is the current setup of my M102 engine that seats in a W124 chassis.

The original air filter box was removed and replaced with the pod filter setup shown.
The main reason of removing the air filter box was because the crankcase breather hose inlet to the airbox was dripping crankcase oils all over engine bay and also to prevent heat soak to the Intake Air Temperature(IAT) sensor during long idles.

The IAT sensor is connected to the Megasquirt ECU that is responsible for the fuelling algorithm to the engine.

The open pod setup is also relevant to KE-Jetronic/CIS-E driven M102 engines.

Here's what's needed.

CIS-E Intake boot from older Volkswagen Golf GTI
Stainless steel/Aluminium intake pipe
Open Pod filter
Misc Silicone Couplers for mating with existing airflow meter inlet(~4") and/or open pod filters

If you are interested to find out where I obtained my parts for the pod filter conversion or would like to see more detailed pictures... do send me an email ( farbird@hotmail.com ).

To see more posts on Megasquirt on my engine, follow this link.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Friday, July 19, 2013

Ignition Advance and Octane rating and then some

Until the day nuclear fission can be safely done in an engine compartment, most engines still have to run on internal combustion. (aka Otto Cycle).

The petrol, being one of the 2 primary components needed for combustion, has an Octane Rating that affects the way that the engine runs. Because of the fact that it is not a constant speed engine, ignition advance is dynamically adjusted to reach the expected rpm.

The ignition advance or how much the ignition can be advanced, is largely dependent on the octane rating of the fuel used. ( and also dependent on existing condition/health of your engine )

When using a higher octane fuel, it means that the atomized air-fuel mixture in the combustion chamber can withstand a higher compression (during the compression stroke of the engine cycle) before it detonates and the combustion will cause the sudden volume expansion of gases and exerts the kinetic energy on the piston.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Cranking issues with the W124s

Having cranking issues?

If you are having difficulty starting the car after the engine has been off for some time, there are a few key components to check.

Do be advised this article is more applicable on the KE-Jetronic Engine Management System
ie Pre-1991 W124s and W201 and some other models [ eg 300SELs ]

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Care for the W124 Ignition Control Unit

As the years go by for the W124, it has still yet to be dreary to drive one..

However, as the numbers on the road dwindle, it may no longer be economical to continue to produce spare parts for this particular make.

One of the critical components that may be affected by production is the Ignition Control Module.
For the KE-Jetronics/CIS-E managed engines such as the M102, this is a critical component and though it hardly fails, if it does, the engine will stall and it will not be able to crank up again until the faulty Ignition Control Module [ or Trigger Board as it is fondly called in Singapore/Malaysia ] is replaced.

Ignition Control Module aka Trigger Board/Box

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Whining noises and causes

Chanced upon a good article and would like to share.

While driving, if some whining noises is heard, here's how to diagnose them

Case 1
If the car is in Park or Neutral, and the whining noise is still present, gearbox needs to be checked

Case 2
If the car is moving and whining noise only occurs when accelerator pedal is stepped [ whining may be more pronounced especially above certain speeds eg >60km/h] and goes away when feet is off the accelerator, the rear differential needs to be checked

Case 3
If whining is constant throughout the drive and the sound is more pronounced when swerving left and right, the front wheel bearings need to be checked.

Case 4
If car is in Park or Neutral with ignition switched off and the whining ensues, you probably have to find out soon what the children or missus needs.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

KE Jetronic Troubleshooting

For most pre-1991 manufactured W124s, the fuel injection system on these engines are mostly using Bosch KE-Jetronic.

Though mostly mechanical in nature and lacking the feedback O2 sensor to correct the air/fuel mixture, it was considered sufficient in providing the control of the injection of fuel back in the days when fuel was still relatively cheap.

After 20 odd years, the KE Jetronic still delivers the fuel but probably not as efficient as there are several components in the KE Jetronic Fuel Delivery system that might have been overlooked by owners.

Key Components of the KE Jetronic(CIS-E) System

Rough starts, difficulty in starting, rough hot/cold idling, heavy petrol smell are all symptoms that the KE system needs to be looked at.

This url below has a good troubleshooting guide for most issues of the KE Jetronic [ or more commonly known in the USA as CIS-E ]

(courtesy of Benzworld)

For more reading up on the KE-Jetronic System and its related components, click here!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Clearing Choked Scuttle Drain on the W124

The W124 is a magnet for dead flora.

On dry seasons, one may not mind much about the leaves accumulating along the scuttle drainage paths.

However, once it rains, the scuttle drains might get choked and the dead leaves start to become compost and chokes up the drain.

As we live in the tropics and park under trees for shade whenever the ride is taken outdoors, there is an issue with dead leaves and branches choking this scuttle plenum drainage path.

Scuttle Drain Location

The drainage path for water coming down from the windscreen goes narrower as it guides the water down to the floor via a small piping.

Stand a chance to win this!

A competition will be announced soon with the prize being the item below

1 x HD Rear View Mirror DVR Camera

Details of the competition will be announced soon..

For a start, competition will be open to all Singapore and Malaysia's W124 owners.

Watch this space!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Steering Wheel Hygiene

The W124, being a classic car, also means that the parts within the car are also quite of age.
The steering wheel and gear knob, being the most commonly touched, needs to be kept clean for hygiene sake.
If your steering wheel has not been wiped and disinfected recently, it'd be a good practice to do so regularly for good hygiene and preventing any contact-based diseases.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Clearing the myth of Ignition Advance Angle on the 8v M102 engines

For all the (pre-91 non-cat) 8v M102 engine owners,
(this includes the 200e, 230e and some variants of the 190e)
when was the last time you had your ignition advance angle checked?

There were some myths of setting it to a certain angle in order for optimized performance..

And as the M102 engine ignition angle/timing adjustment has to be done manually with a timing light, the process is quite tedious and no workshops seems to have a good answer of what is the best timing to adjust it to based on the current octane level of petrol versus the grade of petrol's octane level available back then.

By looking at the close up picture of the trigger wheel, one will understand that it is impossible to attain 13 degrees or 18 degrees.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Megasquirt Display Device using Arduino

After replacing to a larger LCD in order to display more useful information about the engine.

My DIY MS1EXTRA display device
The previous setup can be seen here using a smaller LCD [16 characters x2 lines ].
This new one accomodates 20 characters x 4 lines...

The DIY board Arduino connects to the Megasquirt ECU via RS232 and a TTL-to-RS232 converter as the Arduino's onboard serial communication ports speaks only TTL.

If anyone is interested in the Arduino code, I can be reached at farbird@hotmail.com.