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I just got a new Elise :clap: :bow: and love it so far. Unfortunately I had to reinstall the stock cat to pass CA smog. I reinstalled it, cleared the obdII codes, and have had a lumpy, hunting/surging/stalling idle ever since.

I would have passed smog but the tech couldn't hold it at 15mph for the smog dyno because of the hunting idle... we tried 10 times before giving up, even using the ebrake to try to stabilize it. Emissions wise it passes, but it won't fly with the hunting idle.

Anyone have thoughts on causes, what to try, or where to start fiddling with it?

It's also got a cold air intake and aftermarket exhaust... no other mods besides those. 12K miles on the car. If it sits for a day it takes more cranking than typical to start. I've also noticed a fine mist of oil coating everything in the engine bay, there must be some blow by but I was under the assumption that got dumped back into the intake tract.

Thanks in advance,
Heath
 

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The stumbling idle/stalling is a common issue with these cars. For most people, a tune from (either from Koldfire/BOE or some other reputable outfit) will usually take care of it along with boosting power and overall driveability. The starting thing might just be a battery issue? What kind of battery do you have in there? Stocker? Or aftermarket? The Braille batteries are lighter but at the expense of being able to hold a charge. Myself and many members here have the Chimera Competition Battery System (fancy pants lithium carbon fiber battery, woot woot). That battery is the business.

As far as the oil in the engine bay goes, do you have a catch can of some sort? If you don't, and the blow-by is routed as stock, then that is something to worry about. If you do indeed have a catch can installed, time to get it cleaned, checked out, or swapped.

Hope that helps! It's a beautiful looking machine you got there. ;)
 

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As far as the oil in the engine bay goes, do you have a catch can of some sort? If you don't, and the blow-by is routed as stock, then that is something to worry about. If you do indeed have a catch can installed, time to get it cleaned, checked out, or swapped.

Hope that helps! It's a beautiful looking machine you got there. ;)
My understanding is a catch can is really only important on a car with an intercooler because oil will coat the inside of the intercooler lowering its effectiveness. Otherwise there is no reason for a catch can because it will just get burnt up in the cylinders.

I wonder if the car had a computer tune taking the cat delete...

Otherwise I would pull the battery for a few minutes to reset the ECU and see if that helps the idle.
 

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Find other smog tech who has "better" foot. They have to use brake and gas at the same time. Not the parking brake.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Butters: Sounds like lack of fuel or fouled plugs to me... I still need to pull the plugs, havent had time yet :(

ME!: It very well may have had a tune, although the previous owner didnt mention it. I guess theres really no way to know but it's possible it's been flashed for the lack of a cat.

Harix: I'm personal friends with the smog guy, he was trying hard... even gave me a go... it was impossible to keep it within range.

I just reset the ecu (battery disconnected for an hour) and the huning idle is still there, strong as ever. It's an 05, with 12k on the clock. There is no catch can (plumbed back into the intake) so I'm not sure where the oil mist is coming from but I just wiped down the engine bay... it was a fine mist. Here's a video of the surge... you can hear the IAC valve (or something similar) opening and attempting to compensate by adding more air around the throttle body (heard as an ever-loudening hissss as the problem gets worse)

Also, sorry for the lack of introduction... I know I'm the new guy so thanks for not railing on me too hard. I'm well versed in the ways of the rotary (FD3S RX7's, and a Miata as a DD) but I'm loving the Lotus so far (aside from not being able to register it) and am starting to really feel at home in this chassis. You kinda have to be a bit of a nut to own an FD, and the same goes for the Elise/Exige... so I feel right at home. :)

-Heath
 

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05s should not have an idle problem unless something is out of place...

1) What intake do you have?

2) Describe your exhaust.

3) Oily film in engine bay: Perhaps a *significant* leak of the PCV system? Post a pic of engine bay-- smaller than your first;)
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Intake - Fujita

Exhaust - no clue, dual outlet stock location, stainless, sounds meaner than a stock exhaust. Previous owner had a matching resonated midpipe in place and a chip soldered into the 2nd o2 sensor which I removed and reinstalled the stock cat he gave me. Emissions test says it's squeaky clean and I visually verified (at least from one side) that the core is intact. The car is definately slower with the cat on though... it needs to go!

Engine bay pic - see youtube video above, but I can snap a quick picture of the bay... as far as I can see everything is where it should be aside from the intake obviously.

Thanks again for the help and fast replies, I'm sure everyone would rather be eating dinner ;)
05s should not have an idle problem unless something is out of place...

1) What intake do you have?

2) Describe your exhaust.

3) Oily film in engine bay: Perhaps a *significant* leak of the PCV system? Post a pic of engine bay-- smaller than your first;)
 

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This is the smoking gun for me... It ran fine until you installed the stock cat.
Once the stock cat was installed it began to have a rolling idle and a surge under light throttle.
If these facts are true, the cat is your problem. Not that it is bad and needs to be replaced but usually the ECU doesn't like not having a cat installed so it would take software or a dummy monitor to keep the ECU pacified.

The problem with the question is that we don't know what all the original owner did to the car.

Harder to start after it sits longer.

Try this...turn the key to the run position but do not start.
wait 3 seconds.
turn the key off.
turn the key back on again.
wait 2 seconds.
start the car.

If that fixes the delayed starting issue, a check in the fuel pump is probably leaking back into the tank a little bit... the result is it takes a few seconds to get enough fuel pressure to start. Not a real big problem.
It is an excuse to upgrade to a 255 lb/hr fuel pump.

Say, is your car supercharged?
We are gonna need this information to be able to help you with the oil misting issue.
But first, let's do this.......

Decide where you like to have your car parked to do this test and you will perform this test in the exacts same spot no matter what. You cars attitude will change the results so it must be in the same attitude every time you conduct this test.

Engine off.....Cold soak
Check your oil level and add if necessary.
Record the level on the dipstick and do not add oil again until test has run it's full course.
(I use diagonal cutters to make a tiny tick mark on the dipstick at the desired location)
Now drive the car....
In the morning only after a full nights rest.......with your car parked in your pre-determined location......cold soak......check your oil level again.
If it is the same level it was yesterday, repeat steps 2 and 3.(drive & check)
If the results the next morning are the same as yesterday, repeat steps 2 and 3 and 4 if necessary.

If you find that you are loosing oil, then we need to see where the oil is coming out from.

If you find that the oil level has not dropped at all in 2000 miles of driving, it is safe to conclude that this fine coating is not engine oil.

Also, use a good degreaser and pressure wash your engine to get all that oil off it.
That should help to make it easier to identify where the oil is coming from.
Could it just be engine dressing from whoever you bought the car from?

Keep an eye on your coolant level as well, you could mark the reservoir with a sharpie while cold just as you did the dipstick. The ethylene glycol will leave an oily residue on some surfaces if it gets out.

If you have been topping off the coolant reservoir, stop it.
Mine will never stay at the full line, it is always about 3/4" below and if I top it off it will only spray the coolant out until it is at the level that it likes to be.
This is not a problem it's just the way life is sometimes.
If it is happy being 3/4" below the full mark I should just agree and let it have it's fun. It aint hurting nuttin'.

depending on the year there is a little hose just above the oil filter. It is very hard to see but it has a little metal piece of tubing at the bottom. That metal tubing is prone to get a tiny little hole rubbed in it. The coolant will jet out of that tiny hole in a very powerful fine misting jet......AT FIRST! Then it will become a gusher. But again that depends on the year model. My '05 had this issue.

There are a few oil pressure switches that perform functions that you wouldn't think of.
Oil pressure switches can fail at times in ways that will cause them to eject a very fine oil mist. The way our cars are ventilated, at highway speeds oil would get all over every freakin thing. Soooo, check all the oil pressure switches and sensors.

Also give us pictures of the hoses that come out from the left rear of the valve cover indexed as you are standing behind the car. Or if you are a true car guy these hoses are coming out of the right rear of the engine valve cover standing from the back of the engine which would put your knee near the left ( drivers side ) rear tire.

If you are supercharged I believe there is only one hose and it should go to your air plenum. If not one goes to the intake and the other goes to the air plenum.
If you have an aftermarket FI, it should go to a catch can.


At least we know it's not a power steering line going out LOL!

If you car has a supercharger we need to know what kind and whose kit or if it's factory FI.
Take us some good pics and good luck.
 

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crap, by the time I finished writing my short story a lot happened on the thread. Haha.

Hey man, my 05 has little idling fits like that all the time too...

It has done that since I got it. Even before I'd changed anything.
Sometimes it would even stall.

PITA! I have no difficulty holding 15 mph though. Also I don't live in CA.

Ewwwww there's your problem....You need to move to Texas.

Or you need to put the FD3S in it....Don't ask how to keep it cool but 1100rwhp....why not!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
crap, by the time I finished writing my short story a lot happened on the thread. Haha.

Hey man, my 05 has little idling fits like that all the time too...

It has done that since I got it. Even before I'd changed anything.
Sometimes it would even stall.

PITA! I have no difficulty holding 15 mph though. Also I don't live in CA.

Ewwwww there's your problem....You need to move to Texas.

Or you need to put the FD3S in it....Don't ask how to keep it cool but 1100rwhp....why not!
You won't get more than 500hp out of a 13b (reliably) but a 20b is another story (though that wouldn't fit in the Elise). But if I can't solve this problem I'm ripping out the 2ZZ in place of a 13b-REW (brief measurements I took for fun tell me if would fit). I'd drain the entire tank in 15 minutes though ;)
 

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Intake - Fujita

Exhaust - no clue, dual outlet stock location, stainless, sounds meaner than a stock exhaust. Previous owner had a matching resonated midpipe in place and a chip soldered into the 2nd o2 sensor which I removed and reinstalled the stock cat he gave me. Emissions test says it's squeaky clean and I visually verified (at least from one side) that the core is intact. The car is definately slower with the cat on though... it needs to go!

Engine bay pic - see youtube video above, but I can snap a quick picture of the bay... as far as I can see everything is where it should be aside from the intake obviously.

Thanks again for the help and fast replies, I'm sure everyone would rather be eating dinner ;)
It is my impression that the cat costs only a few hp, i.e. nothing you could feel. (Phil may help out here.)

If it's not your imagination that the cat reduces power significantly, maybe the cat you put in is ng??
 

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Ah, well that makes sense...

1) Fujita intake is bad juju. It's wrong for the MAF calibration. Remove and replace with stock airbox.

2) Start with number 1 :)
 

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Discussion Starter #16
It is my impression that the cat costs only a few hp, i.e. nothing you could feel. (Phil may help out here.)

If it's not your imagination that the cat reduces power significantly, maybe the cat you put in is ng??
I visually inspected the cells through the o2 bung, everything looked kosher. It's definitely quieter and slower now. I was expecting quieter but noticeably slower I wasn't expecting. Maybe a high flow is in order after this smogging ordeal is over. :up:


Ah, well that makes sense...

1) Fujita intake is bad juju. It's wrong for the MAF calibration. Remove and replace with stock airbox.

2) Start with number 1 :)
I would if I had it handy.... though, the MAF sensor is still there so it should be metering the airflow properly regardless of the intake velocity (unless I'm thinking about it wrong). I'm just looking for an excuse for a new more aggressive tune... now's your chance to pounce, I'm vulnerable :D By the way you guys do very nice work.

-Heath
 

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I would if I had it handy.... though, the MAF sensor is still there so it should be metering the airflow properly regardless of the intake velocity (unless I'm thinking about it wrong). I'm just looking for an excuse for a new more aggressive tune... now's your chance to pounce, I'm vulnerable :D By the way you guys do very nice work.

-Heath
Thank you :up:

But, you're thinking about it wrong... Wrong MAF pipe will mean wrong MAF calibration, which in turn throws the tune and trims for a loop and then makes diagnosing the problem all but impossible. If you have the problem with the correct airbox, then we will have something to diagnose. As long as that "tuner" intake is in there, our suggestions are just stabs in the dark-- particularly when we know for a certain fact that intake is not calibrated (been around that block a time or two;))

As for tweaking the tune. Would love to.... once you have the OE airbox in there:D

Cheers,

Phil
 

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You won't get more than 500hp out of a 13b (reliably) but a 20b is another story (though that wouldn't fit in the Elise). But if I can't solve this problem I'm ripping out the 2ZZ in place of a 13b-REW (brief measurements I took for fun tell me if would fit). I'd drain the entire tank in 15 minutes though ;)
Sorry, I had assumed that the FD3S was the 3 rotor 2.0L.
These lunatics in San Antonio are getting 1000+ out of theirs. I think they were boasting 1400hp at one point.

Good luck getting a transaxle to hold that power and still fit.

So the stock airbox is 2-3/8 inches I.D.
The sampling of the MAF is a fixed proportion of that.
When you make the I.D. of the plenum larger the velocity of the air is decreases and less of the air goes through the sampling port of the MAF.
The computer reads this as less air flow.

This can be interpreted by the ECU as a vacuum leak and will throw lean codes.
I've never had the fujita but I have been using this Spectre POS that has served me very well.
I corrected the MAF issue with that one by cutting a 2-1/2" coolant hose to fit inside the MAF tube. The internal diameter with that was almost 2-3/8". It was a major improvement. It was an improvement over stock as well.

As for the rolling idle issue, My car had that problem even with the stock airbox. See if you can locate you airbox though. You never know, that might fix it.
 

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I have run the Fujita cold air intake. I ran it for about 30,000 miles. I liked it. I liked the sound. I did get a significant number of error codes and lights. I just kept resetting them as necessary. I am now running the stock box again and am right on 100,000 miles. If I remember correctly there was some discussion on here about the MAF sensor being pretty sensitive to its position in the air flow stream. Looking at the stock setup and the Fujita setup I can see how the different flow characteristics around the sensor could give a problem. I would start there. Also... try a TPS reset.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Thanks everyone! I'll let you know when/if I get this resolved... it's very odd as its fine until the cycle starts and the ECU starts second guessing itself, throws more air into the mix, them probably throws more fuel/timing in to compensate, and it just goes back and fourth until it nearly stalls at which point it's all resolved and then this pattern starts all over again.

The weird thing is if it was just the intake, wouldn't that issue be present with the midpipe installed as well (didnt happen till the cat was in and I'm positive I touched nothing else besides the 02 sensor plugs in the engine bay).
 
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