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    Thread: Spark plug knock under boost

    1. Member
      Join Date
      Aug 23rd, 2011
      Location
      Colorado
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      218
      Vehicles
      1979 Mk1 Scirocco
      03-19-2017 08:42 PM #1
      Hi all,
      So I am having some pretty bad knock under boost. Sounds like a bad rattle or tapping under WOT and when the turbo seems to be spooling.
      I have checked my timing, vacuum lines and fuel air mixture; all is well. Note that F/A mixture test was only done at idle and high speed. I do not have an O2 Sensor.
      The engine is running really well under all other conditions, including high rpm with no boost.

      Here are what I think could be possible culprits:
      Intake temperature:
      The intake manifold gets hot as hell.
      I am also having hot start problems.

      I am also wondering if the Audi 5000 WUR is not operating correctly and not delivering extra fuel under boost and start ups.

      How hot should my intake manifold actually be getting?
      Is there anyway to check the operation of the WUR?
      If the knock is fuel related should I add a extra injector? How should I do that?

      Thanks for the help!

      Here are some quick specs on the engine:
      79 scirocco
      1.8l block, 2l crank, stock 1.8l rods, "squished" pistons, 2 over bore, stock compression (sorry I don't have the measurements on me), hydraulic lifters
      BAE Rajay turbo good for 5-7psi or boost
      Volvo fuel distributor, Audi 5000 WUR
      Volvo Oil cooler, Euro GTI Oil filter Manifold, Porche 944 Thermostat.
      Stock everything else

      Here is a picture, because post kind of suck without at least one:


    2. 03-20-2017 10:54 AM #2
      It sure appears you no intercooler. So, if that is true, you pretty much stuck at 5-6psi and that is with a stock of 8 to 1 compression.

      You could add an intercooler, but I would add water injection first. That should be fairly easy to install and certainly could be done in a couple hours.

      You could back down the ignition timing, but that would give you less power all the way around.

      Without a doubt, unless you want to be replacing pistons soon, I would back down the boost to prevent further damage. You could back down the throttle, but I lacked the control back in the day and I would always end up replacing pistons.

    3. 03-20-2017 02:33 PM #3
      I think there is going to be a bit of confusion here about what your compression ratio is. more details needed fella

    4. 03-20-2017 08:32 PM #4
      I would be looking into fitting an intercooler before anything else. maybe you could have the 5th injector activated by a boost pressure switch??? but to be honest, you might be better with a mappable efi engine management set-up in the long run.

    5. 03-21-2017 12:19 PM #5
      Compression ratio is probably it, because it should not be that bad at 5-6psi.

      Check the compression and find out what it is, if you're pushing above 190psi, then you may have something higher than 8 to 1. I think it should be more like 160ish.

    6. Member
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      Aug 23rd, 2011
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      1979 Mk1 Scirocco
      03-21-2017 01:55 PM #6
      I will try to dig up those exact numbers for you guys.
      That is right, no intercooler. I have never needed it; I had this set up on my 1.6.
      I have done a compression check recently and it was reading at about 155psi

      A friend of mine once gave me a Jetronic controller. Could that set up to help out with the fuel management?

    7. 03-22-2017 07:19 AM #7
      what kind of ignition dizzy are you using? and what's your timing set at? if it's a standard 1.8 k-jet dizzy, then maybe the advance curve needs adjusted. good chance there is too much advance when the turbo boosts. so maybe stronger springs on the advance weights???

    8. 03-22-2017 09:41 AM #8
      With a properly running CIS system, you should be good. You have the larger fuel dist. and turbo warmup regulator so adding more fuel is most likely not the answer. Of course, if your system is not working properly, then anything is possible.

      With 155psi, I think you are correct with your assumption of 8 to 1 pistons. So that leads to the ignition system. MSD makes a boost retard system for the ignition system, it may be a thing to look at.

    9. 03-22-2017 09:58 AM #9
      do you think it could be a big-end catching something inside the block??? i'm in the process of building a 3a based 1.8 block, and there really is very little clearance in there. just wondering if a little internal flex is causing something to catch and make the rattle you're hearing

    10. Member
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      1979 Mk1 Scirocco
      03-22-2017 01:58 PM #10
      I am running the stock Vacuum advance points distributor. I recently replaced the condenser and points, adjusted dwell.
      How does that MSD Ignition work? Does it replace the distributor all together?

      Could that WUR be tested by running the car and removing the 5th injector, then apply "boost" with air pressure to see if any fuel squirts out?
      That part is likely 30+ years old.

      Good question about the clearances, things are super tight in there with that 2l crank. Had to shave down the intermediate shaft gear a lot!
      There is plenty of clearance now, I had that same though after hearing that noise so I checked to see if there has been contact
      Here is a pic of it when it was being machined:

    11. 03-22-2017 02:41 PM #11
      have you tried retarding the ignition timing to see if that stops the noise?

    12. 03-22-2017 02:59 PM #12
      are all your fuel injectors flowing freely? also, how much of this set-up were you running on the 1.6? I could be wrong but is the 5th injector on them not just a cold start???

    13. Member
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      03-22-2017 03:08 PM #13
      I don,t know why I did not try doing that?!
      I will see if I can squeeze in some road time this week with that distributor retarded.

      I think that you are correct that factory the 5th injector is a cold start, with the WUR that I have, boost flexes that diaphragm to use that injector as a extra injector under boost

    14. 03-22-2017 04:37 PM #14
      to be honest, retarding the timing would only ever be a compromise, as there is no way the standard advance cure for an n/a engine would be perfect for an f/I engine. have you got a live going to the fifth injector? you could try pulling the injector, then revving the engine to check if it sprays (away from your hot intake manifold of course)

    15. 03-23-2017 11:48 AM #15
      The MSD is added to the system, nothing is removed [http://www.jegs.com/i/MSD/121/8762/1...UVqfgodVwgFGA]

      I would only go that route if that was the problem [if you do not want water injection]. Retard the timing and see if the problem goes away.

      As for flexing in the engine, you can pretty much assure yourself there should be nothing flexing, unless something is loose. Flexing under boost is not it.

      I do not know your system, but you listed all the good parts for a high boost CIS turbo system. So I will assume that everything works. Please, do not add more fuel to the system. You do not need it. It's a poor assumption that adding more fuel will give you more power. Certainly if you add enough fuel, the knocking will go away, but the engine would probably not run and there will be fuel dripping out the tail pipe. I will not go into the fact the super rich mixture does not bode well for the piston rings and cylinders.

      You have a low budget turbo system [No, I'm not saying your project is bad at all]. You have the best CIS parts to make a lot more power [a great way to start]. Retard the timing to see if the problem goes away. If the problem does, then that is the cause of your knocking and you have a good foundation to spend your money on a fix.

      Again, do not waste you money or time adding more fuel to your system. Again, I would add water injection if ignition knock is the cause of your problem.

      Once you get this issue resolved, it will be interesting if you add an intercooler and eventually adding more fuel [when you're pushing 12-15psi]. You seem to have a good foundation to make a lot of power. Be careful of the transmission and clutch.

    16. Member
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      03-23-2017 12:11 PM #16
      Thanks for all of the help everyone.
      I am going back through all of my CIS to make sure that everything is hooked up correctly and working.
      Looking through everything last night it looks like I may have had the vacuum to the WUR on backwards.
      http://www.bimmerforums.com/forum/sh...UR-connections

      Going for a test drive soon if the snow holds out, if that does not help I will do another run with that timing backed off.
      I will do more research into that ignition too, maybe it is something that should be apart of this system anyways.

      I have already had issues with my clutch slipping, especially when that turbo starts kicking in. I am trying to think of that as a good thing, it means that I have made more power.
      It is up on that long to do list once I get this knock sorted out.

    17. Member
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      03-25-2017 08:44 PM #17
      So I was able to get a few runs in this weekend.
      I was able to first switch the vacuum line on that WUR to the upper port which did not seem to make too much of a difference.
      Today I played with the timing and set it maybe 6° or so past TDC (and additional 3° past TDC from the book)
      Knock seems to be eliminated up to about 3 maybe 4psi of boost. it is much lighter of a knock at that.

      Looks like I will be investing in that MSD Ignition mod.
      I think Water injection is going to be a little sophisticated and finicky for my set up.
      I have always strived to keep things old school, maybe this will be my one splurge on that rule.

      Btw does anyone have a recommendation for a clutch brand / setup?
      I am feathering that throttle a lot over 4k rpm

      Thanks again for your help everyone! This is what makes this forum so great!

    18. 03-26-2017 07:19 AM #18
      good stuff. sounds like you're heading in the right direction now. is the Volvo fuel distributor from a turbo engine??? if not, then I would still be looking into hooking up a boost pressure switch to the cold start injector, to work alongside the warm up function. very simple thing to wire in once the boost switch is in place. and you should defo consider getting an intercooler of some sort fitted, since the old summer is on the horizon.

    19. 03-26-2017 10:48 AM #19
      Water injection not old school? Heck, I had it on my carbureted turbo Fiat X1/9. This was the early 80's before even the factory had intercoolers. I know I could go from 6psi to 12psi with water. I also knew when I was out of water when the knocking came on. It was a cheap washer fluid pump, washer fluid tank, and a small jet in front of the carburetor. Cheap and crude, but it worked.

      Heck, even Oldsmobile had it factory stock on their turbo 215 engine in the early 60's [aka Turbo Rocket Fluid]. http://www.speedhunters.com/2015/06/...jetfire-turbo/

    20. Yesterday 06:57 AM #20
      hooking up the 5th injector to run of boost is an easy thing to try, if you enjoy tinkering. it might make your car go like a rocket, or like butcher said, it might start dumping fuel out the exhaust. it's definitely something I would experiment with, and keep an eye on the spark plug colour after a few runs. with the clutch, maybe a mk2 golf gti 16v one would do the job??? but it all depends on how much power you are eventually aiming for

    21. Member
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      Yesterday 02:27 PM #21
      This might be it for the engine mods on this car; once I get it running right that is.
      "TurboRocket"! I like that, super high tech car for those days!

      Volvo WUR is from a turbo model.

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