Targa Miata
October 28, 2009 - Time to see if the fuel pressure changes did anything!
Background: there's a big dip in the car's torque curve between 3500 and 4500 rpm. Massive, actually. It's about a 10% drop. The theory was presented to me that the B (1999-05) injectors are designed to run at a higher pressure, so they weren't atomizing properly. Thus my work of late to raise the pressure.
Unfortunately, it did nothing. Nothing at all. After a bit of tuning to deal with the different fuel curve that's a result of the fixed fuel pressure, the car didn't change a bit. I spent some time playing with timing and fuel, just to prove that naturally aspirated cars have a pretty big sweet spot. Adding an extra 3 degrees of ignition advance didn't do anything, so I took it out again.
Dyno chart

Okay, so that didn't do anything. While the car was on the dyno, I decided to mess with the intake cam timing because that's quick and easy. I advanced the cam by 5°. This should theoretically help the bottom end while hurting the top. And it did. Kinda. The bottom end got stronger and there was a bit of a taper above 6700 rpm. Pretty good tradeoff. The weird thing is that the dip was unaffected. All the gains were on each side of it. It's obvious that there's something that's just not working in that rpm range, but what is it?
Dyno chart

Next, I retarded the intake cam 5° from my original setting. More overlap, should be a bad idle, a weaker low end and more up top. These are fairly big changes, but I was trying to see trends. Oddly, the car purred at idle. It's always had a very grouchy idle, lumpy and a bit tricky to launch. Not any more. But the car really didn't like the cam settings, losing a huge amount of power down low and only gaining a little bit way up top.
Dyno chart

So, not a terribly successful day really. Although it was educational. The cams in the car are Stage 2 cams from Integral Camshafts, and they say that for some reason their 1.8 hydraulic lifter cams just don't work well. The 1.6 ones do, as do the 1.8 solid lifter cams. Just not these. So the next step is to play with a few different cams. It's the second set I've tried, but I have at least three other options to stick in there and see what happens. Once that's done, I'm going to play with a couple of intake manifold options that are available to me. What I'd really like is a VVT head, as I've seen a very similar engine to mine make big torque right where I have my dip. That engine is in the FM shop, not far from where the Targa car is parked. And the boss is going on vacation...

But still, the engine's getting stronger. Here's a comparison between what it looked like when it first hit the dyno and now. Since then, I've altered the intake pre-throttle, built the header and changed cams.
entry 714 - tags: dyno, fuel pressure, cams