Author Topic: Calibra (C20XE) Rough Idle and No Power  (Read 2258 times)

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Offline StefanWylde

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Calibra (C20XE) Rough Idle and No Power
« on: January 09, 2018, 21:38:21 PM »
So since I bought my Calibra (C20XE M2.5) last year in february, I couldn't make it work properly, the car has no power, and the idle is rough once the car warms up. It's not cutting out but especially if I get stuck in traffic the idle RPM goes lower and lower fluctuating between 600 to 1000 rpm (the ecu whacks the ICV open and prevents from shutting down and it goes on and on)
Things I have done so far:
- Replaced spark plugs, cables, rotor arm and distributor cap.
- Cleaned throttle body like brand new, every single vacuum line is breathing freely, including the banjo bolt that goes directly into the intake manifold.
- I have tried 3 different ICVs, every single one of them did not make ANY difference.
- I ran diagnostics software, every single sensor seems to be working properly (TPS, CTS, MAF, Lambda, Hall, Crankshaft).
- I tried another ECU, from Astra F GSI that was already known to be super fast, did not change a single thing.
- I raced with Astra G 1.8 (X18XE, 116hp), there is a whole car length between us as soon as we hit the second gear. (repeated the race couple of times, the same results), This proves my engine has some kind of a problem, any help or advice is welcome.

Here are pictures of the dry compression test that I did, as well as a picture of the spark plugs. The test was done on COLD engine, all spark plugs were taken out, but I did not press the throttle body wide open, just cranked the engine normally. Cylinder 1 (on the picture), is the one closest to the cam belt




Offline Faur Sergiu

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Re: Calibra (C20XE) Rough Idle and No Power
« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2018, 22:24:59 PM »
How is your fueling? fuel pressure, fuel pump, fuel filter, try cleaning the injectors.

Offline agw9262

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Re: Calibra (C20XE) Rough Idle and No Power
« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2018, 08:21:30 AM »
I wouldn’t trust diagnostics- these ECU only have primitive fault detection. Try cleaning the MAF with electronics cleaning spray - let it fully dry naturally before returning it to the car. Check the wiring and connectors to it too - clean them if necessary.

Offline StefanWylde

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Re: Calibra (C20XE) Rough Idle and No Power
« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2018, 12:35:22 PM »
How is your fueling? fuel pressure, fuel pump, fuel filter, try cleaning the injectors.

I wouldn't know, according to my spark plugs the fueling is near perfect. I also have LPG (TNG) system installed in the car, the car is slow and lacking power and has rough idle regardless of the fuel (petrol or LPG/TNG)

I wouldn’t trust diagnostics- these ECU only have primitive fault detection. Try cleaning the MAF with electronics cleaning spray - let it fully dry naturally before returning it to the car. Check the wiring and connectors to it too - clean them if necessary.

I did clean the MAF with cleaning spray, I have also tried MAF from another already proven C20XE Calibra, and the car reacts the same regardless of which one is installed.

Offline StefanWylde

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Re: Calibra (C20XE) Rough Idle and No Power
« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2018, 13:10:00 PM »
Main question: How do the compression figures look to you guys? Is this normal ? How much bhp am I to get with these figures?

Offline agw9262

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Re: Calibra (C20XE) Rough Idle and No Power
« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2018, 15:37:09 PM »
Compression looks good, though cylinder 3 is oddly high. As for bhp - no way to tell from compression, depends on too many other factors.

Offline StefanWylde

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Re: Calibra (C20XE) Rough Idle and No Power
« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2018, 15:48:11 PM »
Compression looks good, though cylinder 3 is oddly high. As for bhp - no way to tell from compression, depends on too many other factors.

such as ?

Offline Faur Sergiu

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Re: Calibra (C20XE) Rough Idle and No Power
« Reply #7 on: January 10, 2018, 19:09:32 PM »
I would say its an injector had the problem once with a mercedes sprinter the engine was shaking at idle and low power after cleaning the injectors and replacing one injector the engine run smoother and much more power, you could try to verify the fuel pressure, the pressure should be aprox 3 bar

Offline agw9262

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Re: Calibra (C20XE) Rough Idle and No Power
« Reply #8 on: January 10, 2018, 23:00:50 PM »
such as ?

Fuelling, injector performance, valves, air intake - just about every part of a combustion engine. If you want to know bhp then put it on a rolling road, no compression test or guess work will give you that. As for your hesitation and/or low performance - your lpg setup could be part of the problem or is it that your expectations are misaligned? An older engine running an lpg setup will definitely have less power than the engine was designed to deliver when new and unmodified.

Offline StefanWylde

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Re: Calibra (C20XE) Rough Idle and No Power
« Reply #9 on: January 10, 2018, 23:23:48 PM »
Fuelling, injector performance, valves, air intake - just about every part of a combustion engine. If you want to know bhp then put it on a rolling road, no compression test or guess work will give you that. As for your hesitation and/or low performance - your lpg setup could be part of the problem or is it that your expectations are misaligned? An older engine running an lpg setup will definitely have less power than the engine was designed to deliver when new and unmodified.

Well let's start the elimination process.
The ignition has been checked and renewed: (timing belt is perfectly aligned, rotor arm, distributor cap, cables and spark plugs have been replaced). That's 1/3 done.
The Air intake is CLEAN as a whistle as I mentioned above, that's 2/3 done.
Fueling, the LPG injectors are 1.5 year old, and the petrol injectors are from the factory (1993), the car is hesitating and has bad performance on either fuel. And my expectations are very low, but losing a race from 116hp Astra G (standard), made me unable to sleep. My car is supposed to hit 0-100 in 8,5 seconds, the Astra G is supposed to hit 0-100 in 11,2 seconds. That's a massive difference, yet he kills me in a race, and he also has LPG/TNG system in his car. By the way when we raced, we raced on petrol, not lpg/tng.
So, it has to be fuel related, but the problem is in the controlling of the fueling not a mechanical failure (I guess), so I need to know what affects fueling the most..

Offline agw9262

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Re: Calibra (C20XE) Rough Idle and No Power
« Reply #10 on: January 10, 2018, 23:53:06 PM »
Are you sure it’s fuel related if two separate fuelling systems produce the same weak results?

Offline StefanWylde

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Re: Calibra (C20XE) Rough Idle and No Power
« Reply #11 on: January 10, 2018, 23:59:10 PM »
Are you sure it’s fuel related if two separate fuelling systems produce the same weak results?

Well the LPG system gets the injection timing from the petrol injectors so..

Offline agw9262

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Re: Calibra (C20XE) Rough Idle and No Power
« Reply #12 on: January 11, 2018, 00:05:37 AM »
Well the LPG system gets the injection timing from the petrol injectors so..
Look, honestly if all your responses will be “I know more than you” then don’t ask for help on a public forum. People like me don’t respond because we think it’s some kind of challenge to guess the right answer - we do it to help people. The air intake including MAF, air intake temp, CTS, throttle position control fuelling via the ECU. As I said earlier you can’t trust a diagnostic aka reading the ECU codes as any kind of indication of problems. The age of the ECU and lack of maturity means that if you’re lucky enough to get any recorded fault it should be treated with caution. A multimeter and systematic fault finding are the only reliable method. Good luck.

Offline StefanWylde

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Re: Calibra (C20XE) Rough Idle and No Power
« Reply #13 on: January 11, 2018, 00:18:30 AM »
Look, honestly if all your responses will be “I know more than you” then don’t ask for help on a public forum. People like me don’t respond because we think it’s some kind of challenge to guess the right answer - we do it to help people. The air intake including MAF, air intake temp, CTS, throttle position control fuelling via the ECU. As I said earlier you can’t trust a diagnostic aka reading the ECU codes as any kind of indication of problems. The age of the ECU and lack of maturity means that if you’re lucky enough to get any recorded fault it should be treated with caution. A multimeter and systematic fault finding are the only reliable method. Good luck.

I'm sorry you took my words that way, english isn't my native so, I might sound a little bossy (NOT my intention). I was just trying to explain how my LPG system works, not saying that I know more than you. I'm trying to give you as much info as possible in order to get help. Anyways, I have tried with a different MAF sensor (from an already proven to work car), bought a brand new CTS, air intake temp is non-existent on my engine, and throttle position wasn't adjusted properly when I ran the diagnostics. I did adjust it afterwards but it did not help. What else could possibly influence my fueling?
Cheers, and I'm sorry if I offended you in any way.

Offline agw9262

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Re: Calibra (C20XE) Rough Idle and No Power
« Reply #14 on: January 11, 2018, 00:27:41 AM »
Okidoki. So, what about fuel pressure, should be 3 bar - are you able to check that? Also good to check the earth on the MAF and check it’s not broken. As these cars are getting older the looms are corroding/collapsing and causing problems. Use a multimeter to make sure you have zero resistance between MAF ground and battery negative/0v

Offline StefanWylde

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Re: Calibra (C20XE) Rough Idle and No Power
« Reply #15 on: January 11, 2018, 00:43:28 AM »
Okidoki. So, what about fuel pressure, should be 3 bar - are you able to check that? Also good to check the earth on the MAF and check it’s not broken. As these cars are getting older the looms are corroding/collapsing and causing problems. Use a multimeter to make sure you have zero resistance between MAF ground and battery negative/0v

I will check the MAF earth tomorrow morning, but I cannot check the fuel pressure until I visit my mechanic (about monday). Anyways, another useful info for my car's problem is that, if it's warm/hot/whatever, it takes a lot of cranking to start the engine. And every filter has been recently replaced: both of the fuel filters (petrol and lpg), oil filter and air filter.

Offline agw9262

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Re: Calibra (C20XE) Rough Idle and No Power
« Reply #16 on: January 11, 2018, 10:37:28 AM »
That does sound suspiciously like CTS... since fuelling is altered according to engine temperature to aid cold starts. I know you said you’d checked it but I’d be very tempted to also get a cold and hot resistance reading from it. I don’t have my book with me (traveling) but can check what it should be when I get home if you get readings we can compare it