Kurt Bilinski's build

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John Hancock
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Re: Kurt Bilinski's build

Postby John Hancock » 01 Nov 2017, 21:39

When you point to the website on the bar do they get a stupid look on their face?

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Re: Kurt Bilinski's build

Postby Midlana1 » 28 Nov 2017, 16:07

Between finally getting the intercooler ducting installed - my excuse for not doing a final ECU tune - and having some time off, it's time. Plus, it's been so long since I last worked on the tune that I afraid I'm forgetting stuff; I never figuring out why the engine blew up two years ago, and always felt like the last tuner might not have been experienced with the AEM Infinity ECU.

I tuned it myself and think it's okay, but still want an expert review, which means trailering the car into Los Angeles on a work day, ugh. Then there's the U-Haul rental trailer that seems specially designed to try and slice open the floor panels. But in spite of all that, it needs to get done to really confirm the tune is good. I've always had nagging doubts that maybe I have the wrong settings, or wrongly set up the fuel maps, or cam timing, or protection features I set wrong or aren't aware of, so for the peace of mind, that'll happen tomorrow. I'll take pictures and maybe some video.

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Re: Kurt Bilinski's build

Postby Langan » 29 Nov 2017, 05:59

Good luck

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Re: Kurt Bilinski's build

Postby Midlana1 » 12 Dec 2017, 09:12

Tuning summary:
Turns out that the previous tuner had locked out cam timing; variable cam timing is a big reason why Honda engines make the power they do. Timing was also off somewhat. Fixing both freed up an additional 10-30% torque everywhere and deserves an "!". Between the two, it was such an improvement that maximum boost was able to be reduced from ~20 psi to 16 psi on E85, and about 15 psi on 91 octane pump gas. As an aside, it always puzzled me how some people with nearly-identical engines were making 100 hp more than mine with lower boost. Now I know why.

Boost control was configured as "boost-by-gear", meaning that boost is set by what gear is in use - sort of a poor-man's traction control*. It was changed to be controlled by a dash-mounted multi-position switch that sets it directly. I find it easier to drive the car knowing how much boost is on-hand instead of having to modulate the maximum amount. It's probably more a mental thing but it works for me.

As mentioned on midlana.com, drivability tuning continues. The tuner handled parts of the tune that are hard to do anywhere but on a dyno, but we ran out of time to handle the more nuanced settings such as start-up, idle, acceleration, and deceleration. Given that the car operates in those modes about 99% of the time, it's actually a pretty big deal.

*That's the short explanation, that boost is set in each gear to be just short of wheel-spin. It's not true traction control because if dirt, sand, gravel, water, coolant, or oil is on the road, wheel spin will still be a problem.

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Re: Kurt Bilinski's build

Postby Midlana1 » 30 Dec 2017, 17:16

As mentioned elsewhere, I periodically do a Google search on "Midlana" to see what's being said. Ran across the following on the Factory Five site:
... And for what it's worth, he's had lots of issues with his Honda. For example, something I didn't know was that Hondas also blow engines in high G turns because the timing chain picks up oil in the turn, raises it like an escalator to the top of the head, and the pickup starves out. Blown engines and issues are not just a Subaru thing!

Sigh, this is the Interweb, where you can state any "facts" you want by picking and choosing statements. He is correct about:
Hondas also blow engines in high G turns because the timing chain picks up oil in the turn, raises it like an escalator to the top of the head, and the pickup starves out.


The part that got me wound up was saying Hondas are unreliable, and wording it as though I blew up the engine due to oiling issues, so "therefore" Hondas aren't any better than Subarus. What he omitted was that during the build, I used a pan which solved the above problem and later switched to a dry sump setup. The destroyed engine showed zero oiling issues. I registered on that site specifically to correct the words he's attributing to me. As far as it being unreliable, um, I'm making 500 hp, that's to be expected. I'll sit down now.

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Re: Kurt Bilinski's build

Postby Midlana1 » 30 Dec 2017, 17:19

Back on-topic, replaced the throttle body, it was indeed sticking open very slightly above idle, and very inconsistently. With that fixed (I have no idea how old the original throttle body is, or its replacement for that matter), various idle settings were dialed in and I'm very happy with the resulting idle quality, very near "OEM."

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Re: Kurt Bilinski's build

Postby steveo » 30 Dec 2017, 17:40

LOL! The timing chain can lift enough oil from the sump to starve the pickup?????? I assume the timing chain therefore has lots of little buckets on it so that it can pickup all that oil!!!!

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Re: Kurt Bilinski's build

Postby Midlana1 » 30 Dec 2017, 19:03

No, that's a real thing. Get a timing chain moving fast and it can lift a lot of oil. Couple that with hard cornering and it's bad news. I learned about that from people who road race K-series cars.

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Re: Kurt Bilinski's build

Postby ChrisS » 31 Dec 2017, 13:53

I've done the register on a forum just to correct a mis-quote thing before too. Normally I don't much care, but this one occasion, someone on a forum I frequented seemed to take offence to me having an opinion about something so decided to trash-talk and mis-quote me over on a Ferrari forum where he spent the bulk of his online time. His assertion was that carburettors are better than EFI - I asked him (politely) to define better and it kind of went downhill from there. I think mainly because I had the temerity to disagree with him and put up some arguments to support it - guess he wasn't used to that. I'm not even sure how I came across it - I think someone told me about it actually. Anyhoo, he had picked a few words here and there from something I had said, totally changing the meaning, then put it up as a direct quote and then proceeded to ridicule it. If I had actually written what he claimed I had, then it would indeed have been worthy of the ridicule, but I hadn't, not even close. I called him out on his Ferrari forum, quoting myself verbatim with a link to the original post. Never heard another word. I do confess to being rather rude to him on said Ferrari forum too.

He was one of those cheque-book types - never did a single thing himself, just paid others to do work. That's absolutely fine, but don't ever use "I" when describing what has been done unless it is accompanied by "told the shop to". His main sin as far as I am concerned was to convert a genuine Lancia Stratos Stradale into a Gp4 rally replica and then try to claim it was a genuine works car.

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Re: Kurt Bilinski's build

Postby Midlana1 » 09 Jan 2018, 11:58

When a car is dyno-tuned, it's fairly straightforward for the tuner to set up the fuel, ignition, cam, and VE tables, with the process typically taking 2-4 hours. For a complete tune however, far more time goes into the much more mundane and less crowd-pleasing - but arguably as important - goal of getting the car to act as "OEM" as possible. That means when you start the engine when cold, it starts and idles smoothly as it warms up. It means when you step on the gas leaving a stop, the engine doesn't try to quit or fall on its face. It means when you come to a stop, the engine smoothly approaches idle without undue oscillations or attempts to quit. There are many other parameters which must be set as well, and many of them can be done at the kitchen table with a laptop, but idle has to be dealt with in the garage and on the road.

Since the last retune, that's what nearly all of the test drives have been about, getting it to be something I like driving. To me, pulling up next to a modified car and hearing its irregular idle just says to me, "he's an amateur." Don't be that guy. It reminds me of that phrase, "Be careful what you wish for" because many people think they want total control and tunability in their ECU. Vendors called our bluff and said "okay, here you go." and now owners and tuners are faced with doing all the little stuff that OEMs spend weeks or months doing, getting the engine to be "polite."


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