my boost problem & mini-report on the NEQ WGI Driver Ed Event

Phil Rose pjrose at
Wed Jul 16 13:55:36 EDT 2003

First, here's my little problem: I'm trying to diagnose the reason
for loss of top-end boost, which became evident only during my final
run-session yesterday at WGI. The car's performance (Lehmann-chipped
'91 200q) seemed normal for a day-and-a-half on the track, until late
yesterday afternoon. Then, during my last red-group session on-track,
I was being passed _much_ more often and was needing to downshift
more frequently than was usual. It dawned on me that I no longer felt
any significant "kick" from the turbo on the straights. I verified
that the boost gauge showed at least 0.2 or 0.3 bar _less_ than usual
(at max). This session was suddenly no fun at all. I pitted  a lap or
two early out of consideration for my ailing vehicle and for the
other drivers. The boost performance did not improve after cooling
down (i.e., during the drive home), even though I did stop along the
highway to remove the ECU fuses for a few minutes. Some WOT testing
shows boost coming on more slowly than usual and topping out too low
(by 0.2 bar). Between 3 and 5K RPM, the engine felt verrry slightly
"uneven"--perhaps pulsation/missing is a better term for it.  No
significant ECU fault codes were retained as of this morning's
reading (unfortunately I was too weary on the trip home to bother
reading fault codes). It could be a simple matter of hose-clamp
leakage, etc., although perhaps something has caused the ECU to
retard timing. I did add a large quantity of (allegedly) 93 octane
fuel just before the second day of the event. Bad gas? The BPV is
new. WGFV is just a few yrs old. I have naturally been concerned
about the amount of life remaining in my old (140K) MM hose, and I'll
certainly give that another close inspection--later today.

IIRC, the procedure for clearing ECU codes (fault memory) is to
simply pull the red block of "motor" fuses. However I don't recall if
the clearing is accomplished instantaneously--or if it requires
keeping the fuses out beyond some specific amount of time (e.g., > 5
minutes??)  I have a vague recollection of Ned Ritchie mentioning
some time requirement for this????

Other than my little problem with boost, I (and most others, I hope)
had a couple of superb days--both the weather _and_ event
organization--at the NEQ's Watkins Glen Drivers Ed Event held earlier
this week. No rain (!!!) and moderate (mid 80s) temps. Event
organizer Mike Scanlan did a great job keeping things running
smoothly. Since NEQ no longer gets together at the Mt Washington Hill
Climb, this is my only opportunity to meet up with the faithful, such
as Paul and Bonnie Royal, Chris Miller, and Brett Dikeman. One new
feature this year was a large-scale, fully annotated, detailed course
map that can be studied between runs (meticulously outlined in shoe
polish on all body panel's of Paul Royal's car). This was carefully
done so as not to obscure the bullet-hole graphics on the driver's
door panel.

Fortunately no one seems to have suffered any serious bent metal
during the event. Royal can probably testify to a student creating
some bent grass! Also, some "bent" rubber: Seems that on the night
before the first day, a participant installed a set of wheels with
brand new track tires. Then the next morning  on his drive to the
track, he discovered "clearance issues" which by then had managed to
chew up the brand new tires beyond possible use. He was awarded
recognition for this "accomplishment" at the Monday banquet, but I
doubt it helped his feelings of dismay.

Late yeaterday there was evidently a weird sequence of events leading
to bent-valve situation. This involved one of Glenn Lawton's cars
(his Audi 4000--not the Mazda). The engine evidently had quit at some
point before I encountered Glenn and Alan Belavance hovering over it
in the pseudo-garage area beneath the grandstands. They were in the
process of removing the car's T-belt cover, so I stopped to kibbitz.
When the T-belt cover came off, we saw that there was a long stip of
frayed rubber that protruded from--and was stuck firmly in--the
vicinity of the water pump. However, whatever could be seen of the
T-belt itself looked pretty good. "What _is_ that thing?" asked
Glenn. Alan speculated that it was piece of the T-belt--coming apart
(separating away) from its edge. I looked and noted that the
mysterious strip of rubber had green printing with the word "Gates"
on it, and it was definitely _not_ a piece of T-belt. It turns out
that shortly before the car stopped running, it had lost the PS pump
drive-belt. This broken belt then had evidently become sucked under
the T-belt cover and been eaten up by the T-belt. Chris Miller came
along and helped to verify that the jamming by this drive-belt
appears to have caused serious bent-valve "issues"--accounting for
the inability to restart the engine. Although Glenn's car had been
driven to WG from New Hampshire, it unfortunately wouldn't be going
home under its own power.

That's enough from me. Other can (and hopefully will) fill in many
details and happenings that I know I missed.


Phil Rose				Rochester, NY USA
'91 200q	(140K, Lago blue)
'91 200q   (64K, Tornado red)			mailto:pjrose at

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