Blown Injector Seals!
Ok everyone, I'm here today to add to the collective and hopefully save some of you some frustration and expense. I have been chasing demons in my engine since I have gotten it back last year in January. As many of you may remember, I had an engine built by P3 and have quite a list of supporting mods. Upon taking it to Cobb, I never could get any power out of it. In fact, when trying to tune the car, it was making less than stock power. After dropping something around $3,000 at Cobb (diagnostics and AP) on top of my $8,800 to buy this engine from P3 and then the $3,500 to have my old engine pulled and replaced with the new one AND the 800 bucks to seal up an oil leak on the NEW engine. I was beyond wiped out, mad as hell and just plain exhausted. The car ran, but had only a fraction of the spirit it once did.
I have been driving it since about last August and it has been getting me around just fine. Oddly it idled just fine, no smoking, it purred down the highway but just didn't have the power it used to. I noticed that as the temperatures came up outside (into the 100s) the car had even less power and seemed to not like to go under boost. I had been running about 12 psi (that's where Cobb set it when we threw in the towel last summer). Of course it's summer now and finally I had the time, energy and job stability to start looking into this again.
My car now has about 152,000 miles on it. Engine still runs well. Idles quietly, no smoking no problem as a daily driver just to get around town. I finally started to suspect that maybe an Engine Coolant temperature sensor was not working judging from how the heat seemed to make the car behave so slugglishly under boost. I remembered how I once had an old Ford Crown Victoria that had an ECT go bad and the idle went erratic and the engine raced in park/neutral. It also lacked power when this occurred. Since I was going to tear off the intake manifold and surrounding piping to do the starter (this is in another thread), I decided to do the ECT and finally go ahead and put in injector seals.
After my ordeal at Cobb last summer, I knew that cylinder number 2 had a bit of a leak according to their compression test. They suggested I rebuild the brand-new engine to the tune of 5,000 dollars. There was no way I could do that after what I had spent. It was suggested to me by one of the previous members of P3 that when my engine was installed, they might have used the old injector seals and that I could have one or more of them going bad. Finally, since I was doing the starter anyway, I decided to just swap out the damn injector seals just to cover myself. Very coincidentally, I also ran across a thread on here discussing the injector seals and how they can blow on this car. Yet another weak point that is so small but so critical. So after reading about the CP-E Safe Seal product for our injectors, I decided to order those and do this all at once.
I installed these new injector seals (which utilize and accompany OEM injector seals, which I had purchased already and had them laying around). I also installed the ECT sensor and the starter.
Turns out my ECT sensor was completely busted. How it didn't throw a CEL I don't know but the plastic housing on top with the contacts inside was loose and would spin independently of the metal bottom portion of the sensor that screws into the head. Jackpot.
I pulled the injectors and all 4 old seals looked like hell. The black portion of the seals, which is the outer part of the o-ring looking seal, were disintegrated and mostly missing. I will attach pictures to the thread. No wonder I had cylinders leaking down on a pressure test. One point that was made was that since I never had any oil burning or smoking, then it may very well not be an issue with the rings in cylinder two. I'm now more inclined to believe this to be the case.
Upon putting everything back together (and this definitely was a time consuming job - took all Saturday afternoon), I gave everything a cursory check, made sure there were no boost leaks and cleaned up the engine. Car roared to life. Idled flawlessly. I could tell by the sound that something was different somehow, smoother. Not a placebo affect apparently. I left the 12 psi tune on the AP and took the car for a ride. Drastic difference from the get-go. Response and smoothness had improved drastically. I also noticed that the cooling fans on the engine seem to operate normally now. (result of the new ECT).
So here is what I did next. I pulled the stage 2+ tune off of Cobb's site and installed that on the Accessport. I have the boost at 16 psi right now and it's a tremendous difference. Feels like it is developing power that is more like what it used to be like before my engine blew. Definitely a good sign. I'm going to do some testing and changing of the tune before I try taking it to Cobb to see about putting it on the dyno and determining if we have finally solved this mystery. I can only hope and pray. It has been a long year with the car being more or less handicapped but if it can end and be a beast once again because of some $100 injector seals, then so be it. Way better than the alternative of building the engine over! I'll keep you guys posted. Ask me any questions you may have.
'06 Black Mica Mazdaspeed 6 GT (SOLD!)
P3 BUILT Engine w/BSD, Spec 2+ Clutch, BNR Stage 3 turbo, HKS SSQV BOV, HKS Twin-Power Ignition, HPFpump w/KMD internals, Saikou Catch Can, Driver's Wheel Well Vent Cover, R1 Concepts Slotted Rotors. Cobb Accessport tuned at 24 psi w/3 Bar MAP
CP-E: Rear Mount, DeltaCore FMIC, Downpipe, SafeSeal Injector seals VentPod w/VEI boost guage, Magnaflow Catback Exhaust, JBR 3.5" Full Intake, VCTS Delete, Redline Synthetic Gear Lubes, Battery Relocated to Trunk