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Not your typical cam position sensor issue
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Flapjack
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Not your typical cam position sensor issue - 06-17-2015

So after more than a year of sitting around and ignoring my car because I was so pissed off at it, I decided to call MMR and see if they'd warranty the engine that was knocking. Not sure why it went, but a main bearing came apart and made a nice groove in the crankshaft and chewed up the rod a bit. MMR was awesome. They refreshed the engine... new rings, bearings, crankshaft, and replaced the rod, but only charged me shipping. Very happy with them as of late.

Anyways, as always seems to happen with me, on the first startup, the cam timing was off. It always seems to want to jump a tooth when it starts. It's driving me crazy. Especially since the turbo flange on the driver's side prevents the valve cover from coming off, so the header has to come off on that side, which means the engine has to be lifted, which means the intake has to come off, etc. I've tried the garden sprayer trick before, and that doesn't help. Mark at MMR recommended not doing that, as he said it rarely helps, and it flushes the pre-assembly lube that is important for the first startup. Anyways...

On the first startup, the engine initially sounded good. After it had warmed up a bit, it stumbled and stalled out. Subsequent starts were harder, and required the pedal all the way down/throttle wide open to start.... probably the cylinders washed with fuel. That's when I did the compression test and found it to be about 40psi off on each side.

I took the car apart removed the valve covers. The cams were off by two teeth on each side. I re-timed them, then put it back together enough to do a compression test, which looked great. I continued working until I have it all back together and ready to start.

I started it up, only to have it behave the same way... stumbling, running rich, and stalling if I don't keep giving it gas. This time, however, it threw a wrench light. There were no CELs tripped, so I restarted it and tried to keep it running. Within a few seconds, a CEL for P0345 (bank 2 cam position sensor) went off. I cleared it, but it came right back. No other codes have tripped.

Now before everyone says "it's your alternator", I have a few inputs. One, it was working perfectly before I R&R'd the engine. Also, the alternator seems to 100% of the time trip P0340/P0344... not P0345, which indicates the circuit itself is not working (PCM sees no input from CMP).

I have two brand new CMP sensors that I bought and never needed, so I replaced them and got the exact same behavior. I checked the CMP harness/plug and couldn't find anything wrong. I also checked to make sure the CKP sensor was plugged in snug. I checked all the coil packs to make sure they were seated and plugged in. I also redid the compression test (scared to death it would be off again), but it was right where it usually is for this altitude (140-150psi with a dry test at 7400ft altitude).

I did pull the alternator to check at AutoZone/O'Reilly's on the way home, but I'm not holding my breath. My gut tells me it has something to do with one of the two wires between the harness plug and the PCM, but I can't find anything cut or pinched.

I've thought about ohm'ing out the wires, as well as possibly getting a cheap oscilloscope to see if they are triggering at different times, which might indicate the camshaft toner ring is off. But I doubt that is it, as the timing marks lined up correctly, and the compression seems good on each side.

Also, I have no cam phasers/solenoids. They are completely removed/blocked out using the block plates from the 3v V10.

Anything I'm missing?


2005 Legend Lime 5.4L 3v
14psi: 802 rwhp/789 rwtq , 21psi: 1018 rwhp/988 rwtq
TurboHP TT Kit MMR engine, RGR heads/cams
Corn fed on E85!
Built by me, tuned by Lito! (dyno video)
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TexasBlownV8
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06-17-2015

Well it seems you may have an issue with the timing chains staying in place? What have the other 'gods' on 'other forums ' said? (ok, I can go look, never mind).

I have to ask, but when you built the motor, did you replace the tensioners? Prime the tensioners before starting it up? What about the chain guides, what condition were those in? (have seen them needing replacement is a similar engine during a rebuild).

The only other thing I can think of is if the valves are hitting the engine, but you'd know that pretty quickly.
Is there any wobble on the crank?

If the chain timing was still spot-on, then yeah, I'd go down the different route of something else, and let Lito turn all that crap off ;) If the chain is jumping, that wont be no good!!!

(and x is a fun setup!!!!)


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Flapjack
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06-18-2015

Quote:
Originally Posted by TexasBlownV8 View Post
Well it seems you may have an issue with the timing chains staying in place? What have the other 'gods' on 'other forums ' said? (ok, I can go look, never mind).

I have to ask, but when you built the motor, did you replace the tensioners? Prime the tensioners before starting it up? What about the chain guides, what condition were those in? (have seen them needing replacement is a similar engine during a rebuild).

The only other thing I can think of is if the valves are hitting the engine, but you'd know that pretty quickly.
Is there any wobble on the crank?

If the chain timing was still spot-on, then yeah, I'd go down the different route of something else, and let Lito turn all that crap off ;) If the chain is jumping, that wont be no good!!!

(and x is a fun setup!!!!)
Thanks for the reply. No one on the ModFords or S197 forums has replied.

To answer your questions:
- I reused the tensioners, but they were still new. I also only use the 2/4v, all metal tensioners now. They are spring loaded. You put them in place, then pull the pin, and they spring out and put tension on the chains.

- I also reused the chain guides, but they were in great shape.

- As for the pistons hitting the valves, I've never heard of that happening with the 5.4L 3v. The pistons sitting pretty far below the deck, unlike the 4.6L.

I had the alternator tested last night. I passed without issue.

I also double-checked all the grounds. Not sure what to do at this point.

Is there any way the cams can be 'off', but still have good compression? In every case a tooth has jumped on me, the compression was always low. After I adjusted them, compression went up around 50psi to 150-160. I know that sounds low, but it's normally what I get at this altitude (11.8psi air pressure, vs 14.7psi at sea level).

If the cams were too far forward, I'd still have low compression, right? Also, the compression is slightly higher on the bank throwing the code. I think it was about 150 on the passenger, and closer to 160 on the driver's side. I only checked one plug, however, and didn't remove the others. I will do a full, wet compression test tonight, with all the plugs removed.


2005 Legend Lime 5.4L 3v
14psi: 802 rwhp/789 rwtq , 21psi: 1018 rwhp/988 rwtq
TurboHP TT Kit MMR engine, RGR heads/cams
Corn fed on E85!
Built by me, tuned by Lito! (dyno video)
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I just got back from testing the compression again. I also ran it a bit to see if I could replicate exactly what happened before (which it did). With the battery pulled for a few hours, itíll run/idle for at least 5 minutes. If I start bringing up the RPMs, the wrench light comes on around 1500-2000rpm. The engine shuts off. Starting again is tough. I have to turn the key completely off, then itíll start again. Bringing up the RPM past 1000 will then set the CEL of P0345. I can pull the battery and repeat with the exact same results. The last time the cam timing was off (same engine), it was completely drivable. It just never straightened out on the fuel trims. A compression test back then (when the cams were off two teeth) was ~100psi across all cylinders.

I went back and looked at my records from when the engine was running good, and the compression was not as high as I remembered. I was also reading the gauge wrong the other day when I quoted 150-160psi for the numbers (doh).

Here is the test from 2012:
Code:
------------------
4: 140	8: 145
3: 140	7: 142
2: 142	6: 145
1: 145	5: 142
------------------
Here is todayís test:
Code:
------------------
4: 134	8: 142
3: 131	7: 139
2: 132	6: 145
1: 135	5: 141
------------------
Hopefully the timing is ok. I would imagine one tooth off would make for more than a 8-10psi difference between banks, but I could be wrong. Also, the P0345 code indicates bank 2, which has slightly higher compression than bank 1.

Anyone?


2005 Legend Lime 5.4L 3v
14psi: 802 rwhp/789 rwtq , 21psi: 1018 rwhp/988 rwtq
TurboHP TT Kit MMR engine, RGR heads/cams
Corn fed on E85!
Built by me, tuned by Lito! (dyno video)
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06-20-2015

Email back and forth with MMR. They think the cam toner ring may be moving independently of the cam itself, since the compression doesn't appear to be off at all on that side. I didn't think that was possible, but they've said it is.

I'm wondering now if I can remove CMP sensor, stick a screwdriver in there to "catch" the toner fingers, and see if it gives while the crank and camshaft turn...

First email:
Quote:
Hi Chris, the compression #ís are all very consistent and look perfect for a new engine, we do not see any issue there or believe that you have set the cam timing wrong. I do wonder if one of the trigger wheels on the camshaft twisted at the time of installation however as that would certainly give the trouble and code you have but would not effect cam timing or compression.
My reply:
Quote:
Thanks for the reply. I have no reason to believe they twisted. None of the cam toner fingers were bent, either. However, I'm having a hard time remembering how they are secured. Is it bolted down by the cam bolt? If that were the case *maybe* it could spin. But I also seem to remember 4-5 rounded bolts around the wheel. If I've never removed them, I can't see how they could move at all.
Next MMR reply:
Quote:
Chris, the trigger wheel is retained by 3 shallow roll pins, the shear off very easily and turn as the bolt is tightened. if they have been removed and installed a few times this is likely the issue.


2005 Legend Lime 5.4L 3v
14psi: 802 rwhp/789 rwtq , 21psi: 1018 rwhp/988 rwtq
TurboHP TT Kit MMR engine, RGR heads/cams
Corn fed on E85!
Built by me, tuned by Lito! (dyno video)
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06-26-2015

Just got done farting around with the car some more. The timing was off by one tooth on the passenger side. It looks like the timing is perfect now (compression test confirms), however I'm still getting cam position sensor codes. This time though, I'm getting the codes on both sides. P0340 and P0345 (was just P0345 before).

I've gone over the wiring, but couldn't find squat. I haven't ruled that out completely, though. I'm going to replace the alternator first, even though it tested fine.

Another thing I found in a random F150 thread, which scares the shit out of me, is someone installed their crank trigger wheel backwards. I seriously doubt I installed mine backwards, but if everything else checks out, I guess I'll have to pull off the front cover. :(


2005 Legend Lime 5.4L 3v
14psi: 802 rwhp/789 rwtq , 21psi: 1018 rwhp/988 rwtq
TurboHP TT Kit MMR engine, RGR heads/cams
Corn fed on E85!
Built by me, tuned by Lito! (dyno video)
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Today, I tried a brand new alternator and reflashing the tune. No go. I also thoroughly went over the engine harness, and there isn't a single place that is even close to being pinched. I was able to put eyes on all the areas of the harness under the hood, and not a single wire or sheath was compromised. Unless a wire broke inside a bundle (which is unlikely). The only thing I have not checked yet are the three connectors to the PCM. I relocated it to the fender well when I installed the turbos years ago. I have not had a problem with it until the recent engine rebuild... but it's definitely something worth looking at.

On a related note, is there by chance a fuse (or fuses) that if blown could cause this issue?


2005 Legend Lime 5.4L 3v
14psi: 802 rwhp/789 rwtq , 21psi: 1018 rwhp/988 rwtq
TurboHP TT Kit MMR engine, RGR heads/cams
Corn fed on E85!
Built by me, tuned by Lito! (dyno video)
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What a nightmare....
In our case we're very luck to have DGR Performance just a few miles away.




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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brumby View Post
What a nightmare....
In our case we're very luck to have DGR Performance just a few miles away.

I shudder to think of how much troubleshooting this issue on my car would cost. The turbos make getting any of the covers off a royal PITA.


2005 Legend Lime 5.4L 3v
14psi: 802 rwhp/789 rwtq , 21psi: 1018 rwhp/988 rwtq
TurboHP TT Kit MMR engine, RGR heads/cams
Corn fed on E85!
Built by me, tuned by Lito! (dyno video)
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Well, I made some progress today. No fix (yet), but I was able to rule out three things:

1) The crank position sensor was good. Unfortunately, I can't return it, now that I've used it. Not that it's even worth dropping the A/C compressor again...

2) Using a borescope, I was able to look inside towards the crank gears. The trigger wheel is in there, exactly how it should be, with the fingers pointing forward.

3) Wild White Pony on the S197 forums had shown an instance where the notch for the crank pulley pin had somehow got widened. Not sure if it was throwing the same codes, but I was able to put a screwdriver in there, grab the teeth, and not move it in any direction... which is great.

I'm seriously running out of options here. I don't know what to do now. Here's what I've been able to rule out:

- Engine timing: while off at first, it is ON now. The car sounds great while idling (until I rev it to 1500-2000rpm, when the wrench light kicks in). Also, compression is right where it should be.

- Camshaft position sensors: Replaced both.

- Alternator: Replaced

- Wiring harness: Visual inspection only. No damage observed

- CMP sensor plugs: pins are straight and clip in well

- Reflashed current tune: No difference

- Checked toner rings to see if they move independently: they are solid

- Crankshaft position sensor: Replaced

- Crankshaft reluctor/trigger wheel: visually inspected to confirm it points forward

- Crankshaft reluctor/trigger wheel: tried to move independent of crankshaft. Not a budge.

At this point, I think I need the step-by-step troubleshooting procedures from the FSM. I will try to find them, but if anyone knows where I should be looking, I'd appreciate it.


2005 Legend Lime 5.4L 3v
14psi: 802 rwhp/789 rwtq , 21psi: 1018 rwhp/988 rwtq
TurboHP TT Kit MMR engine, RGR heads/cams
Corn fed on E85!
Built by me, tuned by Lito! (dyno video)
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