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Old 05-16-2020, 09:01 PM   #21
fdryer
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Default Re: Leaking fuel line at fuel rail?

As far as both compression tests, they seem perfect without any need for a wet test. If a wet test is performed, my guess is compression will jump above 200 psi, indicating excellent minimum wear to piston rings and valve seats.

I'm not sure if aa1car.com describes vacuum gauge values but basic info describes naturally aspirated engines as always sucking in air as part of the intake cycle. Since a vacuum is always created from every cylinder during its intake cycle, the intake manifold where map sensor and vacuum ports measure values, vacuum will vary. Most idling engines with nearly closed throttle implies moderate vacuum between 15-18 in hg. Varying throttle means vacuum will vary as throttle plate opening/more fuel increases rpm with an increase in vacuum during throttle opening. If throttle is held in one rpm setting, vacuum will stabilize to one value. If attempting to understand varying vacuum values while blipping throttle, you're attempting to examine dynamically varying set of numbers (rpm, throttle plate angle, throttle position sensor, map sensor, fuel mixtures, intake air volume, etc), you're juggling many things at once. If you were raised to understand basic x-y graphs and now add a z axis, three dimensional modeling occurs. Now jump to computational fluid dynamics............ It's simply easier to use base values that are controlled like idle rpm and associated values of vacuum, coolant temperature, throttle position, map, etc. This presumes all values are measured with a normal engine. Without base values, measuring anything may be misinterpreted from lack of knowing what base numbers are in relation to say, idle rpm.
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Old 05-17-2020, 02:40 AM   #22
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Default Re: Leaking fuel line at fuel rail?

Remove the EGR can gasket.
Fuel trims at idle indicate you do not have a vacuum leak.

How old are those wires? It's hard to see in the video, but are they installed correctly?

Engine: 1,2,3,4
Coils: 4,1,2,3

Vacuum testing for a restricted exhaust:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d-jp1IIJVVk
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Old 05-18-2020, 12:05 AM   #23
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Default Re: Leaking fuel line at fuel rail?

Took some more videos and did some more tests.

Exhaust restriction vacuum test, seems normal to me:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hVr1mSTLN7k

Tracing all spark plug wires to prove up correct connection order:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HvwPdpWPx2I

Spark test on Cylinder #4:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qQ6yyVC4WXI

Spark test on Cylinder #1:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OEQ3tlANYeU

Spark test on Cylinder #2:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_dv4BzNFQ2Y

Spark test on Cylinder #3:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CgVcysKxhyU

Results of resistance test on spark plug wires:

Cylinder #1: 9.1k
Cylinder #2: 7.6k
Cylinder #3: 6.5k
Cylinder #4: 4.2k

As I mention in one of the videos the ONLY code the car has ever thrown after this issue started (so in about the last four or so months) is a misfire on cylinder 3. It normally doesn't record anything but every once in a while, usually by accelerating really hard (or sometimes just randomly) I can get it to
throw that code, which is why I replaced the fuel injector on cylinder 3, since everything else I could test looked good and my bench top testing of the fuel injectors seemed less reliable than the tests I could perform on compression and spark. Didn't help, but I figured it wouldn't hurt anything since I was cleaning the rail anyway.

It's about $24 for an ECU off ebay, so I could replace that. I haven't replaced the fuel pressure regulator or the coil packs or the ignition control module. I just hate throwing parts at a problem but not sure what to do next. Any other tests I could perform? I've got a boroscope type cell phone camera I could stick in the cylinders if I can get it to work and if any of you think that might be of use.

I'd expect to see more in the way of compression or vacuum issues if there was a physical engine defect, but I'm out of ideas.

Assuming the videos look correct to you, what might be the next steps from here? And thank you again for all the information and help in trying to diagnose this.
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Old 05-19-2020, 01:48 PM   #24
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Default Re: Leaking fuel line at fuel rail?

You mentioned in post #8;
Quote:
"I have a very intermittent (and thus hard to pinpoint) loss of power while driving."
Can you make an egr bypass, blocking off the ports underneath the egr valve with a soup can gasket? A temporary sheet metal gasket lasts longer as you can drive around for awhile without the egr operating (ignore the check engine light for now until removing the blocking gasket).

The egr valve meters exhaust gases into the intake manifold to dilute the air/fuel mixtures, lowering combustion temperatures to control oxides of nitrogen emissions. Metering occurs only during acceleration and cruise, off/closed at idle or wide open throttle. Excessive amounts of exhaust gases entering the intake manifold can create unusual problems.

Unfortunately, there are many issues OBD II readers/scantools will never reveal.
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Old 05-19-2020, 05:49 PM   #25
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Default Re: Leaking fuel line at fuel rail?

Thanks for the reply.

Issue has gotten worse and now occurs while in park as well. I put on an EGR can gasket per Cheyne but I haven't driven around with it on. I'll put it back on and try driving around with it on and let you know.
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Old 05-19-2020, 05:59 PM   #26
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Default Re: Leaking fuel line at fuel rail?

I don't think I'd drive around with a thin aluminum gasket. You may want a heavier steel as mentioned by fdryer if you're going to road test it.

Have you checked the pcv valve to make sure it rattles freely?

How old are the wires? The wire dress needs to be corrected. You don't need all of the spacers, but it should look like this with 4 and 1 parallel and the wires in the appropriate notch on the cover:

https://imgur.com/W6Nqa
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Old 05-20-2020, 04:13 PM   #27
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Default Re: Leaking fuel line at fuel rail?

Cheyne-
-good call on the wires
-Nice Header!

Enhanced:
The wires should run parallel at equidistant as far as possible, and the plugs
need to be conventional style (Not the thin-pinned platinum wire type), for the reason that the ('waste spark') system employs the capacitance between the conductors to enable the ECM to figure out some characteristics of the ignition.
> Where has the rig been driven? Is there evidence of corrosion underhood?


On my '97 the 3 best maintenance moves I did were:
1.) new quality plug wires - Magnatec not necessary, but I never had plug or wire issues thereafter.
2.) after performing fuel pressure regulator test (results good) I renewed the regulator. OldNuc used to say that the old regulators STICK in position during operations. A mechanic-friend used to drive around with a pressure gage attached/visible... oft found issues not apparent when stationary.
3.) when I had radiator out, I removed the Ignition Control Module. I cleaned up the aluminum plate on underside, and matching area on transmission hsg; never had any issues with ignition from 170kMi (when replaced wires) through 235kMi (when sucked valve martyred engine). I was able to get new OEM fastner bolts for the ICM (they plated with aluminum I think).

I think the Grounding of the ICM can be important-- On my 2000, after
renewing grounds within the engine compartment... an 'uneven idle' issue resolved.

Last edited by TomM96; 05-20-2020 at 04:16 PM. Reason: fergat un
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Old 05-21-2020, 01:40 AM   #28
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Default Re: Leaking fuel line at fuel rail?

fdryer/Cheyne - Took it for a drive with more better EGR bypass installed. Issue persists, happened about six times over a 20 minute drive, once at cruise, once on braking and the rest on acceleration but I did notice that the fuel pressure varies between 32 to 42 PSI. Oddly the car only stutters when it hits about 40+ psi, I'd have expected it to stutter at 32, but nope. Is fuel pressure supposed to increase on acceleration and decrease on braking? I can find idle fuel pressure numbers but not numbers for braking, cruise or acceleration. At one point my gauge failed to settle and just hopped around like a mad flea between 34 and 36. Normally it's stable and it went back to being stable after I parked the car again.

I also removed and cleaned the coil packs and the ICM and reran the wires. Looked pretty clean on the contact surfaces, which surprised me considering how dirty the engine is. Eventually I'll fire up my 3d printer again and copy that wire layout shown in the picture, for now I just put the wires back in the head cover.

I still need to check the PCV valve (replaced a year ago) and pull the fuel rail so I can make sure I'm ordering the right fuel pressure regulator. Gotta come out anyway so I'll pull it to compare before I order the replacement.

Cheyne - Spark plug wires were replaced with a decent set about three years ago. Resistance seems right, also, my idiot test: grabbing them when the car is running to see if I get zapped, suggests the insulation is intact. I'll probably order a new set if the fuel pressure regulator doesn't fix it.

No corrosion beyond what you'd expect of a vehicle this age. I bought it down in southern IL and it's now in eastern WA, it has never been near the ocean and only been exposed to very minimal road salt.

I put copper plugs back in it a while ago, replaced the platinum I had in there, after someone on here suggested that, it ran less bad, but there's still a very obvious performance/stuttering problem.

TomM96 - When you say 'renewed' the regulator, do you mean bought a new one or took the old one apart and cleaned it, or is there a rebuild kit for these things? If I can clean and not wait a week for the part that'd be awesome.

Thanks for all the advice. I don't mind trying everything, but was really running out of ideas. Hoping the fuel pressure numbers changing means something and isn't normal. Really tired of all my tests appearing fine while the car doesn't run right.
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Old 05-21-2020, 11:42 AM   #29
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Default Re: Leaking fuel line at fuel rail?

No, fuel pressure should not vary greatly as you've observed. The reason for a fuel pressure regulator is to maintain pressure within a range. Your large pressure varying between 32-42 psi is either an incorrect/non oem fuel filter and/or pressure regulator.
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Old 05-21-2020, 11:55 AM   #30
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Default Re: Leaking fuel line at fuel rail?

Whoa there! This is a '97 with conventional fuel-pressure regulator (FPR) on the rail and a return line back to the tank?

If so, fuel pressure should vary considerably, somewhat in proportion to the MAP. It may well vary from 44 psig at wide-open throttle (MAP about 101 kPa) to 32 psig during decel (MAP going down toward 20 kPa).
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Old 05-21-2020, 02:56 PM   #31
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Default Re: Leaking fuel line at fuel rail?

Thanks for the replies. Obviously I hope it's a fuel pressure problem, because I still haven't actually managed to find a problem linked to any specific component. Hunting for car gremlins is not my favorite hobby.

Fuel pressure regulator is on the fuel rail. I couldn't find a picture of the 97 fuel rail (and haven't pulled mine yet) but it basically looks like this one from a 93-94, except round instead of square: http://www.2040-parts.com/93-94-satu...tor--i1123408/

Mine also has the two lines coming off the rail, one being a feed line to the engine (from gas tank) and the other being a return line to the tank by way of, as memory serves, a carbon canister. As a means of testing flow/pump I also ran about a pint of fuel into a jar, flow looks strong and consistent, though I have no way of testing it under pressure.

Fuel filter was replaced about a year ago.

Last edited by enhancedrouting; 05-21-2020 at 03:04 PM.
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Old 05-21-2020, 02:59 PM   #32
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Default Re: Leaking fuel line at fuel rail?

I find it difficult to search threads within these forums as fuel pressures have been posted from service manuals. Maybe I should try the advanced search feature. Below is a copy from another site listing info, (https://www.slideshare.net/punyabenj...specifications). There may be other sites listing info.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg fuel-pressure-specifications-15-638.jpg (32.9 KB, 9 views)
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Old 05-26-2020, 05:00 PM   #33
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Default Re: Leaking fuel line at fuel rail?

Numbers and data are much appreciated, thank you.

It'll be a week or two before I update again but I got annoyed and just ordered everything I haven't replaced yet. So I've got a crank sensor, replacement coils and ICM and complete fuel rail (rail+injectors+regulator) coming such that I will have replaced everything inline except the fuel pump and ECM, or tested everything to be sure it's good, within the last 12ish months.

I'll replace one thing at a time to try and locate the problem, if that don't fix it, well, my head is getting worn out from all the scratching.

Thanks for the continued help.
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Old 05-29-2020, 09:23 PM   #34
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Default Re: Leaking fuel line at fuel rail?

Wasn't the crank sensor.

Wrong fuel line shipped to me, waiting on the right one to replace all of that.
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Old 05-29-2020, 09:51 PM   #35
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Default Re: Leaking fuel line at fuel rail?

Will you do a (brief) recap of what the current problem is? This thread started as a simple"fuel leak" and has since blossomed. I'm confused about what issue you are trying to resolve now.

PS: are you using live-data?
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Old 06-17-2020, 09:13 PM   #36
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Default Re: Leaking fuel line at fuel rail?

Sure, it's a random hesitation issue, stutters on acceleration, cruise and just randomly too.

So far I've gotten live data (both while parked and while driving) from the OBD2 port, vacuum and fuel rail (ran gauges for both into my cabin.)

I have replaced: temp sensor, plugs (with copper instead of new fangled metals), fuel filter, ICM and coil packs, plug wires, fuel pressure regulator, fuel injectors, fuel rail, crank sensor and probably some other things I'm forgetting.

I most recently replaced the fuel pressure regulator (after several messed up deliveries that took about three weeks to sort out) I think the unit I got was defective because the problem got worse and my fuel pressure readings went from normal tolerances (32-42) to 26-28 PSI. So now I've got another regulator coming. If that doesn't fix it I'm thinking I'll drop the fuel tank and replace the pump, followed by the ECU. After which I can't think of anything else to replace.

As always, advice welcome. Thanks
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Old 06-17-2020, 11:23 PM   #37
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Default Re: Leaking fuel line at fuel rail?

@enhancedrouting:

Soo, BillR is correct that the '97/gen2 regulator responds to varying vacuum by changing the pressure (rare error by FD~).

I tested mine by observing that the pressure moved through the specified range as vacuum varied. It passed that test (and that was the only check I performed); I proceeded to install a new pressure regulator, and was delighted at the improved performance across-the-board. Significantly, OldNuc counseled that those regulators age/wear, such that they STICK in a position after the vacuum changes. Sooo, the old regulator (I think I went through that at about 170kMi) can cause flat spots, or hesitation, or excessive fuel consumption, because of its sluggish response to vacuum changing.

The other thing(s) that might cause hesitation MIGHT be the EGR, or IACV
(idle air control valve), and possibly a leak allowing intake manifold vacuum
to leak (which is the trouble sometimes with EGR). My '97 car would occasionally lose rpms at idle (down to say, 400-500), and that seemed to be from IACV sticking (again, hesitation from a mechanical movement that was slower than design).

I doubt the hesitation would relate to the ignition, since that is a faster electric activity. However, the 'stutter' could be misfire, or weak spark.
I might suggest to remove the ICM and clean it up a little, then re-install,
being careful not to overtighten the M6X1 screws. (Maybe polish the copper/brass ring/eyelets beneath the ICM mounting screws, as these convey ground connection). I thoroughly cleaned & remounted my '97 ICM when I got the car @150kMi; I had to mess with the spark plugs (slight fouling) until I took OldNuc's advice and bought a set of Magnecor http://magnecorusa.com/ plug wires (after which plugs lasted much longer & I stopped messing with that).

Point being that after cleaning up my ICM... there were few ignition issues, and None after the magnecor wires; ran car to 230kMi. I'm presently running 10-year old Belkin(NAPA) wires on my 2000, with no issues (after re-torqueing the ICM mounting screws, And cleaning all the underhood grounds, except those on the transmission). Before cleaning the engine compartment grounds, there was a noticeable unevenness in the idle (but, no longer after ground cleaning).
* *
Another grounding saga: I was working as an electric/electronic tech in a local factory which mfgrs 'chip' capacitors. These are some of the little bits on surface-mount PC boards, typically in picofarad range.
The production line used a HewlettPackard automated capacitance bridge (tester) to check if the parts were in spec. Each morning each of about ten test locations was turned ON, and the machines were qualified by the techs, to see that the operation was functional for the line workers.

The HP bridge imposed a 1kHz pulse on the little caps, which usually operated in the high MegHz to low GHz range. The 1kHz pulse was of a Square wave shape, and the steepness of the squarewave demands a very high frequency response to accurately accommodate.

My point of the story, is that the frame of the testing jig (which held plates loaded with capacitors to be checked) was literally gold electroplated. The gold was used since a good conductor. If the techs did Not wipe the gold plating quite clean... the capacitance readings were wildly inconsistent.
We saw that on a daily basis.

I think the ICM is sensitive to its' grounding for similar reasons.

Sorry for the eyeball wear!
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Old 06-18-2020, 12:05 AM   #38
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Default Re: Leaking fuel line at fuel rail?

One ignition "problem" that could cause this is if a false knock is detected and the ignition retarded to compensate.

Catching an intermittent is very difficult, you have to keep an eagle-eye on the scanner live-data at all times, waiting for the moment the engine stumbles and you can look for something to change. Same with the fuel pressure gauge. This intent observation can not be done while properly driving a car, so will involve using another person, and possibly for many tedious miles/hours. An ELM327 with software that logs data may be more practical, even if you have to buy the SW. Even then, the fuel pressure will be a "manual" observation unless you add a pressure transducer and some custom circuitry to log that data too.
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