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therealpinto Reader
4/20/21 1:39 a.m.

OK, check your warmup settings, it's quite important to to make sure you get out of ASE and warmup corrections before tuning too much.

You should be able to see if ASE is "retriggered" from the logs, sometimes it happens that is kicks in again if revs drop, or if the rpm signal (sometimes another signal) drops out occasionally.

If you have a way of sharing the .msq file (you could mail it to me) together with the logs I could try to take a look and see if I spot something odd.


Rocambolesque Reader
4/25/21 5:29 p.m.

I did some more tuning today. This time, I made sure the engine coolant was at least hotter than 80C and that ASE and WUE were not active.  

I made a few passes with and without autotune. It's hard to hold a steady load/rpm on mostly flat roads around my shop... Anyways at some point, a good part of the "cell weighting" diagram was green below 4000 rpm so I called it good. But look at what happens at high load, around 1400 RPM:

I don't even recall flooring it at such low RPM (I know it's not good). I don't even know how I got there in the map. The hit count was not really high either. Is this normal or what? I would have expected a peak at around 5000 RPM at high load, not at 1400! I even ran the engine up to 5500 approximately and it didn't even change the table. 

When I look at datalogs, it seems like there is a lot of "noise", IE parts where I just rev up before releasing the clutch, shifting, etc... I hit random spots in the map during that time and the autotune corrects them. However, I feel like those cells shouldn't be corrected really. I don't know if what I am trying to explain is clear...

Tomorrow I'll try to do a bit of WUE autotune on the cold engine to see what it looks like.

One more thing, I am able to make it idle steadily at 900-ish when I warm it up. As soon as I start driving and eventually return to idle, the idle rises. At the end of the day, it was idling at 1300 RPM. The more I drove, it seemed like it was down on power and running rough at low RPM. Above 3000 was OK.

Also, I noticed that the oil cap is under a lot of pressure. I opened it and oil started splashing everywhere. I only have a breather on the valve cover (there's only one port) as the original PCV hoses all crumbled when I removed them...

JoeTR6 Dork
4/25/21 6:46 p.m.

As a guess, acceleration enrichment isn't enough and it's going way lean in 1st gear for a moment.  Have you done anything with AE?

Rocambolesque Reader
4/25/21 7:48 p.m.

No! Actually I didn't even read on that because I wasn't ready to tune AE! But that might be very possible. It makes sense. When I give a quick stab of the throttle, the engine does not respond very well. So that might be it.

Rocambolesque Reader
5/17/21 10:05 p.m.

I've been driving the car for a while, it's getting better and better. I got it aligned at a good shop last week, now it drives straight again. I seem to have a good amount of oil blow-by. The little breather on the valve cover is leaking a lot. Opening the oil cap with the engine running splashes oil everywhere (granted, there is a rocker arm right below the cap...). 

I got a catch can and I will try setting it up like the stock crankcase vent system. There is no PCV valve, it's just an orifice allowing a certain amount of vacuum. The stock setup looks like this:

The "restrictor" is the orifice. It's not connected to vaccum really. There is a port on it that connects to the stock FPR (supposedly it's made so if it leaks, the leak goes in the engine). Basically, my plan is to connect the part that goes from the valve cover to the air cleaner to a vented catch can. The can will be lower than the valve cover, behind the DS headlight.

I will also clean out the oil baffle from under the valve cover. My hope is that the little vacuum will relieve a bit of pressure in the case, and that the can will catch the oil.

I also did a compression test, I thought maybe the rings could be stuck. Remember when I woke up the car from it's 3 years hibernation, it would only run on 3 cylinders and I had to soak the cylinders in MMO for 24 hours (did that a second time 2 weeks ago), afterwards it ran on all 4. The results go like this:

1 = 180 psi

2 = 170 psi

3= 145 psi

4 = 170 psi

That was a dry test, engine warm, throttle plate open. Third cylinder seems a bit weak. It's my first time doing a compression test. The instructions say that if the lowest cylinder is at least 75% of the highest, it's fine. According to that logic, I should be good. But again, this is the generic instruction booklet in the package... What do you think? All 4 spark plugs look the exact same, it seems to be burning not too lean and not too rich.


CrustyRedXpress Reader
5/18/21 8:02 a.m.

In reply to Rocambolesque :

What does the MB manual say about compression numbers?

-Did you have a fully charged battery while doing the test?

-Did you remove all spark plugs before starting the test?

-Did you check your valve adjustments, especially on cylinder 3?

Honda wants engines to be within 15% but it might vary by manufacturer. 

If you doublecheck the above you might want to move on to a leakdown test to see if the issue is in the head (burnt valve) or the block (sticky rings, worn bores).

Rocambolesque Reader
5/18/21 6:54 p.m.

Yes, full battery, all 4 plugs out and hydraulic valves, so no adjustment.

I just found the official Mercedes specs. When new, values should be between 10-12 bar (145-175 psi). The lower limit is 8.5 bar (123 psi). Maximum allowable delta is 3 bar (44 psi). Looks like the engine is within specs.

Rocambolesque Reader
5/25/21 8:40 p.m.

No real work done on the Merc in the last few weeks. I'm changing jobs. Been busy trying to close all my projects at the old job. I have this week off, starting the new job next week. I will need to use my car for the new job, so I decided it was a good time to replace my 2007 Jetta City daily driver, which was still solid, but getting worn out with stuff like motor mounts loose, exhaust leaks, worn door hinges, power locks working intermittently, etc... I had 3 Volvos in the past, I wanted to get another one. I found out they are very good in the winter. Not only with snow but with cold weather in general. Things don't get frozen... On the other hand, the VW's were fairly reliable but lower quality than the Volvos (and everything froze in the winter, that was pissing me off). I was hesitating between the 2 brands. One thing I wanted was a fairly base-spec model so there isn't much to break. This meant no T5's, DSG's or anything like that. I went to look at a Mk6 Jetta with the 2.0 8V one night, it was okay but the dealer wanted way to much for it. Then I found this little gem. 2008 C30 2.4i, 120 000 km, automatic transmission with no options:

It's not some shade of gray and the seats are comfortable. Bought it for 5k$. Next Monday I will take it to the shop to get a front wheel bearing replaced as I found out you need some sort of special tool to replace them. The tool is 600$... 

Other than that, the A/C doesn't work. Apart from that it's good. Internet say they are reliable, I should be good.

Tomorrow I will get back to the Mercedes. I need to setup a new PCV system, fix exhaust leaks, repair and upgrade the remote TPS which broke last week and more little things.

Rocambolesque Reader
5/30/21 8:10 p.m.

I put in a bit of work on this over the weekend to try and solve the crankcase pressure issue. 

I started with this. One hose from idle valve to manifold, and only a breather on the valve cover:

I got a little catch can from Ebay. I was surprised when I received it, it's billet aluminum!

There is a vacant hole behind the driver's side headlight left by the old A/C drier. Installing the can there will also allow me to drain it directly on a pan placed on the ground.

I started building the system using 3/4 hose. Of course, the port on the valve cover is like 18 mm so I had to re-use a piece of old hose from the stock setup to run it up to a T to the rest of the hoses:

Here's the "restrictor" or calibrated orifice. It's also smaller than 3/4", so I had to improvise...

I cut some pieces of hoses from the stock setup and jammed them in 3/4 hose. It seems to work and reduce the ID enough to fit tightly on the restrictor.

Ran more hose

I got a SS hose clamp and modified some hardware store brackets to hold the can

I also had to "turn" (drill chucked in a vise + file) the hose nipple to fit inside a cut 3/4 fitting:

Finished product:

Installed and hose routing finished:

Then I started the engine, it seems to be better. At least now the oil won't get spilled all over the engine bay. It's setup the same as stock, so it should be good.


I had more time, so I started cutting up a spare manifold to fit the CBR600RR ITB's:

But that probably won't get done until next winter...

Rocambolesque Reader
6/13/21 9:24 p.m.

Not much progress... I've been driving it to work once or twice a week for the last weeks now. The tune is getting there. It holds the right AFR's that are specified in my table. I worked the ignition map a bit, now I have 26 degrees at WOT (91 octane). It seems to be making good power. Maybe there's more to gain still... I'm getting used to the long gearing. Basically I drive it like a 4-speed until I can go 120 km/h on the highway.

The PCV thing works. No more oil splashed around the engine bay. For the first time since I have been owning this car, the engine stays clean.

Here's a picture I took last week while pumping gas:

I need to work on the Volvo, but soon enough I'll be able to install the big swaybars and the LSD conversion.

buzzboy Dork
6/14/21 7:03 a.m.

I'm suprised you can't pull 5th below 120km/h. I don't remember what your ratio is but only the 190D2.5TD and the 190E3.2AMG came with differential gearing higher than 3.07. If yours is stock gearing it would be 3.27 I think? I love driving cars with looong gears but all my cars are a littler torquier than your 2.3 so maybe that would change my opinion.

NorseDave Reader
6/14/21 6:26 p.m.

Glad to see you're finally driving it!  My advice on tuning is, you need to approach this like you're a test engineer, because in fact that is what you are at this point.  I've been making small tweaks to my tune over the last few months and I still experience some occasional weirdness, but for the most part it's great.  Fires up every time, idle is generally rock solid.  I'm using the free version of Tuner Studio, so there has been exactly 0 autotuning done.  In fact, I'm still have it set to ignore the wideband output.  I use that for logging and then adjusting my tables, but I haven't enabled closed-loop yet.  

Rocambolesque Reader
6/14/21 9:31 p.m.

In reply to buzzboy :

The gears are 3.27 but since the tune isn't 100% and the engine is not a powerhouse to begin with, it's not very torquey. Another factor is that the exhaust is loud and if I shift "by ear" I shift at 2500 RPM or so, the next gear takes me to 1500... Now i'm getting used to make noise and shift higher. As I get used to the car and refine the tune, it'll be better and better. It's way more driveable now, even with the long gears, than when I first started driving it a couple of weeks ago!

buzzboy Dork
6/15/21 4:19 p.m.

Ah, just a really deep overdrive. Makes sense. I'm sure the old M102 doesn't make a lot of torque down at 1500.

Azryael Reader
6/15/21 5:05 p.m.

Even the M102.983 in my 2.3-16 is hardly what I'd call a torque monster. It was great for its time, but is most certainly dated.

There's a reason people go M104 if they had a 2.6 or M111 if they had the 2.3.

NorseDave Reader
6/18/21 8:46 p.m.
buzzboy said:

I'm sure the old M102 doesn't make a lot of torque ... anywhere.

Fixed it for you.

Rocambolesque Reader
8/22/21 9:19 p.m.

Slowly but surely, I have been refining the tune. About a month ago, I played with the AE one night and I think I totally nailed the settings. The throttle response is nice and crisp, I can heel and toe like it's nothing and there is no more stumble. Just doing that felt like it gained 20 hp because I now get the little torque the engine makes instantly instead of drowning it with fuel... I also leaned the afterstart enrichment and played with the idle settings again. Now it starts faster without touching the pedal and it idles pretty good.

After I did that, I felt safe to take it on a longer trip to Montreal (600 km round trip). Shortly after leaving, it felt kinda strange. I was hearing pops in the exhaust a little and it wasn't very smooth. When I got to my friend's place in Montreal, it started making a strange noise when I was getting off the throttle. Going back home, the engine fell flat on it's face about 100 km from my house. I stopped on the side of the highway and the engine never started again. I had to get towed back to my shop (thank you CAA)! 

Once I got time to diagnose it, I found this:

When I first built the car, I JB welded the trigger wheel to the back of the crank pulley. Well, seems like JB weld does not hold when you factor in the heat, the vibrations and 6000 RPM... The wheel probably shifted a bit so the timing was retarded to a point where it wouldn't make power or even start anymore. You don't see anything wrong to the Tunerstudio screen because the ECU still picks up the RPM signal well. The wheel is just indexed wrong. Good thing it didn't advance itself instead...

I checked all my timing and ran another compression test and got the same numbers as before. I called it good. I welded the wheel to the pulley with 6 beads. 

It started right up and the performance level was identical to when I fixed the AE settings!

So I took a picture of the little M102 engine and the interior.



therealpinto Reader
8/23/21 7:17 a.m.

Good catch there!

Keep an eye on the welds as well, vibrations could make them prone to cracking.

It´s very rewarding when you get the startup tune right. I am far from that now, I had nailed pretty much on the old MS setup on gasoline, but E85 is a bit trickier.


yupididit PowerDork
9/26/21 11:40 a.m.

There's a black 190e sportline with a manual transmission that's been teasing me. I might pull the trigger crying

Rocambolesque Reader
9/26/21 9:11 p.m.

Do it

Mezzanine Dork
9/27/21 4:07 p.m.

In reply to yupididit :

Don't do it. I owned one for years and it's not the driver's car you want it to be. No offense to Rocambolesque...they're stunningly beautiful cars. I am still glad I sold it. 

yupididit PowerDork
9/27/21 5:50 p.m.
Rocambolesque said:

Do it

I am

yupididit PowerDork
9/27/21 5:52 p.m.
Mezzanine said:

In reply to yupididit :

Don't do it. I owned one for years and it's not the driver's car you want it to be. No offense to Rocambolesque...they're stunningly beautiful cars. I am still glad I sold it. 

Covering my eyes and pretending I didn't read this. I'm not looking for a M3 killer or Cayman S imposter. 190e Sportline has always been one of my favorites. 

Rocambolesque Reader
10/26/21 8:09 p.m.

I parked the car for the winter. I am starting the installation of the RacingDiffs LSD conversion. It's like the old Phantom Grip units, but with actual friction plates and some sort of ramp angles... Not much review for them around the web. I'll try one out for GRM haha. I also found out that the rear gears are 2.86:1, and not 3.27:1 like I always thought. That explains the intergalactic gearing. I thought about changing the diff for a moment, but the current one is quiet and I don't wan't to take the time to source a new one for now... It isn't so bad anyways, plus I can cruise at low RPM.

So for the winter, the plan is:

  • "LSD" 
  • Swaybars F/R
  • Roll fenders + wheel spacers
  • Polish the wheels
  • Weld all the little pinholes in the exhaust
  • Fix rad support rust
  • Timing chain and guides
  • ITB conversion
  • Fix rear bumpers, paint bumpers and Sacco panels

Plus about one million little things like paint valve cover and such... We'll see how far I'll be able to get!

therealpinto Reader
10/27/21 12:28 a.m.

I'll be interested to hear more about the Racingdiffs thing. They are affordable for the Sierra 7" diff and while I am not convinced about how good they are I would be more than happy to be proven wrong.


Edit; However, I see that the Mercedes version has ramps as you said, while the Ford one does not. Moving on...


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