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Thread: RPM-Motorsports LE5 Turbo Install Idle Issues, Running Lean,

  1. #1
    Tuner in Training Engnineere's Avatar
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    RPM-Motorsports LE5 Turbo Install Idle Issues, Running Lean,

    For background, I have a 30k mile 07 Saturn Sky 2.4 with an RPM turbo kit on it, and have been going back and forth with Martin at RPM to dial in my tune. I had a performance engine builder do my turbo install, but seeing as I currently work in the automotive industry and have dug around trying to find the source of the problem, I am pretty familiar with the system as a whole now.

    I have my theories as to what the issue could be (exhaust leak, intake leak, faulty MAF connector). I've already tried the following and they haven't seemed to cure my cars problems:

    1. tightened down the down pipe to exhaust at the downstream o2 sensor to crush the donut gasket better
    2. Tuned the car to command a rich AFR so I know that there's not a true lean condition
    3. listened all over the engine bay for leaks and can't hear anything.
    4. checked the vacuum on my gauge (20 in/Hg at idle)
    5. checked the intake system with a smoke machine and didn't see any smoke coming out and checked it with a propane torch while the car was running to insure that I don't have a vacuum leak (there could be one, but to the best of my ability, there isn't).
    6. checked the evap purge solenoid (no leaks in the solenoid or the vacuum line to the manifold)
    7. purchased a new OEM MAF and made sure the seal was air tight.
    8. Pulled the injectors and greased the o-rings on the collars and on the injectors They had small dark spots around the injector seat, so I cleaned them up but took pictures if anyone wants to see.)
    9. pulled the 2 bar MAP sensor and greased that o-ring as well.

    I have noticed that when I unplug the MAF, the car actually seems to want to start up quickly and run smoothly, and I don't get a p0171 lean code or corrections to my fuel trims and I don't get a random misfire code. I don't have a wideband on the car yet, but I'm planning on adding that this week. I've uploaded the datalogs (with descriptive names) and the tune file that I'm currently running I'd love for someone else to look at them and see if they can spot an issue that might point me in a good direction. I'm getting a little frustrated with no more progress made on what could possibly be causing the car to think it's running ultra lean on idle and think it's running rich under boost.

    With the MAF sensor plugged in, the spark* is constantly jittering around and making the car stutter, and whenever I come to a stop, the rpms drop to 400 making the car seem like it wants to die before jumping back up and idling around 800

    I made the mistake of reading through the Terminator Tune thread where the dude ragged on his car and blew his engine and hopefully that doesn't become me �� I drive my car very carefully while constantly monitoring temps and KR, and I haven't gone WOT or even got over 5psi yet from fear of causing some damage.

    01 - no MAF sensor.hpl
    06 - new MAF - 10 min run.hpl
    Leeman_Stevens RPM rev9.hpt
    Leeman_Stevens_2007_Sky_StockTune.hpt

  2. #2
    Tuner SlvrSky07's Avatar
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    I had a similar issue with my LE5 when I first installed a turbo. I found the PCV system was causing issues for me. I did a write up on skyroadster on how I did mine. Also the air intake temp sensor is in the maf, so you might not want to be unplugging it, rather disable it in engine diagnostics. Are you sure the MAP sensor has the correct values? A good way to test it is with the key on and engine off, check the scanner and see if it is around baro 105ish kpa. Also did you upgrade your injectors? Make sure you have the correct data for them.

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    Tuner in Training Engnineere's Avatar
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    Ahhh, I think I'll check out the PCV system then. I just finished my wideband so that I can confirm whether I have a bad o2 sensor, exhaust leak, or true lean condition. I verified that the MAP is seeing the correct values, it's about 100kpa at atmosphere and that checks out with our barometric pressure in Bowling Green KY. I did upgrade the injectors and even had Martin put 10% more fuel across the board, and it's still chasing the LTFTs upwards.
    2007 Saturn Sky 5M LE5
    - K04 Turbo
    1992 Eddie Bauer Bronco 351
    - Too much to list

  4. #4
    Tuner in Training Engnineere's Avatar
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    Do you have a link to the writeup your wrote on SkyRoadster
    2007 Saturn Sky 5M LE5
    - K04 Turbo
    1992 Eddie Bauer Bronco 351
    - Too much to list

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  6. #6
    Tuner in Training Engnineere's Avatar
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    Dude, you're awesome, I'll get on this PCV catch can fix hopefully this weekend. I just finished the wideband install, and ran a quick datalog with the AFRs and I've come to the conclusion that it's not an exhaust leak so I'm trusting my gauges to be reading the lean at idle and rich at throttle correctly which in my opinion would point to a boost/vacuum leak. Plus I found a little oil around my injector seats so I think I'm definitely getting oil up in my intake manifold.
    2007 Saturn Sky 5M LE5
    - K04 Turbo
    1992 Eddie Bauer Bronco 351
    - Too much to list

  7. #7
    Tuner in Training Engnineere's Avatar
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    looks like the pictures are missing from that post.
    2007 Saturn Sky 5M LE5
    - K04 Turbo
    1992 Eddie Bauer Bronco 351
    - Too much to list

  8. #8
    Tuner SlvrSky07's Avatar
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    Yes, I believe the place they were hosted at was taken down, I do not have backup photos but the description should help you.

  9. #9
    Tuner SlvrSky07's Avatar
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    If you are having a vac leak, you could try the ole brake cleaner trick to help you find the leak. Another way would be to fab up a boost leak tester, it would be just filling your piping/ intake with air and use soapy water to find the leak.

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    With the MAF sensor plugged in, the spark* is constantly jittering around and making the car stutter, and whenever I come to a stop, the rpms drop to 400 making the car seem like it wants to die before jumping back up and idling around 800
    If the car runs better with the MAF unplugged, then the issue is likely either the way the MAF is detecting airflow, or the MAF needs to be calibrated more accurately in the tune. It *could* also be a vacuum leak, but if the spark is jumping around, that sounds more like turbulent airflow across the MAF sensor.

    If you chase this down and determine the root cause is turbulent airflow, trying changing the orientation of the MAF sensor with regard to the intake tract. I'm not familiar with this particular kit so that may not be possible. If that is the case, then a last resort (only do this if you have no other options), determine the minimum MAF frequency at which you can get stable air metering, set the P0102 threshold to that, and disable the P0102 code. By doing this, the ECM will revert to VE airflow predictions below that MAF frequency, which is the same thing that happens when you unplug the MAF.

  11. #11
    Tuner in Training Engnineere's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tunerpro View Post
    If the car runs better with the MAF unplugged, then the issue is likely either the way the MAF is detecting airflow, or the MAF needs to be calibrated more accurately in the tune. It *could* also be a vacuum leak, but if the spark is jumping around, that sounds more like turbulent airflow across the MAF sensor.

    If you chase this down and determine the root cause is turbulent airflow, trying changing the orientation of the MAF sensor with regard to the intake tract. I'm not familiar with this particular kit so that may not be possible. If that is the case, then a last resort (only do this if you have no other options), determine the minimum MAF frequency at which you can get stable air metering, set the P0102 threshold to that, and disable the P0102 code. By doing this, the ECM will revert to VE airflow predictions below that MAF frequency, which is the same thing that happens when you unplug the MAF.
    I'm not sure why I'm only just now seeing this, but I sincerely appreciate the suggestions. I know it's really easy for people like me to start blaming a bad tune especially when I didn't create/calibrate it originally, but I have so many questions about why the tune acts so weird from just a vacuum leak and why it started and ran so different when I forced the car (albeit not very safely) into the open loop by unplugging the MAF.

    I changed some of my vacuum routing, and surprisingly the P0171 lean DTC disappeared and hasn't come back, but the MAF table is still showing that crazy gradient from +19.5% LTFT at idle and very low speed/load up to -7% at high speed/boost/load.

    I'm thinking I need to do the AFR/MAF calibration since my current calibration is just a fuel trim / MAF calibration +10% fuel across the board.

    Another thing that seems wrong to me is that my flow rate vs. pressure tables on 60lb injectors (although my tuner says they act more like 53lb on the LE5 ecotec) looks like this, and I have confirmed to have 60psi static and running fuel pressure, but still takes forever to crank and idles like raw garbage unless I blip the throttle.

    flow rate vs press.jpg

    I sincerely appreciate your help.
    2007 Saturn Sky 5M LE5
    - K04 Turbo
    1992 Eddie Bauer Bronco 351
    - Too much to list

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    I'm trying to help you by helping myself

    Quote Originally Posted by Engnineere View Post
    I'm not sure why I'm only just now seeing this, but I sincerely appreciate the suggestions. I know it's really easy for people like me to start blaming a bad tune especially when I didn't create/calibrate it originally, but I have so many questions about why the tune acts so weird from just a vacuum leak and why it started and ran so different when I forced the car (albeit not very safely) into the open loop by unplugging the MAF.

    I changed some of my vacuum routing, and surprisingly the P0171 lean DTC disappeared and hasn't come back, but the MAF table is still showing that crazy gradient from +19.5% LTFT at idle and very low speed/load up to -7% at high speed/boost/load.

    I'm thinking I need to do the AFR/MAF calibration since my current calibration is just a fuel trim / MAF calibration +10% fuel across the board.

    Another thing that seems wrong to me is that my flow rate vs. pressure tables on 60lb injectors (although my tuner says they act more like 53lb on the LE5 ecotec) looks like this, and I have confirmed to have 60psi static and running fuel pressure, but still takes forever to crank and idles like raw garbage unless I blip the throttle.

    flow rate vs press.jpg

    I sincerely appreciate your help.
    Well, first let me say that I give you a great deal of credit if you have been able to get Martin to work with you on your tune. I purchased his stage 2 kit and received one "preliminary tune" and a single "v1 tune". I have asked for help, but no response.

    I would like to help you in any way I can (I would be helping myself too). And I have notice a TON of differences in the two tunes (my V1 to your V9) that I am speechless. I will tell you that if you received the ZZP injectors with your kit, then you table is much different than mine....


    Screenshot 2021-11-13 Fuel vs Pressure.jpg

    I will be more than willing to share my tune with you...

    I don't have an idle issue and I am not running lean...

    But I do get a miscellaneous misfire P0300 and I do have issues at wide open throttle as far as performance..

  13. #13
    Tuner in Training Engnineere's Avatar
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    Yeah, I've heard some other stuff that makes me regret my purchase from RPM, and to be honest I had actually felt pretty good about it up until a month or so ago when I'm down hundreds of dollars chasing down a problem that might just be the tune. I also have it from a very reputable source that the tunes Martin writes are really really bad, so I'm just letting my car sit until I find a tuner in the area.

    One of the tuners that I know said that the injectors that come with the RPM LE5 kit are the LS3 injectors, which if that's true I might be able to download an injector flow table for 60lb injectors from https://fuelinjectorclinic.com/ECU-catalog/GM-DATA. I checked their map and it's WAY different than the linear one I've got now. I plotted them both in excel and they're wildly off.

    I'd be super interested in seeing your tune! You have a 2.4 turbo right? I don't know if I can put it on my car and see how it runs, but at this point anything is better than how it's going right now, lol.
    2007 Saturn Sky 5M LE5
    - K04 Turbo
    1992 Eddie Bauer Bronco 351
    - Too much to list

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    Here's what I've got

    Quote Originally Posted by Engnineere View Post
    Yeah, I've heard some other stuff that makes me regret my purchase from RPM, and to be honest I had actually felt pretty good about it up until a month or so ago when I'm down hundreds of dollars chasing down a problem that might just be the tune. I also have it from a very reputable source that the tunes Martin writes are really really bad, so I'm just letting my car sit until I find a tuner in the area.

    One of the tuners that I know said that the injectors that come with the RPM LE5 kit are the LS3 injectors, which if that's true I might be able to download an injector flow table for 60lb injectors from https://fuelinjectorclinic.com/ECU-catalog/GM-DATA. I checked their map and it's WAY different than the linear one I've got now. I plotted them both in excel and they're wildly off.

    I'd be super interested in seeing your tune! You have a 2.4 turbo right? I don't know if I can put it on my car and see how it runs, but at this point anything is better than how it's going right now, lol.
    Yes, I don't feel that Martin did his best with my tune... and honestly while I was running his tune, I blew the engine during boost... number four connecting rod split in two... cut the block in half and bent two valves...

    But since I was not recording my run (didn't think I needed my own HP Tuner), I can't do or say anything bad about it...

    But I have a new ZZP 2.4L new gen block with all the goodies in it and it all up and running now.

    Also you said the your injectors are LS3 injectors... that was the other problem with Martin... My injectors cam in a ZZP box, so I assumed that they are ZZP injectors... now I may have to pull out an injector and check the part number on them... are they LS3's or ZZP's or did he just use ZZP's box for shipping... what a mess. Just as an added bonus, my intercooler doesn't match a single photo of any of the intercoolers he sells... So each kit is different from the next.

    I wised up and bought my own HP tuners MPVi2 and I have been fixing errors as I find them... problem is I wuld really like to see a GOOD tune for a 2.4L Kappa car with a K04 turbo so I can compare and make sure that I am going in the right direction...

    I have(but haven't installed yet ...this weekend maybe) an AEM Boost gauge/controller and the AEM wideband gauge.

    So yes... I have a 2008 Pontiac Solstice SSB edition 2.4L with a manual gearbox. The turbo is the RPM-Motorsports Stage2. I am running catless through a stock exhaust.

    I am happy to share my tune with you and I will post the newer versions as soon as the prove safe... If possible, I would like for you to do the same... maybe we can get through this without me buying a second engine (LOL)...

    Here is my tune...

  15. #15
    Tuner in Training Engnineere's Avatar
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    Well, blowing your engine is certainly not the story I wanted to hear and you have my condolences for that bout of horrific luck.. damn.

    I've been datalogging every single time I take my car out, which I guess is a good thing now since the last thing I want is to be SOL if anything happens (although I feel like with Martin's bad reputation and having to start like 3 different companies isn't exactly reassuring.

    A friend of mine managed to get his car (with the exact same RPM kit that I have) into Bill Hahn's shop for a retune and (don't quote me) but I have a good source that says that Martin's tune was the worst he's ever seen... So now I'm trying to find a tuner that wants to tune my car, and one dyno shop has already turned it down. I'm going to contact ZZP and see what they offer and if they'll just do a remote tuning session to get the car where it needs to be but I'd like to 100% insure that I don't have a vacuum leak (which I've pretty much replaced everything on the car and even deleted the Evap system to eliminate variables.

    I'm not 100% sure that the fi114191 injectors are LS3 injectors, but one of the tuners I talked to looked at the serial number and said they're the same siemens injectors that the LS3 has.

    I appreciate you passing along your tune file! I'll take a look at it tonight and see some of the differences.

    Somehow, I'm no longer getting a lean DTC, however my fuel trims still look like garbage, so I'm back to square one, hence the reason I'm just trying to find a tuner to pay to tune this lol.
    2007 Saturn Sky 5M LE5
    - K04 Turbo
    1992 Eddie Bauer Bronco 351
    - Too much to list

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    MAP Sensor ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Engnineere View Post
    Well, blowing your engine is certainly not the story I wanted to hear and you have my condolences for that bout of horrific luck.. damn.

    I've been datalogging every single time I take my car out, which I guess is a good thing now since the last thing I want is to be SOL if anything happens (although I feel like with Martin's bad reputation and having to start like 3 different companies isn't exactly reassuring.

    A friend of mine managed to get his car (with the exact same RPM kit that I have) into Bill Hahn's shop for a retune and (don't quote me) but I have a good source that says that Martin's tune was the worst he's ever seen... So now I'm trying to find a tuner that wants to tune my car, and one dyno shop has already turned it down. I'm going to contact ZZP and see what they offer and if they'll just do a remote tuning session to get the car where it needs to be but I'd like to 100% insure that I don't have a vacuum leak (which I've pretty much replaced everything on the car and even deleted the Evap system to eliminate variables.

    I'm not 100% sure that the fi114191 injectors are LS3 injectors, but one of the tuners I talked to looked at the serial number and said they're the same siemens injectors that the LS3 has.

    I appreciate you passing along your tune file! I'll take a look at it tonight and see some of the differences.

    Somehow, I'm no longer getting a lean DTC, however my fuel trims still look like garbage, so I'm back to square one, hence the reason I'm just trying to find a tuner to pay to tune this lol.
    So... I'm thinking I help you and you can help me...

    I just looked at your tune and I was wondering do you have a 3 Bar Map sensor?? Because under "Airflow - General - Intake Air Temperature - Map - Characteristics" I see that you have your setting for a 2 Bar Map sensor. If you have an AC Delco 12592525, that is a 3 Bar Map and your settings should be MAP Sensor Linear Value of 312.50 kPa with a MAP Sensor Offset of -11.25. If you do have a 3 Bar and you are using 2 Bar settings that would cause significate issues with your tune...

    I know in my kit, he said that I was getting a 2 Bar and well I checked and I actually have a 3 Bar...

    So... is there anyway you might get a copy of your friend's tune ??? !!! ??? (LOL) !!!

    With that we could fix the problems with our tunes !!

  17. #17
    Tuner in Training Engnineere's Avatar
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    I'd be down to help as much as I can! I don't know if my buddy will be able to share his tune file after his car is done, but I'll ask! At the very least, I can get a datalog from him and compare that to my logs to see where my car is screwed up (while running at least).

    I just checked my MAP sensor, and it's a 2 bar (ACDelco 19418810) so the 200kPa with an 8kPa offset seems correct.

    Interesting news though: I unplugged my upstream o2 sensor to force my car into open loop while idling, and watched the LTFT, spark and wideband. Instead of reading 19.5% LTFT and 14.7 (+/- 1) it read 11% LTFT and as rich as 11afr (steady) at idle... plus the spark doesn't seem to be jumping around as badly (but that could just be a coincidence). I have no idea how the car is running significantly and steadily richer with a lower fixed LTFT in open loop than in closed loop?

    CL VS OL.png
    2007 Saturn Sky 5M LE5
    - K04 Turbo
    1992 Eddie Bauer Bronco 351
    - Too much to list

  18. #18
    Tuner in Training Engnineere's Avatar
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    Also, as I've been reading, something is sticking out to me. When my car is at idle (58psi fuel, 20 in/hg manifold vacuum) there's the greatest pressure differential across the injector. So my car should be reading the commanded flow rate vs pressure at the far right side. These values are larger than the values at the far left side, therefore they will be sending less fuel. Martin explained that the 60lb injectors that I have behave more like 53lb injectors. Well, if that's the case, then why is my idle portion of the fuel pressure table commanding 55.6, and the throttle portion commanding 51.0?

    Screenshot 2021-11-17 100812.png

    Where this really starts to mess with me, is that Martin on a live tuning session said "let's give you a little more fuel down low." and proceeded to increase the LEFT side of the table (which would actually be the table portion under load, not at idle).

    Am I thinking about this correctly?
    2007 Saturn Sky 5M LE5
    - K04 Turbo
    1992 Eddie Bauer Bronco 351
    - Too much to list

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    I agree that we have an issue with the injector data !

    I will check what I am running on my tune, but I have the opposite problem... I'm running too rich at idle .85 lambda and could use just a tiny bit more fuel at power...

    But take a look at this... I found it on a tuner web site... trying to remember which one, but he seem to know what he was saying... I started using it and it definitely improved my drive-ability and power...

    Tell me what you think...Copy of 2.2 2.4 Injector Data (1).xlsx