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PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2015 12:40 am 
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Well guys, I screwed up. As a few of you might remember i had a build thread going that due to a lack of time and bad circumstances i never completed viewtopic.php?f=4&t=59303 I am hoping to get back to it and add the rest of my photos and walk through my build however in the meantime i need some advise / input on a problem i have with the new engine. For the build i bought some roughly 12:1 compression oversized pistons from beachedbru http://teamswift.net/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=59386 So i had the block bored and threw the engine together and it runs YAY!! However, even with retarding the timing, running 91 octane (best i can do up in the redwoods in nothern CA) and messing around with things i thought i was still getting some pinging or detonation but as it was mild and i was soon going to put my tomsII PCM in and richen it up i figured it wasn't such a big deal, at least until i noticed oil dripping from my PCV filter. A Compression check shows an average of 175 - 185 PSI on 1, 3, and 4 but cylinder #2 will only max out at 135 - 140. The soaked crankcase filter suggests a blown ring i believe :( So thanks to amazon i have a set of sealed power rings and a Beck Arnley headgasket arriving in 4 days but before i tear into it, fix it, then chance breaking it once again, i could use some advise on the best ways to keep this from happening yet again? How can i combat pinging or detonation and is there anything i should know or do before i get it back together?

Teaser photo for my build thread
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Last edited by RSRichey on Sun Oct 18, 2015 4:19 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2015 3:22 pm 
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This really sucks but I'll get it running again before long, I have to, my truck only gets 14 mpg. My best guess is that I blew a ring or maybe one cracked during installation and it broke up because of the pinging. Maybe I screwed up during the break in period or something I don't know. I got a good 500 miles on it before this happened but who knows. Now I have to figure out how to keep a 12:1 engine happy on 91 octane fuel without pinging under load. Anyway I'll keep the forum up to date on how things go.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2015 3:35 pm 
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I think 91 should be fine with 12:1.., My Lexus IS250 runs 12:1 stock and they recommend 91 Octane.

I think what you should look into is perhaps a colder spark plug. The heat range might be too high on what you have and that is what is causing your problem.

As for timing, you may want to look into going aftermarket with your ECU. The limits of the stock ECU might not be able to cope with a lot of retarding.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2015 8:56 pm 
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Water / meth injection. You can then advance timing safely and make even more power.

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1991-GTi: JE 75mm 11:1 pistons,Ported head, Single UD pulley (OCC),Sandros chip,Aluminium flywheel,3tech 222/365 cams, Cultus headers,Cultus IM,50mm tb,Crane cams adjustable cam gears,Apex suspension, 4.39fd GB.
1989-GTi: 3Tech 210/340 Cams,Cultus IM, B&G springs, TD04L turbo, Apexi SAFC, Suzukird UD pulley, Circuitse7en dual boost controller, AEM wideband, AEM water / meth injection kit, HKS bov.
2001-Altezza AS200: Stock.-sold
2003-EVO7 GT-A
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2015 10:59 pm 
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Ya i have been considering running a water meth system for a while now but for something that will likely be a daily driver its a lot of hassle, never mind the $420 price tag not counting the methanol. I will likely add a water meth system in the future but if i can get colder plugs and a richer mixture with either the TomsII chip or an adjustable Fuel Pressure Regulator as well as the chip to work for now that would be great. I'm not sure that will work well enough to let me advance my timing to the point i'm not bogging down every shift. If anyone has any great an wonderful ideas or has experience with high comp N/A engines and has some advise let me know thanks.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 17, 2015 7:00 pm 
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I might have found a partial solution, From what i have read our recommended plug for our stock 10:1 Gti is a BPR6ES but the recommended for the 11:1 Cultus is a colder BPR7ES so following that logic i should use an even colder BPR8ES or BPR9ES plug for 12:1. I'm pretty certain its possible to run 91 and i think its all about temperature control once you run out of octane to climb butthe question is will a colder plug and the richer mixture from the Toms II chip will be enough to keep it from pinging / detonating once i fix my broken ring?

If not, should i get the pistons trimmed or is there anyone who sells a thicker headgasket / head spacer for the 1.3 block

Adding to my problems is the other mods i have done make me unsure what to expect and how best to work with them. My 60mm nissan TB is nice but it doesn't have an idle screw just an adjustable throttle stop. I also have a modified D16 honda fuel rail with an adjustable fuel pressure regulator which for better or worse gives me something else to adjust while tuning. That with the high comp pistons and the 3-Tech 222/365 cams I just don't know how this engine is supposed to react and what to expect. I have been screwing around trying various things to make my engine happy and I thought i had just about gotten it as it was running really well but obviously something went wrong 650 miles in and here i am. I'll have to replace the rings then start over and at this point i'm not sure where to start again. i'm just trying to gather as much info as i can and average the opinions out there to get to a result that will work. For example...

Whats the best way to break in an engine like this, how long will it take and how should i have it timed for break in?

Once it's broken in how should i set the timing and set the idle ( including the TPS ) to keep it happy? ( keep in mind i don't have an idle screw)

i have at least four adjustments all of which throw everything else off if i touch one, TPS / decel fuel cutoff, throttle stop screw, ignition timing, fuel pressure. Not to mention the fact you are fighting the pcm because of 02 sensor, MAF, and IAC.

I think that the toms II chip might help as i have heard it pretty much ignores input from the 02 sensor anyway but i'm just not sure. I may end up putting the OEM TB and Fuel rail back on just to eliminate some variables but i would rather not if i don't have to

If anyone has any ideas or opinions or previous experience with similar builds please voice them. Even if my questions seem to have obvious answers i like to have as much supporting information as i can.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 17, 2015 10:03 pm 
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My advice on breaking would be this.

Build your bottom end with the high compression pistons and leave the rest of the engine stock.

Give it 2000km to seat the rings and make sure everything else is fine.

Then, do your intake, then your cams, and then swap the ECU.

Baby steps. This will give you a fighting chance to tune your engine to the mods as you make them. This way your not chasing 2 or 3 different settings at the same time.

I had another thought about your compression issue in that maybe you don't have a ring problem.

Do you do the compression test wet or dry? I am wondering if you have a leaky injector that is washing down most of the oil in that one cylinder causing low compression...

Anyway it is worth looking into before you get tearing apart your engine.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2015 8:03 am 
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bpr7es sould be enough... jdm cultus have them on 11.5:1 CR
maybe you can try 8 if 7 won't be enough... but for sure you don't need 9.. 9 are in cars like clio s1600 (1.6 220hp @ 8750rpm with about 13:1 cr and racing fuel)


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2015 11:04 am 
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#8 and #9 sparkplugs is just too cold IMO.

About headgasket, if you can get it, the oem suzuki apv is an mls gasket and is 1.5mm thick. It also has a 76mm bore. But by using this it will bring compression ratio down a bit. Maybe around 11.5:1.

Snow performance has a more affordable water meth kit.

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1991-GTi: JE 75mm 11:1 pistons,Ported head, Single UD pulley (OCC),Sandros chip,Aluminium flywheel,3tech 222/365 cams, Cultus headers,Cultus IM,50mm tb,Crane cams adjustable cam gears,Apex suspension, 4.39fd GB.
1989-GTi: 3Tech 210/340 Cams,Cultus IM, B&G springs, TD04L turbo, Apexi SAFC, Suzukird UD pulley, Circuitse7en dual boost controller, AEM wideband, AEM water / meth injection kit, HKS bov.
2001-Altezza AS200: Stock.-sold
2003-EVO7 GT-A
Aruba "one happy island".


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 19, 2015 12:06 am 
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"8" would be as cold as you should ever go. even that is cold for a non turbo app. as for the low comp, if it was caused by pinning i am willing to bet is not a bad ring. pinging will destroy a piston, valves and head gaskets but have never seen it take out a ring before a piston. in some cases the rings are all that left. so i would dig into it before you order a bunch of parts. as for the pinning i would try the plugs first. i would not go with higher fuel pressure if anything i would go with some slightly bigger injectors. or like what was said earlier a standalone ecm like megasquirt or something like it that can be programmed with a different fuel/spark curve to meet your requirements now but can also be reprogrammed for any changes and fine tuning. also spend the money and get a wideband a/f gauge. you cant really do shit with tuning without one as you have no idea what its really doing. to much fuel can also cause knocking and other problems.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 20, 2015 2:52 am 
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Well gentlemen... I found the problem, what should be one has become two.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 20, 2015 3:28 am 
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After much research and many helpful responses from People smarter than I my conclusion is that while 12:1 compression on 91 octane gas is possible given the right engineering and tuning the only way I believe i could make it work is to use a water meth injection system 80% of the time or to use a gallon or so of an octane booster every time i fill up. This i am not willing to do for something i use as a daily driver. Thanks California, its too bad we don't have 94.

It seems i have overbuilt my engine. The 60mm TB causes low end loss as well the 222/365 cams so I might have shifted the powerband a little higher than i was expecting. At the very least i want to be able to run pump gas. Therefore I am working on getting 11:1 pistons from beachedbru and i might switch back to the OEM Throttlebody as well, at least until i get it running well and broken in. I probably will end up going with the colder "7" Cultus spec NGK plugs but no more than the NGK "8" plug as recommended. I might install the TomsII chip even though i know now it wouldn't solve the detonation issue, again i'm not sure yet.

I took a closer look at the pistons as well as the cylinders and took a few photos. The other three pistons have no visible damage between the ring grooves though i am sure they took a beating when it was detonating. They all have some scuffing on the skirts which you can see below. The Cylinders also show a little ware front and back where the pistons skirts ride but nothing major, Cylinder 2 however has more marks but they are not deep. The only thing that concerns me is the horizontal line halfway down in Cylinder 2. You might notice on the second photo there are matching sets of vertical lines opposite each other in each cylinder that are almost certainly from the Teflon wrist pin retainer buttons suggesting they are floating around a bit but its just polishing the cylinder so no big deal.


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Listen to thine engine and mind thine tach, lest thine whirlybits seek communion with the sun.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 20, 2015 10:59 am 
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If you ever decide to go water / meth injection, a 250cc / min nozzle is enough for an all motor GT engine.

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1991-GTi: JE 75mm 11:1 pistons,Ported head, Single UD pulley (OCC),Sandros chip,Aluminium flywheel,3tech 222/365 cams, Cultus headers,Cultus IM,50mm tb,Crane cams adjustable cam gears,Apex suspension, 4.39fd GB.
1989-GTi: 3Tech 210/340 Cams,Cultus IM, B&G springs, TD04L turbo, Apexi SAFC, Suzukird UD pulley, Circuitse7en dual boost controller, AEM wideband, AEM water / meth injection kit, HKS bov.
2001-Altezza AS200: Stock.-sold
2003-EVO7 GT-A
Aruba "one happy island".


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 20, 2015 12:43 pm 
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Bore wash?

Are you on http://www.aquamist.co.uk/vbulletin/index.php ?

Was it a single water/meth injector or multiple? I think that perhaps mix isn't the best. Quality of misting and hence mixing is important with smaller droplet size working best and water not pooling on surfaces.

From other thread I think you said you are using a tom's chip? Not sure how much advance there is with the chip and whether the fuelling is a little too lean for the higher compression.

Where are the injector(s) housed?

Have you been able to get a thermocouple on one or more of the cylinders to see if you are getting the cooling you need? How about runs and pulling plugs to see if the cylinders are relatively similar in performance (assuming you know how to read the plugs or know someone who can help with that)?

At what loads are you injecting? How are you controlling that?

You can pump huge amount of water into an engine but there is an optimum amount that works well to give the in cylinder cooling you need. You could also drop the meth and go with just water. You don't get quite as much effect as water/meth or water/meth/ethanol but still works. With a 5 litre tank under the bonnet probably would give you a tank of water per tank of fuel.

Oher options is drop all that go E85, get a computer and maybe upsize the injectors.

Good luck, hope you manage to get it all up and running well.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 25, 2015 2:31 pm 
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Guys, guys, guys, he's rattling the engine. Every bit of his mechanical damage is due to detonation.
Because 12 to 1 on CA 91 octane is damn near unachievable in this state. Let's start with the fuel, and reverse engineer backwards to the combustion chamber. CA fuel has AT LEAST 10% ethanol, which kicks us tuners right in the @ss on high compression N/A engines. Even the modern high HP rigs tend to limit CA engines to around 11:1. There's a substantial difference in all tuning parameters between "Federal 49 state" engines and "California Only" smog dogs. Just because somebody's super modern Japmobile can pull enough timing to tolerate our crap gas doesn't mean a damn thing to tuning a 30 year old engine.

So let's get real and get inside the combustion chamber where all the action is. Octane tolerance benefits from quench, quench, and more quench. Piston to head clearance needs to be as tight as possible in the very low .040 thousands, but would be even better anywhere in the .030's something range. Once you get down in the mid .020's, the piston is going to kiss the cylinder head while RPM'ing and bearing clearances and oil pressure/viscosity has to be monitored meticulously to run on the ragged edge. The "Ragged Edge" is where all high compression tuners live, and every part will have to be scrutinized to be successful.

Like fat head gaskets. No good. You blueprint the piston to block measurement down to zero, "zero deck", and then tune with head gasket thickness. Thinner is better. Felpro, as a reference for the older racers here, compresses to .038 and makes a great baseline for usable quench. Good luck finding "compressed thickness" from a majority of ebay sellers and their Chinese knockoff head gaskets. Don't scrimp here, pay for a "Multi Layer Steel" MLS head gasket and go to the head of the class. YMMV, open to other recommendations.

So, yes, all the above increases CR, it's the engine builder's job to get it perfect for the intended fuel. I'm in NorCal, suffer the same crap gas as OP, and feel his pain. He's not going to be able to run any usable timing at 12:1, and is really starting with the wrong pistons for the intended fuel. You East Coasters don't really appreciate the significance of what's available at your pump versus us underprivileged schmucks in Commifornia. I'd run 11:1, IF I had to run factory engine controllers. Megasquirt spark and fuel control is the obvious answer, but adds complexity that not everyone is willing or able to accommodate. But, I'd spend the time tickling the timing tables to get to 11.5:1 without spark retard, but I just don't see the 12:1 pistons without finding the only Union 76 gas station that sells 98 race fuel for every tank. (There's only 1 in San Jose CA, and one at Sears Point Raceway up OP's way). Not daily driver territory for sure, not to mention the $7+ per gallon price tag...

I'm hoping my discussion will stimulate a constructive conversation from our community to help a fellow racer go faster without breaking engine parts. But if I were him, I'd just have the local machine shop carve the piston crowns to match the combustion chambers down to 11:1, maximize quench, and then max out the spark curve.

Then drive it like you stole it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 08, 2015 4:04 pm 
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Thanks for all the input guys, Still waiting on a set of 11:1 pistons and i have ordered a Knocksense unit from http://www.viatrack.ca/ that should act as a stand alone knock sensor with an idiot light to help me keep anything like this from happening again. I will update when i have the parts.

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 11, 2015 7:09 pm 
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Just out of curiosity, (which has killed my cat a number of times...), where shall one mount a secondary aftermarket knock sensor? Some undrilled boss casting must surely be hiding somewhere on that block that can be opened up to the thread pitch of whatever sender he's using. The 3 bangers have an unused turbo oil return boss from the T3 family that has plenty of meat but I can't comment on the 4 popper blocks.

BTW OP, your choice of 11:1 pistons is going to permit you to actually start tuning that combo and you are going to enjoy the seat of the pants improvements you will feel with each progressive tuning step. While you're inside, make sure your oil control is perfect (bearing clearances, oil rail tension (rings). Round round round bores that don't get all female, hormonal, and oval at block run temp, (even though they're perfect at room temp, you know, during the honeymoon, and then get all sloppy after the commitment is made and shit gets real...) Throw in the hottest thermostat you have in your kit and do a leak down test at max hotness (not her, your engine) cuz "she" is going to squirm everytime you matt the throttle and it's your job to deal with it.

Let us know what becomes of your experiment, some of us are listening.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 12, 2015 2:09 am 
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87octane wrote:
Just out of curiosity, (which has killed my cat a number of times...), where shall one mount a secondary aftermarket knock sensor? Some undrilled boss casting must surely be hiding somewhere on that block that can be opened up to the thread pitch of whatever sender he's using. The 3 bangers have an unused turbo oil return boss from the T3 family that has plenty of meat but I can't comment on the 4 popper blocks.


not sure, but i think 4cyl blocks have same spot where knock sensor is on cultus engine..


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 12, 2015 11:47 am 
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They do--sometimes it is even already drilled an tapped, as it was, inexplicably, on my US market Swift.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2015 1:34 am 
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Well gentlemen, its been a while but finally an update. Good news is its back together and running well. The bad new is I may be a moron.

After light honing, reassembly and some adjustment I fired it up keeping it off idle and trying to vary the rpm I let it at least partially warm up then killed it immediately and changed the oil. The next day I drove it to work and back to break in the rings, then as i was paranoid about any leftovers from the honing i changed the oil again. So far so good. I then proceeded to take it on a trip to a cousin's house nearly 300 miles away last weekend (about 900k round trip for our metric overlords out there). Probably not a good idea.

It seemed to preform ok, however just to be cautious i checked compression when i got home and noticed my pcv breather filter still dripping a little oil. Dry comp. with the fuel and spark disabled it read an even 130psi on all 4. At this point I know that it is supposed to be considerably lower than stock because of the long duration cams in it but even considering that it seemed a bit low. So I added some oil to each cylinder and got about 190psi on all 4. Quite a big difference

SO... did i screw up my ring break in or did excess oil in the combustion chamber give me a falsely inflated number. Let me know what you think, i could use the input. Also if Mr. 3tech sees this or anyone with those big cams knows what compression i should expect with them please let me know.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2015 9:54 am 
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I would expect compression with those cams and pistons to be in the 200psi range. I doubt it had anything to do with your trip. With modern materials, break in is isn't something you really need to worry about anymore.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 17, 2016 1:32 am 
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Good to know i can more or less hit my target compression with wet cylinders so other than whatever is causing the rings not to seal well enough everything else should be fine. Any ideas on why they are not sealing? The pressure reading is even across the board so whatever is wrong it's consistent. I didn't do much honing and all the rings end gaps were pretty much within spec so i don't think the bore could be over the maximum spec though i didn't have a dial bore gauge available to check it with at the time.

I really don't want to tear it down again but do you think that replacing the rings that came with the pistons with some high quality replacements like Hastings or something might make a difference? I understand that's a hard one to answer seeing as information is limited from here but i could use any input i can get.

Also I was wondering about honing modern engines. I imagine unless the cylinder has a ridge or some sort of flaw there is no longer the need to hone the cylinders to get rings to seat? What do you all think?

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 17, 2016 4:42 pm 
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Have you made any changes to the fuel system at all?

Is it possible your over fueling the engine a bit and the extra fuel is washing down the cylinder walls? Or that you have a leaky injector doing the same thing..

I had really bad leaky injectors in my car and I was getting a lot of blow by.. Replaced the injectors and no more blow by for me..

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 2016 12:28 am 
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A couple of things that most people miss.
With higher compression engines I double the ring gaps.
Compression rings should be 0.020" end gaps.
Break in the engine with non synthetic oil. this helps everything seat in properly.
On the heads with this much compression I would replace the valve guilds with bronze
and new valves. I am finding that the valve stems on high mileage engines wear out
the valve stems just enough to make the valves not cool properly.
I have done this on my GT head after it rattled the valves. with the new guilds and
valves there is no rattle.
Injectors should be cleaned with ultra sound and with a switchable power source to the
injectors while in the ultrasound tank. This really helps clean up the varnished fuel out of them.
If your injectors have more then 100,000 on them, replace them.
Close up the air gap in your distributor to 0.014"
Clean the hot wire in your air flow assembly with brake clean they have a tendencie to get a layer of
dirt on them that will lean out the fuel mixture.
Last trick is to mix 1 gallon of Talulene with 9 gallons of fuel. This will raise your octane at least 2 points.
Who's pistons did you use?

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Fainya
97 Geo Metro LSI,1.3L-GT-DOHC-16v,4.10 5-speed,A/C,170,000,suspension lowered 1",4 wheel disk brakes,15"alloy wheels with 185/50-15 Toyo's,GT bucket seats,analog oil pressure gauge,cruise control, new paint job. 40 mpg at 65 mph.
Good, fast, cheap. You only get two.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2016 12:32 pm 
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Joined: Tue Sep 09, 2008 2:34 am
Posts: 367
Location: Roumania
I also run 12:1 or little bit more and 222/365 on twin dellorto with stock dizzy and my engine does not ping. It think you are running way more than 12:1.

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G13B 1.3L 16v 115hp


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