Duratec running on three

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Duratec running on three

I've been helping a friend with a recently-built Duratec 360R.  Cylinder 1 won't run.  Potted history:

When very (very) first fired up, at the pre-IVA check, cylinder 1 didn't run.  The mechanic fiddled with the wiring/coils/something (sadly, he now can't remember) and it stumbled into life.

The car ran well for over 400 miles.

A few days ago, cylinder 1 stopped running.  We've tried pretty much everything: there's fuel but no spark.  We've swapped plugs, coil packs (COP) and ignition loom.  We've checked continuity on each section of loom and at every connector (scrutinised for corrosion - none) and have proven continuity all the way from the ECU connector to the coil pack (it's a brown/white wire for signal and white/purple for 'earth').  We've checked for signal using a Tachostrobe - there's no signal on cylinder 1, but there is on the others, ie the Tachostrobe is working.

The only thing we can now think of is the ECU.

Has anyone else got experience of this?

(We haven't driven the car.  Only run it for a few seconds after each component change.  Didn't want to damage the cat, but in any case, there was usually no spark plug in the hole, so we know damn' well there's fuel, as it loudly hits us in the face ...)

aerobod
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Pins can be pushed out of the ECU connector if not fully locked in or there could be an issue with a fractured wire due to bad crimping in manufacture. I would carefully remove the ECU plug shell and back probe Pin 36 with an oscilloscope if the pin is not obviously pushed out, to see if the ECU is providing the ignition signal to the coil. If it is, then the next step would be to backprobe both sides of the ignition sub-loom connector for the brown/white wire.

 

 

James

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Thanks - done those, albeit with multimeters and Tachostrobe, as we don't have an oscilloscope.

aerobod
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Did the ECU on Pin 36 have any output, really needs to be checked with the engine running and a backprobe, as opposed to just checking continuity? If it didn't then the ECU would be suspect, but using Easimap and an Oscilloscope would be advisable to confirm. You may want to buy a cheap USB PC oscilloscope such as this: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Hantek-Digital-Storage-Oscilloscope-PC-Based/dp/B015XTOOKY/ref=sr_1_2?c=ts&keywords=Oscilloscopes+%26+Accessories&qid=1651075175&refinements=p_4%3AHantek&s=industrial&sr=1-2&ts_id=6286376031

I had a Cyl 1 misfire due to a poor loom connector, needed to look at the noise in the signal to see the problem using a similar oscilliscope.

BTW, here is the ECU pinout list: https://www.sbdmotorsport.co.uk/wp/wp/pdf/MBE9A4-PinoutIssue_F.pdf and the instructions for opening the ECU connector: https://www.sbdmotorsport.co.uk/wp/wp/pdf/Open_wiring_harness-ecu_connector.pdf

James

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Thanks for all those details.  The pin map fits with our experience - how odd to group three of the ignition signals next to each other at one end and the fourth one some distance away - but to answer the question, we did a slightly more basic version of your SBD Motorsport instructions, sussed out which pin should have been giving a signal for cylinder 1, i.e. pin 36 - and could not detect a signal from it.

aerobod
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If you look at the connector, Cyl 1 and 2 are next to each other but vertically aligned (pins 18 & 36) and 3 and 4 are near to each other (pins 15 & 35).

If Pin 36 is fully pushed in and at least the Tachostrobe has confirmed when you backprobe it with the connector cover off and the engine running that there is no signal, yet you do see a signal on Pin 18, then the ECU is problematic. Have you also un-bolted the ECU and taken a look with a magnifying glass to see if the ECU pin looks straight and undamaged?

James

ChrisC
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I know of one new build 360R which when I saw it, pre PBC/IVA was running on all four, but had obviously been running on three at some stage.  The IVA trim on the cat heat shield had melted, meaning the cat had been getting overly hot for some reason.  When it went for PBC it started missing again, eventually resulting in a ECU replacement before IVA.   So basically yes I have seen this before in a new build.

 

Q Catcher
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#7 - thanks, Chris, that kinda gives us some comfort;

#6 - and no, we haven't unbolted the ECU, because the owner doesn't want to prejudice a possible warranty claim.

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So ... the car went to the dealer this week.  They swapped the ECU for one off one of their cars, and it ran perfectly.  So they have submitted a warranty claim to CC for a new ECU - any guesses as to how long this will take?  Will my friend be off the road for weeks?

For that matter, does anyone know who the ECU maker is and where they're based?

Mark w
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The ecu is available from SBD , that will be an unlocked version. They are about £650.

You can either then load the Caterham map or another of your choice.

A replacement from Caterham will carry the standard map and be locked. 

ChrisC
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Is the car pre IVA, waiting for the process anyway?

I guess the know good ECU could be used for the IVA, and a replacement sorted before registration is completed.  Fingers crossed the wait isn't to long.