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CEL came back...Finally got around to getting a Durametric

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Old 03-31-2017, 08:19 PM
  #1
dporto
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Default CEL came back...Finally got around to getting a Durametric

So, I posted a few weeks back that I had gotten a CEL after I had done some work to my cooling system (fixed a leaking hose above the oil pump housing). After refilling with coolant and driving 50 miles or so, the light went away initially, but has come back now after 300 miles or so. I read the stored code with a generic reader and got a 1341. After checking around a bit I decided to break down and get a Durametric. I got to hook it up after work today and this is what I got.







Per the fault code "camshaft adjustment bank 1 below limit value" - What exactly is the meaning of this? Worn chain pads? Bad adjuster? Both? Any ideas (preferably educated ) would be appreciated
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Old 03-31-2017, 08:41 PM
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Schnell Gelb
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You may want to read and participate here? JFP and AHsai are helping.
https://www.renntech.org/forums/topi...w-limit-value/
I am in the middle of assembling a DIY write up but it is a complex & potentially expensive subject.Be careful with the link because it is for a Boxster but the basics are the same.
Member DHarn(Doug) was the pioneer in solving this issue. Be aware that many of the diagnostics/repairs involve engine removal as a prerequisite .No, not what I wanted to read either !
Your Deviations are high but did you note down the Actual Values at idle & 3000 rpm(Variocam) for both Banks ?. That is worth investigating urgently . Not good news -sorry.

Last edited by Schnell Gelb; 04-01-2017 at 12:17 AM.
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Old 03-31-2017, 11:10 PM
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Yeah, I'm familiar with that thread on Renntech. I think I'll copy my first post and put it up there as well.
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Old 04-01-2017, 01:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Schnell Gelb View Post
You may want to read and participate here? JFP and AHsai are helping.
https://www.renntech.org/forums/topi...w-limit-value/
I am in the middle of assembling a DIY write up but it is a complex & potentially expensive subject.Be careful with the link because it is for a Boxster but the basics are the same.
Member DHarn(Doug) was the pioneer in solving this issue. Be aware that many of the diagnostics/repairs involve engine removal as a prerequisite .No, not what I wanted to read either !
Your Deviations are high but did you note down the Actual Values at idle & 3000 rpm(Variocam) for both Banks ?. That is worth investigating urgently . Not good news -sorry.
Replied to you and Deporto over on Renntech
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Old 04-01-2017, 09:16 AM
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Old 04-01-2017, 06:15 PM
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Went through this with my Boxster. My first clue something was wrong was the engine idle became erratic. Down to around 500RPMs then up to around 750RPMs. This after just covering 30 miles at highway speeds with nary a sign of anything amiss.

Even with the engine running quite weird there was no CEL.

Connected my OBD2 code reader and found no active errors but one pending error: P1341.

Also with the code reader I viewed the engine telemetry and the only thing that really jumped out at me was the wildly flucuating fuel trims on Bank #1.

Turned off the engine for a brief time then restarted engine. Symptoms gone. Decided to try to drive the car home. Made it the 30 miles to home with no drama other than I don't think I took a deep breath the whole time.

At the dealer talked things over with the tech. Told him about the wildly swinging fuel trim and he said that is the DME attempting to adjust the fueling on bad bank to get the O2 sensor reading it expects. But because there is a mechanical problem with the VarioCam system the DME won't get the reading it wants but in adjusting the fueling it will go too far and misfires will happen.

Anyhow, the tech confirmed the problem was with the VarioCam solenoid and replaced it.

While the camshaft cover was off I talked to the tech about the actuator rail condition. They didn't look bad to me and the tech confirmed they looked to be in good shape. So much so he advised me that the other side didn't need replacing.

Picked up the car and not too long after the engine started acting up again and with the same error code. This time tech replaced the actuator too. Believe it or not I did not have to pay for the duplication of labor and supplies and such.

The techs told me that at least with the Boxster engine there is no way to distinguish between a bad solenoid and actuator the SOP is to replace both. The general manager at the dealer knows me well enough that had I been told this at the outset I would have agreed to have both items replaced and because I wasn't asked this the dealer didn't charge me for the duplicate labor, etc. I did have to pay for the new actuator though.

After the new actduator installed the engine has been perfect. That was around 60K miles ago. (Camshaft cover has remained leak free, too.)

Now with the 996 I beieve the solenoid is fairly easy to get at/replace. So in this case the tech or you could replace just the solenoid, clear the codes, and road test the car. If the error comes back the actuator is bad and must be replaced.

But the above is based on the tech or you walking through the various tests/checks to ensure the problem is not an electrical problem or a problem with the DME. These are rare but should be eliminated just to be thorough.
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Old 04-01-2017, 06:44 PM
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Macster, Thank you for taking the time to participate and offer your experience. I had read your original Post and have a few suggestions based on what appears in this link:
https://www.renntech.org/forums/topi...w-limit-value/
1. Diagnostic Test for Variocam Actuator/Solenoid.
With the advice of Ahsai, JFP and Jake (we miss you here Jake !) there are several tests for the Solenoid and the Actuator . They may be a little unconventional but they work. The obvious Test is to use the Durametric to prompt the Cam advance once the engine is warm. It is easy to 'see' the cam change over in Actual Values. In my case Bank 2 was perfect and Bank 1 'dead' per Durametric.
2. There are several test-harnesses to make to help distinguish between a defective Actuator (also the 4-6 Actuator misplaced on the 1-3 Cam and v.v -from PorscheTech3) and a defective solenoid. I'll be explaining all this in a DIY Guide when I finally fix this. The writeup will be a collection of the scattered wisdom of others because I have done little original work on this problem other than the harnesses. The pioneer was Dharn55 of Intermix and Lifter fame !
3. It is possible to damage the DME or engine wiring by doing clumsy electrical tests -so be careful.The safest & easiest test is the simple 13 ohm test for the solenoid.
4. A "Hard Reset" has been suggested if all else fails but I have failed to find a good link to how to do a hard reset on the Bosch Motronic 7.2 DME. Do you ground the disconnected Positive Terminal of the battery cable or not ? Just disconnect for 10 minutes ?
https://rennlist.com/how-tos/a/porsc...set-ecu-387425
Part of the reason for all the hand wringing is the Actuators(with solenoid) are over $1000 each ! Worse, removing the Bank 1 cam cover with the engine in place on a 2001 Boxster S is very difficult. Lowering and twisting of the engine required.Complete engine removal preferred.
It is very difficult to bench test a suspect Actuator and get conclusive evidence either way. The Actuator has been found to be vulnerable to oilway blockage and (in Audis) wear of the piston.
On Bank 1 of the Boxster ,the CAMshaft Position sensor is buried behind the AOS .That is also a suspect .It is only $100 so it becomes a 'since you are desperate,clueless and in there- replace it' item.
Then there is the whole Deviation and Camshaft timing subject to cover- which is why I am writing the Guide with lots of links and it is already way over 3 pages.
Macster, your experience shows even the Porsche dealer has problems with this P1341 code so not surprising that we amateurs do ! Thank you for helping.I very much appreciate your involvement - and so will others with P1341 in future !
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Old 04-02-2017, 03:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Schnell Gelb View Post
Macster, Thank you for taking the time to participate and offer your experience. I had read your original Post and have a few suggestions based on what appears in this link:
https://www.renntech.org/forums/topi...w-limit-value/
1. Diagnostic Test for Variocam Actuator/Solenoid.
With the advice of Ahsai, JFP and Jake (we miss you here Jake !) there are several tests for the Solenoid and the Actuator . They may be a little unconventional but they work. The obvious Test is to use the Durametric to prompt the Cam advance once the engine is warm. It is easy to 'see' the cam change over in Actual Values. In my case Bank 2 was perfect and Bank 1 'dead' per Durametric.
2. There are several test-harnesses to make to help distinguish between a defective Actuator (also the 4-6 Actuator
misplaced on the 1-3 Cam and v.v -from PorscheTech3) and a defective solenoid. I'll be explaining all this in a DIY Guide when I finally fix this. The writeup will be a collection of the scattered wisdom of others because I have done little original work on this problem other than the harnesses. The pioneer was Dharn55 of Intermix and Lifter fame !
3. It is possible to damage the DME or engine wiring by doing clumsy electrical tests -so be careful.The safest & easiest test is the simple 13 ohm test for the solenoid.
4. A "Hard Reset" has been suggested if all else fails but I have failed to find a good link to how to do a hard reset on the Bosch Motronic 7.2 DME. Do you ground the disconnected Positive Terminal of the battery cable or not ? Just disconnect for 10 minutes ?
https://rennlist.com/how-tos/a/porsc...set-ecu-387425
Part of the reason for all the hand wringing is the Actuators(with solenoid) are over $1000 each ! Worse, removing the Bank 1 cam cover with the engine in place on a 2001 Boxster S is very difficult. Lowering and twisting of the engine required.Complete engine removal preferred.
It is very difficult to bench test a suspect Actuator and get conclusive evidence either way. The Actuator has been found to be vulnerable to oilway blockage and (in Audis) wear of the piston.
On Bank 1 of the Boxster ,the CAMshaft Position sensor is buried behind the AOS .That is also a suspect .It is only $100 so it becomes a 'since you are desperate,clueless and in there- replace it' item.
Then there is the whole Deviation and Camshaft timing subject to cover- which is why I am writing the Guide with lots of links and it is already way over 3 pages.
Macster, your experience shows even the Porsche dealer has problems with this P1341 code so not surprising that we amateurs do ! Thank you for helping.I very much appreciate your involvement - and so will others with P1341 in future !
It figures that my first run in with fault codes turns out to be a 1341 (Porsche code p 74). I'm hoping that it's a little more aside to deal with on the 996 than the Boxter due to engine location...big thanks for the write up SG and Macster
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Old 04-02-2017, 05:17 PM
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The inconclusive diagnostic methods is a big problem because :
1. it won't pass the Smog Test with P1341
2. the problem(s) could cause catastrophic engine damage
3. the cost for all parts involved is potentially way over $1000
4. If you miss something you get to do over and probably drop the engine- lots of time and money gone !
5, resealing the cam covers with the engine in the car will be less than perfect -& it was perfect!
6. there is no complete list of all the(obscure/stupid) causes of P1341.I am writing it based on my expert qualifications (=mistakes)!
7.If you find worn pads and assume that is the entirety of the Deviation & the P1341 code you may get a sad shock after you reassemble everything. As yet, I have not got a grasp of all the issues to check but hopefully this work will provide it. For example- if you fit a 4-6 Bank 2 Actuator to 1-3 Bank 1(it fits and looks perfect !) but you will get P1341 per PorscheTech3.That would be very difficult to diagnose without this prompt to inspect !
Hints on Removing the cam cover (esp the Boxster)
1. print the cam cover torque sequence drawing from Renntech.You will need it to slacken in the correct sequence .
https://www.renntech.org/forums/topi...alant-renewal/
2. Don't forget to disconnect all the wiring from the sensors in cam cover (1 hidden near bolt #21)
3.Consider replacing #6 with an Allen head
4. Drain at least 3 qts of oil before you remove the cover.If you forget to do this ......
5.Before you start, assemble every variation of 10mm socket/wrench/tool you have. You will discover a new need for more variations of stubby/flex/obstruction/ specialty wrenches and sockets !
One reason my cam cover bolts did not leak was I put a little thread sealant under the head.Not threadlocker I had also used a little green Loctite (wicking locker) on the threads per Henkel's Instructions. Everything cam apart easily.Not Porsche-approved maybe but it worked for me.
Don't forget to replace the cam position sensor if it is Bank 1 and you have the AOS out for any reason - because of access and paranoia.

Last edited by Schnell Gelb; 04-02-2017 at 07:23 PM.
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Old 04-02-2017, 11:02 PM
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Hmmmm... Nice list ! So many questions... I'm going to try to not make any rash/rush decisions regardless of how much I want to drive my car. I did so much work this winter to get it "ready" for the season, now this... Oh well...seeing as I don't want all my work to go for naught, I'm going to try to figure this out and fix it prior to doing much driving - the only drive I have to make is about 10 miles back to my shop so I put it back up on the jack stands and start taking it apart. Big questions...
1) bank 1 = Drivers side?
2) Remove replace cover with engine in? Remove muffler? Lower engine? etc...?
3) Test/replace cam position sensor first?
4) Test/replace cam actuator next?

It seems crazy that we have these diagnostic tools (Durametric) but they don't even get us close with a problem like this...
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Old 04-03-2017, 12:33 AM
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Bank 1 is driver side. You are going to have some fun trying to pull the valve cover with the engine in the car. BUT you can test the actuator before taking anything apart. Could be having a problem with the vario cam solenoid driver in the DME. Test everything that you can before taking the valve cover off. Start with hotwiring the solenoid and work you way back to the DME.
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Old 04-03-2017, 12:48 AM
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Listen to Imo on this one. You need to run all the possible tests before you start removing anything.

There are many tests that can be done to isolate where the problem is. The failure could be the solenoid/actuator or the wiring between it and the DME or the transistor inside the DME.

First try to use Durametric to activate the variocam at idle on each bank. Engine noise should change.

Next is to remove the variocam electrical connector and check if you get 12v on pin 1 with key ON engine OFF. Also ohm out the solenoid ~13ohm

Next use a 9v battery to power the unplugged solenoid when engine is idling.

You can report back what you find in the above tests and I can help you further.
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Old 04-03-2017, 08:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Imo000 View Post
Bank 1 is driver side. You are going to have some fun trying to pull the valve cover with the engine in the car. BUT you can test the actuator before taking anything apart. Could be having a problem with the vario cam solenoid driver in the DME. Test everything that you can before taking the valve cover off. Start with hotwiring the solenoid and work you way back to the DME.
"Listen to Imo on this one. You need to run all the possible tests before you start removing anything.

There are many tests that can be done to isolate where the problem is. The failure could be the solenoid/actuator or the wiring between it and the DME or the transistor inside the DME.

First try to use Durametric to activate the variocam at idle on each bank. Engine noise should change.

Next is to remove the variocam electrical connector and check if you get 12v on pin 1 with key ON engine OFF. Also ohm out the solenoid ~13ohm

Next use a 9v battery to power the unplugged solenoid when engine is idling.

You can report back what you find in the above tests and I can help you further."


Thanks guys. I'm going to run the car up to the shop tonight. I don't know if i'll get a chance to work on it right away, but I'll let you know when/if I make any progress.
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Old 04-05-2017, 08:59 AM
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I got the car back up on jack stands and rear wheels off last night. I won't get to tear into it until tommorrow, but:

1) The solenoid is here? (yellow circle)



** special thanks to TNT63Falcon for the photo...

Thanks in advance
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Old 04-05-2017, 10:59 AM
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The photo shows a 3.6L engine. Your avatar shows a MkI so I assume your engine is 3.4

On a 3.4, it's where the orange arrow points to and you can see its electrical connector too.




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