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Old 08-17-2020, 08:32 AM   #1
VolvOrr
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Default Lacking performence after installing new 531 head

Dear turbobrickers

Last week I installed a 531+vx3 instead of 530+T cam on my b200ft AW71 240.
The head was complicity re done and I used new gaskets everywhere.
When the old head was removed I checked that when in TDC that all the marks on the pulleys
are correct and that the rotor on the distributor is in the right place.
I checked that there is no vacuum leaks and that my turbo compressor wheel spins freely.

I think that the engine doesn't produce enough vacuum, it's between minus 10-13 psi when in neutral and with no AC or anything like that, when putting it in drive vacuum goes to around minus 9-10 psi.
The car runs like crap below 3500 rpm.
I mean really bad, way worse than a NA b200 to the point that when I press the gas pedal
the car doesn't want to accelerate, even when the turbo push 5-6 psi the car is still really slow.
Before I changed the heads the engine felt quite agile on low-mid rpm.
Another weird thing that happened is that when I unplugged the MAF and tried to start the engine it started fine, but when giving it a little bit of gas it turned off.

Any idea what can I do to fix the problem?
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Old 08-17-2020, 10:34 AM   #2
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I would start by rechecking cam/distributor timing.
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Old 08-17-2020, 10:44 AM   #3
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Might also want to do a leak down test and make sure the valves aren’t too tight allowing a vacuum leak into a/the cylinder(s).
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Old 08-17-2020, 12:03 PM   #4
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Did you adjust the shims, or was the shop supposed to do it?

You can check with the valve cover off, or do a compression test if you have a compression gauge. For checking shim clearance, if valve hushers were installed, you need to push down firmly (by hand) on the shim&bucket to get the feeler gauges in.
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Old 08-17-2020, 12:12 PM   #5
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Things to check:
1. Vacuum leaks. Are all of the caps/plugs/hoses hooked up on the intake manifold? Is the MAF to TB plumbing leak free and connected properly?

2. Check cam timing, verify that TDC on the crank pulley is actually TDC with piston #1 at the very top of the stroke.

3. Compression check or leak down. This will tell you if there's an issue with the head (leaking valves, valve lash, etc)
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Old 08-17-2020, 03:41 PM   #6
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I checked 10 times that the engine is in TDC and that all of the timing gears are in the right place.
Today me and my mechanic also did a compression test. we think that his compression gauge reads too low, it showed 95 psi on all 4 pistons
but when we added oil to one of the cylinders and did it again it didn't jump too much, and on a different 240 with a NA engine it showed similar results.
I checked also for vacuum leaks by spraying carb cleaner on every spot it might leak, and we didn't find any leaks.
We checked fuel pressure and it was good, 3.44 bar on ideal.

I advanced the cam gear 1 tooth forward and it made things better at low/mid rpm.
but still not as good as before the swap.
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Old 08-17-2020, 03:49 PM   #7
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Did you check the valve clearance before installing the cam?
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Old 08-17-2020, 04:19 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VolvOrr View Post
I checked 10 times that the engine is in TDC and that all of the timing gears are in the right place.
Today me and my mechanic also did a compression test. we think that his compression gauge reads too low, it showed 95 psi on all 4 pistons
I think that's your problem. Was that pressure reading done with the throttle wide open?
Cranking pressure should be around 140-160psi ob a b230f, not sure on a b200ft though.
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Old 08-17-2020, 04:48 PM   #9
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With a new head gasket and head machine, I wouldn't be suprised if the compression went over 200psi. I've had one measure 210
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Old 08-18-2020, 04:02 AM   #10
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Yes, we did the test with wide open throttle.
I need to check the compression with a different gauge though.
Because this gauge gave very low results on another engine too.
And my engine doesn't show signs of a low compression engine

About valve clearence, the head was done by a shop, and the guy who did it said that he set up thr valve clearence to 0.35mm and that they looked in good shape
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Old 08-18-2020, 10:52 AM   #11
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Try a leak down test instead of a compression test. You’ll be able to hear the air escaping past a valve, or possibly into the crankcase as excessive blow by. My guess though, is that the valves are too tight. Or, possibly the combustion chamber is that much larger on a 531 head vs a b200 head.
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Old 08-18-2020, 12:54 PM   #12
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For every 10 thou the head is milled down, the slack in the timing belt causes approx 1 degree cam retard. Maybe that head has been skimmed a lot. You would have to measure the head height to know.
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Old 08-18-2020, 02:20 PM   #13
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What are you using for a head gasket? Maybe it is leaking very uniformly or has huge crevice spaces? After a rebuild, and at 5000 foot elevation, my B21FT with a ~8.0cr has ~130psi compression when warm, so 95psi is really low.

A recent 531 head on b200 block discussion is here:
http://www.forums.turbobricks.com/sh...d.php?t=351519
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Old 08-23-2020, 05:25 AM   #14
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So after a few days of driving the car my main problem is that it's really slow at low RPM.
It's worse at start before warming up, I get zero torque and if I go WOT from a stop, the car boggs and even when the boost start rising to 5-6 psi at 2500RPM in first gear it's still not accelerating like it should.
At 3500RPM and above the car pulls strong but its barely drivable before that.
I use premium gas and I checked that when in TDC everything is in the right place.
Also, yesterday the car started only after some stubbornness when turning the key, took longer than usual to start the engine.
It looks like spark timing is really retarded, what can I do about it?

Last edited by VolvOrr; 08-23-2020 at 05:34 AM..
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Old 08-23-2020, 05:49 AM   #15
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That sounds almost exactly like bmdubya1198's problem. But he says his accelerates normally after only 3000. He's still trying to figure it out too, but you could check his thread for ideas.
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Old 08-31-2020, 01:16 PM   #16
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not sure if cheating or not, but I installed an adjustable cam gear today and advanced the cam and it helped with low end acceleration.
And I'm getting around 15 psi of vacuum when there is no load (in neutral and no AC).
I also changed the FPR to an adjustable one, and set it to 3 bar when in idle and when the vacuum hose is not connected to the regulator.
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Old 09-01-2020, 10:34 AM   #17
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We may be talking about a case of over-camming here. Combining that with reduced compression ratio from the larger chamber of the 531 head and it's a double-whammy. If you've checked all the obvious stuff and it's ok, put the T cam back in and see what happens.

Many years ago I had an '80 Malibu with a 283, way too much cam, and nowhere near enough compression. It was TERRIBLE up to about 3000 rpm, then it came on like crazy (in a relative sense). Dicked with it for a few years trying to make it work before I finally took cam out of it and swapped on a set of stock 283 heads (much smaller chambers). Idle vacuum went from 11 in to 17, and it was way more tractable, even with less gearing.

I don't know why these cam/compression mismatches tend to come on at about 3000. Maybe somebody around here does.
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Old 09-03-2020, 11:31 AM   #18
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I've been having similar issues with mine after installing an iPd turbo cam along with an NA 530 head that was recently resurfaced. The odd thing is the car had already started feeling sluggish before I swapped the head and cam, but I'm not sure if that's related at this point.
I ordered an adjustable cam gear from STS machining last week and I'm going to see if that fixes the lack of power under 3000 RPM. It moves like it's in 4th gear from a stop, then the power seems to just switch on after 3k.
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Old 09-03-2020, 12:22 PM   #19
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The 531 isn't good for low grunge.
This head perfomance is at high revs.

The better choose below 3500 is a 530.

The combustion volume of a 531 is more than of a 530.
VX3 cam is a screamer one.
Your combination: 2.0 + 531 + VX3 is only made for high boost AND high revs.


Good luck, Kay
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Old 09-03-2020, 01:53 PM   #20
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I can verify that 530 is good to the 3500 rpm. Long before 3500 rpm, i like to put next gear. These b200 blocks seems to have good torque at low engine speeds, which is something that i like. Long time ago when my Volvo was my daily-driven car, i remember that with heavy trailer i used to drive long hills with 3000rpms, around 3000rpms these engines feels really strong. Not so many hp, but good torque at low speeds.
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Old 09-03-2020, 01:57 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shoestring View Post
We may be talking about a case of over-camming here. Combining that with reduced compression ratio from the larger chamber of the 531 head and it's a double-whammy. If you've checked all the obvious stuff and it's ok, put the T cam back in and see what happens.

Many years ago I had an '80 Malibu with a 283, way too much cam, and nowhere near enough compression. It was TERRIBLE up to about 3000 rpm, then it came on like crazy (in a relative sense). Dicked with it for a few years trying to make it work before I finally took cam out of it and swapped on a set of stock 283 heads (much smaller chambers). Idle vacuum went from 11 in to 17, and it was way more tractable, even with less gearing.

I don't know why these cam/compression mismatches tend to come on at about 3000. Maybe somebody around here does.
That's where the flow goes from reversion to a more constant flow in one direction. You can't install a cam with a lot of duration and expect it to produce low end. That's why modern engines have variable cam timing systems. My 1970 Boss 302 Ford had very little low end. The power would hit hard at about 4,000 RPM and pull hard up to 7,500 RPM. If I had the pedal down it would start spinning the rear tires and wouldn't stop until about 70 MPH with a Power lock differential. Boss 302 heads were designed for Trans AM racing. They would flow to 9,800 RPM. The 531 is somewhat like the Ford Cleveland head. Larger factory cast ports for higher flow. That means they are going to get stagnant flow at low RPM/velocity. So, as mocambique amazon said, what did you expect?
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Old 09-03-2020, 09:36 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2manyturbos View Post
That's where the flow goes from reversion to a more constant flow in one direction. You can't install a cam with a lot of duration and expect it to produce low end. That's why modern engines have variable cam timing systems. My 1970 Boss 302 Ford had very little low end. The power would hit hard at about 4,000 RPM and pull hard up to 7,500 RPM. If I had the pedal down it would start spinning the rear tires and wouldn't stop until about 70 MPH with a Power lock differential. Boss 302 heads were designed for Trans AM racing. They would flow to 9,800 RPM. The 531 is somewhat like the Ford Cleveland head. Larger factory cast ports for higher flow. That means they are going to get stagnant flow at low RPM/velocity. So, as mocambique amazon said, what did you expect?
I don't know. I guess I expected it to work. It was a crappy lesson but I learned it. Went from that to a 406 with AFR heads and started stomping the locals...
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Old 09-03-2020, 10:09 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shoestring View Post
I don't know. I guess I expected it to work. It was a crappy lesson but I learned it. Went from that to a 406 with AFR heads and started stomping the locals...
The “what did you expect” was meant for the OP. I was adding to your experience. I didn’t make that clear.
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Old 09-03-2020, 10:21 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mocambique-amazone View Post
The 531 isn't good for low grunge.
This head perfomance is at high revs.

The better choose below 3500 is a 530.

The combustion volume of a 531 is more than of a 530.
VX3 cam is a screamer one.
Your combination: 2.0 + 531 + VX3 is only made for high boost AND high revs.


Good luck, Kay
junge, junge, junge...Why you write such fake news..
531 is a mainly a fantasy thing giving 2-3 more cfm MAX flow as an un-touched head....2 or 3 cfm flow max out of 150-165 is how many %

You do the math yourself so you can see with your own fingertips just what a small nearly unmeasureble, but more important un-feelable difference it makes in all but 1 situation: Use in racing class where the head must remain un-modified.

Head volue same applies....1-2 or 3cc...a couple of tenths maybe in compression.
You think the difference from 9.25 to 9.38 is going to be felt..

See if you and dozen of others didn't write this "its a high Are Pea EM head" stuff, this poor bastid wouldn't be in the position now..

Basta mit diese 531 scheisse.
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Old 09-04-2020, 02:58 AM   #25
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Many mickles makes a mackle John

I did expecting this kind of post from you.

Have a nice day old grummling bear.

Good to know you know nothing about my experience and knowledge.

I don't care of the Trump-style of post you do for this reason.

The Internet is full of tur-turs.


And you know by your own:

A lot of very small steps will bring you forward, or in the wrong direction.


Best regards, Kay
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