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I think you all know I replaced the timing belt, water pump, spark plugs (NGK gapped at .030) and both coil pack (well the coil pack I replaced 6 months ago)... Had some problems getting the cam/crank alignment, but with help here and the help of the Cam Holding Tool I bought - all worked out fine (to a degree - no pun intended)
So here we are now:
Cleaned the MAF with some "MAF CLEANER", cleaned the throttle body with carb/inj cleaner. Checked the coil packs, plug wires, spark plugs (took them all out and double checked the coil pack placement according to firing order and ensured a good connection.
ALSO - I took what I believe to be the Fuel Flow Sensor, or perhaps the EVAP sensor and cleaned the connections with electrical connector cleaner. It was the connector that goes to a small unit that connects to a small canister on the front left (next to fender way up front looking at the front of the car)
Put it all back together and wammo - it had as much power as day one when we bought it 6 years ago with 40k on it, if not more...
Some history - the O2 sensor has been a code since we bought it and the dealer (used car) said it was either the cat or the O2 sensor but the 30 day warranty had run out. We started smelling the cat (sulfur smell) about 2 months ago. I have not replaced the cat (either one) or any of the O2 sensors.
Now the car will go "OK" with acceleration on FLAT land, but going up a SLIGHT hill - forget it! It just goes BOOOOOOOOO (when you try to give it gas going uphill or if you give it full throttle on a flat runway, and will go from 60 to 25mph instantly! NO POWER at all!
The cat is starting to smell more frequently... Could this simply be it? The code I get is : P0143 and P0130, but those codes are not CONSTANT! I also get MIL OFF (I need to check that out in the manual - I assume it is nothing.
Perhaps it is time to get a multi-meter and start checking OHMS on some mudules??? OR perhaps a deep rock quarry!
hopefully all those earlier codes regarding misfire were just bad connections. That's awesome that it's fired up and running again. The problem with lack of power is most likely the Cat. Not only will a blocked cat cause loss of power, but it will also cause a lot of excess heat on your exhaust manifold. The head and your exhaust valves can be dammaged over time from exposure to the excess heat.
You can check back presssure by drilling a small hole in the exhaust pipe on the engine side of the cat and sticking a low pressure gauge on it. Just drill the hole to the size of the fitting you plan on sticking in there... it should have a snug fit to keep it airtight. if it's loose wrap some electrical tape around the fitting. It will melt if the fitting is left in the hole, but for the purpose of testing backpressure it will do fine. Just pull it out when you aren't taking a reading. You need a low pressure gauge to do this test. One that can read in increments less than 1psi and tops off at 15psi. (can't use your compression tester or a tire gauge)
The pressure should be less than 2psi at low idle. If that's ok, then idle it up to about 2k rpms and the pressure should stay under 3psi. Sometimes there isn't enough volume going through the cat at idle to show the blockage on a pressure gauge. That's why you can have a great idling engine, or it will accelerate if you keep the RPM's down but under load or at higher RPM it boggs down. Hold the engine at 2K and observe the gauge. If the pressure starts slowly rising as you hold 2k RPM or if it goes over 3psi then you have a partial blockage. If there's no restriction at high idle (2k) then you may want to check it at an even higher RPM. The next step up would be to take it to 4k RPM. Pressure will shoot up and it can vary between 4-8psi. Some exhaust systems will go higher, but on the sportage it shouldn't be over 8psi.
Once you've completed the test:
if the cat is bad, take it to a muffler shop and get it replaced and they'll just weld the little hole for you when they replace the cat.
if the cat is good, take a self taping screw that will fit the diameter of the hole you drilled and screw it in. You can use some exhaust patch epoxy to seal the screw if there's any leakage. It comes in a small tube and is usually found near the exhaust pipes and hangers at your autopart store.
Never thought of checking the back pressure or even how to go about doing it.
I have vacuum/fuel pressure gage that on the PSI side has 1psi increments up to 15 pounds, this should work just fine. I am going to go to the auto parts store and adapt a longer hose with a smaller/different fitting to go into the exhaust. I think that 6-8 feet of longer hose should work fine (in order to allow me to read the gage from the drivers seat (being able to watch RPM tach).
My question is : I understand checking the back pressure in the exhaust pipe between the engine and the first cat... but what about the second (main cat). I assume that I need to check that as well? I am short on cash and do not want to have to buy both cats!!!!
Any idea where to shop for either cat, I have seen prices from $74 all the way up to $350!! The lower priced ones are NOT vehicle specific, and would require welding - so they are not an option.
Do you know what the KIA part numbers are, or where to find them, for the 2001 Sportage 4x4??
Thanks my friend, you have been right here for me with logical answers or suggestions.
Check the second cat first. If the second cat is plugged you won't be able to accurately check the first one for blockage untill you've replaced the second one or cut it off. (usually the second cat is fine) You should be able to fit generic cats, but you may need an adapter to reduce or expand the fitting for your pipe. If you get the right size adapter, a U-bolt pressure fitting will be fine for pinching it tight on your pipe. Use some of the exhaust patch epoxy I mentioned in the previous post to make sure the joint is tight and there are no leaks. When you get around to it, you can have it welded up there, but the U-bolt will hold it indefinitely. (I built an entire 2.5 inch exhaust for my samurai out of exhaust pipe sections and couplers from autozone. Had about 5 or 6 u-bolts under there and it held together fine for 2 years when I finally got around to having it welded together)
Recently found the power ran out when trying to accelerate above 3000rpm, took car in for service, they found the air flow meter (the bit just after the air filter box) was faulty, £180.00 for the part. Pulls horse trailer up hills with a big horse inside with no problem again.
Checked back pressure on first catalytic converter (from engine side)... it was way too high.
Took first cat off and it was full of "melted LAVA"! I decided to take exhaust manifold off and pipe to second catalytic converter so I could get the O2 sensors out easier, while I was right there.
Punched out the First Cat, replaced the O2 Sensors (2) of them. got ready to put this all back together and decided to look inside the second cat from the inlet side with a flashlight... there was a chunk of melted lava almost blocking the entire inlet. I broke that up and got it out. Did not see anything else in there but the screen that is right before the honeycomb stuff.
Well - got it all back together and the problem still exists (no power up hill, only on flats). Compression is good by the way...
My assumption is that I have to remove and replace the second catalytic converter. While I am right here at this point and do not want to punch out the main cat and emit all of the wrong emissions, what do you guys recommend for a performance Main Catalytic Converter? There are many out there, but I would like a bolt on so that I do not have to modify any pipes or do any welding - any such animal available?
Last edited by mainesportage; 09-29-2009 at 08:22 AM.
Reason: Additional Question...
wow! yeah there's a good chance that crud blew into your second cat. What kind of fitting you you have on the second cat, does it have a flange fitting that bolts to the front cat or is it welded to the front cat? Most non-fitted cats for that size vehicle will run you about $150. Rock Auto has pretty good prices on theirs, but you'll need to look them over to see which ones you would want to use. There are a lot of different fittings and configurations apparently. RockAuto Parts Catalog
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