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H-400

"400" repair

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The "400" had some things to do after months of staying in the oldtimer storage. Looked as the AFM had some problems but before solving that problem I wanted to be sure the electronical ignition is ok. This ignition was used in the early eighties but I always thought there was a problem with the distributor. The idle was not stabil so I opened the dizzy:

The original distributor of a "400" has got two vacuum conections, so hard to find... I wanted to use an original eighties electronical dizzy with that electronical box but it is hard to find. So after years I found one of a kadett ralley and looked ok. Wanted my car stayed original eighties parts but I noticed the idle was not stabil. Opened the dizzy and saw the springs of the timing were worn; so I used the the original "400" dizzy to rebuild it to electronical: 

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As you can see the pressure-box has got two connections. Cause of the high compression engine the second connection pulls the ignition later so the engine starts easier, look also at the rotor of the ignition that is difficult to find.

So I rebuilded the original "400"  dizzy from contact points to electronical and today the engine did his succesfull test:

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If someone needs the wiring diagram:

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Start-up of the engine but it needs some checking timing, those engines needs to set on higher rounds to be sure the ignition doesn't hurt the engine:

Next thing to do is checking the AFM, after a testdrive...

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Ignition is "strobe't" on 20° @ 2500 rpm's but the testdrive will be for later. My Son is welding his Sunny's exhaust and today it is car-free sunday in Belgium. 

Took this pic cause I learned my Son something I can share here:

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What does that tube do in that hole of the plug?? Well on modern engine's it is difficult to look for marks on the pulley/flywheel or camshaft. So sometimes we know when the mark is on  "OT" (top dead point 0°) but we just don't know if it is end compression or tumbling valves (end exhaust/begin inlet). On our Manta's and Cavaliers we can check the rotor of the dizzy but on modern engines there is no dizzy. And sometimes we are a bit in a hurry or we don't have a new rockercovergasket... Just fit a tube tight in the hole of the sparkplug and try to blow air in it. When you don't feel a lot of resistance the valves are open so tumbling. If you feel you can't get air in it the cilinder is at end compression... 

Have a nice Sunday

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Well I finally had time to take the "400" for a testdrive. The electronical ignition works fine, but I noticed the engine doesn't start as easy and when I provoke "pinging" it does... So I set the ignition some degrees later and it doesn't "ping" anymore😊.  And I got to get used with the noise the engine makes. Was half a year ago I gave full throttle with that car and above 5000rpm's they don't make a civilised noise. The valve tappets are mecanical and the exhaust bigger, an idle of 1300rpm's so even on the stoplight I felt guilty. The Insignia sounds like a butterfly if you compare.

When I start the engine short after killing it starts easy, but when I pump the underpressure away of the brakebooster it starts difficult, so that's a sign the second underpressure connection on the original dizzy is important. When the engine is cold I'm gonna have a look at the static point of the ignition, my GSI with 2.4 engine has got a standard GSI ignition and runs fine but that engine has got a lower compression.             Took some pics today of both Manta's together:

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If you don't look at the rims the GSI has got more "400" looks as the original "400"😁:

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Grts, Herman

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Done some work on the "400", cause my knee is still not 100% I do some easy things. But things we need to pay attention. The injection of a "400" is the old L-jetronic with the grey injectors. Even when the smaller brother (GT/E) went to LE-jetronic the "400" stayed by the older type. The second owner tuned the car at Delta-Motor in Switserland, in the eighties... What did they do? They fitted a 70mm throttle body of a 6 in line, the original inlet manifold was nice milled to the bigger size and there was a 70mm AFM fitted of a BMW 635. Together with a Mercedes FPRegulator it gave the engine some more power and the exhaust is a bigger Irmscher one. Checked the AFM with the multimeter and noticed some failures:

So this is the BMW AFM:

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What is that stuff on the top of the AFM? The whole set together with filter-house touches the bonnet, so the second owner glued it to protect the bonnet... The next picture is together with the original "400" AFM. You can see the difference in size:

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Some info: The AFM of a "400"is the same size of a GT/E (l-jetronic) but not the same, later more about that. Because the inlet of the BMW AFM is bigger they adjusted the filter house also, left is the original size and the right one is the bigger one:

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I own this car since 2005 but never noticed this: The size of the inlet from the filter is the same as the original one, so why upgrading the AFM and throttle when this square inlet stays the same? Think it is better the air flows into the engine from a bigger size, got to fix that!

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I have onother AFM (also BMW635 but LE) with a nice inlet that guides the air into the AFM, will try that piece in the filter house but want also something to fit something on that to be sure the air is nicely guided into the AFM:

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The cover of the AFM was glued so I think they the tension of the flap was changed, noticed I needed less pressure but got to check it with weights. This pic is the opened AFM with the "airguide" of the other BMW AFM:

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Sharp eyes can see the contact that triggers the feul pump, one of the major differences with the AFM of the LE-jetronic. 

Later more, have a nice evening.

 

 

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At least you have the option of having a new filter housing made on a 3D printer, modified from scans of original these days. Obviously when the mods was done it would have been a cut and glue Job to make it work. Not so great with looks.

However - since you are modding the injection system away from standard, how about doing something a bit more modern - but stealth?
 

Move to an Omex, emerald, Megasquirt etc, and make a fake afm (remove insides). This would then allow the ignition to be mapped properly. Keep the pipe work to the distributor intact, just hide a bung in the rubber section. 
you will get all the benefits of modern ecu for starting and controlling fueling properly, it will still look oem and you can save the original ecu etc from wear for future.

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Hi Jess, been thinking the same as you in the past. An EFI with an empty fake AFM and MAP&MAF. Triggerwheel and sensor on the oilpump and wideband lambda. Asked around and it would be something around a 1000€. This is the ECU, the loom,sensors (Lambda, airtemp, Map,...) . Without a knocksensor, thats an extra kost. 

Maybe it lays under the tree? 🎄 

Edited: Another option is changing the old AFM  with a new type AFM (heat wire sensor) but than you need a small ECU to convert the signal to something usable for the old L-jetronic ECU...

Edited by H-400
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You can get a MegaSquirt2 setup for less if you can do the wiring yourself. The later 2,4 engine front pulls have a trigger wheel if you want sequential fueling.  Lambda is not necessary either, but obviously does gave large benefits - more so if you want to road tube rather than pay someone.

I recon you could get it done for the £650 region. 
 

 

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Done some checking with small weights and the tension of the flap of the BMW AFM is weaker than normal. Did also some measurments on the original "400"AFM and that 

gives less resistance and keeps in the data of the repair manual of the "400". The BMW AFM looks to give too much resistance so the outcomming signal to the ECU can be too low. 

Wanted to fit the circuit board of the original AFM but when I unscrewed the BMW circuit board the first screw broke:

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You can see the red stuff so they are sealed with something. The BMW AFM has got also that extra wire on the arm to give a good connection. 

Tomorrow gonna fit both AFM's on the car to check the voltage to the ECU, what benefit gives the bigger AFM if you have less feul...

Maybe that's the reason of the Mercedes FPregulator?

Have a nice evening.

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Interesting Stuff Herman. Think you are right about the FPR, but the problem with that is they are really stretching the use of rising pressure to correct the wrong signal from afm. So you can bet at points it will be lean and others rich.

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Hi Jess, not that the car runs bad. But the GSI with the 2.4CIH runs on lower revs better. More torque but the "400" explodes at 4000rpm's.  Hunted an AC Cobra on the German highway at 200km/h (real speed) and the driver was looking surprised a Manta went over him. We gave both our "thumbs up" but above 210km/h the engine went too hot, so think it is too lean at very high revs. Think with the info I found last days the eighties tuning is not that professional...

Tomorrow more.

 

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40 minutes ago, H-400 said:

Hi Jess, not that the car runs bad. But the GSI with the 2.4CIH runs on lower revs better. More torque but the "400" explodes at 4000rpm's.  Hunted an AC Cobra on the German highway at 200km/h (real speed) and the driver was looking surprised a Manta went over him. We gave both our "thumbs up" but above 210km/h the engine went too hot, so think it is too lean at very high revs. Think with the info I found last days the eighties tuning is not that professional...

Tomorrow more.

 

That would definitely be what I would expect. I don't think the sub 4K issue is really the problem of the setup as I do remember reading they are a bit 'Camy'. This is why you see that the 8v will have more torque at lower rpm, as it will. The 400 will suffer with very low gas velocity at the lower rpm and the 2.4 will get asthmatic at higher rpm.  The cam profile will also exaggerate this, could be offset with retarding the exhaust Cam a little if you had the option, for road use.
 

But that engine would so benefit from a fully mapped ecu, think you would have great fun with the MegaSquirt too as you like tinkering 😎

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Think what we measure alive on the car is what counts. Fitted both AFM's without black cover on the car. Outcomming signal to the ECU (can we call that thing an ECU? is more an update of a clay tablet😁) is with the original "400" AFM 1,48 to 6,42 Volt, checked it progressive and works fine.   The bigger BMW AFM gives 1,51 to 6,62 Volt and also working nice & progressive. So those  values are comparable. Before I assambled the BMW AFM I cleaned the contacts and rubbed the black strip with a piece of paper from a newspaper, no agressive sandpaper.

Tip: If someone wants to check the feulpump with an old L-jetronic (grey injectors), just switch the contact "on" and push the airflap of the AFM, you will hear the pump even when the engine is not running. Easy to check the feulpressure .

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So next thing to do is checking the feulpressure, I will keep you posted.

Have a nice Sunday all.

Edited by H-400
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5 hours ago, H-400 said:

(can we call that thing an ECU? is more an update of a clay tablet😁

Have a nice Sunday all.

Quote of the week, legend!

Remember opening voltage regulator, it was like an old clock or something! This tech was sold until 1988. 

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4 minutes ago, ®evo03 said:

Quote of the week, legend!

Remember opening voltage regulator, it was like an old clock or something! This tech was sold until 1988. 

It basically is nothing more than an analogue pulse modulator. So Herman's description was accurate 😂

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Well I fitted the AFM back into the "400",but first I cutted the small intake of the filter house open so it could get the air that was needed. Noticed directly the engine runs nicer and more stabil when cold. Took the car for a testdrive and it has got definitively more power. Just by cleaning the circuit border & contacts, and cleaning the black carbon strip... But it feels like the throttle keeps hanging, surprised me cause I live in the centre of a village. Took the car on a road out of the village and when decelerating a lot of backfire...

So someone adjusted the spring of the flap in the AFM, maybe by cleaning the engine gets too much feul? And noticed also when the engine is hot it runs not so stabil as cold: too rich? The Mercedes feul pressure regulator has got no underpressure connection and I don't know what pressure it gives. Worth checking, but got no meter to test it, used always one of "the barracks". Must buy one or ask my Son to take one from the garage he works. And Yes I Never Mentioned!! My Son works since the first of September in an official Opel Dealer garage. Had to show my "400" after some weeks, I am a proud Dad.

A question: Did one of you guys ever fitted an Air/Feul ratio meter in your car? What brand or price? 

Grts, Herman

 

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1 hour ago, H-400 said:

Well I fitted the AFM back into the "400",but first I cutted the small intake of the filter house open so it could get the air that was needed. Noticed directly the engine runs nicer and more stabil when cold. Took the car for a testdrive and it has got definitively more power. Just by cleaning the circuit border & contacts, and cleaning the black carbon strip... But it feels like the throttle keeps hanging, surprised me cause I live in the centre of a village. Took the car on a road out of the village and when decelerating a lot of backfire...

So someone adjusted the spring of the flap in the AFM, maybe by cleaning the engine gets too much feul? And noticed also when the engine is hot it runs not so stabil as cold: too rich? The Mercedes feul pressure regulator has got no underpressure connection and I don't know what pressure it gives. Worth checking, but got no meter to test it, used always one of "the barracks". Must buy one or ask my Son to take one from the garage he works. And Yes I Never Mentioned!! My Son works since the first of September in an official Opel Dealer garage. Had to show my "400" after some weeks, I am a proud Dad.

A question: Did one of you guys ever fitted an Air/Feul ratio meter in your car? What brand or price? 

Grts, Herman

 

Only use a wideband for accuracy 

I have Spartan that is fairly well regarded that you can run a digital gauge with

Edited by Jessopia74

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Hi Jess, yes the wideband is what I want to use. I see a lot of wideband lambda kits in different prices. Also a lot of China stuff so thats why I asked, thanks for the tip.

About the "400": Remember the wise words of Ian, our Vauxhall friend: Keep it simple...Those two springs of the throttle body jumped to somewhere else cause some time ago I adjusted them stronger so driving on the highway was less tiring for my foot. The springs were stucked in eachother so the valve closed slowely.  Noticed also the axle of the throttle felt dry so lubricated it with thick engine oil. 

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This winter I will open the throttle body to inspect the bearings, maybe greasing them with copper-grease ...

 

 

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That’s great your son has secured a position at an Opel dealership, he probably has a head start knowledge wise with helping you with your 400 👍

cant help but think Opel was at the top of their game with the Ascona and Manta 400’s I don’t see anything to match them on styling since or even in their modern production line. Would it be because of the lack of rallying heritage on the newer models?

Edited by Mike.
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16 hours ago, Mike. said:

That’s great your son has secured a position at an Opel dealership, he probably has a head start knowledge wise with helping you with your 400 👍

cant help but think Opel was at the top of their game with the Ascona and Manta 400’s I don’t see anything to match them on styling since or even in their modern production line. Would it be because of the lack of rallying heritage on the newer models?

That (Restriction of 4wd lifted) and safety imo. The need to have large crumple zones, fronts that are safer to pedestrians and the drive of larger minis. Group B rally was exciting (due to the dangers) . Something that the WRC acknowledge and will be slowly releasing the restrictions to try and rekindle the spectacular rallying of the early 80's

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Opel had great rallycars, and the best rear driven ones at that period. The earlyer Escorts were better with drifting but the "400"'s loved more the fast lanes. And there was a difference between the Ascona-400 and the Manta-400. The Ascona was the better rallycar cause it had less weight on the nose, but when I say this in the "400Club" it is always a discussion.

About my "400": Fixed those springs and took the car out for a drive, I can feel more power but at 4000rpm's there 's a stuttering as the engine gets no ignition. Tried reving the engine and it looks OK, goes up to 6500rpm's without problems. Did I do something wrong with the AFM? More later, gonna check my spark-plugs for the colour and can try also the original AFM...

Will keep you all posted, grts, Herman

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2 hours ago, H-400 said:

Opel had great rallycars, and the best rear driven ones at that period. The earlyer Escorts were better with drifting but the "400"'s loved more the fast lanes. And there was a difference between the Ascona-400 and the Manta-400. The Ascona was the better rallycar cause it had less weight on the nose, but when I say this in the "400Club" it is always a discussion.

About my "400": Fixed those springs and took the car out for a drive, I can feel more power but at 4000rpm's there 's a stuttering as the engine gets no ignition. Tried reving the engine and it looks OK, goes up to 6500rpm's without problems. Did I do something wrong with the AFM? More later, gonna check my spark-plugs for the colour and can try also the original AFM...

Will keep you all posted, grts, Herman

Yeah only way to know is if you could check the mixture, so the lambda is going to be key 

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