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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The past two track days I went to with the Focus I had the exact same problem.
What happened was that after a few laps, 2 or 3 at most, the car would stop boosting past 5PSI.

Originally I thought that my air filter was dirty (and it was) so for the last track day, I made sure my filter was clean and I bought a paper filter just in case.
Same thing happened.
So I thought, well, maybe somehow I have a boost leak somewhere but for some reason it happens when the car is hot or at a track day only, which was kind of far fetched.

I was talking to a friend who owns a Lotus shop and he told me: Nah, it's not a leak, it's the IAT.
He told me he has a customer who wanted an ST but got an RS and he has the same problem. Basically he's got 350HP for 10 minutes.

I do have a Steeda I/C so I'm a kind of puzzled that the IAC still reads temperature high enough that it ends up limiting the boost. That's rather aggravating to see Miatas pull away from you :disappointed:
Is there anything that I can do? Although, I'm probably not going to track the ST much more...
 

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The past two track days I went to with the Focus I had the exact same problem.
What happened was that after a few laps, 2 or 3 at most, the car would stop boosting past 5PSI.

Originally I thought that my air filter was dirty (and it was) so for the last track day, I made sure my filter was clean and I bought a paper filter just in case.
Same thing happened.
So I thought, well, maybe somehow I have a boost leak somewhere but for some reason it happens when the car is hot or at a track day only, which was kind of far fetched.

I was talking to a friend who owns a Lotus shop and he told me: Nah, it's not a leak, it's the IAT.
He told me he has a customer who wanted an ST but got an RS and he has the same problem. Basically he's got 350HP for 10 minutes.

I do have a Steeda I/C so I'm a kind of puzzled that the IAC still reads temperature high enough that it ends up limiting the boost. That's rather aggravating to see Miatas pull away from you :disappointed:
Is there anything that I can do? Although, I'm probably not going to track the ST much more...
What other mods do you have? What was the ambient temp? What track? What is the water and oil temp at those times?


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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
What other mods do you have? What was the ambient temp? What track? What is the water and oil temp at those times?


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Mods are: FRPP (exhaust, tune, spark plugs)
The track was Thunderhill West and then East. When I the west side, it was in October last year and the outside temp was around 70F-75F. The last track day was at the beginning of Feb and it was cold and wet temp 50F.
The water temp never really fluctuates so I would say about 180F, but the oil will rise to 270F at least but the boost has already been limited by then.

On the 50F day, it took about 2-3 laps to lose the boost.
 

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Hmm that is weird. That oil temp sounds high for how low your water temp is stated? Other than that the frpp tune does run a good amount more boost so maybe that's a contributing factor. Still sound weird tho... water and oil temps are super far apart.


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Sounds like you went into limp mode, which is not surprising or unusual at all if you are on the stock intercooler. Track days are hard on these cars' oil temps too and a lot of people put on an aftermarket oil cooler, so that couldn't hurt if you plan on doing a lot of track days. At least that is if you want to get more than 2 laps in before the car needing to cool down.
 

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Do you have an accessport? You need to datalog a session.... I would look at oil temp, coolant temp, charge air temp (not intake air temp, on a fast moving track that's not going to be a problem), ign corrections to see if heat is causing any knock issues.

180F coolant and 270F oil doesn't seem right either, they tend to follow each other (with oil being higher), I suspect your water temp is a good bit higher than that.

Tracking a higher-strung turbo engine is usually a challenge. Heat is the number 1 enemy. Double check that coolant temp, you probably need/want a larger radiator and/or oil cooler next. You can also run thicker oil 40 or 50wt on track to compensate some.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I don't have an access port unfortunately. I don't recall the coolant temp to be any higher than usual.
The oil gets hotter because unlike some other cars they don't have a separate oil cooling for the turbo, so they don't really go hand to hand. Of course I would think that the coolant would tend to get hotter as the oil is really hot too. There's definitely a heat soak issue somewhere.
@Bryman13 I have the Steeda FMIC since I realized rather quickly that the stock I/C is weak.

Like I said, I doubt that I'll be tracking the Focus much longer since I have a better car to do that, but others may run into the same problem.
I had my friend with me because it was his first time at Thunderhill West and I wanted to show him around. He noticed the boost gauge as well, and was like: "Oh it's happening again"
It was funny that I got passed by a miata and then as I was flooring it, the dude still gained on me :D

Thanks for the input, it's quite helpful. I'll probably end up getting an access port anyway because I'm planing on getting the car tuned properly sometimes soon. The FRPP map is nice but just too damn conservative and it runs way too rich.
 

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I don't have an access port unfortunately. I don't recall the coolant temp to be any higher than usual.
The oil gets hotter because unlike some other cars they don't have a separate oil cooling for the turbo, so they don't really go hand to hand. Of course I would think that the coolant would tend to get hotter as the oil is really hot too. There's definitely a heat soak issue somewhere.
@Bryman13 I have the Steeda FMIC since I realized rather quickly that the stock I/C is weak.

Like I said, I doubt that I'll be tracking the Focus much longer since I have a better car to do that, but others may run into the same problem.
I had my friend with me because it was his first time at Thunderhill West and I wanted to show him around. He noticed the boost gauge as well, and was like: "Oh it's happening again"
It was funny that I got passed by a miata and then as I was flooring it, the dude still gained on me :D

Thanks for the input, it's quite helpful. I'll probably end up getting an access port anyway because I'm planing on getting the car tuned properly sometimes soon. The FRPP map is nice but just too damn conservative and it runs way too rich.
If you are going to do track days you should get an AP orinstall some aftermarket gauges, but the AP will give you way better functionality than any gauge does. The coolant gauge isn't even a real temp gauge, and the oil temp is giving you an estimated oil temp based on cylinder head temp or some such nonsense. Start with your coolant at 70% water, 30% coolant and the appropriate amount of water wetter.

Did you take a proper cool down lap? Did you pop your hood after each session. I haven't gone into limp mode because I keep a close eye on temps, but I can't believe you are getting there on the third lap at 70 degrees.
 

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I want to confirm a few things with regards to the gauges/sensors on the ST.

Coolant temp: has a real sensor, AP reading should accurate, but gauge on the dash is a dummy gauge more or less, it probably has to reach some really high temp before it moves from the middle position?
Oil temp: no real sensor, ecu computed based on coolant and I'm sure other inputs, AP and gauge both show this computed value
Boost: real sensor/gauge/accurate
Oil pressure: there is a pressure sensor but only functions to give you the low oil pressure light. gauge is ecu computed based on oil temp, rpm, other inputs most likely.

Is this correct?
 

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I want to confirm a few things with regards to the gauges/sensors on the ST.

Coolant temp: has a real sensor, AP reading should accurate, but gauge on the dash is a dummy gauge more or less, it probably has to reach some really high temp before it moves from the middle position?
Oil temp: no real sensor, ecu computed based on coolant and I'm sure other inputs, AP and gauge both show this computed value
Boost: real sensor/gauge/accurate
Oil pressure: there is a pressure sensor but only functions to give you the low oil pressure light. gauge is ecu computed based on oil temp, rpm, other inputs most likely.

Is this correct?
I can't say exactly how accurate this is, but my coolant temp moves from the middle position somewhere around 230-240 degrees and goes about 3/4 of the way up the gauge. Never seen higher than 265 on the AP. I was told as a rule of thumb (@jpdaugherty iirc) 270 was too high and to keep it below that point.
 

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Yeah I feel like using the AP or similar is the only safe way read coolant temps... that gauge with no markings on it etc would not make me comfortable. Personally over 220 the hairs on the back of my next are going to start to stand up and I feel like 240 is the highest I would go ever.... I don't want to flirt with warping aluminum/head gasket seal etc.

Thanks for the info.
 

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Yeah I feel like using the AP or similar is the only safe way read coolant temps... that gauge with no markings on it etc would not make me comfortable. Personally over 220 the hairs on the back of my next are going to start to stand up and I feel like 240 is the highest I would go ever.... I don't want to flirt with warping aluminum/head gasket seal etc.

Thanks for the info.
Sorry, I was quoting oil temps. Coolant I saw about 235-240.
 

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OK, that makes more sense... I was like damn, this guy is brave. I have found the oil temp gauge to at least be linear in nature which is nice. 260 is where I start to pay attention to oil, 280 pull it back some. 300 probably absolute max. Also really depends on quality and viscosity of oil. If you're running a high quality 40wt or 50wt, really 260-280 should be no issue, other than it's going to wear it out faster (I think most guys change oil pretty frequently anyways with track duty). I run 0w40 on another track and I found it shears down pretty quick from high heat. Giving Redline oil a go next time around.... we'll see if it's worth the pricetag.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
If you are going to do track days you should get an AP orinstall some aftermarket gauges, but the AP will give you way better functionality than any gauge does. The coolant gauge isn't even a real temp gauge, and the oil temp is giving you an estimated oil temp based on cylinder head temp or some such nonsense. Start with your coolant at 70% water, 30% coolant and the appropriate amount of water wetter.

Did you take a proper cool down lap? Did you pop your hood after each session. I haven't gone into limp mode because I keep a close eye on temps, but I can't believe you are getting there on the third lap at 70 degrees.
It didn't go into limp mode proper. Just the boost got restricted to about 5 PSI according to the super accurate gauge :)
I usually use the last lap to cool down engine and brakes and I also pop the hood (I like to check my oil level as well).

On the 70F day , I can understand that things would overheat a little but on the 4th of Feb while it was damp and cold, I didn't expect it at all.
Thunderhill is a fast track and you're WOT most of the time. I'm with you though, hard to believe that the car would heat soak like that, especially with the Steeda FMIC, which is really good.

I still can't rule out the potential boost leak. I was planing on changing the charge pipes anyway so, when I do so, I'll check if perhaps the stock ones are getting loose or something.
 
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