328 Help, 328 rough idle, loading up? - Ferrari Life
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post #1 of 21 Old 07-20-2013, 01:38 PM Thread Starter
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Help, 328 rough idle, loading up?

My 328 suddenly started to load up on idle. If I rev the engine it seems to clear out and run on all 8 but as soon as I idle again or run at low R's it happens again. I do have a leaking cam seal behind the rear distributor cap that got some oil inside the cap and on the wires. I cleaned with brake clean and it may have helped some but not sure? Any ideas were to begin? I was driving the car when it first happened. sitting at a light and all the sudden started to run like crap.

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post #2 of 21 Old 07-21-2013, 08:59 AM
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Originally Posted by KKRace View Post
My 328 suddenly started to load up on idle. If I rev the engine it seems to clear out and run on all 8 but as soon as I idle again or run at low R's it happens again. I do have a leaking cam seal behind the rear distributor cap that got some oil inside the cap and on the wires. I cleaned with brake clean and it may have helped some but not sure? Any ideas were to begin? I was driving the car when it first happened. sitting at a light and all the sudden started to run like crap.
If you're saying you seem to be missing on a cylinder or two low in the rpm range / idle, you might check your sparkplug extenders for pinholes. It sounds exactly like what happened to my car a week or so after talking ownership - sitting at a stoplight then all the sudden running rough, yet corrects itself above 3500 rpm...

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post #3 of 21 Old 07-21-2013, 03:21 PM Thread Starter
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It's missing on a few cylinders but by loading up even when I rev the motor it takes a five or 10 seconds before the misfiring cylinders start to kick in.

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post #4 of 21 Old 07-21-2013, 08:50 PM
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It's missing on a few cylinders but by loading up even when I rev the motor it takes a five or 10 seconds before the misfiring cylinders start to kick in.
Well, I'd still check the extenders - this sounds very familiar. If they all look good, then that's one less thing for the pros on this site to diagnose.

If you do find some pinholes, you can temporarily wrap the affected one(s) in electrical tape to test out the theory. New ones can be had at less than silly prices at Kingsborne Wire Werks Inc - Spark plug wires, Automotive, RV, Motorcycle, Marine, Racing, Industry

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post #5 of 21 Old 07-22-2013, 05:13 AM
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95% of all (perceived or otherwise) fuel injection problems are in the ignition system...Jedi wiseman TacElf shares first hand experience. As to the ago old question; Where do I start? At the beginning with the most basic of diagnostics...

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post #6 of 21 Old 07-22-2013, 10:45 AM
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95% of all (perceived or otherwise) fuel injection problems are in the ignition system...Jedi wiseman TacElf shares first hand experience. As to the ago old question; Where do I start? At the beginning with the most basic of diagnostics...
You're too kind, David.

One other thing I have first hand experience with is the O2 sensor. If this gives up you might find yourself in a situation where a car might run reasonably cold (open loop), then have trouble holding an idle once warmed up (closed loop). O2 sensors are not immune to spontaneous failure, especially the cheap "made in China" ones -- ask me how I know... Happily, the right Bosch O2 sensor is readily available and [easy] (emphasis added as satire) to install.

As David will tell you, you can start diagnosing actual FI problems with a [simple] (more satire) fuel pressure test. This will give you an idea on the health of your fuel accumulator, Warm-up Regulator, fuel pump/check-valve, and so on.

There's also a test procedure to check the health of the K-Jet circuits (I'm loathe to call this a computer) and the variety of switches that inform the system what mode to be in.

Speaking of which: David: Do you still have that freshly rebuilt US 328 WUR handy?

- Jeff
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post #7 of 21 Old 07-22-2013, 12:57 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies

I haven't had a chance to go check the plug extenders yet or anything else for that matter. One of the big questions I have is about the oil in the distributor cap and on the wires? Is this something known to cause ignition problems(I'm guessing yes) and should the problem have gone away once I cleaned the cap and wires?

I'm leaning more towards a spark problem at this point thinking the FI wouldn't cause it to load up and then clear out but I guess if it's dumping tons of fuel in at idle maybe its fouling the plugs?

I plan on pulling the plugs out and seeing if there is a difference between the color on the front and rear bank but might be next weekend. My thinking is that would tell me if it has something to do with the rear distributor.

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post #8 of 21 Old 07-22-2013, 01:42 PM
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Quote:
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One of the big questions I have is about the oil in the distributor cap and on the wires? Is this something known to cause ignition problems(I'm guessing yes) and should the problem have gone away once I cleaned the cap and wires?
Ferraris have been leaking oil in the distributors long before the Internet was invented...and still rarely cause a problem unless the ignition rotor is submerged. If in doubt, just replace the distributor seal, presuming that's the source. Clean 'er up....and re-evaluate. My money is still on the ignition extenders.

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post #9 of 21 Old 07-22-2013, 01:44 PM
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Speaking of which: David: Do you still have that freshly rebuilt US 328 WUR handy?
Sorry...I spaced your early note out. I know I still have a WUR here. I'm not sure of its operational status, but will check and advise shortly.

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post #10 of 21 Old 07-22-2013, 07:31 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David @ FluentInFerrari View Post
Ferraris have been leaking oil in the distributors long before the Internet was invented...and still rarely cause a problem unless the ignition rotor is submerged. If in doubt, just replace the distributor seal, presuming that's the source. Clean 'er up....and re-evaluate. My money is still on the ignition extenders.
That's the info I was fishing for. Not that much oil since it leaked out the bottom of the cap into the rubber boot and onto the wires. Would the extenders more likely arc at idle or under load? Seems once it clears out it runs fine till I idle at the next light?

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post #11 of 21 Old 07-23-2013, 04:59 AM
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The best answer is that ignition misfires can often be masked as the engine rpm increases...And "runs fine" versus "runs correctly" well, that's a topic that might warrant yet another forum! (Perhaps a bit late to ask, but did you visually verify that the distributor caps still have some sort of carbon button protruding?)

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post #12 of 21 Old 07-23-2013, 07:41 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David @ FluentInFerrari View Post
The best answer is that ignition misfires can often be masked as the engine rpm increases...And "runs fine" versus "runs correctly" well, that's a topic that might warrant yet another forum! (Perhaps a bit late to ask, but did you visually verify that the distributor caps still have some sort of carbon button protruding?)
So far I only looked at the rear cap off that had the oil dripping since I made an assumption that the oil was most likely the cause of my problem.

I'm thinking of running the car a bit at low revs and then pulling the plugs to see if I can see which one(s) are fouling. I'll check the extenders first.

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post #13 of 21 Old 07-23-2013, 08:04 AM Thread Starter
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I figured since you guys were nice enough to help out I better get off my butt. Sure enough the plug extender shown in the pic is arcing. I'm guessing you replace all 8 when that happens?

Now for the really stupid question! Do I just replace the bad one(s) or all of them?

Kingsborne sells them separate for $11.50 WSP-4873.

Any tips on the cam seal? Do I need to replace the gasket?
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Last edited by KKRace; 07-23-2013 at 08:18 AM.
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post #14 of 21 Old 07-23-2013, 08:52 AM Thread Starter
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I just looked at the other 7 and they all look brand new. My temptation being as I am doing it myself is to just order 2 or 3 and replace as needed. 1 to install now and 1 or 2 extras to keep as spares? I read in one post where a guy wrapped one in etape and drove it for years.

If one failed does that mean the others are shortly behind? Seems like it won't cause any damage and I now know what to look for if it starts to run rough again?

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post #15 of 21 Old 07-23-2013, 01:52 PM
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Quote:
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I just looked at the other 7 and they all look brand new.
They burn from the inside out. Just like all those timing belt threads, they always look good until the moment they fail.

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If one failed does that mean the others are shortly behind?
Maybe, maybe not...

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Seems like it won't cause any damage...
Ahh, but it will. The output drivers in your Microplex/Digiplex ignition unit(s) will eventually go up in smoke...and you could be looking at several thousands of dollars for a new, NLA ignition box, if you can even find one. This is just one of the reasons that my company will shortly be offering a modern, direct replacement ignition unit for the 3x8 cars.

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post #16 of 21 Old 07-23-2013, 02:34 PM Thread Starter
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If you're telling me that a bad extender can roach the spark machine then I should consider replacing all 8. I just put a few layers of tape around the one in the pic and was going to take it for a test drive but the battery was dead. I guess I haven't driven it in 3 or 4 weeks since the problem started. The weather in the D.C. area has really been either too hot and humid or thunderstorms so I haven't even looked at the car till today.

I'll take her for a spin tomorrow.

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post #17 of 21 Old 07-23-2013, 03:02 PM
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Kevin,
Not exactly...I'm just telling you of the possibility of real damage, if left unattended for a significant period of time. I receive many six and seven cylinder 3x8s coming in for routine service that "run just fine." In that you're aware of a/the problem, you can act accordingly now or in the future. As a shop owner, I would likely replace all of them, after a conversation with the customer. In the grand scheme of Ferrari parts and repairs, the extenders are inexpensive...but sure can turn a great running car into a turd in no time flat.

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post #18 of 21 Old 07-23-2013, 04:22 PM
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If this were me, I'd just replace them all. Cheap insurance in the larger scheme of things, and you will then know the state of all of them. No guesswork involved.

Hopefully you'll be back on the road in no time. Drive and enjoy!

- Jeff
- 1987 Ferrari 328 GTS #71403
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post #19 of 21 Old 07-24-2013, 02:53 PM
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My approach is a car is built of systems and it is ideal to treat each system as a complete package and not "pick at it. The only thing more annoying than a broken down plug extender is another, and another and another...until you get to 8.

Might as well do them all, then if it runs poorly again in the future, you know that section of the system is on point and can move your diagnostics elsewhere.


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post #20 of 21 Old 07-30-2013, 08:06 AM Thread Starter
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For diagnostic reasons only I filled the hole with RTV and then wrapped with e tape and got out for a test drive on Sunday. Car ran great, I'll order the extenders. Thanks for all the help

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