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Old 03-11-2018, 03:06 AM   #1
AndyBRZ
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Another Direct Injector Seals thread

I want to share this story in the hope that I can help some of you regarding the rapid fire, cracking noises related to the direct injection fuel system. I have a 2014 BRZ (built in August 2013) with 25,000 miles approximately.
The car sees track duty but by no means has been abused.
My car had misfires codes after only 2000 miles. I took it to the dealer back then and they said the rapid fire cracking noises were normal high pressure fuel pump noises. Since I bought the 7 year warranty I did not care much. At about 14,000 the original engine blew up. Luckily the car was still somewhat normal and Subaru fixed it for me as the car was still under warranty. A rod came out to say hello and there was no apparent root cause, I was told. I repeated to the dealer that the cracking noises were very common but they still did nothing about it. Once I've go the car back after 4 months in the shop, it took only about 3 days for it to leave me stranded with a huge fuel leak coming out the direct injector in number 2. The car was towed to the dealer in Nashville since I was driving it. After 3 weeks in the shop, they fixed it and said there was a problem with the installation when they replaced the block. The O-ring was scratched and it leaked, I was told.
The car kept making the rapid fire noises hours once it was up to temperature and after I picked it up.
After that I did not drive it much for the next few months. I could also feel it was low on power at times specially after It was hot. Also, I would get misfire codes on 3 but I also got them on 1 and 2. Never in 4.
At the track it would throw misfire codes all the time and in the streets only sometimes.
I am getting the car ready for the track season and I decided to make it a full time track car. No more street duty for it.
I removed all the interior, airbags and all the stuff not needed at the track.
The car now has no interior and it has a gorgeous cage just built a couple of weeks ago with a nice OMP racing bucket. I am going through cleaning harnesses and adjusting things but I also decided I was going to do the direct injector seals, spark plugs, replace the fuel pump for something better, add the trap door for avoiding fuel starvation, replace the spark plugs (I replaced coil packs recently with the latest part number) and I will install grounds and an oil pressure gauge which is the only one I am missing at this point in time.
I finally got to removing the injectors today as I want to leave them with the flow and cleaning shop. I want to measure and make sure they all flow what they are supposed to flow.
The port injectors looked good but when I removed the direct injectors I could not believe it. None of them was in good shape. All the DI tip seals were split in half and 3 was entirely missing the tip seal. 2 and 3 have heavy signs of compression leakage.
In top of that, one of the bolts for the driver side fuel rail is different. Not only it looks different but it is a different thread
It appears that the dealer in Nashville screwed that one up and mended it. It does torque to spec but this is bullshit coming from a Subaru dealer.
I am going to call them next Monday and tell them a few things out of my mind.
Despite my sensation of lack of power, I actually cannot believe my car ran as good as it did based on all the crap that was wrong in the DI injectors.
If you have these rapid fire crackling noises be aware you need to address it. It could be the coil but as I come to find out there is a lot more dimensions to this and the risk of engine damage is present.
I would bet you that my first engine blew up because of this problem.
In any case, I have learned my lessons.
1) No more dealers ever. I am the warranty from now on.
2) If rapid fire crackling noises present, time to open the DI fuel system. It will not go away, trust me.
Check the pictures of these injectors so you get an idea.


https://ibb.co/jrgJa7
https://ibb.co/jkX22n


Happy trails! Andy
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Old 03-11-2018, 03:10 AM   #2
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Thanks for the write up. By rapid fire noises do you mean the exhaust crackling and popping on overrun (but all the time, not just when shifting)?
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Old 03-11-2018, 04:20 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by AndyBRZ View Post
I want to share this story in the hope that I can help some of you regarding the rapid fire, cracking noises related to the direct injection fuel system. .................

Happy trails! Andy
WOW ........ what a mess .........

I hope you plan on trailering your car to the track ........ so you will have a way home at least ......


humfrz
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Old 03-11-2018, 04:24 AM   #4
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+1 request for a better description of the sound.
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Old 03-11-2018, 10:24 AM   #5
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NOISE DESCRIPTION:
It is a high pitch rapid fire crackling noise under wide open throttle. Sometimes it takes the engine to be hot to do it. From the driver seat it feels like it comes from the left side of the motor. I can see how somebody could think it comes from the exhaust but it is not coming from the exhaust.
OTHER COMMENTS:
I trailer the car. It is not suitable for the street with a full cage, racing suspension, full aero kit, racing seat with 6 point harness and nets, open exhaust and no parking brake or windshield washer or interior unless I drove it with a helmet and a Hans device all the time....
I bought this car new and the next day I was driving it at speed at the track with the crappy Prius tires sliding happily ever after. I come from racing Miata race spec cars so I loved the 86 platform from the get go. It is so much prettier and in my opinion better balanced.
My car is very well sorted for what I do with it.
The only issue I have had with it is the direct injection fuel system along with very incompetent dealers when the car was still warrantable.
The rest have been consumables and at a very low rate.
This car has been very reliable and it is not far behind the Miata as inexpensiveness for track addicts like me.

Last edited by AndyBRZ; 03-11-2018 at 11:01 AM.
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Old 03-11-2018, 01:52 PM   #6
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I had my injector seals blow up twice on my previous FR-S. Here’s a video of how it sounded inside the cabin:

[ame="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8nRiGNJHWbU"]FR-S AT Transmission Pop - YouTube[/ame]
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Old 03-12-2018, 12:30 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TofuJoe View Post
I had my injector seals blow up twice on my previous FR-S. Here’s a video of how it sounded inside the cabin:

That's nothing like the normal rattly noises my car makes once its up to temperature thank goodness
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Old 03-12-2018, 11:05 PM   #8
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I have updates. All 4 port injectors flow the same volume before and after cleanup.
All the direct injectors flow the same except #3 (The one with the heaviest heat signs in the injector body). This one flows 14% more fuel before and after cleanup.
I will check #3 cylinder thoroughly with a boroscope and test % leak down and compression when I put it back together. The spark plug looked a little leaner than the other three but not so bad so I think the cylinder is fine.
As I mentioned in earlier thread, I noticed the high pressure rail hold down bolt for #4 was not the same thread or head size than the other three. These bolts are M8x1.25 thread with a 12 mm head. These butchers went to a 3/8" - 16 with a 13 mm head and called it a day.
I did call Subaru and documented everything thoroughly to them on the phone and in writing. This is not cool at all and I need a regional service manager to look into this and get me some answers.

https://ibb.co/cFnPiS

Last edited by AndyBRZ; 03-12-2018 at 11:21 PM.
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Old 03-13-2018, 12:14 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AndyBRZ View Post
I have updates. All 4 port injectors flow the same volume before and after cleanup.
All the direct injectors flow the same except #3 (The one with the heaviest heat signs in the injector body). This one flows 14% more fuel before and after cleanup.
I will check #3 cylinder thoroughly with a boroscope and test % leak down and compression when I put it back together. The spark plug looked a little leaner than the other three but not so bad so I think the cylinder is fine.
As I mentioned in earlier thread, I noticed the high pressure rail hold down bolt for #4 was not the same thread or head size than the other three. These bolts are M8x1.25 thread with a 12 mm head. These butchers went to a 3/8" - 16 with a 13 mm head and called it a day.
I did call Subaru and documented everything thoroughly to them on the phone and in writing. This is not cool at all and I need a regional service manager to look into this and get me some answers.

https://ibb.co/cFnPiS
I recommend just completely replacing the injectors. They get damaged with the heat they see when the seals go bad.
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Old 10-22-2018, 06:46 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AndyBRZ View Post
I have updates. All 4 port injectors flow the same volume before and after cleanup.
All the direct injectors flow the same except #3 (The one with the heaviest heat signs in the injector body). This one flows 14% more fuel before and after cleanup.
I will check #3 cylinder thoroughly with a boroscope and test % leak down and compression when I put it back together. The spark plug looked a little leaner than the other three but not so bad so I think the cylinder is fine.
As I mentioned in earlier thread, I noticed the high pressure rail hold down bolt for #4 was not the same thread or head size than the other three. These bolts are M8x1.25 thread with a 12 mm head. These butchers went to a 3/8" - 16 with a 13 mm head and called it a day.
I did call Subaru and documented everything thoroughly to them on the phone and in writing. This is not cool at all and I need a regional service manager to look into this and get me some answers.

https://ibb.co/cFnPiS
Did you solve the issue? Any updates?

My seals blow up twice now...
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Old 10-22-2018, 09:31 AM   #11
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I fixed my seals in March and replaced injector 3 along with the high pressure fuel lines. I drove about 14 track days through the year and a total of 2500 miles giving her nothing but hell.
She held up the entire season with zero codes.
I am building the motor this winter. The over fueling in #3 hurt the piston bowl as I posted earlier. It is visible with a boroscope. Just because of that I am going in and while I am at it I will change rods, pistons and rings and build the heads with a three angle job and change the valves, springs and rocker arms.
I will up the redline to 8000 rpm.
As far as Subaru, I just got tired of it.
They did not step up to the plate at all.
Dealers suck and I still will not even let them change a bolt in my car ever again.
Since you blew up your seals twice...
Do you have factory calibration?
What year is your car?
Are you running gas or e85?


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Originally Posted by Gt86Force View Post
Did you solve the issue? Any updates?

My seals blow up twice now...
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Old 10-22-2018, 10:52 AM   #12
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First time happened 3 months ago, after installing the hks supercharger. The second track day the seals failed.
I've replaced them and everything was ok untill this weekend, the third track day after the seal replacement.
Same symptoms (popping noise).

I bought the car used end of 2016 with 6k miles on it, it was 1 year old (2015 production date) driven by someone i knew. He used it only for vacation and things like date, no aggressive driving or track.

In 2017 i've did like 7/8 trackdays. Engine mods only catback and cosworth air filter
April 2018 supercharged
July 2018 seal problems, after like 4h of effective track time in total (i've thought that was no FI related, maybe old cal id was wrong and all the track time in 2017 caused the problem)
End of month replaced the collars thinking that with the new tune everything will be ok.

Car was running great, did 2 track days in september (less than 4h of track time) and this weekend after 10 laps I've heard again the noise so i stopped.

I don't know the original firmware version but now the cal id is ZA1JF10G (after the tune for FI).
The transient tables are the updated version, i've checked with my tuner.

The first time i've replaced only the seals, not the injectors. One was completely gone and the body was black/burnt...After reading your last post I'm worried for the piston..

EDIT: I run on gas 100 ron here in EU, I don't know the US/AU spec.
I was running 5w30 oil and oil cooler when i was NA and now i've switched to 5w50. Oil changes every 5k km.

Last edited by Gt86Force; 10-22-2018 at 11:02 AM.
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Old 10-22-2018, 09:17 PM   #13
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DI seals

I feel your pain brother. Are you getting misfire codes?
I think if I were you, I would either flow test all the direct injectors or just replace them all since they come with new white seals. You will have to get the right version of direct injectors. They come with a 1, 2 or 3 stamped in the upper body of the direct injector and you need to match what came with your car. Sometimes you can see this number in the direct injector body if it is in the right angle (Cylinder 2 is best to look for it).
If you install new direct injectors I would recommend to install new O-rings between the injector and the high pressure rail and also new high pressure lines but it is your call.
Although I am not a fan at all of any supercharger in this little motor especially for the track, I do not think this problem is related to your supercharger at all as long as you have the corrected firmware.
Installing the white seals into the direct injector body is not easy. I soak the white seals in boiling water first and then I use a drill with the special tool and I walk the seal into the injector with a soft plastic. New injectors have the white seals installed which eliminates the chance of having reoccurring problems due to installation issues. New direct injectors would also cover you for the potential of having more or less fuel flow due to heat damage in the injector body, if you do not flow them.
Once you are ready to install the direct injectors put a little bit of oil in the injector body and in the white O- ring and slide each side down in one shot and as straight to their cylinder cavity as you can. I install them already placed in the rail and I use the rail to push them down and align both of them properly. You can feel when they go in properly, sort of a plop if you will.
It is very easy to damage these white seals at installation and it is not surprising at all to have issues afterwards. No offense to whomever may be performing this job for you.
Your gas at 100 RON is better than 93 in the USA. It is equivalent to 94 to 96 Octane in the USA.
I use 10W60 oil but my car is strictly a track car Naturally Aspirated
In the winter I use 5W30 in case I need to start it and move it around.
Feel free to send me a private message if you need pictures of anything I described to your in this post.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Gt86Force View Post
First time happened 3 months ago, after installing the hks supercharger. The second track day the seals failed.
I've replaced them and everything was ok untill this weekend, the third track day after the seal replacement.
Same symptoms (popping noise).

I bought the car used end of 2016 with 6k miles on it, it was 1 year old (2015 production date) driven by someone i knew. He used it only for vacation and things like date, no aggressive driving or track.

In 2017 i've did like 7/8 trackdays. Engine mods only catback and cosworth air filter
April 2018 supercharged
July 2018 seal problems, after like 4h of effective track time in total (i've thought that was no FI related, maybe old cal id was wrong and all the track time in 2017 caused the problem)
End of month replaced the collars thinking that with the new tune everything will be ok.

Car was running great, did 2 track days in september (less than 4h of track time) and this weekend after 10 laps I've heard again the noise so i stopped.

I don't know the original firmware version but now the cal id is ZA1JF10G (after the tune for FI).
The transient tables are the updated version, i've checked with my tuner.

The first time i've replaced only the seals, not the injectors. One was completely gone and the body was black/burnt...After reading your last post I'm worried for the piston..

EDIT: I run on gas 100 ron here in EU, I don't know the US/AU spec.
I was running 5w30 oil and oil cooler when i was NA and now i've switched to 5w50. Oil changes every 5k km.
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Old 10-23-2018, 06:21 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AndyBRZ View Post
I feel your pain brother. Are you getting misfire codes?
I think if I were you, I would either flow test all the direct injectors or just replace them all since they come with new white seals. You will have to get the right version of direct injectors. They come with a 1, 2 or 3 stamped in the upper body of the direct injector and you need to match what came with your car. Sometimes you can see this number in the direct injector body if it is in the right angle (Cylinder 2 is best to look for it).
If you install new direct injectors I would recommend to install new O-rings between the injector and the high pressure rail and also new high pressure lines but it is your call.
Although I am not a fan at all of any supercharger in this little motor especially for the track, I do not think this problem is related to your supercharger at all as long as you have the corrected firmware.
Installing the white seals into the direct injector body is not easy. I soak the white seals in boiling water first and then I use a drill with the special tool and I walk the seal into the injector with a soft plastic. New injectors have the white seals installed which eliminates the chance of having reoccurring problems due to installation issues. New direct injectors would also cover you for the potential of having more or less fuel flow due to heat damage in the injector body, if you do not flow them.
Once you are ready to install the direct injectors put a little bit of oil in the injector body and in the white O- ring and slide each side down in one shot and as straight to their cylinder cavity as you can. I install them already placed in the rail and I use the rail to push them down and align both of them properly. You can feel when they go in properly, sort of a plop if you will.
It is very easy to damage these white seals at installation and it is not surprising at all to have issues afterwards. No offense to whomever may be performing this job for you.
Your gas at 100 RON is better than 93 in the USA. It is equivalent to 94 to 96 Octane in the USA.
I use 10W60 oil but my car is strictly a track car Naturally Aspirated
In the winter I use 5W30 in case I need to start it and move it around.
Feel free to send me a private message if you need pictures of anything I described to your in this post.
Thanks! I'll replace all injectors.
So it's easy to damage the new seals during the installation... that's "good".
Maybe when my mechanic replaced them in july something went wrong and that explains why I'm having the same problem again. It's a PITA but at least there is a hope that the new injectors will solve the issue for good.
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