Project Airtrek — The First Service – Part 2

After the first major 2-part service I thought I’d be all good, after spending RM6100…I thought I’d be ready to go! But no, the car was smooth and powerful now but the idle was very lumpy, there was jerking during WOT (wide open throttle) and it STILL kept stalling.

This was the part where things went downhill a bit, I started to realise this workshop didn’t know too much about problem solving. They were fine when it came to basic service, finding parts and normal stuff.

I also started to get very intimate with the engine of my car, started reading a lot, joining forums and learning a hell of a lot more about what was going on. Thankfully I found a superb Mitsubishi Airtrek Forum at where I’ve made some great friends and learned even more (and also I’ve coincidentally become the forum admin).

4G63T - Airtrek Turbo Engine

For those that don’t know a lumpy idle is the term used when the idling of a car is very uneven, it’s not unstable, it’s almost rhythmic and it’s due to having high cams. It sound something like this:

Anyway my car had that, and I knew due to the fact it had a Tomei ECU and Tomei sticker and a Tomei intercooler had Tomei high cams. So we kept on looking for the problem with the stalling, another fault part was found, the turbo suction hose which was cracked…so I replaced that.

Airtrek Turbo Suction Hose

The Air Flow sensor also failed, it gives an intermittent CEL (Check Engine Light) for a while and causes extremely jerky acceleration under full load – this had been bothering me for a while and I was happy when the CEL stayed on permanently so I could scan it and get it fixed. I managed to get a second hand Airflow Sensor from scrap and it’s serving me well still. This is the old faulty AFS.

Faulty Air Flow Sensor

They starting blaming the stalling problems on the high cams and misfiring on soiled spark-plugs, so they proposed to change the sparkplugs, fit a case steel below the intercooler to stop water running into the spark plugs from the bonnet vent and to fit adjustable camshaft pulleys.

All of which made sense to me. I started studying the car and it’s behaviors often to try and get a feel of what was going on. The reverse sensor was freaking out a bit too, so I changed that. The BoV (Blow-Off Valve) also seemed to be leaking under low pressure, I had this verified elsewhere (as it would also contribute to the stalling) and had that changed too. I went back for the same type, Greddy Type-RS. I think the old one might have been a Type-R or a fake as it has no marking – this is the old leaky BoV.

Greddy Type-R Blow Off Valve

When buying a BoV, make sure you get an original as there are a LOT of fakes out there – especially for HKS SSQV types (including the black one). I’ll talk more about the BoV and why I chose this particular one later.

As I was changing spark plugs (To Deno Iridium IW24) I decided to change the cables too, the first ‘mod’ to my car. I went for NGK Power Cables..which coincidentally the mechanic later told me were the exact same kind the previous owner used. I went for IW24 plugs as those are the right heat range (8) for my car which is considered slightly to moderately modified.

NGK Power Cable

Anyway back the cam pulleys, these are the original stock cam pulleys which can’t be adjusted, I got a pair of Arospeed adjustable cam pulleys. You can see the E and I markings for Exhaust and Intake.

4G63T Cam Pulleys

I’d have preferred Skunk2 Titanium..but he didn’t really offer me a choice and he overcharged me for them..told you things were going bad. But by this point I was cheating on him with another better mechanic, so when this last set of stuff was wrapped up..I was out of there for good. If you have no idea what I’m blabbering about, read this – WHAT IS ADJUSTABLE CAM PULLEY AND HOW IT WORKS.

He also adjusted the cam pulleys, but honestly his tuning was shit, the idle was still lumpy and the power wasn’t there from the additional lifts on the high cams. But by then I’d had enough and was out of there.

The damage for this round was:

Reverse Sensor & Buzzer – RM140
Arospeed Adjustable Cam Pulleys – RM560
Intercooler Bottom Steel Cover – RM60
Denso Iridium IW24 Spark Plugs – RM200
Air Flow Sensor (USED) – RM480
Turbo Suction Hose (USED) – RM120
Greddy Type-RS Blow Off Valve – RM480
Center Exhaust Box Welding & Extend Rear Pipe – RM160 (mid box was leaking after a super sharp car park incident on the Thailand trip)
Petrol – RM40 (Yah he charged me for petrol to test my car wtf?)
Labour for all of the above – RM399 (2 occasions RM126 + RM263)

Total Damage – RM2639

And you know what? My car was still stalling! But more on that later, when I finally got to a decent workshop. So by this stage I was up to about RM8700 and I didn’t have a fully functioning car..all these parts replaced and still having problems? The perils of owning a turbo car!

Airtrek power! You can find all posts about this car under Project Airtrek.




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15 Responses to Project Airtrek — The First Service – Part 2

  1. Simon Seow August 12, 2010 at 12:25 am #

    Sigh. All that money spent and the problem still resides. Is there workshop that specialize in Mitsubishi car?

  2. James August 12, 2010 at 10:13 am #

    That exhaust almost sounds like a rotary. Good luck with the car.

  3. TL August 12, 2010 at 11:09 am #

    I know a mechanic that knows the 4G63 inside out and won’t cost you an arm n leg.
    Tune shops in Sunway goes to him if they can’t solve a problem. He is based near the LDP Puchong/Dengkil toll. His name is Wong. His elder brother is well known for reconditioning shock absorbers for track racing.

    Email me for contact details. Cheers!!!

  4. imantulen August 12, 2010 at 11:14 am #

    [The perils of owning a turbo car!]

    that’s why i kept mine stock standard…. afterall, i ain’t racing with no-one…

  5. Mark August 12, 2010 at 11:15 am #

    Thats tough man, seriously know how you feel as well. Different type of problems but high cost as well. My power steering motor and gearbox are giving me issues and the Honda SC is quoting a very high price to get them fixed!

  6. KY August 12, 2010 at 1:51 pm #

    “super sharp car park incident” sounds dodgy. lol

  7. terazzatale August 12, 2010 at 2:31 pm #

    Wow..u already spent almost 9k to this car..but still not fully functionnally..I think u should send this car ti specialist..

  8. SinKar August 12, 2010 at 4:30 pm #

    Huh??? Tiger, your trek still got stalling problem??? I’m very confuse……..

    Come!!! I solve it for you + FOC DSG’ed!!! Hehe!!!

  9. none August 12, 2010 at 5:28 pm #

    ICV Idle Control Valve + associated hoses.

  10. 93T August 12, 2010 at 10:53 pm #

    Repair cost: RM8700

    Letting expensive and fancier cars eat yer dust: Priceless!

    Worth it? Absobloodylootely, mate!

    Now get off yer duff, make some lolly and grab the full monty! Oh, do save a tenner for me, k? 😉

  11. Ninie Ahmad August 14, 2010 at 10:51 am #

    I was facing the same exact problem! The CEL sign kept prompting on and off for a couple of weeks and suddenly last week, Batmobile died on me in the middle of the road and had to be towed to workshop (which is in Balakong as well but I doubt it’s the same you go to).

    They changed the fuel pump for me and with 7-days warranty, the CEL sign stayed on permanently on the 6th day! I thought it was going to die on me again so I drove it to the workshop.

    My (not so jakun this time) mechanic told me it won’t die on me again for a long time but he figured it could be some sensor problem somewhere. He said I can keep driving but I might feel the car is underpowered and might consume way more petrol – HELL YEAH!

    While my dad offers to fix the problem only at that very workshop (he sends all his other cars there), that workshop doesn’t have the big computer thingamajig thing to configure the electronics! Might want to follow you to your workshop next time.

    Just driving with the CEL light on now.

    Everything (wrong) has to happen at the same time. And that reminds me my roadtax and insurance(!) expire today 🙁

    By the way, can I still change the reverse sensor & buzzer anyway eventhough nothing’s wrong (yet)? I hate the distracting beeping sound in R mode!

  12. ShaolinTiger August 16, 2010 at 2:21 pm #

    Simon Seow: Yah luckily found one sifu ady 🙂

    James: Haha yah the power of high cams.

    TL: Haha yah all the sifu in weird places, I also found one ady in Balakong.

    imantulen: I like to go FASTER!

    Mark: Yah power steering is one of the most expensive things to fix.

    KY: Yah too steep 🙁 caused a crack at my midbox.

    terazzatale: Yah fixed the problems ady, this was some time back.

    SinKar: Haha no la this was from last Nov, now kau tim ady 😀

    none: ICV aka stepper motor, correct 🙂

    93T: Damn right bro, after the reno is done..wait and see the mods coming 😀

    Ninie Ahmad: Yah if it’s my workshop in Balakong you won’t have any problems any more 😀 I’ll be going to my place end of this week if you want to follow. You really need to scan it and find out what is the error code, it might be something simple like EGR hose popped off which can fix with a cable tie. Need someone familiar with Airtrek to read the codes. Yah you can change the reverse sensor if you want.

  13. joe November 24, 2010 at 1:00 pm #

    Can i know where the place you get the second hand air flow sensor? i wanna find one for my airtrek.

  14. ShaolinTiger November 24, 2010 at 4:14 pm #

    joe: From halfcut la, but very hard to find and not gonna be that reliable. Honestly suggest you fork out for a new one, for AFS it’s really worth it.

  15. John Lim January 5, 2011 at 11:52 am #

    Hi, long time no say HI since Subaru days. I wrote to Kim about how to help solve your stalling problem. Did you get the message. I emailed her gmail. Can you just email me so i can forward the original mail to you.