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Anyone noticed the low range is a bit unresponsive?

626 Views 8 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  VelovetAndy
Hey guys, one thing that sort of bugs me a bit is that below about 4000 rpm, the motor just doesn't rev up as quick as when its above about 4000 in the low gears. The car does 0-60 in 5.8s unlaunched, so its still working as it should. Looking at dyno figures from others, it should rev up fast at low revs, as the 3.2 is very good at low down torque.
The car is resting at the moment as I only use it on holidays, but one theory I have, is that the cams have too little time to move from the power sapping idle position or coasting position when the accelerator is activated quickly in low gears, but on the dyno, they have plenty of time and show a very different torque curve to what me might get with fast dynamics. Any thoughts?
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The R32 in my Touran is manual, but I find the mid range is immense, the low end is really good, but it does run out of breath a bit from about somewhere about 5500... certainly from 5800 to the rev limiter is more useful if I need the gearing advantage (like when I'm towing the caravan and have 6 passengers and want to show a "bloke" that his Ford Ranger is a POS :ROFLMAO:). Although my rear muffler is currently a 2.0 FSI unit... I have a 3.2 TT unit to fit.

The R32 motor is a bit of a clunker really, compared to similar capacity units that are considered high performance around the time. The BMW 3.2 S50B32 eats it alive for torque and hp, right through the range plus just keeps on reving past 7K+. The BMW is happy to trundle along at Nana revs all day, but pulls really hard and then really gets frisky at the point that the R32 has given up. While the R32 has a really nice spread through the mid range, the BMW has a much wider spread and the about 30% more power at the top too - really impressive. And so it should be, for the extra expense. Its funny how the Japs didn't seems to manage a decent NA 6 cylinder around the time. Dad still has a 2006 Subaru Legacy 3.0R spec.b and it's a nice car, but it really is a bit of an old-man cruiser (Dad is 74 馃榿). The R32 eats that alive, but is a bit more vocal about it (which I find nice!).

Are you running high octane fuel? I mostly run 95 and can feel the reduced torque down low... when I go out of town and fill with 98, the low end REALLY picks up. It will pull pretty hard from about 1800 rpm, rather than needing 2200 and up.

I also notice how the "feel" of an engine often influences peoples perceptions. People often find peaky motors feel so much more powerful, because the power really comes on hard when the revs rise, but really they're slow AF, because you spend all the time waiting for the revs to rise before anything happens, then you have to keep it on song to acheive anything. I remember some NA Nissan SR20's were like that. Big numbers, but shit to operate normally.
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The R32 in my Touran is manual, but I find the mid range is immense, the low end is really good, but it does run out of breath a bit from about somewhere about 5500... certainly from 5800 to the rev limiter is more useful if I need the gearing advantage (like when I'm towing the caravan and have 6 passengers and want to show a "bloke" that his Ford Ranger is a POS :ROFLMAO:). Although my rear muffler is currently a 2.0 FSI unit... I have a 3.2 TT unit to fit.

The R32 motor is a bit of a clunker really, compared to similar capacity units that are considered high performance around the time. The BMW 3.2 S50B32 eats it alive for torque and hp, right through the range plus just keeps on reving past 7K+. The BMW is happy to trundle along at Nana revs all day, but pulls really hard and then really gets frisky at the point that the R32 has given up. While the R32 has a really nice spread through the mid range, the BMW has a much wider spread and the about 30% more power at the top too - really impressive. And so it should be, for the extra expense. Its funny how the Japs didn't seems to manage a decent NA 6 cylinder around the time. Dad still has a 2006 Subaru Legacy 3.0R spec.b and it's a nice car, but it really is a bit of an old-man cruiser (Dad is 74 馃榿). The R32 eats that alive, but is a bit more vocal about it (which I find nice!).

Are you running high octane fuel? I mostly run 95 and can feel the reduced torque down low... when I go out of town and fill with 98, the low end REALLY picks up. It will pull pretty hard from about 1800 rpm, rather than needing 2200 and up.

I also notice how the "feel" of an engine often influences peoples perceptions. People often find peaky motors feel so much more powerful, because the power really comes on hard when the revs rise, but really they're slow AF, because you spend all the time waiting for the revs to rise before anything happens, then you have to keep it on song to acheive anything. I remember some NA Nissan SR20's were like that. Big numbers, but shit to operate normally.
Good info mate!
I always use BP ultimate, 98. Last holidays I started playing around with the mapping and was doing plenty of 0-60s. Over a hundred. Logging all sorts of stuff, especially knock. I noticed that although the throttle was wide open and the timing not retarded, there is a period after engagement of the clutch around 2500 where the revs just dont rise like they do over 4k. You can not only feel it, but the tacho confirms it. I didnt have time to study it properly as I focused on perfecting the timing, but I did play with the cam phasing just a little, before putting everything back to normal and mothballing the car. The result was a jolt when taking off instead of the smoother takeoff I'm used to. I later tried setting the inlet cam at idle to be closer the the value it has to be at 1000 rpm at wot, but the result was a shaky idle as the cam adjuster cant keep it steady at idle. Thats why I started thinking that when accelerating fast from idle , the cams never follow the requested map, but are way behind. Next holidays, that might be my project..
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We had a manual BMW E39 525i with the M54 engine, that was super easy to stall and felt really flat down low. There are plenty of stories about the Vanos on them failing and not being responsive.

I pulled ours apart and replaced the seals (they have the wrong Oring in them they go hard and oil bypasses the teflon bore seals). Once they had run in a bit, the difference was really impressive. Nobody seems to find dyno gains, but ours was much harder to stall and it gained quite a bit of low end torque and throttle response. I wonder if the R32 variators have something similar inside?

The M54 uses the cam timing to heat the cats when cold or idling to keep the efficiency up. It too has to then quickly change the cam timing to suit the required driving conditions. I guess the R32 is doing something similar and struggles.

I've read about people applying 12V to the cam timing solenoids to run them fully end to end, which supposedly frees them up. Also I guess oil viscosity can influence the pressure available to the variator. I run 5W-40 in mine, perhaps 5W-30 being thinner when hot might mean it's slower to react too? Possible too, that less viscous oil means more flow, so the actually respond faster!

I occasionally the the output test in VCDS that runs the cam timing end to end while running - the car sounds pretty crazt while it does it, but I have found it feels a little better afterwards... but that could easily be imagination :p

There is also that little mesh screen in the cam bridge that can clog with fine debris, perhaps that slows the flow down and changes the responsivness? SOme people remove the mesh... they sometimes break and go into the variator too.

If anything gets way out of spec, then obviously codes trigger too.

It would be nice if you could drive a brand new R32 right now, to compare what feels different.

Everytime I drive it now, I'll be thinking about everything you said now :ROFLMAO: Thanks :rolleyes::geek:馃榿
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Could the lack of go below 4000rpm be related to a non correctly functioning variable intake manifold?

It's supposed to be at the long runner position below 4000rpm (it's around 3500/4000 from memory..) and then switches to short runner position over 4000rpm.
Could the lack of go below 4000rpm be related to a non correctly functioning variable intake manifold?

It's supposed to be at the long runner position below 4000rpm (it's around 3500/4000 from memory..) and then switches to short runner position over 4000rpm.
Good call! I have played with that already and it works fine. Makes a massive difference when I turned it off or on all the time.
I have a similar experience with mine. I haven't started playing with the MAPs yet. It may be DSG related, where the ECM limits the power till it knows the clutch is fully engaged. I know once its rolling easy and I feed it the onions, she downshifts and screams. I'm going to get the DSG tuned soon. I'll let you know how that turns out.
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Organism Rectangle Font Slope Pattern

Check out what the poor intake cam is asked to do.
Idle opens valves 25 ATDC, but as soon as you press hard on pedal (red area) it needs to reach about 10 BTDC ,drop to 23 BTDC and shoot back to 18 ATDC by 6600.
There is also a smaller map that adds on to this that gives a sharp peak and drop when the manifold switches on/off.
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Blimey. That is a very interesting contour map. Heaven only knows how it manages to respond to all that in real time. I wonder how much of it is emissions related rather than performance ? And what would the effect be if the VVT system was deleted in favour of fixed cams
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