Help My Guys Understand Pulse Waveforms - Live Broken Vehicle

Scott Owner/Technician Claremont, California Posted   Latest   Bounty  
Bounty Ð5
Driveability
Propulsion
2000 Nissan Xterra SE 3.3L (VG33E) 4-spd (RE4R01A)—5N1ED28T9YC554230
P0300 - Random/Multiple Cylinder Misfire Detected
Misfire

Hello everyone, 

We recently received a Nicholson Pulse Sensor and we were fortunate enough to have a broken vehicle that lacks compression and we would like a lesson or three from those experienced in this type of analysis to help us understand how to interpret the signals.

We've performed running compression tests on cylinders #3 (good cylinder) and #4 (bad cylinder) and have included screenshots and the raw files below. We're posting this bounty hoping that we can generate some interest by providing an incentive. One of my technicians, Andrew Hernandez will be participating in this discussion.

Thanks in advance.

diag​.​net/file/f63hxss1d…

diag​.​net/file/f1rfr384r…

diag​.​net/file/f2e8cqwlt…

diag​.​net/file/f155oqqrv…

+6
Bob Owner/Technician
East Longmeadow, Massachusetts
Bob
 

Scott, Is it possible to get a "cranking" capture? It's much easier to decipher a cranking vacuum waveform. When the engine is running it gets pretty messy.

0 Ð5 Bounty Awarded
Andrew Technician
Claremont, California
Andrew
 

I can get you a capture of cranking vaccum in the morning and post

+1 Ð5 Bounty Awarded
Andrew Technician
Claremont, California
Andrew
   

Here are the captures I promised, They look much better today then it did yesterday diag​.​net/file/f4aivcrqb… ​ diag​.​net/file/f442i7s7q… ​

0 Ð5 Bounty Awarded
Bob Owner/Technician
East Longmeadow, Massachusetts
Bob
 

Those captures are much much better. That being said, I can't say I see anything that obviously stands out. Although it's a funky looking pattern, they all look relatively the same. I need more time to study them but at the moment I'm stumped. Time to call in the waveform master, you know, the guy whose name starts with a B and ends with a Steckler. BTW, have you made sure that those…

0 Ð5 Bounty Awarded
Brin Diagnostician
Melbourne, Florida
Brin
 

I should have been more clear. I was hoping to see cranking vacuum with an in cylinder capture. With cylinder sealing concerns, it can sometimes be more obvious (In the in cylinder waveform) as the crank speed decreases. We wanted to see cranking vacuum because that is easier to analyze. That said, I do not see anything going on in the cranking vacuum trace. Let's talk about the cranking…

+1 Ð5 Bounty Awarded
Dmitriy Analyst
Toronto, Ontario
Dmitriy
 

This is what I found when looking at the cranking waveform: looks like an issue during the intake stroke for the affected cylinder. youtu​.​be/ZYrz6WBGesI diag​.​net/file/f2wmzo4yg… ​

+6 Ð5 Bounty Awarded
Bob Owner/Technician
East Longmeadow, Massachusetts
Bob
 

Dmitriy, That is some awesome scope manipulation, thanks for posting that. See what you think of the following capture. This is one of the new running captures posted today with more appropriate filtering. I added a piston position chart and numbered the intake pulls. The problem definitely starts at cylinder 4 but some disturbance seems to continue through cyls 5 and 6. It's not a bank…

0 Ð5 Bounty Awarded
Dmitriy Analyst
Toronto, Ontario
Dmitriy
 

Thanks, Bob! The running waveform is too subtle for me. The compression does not start until the intake valve closes (60ish degrees after BDC?), so if there is an issue with the intake valve, the effect may go quite a bit further into the compression stroke, but that would just be explaining away something I don't understand...

+1 Ð5 Bounty Awarded
Eric Owner/Technician
Edgerton, Wisconsin
Eric
 

Dmitriy, Excellent, thank-you for taking the time to reply. What do you think about the flat section of the previous cylinder wave form? The other cylinders all have a series of higher peaks and valleys across that section.

0 Ð5 Bounty Awarded
Dmitriy Analyst
Toronto, Ontario
Dmitriy
 

Hi Eric, regarding the previous cylinder part of the waveform -- this cylinder's intake process looks less "turbulent" in general, but the waveform is being quite flat only for that engine revolution. For others, it is still bell-shaped.

0 Ð5 Bounty Awarded
Scott Owner/Technician
Claremont, California
Scott
 

Hello Dmitriy, Thank you for your brilliant demonstration. We believe that there's an over fueling event taking place within #4 washing down the rings. We'll know more come Monday. Thanks again!

+1 Ð5 Bounty Awarded
Geoff Diagnostician
Lahaina, Hawaii
Geoff
 

Google is not helping me find the "Nicholson Pulse Sensor". What is it and where did you get it?

+1 Ð5 Bounty Awarded
Josh Technician
Lynchburg, Virginia
Josh
 

It is like a first look sensor, I believe there website is down, I ordered one right when the website went down.

0 Ð5 Bounty Awarded
Geoff Diagnostician
Lahaina, Hawaii
Geoff
 

Guess he wasn't charging enough to keep the web site running. ;-)

-1 Ð5 Bounty Awarded
Tomi Diagnostician
Chicago, Illinois
Tomi
 

Hello I spoke to Micheal and he would like to thank everyone for the ongoing support. Due to unforseen family circumstances and technical difficulties with the website. The website has been taken down. If you have any questions please look him up on Facebook or feel free to contact me. He sincerely apologizes and hopes to bring the website back up as soon as possible. Thank you!

+1 Ð5 Bounty Awarded
Geoff Diagnostician
Lahaina, Hawaii
Geoff
 

Thank you Tomi. I will guess he is "Michael Nicholson"? Hence the Nicholson Sensor?

0 Ð5 Bounty Awarded
Brin Diagnostician
Melbourne, Florida
Brin
 

I assume that channel A is the change in manifold pressure? Is it possible to get a cranking capture of the known good and known bad?

0 Ð5 Bounty Awarded
Andrew Technician
Claremont, California
Andrew
   

Yes channel a is the Nicholson sensor. I dont have access to a known good but I will post a cranking capture. Did you want a RC test as well?

0 Ð5 Bounty Awarded
Bob Owner/Technician
East Longmeadow, Massachusetts
Bob
   

Here is what I see at the moment but I'm not confident on the accuracy. We can do much better with a cranking pattern. The cylinder id chart is synced on cyl4. The numbers indicate the cylinders intake strokes. It looks like cylinder 4 compression is pushing into the intake manifold but usually a compression leak will cause a lower exhaust pocket, so I'm not positive on that. After looking at…

+2 Ð5 Bounty Awarded
Joseph Technician
Lexington, South Carolina
Joseph
 

Bob, I know you have way more experience with this than me, and I agree that a cranking might be useful. But the only thing that concerns me is that it seems manifold pressure is affected before the intake valve closes on the compression stroke, and I can't seem to find any appreciable signs of leakage (Inconsistent/lower exhaust pockets, towers leaning, erratic compression peaks). especially…

0 Ð5 Bounty Awarded
Joseph Technician
Lexington, South Carolina
Joseph
 

I meant valve timing looks consistent to me. Wouldn't be the first time I'm wrong

0 Ð5 Bounty Awarded
Andrew Technician
Claremont, California
Andrew
 

I will definitely post a cranking capture in the morning first thing. Thank you for your time and input.

0 Ð5 Bounty Awarded
Scott Owner/Technician
Claremont, California
Scott
 

Hi Bob, See my response and new data here: diag​.​net/msg/m3zwuqb1ne… Thanks for the input, we appreciate what you’ve shared with us this far. Where do you find that application you’re using?

0 Ð5 Bounty Awarded
Bob Owner/Technician
East Longmeadow, Massachusetts
Bob
   

I haven't had a chance to look at all the new info yet. I was in a John Thornton class all day today. I'll try to get a look at all the captures tonight. The program I'm using is a Windows 10 App. "Pressure Waveform Overlays" by Steve McGrew who I believe is a member here.

0 Ð5 Bounty Awarded
Mario Diagnostician
Weston, Florida
Mario
   

At first glance, it does appear that the cylinder #4 intake valve leak is pressuring the manifold during its compression stroke. I would not only suggest an intake pulse waveform along with a synced relative compression test, but also to do so with the throttle body capped, and at least a 10 second cranking duration(or at least until the waveform stabilizes). This will clean up the waveform a…

+1 Ð5 Bounty Awarded
Jeff Owner/Technician
Flesherton, Ontario
Jeff
 

from what I gather valve timing is the same between both cylinders , EVO - 150DEG , EVC 370DEG , ICV 603DEG . both towers are symmetrical also indicating proper valve timing , both expansion and intake pocket on even plane indicating no valve sealing issues . would like to see a cranking waveform to see the low compression ? as I cannot see it on the running waveform

0 Ð5 Bounty Awarded
Brin Diagnostician
Melbourne, Florida
Brin
 

I'm looking forward to seeing a cranking in cylinder and intake capture but from what I can tell, there's no obvious discrepancies between the exhaust valve opening and intake valve closing (less than a few degrees) events to cause the cylinder 4 no contribution concern that you are experiencing. I'm also not seeing any obvious signs of cylinder sealing concerns (Even towers, intake and exhaust…

+1 Ð5 Bounty Awarded
Brin Diagnostician
Melbourne, Florida
Brin
 

One thing that I've noticed when looking at exhaust valve opening and intake valve closing, you will sometimes find that they are very close when physically measured with cursors but when you take a 30 foot view and compare both, you will see a difference. The difference that I'm speaking of is when the exhaust ramp and intake ramp cross the 180 and 360 degree marks. Again, I would need more…

0 Ð5 Bounty Awarded
Andrew Technician
Claremont, California
Andrew
   

I posted this earlier....this is cranking only. Also did a leak down test of cylinder # 4. Found no leaks. In my opinion the capture I did this morning looks better than yesterday's. I also did another engine running test. The last file is second running test sync is on cyl # 4 on all these files. diag​.​net/file/f4bgzuqps… ​ diag​.​net/file/f51xe53e9…

0 Ð5 Bounty Awarded
Fred Owner/Technician
Santa Barbara, California
Fred
 

I see the #4 exhaust pocket is of concern, as the cam timing relationship to the 180 degrees moves to the right the cam is advance to the left is retarded, there off slightly, I would focus on the exhaust pocket lack of definition, my question is would this cause a 13 to14 psi difference in compression? Once you find the problem, the waveform information will become clear

0 Ð5 Bounty Awarded
Greg Technician
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Greg
 

Hi Scott/Andrew, Nice capture. The thing that grabs me about cyl #4 is the delay opening the exhaust valve. Cam timing is ok, so there is either a loose valve, or a worn cam lobe. This is causing the low running compression due to low V.E. (exhaust not flowing/breathing correctly).

0 Ð5 Bounty Awarded
Bob Owner/Technician
East Longmeadow, Massachusetts
Bob
 

Greg, I was thinking along the same lines because the cyl 4 exhaust event is definitely happening later than cyl 3. Since this is a single cam engine then the problem has to be cam lobe or rocker arm related. The only problem is that this usually causes an increase in pressure because the cylinder can't expel all the spent gases. There seems to be some contradictory findings. Very strange.

0 Ð5 Bounty Awarded
Caleb Technician
Mishawaka, Indiana
Caleb
   

I wish I could respond better but I've been so busy can't find anytime to sit on front of the laptop. Anyway just a couple pointers. I also have a Nicholson sensor and it works flawlessly. Your waveform seems extremely noisy. I've found that putting a longer hose an hanging the sensor with a bungee cord from the hood striker helps this. If you notice on your scope literally just moving the…

0 Ð5 Bounty Awarded
Caleb Technician
Mishawaka, Indiana
Caleb
   

Okay after reviewing the files again maybe noisy isn't the right word but"busy". Anyway your initial running in cylinder captures have identical vaccum pockets as far as the psi reading goes on 3 and 4 and between the intake and exhaust. It looks like all the vaccum pockets are roughly -10.5 psi if I'm seeing correctly which is -21 inhg which is literally perfect. Because of this I find it hard…

+1 Ð5 Bounty Awarded
Mario Diagnostician
Weston, Florida
Mario
 

Would have liked to have seen the TB capped version of the pressure pulse. But nonetheless it looks like there is no real cylinder leakage going on here. This overlay is matched at 0-720 degrees, and also matched at 0 psi and 50 psi. looks like piston height may be the issue. Hydrolocked in the past? diag​.​net/file/f5khi844v… ​

+1 Ð5 Bounty Awarded
Bob Owner/Technician
East Longmeadow, Massachusetts
Bob
 

You might be on to something there. The in cylinder waveforms look normal except for the low compression in cyl 3. I'm not sure why the vacuum waveform looks like it does but it sure doesn't seem to be due to leakage.

+1 Ð5 Bounty Awarded
Scott Owner/Technician
Claremont, California
Scott
 

Hi Mario, Here you go: diag​.​net/msg/m3zwuqb1ne… Interesting point about being hydrolocked as I've seen that in the past as well. We believe that the rings were washed down due to a lower seal leak on the #4 side feed injector. More details can be found in my linked reply. Andrew will be following up as needed. Thanks for the input, it's much appreciated.

0 Ð5 Bounty Awarded
Bob Owner/Technician
East Longmeadow, Massachusetts
Bob
 

If possible could you get us a relative compression capture using an amp clamp, ignition trigger and intake vacuum waveform? I think those together would give a good overall picture.

+1 Ð5 Bounty Awarded
Andrew Technician
Claremont, California
Andrew
 

Sure I will get that up before the end of the day.

0 Ð5 Bounty Awarded
Brin Diagnostician
Melbourne, Florida
Brin
 

Add an in cylinder capture. Turn the filter off when capturing please.

+1 Ð5 Bounty Awarded
Bob Owner/Technician
East Longmeadow, Massachusetts
Bob
 

Brin, I wanted to see a relative cranking test with all the plugs in for a baseline look at all cylinders.

+1 Ð5 Bounty Awarded
Brin Diagnostician
Melbourne, Florida
Brin
 

I agree Bob! I always start with a relative compression capture when I suspect a engine mechanical concern. But I was hoping all along that he was going to duplicate his original captures under a cranking condition. My last comment was made because I'm hoping that he'll get starter current, in cylinder pressure and cranking vacuum on the same capture.

+1 Ð5 Bounty Awarded
Bob Owner/Technician
East Longmeadow, Massachusetts
Bob
 

Yeah, I guess having the transducer in it won't affect anything since it will be a cranking capture. Might as well get as much data as possible in one shot.

0 Ð5 Bounty Awarded
Scott Owner/Technician
Claremont, California
Scott
   

Ask and you shall receive ;) diag​.​net/file/f4z2ww0ql… ​ Fwiw, the following pico file has three sections, throttle blocked, WOT, throttle closed. diag​.​net/file/f15h7l3dy… ​

0 Ð5 Bounty Awarded
Bob Owner/Technician
East Longmeadow, Massachusetts
Bob
 

Thanks for uploading that. I put a piston position chart on it and I see a couple things that are conflicting. First of all, when cylinder 4 comes up on compression the corresponding intake pull is weaker indication the compression is leaking past the valve into the intake. What's confusing however is that the current waveform seems to indicate that cylinder 3 is the weak one. I'm not able to…

0 Ð5 Bounty Awarded
Andrew Technician
Claremont, California
Andrew
 

Hello, Bob Scott did post a waveform from the dipstick. Scroll down . It is in response to Mario .

0 Ð5 Bounty Awarded
Bob Owner/Technician
East Longmeadow, Massachusetts
Bob
 

I see it now, thanks.

0 Ð5 Bounty Awarded
Brin Diagnostician
Melbourne, Florida
Brin
   

It is not uncommon to have a slightly weaker intake pull after a low contributing cylinder. I think that it has to do with crank speed. There's less of an air spring effect after TDC on a lower contributing cylinder than there is on a good contributing cylinder. I don't look at this capture and think that the intake valve is leaking.

0 Ð5 Bounty Awarded
Andrew Technician
Claremont, California
Andrew
 

I agree . Last week I did a cylinder leak down test on suspect cylinder and found no leaks. What I did find is my injector on said cylinder was leaking an washing down cylinder. Today I will be pulling intake for further inspection and possible replacement and retest. I will try to keep everyone updated.

+1 Ð5 Bounty Awarded
Scott Owner/Technician
Claremont, California
Scott
   

Hello everyone, I spent a little time with Andrew on this today and I'll provide you with an update and let him chime in and answer others individually. A little background might help. This vehicle was previously in the shop to correct an intermittent misfire - P0302. Andrew performed testing and identified #2 injector as a problem. Current ramping the group revealed low current on #2…

+1 Ð5 Bounty Awarded
Mario Diagnostician
Weston, Florida
Mario
   

Scott thank you for the response. First time I see the cranking capture, makes all the difference. I'd agree with Caleb about doing a relative compression test vs an crankcase pulse capture. After all, not only would it validate your suspicion, but it would also serve the purpose of the original request for pressure pulse understanding, furthermore justifying manifold disassembly.

+1 Ð5 Bounty Awarded
Scott Owner/Technician
Claremont, California
Scott
   

Hello Mario, I came into the shop this morning to perform the tests you outlined. See my result below: Cyl 1 - Compression, Pulse sensor on dipstick. [EDIT - previously I misidentified the cylinder under test as #3] diag​.​net/file/f132f9e8b… diag​.​net/file/f1rmrfhtq… I appreciate your input.

0 Ð5 Bounty Awarded
Caleb Technician
Mishawaka, Indiana
Caleb
 

Wow Scott these cranking captures are pure gold!! Like I said earlier if you could finish it up with a cranking crankcase capture that would be awesome. Very cool to see this come together.

0 Ð5 Bounty Awarded
Carlos Owner/Technician
Chesham, United Kingdom
Carlos
 

Hi Scott, I am looking at your last captures, is the red trace intake vacuum? Do you know the firing order also?

0 Ð5 Bounty Awarded
Scott Owner/Technician
Claremont, California
Scott
 

Hi Carlos, The red trace is a piezo pulse (differential pressure) sensor. Firing order is 1-2-3-4-5-6

0 Ð5 Bounty Awarded
Carlos Owner/Technician
Chesham, United Kingdom
Carlos
 

I am following this thread as I am new to scope patterns also. Am i right in saying that you think that you have cylinder wash in cylinder 4 and that has reduced the vaccum pull for that cylinder? I have studied the three patterns labelled cylinder 4, cylinder 4 blocked and cylinder 3 blocked. My question is when looking at the cylinder 4 (your misfiring cylinder) scope patterns, the lowest…

0 Ð5 Bounty Awarded
Scott Owner/Technician
Claremont, California
Scott
 

Hi Carlos, Thanks for chiming in. I double checked my cylinder 3 callout and I'm embarrassed to say that this is actually cylinder #1. My mistake and I apologize, for the others following along I'll go back and correct my markups.

0 Ð5 Bounty Awarded
Carlos Owner/Technician
Chesham, United Kingdom
Carlos
 

Hi Scott Is cylinder 3 capture actually cylinder 4?

0 Ð5 Bounty Awarded
Scott Owner/Technician
Claremont, California
Scott
 

Hi Carlos, Which file are you referencing? You can right-click and copy paste the URL in your response. #4 should show lower compression than that of #1.

0 Ð5 Bounty Awarded
Carlos Owner/Technician
Chesham, United Kingdom
Carlos
 

Hi Scott, In the first file Cyl 4 at the peak of the first compression tower blue trace the red vacuum trace has its smallest fall, I assume that this is your area of concern? From what i understand this is air drawn into the cylinder, an even pattern is ideal, a decrease in amplitude is less air entering the cylinder (lower vaccum generation of the cylinder). I would have thought that as…

0 Ð5 Bounty Awarded
Scott Owner/Technician
Claremont, California
Scott
 

Hi Carlos, The pull following cylinder 4's compression stroke is cylinder 5. Cyl 5 also shows up in the compression test on cylinder 1. Based on the time/date stamps, the cylinders under test are correct. The other thing that's changing here is that we've had the fuel pump disabled on this vehicle along with the #4 plug out, a number of cranking cycles that could have lead towards better…

0 Ð5 Bounty Awarded
Brin Diagnostician
Melbourne, Florida
Brin
 

It is possible that the intake pull following cylinder #4 TDC is caused by a change is crankshaft speed after a lesser contributing cylinder.

+1 Ð5 Bounty Awarded
Carlos Owner/Technician
Chesham, United Kingdom
Carlos
 

I see that Bob Powell had picked up on this earlier with his analysis of the low vacuum amplitude during Cyl 4 compression peak could be down to intake valve sealing issue. Brin i think you have a good point also, Will wait to see what the problem is, may explain things.......

0 Ð5 Bounty Awarded
Scott Owner/Technician
Claremont, California
Scott
   

Hello everyone, We learned quite a bit from this post and I thank everyone for their contributions. Although I'm awarding this bounty to Dmitriy, I'm tipping a few others as well. The issue with the #4 cylinder misfire was due to a leaking #4 injector resulting in washed out rings. Here's the video of the test that Andrew performed (and forgot to connect the return line). Following the…

+5 Ð5 Bounty Awarded