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Thread: How do I launch this standard Ztec?

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    Default How do I launch this standard Ztec?

    I drove a Saturn for 12 years, and I have no problem launching it. Now, I have this ZX2 with the VCT, and I can't get a clean launch from it. It moves forward a couple of feet, and feels like it's bogging, then it just kicks out. By "kicks out", I mean it takes off.

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    For me, I generally hold RPM's to around 2.5-3k then just feather the clutch. As far as "launching" it goes, you'll probably wanna be more gentle considering a lot of differentials have broken fairly easily.
    2003 ZX2 aka "Blue Dragon": CAI, STB, Short Shifter, 19mm RSB, LXQ1

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    Yeah, I'm not wanting to do it very often. I've had my fair share of blown differentials in the Saturn, and that was from running crappy tires in the snow and getting stuck. I'm just annoyed right now with not being able to get a clean launch from the ZX2. I'll tell you this much, I'm loving when the VCT kicks in. It's pretty cool. I call it my mini turbo.

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    You know the VCT is not the same as VTEC right? Our variable cam timing is on the exhaust cam only and IIRC is for emissions only, not power. What your'e probably sensing is the knock sensor turning off.

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    Let's get something straight here. I don't know anything about engines, except the principle of how they work. But, when I floor this car, and I get revs up around 4k, I hear a faint, high pitched whine. I thought that was the VCT. I don't know anything about the VTEC engine. I get that high tone until I shift up. When the next gear hits about 4k, it happens again.

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    Not sure what the whine may be, but if you're noticing a slight boost in power it is probably the knock sensor. Basically our cars have a sensor that is designed to detect knock or pinging from pre-detonation. The sensor is supposed to detect this and retard the timing to prevent damage. The sensor is however overly sensitive and can perceive things other than detonation as knock such as engine vibration. In stock setup the sensor will usually pull timing up until 4500-5000 rpm at wide open throttle. At this point it gets ignored by the computer and will cause a slight boost in power.

    The difference between VTEC motors and our ZETEC is simple. They both have variable cam timing, however ours is only on the exhaust cam whereas the VTEC is on the intake which allows more air into the engine and more hp.

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    Hmmmmm, interesting. So, you don't get a whine, or high pitched hissing sound at WOT in the upper RPM's? I do feel a boost of power when this happens. But, I know what a knock sensor does, and I've never experienced this in any other car. I really wish I knew what was under this hood. I just bought the car at a very good price from a private dealer who buys at auctions. I wonder why this car even went to auction, to tell you the truth. Only problems so far, is a leaky VC gasket, broken rear sway bar links, and front struts. The first two problems will be taken care of this Tuesday. Then I think I'll start running Motorcraft synthetic blend.

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    Ya like I said our knock sensors are TOO sensitive. If you go to the back of the block near the oil filter there will be a green plug. That is the knock sensor. Unplug and enjoy the difference. Higher octane is recommended though but a lot of people don't have any issues.

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    Thanks, I'll do that tonight when I go to work. I'll also invoke your tips on launch. It's annoying when you want to show off the speed that this little thing has, and it doesn't go anywhere for a couple of seconds.

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    As for the launch, I don't drag race, just autocross but maybe some of the 1/4 mile guys can chime in on what they do. If you do plan on dragging this car a lot, you might want to look into buying an mfactory lsd.

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    Ah, yes. I did some research on the LSD last night. But, no. I don't plan on dragging. I just want to do it a couple of times. Actually, I'm going to the track in a month or so for some autocross. Never been. It will be fun. All I need is for someone to tell me the rules, and if I break on just remind me of that particular rule and it wont happen again.

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    Autocross is easy and is a blast. Here is a good link to get you started.http://www.rmsolo.org/rmsoloschool/index.html

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    the weak acceleration is probably due to the timing belt needing correct replacement and/or the pcv hose ends needing replacement. Both of these things would explain the sound you hear and would cut down on the take-off performance of the car. My 99 has no problem spinning the wheels, I just don't do it so my differential stays in one piece

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    Dareall, we've already established that my VC needs replacing. That's Tuesday's work. Well, the oil goes into the plug wells, and elsewhere. Elsewhere includes the belt right next to the head. So, you're very correct in thinking I need a new timing belt. When that's going to be done, is anyone's guess right now.

    I looked around for the knock sensor. I read somewhere that it's beside the oil filter, so I felt around from the top, and couldn't find it. Came back to see if there were pictures, shore nuff, found a pic. Went back to the car and got under it this time. Nothing. It's not there.

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    rabble rabble Merry x-mas! - 2000zx2chik Thanks for the help!! - CraZx2ing No Message - CJW Since i never get you on them.  mmmm zebra fish. - powder go ahead, open it... - CJW 

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    The pcv hose has nothing to do with the valve cover gasket and is a common problem on this car. It affects idle and bogging on launch. They are 28 bucks after tax from your local Ford Stealership.

    When I bought my second zx2 it did the same thing even after I got the oil out of the spark plug wells. Take the timing belt cover off whenever you get around to it and you can see if the pulley's are making the hissing sound. My second one which I still have but rarely drive anymore has an idler pulley that hisses pretty consistently but it doesn't have the cover on. The zx2 I drive most of the time has a hissing sound as well but I have no idea where it's coming from, my guess is a pulley though.

    For autocross there are a few guys who do this a lot on the forum but zxtwou2 is the person to talk to about it as he is the most vocal about helping people in that arena.
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