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Old 07-23-2014, 09:47 PM   #1
Formula 2 Driver
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Drives: 2011 MK6
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Morris County, NJ
Posts: 6,762
VagCom Profiles & Instructions For Testing Gasoline, Spark Plugs and Water Methanol

With all of the performance hardware and software combinations available today, each vehicle becomes more and more custom, straying farther and farther away from a standardized dataset or a “one size fits all” approach. Add in varying degrees of maintenance routines, different fuel availability and mileage and the vehicle’s VagCom data can vary wildly. Aside from the hardware, software and maintenance, choosing the proper gasoline in addition to the proper spark plugs (material, heat range and gap size) is vital to maximize power and efficiency. With a proper aftermarket intercooler, our goal should be to safely maximize overall timing advance and zero out or remove any correction factor / timing pull without the use of water methanol systems.

By lowering correction factor / timing pull with the choice of pump gas and spark plugs, water methanol users can then better tune their water methanol systems to run the least amount of water methanol needed to realize maximum overall timing advance with enough of an additional safety “buffer”. The first step is to test various gasoline fuel types and their effect on overall timing advance for your current software octane MAP. The second step involves testing spark plugs and various heat ranges and gap sizes to remove any leftover correction factor / timing pull caused by higher boost values -> higher cylinder pressure -> higher cylinder temperatures = prevent pre-ignition.

Over the past few years, there has been enough data collected on the forums to make generalized recommendations and some software manufacturers have even provided specific recommendations so everyone should not feel obligated to become their own diagnostician. For those who want to learn about their vehicles, you can test the hardware and software combination in your vehicle. To make things easier, I wanted to share my VagCom profiles, complete with instructions on how to properly monitor the overall performance of your vehicle. If you want to safely push your engine to its fullest potential, take the appropriate steps to ensure your setup is working as intended. There are SO many variables with every aspect of the setup that it’s always good to know they are all working properly. The majority of this thread is credited to Jamie@APR after the time he spent teaching me how to properly read spark plugs and my own VagCom data.

-This “how-to” is open to other ideas or facts which can be added to the initial posts.
-Specific spark plug recommendations can be added to the initial posts if manufacturers provide feedback.

The Greatest Guide to Reading Spark Plugs:

Spark Plug Feeler Gauge:
It is important to use a flat feeler gauge set to set the spark plug gap. With fine point spark plugs, care should be taken not to damage or deform the center electrode tip. Choose the exact size feeler for the spark plug gap you want and then choose the feeler that is .001" larger than your desired gap and just set it aside so it’s easily accessible. The exact size feeler should have a slight drag without feeling like its pinching. After you think you have the gap right, try inserting the feeler that is .001" larger. It shouldn't fit AT ALL. If it fits, tighten the gap more and recheck.

Spark Plug Gapper:
It is important to use a separate gapping tool to adjust the spark plug ground strap. Use only the fork ends to bend the spark plug ground strap to open or close the gap, like seen in the image below. It is ok to tap the ground strap on a smooth, hard, flat surface to lower the gap as well. Take care not to knick or mar up the spark plug ground strap. Creating sharp burrs on the flat surface of the ground strap can cause hotspots to occur on the ground straps surface and could promote pre-ignition.

Data Logging Guides (alphabetically):

Timing, Misfires & Boost VagCom Profiles:
-Click Here to Download Profiles-

Importing VagCom Profiles:
Select Control Module -> Engine -> Advanced Measuring Blocks -> Click VCDS icon (top left of measuring block list) -> Load selection to file -> Choose Profile -> Click Turbo! button at the top of the screen -> Click Log -> Click Start when you’re ready to start your WOT pull starting at 2,000 RPM in the highest gear you normally use under full load (3rd or 4th gear).

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Last edited by HYDE16; 07-23-2014 at 10:12 PM.
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