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Flat Spots in Map (intermittent)

Discussion in 'A3/S3/Sportback (8P Chassis)' started by Cheese, Aug 5, 2011.

  1. Cheese
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    Cheese Member

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    [Aug 5, 2011]
    I am finding that under acceleration in 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th my map seems to have flat spots between 3,000rpm and 4,000rpm. It is most often noticeable in 4th and perhaps nearly as much in 3rd. The problem is not always present but 10-20% of the time, when I give it between 3/4 and full throttle, the car shudders momentarily at around 3200rpm - 3300rpm, picks up again, then kind of shudders again at ~3700rpm.

    The ABT map was done at Bath Audi (a 200 mile round trip) and the rest was done by AmD Woking (10 miles away). I got the ABT map first, but spoke to ABT before adding the exhaust and they advised that no changes to their map were required. Overall the car is actually a lot smoother and progressive under acceleration when it is not showing this intermittent problem.

    The car is 10 months old and has the mods listed in my signature. What is the best way to get the issue looked at without it costing me? What is it likely to be that is causing the problem - the map itself, of something else in the car that is not running properly?

    Thanks in advance,
    Cheese
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  3. Paullie
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    Paullie Banana Menace!

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    [Aug 5, 2011]
    When I first had my TBE fitted with Stage 1 map I found the car felt a little bit 'laggy', but after I swapped it for a Stage 2 map this lag has disappeared. (Should say I also had a Forge CAI fitted too).
    #2
  4. dc240969
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    dc240969 Member

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  5. jungleman
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    jungleman Well-Known Member

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    [Aug 5, 2011]
    all a little bit odd... you could possibly need a cai to help balance the system, but could just be a case of poor mapping, get a cai fitted and see if it helps
    #4
  6. paddy
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    paddy Audi=No fault code, no idea

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    [Aug 5, 2011]
    In my opinion most of these kinds of trouble come back to basics, Plug breaking down under load would be my first port of call. As compression goes up and the swept volume ratio of the cylinder increases with boost the pressure goes up in the cylinder, the higher the compression the higher the resistance across the plug between the electrode and the conductor, ie the air gap.. The spark tries to find the easiest way to earth and as it get more resistance across the gap it shows up faults in the plug that means the spark might use carbon deposits to travel from electrode to the thread rather than across the intended gap. With stage 1 i would think a set of iridium plugs would be a must.
    Hope that sort of makes sense.
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  7. jungleman
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    jungleman Well-Known Member

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    [Aug 5, 2011]
    paddy, spark plugs after only 10 months on a new car? i know audi skimp on parts at times, but even then they should be fine as the map has just been applied?
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  8. paddy
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    paddy Audi=No fault code, no idea

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    [Aug 5, 2011]
    I have had my fair share of new plugs out of the box go straight in the bin jungley. His problem is intermitant so most things like map are unlikely, plugs are usually the first things to break down when the going gets tough and his description of when it misses is then its under the most load. Just my opinion :)
    Dosent cost anything to put VCDS on it and create a misfire log, see if its across all cylinders for starters.
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2011
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  9. jungleman
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    jungleman Well-Known Member

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    [Aug 5, 2011]
    fair point, could be the maf as well i guess...
    best way is deffo getting VCDS on it and do some logging and see what happens, damn cars lol, the second you play with them things start playing up lol
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  10. paddy
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    paddy Audi=No fault code, no idea

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    [Aug 5, 2011]
    I am probably wrong but i like to start cheap and work my way up :)
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  11. paddy
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    paddy Audi=No fault code, no idea

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    [Aug 5, 2011]
    Yea...Revo stg 1 on Monday...here we go...loads of trouble and its only done 1000 miles :laugh:
    #10
  12. jungleman
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    jungleman Well-Known Member

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    [Aug 5, 2011]
    Revo... ah thats where your problems will lay :p

    youll love the way it feels though after mapping!
    #11
  13. RGS3
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    RGS3 Member

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    [Aug 5, 2011]
    I'd say try plugs. I had a misfire recently, caught it on vagcom, swapped coil packs about and no error but still a stutter. Decided to change plugs before coil pack and it did the job. Audi OEM's are a different plug model now apparently too. Got a pipercross filter on mine (stage 1) - decided to buy a new spare pipercross to put in while the other one was cleaned and dried, wow, what a diffrerence the fresh filter made to the upper range 4kish - so maybe give the filter a clean or replace.
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  14. Cheese
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    Cheese Member

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    [Aug 6, 2011]
    I had a new filter when the exhaust was fitted so we can rule that out. I have noticed that there seems to be a lot of carbon build up on the exhaust - literally I clean the exhaust, go for a 20 mile run and it is covered in carbon again. Not sure if that is normal...

    Thanks guys. I will speak to AmD first and see what they say...
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  15. Cheese
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    Cheese Member

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    [Aug 6, 2011]
    OK - spoke to AmD Woking and Simon advised that this could be exacerbated by the hot weather and although the ABT map is adaptive it is worth me asking them if they have a Stage 2 map as that might fix my issue. I am going to speak to Bath Audi and see if there is one. If not, I am going to take it up to AmD in a couple of weeks for a run with a diagnostics computer hooked up to it...
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  16. paddy
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    paddy Audi=No fault code, no idea

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    [Aug 6, 2011]
    sorry but given the unholy temps engines run at under the bonnet and the difference a spot of warm weather would make ie: 28c which is a normal British summer time sort of temp i dont buy that. as for stg 2 !! at those prices i would want stg 1 to work spot on before i spent any more money with them..
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  17. Cheese
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    Cheese Member

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    [Aug 6, 2011]
    Stage1 did work spot on. Then I added the exhaust. I won't be giving them anymore money. They advised stage1 would be fine with an exhaust. If they were wrong I will be getting stage2 for free.

    He said he has seen that on other cars as well in hot weather and a Stage2 often sorts it out. He was more asking if that was the case to get a better description of the symptoms. Anyway Bath Audi are supposed be calling me back today...not their strong point so I will chase them up on Monday!
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  18. paddy
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    paddy Audi=No fault code, no idea

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    [Aug 6, 2011]
    Think you need to speak to Oliver at Bath.
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  19. NHN
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    NHN Retrofitter - Audi - VW - Skoda - Seat Site Sponsor VCDS Map User

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    [Aug 6, 2011]
    Friend of mine running a MY10 S3 had an issue that was only really/more apparent when mapped, his names Brett Butler on here, from what I know recently it had a minor crack in the head, was so slight but seemed to be this on a new car aswell, give Brett a shout & see if anything correlates.
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  20. N8
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    N8 Kowalski Details VCDS Map User

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    [Aug 6, 2011]
    :ninja:
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  21. Cheese
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    Cheese Member

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    [Aug 21, 2011]
    I recorded a video of the hesitation/stutter:



    It looks quite minor on the video but you can really feel the car kind of let off then lurch forward again.

    I am still in conversations with Audi/ABT regarding the problem. It is slow progress...
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 15, 2014
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  22. jungleman
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    jungleman Well-Known Member

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    [Aug 21, 2011]
    im still going with plugs, coilpacks or possibly maf....
    #21
  23. paddy
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    paddy Audi=No fault code, no idea

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    [Aug 21, 2011]
    +1 jungley...........hang on...look at post 5 and 6 :lmfao:...

    Given it takes no time at all to check the plugs for tracking or to find an odd one and clean the coil packs and their rubber seals.......that would be my first port of call :)
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  24. jungleman
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    jungleman Well-Known Member

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    [Aug 21, 2011]
    im saying nothing haha
    #23
  25. Cheese
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    Cheese Member

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    [Aug 21, 2011]
    I am sure it would take Bath Audi no time at all either if they were not so damn hard to get an answer from. I said to them that I think it is an issue with a stressed component but they are waiting to hear back from ABT before they take it any further. Every damn person in service I speak to has to take down a fault description again...FFS!

    I am a complete amateur when it comes to car maintenance so I won't be checking the spark plugs are cleaning the coil packs :wacko:

    Appreciate your input guys. I will let you know if your diagnosis is correct, probably some time in 2012!
    #24
  26. jungleman
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    jungleman Well-Known Member

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    [Aug 21, 2011]
    dont underestimate the stupidity of audi techs (no disrespect intended if there are any on here) but they blamed my misfire on my cai, magically when i changed my plugs and coilpacks it went... need i say more... to quote a fellow member 'Audi=No fault code, no idea'
    #25
  27. audicruiser
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    audicruiser Audi Heaven

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    [Aug 21, 2011]
    Who have you been dealing with at Bath Audi?
    #26
  28. Cheese
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    Cheese Member

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    [Aug 22, 2011]
    There was a Darren, a Dan and now a guy called Andy. I was expecting an update today and it didn't materialise. No point in kicking up a huge fuss as the issue is relatively minor. I will keep on top of them...
    #27
  29. Cheese
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    Cheese Member

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    [Aug 22, 2011]
    Let's not generalise too much - I am sure as with anything they have good techs and bad techs. But I will be wary.
    #28
  30. Cheese
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    Cheese Member

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    [Aug 22, 2011]
    And weary.
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  31. audicruiser
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    audicruiser Audi Heaven

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    [Aug 22, 2011]
    They should still be calling back and Andy is usually very good. As above, it does sound like something on the car is breaking down rather than a problem with the map, just that since the map it is more apparent. Do you have to go through Bath Audi?
    #30
  32. Cheese
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    Cheese Member

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    [Aug 23, 2011]
    I have to go through them until I get something to from them/ABT to say that they don;t think it is remap related. Then after that, I may be able to go closer to home to get e.g. spark plugs/coilpacks changed...
    #31
  33. Cheese
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    Cheese Member

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    [Aug 26, 2011]
    Looks like there has been some expensive confusion. ABT are saying that their map is only suitable for a cat back exhaust system and not a full turboback system and they think that is why I am having a problem. This is consistent with what AmD are saying but I won't actually know for sure until I actually remove one or the other. So ABT's suggestions are either:

    (1) Remove the exhaust
    (2) Remove the map

    So I can remove the exhaust which means I have thrown away £1300, or I can remove the map which means I have thrown away £1300. Yay! If I sell the exhaust, I could make some money back but will be disappointed as the car in general is a lot smoother with the exhaust, even with the unsuitable map. Now I have had the car mapped, there is no way I would run it with no map.

    AmD's suggestion is to get their Stage 2+ map, but then I don't get the warranty benefits of the ABT map and I have to spend more money. Great.

    I have asked ABT if they will consider refunding the cost of the map minus the cost of the labour for putting it on and taking it off again and am waiting to hear back from them as that may influence my decision. This never would have happened if I had just bought the RS4 I wanted :banghead:
    #32
  34. paddy
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    paddy Audi=No fault code, no idea

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    [Aug 26, 2011]
    Thing is now with ABT at 2k for the stg 1 you are not getting a warranty, more like buying insurance. You could get a REVO stage 1 and a new turbo for that !!
    I would explain the situation to Milltek and see if you can px your turbo back for a cat back. Seems the cheapest way out.
    #33
  35. Cheese
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    Cheese Member

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    [Aug 31, 2011]
    Downgrading to a cat back on Tuesday next week. Hopefully that will sort it all out...
    #34
  36. Cheese
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    Cheese Member

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    [Sep 10, 2011]
    Made the expensive/stupid mistake of keeping the exhaust and getting an AmD Stage2 map on Tuesday instead. Overall the car is smoother and more responsive. Still got the same problem stuttering problem (much less pronounced now, but consistently present - a slight hesitation or lack of smoothness between 3,000rpm and 4,000rpm with a 3/4 - fully open throttle).

    :banghead:
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2011
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  37. paddy
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    paddy Audi=No fault code, no idea

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    [Sep 10, 2011]
    What does AMD say ? presumably they have taken the car out and run some blocks on it to see if its electrical or fuel ?.
    #36
  38. Cheese
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    Cheese Member

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    [Sep 11, 2011]
    Because the issue is quite minor I wanted to be sure it was still there before going back in an I lift share so hadn't had much chance to drive it this week. I emailed AmD last night to let them know the issue is still present. I expect they will do some diags with me next week but it is a matter of whether I can get over there or not. Next Saturday the car is in with Audi having AudioPilot disabled so I doubt I will be able to have it looked at then.

    I let a mate who used to own an S3 8L have a blast in it earlier as I thought maybe I was just being paranoid. His comment was "...wow...that is f**king fast, but it definitely shouldn't be doing that...". He also told me he had a similar problem with his which turned out to be a bad temperature sensor in the exhaust and he spent nearly £1k before he got it sorted :wacko:
    #37
  39. warren_S5
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    warren_S5 Moderator Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [Sep 11, 2011]
    Hmmmmm,

    As the first port of call (and a cheap one), I'd get the plugs out, some iridium NGK BKR7EIX plugs ordered, get them gapped properly, and see where you go from there. I think this engine is hugely sensitive to plug performance, and as Paddy has eluded to in the first few posts of the thread if any of the main components of the combustion cycle are slightly out you get excessive carbonation and then fouling on the plugs. Audi will tell you bare faced that plugs should do 60k without issue, in these engines expect somewhere between 12-16k for optimum performance.

    Try to think of the S3 as a stretched Golf GTi (200bhp), and Audi have turned all the volume knobs up to 9.5 when they made the S3 (261bhp). Then we all come along and turn the knobs to between 15-20+ and expect everything to work fine from OEM. It's just not going to happen. With the pleasure comes some pain.

    PCV mod / catch can helps further to stop ****ty build ups, but a better air flow will help you no end as there is some heavy fuelling going on in an engine that professes to like to run lean. More air availability might balance things out a bit.

    Let us know how it goes.
    #38
  40. Cheese
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    Cheese Member

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    [Sep 11, 2011]
    Warren,

    I have been led to believe AmD have performed the modifications that I have had, full exhaust system + Stage2 map, on many cars and rarely have issues and that I am particularly unlucky to have issues on a car that is 18 months old (naturally that would be there stance...) - is it actually quite a poor choice of car to modify? Also, from the research I have done it seems that Audi have revised most of the parts that have been known to cause problems for the MY10 and later: DV, valve springs, clutch, etc. so I thought my car would likely be more robust than the pre-facelift models such as the one in your sig?

    As for the plugs - if something in the combustion cycle is slightly out and is causing a problem, is changing the plugs not simply masking a bigger problem that may have other consequences further down the line?


    I am also a little confused (probably because of my own ignorance) as to you comment:


    The reason being - the issue only started appearing after a new air filter and full TBE - both of which are supposed to increase air flow. I am very reluctant to start adding, say a CAI, at extra expense when the car should (if all is healthy) be able to run fine in its current guise.

    Appreciate your input - I will keep you all posted.
    #39
  41. paddy
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    paddy Audi=No fault code, no idea

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    [Sep 11, 2011]
    A couple of points, but just a personal opinion.

    Without a CAI but with stg2 you have basically upped the boost, advanced the ignition upped the fueling, upped the exhaust clearance with your turbo back......but left the std air input. The restriction here is the inlet track not the filter in fact i have seen pressure readings at certain revs from within the std track that show negative pressure's ie: vacuums !!! these occur through bends and obstacles in the air track. In days gone by i have ported many heads and you would be amazed at the effect of airflow into the cylinder !!!!!.
    Secondly, fouling plugs is not necessarily an indication of faults further down the line. Plugs come in heat ranges to ensure they operate at an optimum temp ie: so as not to foul at one end or melt at the other (of the scale). By going stg 2 you have altered many parameters ( fuel, air, ignition and exhaust evacuation) all of which effect the ideal burn temp for the plug.
    In raising boost you have also altered the resistance across the plug gap so while a plug might still spark you don't know if the gap is still correct or if the spark is clean. Ragged sparks at certain revs are a real possibility if you have the wrong heat range or they are not gapped properly as Warren says.
    Stg 1 and in particular stg 2 is not necessarily going to be plug and play because all engines have their idiosyncrasies and there are too many factors outside the control of the map designer ( like induction as you are finding)
    Stick with it but IMHO this is what rolling roads are for ! unfortunately most are used to see who has the the biggest willy on a Sat morning but a "experienced" engine tuner with a good dyno should be able to sort your problem reasonably quickly.
    Good luck and keep us updated,
    #40

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