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Old 06-12-2012, 06:39 AM   #31 (permalink)
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Car is now starting and running. but only for a few seconds. Previously it would start and idle very lumpily with a very obvious misfire, but at least it would idle. It is clearly running very rich since I can smell the gas and the plugs are wet every time I pull them. I have not let it run more than a few seconds at a time so as not to crash the cat. I don't think I have a burned valve (s) either but I have not verified that yet with a leak down test. Once I locate the test equipment I will do the test if for no other reason than the experience. The coil is an internal part in the distributor and according to most is unservicable, other than replacing the complete distributor, although one contributor to this forum took his 96 disty apart, cleaned it and fixed a problem very similar to the one I am having which is random misfire code P0300. No cracks in disty cap. Vacuum tested by individually pinching all the hoses. Only the ISC hose caused any reaction and the engine immediately began to die which I believe is normal. I'll re-check any codes, other than the P0300, today and see if it is now kicking out any that are computer related. The car seems to be progressively deteriorating as it sits. It reminds me of airplanes that seem to break faster sitting on the ramp than they do flying them six times a day!
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Old 06-12-2012, 04:51 PM   #32 (permalink)
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Have you tried to start the car with the gas pedal floored? This will prevent fuel delivery. It sounds like your car is flooding - this information may help you:
Why-engine-flooding?
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Old 06-13-2012, 09:18 PM   #33 (permalink)
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Rechecked timing - crank, cam and disty, all good. Crank bolt torqued to 94ft/lbs several months ago and car ran fine thereafter until this episode. Started car today by feathering throttle and also by WOT. Barely started by feathering or jockying (pumping) throttle. Ran for maybe five seconds like it was running on one or two cylinders. No codes. I don't think it is running long enough to throw a code. Is there anything that could progressively deteriorate over time that would effect the timing or spark? This whole event started with a slight misfire and has now progressed to barely running at all. In the meantime the car has been run very little, basically only after I have worked on it again... and again, verifying settings. What would be your next move?
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Old 06-13-2012, 09:59 PM   #34 (permalink)
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IF this thing has a bright white spark I would take another closer look at that crank key for wobble. Mine never threw codes well other than those EGR ones.

Do you have a known working distributor you can try?

btw - I have long since forgotten the vehicle vital info - yr/make/model/miles/valves/etc

Does it have any aftermarket accessories ?

Edit: you likely looked right at the problem. So you need to go back with a clear mind and make no assumptions - just double-check everything.

Good Luck
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----------------------
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Last edited by GumbyCT; 06-13-2012 at 10:02 PM.
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Old 06-14-2012, 10:41 AM   #35 (permalink)
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Just attempted three starts. For all three attempts the crank, cam and disty are in agreement/alignment ie. crank index at 5 degrees BTDC, #1 cylinder at TDC firing and disty rotor spot on #1 disty cap post (1 o'clock) with disty clamp bolt cetered in mount, plug wires correctly indexed to ccw rotating disty and plugs.
1st start attempt: Disty clamp bolt centered in mount, rotor verified on #1 post prior to start. Result - no start
2nd attempt: Disty rotated full left in mount. Result - no start
3rd attempt: Disty rotated full right in mount. Result - started and idled very roughly on its own for about 10 seconds before dying Thoughts on what's causing this?
The crank and cam have been in consistently perfect alignment throughout this episode without any variation. Therefore, having torqued the crank bolt to 94ft/lbs a while back and no related issues since, I do not think I have any reason to suspect crank cog slippage which would be indicated by crank and cam MIS-alignment at some point. I've probably verified it at least 10 times during this ordeal. Could I be wrong in this assumption?
Basic Question: Does rotating the disty to the right advance or retard timing?
Current mileage: 124,317. All other vehicle data unchanged as listed in signature (Oh, OK, maybe a bit more rust)
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Old 06-14-2012, 11:25 AM   #36 (permalink)
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You are misinformed.

Just because the crank pulley and the cam pulley shows alignment, DOES NOT equate to the crank snout being secured and not damaged......

The only sure method of verification is to remove the crank pulley and inspect the condition of the crank snout.....Philip
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Old 06-14-2012, 12:54 PM   #37 (permalink)
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This is not the clear mind I was thinking of...
Quote:
Originally Posted by vipergeek
The crank and cam have been in consistently perfect alignment throughout this episode without any variation. Therefore, having torqued the crank bolt to 94ft/lbs a while back and no related issues since, I do not think I have any reason to suspect crank cog slippage which would be indicated by crank and cam MIS-alignment at some point. I've probably verified it at least 10 times during this ordeal. Could I be wrong in this assumption?
What I hear you asking is - "IF I assumed the first time how could all following assumptions still be wrong?

Quote:
Originally Posted by GumbyCT View Post
Edit: you likely looked right at the problem. So you need to go back with a clear mind and make no assumptions - just double-check everything.
Well IF you did not visually inspect the first time I think you will continue to go in circles.

I think Philip is pretty clear about this...

Quote:
Originally Posted by aquanaut20 View Post
You are misinformed.

Just because the crank pulley and the cam pulley shows alignment, DOES NOT equate to the crank snout being secured and not damaged......

The only sure method of verification is to remove the crank pulley and inspect the condition of the crank snout.....Philip
In fact what you just recently described sounds exactly like the crank key wobble. But hey it's your time.

To look at this another way - whatever you have done so far has not brought the problem to light. So to my way of thinking - it IS time to try something different.
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96 Sidekick Sport 4D 1.8L, auto AC 114k mi.
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Old 06-14-2012, 06:11 PM   #38 (permalink)
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Before I dive into another teardown (and I'm willing to do it of course) to verify a potential cranksnout problem, two questions please. I think I've read on this forum that significantly lower cylinder compression numbers than mine are one of the indicators of a potential slipped crank pulley and 190 lbs is about the best to expect on a new/rebuilt engine.
Question #1 - Assuming the cranksnout is the issue, would you expect to get the compression test numbers I got when I tested the engine 4 days ago of #1-183 lbs, #2-180 lbs, #3-178 lbs and 4-180 lbs? I thought I had pretty much eliminated the cranksnout issue with the past re-torqueing of the crankbolt after replacing the front crank seal, the consistently perfect crank/cam alignment and these what seem to me to be good and consistent from cylinder to cylinder compression numbers.
Question #2 - Do these numbers shed any light on the possibility/probablility of a spun cranksnout?
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Old 06-14-2012, 07:37 PM   #39 (permalink)
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You would have to ask this guy (in thread linked below) who said the dealer said his motor was "slightly out of time" yet it had good compression readings.

But when I think about it the compression readings give you NO clue when the ignition is firing and therefore it can be misleading, to me, to assume the engine is therefore timed or aligned correctly.

So take the compression to mean the health of your rings & valves are good, nothing more.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GumbyCT View Post
So now I wonder just what the compression is on a "properly timed" engine. Or if a compression check is useful diagnostic data instead of simply "check the timing"? Or was the timing checked before this?
I also think IF there were NO load on this crank key it would not move the way it does (in metal). But hey that's me and just my meaningless opinion (jmmo).

Edit: I don't know what it is you saw when you tore the engine down. But I can see that IF you don't know about this problem that one might never look closely at this area and even then an untrained eye could miss it.

Edit2: see if you can get him to do another compression check
http://www.suzuki-forums.com/suzuki-...tml#post331969
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96 Geo Metro 84 k mi 3cyl 5sp Lsi
01 Chevy Tracker 4D, 2.5L auto trans, A/C, ps, 125k, mi. auto locking hubs
----------------------
Under Repair
95 Tracker 2D Conv. 16v VIN#6 171k mi. 5sp A/C ps
96 Sidekick Sport 4D 1.8L, auto AC 114k mi.
----------------------

Last edited by GumbyCT; 06-14-2012 at 07:46 PM.
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Old 06-14-2012, 08:28 PM   #40 (permalink)
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Gumby - I too am curious as to what the shop did to fix the timing issue with that other 96 Track in the thread you attached. How does timing go out of whack all of a sudden and for no clear reason? Are we reaching a service life on these 16 year old distributors where the internal parts are beginning to fail more often? I fixed an intermittent ignition problem on an 89 Honda Civic by replacing (replaceable, what a concept!) the ignition ignitor which was also located inside the distributor as is mine now... which is non-replaceable. Grr!

When I replaced the Tracker front crank seal a while back, being aware of the keyway issue, I removed the pulley and inspected the crank closely and was pleased to find a perfect keyway, a perfect key and a perfect pulley. I reinstalled the pulley, jammed a crowbar into my autotrans inspection hole and torqued that puppy (the bolt) to 94 ft/lbs thinking I was now done with it for the life of the vehicle. Apparantly not so. I'll get up early tomorrow (it's cooler) and take it down to the crank shaft to verify no damage since. I'm getting pretty good at field stripping this engine and it is doing wonders for my patience and perserverance. I'll let you know the results of the visual inspection.

For all: If it's good, please be thinking where you would go next! If it is bad, I'll repair it with the Loctite 660 technique and go from there.
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