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Old 08-10-2014, 02:16 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Question 93 sidekick rough idle that clears up with acceleration

Hi everyone.

Been banging my head against this one for awhile. Hoping someone will know right off.

I bought this for $500 from a guy who had the timing belt break. He had a new head put on it but it still wouldn't run. Then, his mechanic told him he had a hole in the #1 piston. He gave up and sold it to me.

I found there was no hole. His mechanic had installed the plug wires incorrectly. I read that this engine is timed off of the #4 cylinder so I pulled the valve cover off and visually inspected the intake/exhaust order and installed the wires that way.

It ran but it is missing rather fiercely at idle. At higher RPMs it clears up but you can tell that it still isn't quite right.

I pulled the EGR and the IAC and cleaned those, I put several gallons of 89 non-ethanol gas in it with some injector cleaner, I inspected the vacuum lines and have found one that goes back under the vehicle (it splits into 2) that is still disconnected because I can't figure out where it goes, I cleaned the white crap off the electrodes in the cap and made sure there was solid connections on all of the wires and I went around the engine tightening loose bolts everywhere (not a good mechanic, obviously).

It starts and idles low and really rough. If I bump the throttle, there is a hesitation before it takes off and then it takes awhile for it to come back down. I don't have a timing light but I think it's close enough - hard to say if there are other issues going on. I initially wasn't getting much oil to the center cam shaft bay (I took the valve cover off and ran it and wasn't getting oil spraying all over, in fact, I couldn't even tell where the oil was supposed to be coming out even at higher RPMs) Must be getting enough now as the mechanical noise has stopped and my brand new oil gauge is reading the correct pressures.

I thought perhaps it was a fuel issue but the plugs all look perfect so I'm leaning towards electrical.

One thing though, perhaps a death blow, I wasn't thinking when I was turning the cam by hand. I had the timing belt off and the #1 cylinder at tdc while I was doing this. I didn't feel the pistons making any contact with the valves but.....

I'd really like to do a compression test but, I drove it up the road at one point and, at higher rpms, it took off and had plenty of power so ...?

I really like the thing and can't wait to get it out there for some play time. I had one (tracker) back in the 90's that I sold to my cousin for $250 and it was a blast. He drove it for 12 years before finally giving it to some poor people down the road from him - still running strong!!!

Been reading and reading and reading. Still not sure if I should be timing it mechanically off the #4 (180 off puts it firing on #1) Can't seem to find anything that differentiates between mechanical and electrical timing.

Any help here would be much appreciated. Thanks
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Old 08-10-2014, 03:00 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Question tach

Just went out and played with it again and the thought occurred to me that the issue may be related to the tach issue I'm having.
It only comes off of 0 when I rev it up and then it just barely comes up - not nearly accurate (which sucks). Not sure why, just thought the two may be related if it is an electrical issue.
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Old 08-11-2014, 09:04 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Can a back fire cause the MAF to die?

Getting code 34. Guy I bought it from had it timed wrong and, from what I can figure, it was firing on the exhaust stroke half the time.

air filter is melted so I'm thinking that it burned up the MAF. Sound right?

Any way to repair or clean or is this a replace it type thing?
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