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Old 06-12-2017, 08:11 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default 16v 1.6 Conversion Torture

Somebody. Anybody. Please help!

I did a 1995 Suzuki Sidekick, 16v 1.6L engine conversion into a 1988.5 Samurai. I've had nothing but a house of horrors ever since. This has been the worst experience of my life with this rig. Wishing I stayed with the 1.3 8v now....

Here's what has occurred so far:

1. Removed engine from Samurai
2. Removed Samurai harness and original ECM
3. Installed Sidekick harness and ECM
4. Installed VSS into Speedometer
5. Installed 1989 F-150 fuel pump and filter (they run 40-45 psi)
6. Installed Thorley header and catalytic converter w/ Magnaflow exhaust
7. Installed engine to transmission adapter plate
8. Dropped conversion engine into Samurai

So far so good...but first problem reared its ugly head as soon as I started the engine the first time

Engine high idle problem upon getting it running, with stalling after idling for approx 5-8 mins. Ran codes. Got 34 for MAF sensor and 21 for IAT.

1. Replaced MAF and IAT, cleared codes.
2. ECM now spits out code 12 - everything normal.

Still giving high idle when first started, and stalling after warming up and running for approx 5-8 mins. It will not hold 800 rpms.

Phase 2 troubleshooting.

1. Cleaned EGR - No change
2. Cleaned Idle Speed Control Valve - No change
3. Adjusted TPS - Idle no longer racing high on start up, but still stalling after warming up when it drops to 800 RPMs
4. Found idle air screw o-ring cut - replaced with no change
5. Replaced Thermostat - No change
6. Replaced Coolant Temp Sensor - No change
7. Checked all vacuum lines - found none leaking
8. Checked intake plenum and gaskets for leaks - found none leaking
9. Replaced both vacuum solenoid valves (canister purge and EGR) - No change
10. Replaced idle speed control valve - no change
11. Checked EGR vacuum modulator and EGR valve itself - no leaks
12. Replaced O2 sensor - no change
13. Tested thermal idle air control valve (the one on the throttle body itself) - tested good
14. Checked coolant lines to IAC and ISC - both good - no obstructions
15. Cleaned throttle body and checked stop screw setting - not binding or sticking
16. Verified throttle cable has slack
17. Re-verified TPS adjustment just for the hell of it - no change
18. Replaced plugs and wires - no change
19. Replaced distributor cap and rotor - no change
20. Replaced PCV valve - no change
21. Checked valve adjustment - no issues/all adjusted normal
22. Checked compression - no issues/all seem to be normal
23. Checked for fault codes - still showing 12 which is all indications are normal

Still has high idle when first started (2,000-2,500 rpm), and stalls after dropping down to 800 rpms after warming up and running for approx 5-8 mins.

Phase 3 troubleshooting began.

Suspect this has everything to do with the warmup cycle and something is just not acting right once the ECM senses the engine is warmed. It's as if when it tries to go to closed loop it stumbles and stalls. It cannot be saved by feathering the throttle. It will restart almost every time. But occasionally it won't restart without sitting for a few mins. Guy I bought engine from says the ECMs are notorious for causing stalling.

1. Ordered & replaced ECM- No change
2. Removed fuel filter to see if it was clogged - no change
3. Tested EGTS on EGR valve - no issues/works fine

Nothing I have done so far has had any effect on fixing the stalling when it gets warm. I've ordered a new coil tonight. One of the posts I read said sometimes coils can cause stalling when they get hot. Strange thing is, it only stalls once it drops down to 800 and runs for a few mins. Can't think of anything else it could be. It simply will not hold idle at 800. Considering getting a new fuel pump and possibly changing out the fuel pump relays. They seemed hot to touch last time I ran it. I'm at a complete loss and very frustrated. I am running out of options. I don't know how to check injectors. The thought has crossed my mind that they might be bad but this is always at idle so I'm not so sure.

Any experts out there on the 16v 1.6 mill? Please help.....

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Old 06-12-2017, 08:49 PM   #2 (permalink)
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What's the fuel pressure like - with the engine running, whilst it's warming up, and also when it drops to 800 rpm, in the few minutes before it stalls.
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Old 06-12-2017, 08:56 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I'm not sure yet. I have to get a fuel pressure tester. Thought has crossed my mind that my fuel pressure might be wrong. But it runs just fine except for idle. So I haven't gone down that path yet.
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Old 06-13-2017, 08:56 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Here's my line of thought - fuel pump pressure and flow can be considered as inversely related - the more flow you have, the less pressure and vice versa - you're using a pump intended for a much larger engine so it's going to be rated for more flow than you need, the possibility may exist that the flow is too much for the regulator to hold the correct pressure - pressure increases, the injectors flow more fuel and the engine eventually floods.

Just a theory...
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Old 06-13-2017, 09:08 PM   #5 (permalink)
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That's some good info. You may be on to something. I used that fuel pump based on what I've read here in the forums. Everyone was saying it is a direct match for a sidekick based on the 40-45 psi pressure. I plan to check the pressure as soon as I get a gauge. But I ran into a completely new problem tonight when I was trying to troubleshoot the EGR valve. I actually got a code 51 so that was my first real lead into something possible. But I also noticed I cannot get it to go into gear when it is running. It's as if the clutch is not releasing. Now I'm thinking the throw out bearing is bad or the disc is stuck to the flywheel. Not sure if a bad clutch could cause my stalling but I cannot go any further until I replace it. Literally.

So...

I dropped the tranny out tonight. I found the clutch disc badly worn. The throw out bearing looks bad too. It's sticking. I should have changed the clutch before I dropped the engine in, in the first place. Lesson learned here.
But thanks to Rock Auto and a new $70 hole in my wallet, a new one is on the way.

Back to my question for everyone: Can a bad clutch cause stalling at idle (when not in gear of course)? I suspect it may have been causing a load on the engine if it was not releasing. But this is only a suspicion.

I will NEVER do one of these Sidekick to Samurai conversion again. Not worth the headache so far. It's been a never ending money pit. Anyone considering it, be forewarned it will drain your time and wallet if you don't get lucky and find a brand new or rebuilt engine. I went the used route from a donor Sidekick. Big mistake.
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Old 06-13-2017, 09:47 PM   #6 (permalink)
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The clutch condition would have no impact on engine idle once the transmission is in neutral, and the release bearing would have to be in really bad shape and seriously out of adjustment to have any effect on idle - under normal circumstances the release bearing would just be sitting there not in contact with the rotating clutch assembly until the pedal is depressed, however, if the adjustment is sufficient far out of whack it could be rotating all the time and if defective it could drag - but - you would probably be hearing it growl.

As far as the Sidekick/Samurai conversion hassle goes, I'm going to guess you haven't done too many engine swaps, this is actually one of the easier ones - of course, if your previous experience has been the older carbed stuff, yes, EFI can be a challenge.
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Old 06-13-2017, 10:06 PM   #7 (permalink)
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If you're only considering pressure, then yes, 40~45 psi is within spec. - BUT - flow rate also has to be considered, the F150 pump will have to deliver sufficient fuel to satisfy a considerably larger, more powerful engine - that extra fuel gets returned to the tank by the fuel pressure regulator, and if the regulator or return line cannot handle the additional volume, the pressure at the rail will increase above the normal pressure.

Based on the manual I'm looking at fuel pressure at warm idle should be between 29.8~37.0 psi - a new F150 pump has the potential to deliver more pressure than that, especially in a vehicle with smaller fuel lines.

It's just a theory, and there is only one way to know if it's valid and that is to test the pressure.

==================================

A very quick google search on F150 fuel pressure suggests that the pressure spec varies with the engine fitted in the F150 and can be as high as 60 psi - which pump did you actually use?
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Last edited by fordem; 06-13-2017 at 10:13 PM. Reason: Add info...
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Old 06-14-2017, 08:47 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Good info on the clutch. Guess I'm overthinking it. Making my head hurt. I probably overtightened it and created he problem.

I've done SBC swaps in the past. But you are spot on with the EFI thing. This is my first one and it has been very frustrating. The harness and everything was a breeze. It's the malfunctions and fine tuning that are driving me nuts and making me broke.

Thanks for the words. Helps me refocus.
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Old 06-14-2017, 08:49 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I believe you are correct about the fuel pump. It's from a 1989 F-150 I did some more research and it appears he pump is a 60 psi. I may have too much fuel. Guess I'll be digging into it more once the clutch gets back in and I get it running again.

Thanks a ton. If it turns out to be a fuel issue (that I caused) I owe you a beer.
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Old 06-14-2017, 08:51 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Any thoughts on which pump would be the right one to use? Lots of discussions on them out there but I already went that route and that's how I ended up with a F-150 pump. I thought that was the way to go. I may have been very wrong in that assumption.
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