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Old 07-04-2019, 02:17 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Engine Vibration Diag.

95 JX, 16v, EFI, Manual,

Recently, my engine started to vibrate at cold start up. Violent enough you could feel it sitting in the car, and the shifter was were you could feel the full intensity. The vibrations were still there at temp and idling, but didn't seem as bad as cold. No notable loss of power when driving.

I removed the plugs and wires. Plugs were clean and all gapped to .028. Cables looked new, no cracks or corrosion. I cleaned the MAF just because it was off the vehicle. I half assed checked timing as with #4 at TDC, crank pulley mark at 12, and rotor at #4 firing position. Next I did a pressure test at cold.

#1 = 175 psi
#2 = 165 psi
#3 = 75 psi
#4 = 170 psi

Well sumofaitch. Dropped about a tablespoon of oil in #3, and retested. 85psi.

Put plugs and cables and airflow back together, and went to the local part's store and rented a block tester. Test was negative (did a little dance of joy in my garage).

So that brings me here:

A 10 psi gain on cold wet test? I'm pretty sure that the slight improvement isn't indicative of worn rings being my problem, correct?

Assuming that rings aren't my problem, that means that a valve is leaking/or stuck open. Bent valve stem, broken valve spring? Even if I did get the valve cover off, is there anything I can do without pulling the head?
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Old 07-04-2019, 02:25 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtptwo View Post
95 JX, 16v, EFI, Manual,

Recently, my engine started to vibrate at cold start up. Violent enough you could feel it sitting in the car, and the shifter was were you could feel the full intensity. The vibrations were still there at temp and idling, but didn't seem as bad as cold. No notable loss of power when driving.

I removed the plugs and wires. Plugs were clean and all gapped to .028. Cables looked new, no cracks or corrosion. I cleaned the MAF just because it was off the vehicle. I half assed checked timing as with #4 at TDC, crank pulley mark at 12, and rotor at #4 firing position. Next I did a pressure test at cold.

#1 = 175 psi
#2 = 165 psi
#3 = 75 psi
#4 = 170 psi

Well sumofaitch. Dropped about a tablespoon of oil in #3, and retested. 85psi.

Put plugs and cables and airflow back together, and went to the local part's store and rented a block tester. Test was negative (did a little dance of joy in my garage).

So that brings me here:

A 10 psi gain on cold wet test? I'm pretty sure that the slight improvement isn't indicative of worn rings being my problem, correct?

Assuming that rings aren't my problem, that means that a valve is leaking/or stuck open. Bent valve stem, broken valve spring? Even if I did get the valve cover off, is there anything I can do without pulling the head?
check valve lash, and do a leakdown. You have a leaking valve or a blown head gasket, 10 psi gain wet is about normal, but since it didn't come right up, rings are not the issue, its something head related, could be a sticky valve, bent, or burnt. Sounds like the heads coming off.....

A tight lash will cause it, but it would be at zero clearance and holding a valve open. Not common for this to happen. Valve spring broken won't usually show on a compression test but will when running.
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Old 07-04-2019, 05:20 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Cross your fingers and check the valve lash for #3.
Has your car ever overheated??
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Old 07-04-2019, 11:48 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I keep a good eye on the temp gauge, being i live in the desert. It hasn't overheated since I've owned it.

As for valve lash, going to zero lash sounds like a long shot, but I've got nothing else to do until my mechanic opens next week.
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Old 07-04-2019, 04:16 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Here are my valve lash measurements. Keep in mind, it was about 100F when I took these measurements. Each number is .00x Each measurement was on the cam heel.


Looks like I'm borderline on a few, but none are .000. Each value moved as expected when the crankshaft was rotated clockwise. No obvious broken springs or anything else out of the ordinary.

Time to find a good mechanic.

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Old 07-05-2019, 07:04 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Not too bad, but you may want to set the lash up right anyway, as its best to do this. Have the V on the crankshaft aligned with the 0 on the timing belt cover, and check that the rotor is pointing to #1. On a cold engine, all valves set to 0.006, and you start with valves 1,2,5,7, then rotate the crank 360 and do 3,4,6,8.
Sounds like leakdown next.
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Old 07-11-2019, 12:23 PM   #7 (permalink)
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So I took it to a mechanic today. While the car was running, he took the oil cap off and checked for blow by. He said I should start looking for a new engine. Didn't charge me for anything, though.

Thinking about it, the only place I could be getting that much blow by from would be if the cylinder had a hole in it or if the rings were shot. Anyone know of a good place to get a new engine?
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Old 07-11-2019, 02:14 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtptwo View Post
So I took it to a mechanic today. While the car was running, he took the oil cap off and checked for blow by. He said I should start looking for a new engine. Didn't charge me for anything, though.

Thinking about it, the only place I could be getting that much blow by from would be if the cylinder had a hole in it or if the rings were shot. Anyone know of a good place to get a new engine?
Like i said, it could be as simple as a head gasket, given the wet test improved by 10 psi says to me that while your rings are leaking a bit, they aren't the major issue. This test should bring figures up 40 or more psi if the rings are shot.

If you repeat the compression test but use a bit of 90 weight gear oil instead of engine oil in #3, what does the test do? Try it and see, I bet it won't come up much more which points to a head or gasket issue.
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"Dogs feel very strongly that they should always go with you in the car, in case the need should arise for them to bark violently at nothing right in your ear."
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Old 07-11-2019, 03:03 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
If you repeat the compression test but use a bit of 90 weight gear oil instead of engine oil in #3, what does the test do? Try it and see, I bet it won't come up much more which points to a head or gasket issue.
Nope. The poster is correct.
With the massive blow-by it has to be rings, pistons or block / cylinder bores that are the degraded issue, not head or head gaskets.
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Old 07-11-2019, 03:25 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Nope. The poster is correct.
With the massive blow-by it has to be rings, pistons or block / cylinder bores that are the degraded issue, not head or head gaskets.
I disagree, I have seen several engines in my shop that have blown head gaskets from the cylinder into the oil return galleries that give exactly the same symptoms as this. If the rings and bore were that bad, oil would bring the tests up, and heavier oil will prove this.

Only way to prove it is a gasket however is to take the head off.
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2015 5 dr Grand Vitara 2.4 (daily driver)
1971 V8 HG Holden with 383 stroker 9" torq lok and TH350 trans (the toy)
Mitzi RVR 2.0 (not one of my better buys)
the 2013 3 dr GV is now the off road only toy

"Dogs feel very strongly that they should always go with you in the car, in case the need should arise for them to bark violently at nothing right in your ear."
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