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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Just thought i'd get some input on this before I try to start up my tracker again. I got it wrong the first time and it wouldn't start...so here are some pics of attempt #2. I'm really not surprised it didnt start, I was definitely off the mark on the upper chain. The lower one may also have been a couple teeth off as well. What a pain these things are to get lined up!

Anyhow, here are some pics of how I have it sitting now. I haven't tried to start it yet because I still need to put some of the pulleys and other items in the front to put on. It was getting too late last night and I dropped a couple nuts on the ground that I couldn't find :(.









It appears to me that I have every mark lined up exactly as it's supposed to be. On my first attempt, I tried to just pull off the original chain and put on the new ones without really paying attention to the colored links (I assumed from previous posts that the colors would be wrong). However, it appears that the colored links on these chains (DNJ engine components) ARE correct. It's still necessary to count links because there is no yellow link on the chain, but if you get the right blue links in the right order, they all line up on markings on the sprockets. Also, I had to re-use the factory idle sprocket because the one in the kit just didn't look right. There was no arrow! just two dots and I never could really get them to line up right. I think something was wrong with that sprocket, but my original one was still in very good shape.

If anyone could give me some affirmation that this appears to be correct, it would be a great relief!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I did indeed! I even printed out the pictures on page 4 of that thread and had them with me during the 2nd attempt at install. I used the info on that thread, the factory service manual, and these youtube videos (which are VERY good in my opinion for people working on these engines). They're fairly new videos, only three months old I think.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G7ugnTXws3Y

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ta_Dh3oA-mU
 

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Thanks CS. Great video link! I added all seven episodes to the Timing Chain sticky thread! ;)
 

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99 Tracker, 5 door, 2L, 4x4
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Dont want to be a wet towel, but isnt this a 2L 4L engine? That being so, did you spin it by hand before you rotated with the starter (interference engine)..

If you used the starter first, best do a compression check, make sure the valves are all closing.... or better, a leak down (crank over by hand)...

Yes I know I am OCD, but for me it has paid dividends many times over...

.... Philip
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Yes it is the 2.0L 4 cyl and I did spin it by hand a couple times to make sure nothing was hitting and that it turned over smoothly before I started it....and it did start last night and I'm driving it today! It drives the same as before but now there's no chattering sound when I start the engine :) The engine sounds a little louder to me now but I think it might be in my head...who knows, maybe it is. The power is the same as before tho and it's not running rough or anything.

Unfortunately, my rear end is still making a strange clicking noise :( ugh. That was the other part of the latest project on this car...it was the timing chain job and rear axle bearing (what I thought was causing the noise). I'll be starting another thread on that most likely...
 

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Congrats! :)
 

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Great work, glad you are up and running.

.... Philip
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Well boys, I'm afraid my celebration was a bit premature :( ugh. Sometimes I have the worst luck with these types of things. Anyways, as I said before, I installed the timing chains incorrectly on my first attempt. I tried to start the engine three times before deciding to take things apart again for a second attempt. I can only assume that during these first attempts to start that I messed something up in the cylinder heads. There is now a constant rattle coming from the top of then engine/valve cover at idle and increasing in speed with engine rpm. I also noticed that the engine seems to fall on its face a bit around 3K rpm when going up hills...

My question now is....could the damage be even deeper than simply the cylinder head? What is the first thing to be damaged if timing chains are installed wrong and the engine is forced to turn over? I believe the issue lies somewhere towards the front of the engine since that is where the rattling sound is loudest...the engine starts and idles completely fine (except for that terrible rattle)...and it drives fine up until about 3K rpm. Should I just do a compression test before removing the heads for repair or replacement? GRRRRRR I'm so angry about this! I'm 99% sure that the timing is now right, but obviously something else is now wrong. I'll try to post a video for you guys this weekend so you can hear it for yourselves. Advice needed please!
 

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Sorry to hear.

What typically happens with valve timing out of spec is that one or more pistons contact partially open valves, bending their stems. This is accompanied by foreign metallic sounds, loss of compression and decreased performance.

Depending on the amount of off-timing and whether continued engine running is undertaken, valves can become dislodged, jam themselves between piston and head, causing further damage to pistons, con and main bearings, head, even cylinder bores.

Compression test needed at a minimum, or a less evasive cylinder "leak-down" test. A visual inspection of the valve train components (the reported current noise source area) is also prudent, looking for improperly installed components and to accomplish timing mark verification for correctness.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Ok, thanks max....I'll be sure and take plenty of pics along the way to make sure i'm doing things right. I only drove the car yesterday with that rattle present so I'm hoping I saved myself any damage to the pistons or cylinder walls. The loss of power was definitely there and the bent valve stem was my first guess as well. I'm going to start the dis-assembly this evening and continue it through next week. I'm hoping to have the heads off and to the machine shop for repair before I leave for south carolina on Friday (May 30). Thank God for those youtube videos that I found...I'll be using those quite extensively throughout the process i'm sure.

Atleast I have my trusty ol ram to drive around while the tracker is in surgery! Having two vehicles is very nice when one needs a repair...you can take your time and not rush through things because you're desperate to have a ride
 

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My bet would be on a bent valve, doesn't take much...

If you have access to a boroscope you could look inside, next would be a leak down.. This would isolate the leak....

Continued running could burn the valve and seat, at the very least..

Don't beat your self up over it, just a learning experience...

...... Philip
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Got the cylinder head pulled yesterday! Just dropped it off at a machine shop to be pressure checked to determine if any valves are bent (as I'm sure there are). The inside of the engine looked perfectly fine...I wasn't suspecting that there would be any further damage because the engine started and idled fine except for that loud rattling/tapping in the valve cover. The valves actually appeared to be fine as well...there weren't any that were obviously hanging open or horribly curved. I'm hoping that the machine shop will tell me that I have a bent valve so that I'm able to point to that as the source of the noise. Time will tell...

Lesson learned: Don't force the engine to turn over by hand if you find any resistance to the motion at all!
 

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The pressure test is on the coolant passages side to check for cracks / leaks. ;)

They'll probably remove the valves and spin / face grind them, checking for any run-out (being bent). :) Inverting the removed heads and filling the combustion chamber with liquid is an acceptable practice to check for proper valve seating too.

Any corresponding valve touch-off marks on the piston tops?

Any indication of valve timing components damaged or off-timing? :huh:
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I didn't see any touch-off marks on the pistons, but it was getting pretty close to sunset so the lighting wasn't the best. I only forced the engine to turn over maybe 2-3 times with the timing chain on wrong so I wasn't really expecting to see any marks on the pistons...it never actually started when I cranked the engine with the key. I'm not sure if the bent valve(s) would still contact the piston with the timing on correct?

I didn't see any evidence of the timing being damaged or off when I pulled it off to get to the head. The upper chain colored links and sprockets lined up every two rotations like they should. I'm inclined to believe that I did in fact get the timing right the second time because the engine started and idled easily.

I'm pretty sure the guy at the machine shop said he would somehow seal off each cylinder one at a time and apply compressed air in order to find which valve or valves weren't sealing properly...which then would indicate that they are bent. Or maybe i'm mistaken on the whole process...
 

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somehow seal off each cylinder one at a time and apply compressed air in order to find which valve or valves weren't sealing properly
That is plausible. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Annnnnd the plot thickens....

Got a call from the machine shop this afternoon. The head checked out fine! No bent valves...so by some miracle from God I managed to avoid damaging anything in the head when I turned the engine over with the chain being a half link or so off. I was hoping that they would find something wrong with the head so atleast I could explain away the noise and lack of power in the top end.

I'm now leaning towards the timing still being a tooth or two off. This would explain the complete lack of power in the top end...however I don't think that would explain the loud tapping from the front of the valve cover? I'm still pretty stumped on this one. I guess the only thing to do is put the head back on with all new gaskets and give the timing another try!...I'm so glad this is an easy engine to work on as far as getting bolts in and out...this interference engine crap is rather frustrating in terms of timing
 

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Maybe a second set of eyes at assembly. ;)

Can't hurt! :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Good idea! I'll haul the whole thing down to your place on my way to the beach tomorrow and we can bang around on this cursed tracker together ;)

I'll bring the beer and the engine parts!
 
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