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Recently, my 87 Samuria engine started to knock pretty loudly. Sounds like a metal knock fairly constant, although as the engine revs up you hear it less and less. Motor was running OK at first, but then started to run rough and now I can't get it to start. Was not overheating, has oil, valves are moving, and engine has good compression on all cylinders. Spark too, and smells like it's getting fuel.

I know I probably just need to take it to a shop, but I've now had two different people tell me it might be a cracked flywheel. Does this sound reasonable, and if so is there any simple way to check short of moving the whole engine forward?
 

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I can't see how a cracked flywheel is going to keep it from starting up. If it's already detonated then yeah, but I don't think I've ever heard of someone cracking their samurai's flywheel. a crack in the flywheel would get more and more severe as you increase RPM's not less severe. The unbalanced wheel would start a harmonic vibration that would feel like your rig was shaking apart.


Check the timing marks to see if they are in sync with your cam. and dizzy
You could be lucky and just have a busted timing belt. samurai is a non-interference engine, so you don't have to worry about the pistons hitting your valves. Timing belt breaks are usually not catastrophic on these engines.

You could be less lucky and the keyway on the crank shaft could be buggered up from the crank bolt not being torqued properly. This would eventually lead to the cam getting out of time and that would result in a vehicle that doesn't start anymore. .
 

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Thanks for the feedback. Quick update, your message reminded me about the car, and I made another attempt to start it this afternoon. I quick blast of starting fluid, and what do you know, it fired right up.

The engine still "clatters" or "knocks" for lack of a more technical term, and it feels a bit down on power, but does run.
 

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Could be a bent push rod which you could tell by taking the valve cover off and look to see if all the push rods are spinning straight. Or maybe a wrist pin on the piston.... If you have a stesthascope you could listen around to pinpoint the noise..... I don't have one and use a simple length of broom handle about 30" long and hold up to one ear and the other drag along different parts of the motor til you isolate where the sound is coming from...
I'm hoping it's a bent pushrod. that's an easy fix
Joe
 

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It's a pencil looking type rod that connects the cam/lifters to the valves/valve adjusters up top the engine. I really don't want to pull my valve cover for a pic but this google page will give you an idea of what it looks like..... basically that push rod is under the adjuster at each of the eight springs under the valve cover and goes down into the engine to the cam/lifters.
I have yet to dismantle a zuk engine as i just recently purchased this but when you start the engine up without the valve cover on you will see 8 springs going up and down..... look at the push rod for any acting irregular. don't try adjusting them unless you know what your doing as if done wrong you can damage your engine.
Joe

Google search "Engine Pushrod"
https://www.google.com/#hl=en&gs_rn=7&gs_ri=psy-ab&gs_mss=suzuki samura engine push rod&tok=b_iWfrLLmIHq7Ws7aqonIg&pq=suzuki samurai engine push rod&cp=0&gs_id=4d&xhr=t&q=engine+push+rod&es_nrs=true&pf=p&sclient=psy-ab&oq=+engine+push+rod&gs_l=&pbx=1&bav=on.2,or.r_cp.r_qf.&bvm=bv.44442042,d.eWU&fp=361f1d8e7791e1d6&biw=1536&bih=764&bs=1

A pretty good picture of what a pushrod does..... You should be able to tell without pulling the cover off with the broom stick method i stated above:
 

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It's a pencil looking type rod that connects the cam/lifters to the valves/valve adjusters up top the engine.44442042,d.eWU&fp=361f1d8e7791e1d6&biw=1536&bih=764&bs=1[/url]

A pretty good picture of what a pushrod does..... You should be able to tell without pulling the cover off with the broom stick method i stated above:
Sorry, a Suzuki 1.3 is an overhead cam engine and has no pushrods. The cam acts directly on the rocker arms to open the valves. Try Googling Overhead Cam Engine.

As for the OP's knock: if, you are truly down on power, it's most likely timing related (valve, or, ignition spark). If, you've got a miss, along with the knock, check the valve lash. You might have a lash adjuster that has come loose and backed off. Gives you a engine that runs with a "flat" spot, or, weak cylinder. Do yourself a favor and download the FSM for your Samurai. A great help in understanding what might be going on under your hood.
Otherwise, you might look towards the bottom end: connecting rod bearing, or, main bearing. Con rods rattle at a higher pitch than mains. If, it's the bottom end, it will become obvious in a very short while, with severe consiquences.
 

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Here is a link to the FSM

Ack's FSM Online Search Results

It is very unlikely that the flywheel is cracked or causing the problem. Your advice is probably coming from those more familiar with automatics where the flexplate is more prone to cracking than the very solid hunk of round metal that is a flywheel in a Samurai.

Like others have mentioned, you need to recheck the timing. Remove the timing gear cover to make sure that the keyway on the crankshaft gear is lined up with the marking on the camshaft gear. Also the crankshaft pulley bolt sometimes get loose and allows the keyway to get wallowed out. If you do loosen the crankshaft bolt, retighten to 80ft/lbs and the not 55ft/lbs in the FSM
 

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Sorry, a Suzuki 1.3 is an overhead cam engine and has no pushrods. The cam acts directly on the rocker arms to open the valves. Try Googling Overhead Cam Engine.

As for the OP's knock: if, you are truly down on power, it's most likely timing related (valve, or, ignition spark). If, you've got a miss, along with the knock, check the valve lash. You might have a lash adjuster that has come loose and backed off. Gives you a engine that runs with a "flat" spot, or, weak cylinder. Do yourself a favor and download the FSM for your Samurai. A great help in understanding what might be going on under your hood.
Otherwise, you might look towards the bottom end: connecting rod bearing, or, main bearing. Con rods rattle at a higher pitch than mains. If, it's the bottom end, it will become obvious in a very short while, with severe consiquences.
I had a feeling i was putting my foot in my mouth...LOL Like i said i've never had this engine apart and was just too lazy to look in the manual.
Thanks for the update.
Joe
 

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my engine was making some similar random sounds and I went and opened the distributor and the rotor was broken and looked like a mechanic knew and never did anything (cant trust them here lol) replaced it and all sounds are gone and has its power back. Just something to look at just in case.
 

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When i am being lazy and don't want to do the work myself i go to a mechanic and act as "Dumb as a Stump" and see what they come up with. A very well known place just failed that test big time.
Joe
 
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