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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am at a crossroads with my 1998 Suzuki Sidekick JX. Body and interior is in great shape, just put a new Bestop on it, but it amost failed emissions. It has 168K mil on it and it smokes a little, and I get a puff of smoke when I start it. I'm considering doing a cylinder head replacement and not a complete rebuilt engine swap. I'm not sure it makes sense to put $1500 in to a car that's worth $3000, but I still want to get more life out of it. Is this a good way to go or is it a waste of money to do just the top end?
 

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The smoke may well be from worn rings / cylinder bores, verses head (valve stem seals). :(

You COULD just do valve stem a seal replacement IF the guides aren't too worn, to maybe help with the start-up smoke.

A compression test would better diagnose the engine's current state. ;)
 

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A compression test is a good idea, rather than just assuming what you think the engine may need. 168K is not a 'high mileage' engine on these trucks, particularly if they have been maintained. A bit of diagnostics might be in order. There are some engines that are designed for high revs - ask anyone that has a motorcycle.
 

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I know Ed has disagreed with this suggestion in the past, but...

A compression test will not isolate/evaluate which part is leaking (worn). The better diagnostic step would be to perform a leak down on the cylinders....

... Philp
 

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If a compression test checks out OK then I would first try replacing the valve stem seals without removing the head.
 

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A compression test will not isolate/evaluate which part is leaking (worn)
It will certainly disclose leakage past rings and / or valves in the form of lower that satisfactory pressure readings, no? :huh:

Additionally, further adding a tablespoon or so of lube oil to a suspect cylinder and a subsequent re-check will bump up pressures if rings / pistons were the contributing loss factor. ;)
 

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Well, I disagree with (most) y'all. :rolleyes:

Edit: Make that half y'all, but the jury is still out!
 

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I dont know why we are even debating this, especially since the OP has not indicated any diagnostic steps being taken...

.... Philip
 

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especially since the OP has not indicated any diagnostic steps being taken...
And that is precisely why we are suggesting that he does, in support of his questions / concerns! :)
 

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I think it's because we don't have anything better to do:D
Maybe you dont, but I am working on an injector failure @1600'...

... Philip
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks for all the input. I am a novice so I wasnt sure where to start. I will do the compression first, and if I can figure it out the leakdown test
 

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A little off topic but a question for you Phil. I read in one of your posts that the main bearings were put in then line bored at the factory...is this correct? The reason I'm asking is I see you can buy undersized inserts for a bottom end rebuild...how do you know that's the way they were put in at the factory?
Way back when I was researching, the early engines had poor castings. To address this issue the bearings were inserted then the assembly was line bored, It was highlighted in the FSM that the bearings were numbered and could not be moved to other journal beds...

Not sure why they were not line bored before the inserts, why they could not have set thicker bronze into the bottom end.

How you use this information is entirely up to you.. If I were doing a rebuild, plastigauge would be my companion...

... Philip
 

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As an after thought, any one thinking of tackling a bottom end refit, check the bearing beds for vertical cracks. also check the exterior of the block for deformities and cracks between the cylinders (water jacket)..

.... Philip
 
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