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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Just purchased a 92 sidekick 2dr 4x4 8V. It does not run very good, starts and idles fine, drives down hiway up to 75mph ok, but it makes some noise like it is missing a sparkplug, there is a loud popping noise, an exploding noise all the time. Previous owner said he gave it a tune up (plugs,wires,cap,rotor, valve cover gasket,and he replaced dist. O-rings) but said it was low on compression in #2. I will get a guage and check this (yes I know how to do it properly). It just seems like it should run alot worse with low compression in 1 cylinder. It seems like it runs better from 65-75 than 25-30 Any idea whats going on--mixed up plug wires, timming belt jumped a tooth,? Also he had replaced cat. converter and rest of exhaust with a cherry bomb at end of header and no pipe after it. Doesn't it need backpressure from the cat to run properly? I'm going to give it a better, quieter exhaust, any suggestions on a cat, muffler? It also has a cold air intake with a k&n. There is NO smoke coming from exhaust.
 

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As suggested, compression test, then leak down test. Interim check: exhaust manifold for cracks (remove heat shield); ignition timing (O-ring replacement), spark miss at night or in darkened garage. O2 sensor in place? EGR system functioning? Just some thoughts.
 

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x2 to the compression test. And probably checking the valve lash, as well, which can affect compression. On your car, you should be getting about 170 psi on all cylinders. If you find one that is lower, try putting a teaspoon full of oil into the cylinder and running the compression test again to see if it brings the compression up. You should also check to make sure your spark plugs are gapped at .028".
Just curious if your check engine light is on with the key on and off when the car is running, and if you can get a code 12 from the computer.
Check Engine Light
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
ohoh

Well, there is no light show when engine is running, the O2 is there, there are no cracks in exhaust manifold, so I took out plugs and #3 was a very little wet and dark, so before putting new plugs in to do a compression check with a hot engine, I did a cold compression check just to see what was going on, here are the readings, now remember I drove this kick 75mph for 70 miles to get it home and there was no smoke at all and it drove OK, there were some hills that gave it problems but nothing real bad. #1=120 #2=105 #3=0 #4=120 Thats right #3 was zero, the needle moved off its rest but thats it. Whats going on, hole in piston, lobes fell off cam, bent valves? The piston is moving up and down because I put some tubing in the spark plug hole and it moved when I turned the motor over. The CEL does not light up so I'm checking the bulb. What do you think?
 

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Well, there is no light show when engine is running, the O2 is there, there are no cracks in exhaust manifold, so I took out plugs and #3 was a very little wet and dark, so before putting new plugs in to do a compression check with a hot engine, I did a cold compression check just to see what was going on, here are the readings, now remember I drove this kick 75mph for 70 miles to get it home and there was no smoke at all and it drove OK, there were some hills that gave it problems but nothing real bad. #1=120 #2=105 #3=0 #4=120 Thats right #3 was zero, the needle moved off its rest but thats it. Whats going on, hole in piston, lobes fell off cam, bent valves? The piston is moving up and down because I put some tubing in the spark plug hole and it moved when I turned the motor over. The CEL does not light up so I'm checking the bulb. What do you think?
1st thing I'd do is check the timing belt install (valve timing) and replace CEL bulb that's been removed.
 

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The CEL must be on with the key in the on position (and off when running, if all is ok). If it is not on with the key on, then you need to pull the panel and check/replace the bulb.
Regarding your compression test, confirm that you pulled the F1 fuse, pulled out all the spark plugs, had the battery well charged, and floored the gas pedal when you were cranking the engine. If so, then yeah, you need to check the timing belt.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
No CEL bulb and no Brake bulb. Having a hard time finding the GE #18 bulb for the CEL, not at any parts stores. Yes compression check done correctly but this was a engine cold compression check, also had clutch pedal depressed. I will check timing belt next.
 

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Until you figure out why #3 has no compression, not much else matters.

I'd use a leak down tester and a hose to listen in the intake, exhaust and crank case to figure out where the "compression" is going. It could be as "easy" as a valve adjusted to tight or a bigger issue like a bent valve or a hole in the piston.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Well there is no "compression" to listen to, the air goes out as fast as it enters the combustion chamber. The spark plug does not look like it was installed during a burning of a hole in the piston. It shows wear but no greater than the others. The engine makes no metal noise. If the intake valve was stuck open, it should make it run badly because of all the air going back into the manifold from the cylinder on the compression stroke? It does idle high and rough. And if the exhaust valve is stuck open the air in the cylinder would be gone before the spark? Maybe the loud noise I hear is gas igniting in the exhaust?
I'm going to see if I can get the bulb from the Suzuki dealership.
 

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Pull your valve cover and check to see if the lifter for that cylinder is working, valve stuck, etc.
 

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Well there is no "compression" to listen to, the air goes out as fast as it enters the combustion chamber. ...
That is why I said "USE A LEAK DOWN TESTER" It supplies the pressure from an air compressor. For this use you could just use the adapter that comes with the kit and screws into the spark plug hole and you can connect the air hose to it. Use very low pressure. After making sure there isn't any pressure building up, slowly crank the motor and listen at the intake, exhaust and crank case for air flow.

Another thing does it hold water in the cooling system? A pressure check of the cooling system is something else to look into. But I suspect you'd know if this (head gasket) was leaking.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
After a little thought, motor comes out today. Was going take off valve cover and then head if needed but, there would still be some oil leaks that need to be fixed. Rear main and oil pan. So whole engine is going to be refreshend. Any tips? We will use it mainly to get to Mtn. property that includes 100 miles at 75mph and dirt roads from 7000' up to 11000' where the property is.
 
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