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Hey everyone, brand new here, first post! I just picked up a 1993 Tracker, 4x4, 222ish thousand miles and had some questions about these motors (the 1.6l 8v).

Mine runs cold, like real cold. When I first got it, the temp would rise just over the first tick and then stay there. I drove it home about 90 miles in roughly 80 degree weather in stop and go traffic and it stayed cold. I replaced the temp sender, t-stat (with a 160 degree, will be a mountain rig), radiator cap, tested the dash gauge, tested the sensor, and still nothing. It runs even colder with the new t-stat (hits the white bar and stops). Top hose is hot, bottom hose is warm/hot, and heater (new heater core) blows warm/hot. I'm about to install an aftermarket gauge for peace of mind, but was curious as to if this is normal?

Got some more questions about knocking noises but I'll start with this lol. Sorry for the long paragraphs, I like being thorough!

-Ryan
 

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i'm more worried about the knocking noise.

some of those gauges are inaccurate and don't come much off the stop. Check for good grounds, this may be a cause of the low gauge. What happens if you short the wire to ground? gauge goes full scale?
 

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i'm more worried about the knocking noise.

some of those gauges are inaccurate and don't come much off the stop. Check for good grounds, this may be a cause of the low gauge. What happens if you short the wire to ground? gauge goes full scale?
The knocking only happens around 1100-1200ish rpm and lower, but not at idle. Kinda sounds like lifters maybe? Also kinda sounds like it's from the bottom end. I'm picking up a stethascope this week. I've driven it maybe 20 or 30 miles pretty hard since I first heard it and it hasn't gotten worse, so I'm about to rule out a rod knock for now. Sounds like it gets better after being driven so maybe piston slap?

And I grounded the coolant gauge to the battery and got a full sweep. Also rad cap is hot and overflow has coolant in it.
 

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ok, gauge is working. Some read low, some read about middle. its always possible the sender is incorrect for that gauge. The fact the top hose is hot, bottom is cooler and heater is working indicates thermostat is ok and cooling systems working.

Stethoscope the noise and report back.
 

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Welcome to the forum. Your video sounds like valve ticking to me, rather than a knock. Have you done the valve lash??
And just as an aside, my temp gauge has sat at 1/4 for 25 years. The temp gauge is only important when the needle suddenly sits at a place where it wasn’t before. It’s totally electrical, so try cleaning up the contacts on the connector to reduce any resistance in the circuit. When you say that the engine is running ‘cold’...do you have good heat in the cab??
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Welcome to the forum. Your video sounds like valve ticking to me, rather than a knock. Have you done the valve lash??
And just as an aside, my temp gauge has sat at 1/4 for 25 years. The temp gauge is only important when the needle suddenly sits at a place where it wasn’t before. It’s totally electrical, so try cleaning up the contacts on the connector to reduce any resistance in the circuit. When you say that the engine is running ‘cold’...do you have good heat in the cab??
Thanks! And I have not done the lashing, nor do I know if it's ever been done to be honest. And try listening to the video again with headphones if you have some lying around? There is a definite metallic knocking from the bottom end, the clattering lifters kinda overpowers the knock on phone speakers. You can hear it really well around the 30 second mark. When I lay under the driver door by the trans, it's very noticeable. Not so much when over the motor.

And that's good to know about the temp gauge. I do get good heat in the cab. I'll probably pull the dash soon and clean up some of the.. Questionable.. Wiring from the p.o.

EDIT: here's another video from a different angle.

https://youtu.be/AamUfLSVj30
 

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sounds more valve and timing chain, I can't hear rhythmic knocking I would expect from rods. Do valve lash and see whats left after than, at least that will get rid of one part of the noise that may be masking others.
 

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Alright, so after playing with a stethascope for the last half an hour, the noise is definitely coming from the back of the motor. The loudest, clearest points I could hear it was on the very bottom of the bell housing (trans side), very back of the head where the exhaust manifold bolts on, and valve cover over cyl #4. I can hear it when pressing on the oil pan, but it's somewhat muffled. Also there is a loud sharp pinging when pressing on cyl #4 on the exhaust manifold. 1 2 and 3 do not have the pinging. I'm gonna try this again and I'll report back anything new.

Thanks again everyone for the quick responses and great help!
 

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I'll ditto the same impression as others. A couple of valves with slightly excessive lash or gapping can cause quite a chatter. Valve noise sounds almost like a random chatter, like yours. Even when gapped properly, they still make a chatter - not the quiet, smooth sound of valves driven by an overhead cam. Adjusting manual valves is seldom done these days, except on older cars. Your new acquisition may have never been touched and thus quite a chatter. As also been stated, if you had a bad rod bearing, wrist pin, or something, it would have a rythmic knocking at idle or at specific rpms, usually under load. It's often a loud knocking cadence that's almost scary! I'd check and adjust the valves first, get that chatter knocked down a bit, then go from there. Lastly, sounds like your coolant system is operating properly, just an anemic gauge. Lots of Sidekicks on the road with 200,000+ miles. They really are good little engines with modest maintenance. Good luck with yours.
 

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Sometimes rocker shaft screws come loose in the 8v. Here's a not very clear picture of a mangled rocker shaft screw that came loose.

https://postimg.cc/hfJfQtvh
 

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Valve lash tool will be here today, I'll report back if there's any change in sound once it's done. Here's hoping that's all it is!
 

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Alright, valves have been adjusted. .006 for intake and .008 for exhaust. Motor is definitely quieter but that inconsistent knock is still there. I'm almost thinking it's a cracked exhaust manifold or flex plate. I did find some small metal bits in the oil when I changed it, but that could have also been from me having to drive a screwdriver into the oil filter since the p.o. decided 200 ft lbs was the correct torque spec lol. I railed it around the block, flooring it to 4k up to 4th gear and the knock didn't get any worse, which I'm sure if it was a bearing it would have.

Top end noise. https://www.suzuki-forums.com/showthread.php?t=261223

If you scroll down to the videos on the thread, you can hear the same low knocking sounds in the first video.
 
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