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Old 10-28-2011, 11:21 AM   #1
mannsjp
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1997 SW2
Default '97 SW2 pings after warm idle

Bought a '97 SW2 w/99K this spring cheap and have been tinkering with it ever since.

Replaced the ECTS first thing with brass. New plugs, wires, timing chain, guides & gears, EGR removed, cleaned & replaced. Several coolant and oil leaks plugged. One small coolant leak to go which sadly looks like it's coming from the head gasket. (Drips on top of the thermostat housing - have to top off every 2 weeks or so)

It now runs great cold & runs great warm until you have to stop at light (or traffic jam) for more than a minute or so. When accelerating, it pings more than a little for a few minutes until up to highway speed for a few minutes, then ping goes away. No apparent loss of power or roughness during acceleration. Not exactly sure when this started, it seems to have come on gradually. Seems worse during warm weather.

Haven't tried a tank of premium yet as suggested by many, but will do that next time I fill up. Gets about 35mpg without a watercraft on the roof.

A couple months ago SES light was on for a couple weeks with code P0420 (maybe), but that went out and hasn't come back after I replaced the knock sensor - first crack at the ping issue. Replacing the knock sensor didn't change anything, but disconnecting the battery cleared the code (after major sparkage when I bumped the starter wrenching off the old knock sensor)

T-stat replaced just a couple days ago when I had cooling system drained to replace leaky heater core. (Thanks ShawnV ) Now dash temp gauge just under 1/2 mark when warm, but was just over 1/4 mark with old t-stat. Haven't pulled the ECM fuse to reset everything yet.

I haven't tried blocking off the EGR ports yet, since the pinging shows up after warm idle, but from what I read if the EGR passes too much exhaust, I'd get bucking & wheezing, not pinging. Any ideas?

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Old 10-28-2011, 11:35 AM   #2
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1998 SC2
Default Re: '97 SW2 pings after warm idle

Do you have a scanner?

Try a tank of premium.

When did you replace the fuel filter last?

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Old 10-28-2011, 01:20 PM   #3
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Default Re: '97 SW2 pings after warm idle

Thanks for the quick reply OldNuc.

No scanner yet. Considering ScanGauge2 but open to other ideas.

Fuel filter hasn't been replaced that I know of. Seems I'd be dealing with other problems if the fuel filter was plugged. Worth a shot though.

The noise sounds a lot like a pinging to me but could be something else. Only reason I say that is the noise doesn't seem to change much when stepping on the gas, but does get louder as RPM goes up. With electronic control of spark advance, some of the old-timer queues might not apply any more.

A tank of premium will answer that question next week.

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Old 10-28-2011, 03:52 PM   #4
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Default Re: '97 SW2 pings after warm idle

OldNuc has mentioned a product, Bars Leak Golden Seal or something like that (made with crushed ginger and walnut hulls or something), which might help on the slow leak. It's the one specific product, though, as a lot of stop-leak products will make things worse without stopping the leaks

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http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=150270

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Old 10-28-2011, 05:00 PM   #5
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Default Re: '97 SW2 pings after warm idle

Try the premium gas and locate some BAR;S LEAKS tablets, the gold powder is gone do not use the silver . http://www.barsproducts.com/HDC.htm only use 2 tablets MAX. Grind them into powder and dump into reservoir while engine is running right into the area right above the outlet hose, front left corner.

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Old 11-01-2011, 05:29 PM   #6
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Default Re: '97 SW2 pings after warm idle

Tanked up with Amoco Ultimate yesterday - no apparent change to the ping signature. Yes, it does sound like marbles being poured on cement when it's doing what it's doing so I don't know what else it could be.

Pulled a spark plug yesterday and it looks pretty normal.

If the EGR passage is blocked off, could this cause it - along with carboned up heads when the T-stat made it run too cool?

Bars Leaks Golden Seal going in soon. Obviously stabbing in the dark without a scanner. Suggestions there welcome.

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Old 11-01-2011, 06:23 PM   #7
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Default Re: '97 SW2 pings after warm idle

Quote:
Originally Posted by mannsjp View Post
If the EGR passage is blocked off, could this cause it - along with carboned up heads when the T-stat made it run too cool?
Yes, but I would expect premium fuel to make a difference, in that case.

Carbon raises the compression ratio, but with premium fuel, the engine will run fine with a significant compression increase.

The EGR system cools the combustion chamber, which will reduce the chances of pinging, but blocking it shouldn't cause pinging if nothing else is wrong. Many people have had no (short term) problems by blocking off the EGR valve (although doing so has very little purpose and can be problematic in the long run).

Assuming the problem is an excess buildup of carbon the PCM should hear the pinging, and adjust ignition timing to remedy it, before it becomes audible to you. Unless the problem is far more severe, the PCM should be able to compensate for it. I would check the knock sensor (make sure the connection is good, and perhaps swap in a junkyard replacement).

A scanner would help immensely. If it shows no input from the knock sensor, and/or no knock retard, you know the sensor (or connection, or possibly wiring) is bad.

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Old 11-01-2011, 06:27 PM   #8
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Default Re: '97 SW2 pings after warm idle

Put the EGR back in service. Remove EGR and then start a warm engine. That will clean out the EGR ports. Engine will rev to 4000 RPM so be forewarned. Then install EGR.

Does it ping when you gently accelerate? Or does this take a wide open throttle from low rpm in 4th or 5th to make it happen? When and how is the info that is needed to figure it out.

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Old 11-02-2011, 09:23 AM   #9
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Default Re: '97 SW2 pings after warm idle

Pings even on gentle acceleration. On the original post, I said the pinging happens only after a warm idle, however it will seem to ping very occasionally - barely noticeable- even if the car never stops once it's warmed up. It is, however, the most noticeable when accelerating (even as gently as possible) after idling warm.

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Old 11-02-2011, 10:43 AM   #10
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Default Re: '97 SW2 pings after warm idle

I would hazard a guess that this is not preignition. You need an experienced ear to listen to it.

Have you tried warming up the engine, shutting it off, disconnecting the O2 sensor, and seeing what happens?

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Old 11-02-2011, 12:45 PM   #11
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Default Re: '97 SW2 pings after warm idle

Not yet. I assume this would make for a richer mixture with O2 sensor out to lunch, which would at least reduce the pinging. I'll try that this afternoon.

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Old 11-02-2011, 01:34 PM   #12
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Default Re: '97 SW2 pings after warm idle

Yes, that is exactly what I want to find out.

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Old 11-03-2011, 10:35 AM   #13
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Default Re: '97 SW2 pings after warm idle

Thanks OldNuc & others for your invaluable guidance.

Pulled the O2 sensor wire after it was warm, restarted, & drove for 5 minutes. ping was still there. Now convinced the ping isn't pre-ignition. Popped the hood with motor running & revved it some, sure enough the 'ping' was coming from the timing chain side of the engine. Hmm.

I expected the timing chain to rattle at idle, as it did before the chain, gears & guides were changed, but it's obviously not that far gone yet. What now? Am I best off replacing everything again, as the chain's been slapping itself silly? Should I pull the oil pan & clean out metal bits knocked off by the chain? What should one look out for when doing a timing chain job, given the last chain only went 7K miles? (My goofball uncle did the chain back in April - maybe he left a screw or two loose. :-) )

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Old 11-03-2011, 12:32 PM   #14
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Default Re: '97 SW2 pings after warm idle

With a completely cold engine. Take off the belt and then start the car and see if it still makes noise, you have about 3 minutes of run time from cold. The chain will not make any noise even remotely like a ping, nor will it make a sharp metallic rattle.

My guess is a lifter and that is probably due to oil characteristics and filter pressure drop.

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Old 11-03-2011, 12:51 PM   #15
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Default Re: '97 SW2 pings after warm idle

Sadly the noise only shows up when completely warm, and not during idle. I'll poke around more carefully with a stethoscope next time I get the chance.

I guess I'd expect a rhythmic click-click-click for a bad lifter, this noise is more a rattle and the chain seems more likely to make that noise.

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Old 11-03-2011, 10:27 PM   #16
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Default Re: '97 SW2 pings after warm idle

Chain does not rattle. It is possible for the guides to self destruct and then it will rattle but you will hear that at any RPM hot or cold. Noises that show up when hot and not cold are not likely caused by the chain.

What is the condition of the belt and tensioner??

Have you removed the cam cover and actually looked at he chain, top guide and sprockets?

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Old 11-28-2011, 12:30 PM   #17
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Default Re: '97 SW2 pings after warm idle

This problem wasn't a ping after all (no surprise), nor an oil pressure problem, or anything else inside the engine. Sure got sidetracked with the noise consistently appearing after warming up though, and the rattle coming from what sounded to my old ears to be coming from engine internals on the passenger side.

The power steering pump made just a tiny buzz when idling, but it didn't really change much when turning the wheel, so I didn't think twice about it. As OldNuc suggested, though, I pulled the serpentine belt off when it was warm (rattling when revved) and the rattle went away. Power steering pump pulley had too much play, so that was that.

Also got the transmission side engine mount replaced. Made a significant reduction in general rattles that seemed to come from everywhere in the car when idling cold. A cheap and easy fix that made a big difference.

Thanks again everyone for your help.

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Old 11-28-2011, 12:55 PM   #18
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Default Re: '97 SW2 pings after warm idle

Rattles are very hard to find and with a PCM/ECU controlled engine if you have any noticeable preignition or detonation then the knock sensor has failed. By design you will never have pinging or detonation. If you do her it then you have a component failure.

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