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Old 02-12-2018, 08:17 PM   #1
kimohands
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1995 SL1
Default Ticking, Odd Idle, Inconsistent Power, Possible Chain?

My Manual 1995 Saturn SL1 180,000 miles has been having the same issues for a while now. It's a combination of a wandering idle, around 100 rpms up and down but not all the time.

Subtly inconsistent performance, seems fine just driving between 20 to 50 but seems wonky during take off almost stalling one second then suddenly fine, or hesitant trying to go closer to 60. Its hard to tell, the feeling is subtle but there.

It also seems to be getting worse. I asked it for some power the other day and for the first time it flat out refused. I don't expect a lot from the engine but i know what it should feel like.

I feel like i can hear the timing chain in between shifting gears. and it definitely has some lifter ticking.

The engine has had pistons drilled for oil drainage, new rings, pretty much all new seals and sensors. The only thing never changed was the timing system. So i have a timing kit coming I'm just looking for some input if anyone has any ideas.

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1995 Saturn SL1 SOHC 5Spd

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Old 02-12-2018, 08:51 PM   #2
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Default Re: Ticking, Odd Idle, Inconsistent Power, Possible Chain?

Try removing the EGR valve and blocking the ports for it on the head.

It is unlikely valve timing would change, in an intermittent way, enough to affect performance.

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Old 02-13-2018, 10:04 AM   #3
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1995 SL1
Default Re: Ticking, Odd Idle, Inconsistent Power, Possible Chain?

I'll check it out. The EGR valve was replaced with a new one in 2015, but it does sound consistent with my issues.

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Old 02-13-2018, 12:09 PM   #4
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1999 SL2
Default Re: Ticking, Odd Idle, Inconsistent Power, Possible Chain?

Quote:
Originally Posted by billr View Post
Try removing the EGR valve and blocking the ports for it on the head.

It is unlikely valve timing would change, in an intermittent way, enough to affect performance.
Simply unplugging the EGR should be sufficient to test. As that is how I discovered mine was clogged. Two cans of carb cleaner freed up the valve inside enough to where I could depress it with finger pressure. It'll throw a SES light but will clear after about 30 minutes after getting hooked back up.

Ticking wouldn't be caused by the egr, may be lifter noise.

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Old 02-13-2018, 06:51 PM   #5
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Default Re: Ticking, Odd Idle, Inconsistent Power, Possible Chain?

I unplugged the egr valve and didn't notice a difference.

I would say that the car does consistently bog down the more i ask of it. When i punch it trying to get up to 60 it feels like its kicking back on me, but very very lightly. You'd miss it if you weren't paying attention. Like little tiny misfires. When i take it easy it doesn't really want to get up to 60 its a struggle.

I'm getting about 26 MPG. There is definitely something robbing me.

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Old 02-14-2018, 12:48 PM   #6
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2002 SC1
Default Re: Ticking, Odd Idle, Inconsistent Power, Possible Chain?

Check for a clogged catalytic converter. Remove the front O2 sensor and go for a drive. This provides an escape path for exhaust. Look at where the exhaust will exit with the sensor removed and consider fabricating some sort of metal deflector if the exhaust from the O2 sensor port will hit something that might melt.

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Old 02-14-2018, 12:54 PM   #7
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1995 SL1
Default Re: Ticking, Odd Idle, Inconsistent Power, Possible Chain?

I've checked that before, i guess whoever had it before me smashed the cat out.

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Old 02-14-2018, 10:07 PM   #8
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Default Re: Ticking, Odd Idle, Inconsistent Power, Possible Chain?

Disabling an EGR valve, by unplugging the hose/cable that controls it, isn't an adequate test. You have to remove the EGR valve and block the ports in the head that the exhaust flows through. I know that is contrary to another opinion posted.

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Old 02-15-2018, 02:34 PM   #9
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1995 SL1
Default Re: Ticking, Odd Idle, Inconsistent Power, Possible Chain?

Blocked the egr valve no change.

I did notice that everything seemed fine until after it reached temp. After that is bogs down a few hundred RPM to low when i stop and the idle wanders sometimes.

I have replaced in the last 3 years the MAP sensor, the IAC valve, the Throttle position sensor, the throttle body with one of the same year and engine, the intake air temp sensor, the coolant temp sensor, the O2 sensor, and probably about a doze other things.

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Old 02-20-2018, 09:56 AM   #10
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Default Re: Ticking, Odd Idle, Inconsistent Power, Possible Chain?

We had to replace some of the valves when we did the rebuild. We ended up getting some from the junk yard. Could this be the issue?

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Old 02-20-2018, 11:46 AM   #11
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2003 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
Default Re: Ticking, Odd Idle, Inconsistent Power, Possible Chain?

Exhausting all suggestions without any improvement still leaves one or two things not suggested, fuel filter and possibly worn out fuel pump. Did you replace the fuel filter at 100k miles? Checked fuel pressures with a pressure gauge?

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Old 02-20-2018, 11:54 AM   #12
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1995 SL1
Default Re: Ticking, Odd Idle, Inconsistent Power, Possible Chain?

Pump and filter were both replaced last year.

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Old 02-20-2018, 12:52 PM   #13
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Default Re: Ticking, Odd Idle, Inconsistent Power, Possible Chain?

Did you check fuel pressures? I don't trust my own work after repairs and if I can, is use any tool or equipment to ensure a repair doesn't backfire........

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Old 02-20-2018, 01:04 PM   #14
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Default Re: Ticking, Odd Idle, Inconsistent Power, Possible Chain?

Fuel pressure was right around 35 idle.

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Old 02-20-2018, 02:55 PM   #15
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Default Re: Ticking, Odd Idle, Inconsistent Power, Possible Chain?

Is this '95 SL1 sohc with throttle body injection (TBI)? If yes, the TBI has a fuel pressure regulator that may be worn out and needs to be replaced. Its just a rubber diaphragm and easily accessible after removing the tbi for bench repair. Check for a leaky injector too after turning on ignition by looking straight down the throttle opening for fuel, preferably with someone turning on ignition while you observe the tbi for fuel spraying. Turning on ignition and not starting should cycle the fuel pump to generate pressure without the injector leaking fuel.

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Old 02-20-2018, 03:13 PM   #16
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Default Re: Ticking, Odd Idle, Inconsistent Power, Possible Chain?

I have a 95 sl1 sohc with MPFI.

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Old 02-20-2018, 05:37 PM   #17
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Default Re: Ticking, Odd Idle, Inconsistent Power, Possible Chain?

I pulled the dip stick and my oil seemed to smell pretty gas heavy.

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Old 05-15-2018, 07:49 PM   #18
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Default Re: Ticking, Odd Idle, Inconsistent Power, Possible Chain?

Just a quick wrap up here.

It definitely seems as though i have an electrical issue. The car used to flood when it rained making it very humid. I believe that it messed with some of the wiring in the car.

I replaced the pcm and now the car gets to 50 without an issue and accelerates in 5th gear again. Im getting 30 MPG on average now.

The engine still surges up and down at idle. Maybe I'll never figure it out. I'm pretty happy about how its running now.

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