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Old 12-16-2004, 12:51 PM   #1
TomM96
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Default Intermittent Knock

I bought a '96 SL [that's SOHC 1.9L] with 125K Mi, clean. I let it sit unused for a year while running my previous ride to death. Starts and runs beautifully, recently passed emissions inspection test without incident. No SES or WRENCH light. The car had previously been driven on a highway commute by a middle aged fellow.
I flushed coolant and engine oil. While flushing coolant i drove about 70 miles without thermostat installed , to make sure i had max coolant flow.
When i moved beneath car (on ramps) to inspect filter location prior to oil change, i noticed a noisy rotating assembly. One rod (i think) was quite loud, and the others made significant noise.
In view of this , after 50 miles on the fresh oil (and a Saturn/Fram filter), i added an 'engine flush' oil treatment (I think from Prestone, if not, another reputable brand) and drained, refreshed oil and installed a Wix oil filter.

After near 1000 miles driving , i can say sometimes the engine knocks (particularly cold) ; other times [almost all the time] the engine is smooth and quiet as silk.
My suspicion is that the oil pressure relief valve (pressure regulating valve) is not always moving as it should. This guess was reinforced once by revving the engine to 3000 RPM from idle {during a knock session} , and noticing that the noise disappeared immediately afterward.

I plan to do another 'engine flush' treatment when i next change the oil, which will be at about 1500 miles. I think (after some reading here) it would be prudent to replace the ECT and knock sensor, and clean up the EGR. I might as well install an oil pressure gauge, although it may not resolve the pressure difference (if any, theorized) at idle.

I saw a foto of the pressure regulator valve posted by Razorbak in his (pre-Cobra) Satty engine overhaul photographic display. Is it true that replacing this valve requires removal of the timing cover?
In view of the fact that the stock (OEM) oil pump on these Saturn engines can only be fairly described as 'world class' , it's possible the 'problem' only exists at idle, yet I'm concerned.

Any comments welcome, thanks. tom m

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Old 12-16-2004, 01:09 PM   #2
Dach
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Default Re: Intermittent Knock

Did you install an OEM t-stat and replace the ECTS? I would start there if you're not getting any codes to point in a different direction.

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Old 12-16-2004, 06:42 PM   #3
my99sl1
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Default Re: Intermittent Knock

if it sounds like a knock then most likely it could be a cracked rod. If you dont get that fixed right away the rod will most likely go through ur block resulting in getting a new motor.

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