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Old 03-01-2015, 03:35 PM   #1
zmarrott
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1995 SC2
Default 1995 SC2 Timing Problem

So just today i felt the exhaust note of the car change and have a big reduction of power. ive narrowed it down to a timing issue due to it sounding very similar to my uncles ion that had the timing go bad. is there a way to determine what exactly has broken in the timing before i dig into the engine to fix it? it still starts, runs, and gets me to my destination, but it sounds terrible and has no umph anymore. engine has roughly 100k on it (though no the kindest driving for the past 15k miles since ive owned it) and chassis has 311k.

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Old 03-01-2015, 04:44 PM   #2
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Default Re: 1995 SC2 Timing Problem

Sounds like you burned one of the exhaust valves for cylinder #3. Whatever the exact cause, start with a compression test. You're looking for 180-210psi in all 4 cylinders, but the engine usually runs decently down to 160psi as long as it's fairly even across all 4 cylinders.

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Old 03-01-2015, 05:40 PM   #3
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Default Re: 1995 SC2 Timing Problem

how do you get a specific cylinder from a basic description of the problem? i do have a valve tap, but its been there for almost a year and im pretty sure it was an intake valve because i couldnt hear anything with a mechanic stethiscope on the headders. another pre-existing condition is the exhaust ends behind the catylitic converter. welds broke on it

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Old 03-01-2015, 06:08 PM   #4
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Default Re: 1995 SC2 Timing Problem

Burned valve makes no noise. The #3 exhaust closest to the #4 cylinder is usually the first to go, not always but a very safe bet at this point in the process. Do a compression test. Once the problem is identified the possible causes and fixes can be covered.

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Old 03-01-2015, 06:41 PM   #5
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Default Re: 1995 SC2 Timing Problem

Quote:
Originally Posted by zmarrott View Post
how do you get a specific cylinder from a basic description of the problem?
SOHC heads crack around one of the cam journals and DOHC engines burn an exhaust valve on cylinder #3. I got better MPG with 3 injectors plugged in (nearly as high as before the valve burned but still down 3-4mpg) but had the power to move the car down the road with all 4 plugged in (loosing ~10mpg).

If the compression test shows all 4 cylinders within 10psi of each other, the next step is taking the valve cover off to check the rockers and the timing chain. If not...you're looking at a rebuilt head, a couple gaskets and a timing chain set.

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Old 03-01-2015, 06:45 PM   #6
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Default Re: 1995 SC2 Timing Problem

No rockers to blow out in the 95 DOHC. Should be pretty simple.

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Old 03-01-2015, 07:26 PM   #7
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Default Re: 1995 SC2 Timing Problem

would a burned valve happen suddenly? i feel like that would be a slow process. it happened while i was driving, and it started fine, then part way through the drive it suddenly changed. didnt notice the power loss at first cuz i was going down a hill, but felt it big time going back up.

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Old 03-01-2015, 07:31 PM   #8
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Default Re: 1995 SC2 Timing Problem

Yep, almost instantaneous event.

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Old 03-01-2015, 08:11 PM   #9
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Default Re: 1995 SC2 Timing Problem

Compression test will certainly tell you if you have a burned exhaust valve, DOHC's are known for this, If you do a lot of wide open throttle and high RPM's this increases the chances of burned valves as the fuel mixture leans out in the higher RPM range.

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Old 03-01-2015, 08:33 PM   #10
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Default Re: 1995 SC2 Timing Problem

It is not supposed to lean out at WOT. If there is a burned valve then there is a problem to be fixed along with a valve replacement.

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Old 03-01-2015, 10:32 PM   #11
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Default Re: 1995 SC2 Timing Problem

well i do redline it commonly, so that would make sense. not able to do anything yet on it for probably a few days tho. should it be fine running it to go get parts and tools? im trying to be very careful and dont want to blow the engine, cuz i will not be able to afford that repair.

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Old 03-01-2015, 10:38 PM   #12
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Default Re: 1995 SC2 Timing Problem

Other than being somewhat weak it will run fine with a burned valve. You will also have to fix the fuel delivery system if you want to persist in winding it up like that. Should fix it anyway. Many people have run them for months with known burned valves, nothing broke.

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Old 03-01-2015, 10:38 PM   #13
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Default Re: 1995 SC2 Timing Problem

Whenever there is an apparent major problem with an engine, like very low power hints at, it is risky to continue operating it any more than necessary to trouble-shoot the problem. Will something get damaged right away, positively-for-sure? Impossible to say, it's your gamble...

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Old 03-01-2015, 10:42 PM   #14
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Default Re: 1995 SC2 Timing Problem

oh, one more question for the night: if per say it is a timing issue, does anyone know if the dohc engine would make contact between the valves and the pistons on total timing failure? i dont know what its called but i know some engines do and some dont

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Old 03-01-2015, 10:53 PM   #15
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Default Re: 1995 SC2 Timing Problem

Quote:
Originally Posted by zmarrott View Post
oh, one more question for the night: if per say it is a timing issue, does anyone know if the dohc engine would make contact between the valves and the pistons on total timing failure? i dont know what its called but i know some engines do and some dont
Yes if you break the chain the intakes get bent. It is possible to have the top guide fall apart and then you can jump time but that makes a lot of noise before it happens. Bent valves show up as a rapidly cranking engine with no compression sound from the exhaust while cranking. Most of this can be diagnosed without having a compression tester. Taking the cam cover off will tell you if it is timing. Turn engine clockwise until the pulley outer rim notch is straight up and see where the cam pip marks point, should also be straight up. I f you do not see them turn crank 1 turn clockwise and see where they are.

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Old 03-02-2015, 01:18 AM   #16
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Default Re: 1995 SC2 Timing Problem

Quote:
Originally Posted by zmarrott View Post
So just today i felt the exhaust note of the car change and have a big reduction of power. ive narrowed it down to a timing issue due to it sounding very similar to my uncles ion that had the timing go bad. is there a way to determine what exactly has broken in the timing before i dig into the engine to fix it? it still starts, runs, and gets me to my destination, but it sounds terrible and has no umph anymore. engine has roughly 100k on it (though no the kindest driving for the past 15k miles since ive owned it) and chassis has 311k.
You could easily use the poor mans method and remove the spark plugs, then use equal lenght pencils or similar to watch and see if the pistons go through their strokes properly.

Short of taking the cam cover off, this will let you see if anything is broken that causes piston interference. I would assume if you aren't hearing it this isn't the case.

And personally I'd find a compression tester to use while those plugs are out, as that is the quick way to find out if you burned a valve. But with only part of an exhaust system in place, anything could sound funky, and you might have something unrelated to the valve train, such as a stuck EGR.

Did you get any codes at all?

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Old 03-02-2015, 03:43 AM   #17
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Default Re: 1995 SC2 Timing Problem

ive been getting a check engine light constantly ever since i installed my cold air intake over a year ago. its off when i start the car but comes on after about 10 min. dont remember what code cuz something is messed up and nothing can get a response from the computer when plugging it in. i did the manual way to check once and it was some generic code. the computer was replaced same time as the engine about 100k ago. and i know what my car sounds like with half exhaust when it runs correctly (and i think it sounds awesome like that). its been like that for a long time. only recently had to complete it to get it registered where i now live and the weld broke so it went right back. the condition of my exhaust wouldnt case this unless it got plugged

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Old 03-02-2015, 07:59 AM   #18
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Default Re: 1995 SC2 Timing Problem

You are going to have to come up with the code number and as you have an OBD-1 car you can pull the code yourself. A hole in the exhaust between the engine and CAT inlet very well could be the cause of that code you are experiencing. You need to run a compression test and possibly pull the cam cover and actually look at the timing chain and timing. If the engine turns over the pistons are moving as designed.

Run a compression test, if all readings are good then the problem is not in the engine. If all are very low take off the cam cover and check timing. If only a single cylinder is very low it is a valve and can be confirmed by air injection and listening for where it leaks out at.

Last edited by OldNuc; 03-02-2015 at 08:08 AM..

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Old 03-02-2015, 08:23 AM   #19
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Default Re: 1995 SC2 Timing Problem

Quote:
Originally Posted by zmarrott View Post
ive been getting a check engine light constantly ever since i installed my cold air intake over a year ago. its off when i start the car but comes on after about 10 min. dont remember what code cuz something is messed up and nothing can get a response from the computer when plugging it in. i did the manual way to check once and it was some generic code. the computer was replaced same time as the engine about 100k ago. and i know what my car sounds like with half exhaust when it runs correctly (and i think it sounds awesome like that). its been like that for a long time. only recently had to complete it to get it registered where i now live and the weld broke so it went right back. the condition of my exhaust wouldnt case this unless it got plugged
Wide open throttle attempts and a cold air intake equals lean fuel mixture, Which causes a burned valve, The timing chain most likely is fine as long as the oil level has been maintained and it has not been run on the add line several times, I would get the code read and report back, The less you drive it the better off right now, You don't want to cause anymore damage then is already there.

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Old 03-02-2015, 09:02 AM   #20
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Default Re: 1995 SC2 Timing Problem

Is the generic code 12 (3x), done manually with a wire jumper in the diagnostic connector?
There's another way to check on engine compression/burned valve/missing spark/fouled injector; with the engine idling, pull one plug wire at a time and observe.

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