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Old 05-16-2018, 06:40 AM   #1
Nekomimi
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1996 SL1
Default Misfire cylinder 3 then 4 diagnosis help

I'm lost, it started off pretending to be an electrical issue, but I've done, plugs/wires/coil pack/ignition module no change, then I changed the fuel filter, nothing, my current idea is maybe there's a wire or something that's shorting out I dunno :/

Compression test shows I haven't burned a valve thankfully.

Cold and dry;
1-2-3-4
10 pump base line
209-208-179-179
-7----7----5----5-- Number of pumps to reach maximum pressure
Wet test
(I squirted a couple pumps of oil in the cylinders and cycled twice before testing, but one might of had too much and one not enough)
After ten cycles
240-210-270-240

I didn't do a count on this one because it was late and I was getting a little squirrelly, thankfully there isnt a burned valve.

Everything worked and ran fine the Sunday morning, then in the afternoon on the first startup it began misfiring cyl 3. I swapped coil packs it moved to cyl 4. Swapped back, then back to cyl 3 again. Changed the coil pack, and then is been cyl 4 ever since. I've changed plug positions and tried different ignition wire on #4. No difference. Tried a different OEM ignition module, didn't help with the misfire. At idle it does the blinking SeS light, accelerate/drive and then everything runs smooth and the blinking stops after the excess fuel in the cylinder is out. but it bucks at certain rpm, and can also be smooth at the same rpm if reached in a particular fashion.

Any chance the seafoam in the gas dried out the Piston rings and made them stick causing lost compression, that might be fixed now that I oiled them?(I doubt, but hopeful, also I think I'm done with seafoam in the gas)

Spark plugs are after driving two days on it, 4-3-2-1
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...
'96 SL1 Originally the family car, passed on to me as my first. "Hellcat" 240,000+ miles and purring smooth.
My Mug is filled with the lost souls of imports.

Last edited by Nekomimi; 05-16-2018 at 06:49 AM..

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Old 05-16-2018, 08:27 AM   #2
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1998 SC2
Default Re: Misfire cylinder 3 then 4 diagnosis help

I would do a cold leak check on the exhaust system. You have a few symptoms of an exhaust leak.

Exhaust leak check.
--Locate a low pressure high volume air source, reversible vacuum cleaner, large fan, leaf blower or what ever you can find.
--Loosely couple to cold exhaust at the tail pipe, or direct fan at tail pipe.
--Spray every inch of the exhaust between the head and CAT outlet flange with a mixture of 2 or 3 drops of dish soap and water in a spray bottle.
--Pay close attention to the lower flange, lower support clamp, and flex connector.
--The flex connector is under the protective braid so it requires quite a bit of solution to show any leaks.


A very small leak may cause a very lean or rich condition depending on engine load and RPM. These effects will appear random.

Where are you getting replacement coils and ICM modules? Have you cleaned the ICM connector with contact cleaner? A intermittent connection in that connector could be the problem as well and is rather hard to pin down.

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Old 05-16-2018, 08:34 AM   #3
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Default Re: Misfire cylinder 3 then 4 diagnosis help

One coil was a new BWD part and the module plus could came from the salvage yard. Newer 2002-1 model I believe.

Hmm, I've never had an exhaust pressure problem, even when my order flex pipe ratted out. Ill give a try though. But it does make me wonder, could it be the upper o2 sensor? I might of ruined it is such a way it's not tripping a cide

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My Mug is filled with the lost souls of imports.

Last edited by Nekomimi; 05-16-2018 at 08:45 AM..

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Old 05-16-2018, 09:19 AM   #4
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1998 SC2
Default Re: Misfire cylinder 3 then 4 diagnosis help

If you have any leak at all it will have an affect on the O2 sensor. The exhaust is a gas system and gas is not a solid. There is nothing between the molecules in a gas.

The gen-3 ICM that I have here, pulled from a low mileage car, exhibits some of the same issues you are describing. Go find a couple of gen-2 modules and coils without any rust on the coil core.

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Old 05-16-2018, 01:42 PM   #5
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Default Re: Misfire cylinder 3 then 4 diagnosis help

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldNuc View Post
If you have any leak at all it will have an affect on the O2 sensor. The exhaust is a gas system and gas is not a solid. There is nothing between the molecules in a gas.

The gen-3 ICM that I have here, pulled from a low mileage car, exhibits some of the same issues you are describing. Go find a couple of gen-2 modules and coils without any rust on the coil core.
True, it's just weird it's been fine and has now decided to act up. As well as only affecting one cylinder, I would think it would misfire all of them. But I'm definitely going to inspect the sensor when I get home too.

I'll have to wait on the ICM's, salvage was out of gen2 ones. Though my original is the gen2 and it is performing identically. Is there still a chance of it being at fualt?

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Old 05-16-2018, 02:10 PM   #6
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1998 SC2
Default Re: Misfire cylinder 3 then 4 diagnosis help

I would go for plugs and wires unless you know they are good. I know you changed them so that leaves the ICM. They can fail identically or it is in the connector. Getting another ICM is the easy check. You will not see anything with the sensor. Figure out how to pressure test the exhaust and be sure to check the manifold to head gasket.

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Old 05-19-2018, 05:48 PM   #7
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Default Re: Misfire cylinder 3 then 4 diagnosis help

Ok, so I bought a set of NGK Copper, left the gap alone, ( they were all the same and perfect) and did the exhaust check, I do have a large leak at the flex to cat connection, it's not the first time and it's never ever given me grief, will fix it. (Explains why is been louder lately)

Another theory i came up with, is what might of been one issue, was fixed, but then another issue took it's place and behaved the same way.

Idk, I have a few more things to do before I test start, will report back.
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Old 05-19-2018, 06:09 PM   #8
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1998 SC2
Default Re: Misfire cylinder 3 then 4 diagnosis help

You can have multiple issues with almost identical symptoms. A hole in the exhaust will exhibit different symptoms depending on RPM and engine load. Generally you would see the mixture varying wildly between too rich to too lean in a narrow RPM band and then more or less stable but overly rich or lean for a wider RPM band. The overly rich or overly lean can cause hesitations when it flops back and forth from 1 steady state to the other.

Clean new plugs are worth the investment when trying to TS an ignition problem.

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Old 05-19-2018, 06:55 PM   #9
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Default Re: Misfire cylinder 3 then 4 diagnosis help

Yeah, Makes sense to me. Any chance the egr could also cause an issue since it's linked to Cylinder 4?

Also pulled and put back the O2 sensor just to look at it. And I sprayed electrical contact cleaner on the ICM plug.
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Old 05-19-2018, 10:58 PM   #10
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1998 SC2
Default Re: Misfire cylinder 3 then 4 diagnosis help

Is that a Bosch O2 sensor of the universal type?

EGR can cause issues but usually at idle. If you have a rough idle then block it off and see if the problem goes away. Looking at the sensor it has been rather hot and I suspect the exhaust leak is causing a bad case of too lean to run correctly.

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Old 05-20-2018, 06:00 AM   #11
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1995 SC2
Default Re: Misfire cylinder 3 then 4 diagnosis help

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nekomimi View Post

Compression test shows I haven't burned a valve thankfully.

Cold and dry;
1-2-3-4
10 pump base line
209-208-179-179
-7----7----5----5-- Number of pumps to reach maximum pressure
180psi is the service minimum for a dry compression test. Looking at the #1/2 cylinders, you have compression loss which would appear to be the rings based on your wet test. Could also be a blown head gasket, which I am going to ask if you are losing coolant or noticed even a slight coolant loss?

However, the wet test made your compression numbers considerably too high for a gasoline engine that is running 9.3:1 static compression.

So, for the purposes of simplicity, I will stick with the dry tests.

I agree with OldNuc that you may have an exhaust leak, looking at the rear O2 sensor. Exhaust leaks can cause nasty misfire, if the leak is bad enough.

Looking at the #1 cylinder spark plug, the #1 cylinder is running too hot or too lean, which may be indicative of an intake manifold gasket leak. These weren't common on the 1991-1999 SOHCs, but gasket can fail on any engine. It may just be a vacuum leak.

The rest of those plugs look to be oil-fouled, which brings me to the question of how much oil is this engine using?

I like the suggestion of blocking off the EGR to test idle, since the pintle could be sticking and due for a cleaning.

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Old 05-20-2018, 06:02 AM   #12
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Default Re: Misfire cylinder 3 then 4 diagnosis help

In my experiences with burnt valves(as I have burnt valves in two engines, in my life), they will cause a very rough idle to the point of stalling, backfiring, severe power & fuel economy loss, but will smooth out the roughness as engine rpm increases.

There won't be a lot of "bucking" with burnt valves, just a dead cylinder.

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Old 05-20-2018, 10:57 AM   #13
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Default Re: Misfire cylinder 3 then 4 diagnosis help

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldNuc View Post
Is that a Bosch O2 sensor of the universal type?

EGR can cause issues but usually at idle. If you have a rough idle then block it off and see if the problem goes away. Looking at the sensor it has been rather hot and I suspect the exhaust leak is causing a bad case of too lean to run correctly.

It's the direct fit Bosch.

@SatNight,

You mean cylinder 3&4? And the test showed it wasn't the valves at least, witch I'm very appreciative for.

I was batting a coolant loss issue for the previous week before and during the misfire. but it was the JY tank and then the new tank, losing coolant out of the bottom sensor port as far as I could tell. So I washed my original and put it back on.

I was thinking the plugs were suffering more from getting washed with fuel and not properly firing to ignite and burn off the soot.

Oil use is minimal, but the oilpan leaks, zero oil fogging on an (Occasional) wot luanch.

I suspected a head gasket leak, but there's none of the other fluid where it's no supposed to be and I'm not fogging the highway. Just dumped coolant down the tire well.

I don't know if I've communicated this exactly, the car starts and runs fine initially, but once its warmed up and the rpm drops below 1000 at idle, is when it would start missing.

...
'96 SL1 Originally the family car, passed on to me as my first. "Hellcat" 240,000+ miles and purring smooth.
My Mug is filled with the lost souls of imports.

Last edited by Nekomimi; 05-20-2018 at 11:08 AM..

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Old 05-20-2018, 01:34 PM   #14
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Default Re: Misfire cylinder 3 then 4 diagnosis help

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nekomimi View Post
It's the direct fit Bosch.

I don't know if I've communicated this exactly, the car starts and runs fine initially, but once its warmed up and the rpm drops below 1000 at idle, is when it would start missing.
Fix all of the exhaust leaks or you are going to be chasing ghosts. There is nothing wrong with the head or gasket. That idle behavior sounds a lot like a leaking EGR so block it off.

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Old 05-20-2018, 02:28 PM   #15
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Default Re: Misfire cylinder 3 then 4 diagnosis help

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldNuc View Post
Fix all of the exhaust leaks or you are going to be chasing ghosts. There is nothing wrong with the head or gasket. That idle behavior sounds a lot like a leaking EGR so block it off.
Will do to both, going to change my oil and fix the exhaust while it's on ramps.

I pulled it off and looked at it, nothing seemed out of place. Diagnostics are fun <3

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Old 05-20-2018, 06:18 PM   #16
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Default Re: Misfire cylinder 3 then 4 diagnosis help

You will not see a leaking EGR. Turn it upside down, fill the pintle side with light oil and stick a rubber tipped blow gun in the other port press hard and open the air. If there is a cloud of oil then it leaks. Messy but it works.

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Old 05-20-2018, 08:41 PM   #17
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Default Re: Misfire cylinder 3 then 4 diagnosis help

Ahh, yeah, true, sounds fun

Well, when I drove up on stands, the choppy idle at "warmed" below 1000Rpm it was no longer there. The slight misfire when accelerated was there still there I noticed as I was creeping up the ramps.

Well, looks like again the previous attempt to seal this had blown out, so now I've got real stuff on this, JB Extreme Heat(Actually rated for the highest exhaust temp) , the final solution to this join hopefully.
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Old 05-21-2018, 12:23 PM   #18
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Default Re: Misfire cylinder 3 then 4 diagnosis help

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldNuc View Post
Fix all of the exhaust leaks or you are going to be chasing ghosts. There is nothing wrong with the head or gasket. That idle behavior sounds a lot like a leaking EGR so block it off.
I agree with this, now that he provided more information.

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Old 05-22-2018, 06:51 AM   #19
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Default Re: Misfire cylinder 3 then 4 diagnosis help

Changed the oil then went on a test drive last night, acted normal for the most part idling up to temp before I went. Slight un-even sounding idle, but steady on the guage. Then sitting in traffic it began idling rough. But just rough and drops down and back in rpm, not cattastophically misfiring like it was before.

There was also a slight "buck" once during the drive around.

Going to clean the EGR next. I've got another to try if it doesn't do it.
Anybody else have a small collection of EGR Valves?

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Old 05-22-2018, 08:01 AM   #20
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Default Re: Misfire cylinder 3 then 4 diagnosis help

I am going to test with it blocked first, no worries. ^^

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