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Old 10-24-2012, 02:48 PM   #21
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The machine shop didn't say a damn thing. They suck. Parts didn't even come back as clean as they should have. There were little tiny metal specks like glued into the head.
What work did they do? What did they charge you for? What did you say when you dropped it off? What did they say when you picked it up? What's on your invoice for labor/parts?
It seems strange to me to pay for a service, with no idea what was actually performed.
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Old 10-24-2012, 03:19 PM   #22
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What work did they do? What did they charge you for? What did you say when you dropped it off? What did they say when you picked it up? What's on your invoice for labor/parts?
It seems strange to me to pay for a service, with no idea what was actually performed.
Straight up, took them my head as well as that junkyard short block. I told them I wanted everything cleaned and just serviced for a rebuild. The same **** they always do when I take them parts. I have no idea the machine work they do. I know they hot tank cast iron parts, they honed the block, rebuilt the head for me, did a valve job, cleaned my pistons and rods, and checked all of the parts for straightness/roundness/whatever but I don't know much about it or machine work at all for that matter. It's not my business as long as results are good, so this is the first time that it has been my business. I was charged $213 total for everything, and this shop doesn't give invoices, they don't take cards, cash only... Which is a little strange, yes, but they're legit. This is something like the 30-40th time that I or one of my friends (associates as well, I'm talking 40 year old engine builders) has taken parts to them for a rebuild. One of my old best friends works there part time. The machine shop wasn't at fault. He's aware of the problems I'm having, and the last time I took it to him, he reground valves and valve seats, thinking that metal from my PnP job had gotten in there, and gave it back. He's been at fault 2 instances that I know of from the past out of those 30-40, and both times, he openly admitted it and fixed the problem free of charge, only with mine, the head doesn't seem to have been the problem.

To answer your other questions, I told them to prepare parts for a full rebuild and to rebuild the head with a valve job performed.. Clearly. When everything was finished, they told me all the parts I brought them were good. I put cash in his hand, I walked out with a shiny engine block and rebuilt head. Also, water did not leak past the valves. They're shutting nice and tight, and at the right time.
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Old 10-24-2012, 04:35 PM   #23
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Updates... Dry compression, closed throttle, cold (obviously)- 120-75-75-75.

What kind of compression should I be seeing with an upside down middle ring? 75? Because here's what I'm thinking.... I used the book to do the first piston, and tapped it into its bore so the staggering wouldn't mess up while I did the other ones. Then the other 3, I did by memory, which doesn't always serve me. It makes sense that I may have installed the first one correctly, and then the next I messed up, and continued the incorrect installation for the other two.

Put a few drops of oil, used starter fluid, took a 5-min long video while I walked around spewing everything that came to mind. Going to post this video so you guys can see what's going on... The last 3 minutes are probably nothing important just as a heads up.
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Old 10-25-2012, 01:40 PM   #24
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Bump...
Could really use some verification here before I take my engine back apart...
Here's how it looks right now, tell me if this was in your garage not running you wouldn't spend every waking minute trying to get it started.

Actually this isn't how it looks. I took this a few days ago with the head in the machine shop. So it's missing a head in this pic. But still...
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1.6 Turbo Miata Close to Starting After Rebuild-65337_457407447644957_705210045_n.jpg  

Last edited by SprungMS; 10-26-2012 at 06:21 PM.
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Old 10-26-2012, 02:28 PM   #25
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Updates... Dry compression, closed throttle, cold (obviously)- 120-75-75-75.
Every compression test result I've ever seen has the assumption of open throttle, dry, warmed up engine, battery preferably on a charger/tender so the starter cranks at the same RPM for all cylinders.

Even still there's a lot of room for variances, which is why a leak down is optimal.

That said, it sounds like you're chasing false leads as to the non-start condition. Check/swap your sensors, check/test your wiring. Borrow known working components if possible.
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Old 10-26-2012, 06:17 PM   #26
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Every compression test result I've ever seen has the assumption of open throttle, dry, warmed up engine, battery preferably on a charger/tender so the starter cranks at the same RPM for all cylinders.

Even still there's a lot of room for variances, which is why a leak down is optimal.

That said, it sounds like you're chasing false leads as to the non-start condition. Check/swap your sensors, check/test your wiring. Borrow known working components if possible.

Let me give you a background. I am not in my town. I'm living with my damn parents until I can get this car situation worked out. No one here has provided even an ounce of helpful information. You say I'm chasing false leads, where is your positive lead? You tell me to "check/swap" sensors. Tell me this. What sensors will my car not start without? This is what I think of. Cam angle sensor. O2 sensor (which it will still start, I just assume on engine management that input is necessary.)

My cam angle sensor is months old. I bought a new one CHASING FALSE LEADS and found that it wasn't the problem, but the 22 year old wiring was. I rewired the sensor, and boom, it starts.



I have leakdown tested it, air goes through the crankcase, doesn't hold pressure for ****.

For the ******* compression test, it's cold because it will not start. Opening the throttle gives me no more compression. I have tested it with the battery jumped to a running car, no difference from my battery charger being hooked to it, in performance or cranking speed. At 13.3 volts, I'm getting about 675-700rpm.


I do not have parts available for swapping. I have spent literally $2800 since I started this job. I have checked ALL of my wiring and everything is working properly, correct voltages at all sensors, etc. Fuel on plugs, strong spark, I'm pulling my pistons back out to check the rings.

Last edited by SprungMS; 10-26-2012 at 06:24 PM. Reason: Don't want to start a war.
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Old 10-26-2012, 07:12 PM   #27
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Have you wet tested all cylinders? Perhaps only one cylinder is wet with oil from assembly.

You need to do the test with a VERY healthy battery or have it jumped to another running car and use wide open throttle for all cylinders.

If a few rings are upside down then yes it will cause this. If it were me Id wet test it, then if it still shows bad readings Id pull the sump off and crank out and check the pistons.

Dann
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Old 10-26-2012, 08:34 PM   #28
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Don't get all pissy with the MT.net. You're asking for help with an engine that you and your friend of questionable skill built, with no pictures of the build. There isn't much more we can do to help you over the interweb.

Did the engine run fine before the rebuild? If so, unless you changed/messed with the electrical side of things at the same time, I'd lean toward the engine having an issue.
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Old 10-26-2012, 11:19 PM   #29
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Have you wet tested all cylinders? Perhaps only one cylinder is wet with oil from assembly.

You need to do the test with a VERY healthy battery or have it jumped to another running car and use wide open throttle for all cylinders.

If a few rings are upside down then yes it will cause this. If it were me Id wet test it, then if it still shows bad readings Id pull the sump off and crank out and check the pistons.

Dann
Please read my thread. I've wet tested all cylinders upwards of 20-30 times. I've had the car jumped to another running car (truck actually) since I started trying to get this car running. I now have it plugged up to a battery charger, and the battery is at 13.1-13.4V on my multimeter constantly. I'm tearing the engine down now.

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Don't get all pissy with the MT.net. You're asking for help with an engine that you and your friend of questionable skill built, with no pictures of the build. There isn't much more we can do to help you over the interweb.

Did the engine run fine before the rebuild? If so, unless you changed/messed with the electrical side of things at the same time, I'd lean toward the engine having an issue.
I'm not just getting pissy here. I'm just getting pissy.
I have rebuilt several engines of my own, as well as several more with associates/friends/whatever. I have also worked in repair shops, and done extensive engine work for customers with no problems. This is literally the first rebuild that I've had a problem and not been able to fix it with an hour or two of "checking". Including timing, wiring, etc.
When the engine is apart, I'm going to have a friend take pictures of EVERYTHING. And I mean it. Everything. Both sides of pistons everything. The engine ran perfectly before the rebuild, until it started to smoke. Piston ring problem I assumed, it was symptoms characteristic to worn piston rings. A month or so after that issue arose, I spun a rod bearing. Tore down the engine to find destroyed ringlands on one piston, which explained my smoking issue, and of course, a nice flat bearing on another cylinder's rod. Instead of rebuilding this engine block, I went to the junkyard, and pulled a short block. I used junkyard pistons, rods, crankshaft, and short block for the rebuild. Also oil squirters and pump, basically what came out with the block. I had a '93 long nose short block in it before. The short nose I pulled was the only short block I could find in town.
I used the junkyard baffle and oil pickup tube as well, although I used my previous oil pan, since it already had my turbo's oil return welded into place. Both short blocks came out of Miatas with manual transmissions. The new one had signs of overheating, but not badly enough to have damaged anything. Slight discoloration on piston sides was all. Not egg-shaped or anything else.



That's all the information that was just floating around in my head. Hopefully when it comes all the way back apart, I'll notice something obvious about the rings. Otherwise, I'm done with it, and it's getting towed to somewhere in town to become someone else's headache (for me to pay for).


Sorry I got snappy earlier, and not to make excuses, but I've been nice and sick today, not to mention my dad straight up told me that I personally am tearing my family apart. I haven't had the best day in the world. And I still haven't been able to drive my car for nearly two months.
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Old 10-27-2012, 02:07 PM   #30
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I just pulled my fuel return and feed, as a last step to remove the head... I haven't had the ignition on since yesterday, and haven't done anything to pressurize the fuel system.
The return line came off first, and poured a good bit of fuel out. I mean it was pressurized, a flowing stream the size of the metal line. I popped the line back on, and pulled the feed to make sure I wasn't crazy and somehow had mixed up the lines. I got a stream out of the feed as well, but not nearly as thick. I put that line back over the metal line, and took the fuel cap off, then pulled both. After that, it was as expected. No fuel in the return, and the feed has a little bit of fuel down the metal line, but nothing leaking out.

My question is... Is that normal for the return to retain that much pressure that it can push the fuel back through the line?
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Old 10-27-2012, 02:14 PM   #31
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It sounds like you've been through the wringer with this thing.
Trouble is so many components have been sourced/changed/replaced/rebuilt over time it's difficult to do much more than speculate when the only consistent result is the non-start condition (kinda... from your previous posts it sounds like it did start/run briefly?).
I had a non-start condition when I changed my timing belt a few months back, turned out I was an idiot and put the cam gear back on the camshaft in the wrong position. That's something extremely difficult to diagnose in person, much less over a forum. Only way I caught it was to look at 1000 pics of timing belt alignment online and realize that my intake gear was oriented differently than the pics. This sounds like a similar outcome on a much larger scale.

The components in the head + the overall timing is pretty intricate, and there's a lot of places where things can be assembled incorrectly that would cause a non-start condition. I'd focus effort in that area and see if you can find anything.

Good luck, hope you get it figured out.
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Old 10-27-2012, 02:48 PM   #32
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It sounds like you've been through the wringer with this thing.
Trouble is so many components have been sourced/changed/replaced/rebuilt over time it's difficult to do much more than speculate when the only consistent result is the non-start condition (kinda... from your previous posts it sounds like it did start/run briefly?).
I had a non-start condition when I changed my timing belt a few months back, turned out I was an idiot and put the cam gear back on the camshaft in the wrong position. That's something extremely difficult to diagnose in person, much less over a forum. Only way I caught it was to look at 1000 pics of timing belt alignment online and realize that my intake gear was oriented differently than the pics. This sounds like a similar outcome on a much larger scale.

The components in the head + the overall timing is pretty intricate, and there's a lot of places where things can be assembled incorrectly that would cause a non-start condition. I'd focus effort in that area and see if you can find anything.

Good luck, hope you get it figured out.
Thanks for this... Well I have done the same thing you said you did, in that I've found every single picture online of a 1.6 with correct timing, and I've matched my engine to them 100%. I'm sure I have valve timing correct, and the I/E marks on the gears help to keep them from being misaligned, intake cam gets the I on where its dot is, exhaust gets the E. Then the opposite letter points to the seal plate marks.
You're correct, I did get it to run, but only for about 10 seconds while the residual oil in my cylinders burned off lowering compression to the point where it stalled.
I'm convinced it's either a piston ring problem or something is holding the valves open very slightly in 3 cylinders, but even that doesn't seem very likely. Cams are installed correctly, and the machine shop assembled my valves/guides/seals/springs/retainers, I thought maybe I had too much oil in my buckets causing the valves not to completely close, but I've cranked the engine over enough that any extra should have bled out. I've tried to start it enough that I'm actually getting worried about my starter.

Like I said, I'm tearing it down, taking pictures, and then putting it back together. If I can't get it started after it's together again, it's being towed to a shop.
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Old 10-27-2012, 05:04 PM   #33
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Thanks for this... Well I have done the same thing you said you did, in that I've found every single picture online of a 1.6 with correct timing, and I've matched my engine to them 100%. I'm sure I have valve timing correct, and the I/E marks on the gears help to keep them from being misaligned, intake cam gets the I on where its dot is, exhaust gets the E. Then the opposite letter points to the seal plate marks.
You're correct, I did get it to run, but only for about 10 seconds while the residual oil in my cylinders burned off lowering compression to the point where it stalled.
I'm convinced it's either a piston ring problem or something is holding the valves open very slightly in 3 cylinders, but even that doesn't seem very likely. Cams are installed correctly, and the machine shop assembled my valves/guides/seals/springs/retainers, I thought maybe I had too much oil in my buckets causing the valves not to completely close, but I've cranked the engine over enough that any extra should have bled out. I've tried to start it enough that I'm actually getting worried about my starter.

Like I said, I'm tearing it down, taking pictures, and then putting it back together. If I can't get it started after it's together again, it's being towed to a shop.
If anyone wants to take a crack at diagnosing my issues thus far, I have taken a few pictures of the cylinder bores, piston tops, deck face, head face, combustion chambers in the head, open valves on intake and exhaust, cam lobes and buckets, and anything I thought may be useful. I even went as far as to show the "EX" and "IN" on top of the cams in the same position.

One thing I found that I thought was a little strange.... There are casting marks on the tops of the pistons, sure, we all know that. Well, my rear 3 pistons have a mark "7" on the top rear, across from the small dot whereas my first piston has the mark "2". I'm about to do a quick google search of that, but I thought I'd mention it here to see if I could get any helpful input about that and my compression numbers.

So uploading to photobucket now. I got something like 27 pictures total. If you want a better picture of something, or a picture of something I left out, let me know and I'll go snap some. I did leave my intake and exhaust manifolds both on, intake I can deal with taking off, but exhaust is going to be one helluva job, so I'd prefer to leave the manifold at least on. I can remove the turbo with little effort.


Now I feel like I need to expand on that... The manifold I have is a cast turbo manifold, top mount. The way the runners are designed, with my heat wrap on, it isn't possible to get to the middle nut with a wrench. I used a flat-blade screwdriver and deadblow hammer to turn the nut into place.

http://s1229.beta.photobucket.com/us...51480277486519

Last edited by SprungMS; 10-27-2012 at 05:16 PM. Reason: Pictures
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Old 10-27-2012, 07:16 PM   #34
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Have you tried checking valve lash yet? See if you can get a feeler gauge between the cam lobes and the buckets with the lobe facing away from it.

Not sure on the 1.6l specs but just see if you have any gap at all.
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Old 10-27-2012, 10:06 PM   #35
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Have you tried checking valve lash yet? See if you can get a feeler gauge between the cam lobes and the buckets with the lobe facing away from it.

Not sure on the 1.6l specs but just see if you have any gap at all.
I haven't tried, but I don't think one would fit at all. My understanding is that the lobes are always resting on the buckets, but until there is pressure on them from the high spots, they don't press on the valve stems.

They aren't solid lifters, they're HLAs.

Also, I can check that the valves aren't staying open, because I can put liquids in the combustion chambers without it leaking through the valve seats.
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Old 10-29-2012, 09:08 PM   #36
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Think I found the problem. It was clearly the rings. I pulled the pistons out... And there wasn't a single free moving ring on any of the pistons. I finally got all of them out, and there was a slight bit of grit on each of the rings that seems to have seized them into place. I'm replacing the rings and having the pistons hot tanked again, and if that solves my problem, I'll be posting here to let you guys know...

There was a nice 1.5"-2" section between the top 2 rings on each piston that was black from carbon where compression leaked straight past the rings.
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Old 10-29-2012, 09:32 PM   #37
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Good ****! You should bring the block with you to the machine shop and have them measure the ring end gaps again just to be 100% sure this time around. Make sure you properly stagger them too.
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Old 10-31-2012, 10:06 PM   #38
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New rings popped in, put the motor together this afternoon, and it started on the first crank. It drives perfectly, I think I'm pushing about 21 or 22 miles so far. Rings are close to broken in. Not much smoke out the exhaust anymore, still loading and letting the engine brake, 2nd, 3rd, 4th gear.

The only issue I have now... When I start to go into boost, it's fine. As soon as it hits 4-5 psi, I start to hear compressor surge, a lot of it, and my boost gauge flickers between about 2 and whatever it should be. What I've thought of is that my timing could be slightly off causing the pressurized air in the cylinders to be "pushed" back through the intake and through the turbo, but that doesn't seem likely. I counted 19 teeth between the top two marks on my cam gears.

Any ideas? Only at WOT, after I put the wastegate actuator back on. When the actuator was disconnected, I would still build about 4 psi, and didn't have a problem with the compressor surge.
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Old 10-31-2012, 10:42 PM   #39
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Do you have a bov? Lets see some pics of this thing.
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Old 11-01-2012, 02:37 AM   #40
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So. Gather round for story time....

I drove it around for 30-40 miles in constant 1-2psi range, then -24in, and repeating. The smoke out the exhaust slowly started to dissipate, and so I started building more boost, revving it up as high as but not surpassing 6000 rpm at any point. 52.7 miles. At 52.7 miles.... Tap tap tap tap tap tap tap tap tap tap tap tap tap tap tap tap tap tap knock knock knock knock knock knock KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK

Clearly a spun rod bearing. Pulled over, called the tow truck, had it towed to a shop I used to work for. Tomorrow, I'm trying to convince my wonderful mother to purchase a used 1.6 for me.
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