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2nd Gen (93-97) I4 2.0L Discussion of Maint Issues for I4

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Old February 25th, 2018, 11:38 PM   #1
60ratrod
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New here, but 3rd probe for me

Sorry for breaking any forum rules, i didn't see any welcome areas like most of my other forums. Anyway, i just picked up my 3rd probe that i've owned, this being a 94 se i believe, the 2nd was a 93 base, and the first was an 89 lx. Anyway, picked this up as a commuter since my truck's averaging about 12mpg. There is SO much that needs doing/undoing. Anyway, the biggest todo item on the list is fixing a hard brake pedal.

I started by swapping the booster for one i got at one of the local self service yards(3 cheers for employee discount-no fee to get in) and replacing the drum wheel cylinders, and they got better. Before there was little to no travel with the hard pedal, but now it does move, but still stiff.

I'm thinking i may have gotten a bad unit, but i would like to know the average vacuum the 2.0 makes so i can try doing some additional troubleshooting before shotgunning more parts into the system. I have an electric vacuum pump that i use for brake bleeding, and will pull and hold around 16-18 inches of vacuum until i release the pressure, and wanna try using it for testing the booster.

Thanks in advance
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Old February 26th, 2018, 09:07 AM   #2
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... the biggest todo item on the list is fixing a hard brake pedal...
Check the check valve that is internal to the hose from intake manifold to booster. If that has been turned around backwards -you will not have the luxury of power braking. And it may even cause the engine to run poorly due to a vac leak through the booster unit. I found one like this before. Swapped the hose ends around -problem fixed!

You cannot see this valve externally in the hose. You will just have to remove it and try blowing on either end of it to determine direction. The hose should be installed so that you are blowing to the intake manifold.

Re-thinking that -it would not necessarily have a leak because the vacuum would stop at the check valve. So you just would not get vac to the booster.
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Last edited by KLZE Porsche; February 26th, 2018 at 02:32 PM.
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Old February 26th, 2018, 11:49 AM   #3
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Thanks man! I'm fairly certain that the hose is on wrong then since it runs kinda like it's got a bad leak, with an inconsistent idle fully stopped, and a lingering idle while slowing down with the clutch in, just like on a motorcycle
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Old February 26th, 2018, 07:02 PM   #4
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Found the problem. The check valve had failed closed. I can't suck or blow through either end
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Old February 27th, 2018, 08:16 AM   #5
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Found the problem. The check valve had failed closed. I can't suck or blow through either end
You might be able to soak it in carburetor cleaner long enough to loosen up the check ball -but don't leave it in there too long or it will eat the hose. After you have let it sit for an hour or two -flush it out with high pressure water (both directions). That might do the trick.

If not and you still need one and can't find one in your local junk yards (common piece for many many cars) -then let me know and I may have a spare. But as long as you find one with a good usable length -it should work from most any car that has a similar hose with check valve. Just go around the yard looking at imports and pull the hose off and give it the blow check both ways to check function. I picked a bunch of them from 626 cars the last time I was in the yard.

Good to hear that you found it! Probes are much fun when running -and not so much when they aren't.
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Old February 27th, 2018, 04:27 PM   #6
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I got one from pull and save, and didn't even get charged for it. But i had to go back to get a stock air box since the cold air intake isn't carb approved and the shop i'm at wouldn't touch it for emissions diagnostics so i can get a waiver to get it registered. But it runs way better with the stock stuff. Hopefully i can get back to get it tested and waived again today. And what sucks is 94 is the last model year to get emissions this year. Missed the cutoff by that >< much(imagine those as my fingers).

And believe me i know how fun they are. When i had my 93, i'd take it down back roads late at night when i was bored, taking turns at like 70. Smart, um hell no, but fun as hell? Totally. These cars handle great from the factory, sad Frod torpedoed the car with the name. Tbh, i'm not a Ford person, but i'm ok with probes since they're just a cross dressing Mazda mx6��������

Last edited by 60ratrod; February 27th, 2018 at 04:29 PM.
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Old February 27th, 2018, 08:08 PM   #7
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So found something useful during the diagnosis, cylinder 3 is pretty much dead with only 50psi, and the shop tech thinks the intake valves aren't opening because the plug was dry. I took the valve cover off, and didn't see anythingreally wrong top side.

What would cause a dead cylinder like that? Am i truely in for a head job? A dead lung would kinda explain the bad idle
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Old March 1st, 2018, 10:35 PM   #8
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So i found somethings when taking the head off. First, the bolts around #4 exhaust header port were loose, explaining the exhaust leak i was hearing. Second, the intake gasket was coated in anti-sieze, may have been part of the problem, but all the intake bolts were nice and tight. Third, almost all of the exhaust cam cap bolts were loose, like i could undo most of them with just my hand, but the end cap bolts were tight, so there's that. Not sure if that was helping. Fourth, the head gasket was also coated in anti-sieze, which makes cleaning easy, but makes me wonder how well the gasket actually sealed, but all the head bolts seemed to have been torqued to spec. And last, the #3 piston looked cleaner than the other 3, and not oily like bad rings, so the head is going to a head shop to get checked out. But from what the shop told me, looking into the head isn't gonna cost me, the rebuild will, if it needs a full build, which will be $300 plus parts. I may just have them go and do the works on it so i know i have a good base line with the head and know what the cylinders look like. My guess since i didn't see anything obvious in the chambers is that the head may be warped around #3 and the anti-sieze wasn't helping it seal
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Old March 1st, 2018, 10:56 PM   #9
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Was the "grease" copper color? I used some copper gasket spray on my intake before and when I took off the intake it mixed with oil from the PCV, valve (I suppose,) it looked kind of like an oily mess, was on a V6 also. Welcome.
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Old March 2nd, 2018, 02:35 AM   #10
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if cyl3 was clean then coolant was getting in, hopefully its just a bad rebuild job and the head gasket leaked and everything else can be fixed!
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Old March 2nd, 2018, 04:51 AM   #11
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Could also have been injector failed in closed position. But you need a new shop tech. Any shop tech that says that a dry plug is from a valve not opening -needs to get a new line of work as a hair dresser or some other low skilled work .
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Old March 2nd, 2018, 08:26 PM   #12
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It wasn't like perfect and sparkling, but less fired than the others. But it also wasn't white like it's been steam cleabing itself either. So i'm thinking maybe a warped head
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Old March 6th, 2018, 12:40 PM   #13
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So i managed to get up early enough to drop the head off with the head shop, which is a good shop according to all the guys i work with, and they've already checked out the head. 14 of the 16 valves aren't sealing, so i'm having the head reworked. But that explains a lot about how it was idling, maybe not the high hydrocarbon fail(2500rpm "cruise" failed for 1800ish hc count, passing is 400 hc count), but progressive steps to having a good running car. Next will be yo rip out the moldy carpet and replace it with carpet from one at pull and save, and i got the carpet i want picked out
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Old March 19th, 2018, 10:56 PM   #14
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So the head's been rebuilt and installed. Runs way better, but still has a lingering idle(2300ish on the dash before coming to a full stop) and looks like a high idle of about 1200-1500, oh and still fails emissions, but got a waiver and now will never have to worry about it again since 94 is the last emissions testing model year for this year. But i've since developed an oil leak, did some investigating and found that the exhaust cam seal is the culprit, i think i used the old seals thinking the shop gave me new ones, but my head gasket set came with new seals so i'll just do both since i'm already in there and have both pulleys off.

So i was wondering if it would be a good idea to put some sealant around the outside circumference of the seals, or just clean the seal bosses, and put just a thin coat of grease on the outsides to help get them in?

And of course I am gonna investigate what's going on with the idle, once i get the oil leak taken care of, since oil burns and is an unpleasant smell
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Old March 20th, 2018, 01:03 AM   #15
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Use very little sealant and no grease. Most people put retainers over them to stop them popping off. High idle could be a vac leak through the cam cap.
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Old March 20th, 2018, 07:07 AM   #16
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What kind of retainer stoker100?
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Old March 20th, 2018, 02:23 PM   #17
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What kind of retainer stoker100?
Usually an appropriate sized and thickness coin is jammed between the engine mount lifting point and the cam cap on the front bank and a small plate is made for the rear. Ill take pics of mine at some stage to show you if you need more info then that.
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Old March 27th, 2018, 09:01 PM   #18
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So seals are replaced, work and weather held me up. And found some fun things. First was a broken alternator bracket, the second was a broken cam cap bolt(was dreading it being stripped and having to run a helicoil), and third was apparently the cams were out of time. It runs way better now, idle still hangs before returning, but it doesn't idle as high, and still idles a little rough, but steps in the right direction. Hopefully the cam seals vanquished the oil leak.

Now the next thing to tackle will be the header to downpipe leak, hoping i can use the mls gasket i got with my head set i got, otherwise I got some gasket stock to make the replacement. And then hunt down the rough idle causes, thinking it might be in the cap and rotor, but will be cleaning the iac too, but those will come later.

After i fix the exhaust leak, i'll be doing a jank install on the radio i picked up from work since the dash is hacked all to isht from a non-exsistant double din radio that's been mia since before i got the car. Question on wire colors, is back/purple a ground, and what color is the panel light wire that's connected to the dimmer switch? My radio has an illumination wire, and it'd be nice to have it not blind me at night.
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Old April 16th, 2018, 09:14 PM   #19
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So latest and greatest update, OK not greatest, but still an update. I've fixed the downpipe leak, which was caused by the last guy not using anti-sieze, which best guess caused the threads to get all galled up since Stainless loves to gall without any lubrication, and subsequently caused me to break one bolt when taking it a part, also making me have to yank the header completely out to drill, grind, and punch the remaining bolt out of the hole, then tap clean the threads of all 3 bolt holes. Now no leaks from there, and I don't think I'm gonna chase the rest of the system for a bit.

And I got the radio working and figured out with a bit of braining. But this radio is just as janky as the rest of the car, only working on either CD or FM, and the volume knob just does whatever it wants when I try turning it up or down, oh and the screen will always go back into demo mode. But I think I kinda actually like it, since it fits in with the rest of the car LMAO.

But there is one thing that I've noticed since fixing the cam seals on this fs motor. When I did the head, I had the camera timing off, where they were probably 5ish degrees from being pointed directly at each other, parallel with the valve cover seal surface, thinking that's where it was supposed to be. The idle was way high, at around 1200, which would been great if this was a ujm vintage jap bike(i miss my vintage bikes). But the power was WAY better. So I've been thinking of adjusting my intake Cam just a bit, like maybe one or two teeth back to where it was when I first put it back together. I know these motors like a bit more timing advance in the cams as I've been able to read. But how far can I take it without having my valves high five my pistons? All I really want is to get back some of the power I had without having a high idle.

Oh and I haven't done the cap and rotor yet, or clean the iac. I've been too busy enjoying driving this car. There's just something about driving a beater that I've missed so hard. And I think all the plans I had for making this thing nice went out the window the more I drive this janky rig. At this point, I just wanna keep it in mechanically sound state, and just drive the wheels off of it
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