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Low Compression 1-3 cylinders

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Old 06-06-2010, 11:20 PM   #1
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Low Compression 1-3 cylinders

Truck drove fine had clutch replaced, when returned to get truck the truck had a hard time starting. Technician told us that the radiator was leaking prior to arrival. When I went to pick up truck I brought Tons of water!!! The whenever the temp started to rise from the 210 I knew it was starting to warm up so I would pull over and fill with water. After about the 5th time I filled it up. Tried to start and it was clear there was no compression!! I knew head gasket was toast. Truck sat in garage for about 8 months. Finally took head off and found 2 and 3 cylinders filled with water. Surface rust on cylinder walls. Crank was frozen. After rocking the truck in gear and using the starter I was finally able to break it loose. I lowered the pistons and honed out the cylinders (pistons still in bore) During head removal a couple of the head bolts were almost hand tight. Cylinder head had rusted valve faces. I decided to lap the valves and try to reassemble in fear the motor was toast anyway. Truck didn't start however when I performed another compression test on the first crank compression went up to 70 immediately. And maybe 2-4 pds more there after. #4 cylinder is at 110psi but at 70 on the first stroke. I added a cap full of oil to each cylinder and each one went up about 30psi. So I am leaning towards the head however if the timing chain has jumped that would cause a low compression reading. The truck ran like a champ prior to this problem. I have a new head ordered.

I have added a little oil to each cylinder to help rings then tried to fire it up with starting fluid but no luck. Spark, and fuel are present. After attempt to fire cylinders still pushing 100psi So I am thinking maybe the timing chain may have jumped and the mechanical timing is off.

When using the starting fluid down the intack throttle body it backfired like a flame thrower!!

Fuel pressure at the rail is normal.

I have poured mystery oil down each cylinder to attempt to free up sticking rings

All fuses are good.
Old 06-07-2010, 09:33 AM   #2
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Re: Low Compression 1-3 cylinders

Getting better compression by adding oil to the cylinder means the compression rings are bad, nothing to do with the head.
Old 06-07-2010, 10:07 AM   #3
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Re: Low Compression 1-3 cylinders

The rust in the cylinders will cause a low compression until the rings seat again.
Put a set of timing gears, chain and chain tensioner in it. Also get a bolt kit for the head and add a little oil to each cylinder before installing the new head. If your budget allows put a thermostat and temp sending unit on too.
YOu didnt say what engine you have but I hope it is a 2.2 and not the 2.5. The 2.5 will have to have the cam gear pressed on and that means you'll need to remove the cam itself.
Hope this helps you .
Old 06-07-2010, 05:19 PM   #4
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Re: Low Compression 1-3 cylinders

Yea its the 2.2l. I did put some oil in the cylinders. I put that Mystery oil on the cylinders last night just to try and free up any sticking rings. I know that the oil in the cylinders means rings are bad but the truck sat for 8 months, my thinking was maybe with all the diagnostics the fuel washed the cylinderwalls. Where do these heads usually crack? I have thought about putting that really really thick head gasket repair oil in the cylinders and just let that syrupie oil seap down the walls and try and help the rings seal so I can at least get it to fire. Any thoughts on just yankin the block out as it stands and re-ringing the pistons? I have 3 of these s-10s for pool cleaning trucks and my idiot employees trash them!! Need truck back on road fast but 125k miles. Prior to headgasket truck ran beautiful!!!!
Old 06-07-2010, 05:47 PM   #5
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Re: Low Compression 1-3 cylinders

Quote: Originally Posted by SH-60B
Getting better compression by adding oil to the cylinder means the compression rings are bad, nothing to do with the head.
Not necessarily true. Like I said the truck sat in garage for 8 months. With all the rust build up the rings could be sticking. Also bad timing, (mechanical not the ECM) could cause low compression. When oil is added it creates a better seal. Also if I am correct first stroke of 70 to 90 with no increase tells me there is definately a problem above the deck. Not to mention the oil is always going to increase compression period even on a new vehicle. The simple fact that it takes up space leaves less room for the air so naturally it will compress more.

I do agree i have a problem with the rings. When the drops of oil were added and and I tried firing up using eather I should have recieved some type of ignition response. I got a little bit of backfire and then back to low compression. I do think that maybe tensioner is off

SH-60??

Anybody else have any thoughts.
Old 06-07-2010, 06:01 PM   #6
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Re: Low Compression 1-3 cylinders

Anyone think that maybe that constant adding of cold water on a 105 degree day could crack the head. The constant heating it up then cooling it down with tap water could maybe cause a hydrostatic crack. Any thoughts?
Old 06-07-2010, 08:14 PM   #7
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Re: Low Compression 1-3 cylinders

The 2.2 head does not like to be over heated.
If the rings are stuck and the cylinder walls are rusty that would cause low compression, also you said that the valves had rust on then. Were the valves seats in the head pitted?
Did you see any crosshatch pattern on the cylinder walls that did not have rust on them?
MY 2.2 head cracked around number 3 spark plug.
Old 06-08-2010, 03:42 PM   #8
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Re: Low Compression 1-3 cylinders

The valves and the seats were pretty bad. I lapped them with a drill but valves still had some pitting. Didn't see any crosshatch pattern prior, but like I said I did take a hone to the walls to remove the rust. It was thick at the water line. I have a new head on the way. $175 on Ebay w/ year warranty. Have to see how it goes. I also should be changing the timing gears. Only problem I had on last truck was getting the dampener hub off!! Then getting it back on took an act of god!! Had puller and 3/4" impact!! During install I snapped the bolt!! So a little scared of timing chain. Headgasket is easy after 1st
Old 06-11-2010, 01:39 AM   #9
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Re: Low Compression 1-3 cylinders

Quote: Originally Posted by poolguy24
Not necessarily true. Like I said the truck sat in garage for 8 months. With all the rust build up the rings could be sticking. Also bad timing, (mechanical not the ECM) could cause low compression. When oil is added it creates a better seal. Also if I am correct first stroke of 70 to 90 with no increase tells me there is definately a problem above the deck. Not to mention the oil is always going to increase compression period even on a new vehicle. The simple fact that it takes up space leaves less room for the air so naturally it will compress more.

I do agree i have a problem with the rings. When the drops of oil were added and and I tried firing up using eather I should have recieved some type of ignition response. I got a little bit of backfire and then back to low compression. I do think that maybe tensioner is off

SH-60??

Anybody else have any thoughts.
Gotta dis-agree on that point. If compression comes up when you add oil to the cylinder, the compression rings are bad. That's the test for rings.
Pull the timing cover to verify the timing if you think you need to. IDK how likely it would be for the timing chain to jump and the head gasket fail at the same time, I'm guessing "not very". The original rings won't "re-seat" and the motor will smoke when you eventually get it running. You should have installed new rings when you dingle ball honed it, assuming the cylinders are even round.
I think you're headed for dis-appointment with all these half-measures.

Last edited by SH-60B; 06-11-2010 at 01:43 AM.
Old 06-11-2010, 10:01 AM   #10
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Re: Low Compression 1-3 cylinders

Do a leak-down test, that will pinpoint a compression leak.
Old 06-12-2010, 02:01 AM   #11
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Re: Low Compression 1-3 cylinders

SH-60B You were right about it burning oil.......only for about 20 minutes before it now runs like a champ! As far as the timing chain is concerned that was for maintance, however it was a tool brainstorm. Used for question form. The chain tensioner was clearly worn so I was most definately lossing compression! But you were right re ringing it would have been best option however its a company truck and employees just destroy them anyway!! Needed it on the road asap!
Old 06-12-2010, 02:08 AM   #12
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Re: Low Compression 1-3 cylinders

Whatever you dont put that Bars head gasket fix in there I know someone that puts that in every car they own. needless to say they go through a car every 2-3 weeks. at the moment he has a 2.2L s10 and has bout 8 bottles of that stuff in there, how it still runs I'll never
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