0 compression on cylinders 2,3,4, but ok on others - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 17 Old 03-08-2017, 08:23 PM Thread Starter
dzywicki
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0 compression on cylinders 2,3,4, but ok on others

I was looking for a Cherokee for my daughter to drive locally over the summer. finally found that was very close and seemed to be the right price. It's 98 Chili Pepper Red that has only had 1 owner. Very solid with 1 problem and I got it for $800. The 1 problem is that the engine won't run right. The previous owner said it was being drive on the highway and just quit. They hd it towed back to his house and he kept trying to get it started. He cut off the exhaust after the cat and said he got it to run but after a few minutes it would backfire and stall.
I already have a '99 that I have been through front to back. Did an in place rebuild to fix a cracked piston skirt on that one so pretty familiar with going through an engine. Have also changed the timing gears/chain in this one too so know how to do that.
Back to the '98. First step was doing a compression check. Cylinder 1 was ~110. Not a bad start considering it hasn't run in awhile and the battery is pretty weak. Cylinder 2:0, cylinder 3:0, cylinder 4:0. I go back and check cylinder 1 to make sure my gauge is still working. Get 110 on 1 again. Cylinder 5: 110, Cylinder 6: 110
Finally tally:
1:110
2:0
3:0
4:0
5:110
6:110

I don't see any oil in the coolant overflow and I don't see foaming on the oil dipstick. Next step will be to drain the oil and coolant to see what those look like.

I was surprised by the 0 values. Does this seem like a head gasket problem, valve timing problem or cracked head problem?

I don't hear any clanging around from the timing chain so I doubt it's a jumped chain.

this is what I was thinking for next steps:
drain oil for a look
drain coolant for a look
get a leak down tester and try that (hoping I can rent one)
remove timing chain cover and look at valve timing
remove head and start looking at valves

I'm just a little puzzled by 3 cylinders having 0 compression.

Would appreciate any thoughts anyone has on this.

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post #2 of 17 Old 03-08-2017, 08:53 PM
un4gvn1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dzywicki View Post
I was looking for a Cherokee for my daughter to drive locally over the summer. finally found that was very close and seemed to be the right price. It's 98 Chili Pepper Red that has only had 1 owner. Very solid with 1 problem and I got it for $800. The 1 problem is that the engine won't run right. The previous owner said it was being drive on the highway and just quit. They hd it towed back to his house and he kept trying to get it started. He cut off the exhaust after the cat and said he got it to run but after a few minutes it would backfire and stall.
I already have a '99 that I have been through front to back. Did an in place rebuild to fix a cracked piston skirt on that one so pretty familiar with going through an engine. Have also changed the timing gears/chain in this one too so know how to do that.
Back to the '98. First step was doing a compression check. Cylinder 1 was ~110. Not a bad start considering it hasn't run in awhile and the battery is pretty weak. Cylinder 2:0, cylinder 3:0, cylinder 4:0. I go back and check cylinder 1 to make sure my gauge is still working. Get 110 on 1 again. Cylinder 5: 110, Cylinder 6: 110
Finally tally:
1:110
2:0
3:0
4:0
5:110
6:110

I don't see any oil in the coolant overflow and I don't see foaming on the oil dipstick. Next step will be to drain the oil and coolant to see what those look like.

I was surprised by the 0 values. Does this seem like a head gasket problem, valve timing problem or cracked head problem?

I don't hear any clanging around from the timing chain so I doubt it's a jumped chain.

this is what I was thinking for next steps:

>>>>Pull valve cover & watch while cranking<<<<

drain oil for a look
drain coolant for a look
get a leak down tester and try that (hoping I can rent one)
remove timing chain cover and look at valve timing
remove head and start looking at valves

I'm just a little puzzled by 3 cylinders having 0 compression.

Would appreciate any thoughts anyone has on this.
This might shed some light on your situation and it's easy & quick.

Working with cars is a little like a really awesome date: you start out expecting this to be something simple and straightforward; four hours later you're laying under her, panting and cursing, and things are a lot more complicated than you thought.

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post #3 of 17 Old 03-08-2017, 09:11 PM Thread Starter
dzywicki
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I had already taken the valve cover off. Here's a pic. Defintiely not seeing anything that looks like coolant in there. I was also turning the engine over by hand and saw the valves moving. tomorrow, I'll clean some of the gunk off the side of the engine and look for any obvious sings of a head gasket problem.
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post #4 of 17 Old 03-09-2017, 10:48 AM
75SV1
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Pull the spark plugs. See if you can get some light in there. Pistons have been known to crack or get holes in them. You can squirt some oil in there. Then put back in the spark plugs. do the compression check. If any improvement, then possibly the rings are bad.
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post #5 of 17 Old 03-09-2017, 12:53 PM Thread Starter
dzywicki
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Been down that road before with my '99. Had the piston skirt crack on #6. Sounded awful. Ended up doing an in place rebuild replacing pistons, rings and rod bearings. Before I take the head off, I'll try putting oil in and rechecking. I can't imagine that 3 cylinders had catastrophic failure at the same time. My money is on head gasket. Previous owner said it ran fine and then suddenly cut out on the highway.
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post #6 of 17 Old 03-11-2017, 10:15 PM Thread Starter
dzywicki
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I figured I knew what had happened when I pulled the lower radiator hose to drain the coolant. There was no coolant! Pulled he head today since I knew it was coming off anyway. Some interesting damage to the piston tops and rings. Some scoring on #2 cylinder wall but the others look fine. On #2 the little bits of piston ring fused to the piston top. Turned the head over and put some gas into the valve side. Looks like some damage to the valve or seat on #2 (no surprise there). Will have to look further in the morning. Going to pull the pan and remove the pistons tomorrow to help decide on next step.
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post #7 of 17 Old 03-17-2017, 12:01 PM
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So, any updates?
Chris
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post #8 of 17 Old 03-17-2017, 08:14 PM Thread Starter
dzywicki
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Sorry about that. Definitely some updates. I pulled the pistons and #2 had a hole in the side. That pretty much destroyed the cylinder wall. I took the water pump off and the impeller was really bad off. I exchanged some emails with the PO and he said when the radiator and water pump were replaced, it was refilled with coolant and well water. Ouch. I found a used replacement engine with 118k on it. Picked that up today. Didn't quite get it to the stand but should be able to get there tomorrow. Pretty time crunched right now so just went with a used engine vs. a rebuild for now.
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post #9 of 17 Old 03-18-2017, 09:06 PM Thread Starter
dzywicki
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Got the motor onto a stand and got a better look. So far everything looks really good. Quite a difference for the other motor with well water int he cooling system! While I have it accessible, I'm going to rent a harmonic balancer puller and look at the timing chain. The replacement also has one of the updated exhaust manifolds with the bellows so I don't need to get another exhaust manifold. Also pulled the water pump and that looked pretty good as well. A little pitting on the impeller, but defintiely not all rusty like the previous one.
Almost ready to pull the old engine. Have to get those two PITA inverted torx nuts off the top of the trans bellhousing. Going to try the drop the remove the mounts and drop the engine down and get it from the top approach. Last time I had to get these out on the other XJ, I was removing the trans so already had the support removed and was able to tilt the trans down and use a 3 foot extension.
Hopefully tomorrow will be getting the old motor out and cleaning/panting the replacement and anything else I find that needs to be done. Still need to get a transmission inout shaft seal so I can replace that while the motor is out. Then clean up whatever I can while the motor is out of the way.
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post #10 of 17 Old 03-19-2017, 05:51 AM
jay-h
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That engine's been apart before. I'm very certain that's not a factory oil ring in the picture.

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post #11 of 17 Old 03-19-2017, 02:55 PM Thread Starter
dzywicki
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Location: Aldie
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Got the old motor pulled today. Those two top bolts on the tans took almost 2.5 hours to finally get both off. Definitely putting hex head back in for those two so they can be removed and tightened from the top. Now just need the transmission seal and some cleaning and painting and then put it all back. Have new motor mounts, water pump, radiator, thermostat, radiator cap, dist. cap, rotor, plugs.
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post #12 of 17 Old 03-20-2017, 08:46 PM Thread Starter
dzywicki
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Out curiosity, I removed the freeze plugs on the blown engine to see what the backside looked like. I am contemplating replacing all of the freeze plugs on the replacement motor and wanted to see how bad the well water ones were. I was actually very surprised when I took the starter ring off the back and then the backing plate. I found a shiny metal freeze plug. I knocked them all out and was really surprised they were not all close to rusting through.
There was some crud buildup but I was able to scrape it off and they were all solid. I hit the backside with a flat blade screwdriver and hammer a few times to verify they were all solid and they were.
Now I am curious as to which one failed on my '99. We took it to the dealer to have the leaking freeze plug replaced and it was a bill for $3 for parts and $850 for labor. I'm guessing it was the one under the backing plate. but, after seeing two motors side by side and both having a pretty much pristine metal freeze plug, makes me wonder what causes the failure. I had kept up the coolant coolant changes on that '99 too. Guess I'll never know until I pull the motor on the 99 for a rebuild someday.
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IMG_3487.jpg  
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post #13 of 17 Old 03-23-2017, 04:57 PM
jay-h
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In all my years of driving old vehicles I never had to replace a freeze* plug. Wonder if someone skimped on antifreeze.


*Even though they are called freeze plugs, they have nothing to do with freezing. They're really to clean out core material after casting as well as locate the core.

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post #14 of 17 Old 03-24-2017, 09:38 AM Thread Starter
dzywicki
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The only one that I have had fail was on my wifes '99 Cherokee. This was before I had ventured into tearing apart XJs. The bill from the dealer for the repair was $3 for the "expansion" plug and $850 for labor. I never saw the back of the block so don't know which plug is was or if it was that pipe thread thing. I have seen pictures of the pipe thread plug failing too.
I would thing that the odds of them failing are minimal, I'd like to minimize it even further while I have the chance.
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post #15 of 17 Old 03-30-2017, 06:58 PM Thread Starter
dzywicki
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Location: Aldie
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Finally got the block painting done. Can start putting it all back together for reals. Going to be coaching two sports starting next week so have to get this done ASAP.
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