replaced head gasket, and now hard to start, running rough ?? -
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post #1 of 7 Old 05-20-2010, 12:16 PM Thread Starter
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replaced head gasket, and now hard to start, running rough ??

Ok, just had head inspected and resurfaced due to small external leak in head gasket on my 2.5 4 cylinder. Drained oil and remaining coolant, connected and bolted everything back up to proper torque settings, and put in new fluids. Tried to start, and it took long time but eventually started firing with full throttle, but never smoothed out and died without full throttle. It seems like the gas and spark are not in sync. I need to know if there's a step I missed, as it doesn't appear there's anyway to adjust when the valves are opening/closing on the head. Do I need to reset the computer or something? I'll be picking up a YJ manual later today, but would love to hear some technical help while I'm at work dreaming of a smooth running YJ by tonight! thanks--Mike

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post #2 of 7 Old 05-20-2010, 01:12 PM
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Are the plug wires on right? Maybe you didn't put them back in the correct order.
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post #3 of 7 Old 05-20-2010, 01:42 PM Thread Starter
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That's a great question, but they are in the same position as when they were taken off. They're in wire loom holders that attach on the valve cover bolts, and the plug wires are pointed exactly where their respective plug is located on the head. I know this sounds retarded, but I can't see the camshaft, or if somehow it has changed position from when the head was removed, but sounds to me like the plugs are not firing when the valves are not open at the correct position, and not sure if the computer needs to be reset, or how to make sure the timing on the top matches the timing on the bottom, until I can pickup a manual and read more. thanks--Mike
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post #4 of 7 Old 05-20-2010, 02:41 PM
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1989 YJ Wrangler 
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You shouldnt have to reset the computer if you had the battery disconnect. Check the setting for #1 on the distributor. Check all the sensor connectors and make sure all the vacuum lines are on.
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post #5 of 7 Old 05-20-2010, 03:05 PM Thread Starter
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I never disconnected the battery. I will quadruple check all vacuum lines and connectors again, and will then check the distributor position, even though that was not removed. Thanks for input so far.
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post #6 of 7 Old 05-20-2010, 03:50 PM
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Sounds like your cam timing is off.

Did you line up everything properly when you put the head back on?

It sounds like you got it one (or more) teeth off on the chain.

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post #7 of 7 Old 05-20-2010, 04:31 PM Thread Starter
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Stan--When I unscrewed the head bolts, the tension on all the pushrods released, so I just removed them kept them in order, and all the valves closed. The head shop pressure tested all the valves and all checked out great, magnafluxed and no cracks, and said there was minor warping in the center, so shaved a little off. He told me to remove the rockers when inserting the pushrods, and to oil them real well, which I did. As I torqued the head back down following instructions in this forum, the rocker springs on the 1 & 4 cylinders (which had their pistons all the way down, 2 & 3 were all the way to the top) had more tension like they did before I took the head off, and I assumed this was normal from the engine not moving since the head was removed. Nowhere in this removal and install did I see any camshaft, timing chains, etc., so not sure how this could be off a tooth. That part about lining everything up properly before putting the head back on is the part that I'm in the dark about. I can't understand where I can or need to adjust something regarding the timing on the head, until I can get a manual.
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