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Engine rebuild gone wrong

Cheeko

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Happy new year!

I have a problem and wanted to ping TRS before proceeding further.

Bottom line: Rebuilt my 1999 4.0 OHV engine, fired it up the first time and it ran smooth as silk. Now it's not running at all. Think I narrowed it down to timing...maybe the gas is old and went bad?

Now it's story time. First time she ran after the rebuild I had her idling to operating temperature. When the engine got hot the A/C heater valve blew, sending coolant and (for some reason, maybe unrelated?) power steering fluid everywhere. Replaced the valve and fluids a week later, and now its got a rough idle. At that point I checked for spark at the ignition coils and plugs. Here's where I found one plug that was wet, white smoke billowing from the exhaust, and the coolant empty.

Pulled the engine and ran a leak down test, ultimately found out that the passenger side head was warped. Replaced engine head and now have compression on all six cylinders. Since the battery drained after a few days sitting, I also tested all the wires by disassembling, checking for continuity and resistance, and rebuilding both harnesses under the hood. After that, I slam-dunked the engine back in. Still no joy starting back up. I even disassembled the cabin to visually inspect wiring, and checked for continuity/ohms there. Checked vacuum, rebuilt that with new parts. Fuel pressure was low, so I replaced the pump, filter, and all the old nasty and rotten hoses. Got her started, but would only idle. This morning, she went back to her old ways. So here I am, having checked fuel, electrical, and compression. At this point I think its narrowed down to the timing. The ignition wires are set up according to what Haynes said.

I'm at the end of my rope here, if this doesn't work I'll end up selling the thing despite putting two years' work into it. Here's a list of all the stuff I replaced...thank God for Rock Auto.

Unrelated - Rebuilt transmission, front diff, axles, shocks, tires, etc.

Engine rebuild:
(I'm bad at remembering exact names) Brand new MAF, crankshaft sensor, recirculation valve, idle valve, throttle position sensor, EGR valve & switch, O2 sensors.
Brand new rod bearings, cam bearings, piston rings, lifters, valves, valve springs, rocker arms, rods, passenger side head, spark plugs, ignition wiring, ignition coils, air filter, temperature sensor, air temp sensor, water pump, chain, chain guide, and sprockets, oil pump, oil pump shaft.

Things I cheaped out on during the rebuild:
- Two of the pistons were pock-marked at the top, and after inspecting for cracks/other damage determined that they were fine after filing down any high spots. Figured it might have been from the bad bearings that I replaced.
- The drivers side head. I have good compression on all cylinders on that side. The valves, seals, rocker arms/rods all new.

If you made it this far, thank you so much for reading, and any advice would be appreciated. I really don't want to have to go through the hassle of breaking the engine down to check the timing marks.
 


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franklin2

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When all else fails, pull the codes from the computer. It may give you a clue.
 

Angie

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Something not adding up.... you rebuilt the engine, then fired it up and it ran smooth.... then after that it went for a crap?

Checked vacuum, rebuilt that with new parts. ??? how?

At this point I think its narrowed down to the timing. The ignition wires are set up according to what Haynes said. ?? The computer sets all timing. can you run the wires to cylinder diagram>? as

#1 cyl to what on dis?

follow these back for a double check, 1 side seems simple to do and the other does easy cross the wires on the firing order. 4,5,6 can be crossed up.

even a head in rough shape will run ...

cheers
 

gaz

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Cheeko,

Now that's a fun name ..)

How many miles on this engine? Has it ever been rebuilt before? How many times?

What I like about your "story" is the part where you initially fired up a freshly rebuilt engine and it ran (idle...high rpm?) "smooth as silk".

If you set the timing correct...YOU SET THE TIMING RIGHT.

So I think, did you break in this freshly rebuilt engine? Did you re-torque the lower intake manifold after break in? We're these heads milled? Did you clean the rocker arm shafts? Did you Drive this truck with the rebuild? Did you put any load on this engine? Did you go through the fuel rail while rebuilding this engine? Did you really not replace the crank shaft bearings and rear main seal???

How many miles were on this engine /build that you did not do any cylinder work?

My final thought is did you do any valve work on these heads? If you reused the original valves, they should need some attention.
 
Last edited:

Angie

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I have read this post over at least 1/2 dozen times and I am coming to the conclusion it sounds like a troll / test post. Too many things don't add up at all.

1st. Now it's not running at all. <<<< meaning or I need to ask, does it NOW this minute, not turn over, nor fire? or fires and idles?

2. maybe the gas is old and went bad? wouldn't make a difference ... see #1

3. Now it's story time. << post is fiction?

4. First time she ran after the rebuild I had her idling to operating temperature. When the engine got hot the A/C heater valve blew, sending coolant and (for some reason, maybe unrelated?) power steering fluid everywhere. Replaced the valve and fluids a week later, and now its got a rough idle. <<< so this engine is running or not? and the A/C has nothing to do with if a engine will run or not.... power steering fluid?? same thing nothing to do with engine's internals. >>> edit... did you lose any trans fluid in the torque converter and get an airlock in the trans? did the oil puke out of the filler tube??? this can lock up an engine and not make it start till it cools down and you refill trans oil.

5. At that point I checked for spark at the ignition coils and plugs. Here's where I found one plug that was wet, white smoke billowing from the exhaust, and the coolant empty. <<< didn't you see burning coolant when you had the engine running before? it would have been 100% noticeable..... and was it SMOKE or STEAM?? steam is coolant... smoke is from burning oil... and white smoke is from transmission oil. wet plug would be from fuel not being burnt. so a miss in the fire order.

6. Pulled the engine and ran a leak down test, ultimately found out that the passenger side head was warped. <<<< why would you pull out an engine to do a test that can easily be performed while the engine is in the truck?

7. Replaced engine head and now have compression on all six cylinders. <<<< you would have had compression on all 6 before... just one was lower, and why not run a compression test before pulling engine?

8. Since the battery drained after a few days sitting, I also tested all the wires by disassembling, checking for continuity and resistance, and rebuilding both harnesses under the hood. After that, I slam-dunked the engine back in. Still no joy starting back up. I even disassembled the cabin to visually inspect wiring, and checked for continuity/ohms there. <<< really? you have 9 posts here and i would expect to see you have asked many more questions here at TRS about wiring problems. even a genius would ask about some switches or plugs or something.

9. Checked vacuum, rebuilt that with new parts. <<<< This is the biggest red flag..... engine vacuum is made from engine compression. you get 1-5 lbs at wot... and should rebound to 18-20 after you let off throttle. so how did you do this test and then rebuild the vacuum?

10. Fuel pressure was low, so I replaced the pump, filter, and all the old nasty and rotten hoses. Got her started, but would only idle. <<<<< really?? did you hook back up the throttle cable?? air box plugged solid? dirty air cleaner?

11. So here I am, having checked fuel, electrical, and compression. At this point I think its narrowed down to the timing. The ignition wires are set up according to what Haynes said. <<< even bad timing with a wire or 2 out will still run, but be real rough....

12. If you made it this far, thank you so much for reading, and any advice would be appreciated. I really don't want to have to go through the hassle of breaking the engine down to check the timing marks. <<< sounds like you have done everything to get it running... so why did it die??


GAZ, everything you asked wouldn't make a hill of beans if it fires or not...
 
Last edited:

bobbywalter

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Cheeko

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Something not adding up.... you rebuilt the engine, then fired it up and it ran smooth.... then after that it went for a crap?

Checked vacuum, rebuilt that with new parts. ??? how?
By rebuilding the vacuum system I mean replaced all the old hoses and tubes with new, then verified with a gauge after.

At this point I think its narrowed down to the timing. The ignition wires are set up according to what Haynes said. ?? The computer sets all timing. can you run the wires to cylinder diagram>? as

#1 cyl to what on dis?
#1 cyl to what on dis? the ignition leads are set up like this...
70038
 

Cheeko

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Cheeko,

Now that's a fun name ..)
Thanks!

How many miles on this engine? Has it ever been rebuilt before? How many times?

What I like about your "story" is the part where you initially fired up a freshly rebuilt engine and it ran (idle...high rpm?) "smooth as silk".
150k miles. The top end was redone judging on the massive amounts of silicone sealant :poop:. The first time it wasn't making any weird noises aside from a slight tapping, once the coolant blew the tapping came back and all this chaos started.

If you set the timing correct...YOU SET THE TIMING RIGHT.

So I think, did you break in this freshly rebuilt engine? Did you re-torque the lower intake manifold after break in? We're these heads milled? Did you clean the rocker arm shafts? Did you Drive this truck with the rebuild? Did you put any load on this engine? Did you go through the fuel rail while rebuilding this engine? Did you really not replace the crank shaft bearings and rear main seal???

How many miles were on this engine /build that you did not do any cylinder work?

My final thought is did you do any valve work on these heads? If you reused the original valves, they should need some attention.
I did not mill, and the truck did not drive because the coolant blew when it reached operating temperature at idle throttle. The rocker arm shafts are brand new. I tested each injector prior to reinstalling. I replaced the rear main seal but the crank shaft bearings were within serviceable limits according to Mr. Micrometer. The pistons "appeared to be good enough" and I chose to reuse them because $$$ is tight, I did put new rings on them and honed the cylindar walls.

Thanks for replying!
 

Cheeko

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I have read this post over at least 1/2 dozen times and I am coming to the conclusion it sounds like a troll / test post. Too many things don't add up at all.

1st. Now it's not running at all. <<<< meaning or I need to ask, does it NOW this minute, not turn over, nor fire? or fires and idles?

2. maybe the gas is old and went bad? wouldn't make a difference ... see #1

3. Now it's story time. << post is fiction?
I assure you this is not a troll, but I was a few beers in when I wrote the post. Also, the post is non-fiction. Honestly, this is my first major operation at home and without help aside from what you glorious individuals have posted in the forums.

4. First time she ran after the rebuild I had her idling to operating temperature. When the engine got hot the A/C heater valve blew, sending coolant and (for some reason, maybe unrelated?) power steering fluid everywhere. Replaced the valve and fluids a week later, and now its got a rough idle. <<< so this engine is running or not? and the A/C has nothing to do with if a engine will run or not.... power steering fluid?? same thing nothing to do with engine's internals. >>> edit... did you lose any trans fluid in the torque converter and get an airlock in the trans? did the oil puke out of the filler tube??? this can lock up an engine and not make it start till it cools down and you refill trans oil.
Engine cranking, would sputter and die immediately. I understand that a lot of those things don't have anything to do with the engine internals, but decided to add those details because maybe it would help.

5. At that point I checked for spark at the ignition coils and plugs. Here's where I found one plug that was wet, white smoke billowing from the exhaust, and the coolant empty. <<< didn't you see burning coolant when you had the engine running before? it would have been 100% noticeable..... and was it SMOKE or STEAM?? steam is coolant... smoke is from burning oil... and white smoke is from transmission oil. wet plug would be from fuel not being burnt. so a miss in the fire order.

6. Pulled the engine and ran a leak down test, ultimately found out that the passenger side head was warped. <<<< why would you pull out an engine to do a test that can easily be performed while the engine is in the truck?

7. Replaced engine head and now have compression on all six cylinders. <<<< you would have had compression on all 6 before... just one was lower, and why not run a compression test before pulling engine?

8. Since the battery drained after a few days sitting, I also tested all the wires by disassembling, checking for continuity and resistance, and rebuilding both harnesses under the hood. After that, I slam-dunked the engine back in. Still no joy starting back up. I even disassembled the cabin to visually inspect wiring, and checked for continuity/ohms there. <<< really? you have 9 posts here and i would expect to see you have asked many more questions here at TRS about wiring problems. even a genius would ask about some switches or plugs or something.

9. Checked vacuum, rebuilt that with new parts. <<<< This is the biggest red flag..... engine vacuum is made from engine compression. you get 1-5 lbs at wot... and should rebound to 18-20 after you let off throttle. so how did you do this test and then rebuild the vacuum?

10. Fuel pressure was low, so I replaced the pump, filter, and all the old nasty and rotten hoses. Got her started, but would only idle. <<<<< really?? did you hook back up the throttle cable?? air box plugged solid? dirty air cleaner?

11. So here I am, having checked fuel, electrical, and compression. At this point I think its narrowed down to the timing. The ignition wires are set up according to what Haynes said. <<< even bad timing with a wire or 2 out will still run, but be real rough....

12. If you made it this far, thank you so much for reading, and any advice would be appreciated. I really don't want to have to go through the hassle of breaking the engine down to check the timing marks. <<< sounds like you have done everything to get it running... so why did it die??


GAZ, everything you asked wouldn't make a hill of beans if it fires or not...
This was my first rebuild and made quite a few mistakes in the troubleshooting process, and I'm alone throughout the entire procedure, hence why I posted my issue. In the past week I tried working out kinks to narrow down the problem and last night I was at my wits end. Your condescending remarks don't help, guess I'll try somewhere else in the future if this is what I should expect as a response.
 

Cheeko

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When all else fails, pull the codes from the computer. It may give you a clue.
You know, I re-checked the codes because I completely forgot to do so since performing the work I've done this week. Completely stupid on my part. The codes I used to pull for misfires, like O2 sensor malfunction and some other ones, were gone...this morning I got a code for the cam sensor. Replaced that and was able to drive it for the first time in a year!

I'm convinced that there is still a timing problem because I still have that terrible tapping sound, and it doesn't stall but it does hiccup at a stop sign...thanks for the reminder, I truly appreciate it!
 

alwaysFlOoReD

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Tapping...
Lifters or rockers.
Exhaust leak
Injectors
Are the usual suspects.
 

Angie

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Your condescending remarks don't help, guess I'll try somewhere else in the future if this is what I should expect as a response.

Hey not trying to be a prick, but some of what you are saying didn't add up. i am trying to see whats going on here.

As I said and made the points of. it don't add up. maybe it is in the way you were explaining what had happened.

cheers and no harm done at least you are real and not trying to jerk our chains here.
 

Angie

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You know, I re-checked the codes because I completely forgot to do so since performing the work I've done this week. Completely stupid on my part. The codes I used to pull for misfires, like O2 sensor malfunction and some other ones, were gone...this morning I got a code for the cam sensor. Replaced that and was able to drive it for the first time in a year!



Glad you got this figured out.... I have never owned a truck with this feature so I was out of place by not knowing what this is. I really did think you were some sort of test by what you were talking about in your circumstances and procedures. Because an engine should run on most ailments and from your descriptions nothing made any sense, even the work you did didn't add up.

sorry if I came across wrong, and no harm intended.

cheers

I have a block and engine where the top of a lifter somehow went into the combustion chamber once after my mistake of having the intake open and missing this part falling into the engine. after firig it up it ran for a few minutes before i shut it off. after tearing the engine open, the part had split the piston top by embedding the part into the piston, and hammered the shit out of the valves in the head... my point is, even with all that damage the engine still ran. so they take an immense amount of abuse. no start is different than no turning over and no spark.

cheers
 

James Morse

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Isn't injector tapping a normal thing?
 

bobbywalter

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