My !@#$%ing Tracker

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Bent valves?

Yes, there are bent valves
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No, it's something else. Dig deeper.
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narnwv
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My !@#$%ing Tracker

Post by narnwv » Sat Sep 15, 2012 5:50 pm

So in 2010, I bought a 2000 Chevy Tracker, with a 2.0 DOHC 4 cylinder. (some of you may remember it, I posted some pics).

I drove it about 5000 miles, and it died on the wife one day in traffic mid-October. She thought it ran out of fuel. No noises or anything when it quit. I put fuel in it, went to crank it, and noticed it sounded "hollow". Tore the valve cover off to discover a broken upper timing chain, and a chewed up sprocket on one of the cams. Knowing that it's an interference engine, I let it set while I worked on funds to replace the engine.

March of 2011, I read somewhere on a Suzuki forum (Trackers are Suzukis for those who don't know) where something similar happened to a guy, and he was able to replace the upper timing chain, and everything was good. It seemed plausable, since when the upper chain lets go, all the valves close at once--lowering the possibility of valves kissing the pistons. I bought a complete timing set off of ebay for $90 (both chains, all 4 sprockets, both tensioners and guides), thinking that even if there was damage, I'd want a new timing set on a used motor anyway right?

I put the timing set on, and tested compression. 199psi across all 4 cylinders! (factory spec) I slapped it back together, and she ran great. A little noise at startup, but nothing I was concerned with.

I drove the heck out of it, and after another 4000-4500 miles, I put 4 brand new tires and a new radiator in it. (old rad had a hairpin crack that was leaking) I drove it maybe 2-300 miles after the radiator, and one evening it lost all power and died (in the exact same intersection that it died for my wife). I cranked it, and heard the familiar hollow sound. I called up Herman (wharthog69) and he brought his Excursion and towed me back home. I pulled the valve cover, and it was like I went back in time. The exact same thing happened! (although it looks like a chain link stretched apart, rather than just exploding)

Being pissed at the thing, and not knowing what I wanted to do with it, I let it set all year. I read on the same Suzuki forum that a guy did the same thing I did, and bought the $90 complete timing set off ebay, and the exact same thing happened to him. He bought quality parts, put his back together and has been smooth sailing ever since. After reading that, I bought the same high quality parts he did, and put them in. (for sure better quality--thicker sprockets, thicker chains, etc...) After getting her back together, she runs, but has some nasty noises going on. I think it's bent valves, but the few people I talk to don't.

Facts:

-Very noisy at idle
-Runs great!--I've driven it 100+ miles since putting the new timing components on
-Seems to have plenty of power (hard to tell after driving the V8 Jeep)
-Accelerates well
-I left the valve cover off for 8+ months, so the cams and valvetrain were open to the elements under the hood for that long
-noises appear to be coming from right inside the intake manifold-area of the head


I drove it about 40 miles and took a video. Then I poured 1/2 quart of Lucas stabilizer in there, and drove it another 40-50 miles, and took another video. Today when doing a complete oil+filter change, I noticed that the noises seem to disappear around 2500 rpm and up. (see 3rd video) (note, it has 4.88 gears and runs 3000rpm@70mph)

Here's the 3 videos. Notice how you can't even hear it in the cab.









What do you guys think? Bent valves? What boggles me is that it idles smooth, runs good, has power, but sounds like a diesel. (it shouldn't sound like a diesel)
~Aaron
J-rod wrote:When a good driver and good spotter join up magic happens.
It's ok to mix apples and oranges, so long as they're wired in series with a banana between them.

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Re: My !@#$%ing Tracker

Post by whitejeeploven » Sat Sep 15, 2012 8:47 pm

Im not to engine smarts, but my step dads truck (gas) did the same thing after he caught the carb on fire. needless say his turned out to be rocker that was loose and one that had " jumped" hairs sideways and threw it off track. see that you left cover off you might have a bad rocker or a rocker not getting oiled and it could be dry. had an escort wagon had dry\bad roller rocker and it sounded kind of same.

maybe this will help a lil not shure
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Re: My !@#$%ing Tracker

Post by Steveakus » Sat Sep 15, 2012 9:05 pm

Hard to tell by video, but those are noisey engines by nature, but could be valve adjustment, is that an aftermarket valve cover ?? you say thicker chains and gears ?? are they touching something ??

It sounds and you say it runs way to good to be bent valves or anything very major for that matter, at worst its lifter slap due to sitting like you said, or miss adjustment ?

Hard to tell without actually diagnosing it in person

Also what kind of oil you running ??

Did that kit come with tensioner and guides ??
Last edited by Steveakus on Sat Sep 15, 2012 9:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: My !@#$%ing Tracker

Post by yotamike » Sat Sep 15, 2012 9:10 pm

I can stop by and take a look at it
i hope this doesn't get deleted

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Re: My !@#$%ing Tracker

Post by narnwv » Sat Sep 15, 2012 9:34 pm

Steveakus wrote:Hard to tell by video, but those are noisey engines by nature, but could be valve adjustment, is that an aftermarket valve cover ?? you say thicker chains and gears ?? are they touching something ??

It sounds and you say it runs way to good to be bent valves or anything very major for that matter, at worst its lifter slap due to sitting like you said, or miss adjustment ?

Hard to tell without actually diagnosing it in person

Also what kind of oil you running ??

Did that kit come with tensioner and guides ??
Factory valve cover, painted. (painted the timing cover too) I was trying to cover up some of the oxidation/corrosion by sanding and painting while I had parts off.

The chain links and sprockets are just a wee bit thicker. Think stout versus weak. I'll try to get a picture of the comparison.

There's no lifters. The cam lobes are directly on top of the valve lash adjusters. (I think I have the terminology right--please see the pink text in my signature) I have no idea how to adjust or where to even start, although I have a Factory Service Manual for it.

EDIT: No rockers like my Jeep's 4.7 has either.

Oil=Valvoline maxlife 5w30 Syn-blend

Yes, the kit came with everything timing related, including the "one time use" metal gasket that goes behind the upper tensioner. The previous kit did not come with that metal gasket, I don't believe.

Kit had: upper and lower chains, 2 cam sprockets, idler sprocket, crank sprocket, upper and lower guides, upper and lower tensioners.


yotamike wrote:I can stop by and take a look at it
That would be excellent. Do you still have my number?
~Aaron
J-rod wrote:When a good driver and good spotter join up magic happens.
It's ok to mix apples and oranges, so long as they're wired in series with a banana between them.

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Re: My !@#$%ing Tracker

Post by narnwv » Sat Sep 15, 2012 9:48 pm

I know it's not as good as an actual picture, but here's a screenshot of the cutaway that's in the FSM. Here you can see how the cam lobes are directly on top of the valve (lash adjusters?), directly on top of the valves.

Image
~Aaron
J-rod wrote:When a good driver and good spotter join up magic happens.
It's ok to mix apples and oranges, so long as they're wired in series with a banana between them.

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Re: My !@#$%ing Tracker

Post by kc2mrg » Sun Sep 16, 2012 1:20 am

i dont think you added this aaron, but when i brought my compression gauge over, and checked compression on all 4 cylinders we were between 165-175psi, but we did not have a battery charger hooked up to the battery or anything, i personally think it doesnt have bent valves, i rode with aaron in it and that thing has more buttocks than my wj with the 4.0, idles smooth as can be, just is noisy
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Re: My !@#$%ing Tracker

Post by kc2mrg » Sun Sep 16, 2012 1:24 am

oh and the "cups" or w.e you wanna call them ontop of the valves are for clearance, they make them in different thicknesses, you have to change those out to do a valve adjustment, if you ever take your cams out, dont mix those up!
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Re: My !@#$%ing Tracker

Post by narnwv » Sun Sep 16, 2012 9:40 pm

UPDATE:

I tore it back down this evening. Found the key that goes in the crank to be a bit mangled. It WAS NOT like that when I installed the timing set.

Image

The part that's 1/2 as wide as it should be is the part that slides into the crank timing sprocket. There was at least 1/8" (1/32-1/16 of a rotation) of play between the crank and the sprocket.

I put the key in backwards, thicker end first, and started rotating it with a wrench. It seems to bind on the intake stroke of the 3rd cylinder, and something up front (seems to be the tensioner or intake cam) pops and then there's no resistance until it gets back around to that point again.

Some of the guys on the Suzuki forums have suggested that I may have the lower timing chain off a tooth or two. I'm going to pull the timing components off tomorrow evening and triple check everything.

1st QUESTION: Do you guys see a problem in me re-using the "1 time use" metal gasket for the upper tensioner? That tensioner has to come off to get the upper chain off. You can't get just the gasket. It only comes with a $90 tensioner. Dealer doesn't even sell it separately.

2nd QUESTION: do you guys think the dealer is going to be the only place to get that crank key?

3rd QUESTION: Since there's binding, and I've run it quite a bit, do you think I bent a valve or screwed something up? The mashed crank key has me worried.....
~Aaron
J-rod wrote:When a good driver and good spotter join up magic happens.
It's ok to mix apples and oranges, so long as they're wired in series with a banana between them.

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Re: My !@#$%ing Tracker

Post by Justin_WJ » Sun Sep 16, 2012 10:29 pm

check your timing again aaron, put everything back to DTC and try again, just to make sure.

that engine is set up just like my old probe gt, if you disassemble the head make sure you have a valve spring compressor or you wont get the springs back in the heads. its really not hard to tear those heads down. i done it over and over with that dang car, bent valves 4 times because of 9,500 rpm.

Also, is the chain tensioner hydrolic? if so you can skip buying a new one and make a manual tensioner like i did with the car.
drill a hole in the bottom of it the tap the hole. insert a bolt of the appropriate size and wallllaaahhh!

if youre not able to do this, i would replace it.

most extreme option, one or both of the cams are bent, if all else fails, take them to a machine shop and have them checked.

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Re: My !@#$%ing Tracker

Post by narnwv » Sun Sep 16, 2012 10:44 pm

Justin_WJ wrote:check your timing again aaron, put everything back to DTC and try again, just to make sure.
Plan to tomorrow.
Justin_WJ wrote:.....if you disassemble the head make sure you have a valve spring compressor or you wont get the springs back in the heads. its really not hard to tear those heads down.......

....most extreme option, one or both of the cams are bent, if all else fails, take them to a machine shop and have them checked.
I took this into (financial) consideration the first time I started it after the new (higher quality) timing set was put in, and there was noise. I can get a used head for <$200, gaskets are $150. Head parts and machine work would be more than $200, and I'm trying (hoping) to not spend $300+.
Justin_WJ wrote:Also, is the chain tensioner hydrolic? if so you can skip buying a new one and make a manual tensioner like i did with the car.
drill a hole in the bottom of it the tap the hole. insert a bolt of the appropriate size and wallllaaahhh!

if youre not able to do this, i would replace it.
Replace the brand new tensioner against reusing the metal gasket?
~Aaron
J-rod wrote:When a good driver and good spotter join up magic happens.
It's ok to mix apples and oranges, so long as they're wired in series with a banana between them.

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Re: My !@#$%ing Tracker

Post by kc2mrg » Sun Sep 16, 2012 11:04 pm

if i were you, id just re-time the engine and i can bring my compression gauge over again and we can re-check everything and see if the readings are the same or not, since you cant get just the gasket, id re-use it, i mean its not the most ideal situation but you have to do what you have to do. if the gasket looks in good shape, not like the new/old one did, then id say you should be safe.

as far as your crank key goes, you might surf the internet and see if you can find one, and if the dealer doesnt sell one, your only choice might be a junkyard or maybe a machine shop could make you one

and if you only have it 1 or 2 teeth off, i dont think that would be enough to bend a valve, but i could be wrong. ive seen people put the bmw's back together and not damage anything, but its a crap shoot, if i were you, take it all back apart, re-check everything and make sure that everything is perfect, not just "ok" or "close enough", pretend its a $250k ferrarri and if its 1 tooth off you'll junk a $50k motor lol. so, thats my advice to you, re-check the timing and make sure that everything is perfectly correct, then rotate the engine a few times after timing it before you crank it over
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Re: My !@#$%ing Tracker

Post by Steveakus » Mon Sep 17, 2012 12:10 pm

those engines are notorious for folding keyways over on the crank, I have repaired 4 or 5 of them over the years, its very common, so you may wanna see if the keyway in the crank or pulley is wollored out any ??

everything is pointing to not bent valves though, so I would look into that keyway issue ??

here are some good repair options..... http://www.mediafire.com/?k7hib2rqpylpw5c
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Re: My !@#$%ing Tracker

Post by narnwv » Mon Sep 17, 2012 3:21 pm

picked up a new key for the crank at the dealer. The gasket is confirmed discontinued by Chevrolet. Suzuki can get it, although the guy swore up and down that because I had a Chevy Tracker, Suzuki parts wouldn't fit.

I'm still having a hard time figuring out why a piece of metal can only be used as a gasket once.
~Aaron
J-rod wrote:When a good driver and good spotter join up magic happens.
It's ok to mix apples and oranges, so long as they're wired in series with a banana between them.

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Re: My !@#$%ing Tracker

Post by Steveakus » Mon Sep 17, 2012 9:21 pm

its a suzuki engine, of course their gonna fit..... :lol:

typically cause they are designed to crush, or conform, and its not the same the second time around
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