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hey everyone, new to this site and lookin for some help... workin on sisters '96 1.9. 2 days ago she had the oil and air filter changed and the next day had troubles. she was driving it and then all the sudden started running like crap. had no power, felt like it was missing bad and would idle very rough and car would die... i've pullled timing cover and everything lines right up. all plugs have good spark, clean MAF, IAC , checked for vac. leaks, checked intake-no leaks... OBD II and throwing NO CODES. when at an idle (very rough and shakin like crazy!! ) the timing runs between 12 and 23 degrees advanced and is pulling between 10 to 20 lbs. vac., but both timing and vac. are all over the place while at the rough idle.. you can also smell exhuast while sitting in the car. also sounds like detenation ping when you rev the motor and motor seems to smooth out when at higher rpm's. i have been all over this motor and can't figure out anything!!! anyone had troubles like this before??
 

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checked egr and checked all vac. lines... no leaks anywhere!! also found pcv elbow colapsed, fixed it and didn't change anything..
 

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well it seems to smooth out around 2500 rpm's and i don't notice an exhuast leak anywhere..

checked pulleys and everything is good.. would the MAF really make the motor act like that... never seen one do that before. i cleaned it but the sensor could still be bad so i will pick one up and try a MAF..
 

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Are you sure you don't have a misfire? Get some insulated plug wire pliers and some insulated gloves.

Start the car up and one at a time twist and pull a wire off of the plug while it is idling. When you start to pull the wire off of the plug, you'll hear a 'snap snap snap' which is the spark jumping between the plug and the wire (or between the wire and the tube). Also, the engine will run even more rough (or stall).

If you pull one wire and there is no change in how it idles, then you've found the offending cylinder. If you don't hear the snap, snap, snap noise then most likely you have a bad coil. If you do hear the snap snap snap but it still doesn't change how it idles, then you have a compression or spark plug issue on that cylinder.
 

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HyBrad said:
Are you sure you don't have a misfire? Get some insulated plug wire pliers and some insulated gloves.

Start the car up and one at a time twist and pull a wire off of the plug while it is idling. When you start to pull the wire off of the plug, you'll hear a 'snap snap snap' which is the spark jumping between the plug and the wire (or between the wire and the tube). Also, the engine will run even more rough (or stall).

If you pull one wire and there is no change in how it idles, then you've found the offending cylinder. If you don't hear the snap, snap, snap noise then most likely you have a bad coil. If you do hear the snap snap snap but it still doesn't change how it idles, then you have a compression or spark plug issue on that cylinder.
I'm not sure how well that would work. Looking at the wiring diagram for the ignition system, we use a waste spark ignition system. So most likely you'll get a reduction in idle quality regardless of whether the wire pulled was for the offending cylinder or not, since the companion cylinder would then have a weak spark due to a poor ground path to the other side of the coil pack.

What about pulling the connector to individual fuel injetors, that would still isolate it to a particualr cylinder.

Pat
 

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I'm wondering if whomever did the air filter change left one of the sensors unplugged, or something. And exactly how are you checking for vacuum leaks. If you are not using a MityVac, you are doing it wrong.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
figured it out...... tiny little crack in the head gasket... i had to mill the head slighty. but running like a champ now. there was only 1 cylinder running about 15lbs. under all the rest and wasn't leaking oil or coolant and when i checked the oil it looked good.. just decided to pop the head yeasterday and found that tiny little crack.
 

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fordtrucker said:
figured it out...... tiny little crack in the head gasket... i had to mill the head slighty. but running like a champ now. there was only 1 cylinder running about 15lbs. under all the rest and wasn't leaking oil or coolant and when i checked the oil it looked good.. just decided to pop the head yeasterday and found that tiny little crack.
I'm curious as to exactly how you found this tiny crack.
 
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