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Discussion Starter #1
I originally purchased this car 4 years ago, not running. Original owner said he had the head rebuilt and it never ran correctly after he got it back. He let it sit in his driveway for 10 years.

When I got it, I corrected a lot of vacuum line mistakes, changed oil and cooling fluid and got it running. Ran poorly, especially under 2000 rpm, didn't want to idle and after warming up it flowed a lot of "oily" air out the pcv hose to the valve cover.
I checked cylinder compression and found #3 and #4 cylinders to have the exact same compression, 70psi. Cylinders #1 and #2 were normal.
This week I started the head gasket replacement. The removed gasket does not show any obvious failure between #3 and #4 cylinders, is it hard to see this failure? It is a felpro gasket. I have a 006 for replacement.
Quick check of head flatness look OK.

Please look at the pictures I took of the block and head. 6 cross drilled holes in the head and 3 cross drilled holes in the block - do I need to be concerned about the block only having 3 holes?
 

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Should've performed a leakdown test to determine where you were losing compression. I'd be pulling oil pan and pulling pistons out at this point. I'd also be disassembling the head for inspection too. You can't assume any of that is good to go at this point.
Having a leaking headgasket potentially pumping lots of coolant through certain cylinders and then sitting for ten years is a perfect recipe for rings being stuck due to being rusted in place.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
The first and second oil changes I did had no water in the oil.
Looking at the block with the head off and crankshaft positioned at TDC for cylinder #1, cylinder walls #2 and #3 look very good. No scoring or scratches from broken rings or long term rust.
The cylinder head also looks good, but I will do a liquid leak down test this week to be sure.
 

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Per 4 L-bodies suggestion, I grudgingly pulled the oil pan and removed #4 piston. First look, rings all good, not broken. Cylinder wall is smooth, looks good.
Closer look at piston - oh no, piston is broke between rings!
Thank you 4 L-bodies! I would of just put on new gasket and reassembled.

Now I need to go back and post in WTB, set of piston and rings...
 

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I sort of hate to tell you this but those are not stock Mahle pistons. You might want to scrub that carbon off the piston tops and look for a part # and size on those. You need to find out if they're hypereutectic pistons. If they are, that could explain why the ring lands cracked. It has been proven countless times, they don't hold up well in forced induction applications. Your gonna have a tough time finding single replacement aftermarket pistons, so If I were you, I'd pull the rest of them too.
BTW the pistons look like they're pretty low mileage. Better check the bore size and what the ring gap was on those pistons.
 

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Looks like Silvolite Hyper piston to me. No wonder they broke... .5mm should be +.020 overbore. "IF" you decide to run this type of piston again, I would suggest that you open the top ring end gap to at least .021 gap. That is like 40% more than the factory spec. The ring lands either cracked from detonation or cracked because top ring gap closed up.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I have not pulled the other pistons, viewing them from the top looks to be the same brand as #4.
My plan is to replace all 4 with Mahle or forged, but as you probably already know they are hard to find.
I'll recheck the cylinder diameter, if they are overbored 0.020, it should measure 3.465".
 

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I have not pulled the other pistons, viewing them from the top looks to be the same brand as #4.
My plan is to replace all 4 with Mahle or forged, but as you probably already know they are hard to find.
I'll recheck the cylinder diameter, if they are overbored 0.020, it should measure 3.465".
Yeah it will be next to impossible to find new +.020 Mahle pistons. Your about ten years too late for that. Forged pistons aren't hard to find at all, they're just expensive. The problem with forged is they need to have a much bigger piston to wall clearance than cast pistons. You will need to know exactly what your bore is "IF" you end up having to order pistons. You just can't order stocked forged pistons without knowing exactly what your bore is after honing. That leaves you with potentially ordering custom pistons in the precise bore you need. You then simply order custom pistons to match your bore. PM me if you need recommendations on who can supply these for you. Most machine shops want pistons in hand before they bore/hone cylinders, so if your not going to do that, your really need to CAREFULLY measure bores (checking for roundness and taper), with a bore gauge and if okay, run a hone with the proper honing fluid through cylinders before ordering pistons. You really need to have proper equipment to measure down to .0005 to accurately measure those cylinders. I can't stress that enough. That is best to do with the crank OUT of the block. If you try honing the block with crank in place you will taper the bore fairly quickly. Glaze busting the cylinders is all you really should be doing with crank installed (if even that). Running too little or too much piston to wall and you won't have good results, you'll either scuff the skirt all up running hot as hell, or your engine will sound like a diesel.
Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks so much for the information.
The remaining pistons will be removed this week. I will order an engine bore gauge to get accurate cylinder measurements. Then decide if I will need a machinist or not..
Please send your recommendations of piston vendors, need to know how much I will need to fix this.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Rebuild update:
The cylinders all measured 3.464". Ordered forged pistons, yes their expensive. Took some time to make and deliver. Installed them and put everthing back together. Started, runs, timed, sounds good. Drove arround the block and noticed noise from the head... Sounds a little like a sewing machine...

I checked the tension on the new timing belt, tried the old timing belt tensioner, changed the oil and filter - no help. Tried again the next day. Starts up fine. After several minutes can here the noise at idle. Rev the motor and the noise gets louder.
Checked compression: #1=110psi, #2=102psi, #3=105psi, #4=105psi
Whats my oil pressure? No gauge on the CSX.
I'll have to get some fittings and a tee to fit my oil pressure test gauge. If oil pressure is normal, I'll be pulling the valve cover for inspection.
 

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Pat did you change anything out in the head? It looks like oil restrictor was in block. I can barely make it out. Did the oil pump or pickup get removed from block? Did the oil pickup get cleaned or replaced? The oil pump is supposed to be sealed to the block with anaerobic sealant. The oil pickup is supposed to have an o-ring to seal it to the oil pump. Either of these things will cause low oil pressure.
Don't be alarmed if your mechanical gauge shows pretty low pressure at operating temp at idle. The 2.2's don't need much pressure. IIRC, under 13-15 PSI will trip the oil light to come on. If you had the lash adjusters out, they can take quite a while to pump up. The engine can be really noisy at startup. Sounds like it is quiet, then gets noisier as the engine comes up to operating temp? I think your on the right track hooking up mechanical oil pressure gauge.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Nothing changed on the head.
Where did you see oil restrictors?
I did take the oil pump and pick-up off together, never separated them. My intermediate shaft sprocket and distributor needed realignment. I did not add any sealant when I fastened it back up to the block...
Yes, engine is quiet at start up. Noise comes when its warming up and gets louder when completely warmed.
I hope to get a pressure reading this week, red warning light never comes on.
Thanks, Todd!
 

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Yes Pat I saw the oil restrictor in the same pic as you posted. It was at the far top of photo. There should have been some sealant added to oil pump to block fitting. That could be some of your issue. The oil pump and intermediate shaft definitely has an orientation that isn't clearly defined well in FSM. As you found out, you either have to re-orient the oil pump or the aux shaft to correct. I wish the FSM was a little more clear on that. When properly oriented, the oil pump slot would be very close to parallel to the centerline of the crank at TDC on #1 cylinder. Let us know what your oil pressure readings are when you get a chance to plumb in the mechanical gauge. If you end up taking over the pan, pull a couple rod and main caps off to check condition of bearings. I say this so you can eliminate excessive bearing clearance for lower than desired oil pressure readings. Clean out pickup assembly too. The older blocks that used RTV on oil pan rails, would suck up lots of RTV into pickup. On TIII's I would find lots lifter parts jambed up in oil pickup (lol). One engine I found rod nut in bottom of pan, even though engine wasn't missing any! Assembly line worker must have lost one when it was being assembled. Another engine I found positive seal valve lock springs in jammed in pickup. My point is, it may look clean, but may have debris hidden inside pickup hindering oil flow.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Oil pressure measured 50 psi at start up. Let it warm up, stayed at 50 psi. Rev'ed up to 2500 rpm, went to 55 psi. Rev'ed up to 3000 rpm, went to 60 psi. Let it idle for 10 - 15 minutes, still at 50 psi. Turned motor off, waited 10 minutes, started up, still at 50 psi.

My sewing machine noise is still there. Very consistent when warmed up. I did notice once when turning the engine off that the noise continued a second or two after the engine stopped?

Also, my check engine light came on couple times during this, code 27.
Is the noise coming from under the valve cover or the fuel rail? I can't tell, even with my ear as close as I can get it to the valve cover.
Checked fuel pressure: started engine and fuel pressure goes to 50 psi. Rev it to 2000 rpm, it does not go any higher. Turn off engine, and fuel pressure drops to less than 10 psi in 5 seconds.

With the oil pressure looking OK, I'm thinking fuel regulator or injectors...
 

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Well Pat, Probably a good thing your oil pressure is good. It is the far lesser of the evils. Fuel pressure is supposed to be 52-55 PSI so your not far off. Is that 50 PSI without vacuum/pressure port disconnected? It should be 52-55 static meaning no pressure or vacuum being applied to the regulator (line unplugged from regulator and capped off). Fuel pressure will drop when vacuum is applied to it and raise when pressure (boost) is applied to it.
As far as the fuel pressure drop, they all will eventually fall, but must will hold pressure for a few minutes before bleeding down. The fuel pump inside tank has a check valve in it. Actually return line has one too. These can fail and not cause much driveability issues.
Could you be hearing your catalytic converter rattling? The noise can travel upward through the tranny tunnel. I say this because you mentioned about the noise continuing for a second or two. Often when they fail they melt and break up and it sounds like rocks rattling softly in a tin can. I seem to remember the noise gets more pronounced when it gets hot.
Sometimes on a real quiet engine, you can hear the injectors clicking off and on rapidly sounding a bit like the sewing machine. Shouldn't hear that noise continuing for a second or two when you turn the key off though.
Does it start hard after the fuel pressure drops when hot? Fuel regulator usually don't fail, when they do they usually start leaking fuel in the vacuum line. That can also result in a hard restarts.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
The 50 psi fuel pressure was measured with vacuum lines connected and the engine running.
After engine is warmed up, it is not hard to restart.
I do have a new fuel pump.

I can hear the fuel injectors clicking away, they are not the noise.
You might be right about the noise coming from the catalytic converter. Hard to believe - the noise is so prominent with the hood up and my ear next to the engine. But, I ran the engine with the hood closed and listened under the car and the noise is pretty strong there also. There other thing to note is it does continue on several seconds after the engine is turned off. Your description of the noise is right on! I'd call it, many ball bearings running arround a roulette wheel. And it gets louder and more sustained the hotter the catalytic converter gets.

Next week I'll be pulling the exhaust off.

Thanks!
 
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