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Interpret compression test results fixing timing belt

 
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Old 21 Nov 2009, 05:13 pm
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Default Interpret compression test results after fixing timing belt

I'm new here... and it's my gf's car I'm fixing (she loves her PT Cruiser). So let me explain what happened and what I've done... then hopefully someone here can help me out with some advice:

Her 2001 Cruiser (2.4L NA) had 104,000 miles when the timing belt broke while she was on the highway going about 70mph. After some BS pricing ($1500 just to replace the belt), I decided to fix it myself. I replaced the timing belt and did all the usual maintenance (new tensioner and water pump). I also ran a compression test on each cylinder before putting it all back together. The results are below (starting at the timing belt side)

1-180psi
2-160psi
3-100psi
4-160psi

Not sure if the numbering order is correct but I'm concerned about cylinder number 3. That was the highest I could get out of it... tried rethreading the tester and even adding a bit of oil. I know my next test should be to do a leak-down test on it to see where the leak is coming from (and I'll do it as soon as I buy the right attachment).

Here's my question: how bad is this really?? Wouldn't a bent valve mean ZERO psi? Is this just rings that are going bad and completely unrelated to the timing belt? Also remember, the engine was stone cold... I'm just not sure how much better it will get when warm.

The reason I ask is we are seriously considering not fixing it... just putting it back together and letting her drive it like that... IF that's really how it was before the broken timing belt. Honestly we only need the car for one more year before we will get a new one. I know it wouldn't be too much work to replace a valve or two but I'm just trying to figure out if it's worth it. In any case, if it's a bad ring, then I'm not going to do anything about that. Working on the block is not an option.

What do people think?


BTW, I wouldn't mind doing a better step-by-step of timing belt replacement. Or at least adding detail to the typed out instructions on here. They were pretty helpful but there are some tricks I learned others might find helpful.

Last edited by makku; 21 Nov 2009 at 06:04 pm.
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Old 21 Nov 2009, 05:37 pm
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Default Re: Interpret compression test results after fixing timing belt

Check my gallery for some pics of the project so far...
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Old 21 Nov 2009, 06:32 pm
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Default Re: Interpret compression test results fixing timing belt

I think that the main question to ask is how well it runs. As you mentioned, I prefer to do a compression test on a warm engine.

A step-by-step on a timing belt replacement would be nice.
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Old 21 Nov 2009, 07:10 pm
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Default Re: Interpret compression test results fixing timing belt

While in another post Chrysler calls this a non-interference engine (pistons can't hit extended valves), they did say valves can hit each other. Its possible that is causing the weak cylinder. If you drove it I bet you'd be fine, but I imagine if a valve is bent, it is going to further damage the seat. Just baby it... no more italian tune ups to redline!

Thanx for the pics.
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Old 21 Nov 2009, 09:28 pm
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Default Re: Interpret compression test results fixing timing belt

I will be doing a leakdown test tomorrow just to see...

I would love to warm it up, but I'm not sure I want to put that much back together just to learn I need to take it apart again. You wouldn't believe how much grief this engine has caused me. I used to be a civic owner and those engines are so easy to work on compared to the PT Cruiser. There's so much more room when you have a 1.5L engine vs a 2.4L.

I was hoping others would chime in with their own compression test results (and resulting performance)... but I may have to bite the bullet on this one.
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Old 21 Nov 2009, 09:52 pm
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Default Re: Interpret compression test results fixing timing belt

I misunderstood. I had assumed it was back together and running.

I understand the space problem. I drove a 1980 Mazda GLC 1400 for 16 years. Very roomy by comparison.
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Old 22 Nov 2009, 10:55 am
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Default Re: Interpret compression test results fixing timing belt

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt42 View Post
A step-by-step on a timing belt replacement would be nice.
Working on it... taking a break now, plus I have to go out and get that leakdown tester

Replacing the timing belt 2.4L (without a lift!) -Detail instructions
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Old 22 Nov 2009, 12:18 pm
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Default Re: Interpret compression test results fixing timing belt

Wish you lived closer, or vice versa. I have a leakdown tester I made up out of this and that, in about 1984. I forget why. I think it was for a Jeep V8, so the spark plug threads would be all wrong anyway.
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Old 22 Nov 2009, 05:12 pm
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Default Re: Interpret compression test results fixing timing belt

In my experience, ALL older cars were easier to work on (space-wise), with a few exceptions, but you HAD to work on them more often.
I don't miss setting timing and adjusting valves and adjusting carbs......
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