86 Corolla First Cylinder dead

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  #1  
Old 09-05-06, 12:15 AM
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86 Corolla First Cylinder dead

Hi,

'86 Corolla sedan, stick; runs surprisingly well on 3 cylinders but, of course, bad mileage and slow acceleration, especially in third gear; we have spark; old plug is black with carbon; was replaced; no change; we pulled wire off new plug, and still no change in idle/sound; no significant smoke from exhaust; smells like unburnt gas; won't pass emissions b/c of high hydrocarbons; New distributor cap/wires; new PVC valve; new air cleaner; new muffler. I don't have a compression tester. Please tell me I can salvage this old gal.

BTW, could I buy a used engine for it? What would it cost for just the engine?

Regards,
 
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  #2  
Old 09-05-06, 01:25 AM
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you need to do a compression test whether you take it to a shop or buy or rent a compression guage chances are it is low on compression.
im sure you could probably trade the vehicle off and get in a newer vehicle for what it would cost to buy a used engine and the labor to install it.
 
  #3  
Old 09-05-06, 04:13 AM
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compression test

You must get a compression test no ifs ands or buts buy one or have it done.How many miles?
 
  #4  
Old 09-05-06, 08:49 AM
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Thanks

It's what I feared to hear and figured. I'm just the kind of guy who likes to resurrect stuff.

I thought my son and I could just buy some used engine at the yard for a few hundred bux and make it a project putting it in. I'm not a mechanic but very handy mechanically/electrically, and was a "shade tree mechanic" back in the days where you could sit inside the engine compartment of your pickup truck to keep warm while you worked on it (Computer? What's that?).

The car has 216K miles on it, but looks pretty good otherwise, considering; few minor dents. I mostly want it as an emergency backup in case someone's car is in the shop or it won't start some morning when trying to get to work on time. It would also be nice to have a little runabout to save gas and mileage on our "good" vehicles. BTW, I drive a T-100 to work everyday, about 7 miles R.T.
 
  #5  
Old 09-05-06, 01:06 PM
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if you find the compression is low you may be able to find a used engine to swap out but its so old that you may have trouble finding a good used engine.
the other option would be to rebuild your existing engine either way would require alot of time still not sure it would be worth it to you even if you did the work yourself.
when you do the compression test and you find it is low squirt some oil in the cylinder and retest if it increases to near normal it is usually a ring problem if it remains about the same suspect a valvetrain problem probably a burnt valve while a valve job would fix the later it is generally not done on an engine with that many miles.
 
  #6  
Old 09-05-06, 01:46 PM
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Thanks Again

I was hoping (ha-ha) for a lucky break like a vacuum line/leak maybe keeping the cylinder from sucking gas, or a blown head gasket (no water on the dipstick however).

And I don't know if it would be worth fixing a head gasket or not either, but my knuckles are all healed from the last dumb project I started. What do you think?

On Jan. 1st it doesn't need to pass emissions so I could drive it in an emergency, but I don't want to polute the air otherwise.
 
  #7  
Old 09-05-06, 05:32 PM
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Originally Posted by bejay
if you find the compression is low you may be able to find a used engine to swap out but its so old that you may have trouble finding a good used engine.
the other option would be to rebuild your existing engine either way would require alot of time still not sure it would be worth it to you even if you did the work yourself.
when you do the compression test and you find it is low squirt some oil in the cylinder and retest if it increases to near normal it is usually a ring problem if it remains about the same suspect a valvetrain problem probably a burnt valve while a valve job would fix the later it is generally not done on an engine with that many miles.

This is right on the money. Now it would be a good project for you and your son to do....If you mess somthing up your not out anything. Reworking the head would cause other problems with the lower end of the motor. So if you want to fix it for backup transportation here is what you can do.
If it turns out to be a burnt valve take the head off, buy the valve that is bad, Lap it in the head and put the head back on.
 

Last edited by DIYaddict; 09-05-06 at 08:12 PM. Reason: Separated quote from post
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