HELP !.6 Overhead cam GEO


Old 03-18-12, 06:55 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2010
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HELP !.6 Overhead cam GEO

This one is driving me nuts. Surely somebody else has had this problem.
1992 GEO storm 1.6 Single overhead cam. Hydralic lifters by the Haynes Manual. Has OBD or some system on it. No check engine light or other sign of trouble.
It is old but low milage, good shape and was free so instead of scrapping it I started playing with it. All 4 cylinders have a 120 Psi on a dry compression test. Did not bother with a wet one.
Problem No power. Changed the plugs, Badly corroded rotor and Dist cap. Changed fuel filter that was almost completely plugged. Changed Air Filter. These did not help any. Did a temp test on the Catatlic Converter that indicated it was plugged so disconnected it for this troubleshooting. Ran through the Haynes Book troubleshooting and found:
If you pull # 2 &3 plug wires off you could not tell you had pulled them off. Pull 1 or 4 and the engine dies. Put a tester between the plug and the plug wire and it shows the new plugs are getting fire. Gotta be they are not getting fuel through the injectors . I put a can of Seafoam injector cleaner through the fuel system and it improved to the point you could tell when you pulled #3 wire off. Both 2 &3 injectors are getting fire and clicking just like 1 & 4. Pulled the injectors and rigged them up so I could see the squirt pattern . 2 and 3 were barely squirting. Got the injectors cleaned and all 4 squirt the same. Reinstalled the injectors and still #2 and 3 and have the same problem.
While I had the intake off I checked it for crud buildup. I understand these engines have a history of this. Does not seem to be anything but the normal oily film from the PVC system.
MY GUESS I have not seen it in a long time. bad lifters. With hydraulic lifters if they do not open the valve enough to let in enough air the cylinder will have good compression but the cylinder will not fire. not fire. How do your test for bad lifters on this overhead cam engine.
Your input please. Anybody got more suggestions . I would really like to see this puzzle solved

Last edited by the_tow_guy; 03-19-12 at 05:26 AM. Reason: No email addresses in the posts.
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Old 03-18-12, 08:47 PM
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Texas
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You could always run some seafoam in the oil to try and free and clean things up on the mechanical side if in fact the lifters are not doing their job but at this point I am wondering if there are still more likely possibilities. Did you check the pressure at the rail? Perhaps you have a fuel regulator problem or the pump is weak or the inlet screen is a little clogged if the pressure is too low. I think you should be getting around 30 to 40 lbs. pressure. Just asking if fuel pressure has been totally eliminated as an issue before jumping into something else. Sometimes also cleaning is not the best service approach for really old injectors and it is better to just replace them as cleaning can damage the electric side of them. Not saying that it did, but it can. It sounds like pretty much everything else was plugged, and even a bad fuel filter for instance over time can half cook an electric fuel pump. At this point it may not be about all injectors squirting the same, but about all squirting the right amount when required. Just more food for thought. To me it still sounds fuel supply to piston related especially if it is breathing out without the Cat hooked up.
Old 03-19-12, 05:03 AM
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Floriduhhhhh Us of A
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Let's start with basics.......You confirmed spark and fuel........and compression is at 120?????.........I'd be pulling the timing cover to confirm belt alignment.......Could be off 1-2 teeth??.....This would give you the lack of power you're experiencing Compression on something like this should be in the 150-170 range
Old 03-19-12, 05:38 AM
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Had to look this up; from AutoZone's repair section:

The Storm 1.6L and 1.8L DOHC engines are the only engines using hydraulic valve lifters (adjusters). The SOHC engines that are being used in these vehicles utilize valve trains in which the camshaft directly actuates the rocker arms.

Would seem to indicate no lifters in your SOHC engine, BUT it's possible you have excessive wear in the valve train. i.e. valve lash, although you mentioned low mileage. Would be worth checking valve clearance along with equinox and wrench's suggestions.

Keep us posted.

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