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No Compression After Cleaning Lifters

Saturn S Series Sedan SL, SL1, and SL2

No Compression After Cleaning Lifters

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  #1  
Old 02-10-2018, 03:03 PM
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Default No Compression After Cleaning Lifters

Hi there, I have a 1999 Saturn SL1 SOHC and when we went to replace the valve cover gasket realized inside there was nasty. He removed the lifters, cleaned everything with gasoline and degreaser, and had to replace one of the lifters that had collapsed. When he put everything back together it was running worse than before and now there is no compression at all.
One thing he read said to soak them overnight in oil and pump them in the oil before putting in and another site said no, and he did the first one. Was something done wrong, anybody have any ideas what could be wrong and/or what we need to do to fix it?

Thank you.
 
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Old 02-10-2018, 06:00 PM
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I am not an engine internals expert.

Andy is.

My first thought is that you didn't seat the lifters all the way before bolting them down with the restrictor plates. If the lifters did not fully seat, then when you reattached the rockers, once tightened down they would be holding the valves partially open during the time they should be totally closed. A slightly open valve would allow enough compression for the engine to run, but crappily due to the low compression. Being that some of the valves were partially open, they were projecting into the combustion chamber during combustion. "In the fire" so to speak.

Did you rotate the crank to rotate the cam by hand to ensure proper lifter operation before replacing the rockers? If they were not fully seated they would not be fully touching the cam lobes as they rotated.
Yes, it is true that the face of every valve is exposed to the combustion event each time. but once you leave more of the valve exposed than is supposed to be, you increase the risk of burning them.

Assuming there was no mangling event (metal on metal destruction), I'm thinking you burned a bunch of valves -- likely the exhaust since they would see the high temperatures on more of the valve than they are designed to.

Don't take my word for it. THIS IS A GUESS.

Andy?
Am I close?
 
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Old 02-10-2018, 08:55 PM
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Wait until tomorrow and see if it will run. For some reason everyone messes with their lifters. The Metro group does the same thing with their cars. I never clean them, if the engine has failed and filled everything with metal dust I just buy new ones. If they are dirty on the outside but work fine leave them be. If you are trying to clean the inside of an engine that runs fine just change the oil when it gets dirty.

The lifters are just pumped up and holding the valves open. Let it sit overnight, maybe turn the crank one turn by hand and leave it another 6 hours. If you put it back together correctly it shold run tomorrow.
 
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Old 02-10-2018, 10:41 PM
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Because one of them was collapsed is why he took the rest out and cleaned them. They were filled with sludge and oil. Since he did do all that is there somewhere that has the procedure for putting everything in correctly? From torque on the bolts if that is even required.
Do they need to be filled with oil and all before being installed? Someone told us that they needed to soak overnight in oil to get filled with oil before installing.

Sorry for all the questions, I can do some things with my car myself but on this I am lost and whatever he did my car quit working, and I have been able to keep my "Bruce" going for 11 years.
 
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Old 02-11-2018, 12:13 AM
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Hopefully he did not take the lifters apart. Soaking in oil filled them up, now with the engine reassembled they need to bleed down. I lube the outsides and disable the ignition and crank to fill the lifters. You need to wait for the lifters to bleed the excess oil out to the correct amount. No harm no foul, tomorrow your car should be fine. Patience.
 
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Old 02-11-2018, 12:18 AM
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When he took them out, he did take the lifters apart, he cleaned them inside and out, then he soaked them in the oil to fill them up, had added Lithium grease to the outside of them.
I'm keeping my fingers crossed, thank you all so much for the information.
 
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Old 02-11-2018, 12:19 AM
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So it is possible to overpump up a lifter?
Just trying to learn along the way (at the expense of looking stupid in public---which I usually do anyway).

The part I don't get is that the car initially ran crappily, then lost compression.
 
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Old 02-11-2018, 12:27 AM
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Derf, my car was running pretty good, had some knocking sounds going on and had oil leaking really bad from the valve cover gasket. After I put in new spark plugs it actually sounded better than it did before. It was only after he did all that with the lifters that it started sound really crappy then lost compression.
When he had taken apart the lifters and cleaned them, he put them back together, put them in the car dry and started the car. It sounded like the engine would fall out of the bottom any second. That is when he took them out and soaked them in the oil overnight and put them back in, and that is when there was no compression at all.
If any of that made any sense.
Oh and I"m right there along with you on the looking stupid in public.
 
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Old 02-11-2018, 12:31 AM
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Yes, the lifter can pump all the way up and hold the valves open. The bleed holes are very small. Too thick of oil causes lots of lifter problems. Very tight clearances, I run the recommended 5w20 in my Lincoln even with 177k miles on it. My engine has variable cam timing which also has very small bleed holes.
 
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Old 02-11-2018, 12:34 AM
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Are there torque specs for putting the rocker arms back on? He "Googled" that information and it said 19 foot pounds of torque for them. I was wondering if maybe they were tightened too tight..
And my Saturn has 178K on it.
 
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