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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
First, have you checked valve clearance yet? if not:
From my experience, many, if not most of these engines are in need of a valve job. There is a post called "Head gasket" from a guy named Harry. It has some good information, Because you have two cylinders with at least SOME compression, you should be okay with a valve job.
When I started with my truck, it had one cylinder with ZERO compression. I did the valve job and head resurface. In the long term, I found out that from the P.O. driving the truck with the dead cylinder, the rings in that cylinder had worn because of the constant washing down with unburnt fuel, Dennis
I haven't opened anything with a gasket on it aside from the thermostat housing. I suspect it has a bad valve cover gasket, didn't want to get a cheap full gasket set just to have them all if I was going to have to do the head, didn't want to spend any more money on it if it looked like it might have a cracked or bad block because even a head gasket is a stretch for me. I have a gasket set on the way and just found my torque wrench, so I'll be pulling the valve cover this week. The later year vs the late 80s FSMs I have access to as well as all the CA spec extras crowing the engine bay made getting under the valve cover look pretty intimidating until I'd done a good amount of reading about these engines.

I do have a couple questions... How much of the valve train is serviceable without pulling the head?

If I find a burnt exhaust valve for instance, is it possible to just swap that one out? Just trying to have any little stuff I might need when the cover is off either from Rock Auto or a junkyard. Someone definitely ran the "coolant sealer" with the metallic flakes at some point, I'm guessing it wouldn't take many of those flakes at all adhering in just the right spot to really throw a valve off, especially if they're way out of spec and the head wasn't torqued properly, is there any automotive cleaning sprays I need to avoid if I need to clean up the valve train?

Plan on doing timing belt, tensioner, disty rotor and cap, checking head bolts are properly torqued, replacing any bad seals I can access with the valve cover off, checking operability of the valves and setting valve lash, undeleting the smog pump and it's associated ECM controlled valve, ensuring there's no leaks at the exhaust manifold in one project day, THEN trying to fire it up again. Got some locksmithing to do in the meantime, wifey threw my pants in the washer while I was still in the shower scrubbing engine sludge off my hands and the keys haven't been seen since. Only one worked in the ignition and it needed to be jiggled first half the time, neither key locked or unlocked any of the locks anyways. New ignition switch on my 86 Samurai project uses an extremely similar blank to the Rodeo unlike the stock Suzuki key, gonna try and pull some tumblers and see if I can't get everything on both trucks down to one key. I'm to the point of just taking a Dremel to the small studs that stop you from popping the cylinder out of the lock.

For posterity If you have a 1993 (maybe 94 or 95.0 too), if you pop just the bottom steering column cover and jumper the black wire to the black and red, the fuel pump primes, if you jumper black to black and yellow the instrument cluster will light up and your coil should be putting out an intermittent spark you can also check codes here if you join the two DTC leads by your left foot, while touching those two if you jumper in that top black and white wire while those are touching you'll spin your starter and hotwire the car. I have the black and white wire bypassed and a momentary switch button, still trying to figure out if I need the wire that used to go to the starter solenoid attached to something for my fuel pump to stay on. I believe the little switch hanging out is supposed to make a beep noise if you forget to pull out your keys, I noticed the seatbelt light is inoperable if it's not engaged, might help someone that hates the "ding".

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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
Got it running again. Definitely a crack in the body of the thermal valve plugged in at the thermostat housing, and I had to run the smog pump directly to the rail that injects the air next to the spark plugs, and slightly depress the gas pedal, and it fired right up . I got a plume of white smoke out the exhaust (not what I was hoping for) but it stopped within 30 seconds of the car running. There were splashes of water droplets at the tailpipe and the exhaust manifold both. Part of the problem is a previous owner put a hose on the coolant overflow, soon as it gets hot pressurized steam lifts the hose so it's pointing right at the exhaust manifold so it's probably getting in a crack in the manifold, the manifold gasket, or on the spark plugs and finding a way to leak into the combustion chamber. The compression loss is definitely through the radiator, if I pull the cap while it's running there's all kinds of bubbles.

Most would say the head gasket is for sure toast. I don't want to do a valve job then find out I need a new head gasket, then get it back together and find out I need a new head or a resurface, then find out the block is cracked anyway and it was all a waste of time unless I throw a couple grand at it.

Its so hard to wrap my head around how the coolant travels through the block. What you said about probably getting away with a valve job is kind of what I've been thinking this whole time, but there could be a crack in the block on top of it, and that's a lot of time and money to invest. If there's some combination of low torque on the head bolts, completely out of whack valve lash and/or sticking valves, loss of vacuum at more than one line, and a severely compromised gasket at the exhaust manifold and possibly valve cover? I only get coolant as steam out the tailpipe the first time I start it like it only gets combusted from dripping in over time, but there's so many complexities to it...
 

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It won't be a cracked block. you will most likely find the head gasket blown between two cylinders (it's often between 3 and 4). A new head gasket is a must. resurfacing the head MINIMUM, is a must. Valve job is highly recommended. I understand the price of new / rebuilt heads is up (what isn't). ONLY use a Felpro or Isuzu OEM head gasket. Dennis
 

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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
Yeah, I'm more than 50% leaning towards just doing the head gasket at the same time as valve lash, cap and rotor, timing belt. Noticed a few things today though... It's been sitting without starting for weeks while I redid all the vacuum and coolant hoses and quite a bit of rewiring, so I'm just now getting the chance to observe it running other than the first 30 minutes after we bought it till I started up the mountain at 70 with the A/C on to see if the cooling system would hold up under stress, cuz my wife will almost certainly not pull over short of catastrophic engine damage once she starts driving it to work.

One of my coolant hose replacements is slightly oversized and the clamp isn't strong enough to hold it under any pressure, the shape of the back of the thermostat housing and how small the leak is so little water comes out of it I can't even see it, it's just sucking air there and spitting coolant out the overflow. I used my hand to help out the hose clamp enough to hold watertight while it was running, no more bubbles in the coolant, but it was already hot I had to let go so quick it couldve been some kind of fluke from the pressure equalizing or something.

I knew there was a pinhole leak at a weld right before the sensor in the exhaust I think downpipe, turns out it's at least 3 pinhole leaks and no gaskets at all on the exhaust manifold. I'm working on a gravel driveway and it's been super windy, first day I could really hear every little thing going on in there too.

PO was way too aggressive with the EGR delete, everything unhooked, very little capped. I went too aggressive with my undelete. My hood diagram only shows two ports on the BPT... figured it was a different part for that year.... nope. I only had half a BPT, bottom piece and it's undocumented "not-vacuum" hose completely broken off. Tomorrow I'm gonna see how it goes bypassing the BPT leaving the EGR, Vacuum Tank, EGR VSV, Duty Solenoid, Orifice, and added a little reducer at the EGR itself. I'm not a mechanic but I seem to recall resolving a reoccuring overheat issue caused by an EGR 15 or so years ago.

It's got a brand new cat he must've taken it to the dumbest exhaust guy in Arizona or Northern Mexico, I could've done a better job with the harbor freight FCA welder haha. It's also definitely had it's water pump and fan clutch and head gasket done real recently, there was definitely some dishonesty in the PO's story but he said it was done and was not someone that could've done it himself and it's apparent from the cleanliness of the head and valve cover compared to everything underneath it. I'm guessing he didnt get the memo not to use the hood spec valve clearances and the PO never came back for a retorque and valve adjustment (I see posts where between 2 and 3 is mentioned as the head bolt most likely to stretch rather than a common gasket blowout point), it spits coolant onto an exhaust manifold that leaks and is almost certainly without a gasket, before my coolant line replacements and deletes it also dropped coolant right onto the injectors, I suspect they reused the valve cover gasket judging by how much excess RTV is on the valve cover so it is probably not perfectly sealed, and I couldn't confirm this cuz it was getting dark and I was bleeding and had both hands too filthy to get a decent picture with my phone but I think there might be slight cracks in the tops of 1, 2, and 3 spark plug tubes, could have just been a slight bit of filth but those were my low compression cylinders, 4 was clean and it's my highest compression cylinder.

I've got psoriatic arthritis so stiffness and weakness and numbness in my hands is the norm, but going on a new treatment I tested positive for tuberculosis and I'm 2 months into 3 months of heavy antibiotics that make my fingertips even more numb like frostbite feeling almost, last year my blood pressure was high enough to kill me and I was fainting a lot and I got 3 concussions in a row

So I'm willing to take some shortcuts because this Rodeo literally just needs to get my wife 32 seconds down the way to her part time job, we don't have sidewalks and there's javelinas and the town drunk homeless sex offender to avoid. Give her an air conditioned place to smoke a cigarette with music on for 10 minutes on her break, and keep her purse and a few other things locked up, then 32 seconds back home. 3 or 4 times a week for a little over a year till my RAM's paid off, she doesn't have any credit history and mines not good enough to cosign with a loan already out, hoping the new Bronco in a manual with the removable hardtop like the one we test drove won't be a $70,000 guaranteed lemon by then.

So like, I'm not doing the work myself and trying to avoid pulling the head cuz I'm being cheap and crossing my fingers, the only mechanic here I can trust to do it right for a reasonable price won't have time till Fall, I'm on a gravel driveway in a mobile home on piers I got nothing to mount something that can lift an engine to. In the time it'd take to tow it to a PlanetIsuzu members shop or wait on a head and legit gasket and the extra parts for everything I'd want to fix up if the head was off it's risky not to be able to drive myself to the hospital 30 mins away and there's no ambulances, animal hospital is 20 mins away it's a long time in an emergency

So if the spark tubes are in fact cracked but barely if I can get away with an o-ring and/or nonfouler for a year I will, but I'll put in the time and money to do it right if it's gonna mean she spits coolant all over the parking lot on her break a week later and I could've Heliod or resurfaced it. If the head is toast I'll get a Clearwater and felpro gasket and hope my hands don't give out at the wrong time and make me wait for another gasket, but it's a #5 head that was just refinished and put back on it was running well enough and there's enough other stuff that's still not right, if there's any chance I pull the head and find an intact felpro or OEM gasket under it... I'd really like to have eliminated any other possibles at least.

Really grateful to you for taking the time to read and respond, man
 

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Discussion Starter · #25 · (Edited)
It won't be a cracked block. you will most likely find the head gasket blown between two cylinders (it's often between 3 and 4). A new head gasket is a must. resurfacing the head MINIMUM, is a must. Valve job is highly recommended. I understand the price of new / rebuilt heads is up (what isn't). ONLY use a Felpro or Isuzu OEM head gasket. Dennis
Alright the wishful thinking is behind me, found 2 holes the casting before I even found my feeler that has the right valve spec on it. Clearwater's website pulls up 3 heads for a 92 Amigo, 0 for a 93 Rodeo, I'm guessing that means what they have isn't "heart shaped"? I've had bad luck with remanufactured heads in the past but Aluminum-Cylinder-Heads seems to have a good reputation on here, complete and ready to drop in is $500 not bad, but not if it immediately fails. If you had a 1993 CA Rodeo you didn't have to smog check that had a cracked head and a busted in half EGR BPT what would you buy? I'm thinking there has to be an EGR configuration where I can leave the two components with a 2-pin connection to the ECM and cut out some other parts of it, that'll result in cooler temps rather than lower emissions... I hit up Jerry for a gasket and to see if he has a head that's a good fit.

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Clearwater heads AKA Odessa heads is TOP NOTCH. I have used them several times. These people know what they are doing. I suggest you contact them, let them know what you have and what you want and they will be able to help you. I had them repair a pair of 4 valve, variable timing Subaru heads that were cracked. I had no problems with the heads (car got crashed about a year later). Dennis
 

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Discussion Starter · #27 ·
Clearwater heads AKA Odessa heads is TOP NOTCH. I have used them several times. These people know what they are doing. I suggest you contact them, let them know what you have and what you want and they will be able to help you. I had them repair a pair of 4 valve, variable timing Subaru heads that were cracked. I had no problems with the heads (car got crashed about a year later). Dennis
It occured to me that I may have jumped the gun on needing a head, those holes I posted pictures of don't look machined and I thought I saw hairline cracks radiating out from them, but if they're just for oil to drip down from the valve cover that might not matter...

They're at the bottom of two rectangular cavities on the intake side just before #1 and between #2 & #3, my low cylinders. Is there supposed to be a hole through the casting there?
 

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The EGR actually does make the engine run COOLER. That is the whole purpose, to lower combustion temperatures. Don't understand about "cracks radiating out from holes". Did you already pull the head?
 

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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
The EGR actually does make the engine run COOLER. That is the whole purpose, to lower combustion temperatures. Don't understand about "cracks radiating out from holes". Did you already pull the head?
I didn't pull the head yet because I thought I saw damage to the casting that I wouldn't trust any machine shops weld over so figured I'd take my time to really understand how everything goes back together while I wait for a new one and something better than a cheap m10 Allen wrench. I was just trying to describe the holes because they look like damage rather than a machined hole, but some product images of reman heads look similar, appearing to have an irregular shaped hole there.

Main question, on the two structures the arrows point to in this photo, is there supposed to be a hole in the casting there for oil to drip through or should it be sealed?

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NOW I understand. yes, those look like drain holes. What I (think) I saw in the pictures was casting flash. Have you done a compression test yet? (I loose track of who has done what and there are a few 2.6 threads going right now)
Dennis
 

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Discussion Starter · #31 ·
NOW I understand. yes, those look like drain holes. What I (think) I saw in the pictures was casting flash. Have you done a compression test yet? (I loose track of who has done what and there are a few 2.6 threads going right now)
Dennis
OK awesome, they looked like they could be hairline cracks whoever last machined this head missed that gave out under heat and pressure. Soon as I saw those I stopped wrenching and started shopping for a head, I'll do a valve adjustment, retorque head bolts, make sure the valve cover is sealed up proper, and see how it goes. My compression was 75-30-30-125 increasing in all cylinders by about 15 wet. That was cold by hitting my starter jumper button with all 4 plugs out though. The smallest feeler I have is .010, no .006 to be like the hood diagram, I've heard .008 on both sides is best I don't have that one either. Hoping to pick up a .008 feeler and a 1/2” 10mm Allen socket today in town but always expect empty shelves and having to order them.

On the EGR, I'll attach my vacuum diagram. I'm not considering deleting EGR, I just have no "vacuum regulator", which is I think a BPT, there was a piece of it there but looks like someone tried the drilling it out and sealing it up trick but busted out the entire bottom of it. I have everything else. Seems to me matching the hood diagram is optimizing the system for lowest smog sniffer readings, since I'm exempt I'm just trying to think if I could get it cooler and avoid buying a new BPT or "vacuum regulator" by routing some combination of the rest of the EGR components differently.
 

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Discussion Starter · #33 ·
Might've got lucky after all. After settling on a 1/2" T55 over a 3/8” M10 to fit my torque wrench without an adapter (seems like it has less wiggle room and more bite too, bet M10 is a little more likely to strip a head bolt) I had to go all the way back to Home Depot for a slightly longer 1/2" socket extension to clear the rockers. Made myself late to the Dr. right now finding out 3 head bolts were severely undertorqued, 25 to 30 foot pounds to start rotating. A couple others came in under 65, left them under 70 so I can do a few go arounds to get them all to just under 80 gradually.

I've been pouring motor oil with a little liqui-moly motor oil saver mixed in over the rockers and valves and letting it drip down and out because once I did run it again there was some milkshake. I've heard from reliable sources it's one of the few legit "stop-leak" products with no downside hoping it'll cancel out some of the rubber down there being exposed to coolant.

Any advice on how to proceed? Maybe fill oil underfill coolant plugs out throttle body open, compression test with the valve cover still off after final torquing and lash adjustment? Any reason not to try that I'm missing?

Just trying to think how to see if I got lucky without risking putting any more coolant where it's not supposed to be.
 

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Here's sad reality: If you have two adjacent cylinders with low compression (AND it matches), AND you have milkshake oil, I'd place my bet you have a blown head gasket.
I don't fully understand the T55 vs M10, but if you are thinking about using a TORX bit in a HEX head bolt, I advise against it. Dennis
 

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Discussion Starter · #35 ·
I went to Lowe's, Home Depot, Autozone and O'Reilly the only M10 allen sockets were 3/8" but my torque wrench is 1/2" and it seemed like I'd get a lot more wiggle, room for error, risk of stripping running a 3/8" adapter AND extension. Someone here mentioned making due with a T55, I wasn't going to do it except that every M10 socket seemed to have a tighter fit with the T55 than that M10 in 3/8”. I'll order the right one on Amazon if I need to pull the head, blown HG seems more likely than torquing it down fixing it that's why I'm wanting to check compression without sealing the valve cover back up, but I'd rather at least check if it's the one in a million where the head bolts were loose enough to let coolant by. Any problem with trying it?
 

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Mine is a 3/8 drive. I use an adapter. I've done dozens of heads this way. No problems.
 

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Discussion Starter · #37 ·
OK I'm going to have time to check the post torque compression right now, if it's not pretty good numbers I'll get working on a hoist in my carport. I'm thinking a 600 or 900 pound hand winch off like a bass boat trailer on a stud and a pulley rated for higher directly above the hood. Aside from pressure testing and milling the deck flat there any spec I can give the machine shop to see if it's been previously worked to the point I'd need a shim to reuse it?
 

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Discussion Starter · #38 ·
Definitely still blowing the compression into the radiator. With 2 and 3 up to 90psi could I run no coolant if I fill the oil for like 15 seconds to turn the truck around and get it pretty close to where the winch and pulley could mount directly above or am I likely to do some damage? The Rodeo is pretty heavy for a light truck...
 

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Discussion Starter · #39 ·
Rock Auto's same Omni5 gasket I posted about and a missing alignment dowel look like they were the culprit. Their customer service was so awful I should make them fly someone out to small claims in front of a rural justice of the peace with the evidence of a new one they won't take back and one that failed immediately.

#2 intake valve seat has some rust on it.

Clearwater has a 3 week wait on top of usual ship times, Jerry will build me a valve train on a new casting for a little more but seems worth it. I think I might check both halves with a straight edge and feeler and roll the dice on this head and a felpro gasket. Clean up my #2 intake valve and the bit of rust on the seat (that's the only iffy one by eye) and see if my mechanic has anything I could use to check if the valves will hold a vacuum

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Discussion Starter · #40 ·
I've got new wiring problems afterwards I'm trying to track down.

Getting codes 22, 33, 35, and 65. Ignition coil, fuel injectors, power switch ignition driver, and WOT switch, all stuff I'd taken off to pull the head. Gotta be a loose ECM terminal or a missing ground I think. Right now I did a visual and I definitely damaged the wiring to the condenser on top of the valve cover and the ignition coil driver power switch ribbed rectangular black plastic thing under the intake that I relocated to be a little more visible wasn't connected anymore, the wiring might be so tight it comes loose as soon as the starter kicks on, because the clip is broken off. It'll be a bitch but I do have that pigtail so I'll re-relocate it and rewire it. Any chance just that being unplugged or loose could effect all of that at once?

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