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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was driving up a hill and my 90, 2.6 Trooper started to chug a little and smelled like smoke. Then it lost power and I ended up in a parking lot. It wouldn't start and I had it towed home. It didn't overheat and there was plenty of coolant and it was full of oil. It ran fine before but when I checked the compression at home it was:

#1 160 pounds
#2 75 pounds
#3 90 pounds
#4 100 pounds

There was no steam and the coolant looks normal, but the plugs were oily. Is it a head gasket problem?
 

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Harry,

Did you mean the coolant had oil in it or that there was plenty of each in their appropriate systems and not cross-contaminated?

I'm assuming you checked compression dry. To help determine if rings or valve problem, try squirting a small amount of oil into each cylinder. If compression comes up significantly, probably a ring problem. Either way, you're going to have to remove the head, at minimum, to check for burnt valve(s), guides, cracked head, or, if lucky, severely mal-adjusted valve clearance. Then there's the head gasket....
You have a little,(hopefully) project ahead of you!

GB :)
 

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i doubt if its the problem , but check the timing belt before you pull the head , just take off the cam cover an see if it turns when cranked
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Oops, I meant there was plenty of oil in the engine. The coolant looked normal and was at the usual level.
 

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Those compressions dont sound great, were all the plugs oily or just a few? If its got oil in the cylinder and no water its probably the rings.
 

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X2 what minimog said.

You only have 1 cyl showing in range on compression (160). Normal is 142 to 170 on all cylinders with 114 as an absolute minimum. The 2.6's are famous for head problems. If squirting oil into the cylinders doesn't help, I'd check the gasket first. Mine never had oil in the water or water in the oil, didn't smoke or overheat, but it was blowing bubbles from the radiator into the expansion tank whenever I shut it down after a 1/2 hour drive to or from work. Head gasket was blown...
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Sorry for the delay. I cleaned the plugs, put them back in and it started up and ran fine. Three were in bad shape even though they had only 5K miles on them. I think the bad compression was caused by unburned gas washing out the cylinders as the plugs smelled like gas.
I pulled the dist. cap and there was oil in the distributor. So, is that the problem? Where does it come from?
 

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Harry said:
I pulled the dist. cap and there was oil in the distributor. So, is that the problem? Where does it come from?
I had that problem with my '92 Amigo. Distributor seals...there are apparently two, an inner and an outer seal.
Probably need to R&R dist.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I'm resurrecting this old thread. My trooper sat in the front yard for a month and a half before I worked on it again. I replaced the dist., plugs, plug wires and rotor and got it going again. It runs OK but now it has a low and lumpy idle and and the cold start doesn't work very well. When it is started cold it doesn't idle fast but instead usually dies. Before, everything worked and it had a smooth 900 RPM idle. Today, I was on the freeway doing 70 and it started to lose power and there was a cloud of grey smoke behind me. I floored it and it recovered and ran fine all the way home. So, now I'm baffled as I fixed one problem and now have new ones. Any ideas?
 

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Maybe the distrib is leaking again. My amigo 92 lost the head gasket right in between the two rear cylinders. Sounded like a belt idler going put when I was driving down the freeway. I just had the head gone through and the brand of head gasket was poop. Have you ever ran injector cleaner through it?? Maybe there leaking. you could also check how hot your spark is.
 

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Like johny 5 said it's a blown head gasket, the seal between cylinders 2 + 3 are gone. That's where it always happens.
 

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I thought he said he did a tune up and it ran again???
I was pissed cause I used a rock brand gasket and it failed in a few months. Went with fellpro.
 

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Has anyone suggested checking valve lash yet?

Over tight lash will keep valves open too long, allowing some of the fuel/air 'charge' to escape during the pistons compression stroke.

Over loose lash will leave the valves closed too long, causing a starvation situation due to a late opening intake valve.

Both situations will mimic a bad head gasket without any cross contamination.
Also it's a lot easier to check lash then it is to 'check the gasket'. How exactly are you suppose to do that? if you do a visual inspection you've already destroyed it.

~psguardian
 

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You have to pull all the spark plugs and do a compression test is all. If you have a big unbalance you can check the valve lash and if there within specs ,it might be the head gasket especially if your compression is down in the 70's
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I replaced the PCV valve and that was a big help. It idles faster and the cold start works better, but It still has a lumpy idle. Could that be because of the $6 apiece special Bosch plugs I put in? I was trying to get better gas mileage.
 

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Maybe maybe not when I got my first amigo it had a three finger spark plug and a couple messed up Plug bosses so I tots those and just went with a normal ngk I think. So it doesn't have a blown head gasket ??? Did you do a compression test ???
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
As far as I know the head gasket is OK. Maybe the Bosch's were fouled by a plugged PCV valve. I'll replace the plugs with NGK's and do a compression test then.
 
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