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Discussion Starter #21
I would not warm the engine up to do a test.
And if the engine is binding, I am not sure would start it up as you already have identified the buzzing mechanism. Just get stuck into getting the head off while it and the pistons are most likely sound.

The rods can fail due to the buzzing.
Whether they magnaflux them. or how exactly they are tested I am not sure... But test them.
After i looked into what it takes to do a compression test, i decided i don't want to risk doing more damage by running the engine. plus it is a bunch of work to put things back together and do it, and it may not tell me enough. So i will pull the head off so i can look at the valves. I am travelling around this weekend, so it will be the next.

Hm, i better change my location - i dont live in detroit anymore.
 

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You might consider pulling the oil filter and opening it to check for metal before you go to the trouble and expense of pulling the head. Jim may be right...
 

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While it may be possible in theory...
The valves are a known for this cause/effect.

In fact I am not sure how a bearing would go out on an engine buzz???
 

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While it may be possible in theory...
The valves are a known for this cause/effect.

In fact I am not sure how a bearing would go out on an engine buzz???
Slight oil starve beforehand + over rev can equal spun bearing.

Question is does the sound match the RPM exactly or is it at half the rate? If half the rate, valve, if same RPM, rob bearing. Also is it a high pitched ticking (valve) or lower pitched (rod)?
 

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Slight oil starve beforehand + over rev can equal spun bearing.

Question is does the sound match the RPM exactly or is it at half the rate? If half the rate, valve, if same RPM, rob bearing. Also is it a high pitched ticking (valve) or lower pitched (rod)?
Either way the engine comes out.

But I doubt that it was starved if he was braking and downshifting. To buzz it with a high lateral G load would have surely resulted in spin.

But another thing to check when he sends the rods out for testing.
 

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Discussion Starter #29 (Edited)
i have done some further reading, but i haven't been able to organize my time and find the courage to get deeper into the engine on my own. i am starting to feel like i have been without the car for too long for my do-it-yourself pace. i don't want to miss the whole spring and summer like this, so i will put it back together and tow it to a shop (assuming that will go faster). i am looking at two of them and will pick one this coming week. hopefully some place where i can take a look when they open things up more.
 

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why does the whole engine need to come out?
...
It doesn't...
But, but it easier to take the whole engine out than work on it all hunched over like Esmeralda's buddy.


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would that be necessary if something in the valvetrain is found to be the cause?
You do not know what RPM the engine saw. Since the rods could have been overstressed it would be prudent to have them magnafluxed, but you certainly do not have to do that. Just whack it back together if you are comfortable with it.


i have done some further reading, but i haven't been able to organize my time and find the courage to get deeper into the engine on my own. i am starting to feel like i have been without the car for too long for my do-it-yourself pace. i don't want to miss the whole spring and summer like this, so i will put it back together and tow it to a shop (assuming that will go faster). i am looking at two of them and will pick one this coming week. hopefully some place where i can take a look when they open things up more.
Your other option is to rent a cherry picker and pickup and remove the engine and bring it to a shop.
That may be a lot easier and saves the cost of them removing it as well as possible body damage.
The clam only take an hour or so to remove, and after that it is easy.
Or you could put in an extra engine now and think about what to do in the mean time. There must be a Corrolas S at a local wrecking yard somewhere... Maybe Hayward?
 

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You can buy a compression checker for $25.00.
Remove 4 spark plugs and the fuel pump fuse.

You only need 4 revolutions per cylinder to determine basic compression.
If all cylinders are the same psi, its probably bottom a rod bearing.

30 minutes of time
 

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You can buy a compression checker for $25.00.
Remove 4 spark plugs and the fuel pump fuse.

You only need 4 revolutions per cylinder to determine basic compression.
If all cylinders are the same psi, its probably bottom a rod bearing.

30 minutes of time
+1, I just don't understand what all the drama is on this...
 

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Would a bearing should show with an oil test?
If so, it does not cost a lot to send oil out for testing...
 

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Would a bearing should show with an oil test?
If so, it does not cost a lot to send oil out for testing...
It's easier and cheaper to pull the oil pan and push the big ends around...
In any case, OP's not even performed a basic compression test yet.
 

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I am not suggesting this is your problem but it sure baffled me for a while. I was running a small block Ford on the track when it developed a valve train "tick." That night I was in the hotel parking lot trying to figure it out, nothing out of normal under the valve cover, everything was perfect but there was this distinct tick that was EXACTLY what a miss adjusted rocker would give. :shrug: Anyway, as you might guess, as with any work being performed on a car in a hotel filled with car guys, it generated a crowed...and everyone had an opinion. One nut suggested I had a bad header gasket, which knowing better, I wrote off, said "Thanks for the suggestion" and thought to my self "This guy is an idiot." Well, guess what, after trying everything else, I figured why not give it a try...problem solved. :bow: Man, I still feel bad for thinking what I thought that day...I KNEW it was valve train.

Just a thought, if you can't find anything else, a gasket is cheap compared to tearing down an engine. It probably won't fix it, but, after you check everything else, why not try before tearing it apart?

Oh, by the way, the crow I ate that night was not very tasty. But is was made better when running on the track the next day.
 

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Discussion Starter #37
an update:
as crazy as it is going to sound, a shop is looking at the car and says it is the fault of a clutch (!)

some bent "metal strap" inside the clutch housing is hitting something that is rotating with the engine.

i will need to get a better explanation, or better yet, go look at it.
 

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So...what was the final outcome? I have not zinged my motor, yet I suddenly have a loud tick that varies with the motor revs. The motor still has full power, sounds and runs great except for the tick. :(
 

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Discussion Starter #39
it was the clutch, as i had very briefly described couple of posts back. it's still hard to believe that that's what happened. a metal piece, referred to by the mechanic as a strap, broke off, but not completely, so it was contacting the flywheel. i still have that clutch somewhere in my garage. i should have taken a picture. i might still at some point.

these ACT HDSS clutches (or some similar ACT designation) have really not been good to me, even though all others seem to praise them. i have gone through 2 of them (and still have the third one in), neither of them wore out - both had something break, after no more than 5000 miles or so. still have one in, i think this one has at least 10000-15000. might be my driving, but i think i am generally good to them.

(i just logged in after a long time and realized i hadn't quite came back with a conclusion on this, so there.)
 

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it was the clutch, as i had very briefly described couple of posts back. it's still hard to believe that that's what happened. a metal piece, referred to by the mechanic as a strap, broke off, but not completely, so it was contacting the flywheel. i still have that clutch somewhere in my garage. i should have taken a picture. i might still at some point.

these ACT HDSS clutches (or some similar ACT designation) have really not been good to me, even though all others seem to praise them. i have gone through 2 of them (and still have the third one in), neither of them wore out - both had something break, after no more than 5000 miles or so. still have one in, i think this one has at least 10000-15000. might be my driving, but i think i am generally good to them.

(i just logged in after a long time and realized i hadn't quite came back with a conclusion on this, so there.)
Crazy this clutch is a ticking time bomb. I have the same one. I better contact ACT and give the serial #. IIRC, there was a bad batch made a few years back.
 
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