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Thread: Mechanic changed my timing belt and I think he might have messed up...

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    Mechanic changed my timing belt and I think he might have messed up...

    Bought a 1995 mighty max with 150,000 miles. It ran well, looked great (like the PO really took good care of it) - passed CA emissions - I drove the truck for 1000 miles and was getting around 25-26mpg and had great power and no noticeable oil loss. The previous owner said that she had never had the timing belt replaced so, as an armature mechanic and not wanting to risk screwing up my new truck, I took it to a local shop - one that I'd never been to before - they were $200 cheaper than my regular shop. I had them replace my timing belt and my crank and cam seals. The truck drove pretty well after that... thought I noticed a slight loss of power and slight loss of mpg (down to 22mpg with no changes in driving habits). I changed the plugs, wires, rotor & cap at around 151,500.

    By 153,000 miles the truck had continued to lose power and began to suddenly burn through oil (went through a qt in 1000mi) no oil in the driveway and just a puff of smoke on cold start. 153, 500 and the puffs of smoke are lasting longer up to two minutes. So I changed the PCV valve, replaced the heated oxygen sensor (been throwing that code randomly off and on since I got the truck), and did a compression check - 150psi all around. No noticeable change in performance. Still burning oil and running weak. 153,700 starting to shake at 60-65mph on the freeway and seems like every time I start up it smokes a little longer.
    Going to take it to a very good shop on Monday but, I thought I'd run my story by the forum to see what yall thought. I am a novice mechanic and really trying to DIY everything I can but, this is really getting out of my league.

    One suggestion on my previous thread (1995 mighty max - check engine light turns on and off while driving) was that I need to replace my valve guide seals.... Just thought I'd give a detailed account of everything that's been going on in case someone here has an aha moment that might save me a few bucks. Thanks!

  2. #2



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    there are threads on here about the mistake in the manual for lining up the timing belt on the 2.4 motor - have the new garage check to be sure timing belt is set properly. Also run a compression check to be sure the headgasket didn't blow.
    Pennyman1
    The best Dodge that Dodge never made
    Living the D-50 lifestyle since 1980

  3. #3

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    did a compression check

    Quote Originally Posted by pennyman1 View Post
    there are threads on here about the mistake in the manual for lining up the timing belt on the 2.4 motor - have the new garage check to be sure timing belt is set properly. Also run a compression check to be sure the headgasket didn't blow.
    As I said in my long winded post... compression is 150 all around. Will have mechanic check timing belt alignment. Thanks!

  4. #4

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    I had almost the same power issues with my 91 with only 92K miles after the PO had his father in law change the timing belt. It was one tooth off on the cam pulley, and that was enough to make the truck impossible to time correctly. Not sure about the oil burning and how it would be connected, but mine needed new valve seals, maybe yours does too. Mitsubishi engines are kind of infamous for the weak OEM valve seals. Actually a lot of 90s vintage Japanese 4 cylinders are.

  5. #5

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    just got back from the shop

    Took my pickup into the shop that did the timing belt today and had them check to make sure the timing belt was on correctly. They say it was and the timing was dead on. As for the oil burning - they said that they did a compression test, a leak down and pressure tested my cooling system. Compression was great & leak was less than 10%. No sign of exhaust gasses in coolant and cooling system did not leak. They did a cold start and said that the smoke was just condensation burning off... I am pretty sure I know the difference and if it's just condensation where is all of my oil going????? I am burning one qt per 1000 miles!!! The mechanic recommended BG44k engine cleaner. I usually avoid additives like the plague - but I'll put it up for debate (I do have the signature sticky lifter clicking at start up - maybe It'd clear that up). I take the truck to my trusted mechanic tomorrow and I'll just have to wait and see what he says...

  6. #6


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    All the tests conducted by the shop do not account for valve seals. Your oil burning issue points right to the valve seals for one reason - It smokes after sitting. When the seals start to leak, they usually only leak a small amount which will not smoke at idle or while driving. However, when the truck sits, the oil keeps leaking which makes smoke on start-up because the oil was not being burned off with the engine running.

    Compression checks, leak down tests, and cooling system checks do not count for valve seal sealing since the valve seals are not in the combustion chambers or cylinders. If you had a cracked head or bad rings, that would have shown in those tests. Timing also has nothing to do with it. If you have smoke after sitting, you're burning oil, and you are having performance related issues, you probably need to replace the valve seals. The shop should have pegged that and recommended it.

    BG products are phenomenal. I am a user of many of them. 44k is an additive that will clean virtually every single thing it touches, and it will do it safely. I have seen the results first hand, and I highly recommend it. I usually recommend to my clients that they toss a can in the tank every oil change. I don't use the additives that pour into the crank case, but I know many that swear by it. Their intake cleaners and such work wonders as well.

    Lifter ticking is usually a sign of them going bad, or you have an oil issue. They are extremely cheap to replace, so might as well just do it. I use an engine flush additive just before changing out lifters in an attempt to clean out oil passages before the new lifters go in. Its up to the end user though.

  7. #7

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    Prognosis is in... My regular mechanic boroscoped my cylinders and found oil bypassing piston rings due to the carbon build up on the piston rings and found engine build up in the top of the engine as well. He suggested that I could use a product to flush the engine BUT that there is a REAL possibility that the oil pump screen may become plugged due to the release of heavy carbon buildup in the engine. In fact he says that that exact thing recently happened at his shop - plugged the oil pump screen and blew some guys engine - funny that he still recommends it...

    MERRILL you said "44k is an additive that will clean virtually every single thing it touches, and it will do it safely. I have seen the results first hand, and I highly recommend it. I usually recommend to my clients that they toss a can in the tank every oil change."
    I can see if you are regularly flushing the engine that passing the carbon to the oil pan might not be an issue but what about flushing a truck with 155,000.
    I've read and heard many differing opinions on flushing the engine for now... I kinda feel like it's not that bad adding a few QTS of oil VS. the possibility of destroying my engine.

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