2002 H6 - no compression! - Page 3 - Subaru Outback - Subaru Outback Forums
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post #21 of 60 (permalink) Old 11-07-2012, 02:57 PM
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I'm wondering if for certain you're getting good sealing of the compression gauge...maybe there is compression the tester just isn't seating fully?

If you remove the valve covers that gives you more clearance to access the plug holes.

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post #22 of 60 (permalink) Old 11-07-2012, 07:54 PM Thread Starter
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I have spark plugs removed from cyl 3, 4, and 2. I performed the cylinder leak down test on the three cylinders with very poor results. 80% leak is standard when I know the valves are be open, when the valves are supposed to close, the needle may jump to 75% leak. Its hard to tell, but I think the air is coming out the exhaust.

I triple checked my crank/cam timing. Its spot on. Triangles all point straight up. It looks just like picture 95 on page 29 of this guide.

What are the chances it jumped timing, bent the exhaust valves, then jumped back in perfect timing? I'm out of ideas. What do I do next? If I pull a valve cover will I be able to tell if a valve is not closing all the way?

Here is a picture in effort to share my misery.
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post #23 of 60 (permalink) Old 11-07-2012, 09:11 PM
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If a valve isn't closing all the way the clearance should be fairly high.

Looking at the valves with someone cranking the engine might show any abnormalities.

Have to say this is a weird one, I have heard of lost compression from a leaking injector, but not all 6...
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post #24 of 60 (permalink) Old 11-08-2012, 12:22 AM
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Got me brainstorming on this one. 4 things necessary for and engine to operate: Fuel, Air, Fire and Compression. So a review.

You are sure the compression tester is working properly, so no compression on any cylinders. None.

You have spark. Spark means the crank turns otherwise you wouldn't have a signal for TDC to the computer. This is good. The crank is in one piece.

You have fuel. Pump works.

Do you smell raw fuel when the engine is turned over? Yes means the injectors are firing. No means the injectors are not firing. The computer uses the CMP, cam sensor, to fire the injectors.

The gears are rotating? All of them? Are the cams turning with the gears? I know it seems like an dumb question, but I've seen some weird things occur in an engine in the going on 26 years I've been building/repairing.

Air is heard in the exhaust during the leakdown test. Exhaust valves are open. Possibilities are seized lifters holding the valves open, which would also mean bent valves, maybe damaged pistons if the valves are full open. Depends on the force of the impact. Given the amount of sludge/carbon on the front of the engine from the photo, it is a possibility. It would be a fluke that enough lifters seized on shut down to cause a total loss of compression, but nothing is really impossible. It will only need 6 valves unseated to cause all cylinders to lose compression. Lifters could have been seized on start up and that's where the damage occurred. The lifters don't have to be seized now, just may have been a factor when the failure occurred. They don't even have to be seized at the same degree. The head covers will have to be removed to check the valves for open/closed at proper position in relation to the cams.

And you are sure of the cam positions when the leak down was tested on all the cylinders?

I know it may look like a chore, but you are most of the way there. Remove the engine. It can be done in less than an hour's time from where you are now and will make it easier to work with in tracking down the issue. If you rebuild or replace, you will be removing it anyway. And its looking like that's where you are headed.

A full rebuild on one of these can run $3k, parts and machine shop to do it completely. JDM Engine Depot is showing one EZ30D available for $1k. The other option is a salvage motor unless LockMedic has one lying around he can let loose.
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post #25 of 60 (permalink) Old 11-08-2012, 01:01 AM
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I have seen exactly zero inside covers, but I think cardoc's observation about varnish/gum w'ever is interesting - seems quite dark or thick to me.

Is there something that could have been aspirated that would clog valves? intake parts or filter material?

was there some kinda oil pressure loss causing valves to seize?

has the car ever taken a hit to the oil pan?

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post #26 of 60 (permalink) Old 11-08-2012, 03:24 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you to everybody contributing to the conversation. I really appreciate your experience and ideas.

A quick review
Fuel - I don't have a pressure tester so I did a volume check. It's pumping plenty of fuel. The spark plugs were also wet with fuel. I'm certain.
Spark - I have a spark tester and verified spark on cyl #3 while my wife cranked the engine over.
Compression - Zero confirmed by compression test on cylinder 3 and 4. Major compression leaks confirmed by cyl leak down test on cylinder 1,2,3,4. I'm certain the cam positions were good. I even rotated the crank by hand 720 deg while doing the test to make sure. The needle doesn't go better than 75% on any. When the valves should be closed, I feel air coming from the tailpipe. I haven't checked cylinder 5 and 6. They are hard to get at, and if the other 4 don't work, what is the point?

Some history on the car.
My parents bought it new and had very little problems with it. The oil was changed every 5k miles and they did primarily highway driving. I bought it 2.5 years ago at 108k miles and continued with the 5k oil change interval. After every oil change, I notice the sound of lifters loudly clanging for the first few seconds until oil pressure builds. According to my Dad, it did that after his oil changes from the get-go. Lately, I would pull the fuel pump fuse and crank the engine until the oil light goes off to prime it after oil changes. About 2 years ago, I noticed a small puff of black smoke from the tailpipe at cold start up in the morning. The oil puffs have grown bigger lately but always at cold start up and they never last. After a few seconds the engine runs normal. It burns about a quart of oil every 4k miles.

Interesting enough, this failure happened at cold start up.
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post #27 of 60 (permalink) Old 11-08-2012, 06:37 AM
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Have you checked to see that the chain actually moves properly when you crank the engine? Broken chain is still my top suspect.

The oil change thing you described sounds interesting. Could be a failing pump or sludge.

I agree with Cardoc (he is the greater expert than me anyway ), you are headed for a new engine. While I believe what you are saying it sounds unbelievable.

It's worth pulling it out the rest of the way just to make sure at this point.

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post #28 of 60 (permalink) Old 11-08-2012, 09:24 AM
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how many total miles now? Some folks say the valves need adjustment at around 200K - though I can't see that being a primary issue here.

any carbon build-up on the plugs?

oil use seems too good to blame a PCV valve for gumming things up.

kinda feels like low oil pressure/ or oil that is foamy going to the heads but, all I got are wild ideas.

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post #29 of 60 (permalink) Old 11-08-2012, 10:40 AM
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White smoke is water/coolant. Blue smoke is oil. Black smoke is fuel.

Oil deposits on the valves, which accumulates over time due to crankcase venting into the intake, can get to a point where the valves can't seat properly. This is why you should run a can of sea foam through the induction at least once a year to dissolve the build up. It's also a good reason to use high quality oil.

The type of build up that is seen on the front of the block is usually what i see when going high mileage between oil changes with conventional oil or the use of high carbon oils such as Castrol.

The black smoke was an indication of an issue coming up. Given what was posted, this engine is due for a rebuild or recycling.
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post #30 of 60 (permalink) Old 11-08-2012, 10:55 AM
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Quote:
After every oil change, I notice the sound of lifters loudly clanging for the first few seconds until oil pressure builds.
I never get this on my 03, but i do partly pre-fill the filter with new oil. (can't fill it completely, but maybe by 1/3 or so of it's volume)

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