I've a 2001 Dodge Neon SOHC with 200k+ miles.
It'll crank but not start. I checked injectors with a noid light, fuel pump with gauge and spark with an electronic ignition tester. All tested within specs. The engine won't hit a lick. I'm at a loss what to try next. Anyone have any ideas?
Have you checked the crank sensor?
If the crank sensor is good, run a compression test. If all cylinders test low or zero it's jumped timing. HTH. -Jim
Yep. Replaced the crank sensor. I've been thinking engine timing as well. This is my daughter's car. It quit on her as she came home from work and wouldn't restart. Since this is an interference engine, would cranking the engine cause mechanical damage?
Unfortunately, yes it will. But before condemning the engine, run the compression test to be sure. HTH. -Jim
I should have added....I took the head off and didn't see any damage to the valves... I didn't rotate the camshaft...I was concerned with keeping the sucker indexed. This little engine is driving me nuts.....
Damage. Ok. Would that be valves being smacked by piston heads? I ran a quick compression test. All cylinders tested 45psi or so and were pretty much the same. I only cranked the engine for a couple seconds for each cylinder.
I'm tired. When I had the head off, the piston heads were in great shape. From what we could tell, the head/valves and piston heads were in surprisingly good shape....
Yes, damage meaning pistons smacking the valves. If each cylinder stopped building pressure at 45 PSI either the valve timing is off or the valves are damaged and not sealing correctly. HTH. -Jim
Ok. I'll check the compression again Sunday and see what I can get out of them. There was no evidence of any impact when I had the head off. I replaced the timing belt while I was there...it went on exactly as the old one. I assumed I'd be able to tell if the belt had slipped by inspecting the belt itself. It was still in great shape to the point of almost re-installing it. I'll get some sleep and go at it again. I really appreciate your help Jim...
You're welcome. Glad to help. Keep us posted. -Jim
Well, I'm up and worried about this neon. How much trouble is it to replace bent valves? That's not something that I've done before... Cost is definately a main concern here. I broke my back several years ago and haven't had any income since. Thanks again for any help and/or suggestions....
Good morning. It may be cheaper and easier to either get a head from the salvage yard after you've heard the doner engine run or get a rebuilt head. Replacing the valves isn't terribly hard but it does require specialized tools in some cases. Valve seats should be checked, valve guides checked and machined. The head should really be pressure tested and checked for warpage. About 5 years ago I had a pair of heads done at a local machine shop for a '67 Cadillac I was working on. The total cost was $500 for both. Including parts. That's another option. See how much a machine shop wants to rebuild the head you've got. If it's not warped or cracked that may be the way to go. HTH. -Jim
The head was flat, within specs when I replaced the head gasket. The car itself cost my daughter $600. The med bills from breaking my back took all we had. Count your blessings. If I had the money to have someone do the work I'd probably scrap the sucker and find another car for her. Prior to the current condition of the engine, the Neon ran pretty well. She blew a radiator hose and it overheated and quit on the exit ramp. Of course there were bunches of folks upset that she was blocking their way. She was pressured to move the thing and ran it again, blowing the head gasket in the process. It hasn't run since then. I don't know how the timing could have gotten off, but I'll give that a look as well. Point is we're stuck with this car, at least for the time being. If I can't get it running, my daughter will have to keep driving my old Grand Cherokee. Assuming all that's screwed up is the valves, it shouldn't take much to replace those. I guess I just need to yank the head off, again, and take a bit more time evaluating the thing. I have plenty of tools and time.
Ok. I didn't get the head all the way off, but I re-checked the timing and it was spot on... I'll finish yanking the head tomorrow.
Ok, sounds good. Inspect the valves for proper seating. My guess is you'll find the trouble there. Keep us posted. HTH. -Jim
10-4, sounds good. This old man is finished for the day... Thanks!
You're welcome. Always glad to help. -Jim
Hey Jim: I removed the head and now have it on my bench. At first glance, it still looks fine. I removed the rocker arm asssemblies (intake and exhaust). Again, nothing appears broken. I reinstalled each assembly separately and turned the cam sprocket....nothing jumped out at me. I'll have to figure out how to remove the springs. My universal spring compressor doesn't fit the bill here. What do I need to check while I'm evaluating the head, valves, etc.?
You'll want to be sure the valves move freely and seat properly in the combustion chambers. Look for carbon build up in the combustion chambers which will cause the valves not to seat properly. Look for bent valve stems and, if equipped, bent push rods. How's the head gasket look? Any signs of it being blown between two cylinders? All these things, in addition to the valve timing that we discussed will cause the low compression test readings. HTH. -Jim
Ok, finally have it apart. I had to build a tool to compress the valves. The intake side valves appear to be in good shape. The exhaust side is kinda dirty but not that bad. I haven't examined the valve stems very closely but offhand, non appear bent. What's a good way to clean the valves, springs, seats, guides, etc.?
I normally use carburetor cleaner and a brush. You'll want the bristles firm but not too stiff or too soft. HTH. -Jim
I'm sorry I haven't kept my updates current. I've been nursing a torn r/c and a bad bout of pneumonia. Getting old isn't fun. Hopefully, I'll get the thing back together within the next day or so and see if compression is better. I still appreciate all they help you've given! Bill
OK. I've had the head resurfaced. I still have the same problem. The car will crank, spark to plugs, noid light on injectors is OK. I finally found a copy of the Service Manual. Within it was the following paragraph: (12) Perform camshaft and crankshaft timing relearn procedure as follows: - Connect the DRB IIIt scan tool to the data link (diagnostic) connector. This connector is located in the passenger compartment; at the lower edge of instrument panel near the steering column. - Turn the ignition switch on. - Access “Engine” diagnostics. - Select “Miscellaneous” option. - Select “ReLearn Cam Crank” option and follow directions on DRBIII screen. Is there a way of performing this "relearn" procedure without the scan tool? I'm also up for any additional ideas on solutions for this vehicle... B
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