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3.4l Loss of Power - Clacking - Engine Light Blinking

 
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cprince
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2012 4:40 pm    Post subject:  3.4l Loss of Power - Clacking - Engine Light Blinking Reply with quote

I hope the title got your attention!

It sure has mine.

I had this engine put in back in February. No sense in saying how many miles it was "supposed" to have on it when they put it in because I don't believe them.

I had some odd issues back in June that PushrodPower correctly diagnosed as a bad ground that may or may not be related..?

Back at the beginning of September, I got out on the highway and put my toe into it to get up to highway speed when the engine suddenly stumbled... very little power. I thought I had blown out a spark plug by the noise it was making but could not find anything obvious on the side of the highway. I limped home without a problem other than feeling like I was driving with a 50cc engine under my hood. It would no accelerate at any good rate but would get up to highway speed EVENTUALLY.

I initially thought: Coil Pack.

Bought a new one... put it in... nada. I tried the new one in each bank... and the same results each time.

I notice that the CLACKING sound is coming from the passenger side cylinder closest to the firewall (cylinder 1) . Sounds like it is from the top of the motor.

With wires off the coil.. when the car runs there is a lot of arcing. I have no clue if this is normal.. I would think that it might be with the coil pulsing out all those amps needing a place to go with no plug wire...

I have not had it scanned yet.. but I might limp into town with it to a buddy's shop about 40 miles away from me. I just wonder what kind of alpha numeric salad is waiting for me when I put it on the OBDII reader!!

I uploaded two videos:

One with the car just started and goosing the throttle body...
1 - http://youtu.be/fPc7G0jpF6k

... and one with me just driving it around the driveway.

2 - http://youtu.be/DQg8bg3q_iw0
(might be useless as the camera phone did not pick up much more sound that me huffing and puffing... except when I went up hill in the driveway.. )

I would appreciate any ideas or educated guesses!

Notice the Bonneville I bought to get me to work while figuring out the Imp!! I thought it was a blown piston at one point and in a panicked reaction bought the Bonneville and was a hair away from junking the Imp..

Craig**EDIT** Just noticed that the engine light is now solid. It had been blinking at one point... don't know if this makes any kind of difference.
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IffyG
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2012 6:11 pm    Post subject:  Re: 3.4l Loss of Power - Clacking - Engine Light Blinking Reply with quote

cprince wrote:

I have not had it scanned yet.. but I might limp into town with it to a buddy's shop about 40 miles away from me. I just wonder what kind of alpha numeric salad is waiting for me when I put it on the OBDII reader!!


I wouldn't recommend doing that. A flashing CEL is a severe misfire and that can result in all sorts of problems. Do you have an Autozone around you? Pulling the codes is gonna at least point you in the right direction (and help us help you). Without the codes, we are just guessing.

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cprince
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2012 6:33 pm    Post subject:  Re: 3.4l Loss of Power - Clacking - Engine Light Blinking Reply with quote

IffyG wrote:
Do you have an Autozone around you...


Live on a farm about 30 miles from anything that would have a scanner.
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topgun
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2012 7:16 pm    Post subject:  clacking Reply with quote

While a plug wire/coil arching will give a clacking sound and loss of power/misfire, first video sounds like lifter/rocker arm noise. How is the oil pressure, condition of oil/filter? Oil level? Cool

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2012 7:24 pm    Post subject:  Re: clacking Reply with quote

topgun wrote:
While a plug wire/coil arching will give a clacking sound and loss of power/misfire, first video sounds like lifter/rocker arm noise. How is the oil pressure, condition of oil/filter? Oil level? Cool


(Thank you for the input and replies..!!)

A short time before this happened... there was a mystery oil spray in the drivers side of the engine compartment. It was all over the transmission/flywheel cover and was enough to have me add about 1/4 of a quart. I thought that I short changed on the last oil change (about 1800 miles prior to the oil episode and about 400 miles prior to the power loss).

Current level is fine.

I was thinking that it sounded like a thrown rocker... broken push rod... I have been cringing with that sound since the 2nd week the motor was in my car... something that sounded like a rocker or something. A shop I had it in for an unrelated issue (Wheel bearing) said it sounded like a wrist pin...

...but I have been outvoted by a couple of people who know their way around cars saying that it sounded purely electrical...

Craig
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topgun
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2012 7:29 pm    Post subject:  clacking Reply with quote

if u think something is arching, open hood at night, start engine, look for arching. U could also lightly spray water on wires/coil to enhance arch. Cool
Oil pressure? Cool

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2012 7:32 pm    Post subject:  Re: clacking Reply with quote

cprince wrote:

...but I have been outvoted by a couple of people who know their way around cars saying that it sounded purely electrical...


That doesn't sound electrical to me. I agree with topgun that it sounds like you have some lifter tick at idle, but that noise when you are driving is awful. Have you checked the oil and coolant to make sure they aren't mixing. My Monte Carlo sounded quite similar to that when the LIM gasket was letting coolant into the oil.

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cprince
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2012 7:33 pm    Post subject:  Re: clacking Reply with quote

topgun wrote:
if u think something is arching, open hood at night, start engine, look for arching. U could also lightly spray water on wires/coil to enhance arch. Cool
Oil pressure? Cool


No clue about the oil pressure... base model without an indicator. Any way to tell without one?

It was only arching with the wires off the coil packs... not with the wires on.

IffyG wrote:
cprince wrote:

...but I have been outvoted by a couple of people who know their way around cars saying that it sounded purely electrical...


That doesn't sound electrical to me. I agree with topgun that it sounds like you have some lifter tick at idle, but that noise when you are driving is awful. Have you checked the oil and coolant to make sure they aren't mixing. My Monte Carlo sounded quite similar to that when the LIM gasket was letting coolant into the oil.


No milk oil.. and no coolant blasting out of the rad when I start the car with the cap off...

I could do a compression check for the final way I know to check for a LIM gasket failure.

Craig
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2012 7:36 pm    Post subject:  clacking. Reply with quote

need oil pressure gauge, good one. go with lifter/rocker arm problem. no arch under normal conditions = not electrical problem. Cool

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2012 8:07 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote

get a ride into town and buy a cheap scanner ($50), should be in your tool box if you do anything more than oil changes by yourself. Unless you can swing a better one, then get the best you can afford. Some let you do data logging and even read things like oil pressure (which your 3.4 cluster lacks)

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2012 6:54 am    Post subject:   Reply with quote

Flashing MIL tells you there is a severe risk of catalyst damage. High count misfires and dumping fuel, one of the fun things GM cars like to do when you drive with the MIL flashing too long is burn to the ground.

It's not really that unheard of for 3.4 pushrods to slip out of the rocker arm, bend, or otherwise become useless after engine repair is performed improperly. I've seen it more than once, and I openly discourage anyone from trying to fix a 60deg motor (2.8, 3.1, 3.4, etc) if they don't know what they're doing or they don't want to take the time to follow the instructions exactly.

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VictoryRed09
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2012 11:17 am    Post subject:   Reply with quote

The 60 degree 3400 can some times pull the Roker arm stud out of the head. ( usually and end cylinder ) causing a miss fire and sound similar to what the first video sounds like.
Pull the valve cover off to see. It can be fixed a helicoil to put the threads back in the head.

the arcing of the coil with the wires off is normal but can damage the ignition control module under the coil pack if the woires are left disconnected for a long period of time.
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