View Full Version : Known Engine Problems (by engine model)

12-06-03, 12:10 PM
What I envision for this thread is a list of 'known' problems for engines and perhaps suggested resolutions. I *don't* want people talking about a complete one-off failures if possible although I can understand how this may be dificult. Please list all problems by manufacturer, engine designation and if applicable car model (eg. mitsubishi astron balancer shaft chain problems don't apply to the commercial versions)

Allow me to start

Nissan KA24E (U12 pintara fwd) - Timing chain/guide problem, at startup the cam chain has insuffient tension and can skip teeth allowing valves and pistons to meet with predictably catastrophic results. Nissan now sells an updated guide which extends higher into the timing chain cavity, perhaps a stronger pre-load spring inside the tensioner would also help.

12-06-03, 12:15 PM
Good idea, I'll remove any posts that arent relevant.

12-06-03, 12:19 PM
Very much appreciated secoh.

Holden/Isuzu G-series (g161z, G180z, G200z) - Timing chain problem, the factory timing chain might be adequate for low-lift cams on soft-factory valve springs but has an unfortunate tendency to fail once high-lift cams and uprated valve springs are fitted. Rollmaster and possibly others will happily sell you a double-row kit and I've seen a heavier single row chain fitted but I'm afraid I don't know the source of it. Anyone?

12-06-03, 12:44 PM
Single cam 4A-C - The seal on the dizzy is almost always poor, so the dizzy often fills up with oil.

Twin cam Jaguar engines, the first series, only have a single row timing chain which wears out at an impressive rate.

12-06-03, 12:46 PM
H22A 2.2 Litre Vtec from Honda Prelude

quite a good engine really, doesn't have alot of potential for easy mods as it is pretty highly tuned from the factory

biggest weakness is the internals are pretty fragile and break badly when boosted on stock internals

also boring out and stroking requires sleeving because the stock block cylinder walls are mad eof fibre reinforced metal

engine responds very well to N2O up to a 75hp shot on stock internals.

12-06-03, 12:48 PM
Astron 4G54/4G52(sigmas):
Balance shafts and oil pump all run on one chain(that is huge) with a manual tensioner. Never ever gets any love or care, chain streches and eventually break/rips holes in timing cover = no oil pressure = no go sigma.

Balance shafts just plain suck. To remove is easy...top one you just undo bolts pull out an block oil feed(=better oil pressure).
Lower one is in oil pump...remove oil pump an take balance shaft out, cut the balance shaft off but leave the end bit so the oil pump can be run. Then just use a appriate size chain to go from crank to oil pump. Kits can be bought for this pretty cheap too.

Basically either put new chains in if nesecary or just adjust the tensioner, or preferably rip the bastarts out!

Oil leaks: Silastic everywere, dont even bother with gaskets.


12-06-03, 01:19 PM
Toyota 7M:

Original factorey head gasket fails.

The fix is either a metal gasket or the toyota revised gasket, a new set of bolts and tension them down another 20nm or so over stock tension. Should never go again unless it has been cooked.

This is the only common fault with these motors.

Mitsubishi/chrysler Saturn 4G32/33/30 etc etc:

can corrode around the head bolts if neglected, and will cause the allen head bolt to strip when you go to undo it. Using the correct allen head bolt tool instead of a bodgey 8mm allen key will work much better.

Apart from that these are a great little motor.

Early Nissan Pulsar E15 1500cc :

The heads crack under the middle front bolt from overtension or age, and cause an external coolant leak dribble from under the bolt.

Toyota 1S/2S SOHC (corona, 1st gen Camry):

These can occasionally crack heads, and if are overheated will sieze the cam in the cam box on the head, and can on occassion break the cam if it is severe enough (hollow cam).

Suzuki 1600 Baleno thing:

Can suffer sludging to the point the strainer blocks up, and causes cavitation at the oil pump. this causes a high pitch buzz often mistaken for an alternator or cam belt pulley bearing.


same cam issues as the 2S corona motor.

The cam belt is adjusted by loostening the water pump and turning the whole water pump in the block. they are ALWAYS siezed and corroded to the max. the only way to adjust the cam belt is to remove it, bash the pump off with a hammer and fit a new water pump with the timing belt.

12-06-03, 02:18 PM
Mitsubishi 4G93T (1993-1995 Lancer GSR) and 4G63T (Lancer Evo, Galant VR4)

Noisy lifters, noise will go away for several months after replacing them, but comes back. Some people apparently have fixed the problem by using different oils. (Noise is harmless, but annoying)

4G93 prone to bending/breaking rods with more than about 15psi boost and stock internals.

12-06-03, 02:27 PM
Subaru EA81 1800cc (Leone, Brumby, Sportswagon)

The welch plugs in the head under the rocker covers are aluminium and are held in with small chisel crimps and good intentions. A severe water loss into the oil problem is often one of these welch plugs falling out.

Volvo/Peugeot V6 (Volvo 760)

Severe engine corrosion. To the point the blocks will get perforations and leak coolant through the side of the motor.

Use of correct coolant is a preventive only. Once the block and heads are corroded, kiss it goodbye because it's worth it's weight in scrap alloy. :)

*EDIT* From Forg (thanks :))

if you can find a Volvo V6 in good condition, pulling it apart & flushing out the oil & water galleries and putting it back together can apparently help a lot. They can warp if the water galleries clog up, as they're an alloy engine. The later B280F & B280E (1985 onwards I believe) are nowhere near as bad as the earlier ones for this problem ... actually, an early 90's B280E (not sold in Oz) isn't too bad an engine for something designed in the mid 70's.

12-06-03, 02:48 PM

Also these motors have very small oil feed to the cams, are high-kay examples can sludge up the journals, seizing the cams in the heads. More scrap alloy.

Mazda MA RWD 626

Will break conrod bolts if revved over 6,000rpm regularly.

Mazda TC / UC / D5 (808, RWD 323 etc)

Starter motors always die. (I know that's not really an engine weakness, but its something to watch for, and part of the deal if you have one).

Chris Rogers
12-06-03, 03:21 PM
came in leone and sportswagon (85-93)

*heads develop cracks in between the cylinders
*has noisy lifters after 250k - replace the oilpump seal it goes away.
overheating will warp the intake on turbo models.
has 3 varations of water pumps turbo and NA are Different ( by 15mm in height)

turbo has headgasket dramas - they seep coolant- the fix is replacement.

there was something about the fuel lines being too close to the turbo and catching th car on fire as well.

has cooling issues ( more to do with the radiator being too small
2 core fixes it.)

carb version has 3 DIFFERENT carbs for it hitachi being one-can't remember the other 2. hitachi was a manual choke.

( I'll add to it as I remember)

12-06-03, 09:16 PM
VR4 4G63T

to follow up on Evolancer's lifter tick issue
There is apparently a later design of the lifters that has a larger hole in the top to avoid the gumming up problems of the original. People have reported boreing the whole larger to resolve the issue after cleaning the originals.

Balance Shafts
Removal prodedure is basically the same as per Karl's description for the Astron engines except there is a seperate belt for the shafts that breaks & takes the timing belt out with it.

exhaust housing/manifold cracking
The VR4 age parts are prone to cracking, the later EVO parts (up to EVO III) bolt on & don't crack. Every TD05-14B has cracks around the wastegate that cause the boost pressure to not be held to redline.

guides to changing these parts & more is available at...

If you own a 4G63, definately have a look. Its been an invaluble site for me.

12-06-03, 10:56 PM
Toyota 3VZ-FE (Vienta V6) and 3VZ-E (Hilux Surf)

Prematurely failing head gaskets - corossion on head and block. More common problem on the 3VZ-E than the 3VZ-FE. I can't remember the exact details but it was to do with the head gasket material used. Later 3VZ's used a different head gasket material so aren't affected by the problem.

I believe Toyota acnowledged the problem with the 3VZ-E and will replace or fix the motor if you push them. Unfortunatly it seems they wont do the same for the 3VZ-FE and prefer to quote you $8k to repair it. :rolleyes:

12-06-03, 11:16 PM
First Gen Honda Legend V6

These motors suffered severe engine sludging and bore glazing.
Honda actually has a campaign on these, if you take it to a dealer they should repair the motor for nix.

The fix was a larger oil cooler and a special "Legend Only" honda oil, but I suspect a high quality synthetic such as mobil 1 would fix the problem too.

12-06-03, 11:27 PM
G series motor:

They tend to crack in the cam tunnel once cooked. This can be repaired the same way as a sigma head.
Bored out G200's will blow head gasket on 2/3 if the bore is not aligned properly.

Red 202 manuals:

The main bearing wear easily when behind the manual. Lifters wear out quickly due to poor oil feed as the cam is the last one to receive oil.

13-06-03, 03:23 PM
Nissan E15ET motor found in ET/EXA 83-87

Most common problem is the location of the ecu, under the passenger seat. Gets kicked all the time making connections go bad over time. Symptons include a lack of punch around 3000rpm where there usually is a good kick in the pants. The car might also hesitate and/or jump around akwardly. Usually a quick push whilst driving will fix it temporarily. Aftermarket ECU located behind the glovebox is recommended for best results combined with appropriate engine mods.

Gearboxes dont like to take much power, but depends on how it is driven. 12s have been run on the std box, but keep a couple in the garage just in case.

Dizzy can stop working when the engine bay gets really hot, but most cars now have had the dizzy replaced by Nissan. Was a lifetime exchange warranty on the dizzy, but not sure if it is in place anymore.

There are more, but I forgot...:rolleyes:


13-06-03, 05:16 PM
Toyota 1JZ

CT12A turbo's have ceramic exhaust wheels which are very fragile over time. Overspeeding them (over boosting) can result in the bonding between the shaft and the exhaust wheel fail, resulting in the wheel dislodging and going for a tube slide down your exhaust.
The turbo's wastegate is also known to stick shut or half shut, easily loosened with a bit of crc, oil and gently working it out, but this can cause shaft overspeeding which results in the aforementioned problem.

The top of the radiator is made from plastic, which is known to get small cracks in the top of it, from general old age. If left un-noticed this can result in a split radiator.

tandy ass
13-06-03, 05:30 PM
Nissan RB series -

RB20, RB25 (single/twincam/turbo/nonturbo)

No go - Dead CAS (Silver round thing attached to front of engine by three 10mm bolts), dead ignitor pack (all engines apart from RB25DETs produced from 1995) - its the box with two wiring looms going into it, sitting at the rear of the cover that hides the coil packs, ie, between the rocker covers.

Will not rev or produce any useable power, however will start and idle - Faulty air flow meter (AFM). First take it apart to see if there are any dry solder joints in it, if so, fix them and it may work again. Otherwise replace it.

Coughs, splutters and idles very low - Most likely the cold start enrichment choke - mounted under the intake runners and a prick to get to. Could also be sticky injectors or a gummed up fuel pressure regulator. Another similar problem is it takes 20-40 seconds worth of cranking to start it - Commonly due to an alarm fitter cutting the "start" signal to the ECU. The ignition barrel has two start outputs, sometimes one gets cut and not rejoined.

Using too much fuel - Most common problem is a person willingly choosing to look like a retarded idiot in public by installing an atmospheric venting blow off valve. Removal of the atmospheric venting blow off valve restores good fuel economy. Other reasons could be a faulty oxygen sensor (most common after installing the BOV due to the rich mixture fouling up the sensor), you can use a $60 Ford Falcon EA-EL oxygen sensor instead of the $200 Nissan part, or I've had a sticky variable valve timing solenoid, only on the RB25DET engines. Also check injectors and spark plugs by pulling them out and inspecting them to ensure they're all the same shade of black (like most RB motors) and it could also be the airflow meter. Also try resetting the ECU by disconnecting the battery overnight.

Misfiring - Could be the ignitor box for earlier RB motors or a coil pack for all of them. Beware the series 1 and 2 RB25DET's use different coil packs.

No go/engine randomly dieing - Corroded contacts on the 4 pin connector that plugs into the CAS, which is on the distributor on the exhaust side of the engine. Unplug the connector and spray some WD40 in there and plug it back on, it may fix the problem. Also get some electrical tape and wrap the cracked insulation on the top of the connector, this will prevent water getting into there in the future. The CAS can die too, which necessitates replacement. If you've washed the engine down and it refuses to run or splutters/backfires, remove the distributor cap and ensure there's no water or condensation in there. If it still doesn't go, remove the rotor button and the plate that hides the CAS. Blow a hairdryer into there for 5 minutes to dry it out, even if there doesn't look like there's any water in there.

Misfiring - Faulty spark plug(s), leads, distributor cap, rotor button, coil, transistor, loom, ECU. Check in that order.

Idling extremely low and using heaps of fuel and other strange random faults - Dissasemble the ECU and replace the three 47uF/25V electrolytic capacitors inside it. Use 105 degree rated capacitors, or tag tantulum types if you want to do it properly. Ensure the polarity is correct or they will explode when you power it up. Only do this if you are competent with electronics. If you aren't, take it to a TV repair shop and they'll charge between $20-$40 to do the job for you.

Battery and Oil warning lights coming on randomly - Worn brushes in alternator.

Too many rattles - Standard no cost factory feature.

Power steering hose leaking fluid - Take the high pressure hose to Enzed or Pirtek (or any high pressure hose repair specialist) and it should cost around $100 to be fixed. This hose is a pain in the arse to remove while the engine is in the car but it can be done so dont give up on it. Remember to plug the holes in the power steering pump and rack to ensure no rubbish gets into them and thoroughly wash the new hose out when you get it back.

No faults exist. This engine is god.

13-06-03, 06:56 PM
Toyota 4AGE - the front harmonic balancer has a rubber buffer between the outer ring and main pulley. In older engine this rubber can slip and so the timing mark for the spark can more - A lot!
I had it move a good 30 on my old engine.
A quick & dirty check of real TDC #1 can be made with a screwdriver down #1 cylinder's sparkplug hole.

* Edit, nearly forgot - On RWD 4AGE's (not sure about FWD ones) the water pipe that comes out of the back of the water pump to the back of the head has a small spot-welded on fitting to brace it on the block. I had one develop a pin-hole sized rust hole that would ONLY squirt out water when the engine was revved, not at idle. So the car would sit quick happily at idle, not dropping water, but eventually run dry on the highway ...

14-06-03, 03:47 PM
E-Series Falcon 6 Cylinder engines...

Head Gaskets usually die a little sooner in these motors, mostly because the heads are made from alloy and the blocks are cast iron. As these change temperature, they expand and contract at different rates, causing the surfaces of the head and block to pull away in some cases. This usually means taking the head off, having it machined and re-attaching it using new head bolts, as the old bolts will have stretched. The only preventative measure seems to be getting your cooling system flushed on time, every time.

EL rocker cover gaskets will also stretch and be rendered useless if you remove the rocker cover. So have a new one at the ready when you remove it! I didn't... :(

15-06-03, 08:28 PM
hotgemini -

Re: Isuzu G160,G180 Timing Chain.

I had a heavy duty single row timing chain in one of my gemini's and I am pretty sure it was a CROW item, however it ended up breaking so I wouldnt bother using them ( alot of other people i know have had the same problem), I currentley have a Roller Master Double Row timing chain in another gemini and it is great.

Although there is some mods you have to do when fitting such as some shaving/grinding from the front timing chain runner gap section on the head and also a thicker timing case cover gasket.

17-06-03, 05:40 PM
Hyundai Excel (all models/SOHC & DOHC)
Manual models only.
cheap clutch from factory gives off a hell of a lot of dust which collects in the drive mechanism of the start motor. Drive eventually becomes jammed in the "on" position. Result: start spins at engine speed and eventually burns out.

Barina's - those Beep Beep models
cheap & nasty Opel ignition switch becomes jammed in the "start" position when starting the car, meaning that the starter motor drive is still engaged and destroys itself if driven at road speed.

Mazda TC/UC etc motors
these engines feature a thermostat housing mounted as part of the inlet manifold on the LHS of the engine (looking from front) to eliminate the Hotspot that occurs at the front of 4 cylinder engines. They feature a 10mm coolant return line that runs from the LHS of the block to the RHS across the front of the motor itself. This line rusts out completely, as does the rear return elbow housing and joining peice.
Timing chain adjuster also differs from early and late TC motors.
Dont replace the standard TC carb with the weber 32/36 DGAV. Its a hopeless carb that constantly falls out of tune and delivers poor fuel economy.

18-06-03, 06:02 AM
Holden Commodore VN V6

Jeezus where do I start?

1. Timing chains - thrash out after many km - normally prior to failure a audible rattling can be heard coming from the front of the motor - poor fuel economy and performance.
2. Rear main (series1 only) - leak badly - is a two piece rope type seal. Symptom is oil en masse on driveway. Better in VP model (1 piece neoprene type seal)
3. DFI modules/coil packs on series1 prone to failure - symptom = crappy idle/stumbling on acceleration and poor fuel economy.
4. CAS - tendancy to fail - quick fix to pour cold water on it - symptom is car will not start when warm
5. Camshafts can spit bearings/cam has been known to "snap" - resulting in dead motor that will turn over but not start
6. Water pumps die after around 130,000km
7. Tensioner pulley bearings develop whine/noise and can eventually sieze - normally the noise gets so unbearable its replaced beforehand
8. Piston skirts can crack/break under excessive load/high RPM and go for a walk around engine eventually siezing engine.

Thats about all I can think of at the moment.

19-06-03, 10:33 AM
1995 VS Commodore SS V8

- Alternator
- power steering
- air con belt
- misc electrical gremlins...

overall though, once its sorted, will run for eva!


19-06-03, 08:45 PM
Nissan SR20DE (fwd engines in 1991 to 1995 N14 pulsars, 1995 to 2000 N15 pulsars, and 1991 to 1996 B13 NX Coupes)
Engine has a very sensitive idle controls. There are 3 (maybe 4) idle control devices that change the idle under different loads, and if any of these are faulty the idle bombdives in neutral, and sounds very lumpy. The idle controls tend to get clogged with carbon buildup too.

Engine has timing chain which goes 'slack' over time. Updated timing chain tensioner fixes this (watch, cause the chain likes to jump a few teeth when messing with this). Engine also 'bogs' down before getting over 3k rpm. Many many fixes for this, such as cleaning out the EGR valve, regrounding the MAF sensor, cleaning the TB plate.

Dinted oil sumps can damage the oil pickup, causing bad oil distribution throughout the engine. Most affected place is oil squirter for cam lobes, resulting in worn lobes. This can be seen if valve cover is removed.

Some of these may also apply to other engines in the SR fleet, I know the oil sump problem applies to all the FWD and 4WD sr20s, not sure about RWD though. Other than these, SR's generally run like clockwork, not loosing oil or any heat/fuel problems.

19-06-03, 11:04 PM
Another for the 4G63B's, not sure wether this part was different on the turbos or not. The cam belt tensioner looses fluid and finaly fails causing the cam belt to flop around quite freely! Caused cam belt to shread and almost cost the engine.
Solution is buy a newer unit from Mitsubishi. This happened less than 70,000 ks from new, so possibly all have failed or been changed already.


Coolant temp sensor electrical conections for ECU comes loose casuing massive over fueling and big problems when starting hot. Quick fix, buy a new injector connection harness and replace O/E connector.


20-06-03, 09:29 AM
Blue/Black 202s:

Dizzy drive gear gives and gets chewed out, so no fire = no go. Often find that the broken bits of gear will escape down into the depths of the engine.

To check - take rotor cap off and try to turn rotor with the engine NOT running, and the dizzy still mounted. If it turns freely - then the gear is gone.

Red motors had a metal gear, which would be a good replacement (it is noisier though.)

Fibre timing gears were used in these engines. Reports are that these also are a poor choice of material for the job, and break up. Alloy timing gears are a good solution or preventitative measure.

More when I think of them (will edit this post.)



Captiva Fan
25-06-03, 03:58 PM
EJ20T, 1989-1994 Subaru Liberty RS, Legacy RS & GT
Hydraulic lash adjusters get air bubbles, due to inadequate oil channel design. Causes a ticking sound. A good number of Oz-delivered ones were fixed under warranty by Subaru by using a Mystery Head which wasn't off a WRX of the time; probably off a Gen-II Legacy GT or RS.
Too expensive to actually repair unless you're nuts; regular oil changes with good oil can keep noise to a minimum, and engine damage apparently isn't likely or major for a very long time with this problem. The best fix most people use is an import WRX or turbo Legacy motor.

29-06-03, 08:16 PM
commodore ecotec V6 engine:

sump leaks, esp around the rear mains seal area....

in my experience most of these leaks are caused by the rear plate (that seals the water passages at the back of the motor and holds the rear mains seal) not being lined up properly during production.

they sit too low, creating a slight 'step' from the gasket face on the block to the face on the plate, meaning the sump cannot seal on the block properly.

also, because the plate is not lined up, the seal tension around the crank is uneven, allowing it to leak.

to fix, remove gearbox, sump and rear plate, discard plate, clean the gasket face of the block and plate EXTEREMELY well, fit new plate and use a straight edge to ensure the plate is exactly lined up with the block before you tighten the bolts on the plate (try and tighten the bolts in a wheel nut "opposite" style, dont just go "round the outside" if you know what i mean...)

05-07-03, 06:26 PM
Mazda B6 - MX-5, possibly some 323's

Earlier versions have a small and short nose on the crankshaft. If not properly assembled (or reassembled after timing belt change) the keyway can munch out and throw out the cam timing.

Later versions have an upgraded crank nose.

Cam angle sensor o-ring prone to leaks if old (easy fix, BS222 size o-ring).

Head gasket leaks oil below the #4 cylinder.

Otherwise very durable.

07-07-03, 08:32 PM
Holden VR 1993 3.8L V6

well ive blown 1 at 158,000 km, and two of my mates blew theres at 160,000 km and 163,000 km

All spun Bearings.


09-07-03, 12:45 AM
Volvo B21/23/230/A/E/ET/FT
These engines have a tendency to blow rear main seals*.
Normally one of 2 causes:
1. Over 350000kms.
2. They have a "flametrap" (I believe may be a euphemism for PCV or other crankcase venting system), which can get blocked, causing much higher than average crankcase pressures in extended trips and blowing the rear main seal. This will only occur at high mileages.
*These problems strangely normally appear at a similar time to the automatic needing an overhaul (740 owners see below)- repair at that time if its not too bad.

'86ish Volvo 740 Automatic cars:
These cars have a water cooled transmission cooler, and it is possible for older versions, and especially cars that have not had the correct coolant ratio, to develop pinhole leaks in the trans fluid element, allowing water to enter the transmission. Should this happen do not attempt rebuilding the trans, junk it, buy one from a low km wrecker, as rebuilding this box and making it function correctly appears to border on a black art.

General OHC Volvo four issues:
Be vigilant on cambelts. Often multi owner cars will have been neglected in this regard- Volvo parts aren't cheap, neither is servicing at volvo dealers. When it goes, it will go in a big way.

Certain B230 cylinder heads are cast thinner in the water galleries, and do not take kindly to extra boost. Especially not after being skimmed, as they can crack or become porous.

I will have missed many, many things Forg would be a far better authority, these are just what I observed over my family's 12 or so 240/740 volvos.


09-07-03, 11:43 AM
Oil surge problems when being used in racing applications, which have lead to catastrophic engine failures (legs out of bed!). Also seems to apply to the 2.5L engine also (from the liberty I think)

Probably not a concern for street guys, but may be something to consider if your street ride doubles as a weekend racer.

Two guys who race in IPRA have had the some problems, and short of dry sumping (which is a difficult/expensive setup on this engine), there doesn't seem to be any other fix.


14-07-03, 09:25 AM
Honda B20A from '88-'91 Preludes

Weak cam belt, has a tendency to snap after 80,000km or so. Hence change the thing on time and dont let one run for any more than 80,000km.

Cam belt is a weakness on other Honda engines but not to the extent as on the Preludes.

Also seals should be checked to make sure they arent leaking as these engines are getting on and are often thrashed

14-07-03, 03:50 PM
4age - RWD

The early 4ages with the distributor sometimes (read most of the time) leak oil out of the dizzy seal and onto the headers at high rpm.

other oil related prob with most 4ages seems to be poor sealing of the rocker covers so you end up with a small pool of oil in each plug hole.

19-07-03, 02:21 PM
FOR: pretty much every commodore ever made

not exactly a problem with engine as such... but i foudn a pretty useful site for holdens, for those common shity problems you might be able to fix yourself, if you new how... its got everything listed by year and model, ie VS commodore 1996 - 1998 , and then all the common problems, just hope it helps some of you blokes

dont pass this by if you are having a niggling problem, cos this site has a huuuuge list of problems for commodores, you'd almost think holden made crap cars :p



23-07-03, 01:22 AM
B6 mazda, laser mx5 ect.
As said above, poor design, crank doesnt protrute through crank pully, most people over tighten belts (alt,a/c, power steer) and break the nose of thwe crank off, solution, leave belts on the looser side!

23-07-03, 01:26 AM
The biggest fault with the 3S camry engine isnt in fact with the engine but with the owners, lack of maintinence on the cooling system is almost always there failure, replace all coolint hoses, water pump, radiater service, new thermostat ect before 200kms and youll almost for certain have many more years of happy toyota motoring!

24-07-03, 01:31 PM


Car randomly cuts out/ idle's rough/ Generally runs shit.


Obviously check normal ignition problems like ECU connectors/spark plugs/ leads etc. But the regular problem if it isnt that is the plug on top of the distributor. Take the rubber cover off it and check that the wires are in good condition and solidered on properly. If not get them soldered back on. Seen this a few times on earlier model EFI magnas

30-07-03, 01:35 AM
In addition to maadmike's info: possibly the most common cause of rough idle on the tm-tp series 2.6 astron (efi and carby version) is worn engine mounts (when, not if).

other common/known engine faults in the first generation magna 2.6 include:

* head gasket implosion galore - sometimes obvious symptoms, sometimes spontaneous self-destruction

* cracked blocks

* half-moon seal failure

* chronic oil retaining issues (could write a book on this alone)

there's more, but that's all that is coming to me now (I'm trying hard to forget...)

30-07-03, 11:42 PM
G180 gemnini engines

I have found with my engine that when you bore them 120 thou its leads to over heating. It is a good idea to install a decent radiatopr and a big thermo and run decent oil eg penrite or pennzoil. mine before using penrite would hit 120 degrees c while idling, this is with a thermo and a 3 row radiator!! but would cool down while driving around.

09-08-03, 02:10 AM
On mazda 626 GC-GD that late 83-87 88-91 (FORD TX-5 & Telsatar versions )
Engines have no major failure, but head warps easy if over heated. Thermostat casues most problems. Engines take punsihment. but comonly both 8 valve and 12 valve leak oil from cam cover.

4speed Auto box on both turbo and non turbo lack strong diff.
Watch for hard starts, it's a NO NO, more so on NON-turbo as it constantly skips front tyres in dry causeing Spyders inside diff to break and cause expensive rebuild. Turbo -Auto never stall its' the stall converters slowness that helsp keep diff in one peice.

This Goes for GV station wagon of same, Diff's in this model were said to be stronger but is questionable. I have broken 2 inside the 4 speed on a stock as a rock car. easy starts and light wet weather foot will save the thousand $$$ put out for rebuilds.

For GE 626 V6 and Mx-6 watch models before 95 for Dizzy failure, mostly fixed by now. Newer model had over come this problem.

20-08-03, 01:29 PM
On early R32 RB26DETT

oil pump drive part on the crank can be damaged/worn out as it only reach half into the oil pump, the problem can be prevented by install an oil pump drive collar.

20-08-03, 07:29 PM
RB25DE/DET and maybe other RB engines that share the same CAS.

Loud grinding and dull rattling noise from the front of the engine. A bearing or bush inside the cas is to blame. The front ball bearing on the offending CAS seems OK but metal filings are coming out from behind the optical disc. Its almost impossible to get apart.

The O ring that sits on the shaft of the CAS disintegrates causing undue play which in turn puts more stress on the bearing. Thats my theory anyway, because when we pulled it out, it fell apart just by looking at it.

Fix is a new CAS or new bearing/bush if you can get the bloody thing apart. I'm not sure if its a bearing or bush yet because It won't come apart.

30-09-03, 06:56 PM
Now to have a go at the RB30 in the VL & Skylines,when age and high mileage gets to them their injectors have a bad problem with leakage as mine does,this results in possible bad driveability and poor fuel economy as my VL has a the moment.
Their CAS units fail but I have never had it happen to me,their AFM's I have found are fragile as I have been through 2 of them.
They have a head cracking problem but that has never happened to me.
Their exhaust manifold studs also become brittle and break at kigh kms in perticular.
I have otherwise found the RB30 to be an honest reliable engine but mine is getting a bit tired at 465,000 kms and seems to have lost a lot of its go and blows a little smoke,also the injectors which I have tried hunting around for with no luck as I have always bought a dud set have leaked for the past year which is why I will be fitting an RB30DE motor soon.

03-10-03, 10:48 AM
General post here:

This thread is for KNOWN ENGINE FAULTS such as common issues with motors, like front timing cover seals on EA falcons etc etc. DO NOT post up problems you have had with ONE motor.

Especially do not post up things like "All Mitubishi motors are crap because my old man's van blew smoke and I saw a smokey Magan once". This is not useful information, or helpful in any way!

that sort of rubbish will be removed from the thread.

Also take the time to read the thread so we don't end up repeating too much.

05-10-03, 09:53 AM
Addding to Karls stuff on Astron Balanceshafts and oil pumps.
Make sure the dummy shaft actually is a neat/snug fit in the oil pump backing plate, normally that gear issupported by the balance shaft bearing, but as its removed the rear is not supported anymore.
Just cutting the balance shaft off isnt an easy fix either, as it runs a large amount of clearence that doesnt hold the gear square and hence eats out the pump housing and backing plate.
only fix i know of is machining out the backing plate and fitting a brass/alloy bush with the rigth clearences to make it act as a bearing and hold the gear stable

28-10-03, 05:21 PM
Nissan Bluebird (L20B) and CA20 (1981-1986)
Also applies to other Nissans of the same era (Gazelle etc) using same components.
For some unknown reason (hopefully one of you know why), the starter motor sometimes struggles and turns the car over very slow. Other times it is fine... I bought another starter and that didnt fix the problem. One of my friends owns a 84 Gazelle and has had the same trouble and another had a Bluebird doing the same thing. They have had it looked at by engine electricians and haven't found a solution.
If anybody who reads this knows the problem PLEASE PM ME!!!


28-10-03, 09:03 PM
Dude, I have fixed 2 Bluebird starter motors with that problem by simply changing the brushes, skimming the commutator and giving the solenoid a once over. Total cost $12. Hint: load test the battery by putting a multimeter on the battery and try starting the car with the ignition coil lead unplugged. If the battery voltage drops below 10V and keeps falling off, its buggered, or hasn't been charged. Also check all the battery connections and the cable that goes to the starter motor, make sure the motor has been thoroughly earthed to the chassis of the car (very common problem)

25-02-04, 04:58 PM
Holden Astra X18XE1:

The earlier owners manuals listed the timing belt change as 120,000k, it has been changed to 60,000k.

The timing belt tensioner can have its bearings die, this gives a buzzy clicky sound that increases with engine revs.

If the car is dying when idling/changing gears, then clean out the throttle body with some carby cleaner, the Idle Control Valve gets munged up with gunk. There is also a dealer fix which involves drilling out a hole in the ICV to 2mm and altering the ECU firmware.

16-03-04, 12:24 PM
ca20e has always had probs with the exhaust manifold cracking.
also ive heard many complaints about faulty air flow meters

16-03-04, 09:56 PM

The cranks on these engines apparently dont fit snug enough and vibrate too much. Guy at work knows a guy who owns a VU ute who took it back under warranty. The guy at the dealer said it is a known problem to holden and he has fixed a few of them.

21-05-04, 02:33 PM
1995 VS Commodore SS V8

- Alternator
- power steering
- air con belt
- misc electrical gremlins...

overall though, once its sorted, will run for eva!


17-07-04, 11:10 AM
Honda D16

As poid said timing belts need to be done on time (every 100,000kms for this engine).

Connecting rods are very weak (they look almost like toothpicks) and won't take more than ~12psi of boost. I would suggest 10psi or less for a daily driven Civic.

Everyone says that Civic gearboxes are strong but they tend to only last for about 150,000kms when driven hard.

17-07-04, 08:01 PM
Unforntunatly for me i seem to be learning alot about these motors...

Nissan R31 Pintara CA20e
Problems: Everything in the ignition system, the fact that the dissy cap has 8 plugs coming outa it and the rotor spins sparks for two differnt coils mean that if your dizzy cap/rotor/leads start to get outa spec things can realy screw up quickly.
Coils are mounted on strut tower just opposite exhaust manifold, another great nissan idea.
Keep leads/rotor/cap/coils in good nick and save yourself alot of hassles.
I've had a head gasket blow out between cylinders that more than likely occured because of this.

Bad earths:
Not exlusive R31 thing but on these motors things go very funny. I suggest running the engine block earth to the alternator(were you adjust the belt on alternator) and then running another earth that goes to intake manifold > chassis and distributor > chassis.

Rocker Shafts:
Rockers shafts reataining bolts/studs, they have a strange mix of bolts and studs(another great nissan idea) seem to work themselves loose and let rocker shafts snap in half and having a bunch of exhaust/intake valves permanently shut aint a good thing.

Exhaust manifolds can crack, just get over it and find another or get extractors.

Ignition modules can go(though is very easily replaced, just remove dissy cap and rotor an its 2 bolts and easily unplugs), again not exclusive nissan thing but definatly happens.

THrottle switches can also stuff up, agin just replace them also i think vl stuff is the same.

Oil Breather:
Oil breather dumps straight into the intake and will clog up manifolds/T.B's and vacuum lines as well as all intake pipeing and air flow meter. Run a catch can and block the inlet.

Other notes:
8 plugs are often overlooked when getting serviced, so only the easy 4 on the exhaust side is changed. This is not good as the main plugs are on the inlet side and the exhaust side are merely a clean burn/emissions thing. Sorta a afterburner type thing.

14-08-04, 10:04 AM
Mitsubishi FTO

Problems: Non mivec FTO suffer badly from lifter noise, almost all of them suffer from this sooner or later (Non adjustable Hydraulic Lifter). Mivec (Adjustable Lifters) around 80,000kms will most liely need a lifter adjustment. Hydraulic lifters can be cured from a basic clean in diesel.

Auto Gearboxes seem weak and need good looking after to prolong its use. A lot suffer from temperature problems, and general errors causing it to go into limp mode. Torque convertors seem to cause a lot of dramas.

Stepper motor: Get dirty or a faliure of a coil, which causes idle problems.

Droplinks: Seen on most examples if not replaced, causing knocking of front end.

E-Series Falcon

Steering racks: usually have a life of around 100-150,000kms.
First signs of a faulty rack is power steering leak around pump area.

Chain Guides: Made from plastic and sometimes can break inside the engine. Symptoms are lose chain type noise.

Diff Clunk: Very common problem, sometimes a oil change could do the trick.

Oxygen Sensor: Very Likely to fail, making the engine run too rich, possible signs are black smoke out of exhaust and bad fuel consumption.

Cat Faliure: Dunno why just heard of a lot of cases of cat faliure.

03-09-04, 10:05 AM
All early 80s nissans with EFI.
The plastic base which the fuel injectors seat into cracks and the o rings have no pressure on them so they leak like nothing else (sometimes onto the hot side of the motor on engines like the L28E :eek: ). This sort of thing effects the CA20E, L28E, L24E, VG30E etc

CA20e dizzy dies, seems to be heat based, car stops going but after 20 minutes will run fine again, also will go good on a freeway but die in urban driving. Seems to effect both the import dizzys (JECs like on gazelles) and local ones (bosch like on bluebirds).

10-10-04, 08:29 AM
This engine is a very fargile engine. First, if you do not red line this engine enough (aka the red line is not touched once at leased every month), the carbon build ups will seize the auxillary ports designed to open at 3500rpm to let in more air. Second, these engines show little signs before they blow up, for a short while they will blow lots of blue smoke and may be hard to start. Third, these cars do inject oil into the chamber, so check your oil very often, and dont be supprised if the level has gone down. And lastly for now, a vacume leak will do wonders for the engine, from stalling it to not even starting to high idle to crappy idle and high consuption of gas. If you have any more questions about this engine, just ask.

22-10-04, 05:02 PM
C_murder prehaps you can explain firstly the differences between 4 and 6 port engines so when you say auxillary port the majority of people here know what you mean. :rolleyes:

25-10-04, 04:10 AM
You could have dont that. The auxillary ports were found on non-Turbo 13B's (At leased in Canada anyways), they were designed to open up around 3800 rpm to allow better airflow into the engine creating a superchaged effect. They work from the pressure in the exhaust in the 86-88 modles and the 89-91 modles work from the airpump. Usually the brass bushings that the actuator rods sit in seize up and usually you can just take a pair of pliers and turn them loose.

25-10-04, 12:25 PM
You could have dont that. The auxillary ports were found on non-Turbo 13B's (At leased in Canada anyways), they were designed to open up around 3800 rpm to allow better airflow into the engine creating a superchaged effect. They work from the pressure in the exhaust in the 86-88 modles and the 89-91 modles work from the airpump. Usually the brass bushings that the actuator rods sit in seize up and usually you can just take a pair of pliers and turn them loose.

I don't understand what you mean when you say supercharged effect? I was under the understanding that the airpump worked more as an idle compensator at low rpm and disengaged under load (you'll find this is the case). The secondary ports will open up under loading to allow more air/fuel into the chamber however are not activated by any "supercharger" effect. By using such a term you can confuse people on this forum into believing that the air pump on an NA 6 port pressurises the inlet manifold under load, which is incorrect. With that said you are correct in stating that carbon builds ups can prevent secondary ports from opening, and that once in a while they need a good ol flogging to prevent the actuators from getting blocked.

I don't want to be a smart arse or chop you down. But, just be very careful when giving advise on this forum if you don't know how to choose your words carefully. There are alot of very knowledgable readers who will jump at the chance to put you in your place if you pretend to be an expert. :)

27-10-04, 08:52 AM
I didn't quite understand either when I was told that, I guess its more of an effect than an actual pressurisation. I only know what I know, I guess I just saw people didn't already post this so I added it. If they want to be constructive and add thats great.

27-10-04, 10:01 AM
This post has been bothering me for a while and I'm bored at work.....

This engine is a very fargile engine.
Bullshit. Gross generalizations like this do nothing and help nobody.

First, if you do not red line this engine enough (aka the red line is not touched once at leased every month), the carbon build ups will seize the auxillary ports designed to open at 3500rpm to let in more air.

Most 13b's don't even have auxiliary ports let alone exhaust actuated ones. How about restricting your comments to NA 86-88 motors?

Second, these engines show little signs before they blow up, for a short while they will blow lots of blue smoke and may be hard to start.

Brilliant insights. The motor itself will only blow smoke if an oil control ring is worn. They die a very slow death and only at high mileage unless you've destroyed it. Hard to start is just a sign of low compression. Again, this is a sign of an old engine unless the compression seals have been damaged. They don't just blow up, there's always a very good reason and those always come with pretty obvious warnings.

If you have any more questions about this engine, just ask.
I have one. Have you ever actually seen a 13b? Your post is of no help to anyone (ok maybe NA S4 owners) and only serves to perpetuate the same old bullshit.

BTW the 'supercharging' effect (DITS) is just marketing crap. It's just resonance tuning of the manifold, something piston motors had about 50 years earlier.

27-10-04, 12:21 PM
I guess its more of an effect than an actual pressurisation.

What do you mean by "an effect"?? A phenomenon? Something that kind of happens but not really???

C-Murder "NEWSFLASH!" The "EFFECT" of supercharging IS inlet pressurisation!!!! :confused:

The air pump only works to help the damn things idle smoothly and isn't there for any other reason.

03-12-04, 08:58 PM
Mazda 20B triple rotor

Built in batch runs of 1000. The first batch where notorious for premature failure.
The cause was shaft flex causing a little centre rotor wobble & the rest is history.

Usually occurred around 2000rpm - 3000rpm when "snap-torque" would load the shaft from 10% torque to 95% torque in around 1-second.

These engines can be identified by 000-999 on each rotor housing & side plate.

Mazda modified the shafts for the 2nd batch run & all those after it.

2nd Batch run can be identified by A000 to A999. Last batch was D000 to D999. Black paint on rotor housings with no batch numbers stamping are "warranty" engines