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Thread: Poor running X12XE

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    'LS' Member
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    Poor running X12XE

    Hi, my X12XE has started to run on (I think) 3 cylinders. It has a very off beat sound to it (sounds like an impreza) and the engine shakes quite a bit. This has only just started in the last couple of days. The strange thing though is it doesn't seem to be down on power, it just doesn't sound right. I've changed spark plugs and bought a new coil pack but this hasn't changed anything. Videos hopefully show the sound and vibration (sorry they're upside down). Any suggestions? I don't have a fault reader so can't provide any codes at the moment. It hasn't been serviced in a while but I'm reluctant to change the oil etc before I know what the issue is and whether or not it's serious.




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    'VXR' Member Taurus's Avatar
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    Can't tell that much from the videos, other than your timing chain is noisy of course.

    A change of noise but no loss of power - some more questions as every bit of information helps.

    Is the engine management light on?
    Are you losing coolant and/or oil?
    Is there excessive emulsion in the oil? (You always get some on these)
    Any chance of a photo of the plugs you removed?
    Is it the same from cold, or worse when cold, worse when hot?
    If you block the exhaust tailpipe with a damp rag are there any leaks in the system?
    1972 Viva restoration thread - [url]https://www.thecorsa.co.uk/projects-builds/138-1972-vauxhall-viva.html#post1534[/url]

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    'LS' Member
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    There doesn't seem to be any loss of power but it's not the faster car in the world anyway so I'm finding it a little bit difficult to judge! It is very easy to stall now, revs at idle are about 600rpm based on the rev counter and it sounds very off beat (like an Impreza with uneven manifolds is the easiest way I can describe it). Up to about 2000-2500rpm there is a noticeable off beat noise and vibrations can be felt through the car, above 3k rpm it sounds ok and vibrations seem to stop. Temperature doesn't make any difference. It's reluctant to start both hot and cold but does fire up and there doesn't seem to be any change in behaviour when running either hot or cold. The engine management light isn't lit.

    I went ahead and did the oil change in the end, I didn't notice anything particularly off with the oil I took out. Coolant level seems fine, no emulsion in coolant tank. There was a small amount inside the filter housing on the top, but the car has been stood for a while unused (6 months+) and the thermostat was stuck open so it was never really warming up. I've now changed the stat and had it up to temperature on a short run. There is some emulsion on the oil filler cap and some is visible inside the cam cover but I think this is more likely to be condensation. I'm going to do a compression test in the morning.




    Dip stick after the oil change and a couple of miles run (there hasn't been any noticeable emulsion on here at all before or after the oil change).




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    'VXR' Member Taurus's Avatar
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    By the look of those plugs it needs a thorough service, including air and fuel filters. Make sure the basics are good.

    I'd also check the battery voltage just to make sure it's at 12.5v when the engine is off. A weak battery will cause poor starting so best to eliminate it. If the battery is good and it's no better once serviced consider trying a replacement coolant temperature sensor - the one for the ECU which is bolted into the top of the water pump. Easy to get at and cheap (c. 15) so worth checking. The plugs look like it's running rich which may be dirty filters or may be a weak CTS.

    It might also be worth giving all the electrics a spray with WD40 in case there's damp in them. If it's been stood for a while it can take longer than you think to thoroughly dry out moisture trapped in connections.

    If the engine management light comes on when you turn the ignition key and goes off when the engine fires then that's OK. (Just to make sure the bulb is working.)

    The idle should be around 800-900 so it's worth checking the idle valve and/or clean the throttle body.

    Have you check there are no leaks in the exhaust yet? Any leakage from the manifold back along the entire system can cause loss of power and odd noises.
    1972 Viva restoration thread - [url]https://www.thecorsa.co.uk/projects-builds/138-1972-vauxhall-viva.html#post1534[/url]

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    I checked the air filter and that looked fine, the air box has about had it though as the front clip closest to the wing has snapped off so it's only held by the two metal clips and the single lug at the back. I haven't done the fuel filter so I'll look at picking one of those up and swap it over. There seems to be plenty of fuel at the fuel rail though.

    I'll check the battery voltage in the morning as being stood overnight should be a good indication of how it's doing.

    The car does smell quite petrol-y when running so could major overfueling be causing it? Is this COOLANT TEMPERATURE SENSOR 929GM0460 the temp sensor I'll need?

    I've given eveything around the throttle body a squirt with WD but not unplugged all the plugs and given those a blast so I'll do that in the morning.

    Yes, EM light behaves as you've mentioned.

    I had a look at the throttle butterfly and it was a bit grubby on the side that faces upwards and fairly well covered in dirt on the other so I'll look at taking the TB off and cleaning it. Will I need to replace any gaskets if I do that?

    I had a quick check of the exhaust as well as I could but it was hot after it's run so I struggled to get a perfect seal using my jumper sleeves (I know I know) so will have another go tomorrow. I couldn't hear anything blowing anywhere else though.

    Thanks for all your help so far, just hoping the compression is ok when I test tomorrow!

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    'VXR' Member Taurus's Avatar
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    Re. the CTS - visit vauxhallworldparts.com and pop your reg. no. into it - that will show you the right part no. for yours. At the moment their prices are very competitive.
    1972 Viva restoration thread - [url]https://www.thecorsa.co.uk/projects-builds/138-1972-vauxhall-viva.html#post1534[/url]

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    'VXR' Member Vegas's Avatar
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    As above, I use regular and also visit in person.


    Although they're now shut at weekend charge for collection and no longer offer free local delivery

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    Would hooking it up to a diagnostic machine shed any more light do you think? Just wondering if the compression figures show as ok how long I should keep buying parts for on the off chance it will fix it before I bite the bullet and pay for a Vauxhall tech to take a look? Or would a fault code reader from ebay do the job?

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    'VXR' Member Taurus's Avatar
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    Get hold of Opcom. Cheap and very effective. But if the EML isn't coming on then there shouldn't be any codes to read. Opcom gives the capability to read live data which can be very useful when diagnosing problems.
    1972 Viva restoration thread - [url]https://www.thecorsa.co.uk/projects-builds/138-1972-vauxhall-viva.html#post1534[/url]

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