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High pressure air sound on drivers side of motor

Discussion in 'VR - VS Holden Commodore (1993 - 1997)' started by CRCinAU, Jun 7, 2013.

  1. CRCinAU

    CRCinAU New Member

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    Hi all,

    This is a new one for me.... Today the Mrs got home from driving and told me the car is making a ticking sound... Opened up the bonnet and all looked normal... When she started it, I can hear what sounds to be a high pressure air escaping from somewhere down the drivers side of the motor.

    I can't quite figure out where its coming from - if its exhaust, or something escaping under the rocker cover? I should clarify that it isn't a constant hiss - but more a pfft pfft pfft pfft pfft that increases in speed as the engine does...

    It seems to idle normally - not excessively rough or as if a cylinder is missing...

    I'm thinking of pulling off individual spark leads at the ignition side just to see if there is a difference in idle on each cylinder - but I thought I'd try to get some ideas from here before I get too involved...

    Its a 95VR v6... about 460,000km on the dial...

    I did have that bastard hose under the alternator that goes to the LPG evaporator split over the weekend - so I replaced that and the bar that goes into the block (stupid plastic parts!).

    Any thoughts on what to check?
     
  2. CRCinAU

    CRCinAU New Member

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    Just took this to the mechanics - they say the noise sounds like compression related - so they seem to think its the head... They also mentioned that it may be possible to fit a gasket on there - as these models don't have one as stock to fix the problem.

    They also quoted around $1500-$2000 to do this. To me, that sounds a bit excessive - but I can't say I've had to do this to any car before...

    Thoughts in general?
     
  3. spud_22

    spud_22 Member

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    Do a compression test, should tell if its a head or not. If it is you can pick up a whole engine for less than $900 with low km and drop that in.
     
  4. CRCinAU

    CRCinAU New Member

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    Yeah - I did think of this - but I don't have a compression tool at this stage - or any transport to go get one - except driving the same car...

    I briefly mentioned to the mechanic about just replacing the motor, he said ~$3000-$3500... which to me sounds excessive as well :(
     
  5. aussieakito

    aussieakito Holden Dealer Master Tech

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    First check all the spark plugs are in properly.
     
  6. spud_22

    spud_22 Member

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    Thats crap you can buy a new vs for that price. Any friends with some tools and a engine crane or rafter and block and tackle? Not to hard once you get started, just need to be able to get the engine out and new one in.
     
  7. CRCinAU

    CRCinAU New Member

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    Thats pretty much what I thought re the VS etc... Especially with the number of Km this VR has done (as I said, above 460,000). I'm seeing engines on ebay etc for ~$400-$500 with some of the places able to do an install as well. Means I may be able to get engine + install for around $1000. It seems that most motors seem to have ~1/2 the km on them as this one as well.

    At this stage, I don't know anyone with all the kit to do it. The thing I don't understand is that it still runs well - it accelerates fine, it idles well - so I'm at a bit of a loss there.

    Good idea about the spark plugs - I haven't changed them in a while so I must say I didn't even think about checking them... Will give that a go...
     
  8. CRCinAU

    CRCinAU New Member

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    This looks a bit strange... I pulled out all the plugs along the drivers side and this was the one that came out of Cylinder #6. (drivers side rear).

    IMG_20130607_172725.jpg

    Theres a lot of residue on the end of the spark plug (not the spark end). I cleaned this up with a wire brush and put it in a cylinder on the passenger side to see if the noise moved to the opposite side - but the noise was still present in the same place. All the plugs looked used on the drivers side - but no real buildup or anything on the cylinder side...

    It seems to be coming from around this cylinder - but I can't see anything immediately obvious. Theres also a larger amount of buildup around the actual plug itself on the engine block...

    Thoughts?
     
  9. aussieakito

    aussieakito Holden Dealer Master Tech

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    Far out those plugs have seen better days. I would be changing them.

    If its leaking oil on the plug it could be rocker cover. Wouldnt be making that sound though.

    Made sure exhaust manifold isnt loose?
     
  10. CRCinAU

    CRCinAU New Member

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    Yeah - its difficult as I can't see jack **** down that side of the engine due to the ABS module etc. I've given a few things a bit of a shake, but nothing seems loose... The hard part is that I don't think I'm going to be able to see anything unless I start pulling things apart :(
     
  11. vrsprspt

    vrsprspt Member

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    Don't need to pull anything apart to check if exhaust manifold is loose only need to check if bolts are loose. Feel around with fingers for each bolt and get in there with a ring spanner or ratchet. It might be tight and a pain in the arse to do but a hell of alot better than pulling it all apart to find it's not the problem
     
  12. Brett_jjj

    Brett_jjj Well-Known Member

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    The "high pressure air sound" could have been made by a loose or non sealing sparkplug.. This could have caused the buildup of oil or carbon or whatever it is around the porcelain part of the plug..
     
  13. CRCinAU

    CRCinAU New Member

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    To be honest, that's what I thought... It looks like there has been quite a lot of crap around there for a while... There is certainly a larger degree of buildup (the general black crap) gathered around that plug area for the #6 cylinder. As I said previously, I swapped the plug from #6 to the opposite side, then placed the opposite side plug in #6. The sound still came from #6 - so if it is the sealing it isn't from the spark plug itself...

    This brings me to the question... How to clean this area... I'm assuming if it isn't sealed, then a high pressure water washer is out of the question - same with degreaser...
     
  14. CRCinAU

    CRCinAU New Member

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    I've just gone out there again and decided to cram my smartphone into any gap I can to try and get photos of whats going on around that area...

    This is looking directly at the #6 spark plug.
    IMG_20130609_165014.jpg

    Looking at the top of the exhaust header.
    IMG_20130609_165835.jpg

    Looking at the back of the rocker cover towards #6 piston.
    IMG_20130609_165757.jpg

    Looking at #6 spark plug hole (is spark plug removed)
    IMG_20130609_170650.jpg

    Not quite enough info to tell where its coming from - but its certainly a load of shite around the spark plug... o_O
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2013
  15. aussieakito

    aussieakito Holden Dealer Master Tech

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    Thats rocker cover gasket leaking.
     
  16. CRCinAU

    CRCinAU New Member

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    Ok... I'll check the nuts on there and tighten them a little (if I can) but I doubt this by itself would have anything to do with the noises... I'll also give it a bit of a clean with a wire brush / degreaser / hose - maybe it'll help to see better around there...

    I was also thinking that *maybe* all the crap around there is stopping the spark plug from sealing properly... Its only a wild guess though...

    I thought it may also be a bent valve? Maybe also rings problem? I'm just trying to cover the simple things first - before the expense of either a pull apart / rebuild / replacement motor...

    EDIT: Also added a couple more pics to the above post...
     
  17. CRCinAU

    CRCinAU New Member

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    Posted a quick video / audio of the engine running... This is the view down to near cylinder #6. The compressed air noise is clearly audible...

    https://plus.google.com/105746722481078274757/posts/Qc8y7gor54R

    I did tighten up the rocker cover bolts - all of which turned quite easily for ~1/3 of a turn.. If it is leaking oil etc here, hopefully that will stop it...
     
  18. moggy

    moggy New Member

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    Cracked exhaust manifold perhaps?
     
  19. Brett_jjj

    Brett_jjj Well-Known Member

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    It sounds like its leaking compression past one of the sparkplugs. How tight are the plugs done up? Id remove them and check trhe plug seats for carbon buildup etc. Tighten the plugs finger tight first, and then give them an extra 1/2 to 3/4 of a turn with a plug spanner until theyre nipped up firmly..
     
  20. Wozza

    Wozza Well-Known Member

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    Yeah kinda sounds like the plugs not seating due to all the crap down there...you could try the talc powder trick, make sure its as clean as possible around the plug, dump some talc around the plug and get someone to start the car. You should see the talc get blown out by any leak...If it is the case, pull the plug out and stuff a rag into the plug hole and clean any crap of and around the heads plug seat...Ive used a bit of coper/brass pipe flattened at one end in the past, as its a softer metal it shouldnt mark or gouge the plug seat but is tough enough to chip away any carbon deposits..
     

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