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Thread: timing chain, bent valves, head gasket? Help me diagnose

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    Forum Newbie Array jeepinwi's Avatar
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    timing chain, bent valves, head gasket? Help me diagnose

    I just bought an 03 Cavalier with the 2.2 ecotec engine(VIN code F), 102k miles. Engine has a ticking noise from under the valve cover and runs rough. Sound appears to be coming from timing chain/cylinder 1 area. Compression was 140, 160, 180 and 180 for cylinders 1-4 respectively. Adding oil to the cylinders made no difference, so I know the rings are not causing compression loss. I replaced the timing chain tensioner with a new one, but noise persists and compression does not change. I noticed metal flakes in the oil when I changed it. Also, the tensioner for the balance shaft chain does not appear to have any spring to it(may be causing ticking noise) It does not appear there is any coolant mixed with the oil, but head gasket may be leaking compression. Now questions...

    Would a worn timing chain cause compression to vary like it is?

    Does the balance shaft tensioner build pressure when the engine is running, or should it always have pressure like the timing chain tensioner?

    Is there any way to verify bent valves without pulling the head?

    I'm looking for some opinions before I pull the head off and have to buy new bolts and head gasket.

    Some more info...I bought the car with the seller telling me the timing chain was making the ticking noise. I checked the camshaft timing, and none of the timing chain marks would line up with the camshafts or crank. Timing did appear to be spot on though. I disassembled everything and put it back together with all timing marks lined up and timing was absolutely correct. Ticking noise didn't change from before. I'm pretty sure the seller knows more about this engine than he's telling me.

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    Sounds like a timing chain to me lol.

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    timing chain would not cause compression problems...

    I say you just have a tired motor.
    Time for a rebuild.

    could be lifter making noise also...

    Just rebuild call it a day.

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    Forum Newbie Array jeepinwi's Avatar
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    timing chain would not cause compression problems...

    I say you just have a tired motor.
    Time for a rebuild.

    could be lifter making noise also...

    Just rebuild call it a day.
    blackbirdracing Quoted Post
    I find it hard to believe that the engine could be tired with only 102k on the odometer. Considering I dumped oil in the cylinders and compression numbers stayed the same, I'm confident the lower end is still in good shape.

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    timing chain would not cause compression problems...

    I say you just have a tired motor.
    Time for a rebuild.

    could be lifter making noise also...

    Just rebuild call it a day.
    blackbirdracing Quoted Post
    Yes I'm aware of that I was just talking about the noise and you may be right on the lifter too. I don't really see a issue with the compression numbers really not that bad.

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    Simply do a leak-down test. If you can't do that, then you'll never really know without taking the engine apart. As for the balance shaft chain tensioner it is oil pressure operated so the engine must be on or at least cranking. Compression would not be affected by this, it is either a stretched out main timing chain (unlikely above all), bad rings, bent valves or head gasket. The tensioners aren't going to do diddly to your compression, especially if it's "only affecting 1 or 2." you have a problem with just 1 or 2 of your cylinders I'd bet.

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    leak down test would tell you if you had bent valves...

    compression isn't bad if they were consistent across the board.

    If they were all 160 then ok but the 2 180 & that 140 has me worried.

    Then again # are supposed to be taken warm.

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