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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok so let me be as descript but to the point as possible on this.

3000GT NA 1996

Changed my valve cover seals.
Had to adjust them because initially they were over tightened a tad and leaked some oil into the spark plug wells. Assumed that was why she was running like crap.

She was puffing smoke, lost all power and had a real low exhaust tone. I remember these exact symptoms before from when she jumped times (And was ok after)

She was driven MAYBE the equivalent of 3 times around the block. Has been sitting since.

Checked her timing by counting the notches from the arrows her cam gears were at. 3rd gear from front seemed off. Took off her tire and hand cranked till 3 of the 4 cams were all on the money and one is off.

My rear bank, intake cam slipped by 3 notches retarded.

No hesitation in turning her over, no even real rough idle. Just runs like shit past 2000 rpm. She's a loud and deep toned slug.

She's not overdue on her timing belt maintenance. It was done roughly 20,000 ago or a little less. The belt is in fine shape and I'd expect the rest to be too. Tension on the belt is quite good and rather stiff with some minimal play.

Here's my questions and some irony.

I'm a mechanic... Whose tools are at the shop I work at... That I can't get to being 45 mins away. She is my daily driver and I'm tiring to find a way of getting back to work while also not going broke.

That being said, I'm a self taught mechanic whom has been working at his first legitimate shop for about 4 months. I'm far from a newbie but no master mechanic. Off my shop, I am very much the lowest ranking undoubtedly, but I understand how everything works. However I have never done my timing belt before so just winging it would not be a good idea.

I'm under the assumption because it was my intake cam that slipped and you'd have a hard time noticing the difference at idle or even initially easing her down the road, that I Iikely don't hand any bent valves. No codes for anything, no miss firing or anything at all.

I'm debating financially and for me getting back to work what would be a better option. Tow her in, or uhaul her in myself, to my shop in Jersey 45 mins away (I live in PA) or to try and do it myself.

Either route, should I just fix the problem at hand and get that intake cam for my rear bank forward 3 notches, check for compression and call it a day? Or should I replace the tensioner as well? With EVRYTHING having been replaced and timed 20,000 or less ago, I don't see the need to go and start changing everything out.

But it does come to mind on how this might happen in the first place. My only thought wasa time a few things were off and sitting under the hood (Had it slowly lowered down to being cracked to lower contaminants blowing in under the hood) such as my spark plug wires and timing belt cover and my almost 2 year old son stumbled over and pressed down on the hood. Maybe a cam got bumped and slipped? But 3 teeth seems a bit excessive and it was perfectly fine before changing my valve cover gaskets. The tension on it is not loose at all by anyone's standards so I'm really at a loss of how this might have happened. The tensioner on there is OEM Mitsubishi. Should I really be worried about the belt or the tensioner then?

If the costs of getting it fixed at my shop (Irony is that someone else will probably work on it and I'll still be paying for it) are outweighing the benefits of getting back to work sooner then I'm doing Alleyway work... and here's the questions on that...

No noises or anything other than loud exhaust. Idle sounds fine. Is it safe to ease her from my street into the alleyway to get a safe place to work? Or not worth the risk? I mean she's already been driven a few times around the block so...?

Next I know I should typically follow the whole normal procedure and I do own a 3SI cam lock, but seeing as there's only one cam off in the rear bank is there any sort of way I could simply lock the front bank in place, loosen the tension and then adjust that cam back 3, make sure the last exhaust cam is till in line and retention it all up?

And lastly I have no specialty tools on me for this job if I was to do it other than my one cam lock. All my good tools are at the shop and I basically have my more bare minimum socket wrenches and an impact. Isn't there a specialty tensioner tool needed? Could I be asking for more trouble with this and just see if my shop will simply get that cam back in place? I just have no clue how it slipped as even after it sits the tension on it is pretty sturdy. I just don't want to go broke or miss a ton of work or potentially risk any damage to the valves.

Any thoughts?
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Hey sorry for the repost but some important info I discovered.

So feeling relatively safe on any chance of bent valves...

Last time she jumped times one cam had actually advanced a notch and the other retarded 3... and oddly enough... It's that same Cam... Rear bank exhaust.

Seems a little odd that the timing would jump again in the same pattern almost, with less then 20k in between?

Last shop took 2 attempts to get the timing right and had first installed an aftermarket tensioner before I insisted that it be OEM.

Honestly could just be chance, but a bit odd no?
 

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93 NA ATX 3000gt DOHC
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Checked her timing by counting the notches from the arrows her cam gears were at. 3rd gear from front seemed off. Took off her tire and hand cranked till 3 of the 4 cams were all on the money and one is off.
Don’t have easy way to jump rear intake forward without doing the timing in general, I do have an idea how I would try to do it but not sure I could explain it clearly enough and would fell guilty if it caused you more problems.

However I can tell you that a retarded intake cam is unlikely to bend valves as it just gives piston more time to get out of the way.

Your description of how you determined that was the cam that out leaves some question, because you didn’t indicate position of crank when the three other cams were on their marks. The most important thing is each cam being timed to crank, that’s why you should always align crank to TDC of #1 cylinder first before checking cams on their individual marks.
 

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Get AAA gold, and have them tow it to your shop. ~$65/year and you get three100mi tows.

Can you reset the timing in your driveway? Probably, if it's just the rear cam that's off. Put some pressure on the crank shaft to turn the engine backward and hold it there. The tensioner will slowly compress, and the belt will loosen across the rear cam gear, probably enough to turn the cam without moving the belt.

Also, this is an import reason why you should NEVER park your car on an uphill slope and leave it in a forward gear.
 

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took off her tire and hand cranked till 3 of the 4 cams were all on the money and one is off.
This is a common mistake. I don't usually comment on it but since you're trying to learn this stuff I've got to point out that engine timing is Always from the point of the crank. NEVER set the cams then look at the crank,set the crank to TDC, THEN look at the cams. In the same vein, never compare the cams to each other, that dosn't matter. The only thing you care about is how each cam aligns with the crank. Put the crank at TDC (turn the cranck clock wise only, if you try to back up it un-loads the tensioner..) then tells us how the cams line up..
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Haha whoops guys, let me specify. I kinda just thought when I said the cams lined up that it was assumed to be at TDC with first cylinder. I cranked her around a few times to ensure everything was on the money along with the tension since when she sits it gives her some slack and sometimes that slack can almost make it appear at first that something is off when it's not. I mean ots should tension right up as soon as you start to crank her but hey I mean it's good to just be certain everything is all in order.

Well the decision to bring her into my shop is in order. So let's hit some questions with that.

I know the shop that did it last ended up using the OEM tensioner, however no clue how much the rest of it is OEM or aftermarket. Were going to examine her to check that everything is looking good and if anything seems concerning, I'll replace it. Luckily Cherry Hill Mitsubish is really just right up the road.

My question would be, if we were to assume that the only thing OEM is the hydraulic tensioner, what sort of concern should I have about.... hmmm let's say the helfand the other parts in the system. Any possible sneaky Pete's in the bunch that could have lead to her slipping more easily, that wouldn't be instantly identifiable upon inspection?

With no employee discount, the $500 my manager is estimating isnt bad at all and he confirmed today if we were to replace a part or 2 in the system it won't really effect the cost.

So if theres any chance of "Oh theres cheap off brand idle pulleys that snag" or anything of the sort, I rather swap out atleast the most likely possible culprit. But as I said the tension on her is very nice. Think that hydraulic tensioner loosened while a valve was under some spring load and that knock into the belt from my son was just the perfect storm.

Still wondering why that same cam again, the same notches though.

Ok so now about that AAA for $65 a year covering 3 tows.

Honestly what's the catch here? I mean that's ridiculously good. Assuming you cant just sign up while needing a tow? Or can you? Do you need to pay for a few years in advance? Because if not why wouldn't they have put every towing company out of business because that's an insane bargain and I'd buy 4 years right now!

"Shut up and take my money!"
 

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Sorry, to mislead you on the AAA pricing. let me try to give info that's a bit more accurate.
It is $91 for one member for the "plus" level (not gold) that gets you the 100mi tows. (It's $135 for me and my wife, but it goes $90"for the first member, $45 or 50%, for each added family member. Not 65+65.) But you get 4 tows, not 3. So there's that, and they do other stuff too.
I kind of doubt you could sign up while broken down at the side of the road and have them arrive in a reasonable amount of time. It typically takes them 30-45 minutes to show up anyways.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Well I looked into it and it looks like that coverage doesnt kick in for 7 days after you are approved (No info on how long that takes) and given the situation that I am Ubering back from work and really almost shelling out nearly as much as I am making in order to get back and forth, I'll probably be going with am the regular tow as my insurance will reimburse $100 of it.

However seeing what they cover and honestly never knowing that AAA was so cheap.... I'll be getting their premier membership for the 130ish. What they cover is honestly worth massively more then that reasonable yearly cost. Hell, if I have 1 incident a year it's worth it. My battery dies and they replace it for free? Yes sir, take my money!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
So just a little random question... All of my hands on (Although never went through with changing it out) Timing Belt experience is with the 3000GT and from what I heard from my buddy at the shop... I'm really wondering how uncommon our set up is?

Trying to explain to him how it would be possible for her to skip times from getting banged while she's sitting with nothing wrong with the system what so ever was like speaking French to him.

"So your tensioners shot?"

"No the belt is plenty snug."

"Then she cant skip times?"

"Well she's not snug when sitting for a long while. It loosens."

"So it's broken?"

"No it does that on purpose to save belt life. You need to crank it to he at full tension. It adjusts tension automatically. Even just under different temperatures"

"So your cars just a piece of sh!t...."

Word for word on that last one. I was dying to myself for a quick minute! Haha.
 
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