The Whole Story on the 2002 Mazda' s no start condition

Tiny
HUMPHRIESONE
  • MEMBER
  • 2002 MAZDA TRIBUTE
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 128,126 MILES
I bought the vehicle in May 2010 and it quit running on July 29th 2019. After having it towed off the highway, it was inspected and diagnosed by a Napa Auto Care Center technician.
The technician said that some of the cylinders had low compression readings and that there was a timing related issue with the engine. L though that to be a little vague; a timing related issue.

I however asked him to give me an estimate on what it would cost to repair my vehicle. He did but it made mention that the timing components should be replaced, @ a cost of $1,005.

I thought that amount to be more than I could afford, plus in the 60's I had did a timing chain job on a car, so I thought; How hard could it be to do one on this Mazda? Well even though I did do the timing chain and components replacement, it was quit a task without a lift and I also replaced the oil pump.

When I removed the valve covers, the timing case cover and the oil pan, I observed oil varnish in all three places that told me the oil pump might have caused the vehicle to overheat and stop running.

Instead of following my instructors directions that I had received in class, I followed the Napa technician's diagnosis and did the timing chain job, only to find the engine was not out of time, the timing chains were not stretched enough to affect the timing and none of the timing components were in need of replacing.

But I replaced them all because I had removed the timing case cover. Once all the new parts and all the gaskets were installed with the engine in time, the engine would not start.

This is when I did a compression test on it and got the readings I previously stated. I believe that the engine has internal damage to the valves. To me this is indicative of the very low compression readings on five of the six cylinders.

I also believe that if I do a cylinder leak down test on each cylinder, one at a time with the cylinder @ TDC.
The readings will most likely be in the same range as those on the compression test. This would tell me proof positive that there is valve damage and the head gasket on the driver's side is blown between cylinders 4 and 5.

To me if would be more practicle to do this because if I take the heads off that means the heads should be serviced. If I am going to service the top half of my engine I may as well service the bottom half, because it has the same stress, wear and mileage on it as the top half does.

Someone give me some feedback on this. Tell me what you think according to what you know to be factual.
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Thursday, January 6th, 2011 AT 6:53 PM

3 Replies

Tiny
DR. HAGERTY
  • MEMBER
Experience has taught me that a motor thay has top end damage does not always mean that the lower end is in the same shape. You might be better off spending money on a known good juck yard motor and installing it than to try and rebuild what you have, especially considering your lack of experience. Internal engine work can be quite expensive, especially if you are not sure of your skill set. Asking for coaching is only as good as being coachable, where do you see yourself here?
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Thursday, January 6th, 2011 AT 8:37 PM
Tiny
HUMPHRIESONE
  • MEMBER
I see myself being able to rebuild an engine if I elected to do so. I have received that training and even before I started this auto tech course that I am now in, I knew how to rebuild an engine. The point of the matter is that I plan on keeping this vehicle and I am the type of person that believes in doing the job right the first time, especially when the vehicle is my own. As far as the top end damage goes in connection with the bottom end possibly not being damaged, I am not really concerned with that. My goal is to bring this engine back as close to original service condition as financially practical. Why would I buy a junkyard engine that has not been torn down and serviced and only has a limited warranty on it, when I could buy a remanufactured engine for $2500 with a 3yr-100,000 warranty on it. The top and bottom ends have been serviced and that's a history I can live with and know what condition the engine is in. But a junk yard engine, even with a six month warranty with is virtually unheard of still doesn't tell you anything about the history of the engine. Yes! I see myself putting a remanufactured engine in my vehicle. I only asked for input because I thought someone out there might have experienced the same thing and possibly knew what shape my valves were most likely in. I am still going to do a leakdown test on the engine just to see what the results will be. I am not going to take the heads off the engine without servicing the whole engine. I am not going to rebuild the engine myself because I don't work in a shop and I don't have a place to do it. Then these days most technicians don't rebuild engines anymore, they swap them out with remaned of used engines. Oh! And my lack of experience is not in the mechanical aspect of engines, it is in the diagnosis of certain engine conditions. But even with my lack of experience in that area, I am never far off the mark, because I am a thinker and I am being taught well. In this industry I have found that acedemics are worthless without the actual hands on application of those acedemics.
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Friday, January 7th, 2011 AT 1:46 AM
Tiny
DR. HAGERTY
  • MEMBER
Thank you for the feedback.
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Friday, January 7th, 2011 AT 6:45 PM

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