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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
So I've been chasing this strange noise coming out of my exhaust since July. First it was an assortment of sounds, like metal rattling, exhaust leak from flex pipe, then down to puff, puff puff and tink, tink tink. I changed the oil and did some MMO soaks, ran some Techron and the noise went down to piss, piss, piss and finally tiss, tiss, tiss. Did a compression check before the oil change and got 160-130-160-160 which was disappointing but not bad, and a follow up check 3 weeks later for 175-172-175-175. Still had the tiss, tiss tiss noise which is annoying to me. I decided just for the hell of it to check my cam timing and reset it if off; sort of practice and staging for replacing the cylinder head, and the exhaust cam was clockwise by about 3 degrees compared to the intake cam from tensioning. I was scared back then to loosen the cam sprockets when I changed the belt, but boy did the engine light up and rev up faster.

I set the timing accurate this time, the computer reset from disconnecting the battery and I feel like the engine is sluggish now. Not sure if the ECU just needs to relearn, or if the old timing makes a performance+ difference and that's what adjustable sprockets are for, but I sure like the way it drove before. I did a 20 mile test drive last night and did not hear any strange noises, but the streets were wet from rain. I'm wondering if the previous cam timing is what started my downhill snowball of cascading negative effects such as over heating, popping the thermostats, popping radiator cap, running too hot, killing the engine oil off faster in 4 months time instead of lasting a year. The car kept getting faster and faster but at a cost with more heat, and the ECU pulsing the injectors richer to cool it down. I've since ran Thermocure in the engine and got the temps down, and replaced gaskets and sensors.

My plan was to replace the cylinder head next weekend because I thought it was scrap metal, with a take off unit with real low miles that looks like brand new, new MLS head gasket, some ARP head bolts. I thought about getting a multi-angled valve job for it, but the head appears to have a 5 angle cut already on the intake side. Thought about getting some Ferrea exhaust valves to handle more heat and perhaps improve flow but that little under square engine can't produce that much power anyways. If I verify tonight that the noise I've been chasing is almost completely gone or gone, then this changes everything and my plans are put on the back burner.

I'm interested in thoughts about my previous cam timing, and putting a better plan together for this new cylinder head instead of just using it as a stock replacement if the original engine bounces back to good health.

New cylinder head, intake valve shot to check for multi-angled valve cut. The exhaust valve are stainless I think, magnet did not stick.

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You didnt say what engine you have , Looks like Zetec , I would surface the head for more compresion and add some cams if your looking for performance , I would add adj cam gears as well

Tom
 

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Discussion Starter #3
The engine is picking up now, not sluggish anymore and I confirmed that the noise is gone now. The exhaust system sounds really good as well. I ran the engine up to 6K RPM a couple of times to hit the entire fuel map which sparked things up. So I have a fresh cylinder head now to play with that I can take my time on and plan something out with it.

I think I'll go for the adjustable cam sprockets, since I read up on them and see how they work now. I'd like to use the Ferrea exhaust valves probably stock size but stronger metal and better shape. Didn't think about surfacing the head and raising the compression a bit. That going to require some serious measuring and calculating but will be a good learning experience.

Probably time to figure out how to get into my computer as well. Maybe a J2534 hardware interface would be a start since the SCT didn't speak J1850PWM and just CAN bus.

Thanks Tom! Appreciate the suggestions.
 

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The Exh valves would be a waste really , you would gain anything from them

SCT makes the pro racer package where you can do your own Tuning

Tom
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
The Exh valves would be a waste really , you would gain anything from them

SCT makes the pro racer package where you can do your own Tuning

Tom
I'll go with your knowledge unquestioned, learned the hard way from bowling and training with pro's not to question them anymore.

I forgot about that suspected crack in the exhaust port on cylinder 3, but it's not confirmed as a crack. I would need to take off the exhaust manifold and stick a probe in the crack to confirm it. I flashed back last night to driving to Vegas last March and hitting the gas harder going up a steep mountain 20 miles to 4500Ft, and hearing a couple of crack like pinks from the engine and backed off the gas. So I'm leaning towards just installing the new cylinder head to play it safe because I drive to Vegas March 5. I attached a photo and tweaked it to enhance it. Sure looks like a crack, doubt if it's a casting mark and no idea how longs it's been there for. One of the reasons I'm searching for more power.

I'd like to wait till after Vegas to give me time to work on the new head. Just trying to decide whether to do the work now and enjoy the drive if my work is sound, or roll the dice on the current engine state. I think I did drive the car to Vegas last Sept not knowing it was there, Ignorance is bliss. :unsure:

I'll look into the SCT Pro.

Heard the crack here:
Google Maps

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Discussion Starter #7
Your right, not a crack. :)

I took it apart yesterday to install my Jet Hot coated header and all 4 ports looked great! Very clean to me at least, ran some Berryman in the gas going to Vegas.

Plus I drove the car to Vegas and it ran great as well, with good mileage, used 2 gallons less gas than before. Drove a little faster and the head winds were calm.

So I have no real hurry on my replacement cylinder head at the moment.
 
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