Looking for advise and suggestions

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Looking for advise and suggestions

Postby originalmystro » Wed Oct 30, 2019 4:57 pm

So its been a while since I have had an all-trac and recently came upon a ST185 that I couldn't pass on being that there was no rust or damage other than a small dent and some faded paint. The car had been robbed of its Willwood brakes which is sad and also the exhaust, steering wheel, air conditioning and a few other small items. I also had to replace the smashed rear glass but overall it was a good price for finding one with no rust in this area. The car only has 125XXX KM on the odometer but the owner said he never could get it to run and that the previous owner had installed a Autronic engine managment system and a few other things.

After going through the electrical and finding the cause of the no start I did get it running and it sound like a muscle car probably because there's no exhaust only a downpipe. The engine was completely sealed off for storage which was approximately 7-8 years. The cylinders were sprayed with fogging oil before the start to try and prevent any damage.

So here's the issue, the number one cylinder has low compression on a dry test and the psi goes up on a wet test indicating faulty rings and a leak down test indicates a 12 psi loss whereas the other cylinders show about 8.5 psi loss but the turbo shoots oil out of the top that would feed the intercooler. Could this be related to the cylinder or would this be a seperate issue with the seal or bearing in the turbo? It also started smoking heavily like it was burning a ton of oil. I haven't had time to take it all apart to find out and am currently debating on rebuilding this engine which has a few unknowns or going the cheaper route with a jdm swap. I've heard the 2nd gen blocks like to crack if they're pushed past 450HP.

So any advice or suggestions on what I should do with this car would be great, thanks.
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Re: Looking for advise and suggestions

Postby underscore » Wed Oct 30, 2019 7:19 pm

Personally I'd get a JDM half-cut, toss in that engine and electrical, then build another motor if that's what you want to do.
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Re: Looking for advise and suggestions

Postby originalmystro » Wed Oct 30, 2019 7:27 pm

That was another possibility I was playing with actually. Thanks.
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Re: Looking for advise and suggestions

Postby grip-addict » Fri Nov 01, 2019 5:00 am

How much power do you want to make?
I think that If you properly set your goals for the car, the engine decision will be much easier.
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Re: Looking for advise and suggestions

Postby 93celicaconv » Fri Nov 01, 2019 10:03 am

To answer your original question, it is highly unlikely a cylinder with low compression pressure values when dry (higher when wet) is the source cause of your turbo pumping oil into your intercooler. Pistons have compression and oil seal rings. Sounds like there is either a problem with your compression rings on the one cylinder, or a problem with both sets of rings, or a problem with cylinder scoring, or all of this. Oil that gets past the piston usually gets burned in the engine - doesn't typically carry over into the exhaust. Even if it did, oil in the exhaust doesn't pass over to the intake side of the engine. I would tend to think the oil on the intake side of the engine is coming from faulty oil seals on the turbo. That would make your concern areas separate/independent of each other.
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Re: Looking for advise and suggestions

Postby grip-addict » Fri Nov 01, 2019 1:39 pm

Wait- how low on that one cylinder ? Is it only down a few psi?
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Re: Looking for advise and suggestions

Postby originalmystro » Tue Nov 05, 2019 2:17 am

grip-addict wrote:Wait- how low on that one cylinder ? Is it only down a few psi?

Cylinder 2,3,4 are about 160 but cylinder 1 is sitting about 90psi. As far as how much power I want to make, between 3 and 400 would be ideal but I doubt I'll be racing it, probably just restore it.
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Re: Looking for advise and suggestions

Postby originalmystro » Tue Nov 05, 2019 2:19 am

93celicaconv wrote:To answer your original question, it is highly unlikely a cylinder with low compression pressure values when dry (higher when wet) is the source cause of your turbo pumping oil into your intercooler. Pistons have compression and oil seal rings. Sounds like there is either a problem with your compression rings on the one cylinder, or a problem with both sets of rings, or a problem with cylinder scoring, or all of this. Oil that gets past the piston usually gets burned in the engine - doesn't typically carry over into the exhaust. Even if it did, oil in the exhaust doesn't pass over to the intake side of the engine. I would tend to think the oil on the intake side of the engine is coming from faulty oil seals on the turbo. That would make your concern areas separate/independent of each other.


I appreciate the info, thanks greatly.
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Re: Looking for advise and suggestions

Postby grip-addict » Tue Nov 12, 2019 9:11 pm

How bad is the wiring... do you think it's in good shape ?
If you are just restoring the car, I'd probably rebuild the gen 2. It'll be the cheapest option. These cars have a habit of digging into your wallet when you least expect it, and surely there will be non-engine related issues that appear.

If you want more power, then I'd buy a gen4/5 and spend the extra 1500 on building the bottom end while it's out. The bonus is that you'll get a fresh(er) wiring loom.
You can roll that with its stock turbo and cams until you want more power, then upgrade those, add injectors and a fuel pump, and hook up the autronic.

I like staged approaches, so without seeing your car, I'd go with the second option.
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Re: Looking for advise and suggestions

Postby originalmystro » Fri Nov 15, 2019 4:57 pm

grip-addict wrote:How bad is the wiring... do you think it's in good shape ?
If you are just restoring the car, I'd probably rebuild the gen 2. It'll be the cheapest option. These cars have a habit of digging into your wallet when you least expect it, and surely there will be non-engine related issues that appear.

If you want more power, then I'd buy a gen4/5 and spend the extra 1500 on building the bottom end while it's out. The bonus is that you'll get a fresh(er) wiring loom.
You can roll that with its stock turbo and cams until you want more power, then upgrade those, add injectors and a fuel pump, and hook up the autronic.

I like staged approaches, so without seeing your car, I'd go with the second option.


The vehicle wiring is good just the main engine wiring harness is a mess and for the most part I've cleaned it up and I am curious to see what I can get out of the Autronic ecu since I've never used one before. The gen 4/5 is one I was considering as well but for now I want to take apart the engine I have and see if its damaged and if not I think Ill just rebuild it with some upgraded parts nothing extreme just enough to make a decent cruiser. I was originally looking for one of these cars to rally but the body is in such good shape I dont want to destroy it.
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