Over my head in hampton roads

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Jan 7, 2006
Virginia Beach, VA
My main question is....
Is there a mechanic in the Hampton roads area of Virginia. I'm in Portsmouth, but will go anywhere in Newport News, hampton, norfolk, chesapeake, Va Beach area.

So here's how it went...
I'm in the navy and the day before I leave for christmas, I try to start my 96 LC w/ 117,000mi and it sounds more like my Cummins diesel. Only louder, more vibration, less rhythm, a big clatter. Wondering what in the world, I shut it off immediately. Opened the hood looked for something obvious, nothing. Tried to start again and then it sounded like it was missing.

Gone for a couple weeks....
Come back pull all sparkplugs, none fouled out.
Turned over the engine looking for any carbon buildup, nothing.
Looked for tracing in the distributor cap, nothing.
So, I reassemble everything, now i tried to start and it turned over for appx 1 second, then bogged down and locked up. Battery goes from about 16V down to zero like it's locked up. Battery is strong.
Thanks for the help.
Eric, I replied to your PM, but I think you should pursue this further on this forum before going to the mechanic I recommended. He's not intune w/ cruiser's, just a good mechanic of normal ability.

I'm at a loss as to what it could be. Perhaps you should change the title of this thread to attract more interest from the experienced members of the board.

If you cannot change the title under the "Edit Post" option, PM a moderator and they should be able to take care of it for you.

The title of the thread here caught my eye. Unfortunately, it sounds like a valve has broken in your engine. You could get lucky and only have it be a rocker stud backed loose. Pull the valve cover and have a look. Afterward get back with us here and let us know. You didn't say what engine you have and I am not familiar with your year rig, so I may be talking outta my ass too. But seriously pull the valve cover and have a look. check tension on everything.
Pull all six sparkplugs and try again with the starter (unless the carbon comment meant that you were looking in each cylinder for carbon, in which case you'd have noted coolant in a cylinder) to see if it's hydrolocked from coolant.

If not, and you're confident the starter is getting juice, then could it be a broken flex plate which is also the flywheel the starter engages with? Pull the inspection plate on the flywheel cavity to check - two screws and 3 minutes for an easy view.

If not, try to turn the engine by hand with the pulley bolt (1 and 1/4 6 point will work for this). To guide you, I am of normal strength and can easily turn either of my 1FZs by hand.

If you cannot turn it, you've likely got some kind of internal failure - broken valve fallen into cylinder, broken camshaft, etc. This would be very strange on startup. Are you sure nobody's been driving the truck in your absence?

I'm assuming the oil is fine, etc?
Here’s an embarrassing reply. After all my troubleshooting the battery seemed strong, headlights bright, all interior lights bright, and turned over fine w/ sparkplugs removed.

I went in for the night think how the heck did it throw a valve and lock up. The alarm goes off randomly in my garage. I go out there and turn it off and within a few minutes the lights are dim the key in ignition tone is very weak, and I can’t even use the electric door locks. Battery seems dead. So I had to pop the manual parking unlock next to the shifter, push the cruiser out of the garage and jump it. I was hesitant at first still thinking I may have problems, but it turned over and started right up. Checked the fairly new orange top Optima battery w/ a voltmeter, and got good charge 13.8V while running. 12V while off and during start it sucked down to 11V and then went right back to charging. So, battery and alternator are good, guess it’s the factory alarm causing some kinda short or some other electrical problem.

I’m still having the missing sound that I had before Christmas, but it doesn’t like its hard enough sound to be an ignition problem, and I don’t seem to be losing power in acceleration. I’m thinking there may be a vacuum leak somewhere, but the idle is smooth. I’ll troubleshoot this one and try some more stuff, but I really appreciate all the help. Tell all your friends not to read anymore of this post, I feel retarded.
Good to hear you got it running.
Just for You green, the later cruiser engine has no rocker arms or studs associated with rocker arms. It is a dual overhead cam engine, 24 valves. Just for knowledge base. Way different engine then the early f series. alter robbie
Good that it is running now and glad you did not take it to any mechanic that does not know anything about LC.
About the missing or hissing sound, check the connection of all your vaccum lines to make sure nothing is loose or disconnected.
I kind of figured as much. Weren't some of the early Fj80's 3FE powered though?

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