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Scratched up Head
the real engine manual is in our 1st post on this forum. chapter 6A
it now even has search working inside it (adobe, PDF, control + F works) find. F for find.

read the page # 6a1-14 (page 14)


if you read that page you see these facts(just like all engines have)
1: hot and cold sec.
2: and is not one number but a range . so .006" is good.cold but not hot.
what Id do with your car, (pig in a poke sack car)
sure put back the head. (tiny orifice not clogged ) before landing the head, (I use headless head bolts x2 to land head no damage, or use 2 persons,) no missing head guide pins allowed.
1: make sure the cam belt is new and set right. timed.
2: make sure the front crank key is not wrecked as many are and if ok set the 17mm large bolt to 94ft./lbs. per the TSB sheet on car. (so it will not fail later)
3: torque head to spec. staged as chapter 6A instructs.
4: good fresh engine oil, prime the filter first. with oil filled to full and screw it on., fast.
5: crank engine VC valve cover off, no fuel, FI fuse pulled, see top end oiling (VC = valve cover)
6: do a compression test first, before starting engine, 185psi is normal tested sparks out, and at over 1/2 to full wide open throttle ,just block the throttle open at TB.
7: if compression is ok, and top end oils, ok,
8: set spark timing, next a timing light works even with the FI fuse pulled and can set spark timing with a light. sure can. on engine with no fuel flowing. for getting it close.
9: now put in the FI fuse and key on 3 times, to prime the fuel rail and then start the engine. (all engine coolant in place do not run engine lacking spec 50% antifreeze coolant in the loop)

make sure the engine has new thermostat. 180 to 195f all work great. (life span is 7 years on stats says president of STANT in a youtube video)

100PSI is no good. ever
my lawn mower does 100. (100 is totally wrong) most folks doing this, forget rule 1, WOT, the engine must be WOT, or intake manifold off, to get fresh air to the engine.
or not letting the gauge needle peak, it will peak and must peak or you did it wrong.
or dead or near dead battery, so charge the battery first or use jumper cables to a good cars battery to gain full starter motor power, (100amps) it takes only 100 amps to crank over any g16 engine, less with sparks out. way way less.
that is why we take the sparks out to reduce stress on the starter and the poor battery . and to get the peak faster. (saves time)
the lash can be set 2 ways
using the old way, TDC firing each cylinder. (school way)
or the suzuki cheating way, told in the real FSM factory 6a book linked above.
both work, 100%
page 26 figure 49 shows the magic head orifice,
see also the word Sealants, for unique RTV usage at cam cap 6 rear, and at distributor housing rear... search out RTV and read.

I got it to run! (Second attempt on another day)

So my first attempt failed, I had spark, compression, and fuel (checked using starter fluid), but no boom.
I proceeded to disassemble the throttle body and reattach it and this time I added the ground clip to it (whoops). Also added another sensor that attaches to the throttle body, think it’s the idle controller or something.

So my first attempt failed with the tachometer jumping all over the place like it was crazy, all the way to max and back.
However, now when cranking and running, after having attached the ground clips, I get no reading on the tachometer.

I think my failure to start the first time, maybe had to do with intermittent spark since the distributor did not have the ground clip and therefore had a loose ground to the chassis. That would explain the tachometer jumping about.

Video: https://photos.app.goo.gl/UXtPYQSYiSYDnA2g9
Okay so my car was idling fine (people around me said it sounded rich), okay. But it ran fine (in my mind, although rich) and idled, also had plenty of power to move it 30ish seconds with no coolant in and out of the garage.

Now I’ve thrown on the exhaust header/manifold and o2 sensor, water pump belt, power steering belt. The intake pipe and MAF.

Now car won’t idle. Starts and runs for 1-3 seconds before dying.

I’ve adjusted the throttle cable to slightly hold it open so I could get it back out of the garage on to the street.

Now what?
ok not what all you've done to this 1996 Geo Tracker Automatic Transmission (i think it’s a 4 speed). IDK...
holding the throttle open, tells me (that trick) (IAC dead or gross misfiring)
1: the IAC is dead, and not open cold engine. making hard starts and flooding, and even needing to add say 5% throttle to start engine)
2: what does your scan tool tell you, NO DTC? or a list of DTC errors.? (can't fix any car lacking this very critical tool,, after all if the ECU sees errors, why Ignore, any, critical error?)
3: lots of things must be right for this car fast idle cold start.
cam timing right, spark timing, compression at spec, not 100PSI but near 180psi.
4: bad fuel.
5 fuel pressure at spec key and idling. (both must be at spec)
6: mAF not dead, and actually working or engine goes to limphome mode. (clean the maf yet?)
7; ECT reads right (see ECT engine coolant temperature ) test page using any dmm set to ohms.
8: vacuum leaks if cold will cause engine to race, if engine hot (180f) to stall. (lean) is the thermostat missing or 20years old, oops. (extreme leaks)
9:at the least
Things good:
Fuel pressure: it was running fine rich and had power.
Cam timing: should be perfect, visually checked multiple times.

Meh category:
IAC: well I didn’t have the coolant looping thru it previously, but the wire harness was connected to it and was idling and running fine when rich.
Engine cooling system: need to add some hose clamps to one hose, but the thermostat was replaced. Engine got to be to hot to touch but radiator was cold. Need to check with thermometer to see if coolant will flow if given more time to heat up thermostat.

Smell of oil burning, I lost the screws to the rocker arm cover at the moment and ended up leaking oil from the seal when running, probably down onto the exhaust manifold causing the burning smell.

I will need to do further testing and utilize my scan gauge.
I don’t think it’s the mass air flow sensor because I remember unplugging it and having no change.

Things for me to check then:
Unplug o2 sensor, does engine run rich with no stalling?
Check IAC, ECT, MAF, TPS, sensors with scan gauge.
Is cooling system working?
fuel pressure is dynamic on all MPI cars like this, and must be in spec.(the fuel pressure regulators does that and love to fail this old)
the IAC has no wires, like the ISC does, the IAC is open below 150F and that is how cold idle is near 1500 RPM cold. then closes at 150f and the ISC (electric) then takes over, idle control
after IAC goes DEADclosed. the ISC regs at 800RPM (ecu does that) and 1000 if the idle up pin in the ECU is true, (AC on, or rear defrost on, or powersteering detector shows, overload)
so that is new 180F or up to 195F STAT? a not those very evil 150F stats, ok>?

unplugging the maf is not a valid test for any car, and causes limphome mode, is a very rich mode, and limited power.
avoid limphome or burn up the CAT fast. (the ECU will even flash the CEL lamp to tell you , cat is burnning up now>
we test each sensor unplugging them is not wise ever. ( due to limphome, but 02 ensure sure can be unplugged,) O2 is the exception sensor.

what happens when you unplug any o2 sensors
the ECU (PCM) shows DTC for dead 02.
the ECU then warns of lean mix, called trim failures. ( and kills dead the rear cat o2 and the cat tests dead, and fails smog tests just this alone)
the ECU goes rich, if Air fuel ratio was lean.
if Air fuel ratio is already too rich the 02 pulled makes it even more richer, a bad idea)
each sensor can be tested, or replaced.
how you fix a car, EFI depends on tools owned, or thick wallet to my parts guessing
there is no other way.

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