Driving with low compression

Nojokur
Nojokur

Hey Veeky Forums,

the piston rings in my 1990 corolla are starting to go. Left it with friends over the summer and they let the oil get 2 quarts low. Stock compression is 190 psi, cylinders 1,2, and 4 are running at 140 psi, 3 is at 130.
I was planning on driving this bad boy from NY to CA in a few weeks, and at this point I'm a little scared.
What's the over under on me making it if I keep my oil topped off and don't rev it too high?
Are there any quick fixes that'll increase my odds of making it there?

I'm BOOKED until I leave so I don't have the time for a rebuild. I was thinking if worst comes to worst I could get the cylinders honed (or bored, depending on how out of spec they are) and replace the rings.

What's my best course of option here?

Other urls found in this thread:

youtube.com/watch?v=EoCRXKXiMNo
stores.ebay.com//Mizumo-Auto-Parts/_i.html?_nkw=1990 TOYOTA COROLLA

Lord_Tryzalot
Lord_Tryzalot

Is it steady at those levels or has it been sinking even lower? Does it start reliably?

Evil_kitten
Evil_kitten

Left it with friends over the summer and they let the oil get 2 quarts low
let the oil get 2 quarts low

If they 'let' the oil get low, it was burning oil before they had it. which means the rings were shit before they had it.

if you just drive it to CA, you'll probably make it. Keep a gallon of oil, a new set of spark plugs, and tools to change the plugs in the car though.

Toyota blocks last a while, so the bores probably aren't in bad shape, just glazed. a hone, new rings new bearings will get you fixed up most of the way, but since it's been burning oil your valves are probably halfway to being burned by now.

RavySnake
RavySnake

Just found out about the low compression a few days ago, so no clue if it's decreasing or not. starts up like a fuckin dream.

Yeah I figured it had to be burning quite a bit. My spark plugs were covered in a beige powder coating too, not exactly sure what that indicates.

girlDog
girlDog

What the fuck is that on your hood?

Emberburn
Emberburn

My spark plugs were covered in a beige powder coating too, not exactly sure what that indicates.

That would be burned oil.

Here, have some oil-fucked valves. 230,000 miles on this car when this happened

Stupidasole
Stupidasole

$20 aliexpress tachometer, base model doesn't come with a tach

Need_TLC
Need_TLC

Here's an oil fouled plug from the same car, about 20,000 miles before the valve burned.

Evil_kitten
Evil_kitten

woof. They weren't that bad thankfully, which gives me a bit more faith in the engine holding up for the trip. If I were to do what recommends, could all that be done in a weekend?

FastChef
FastChef

Are there any quick fixes that'll increase my odds of making it there?
Switch to TOP TIER gasoline and hope the higher detergent level fights any carbon deposits before your trip.

Beige powder on plugs is okay. What you don't want is oily black deposits in the crevice area.

You said in your previous thread about your upcoming trip that you were going to attack some heavy iron rack to the roof of your car. What happened to that project?

MPmaster
MPmaster

If you have all the parts, an engine hoist, and the tools, yes. Pic related, a Toyota 3E. Took about 16 hours of work to rebuild, IIRC.

To hone it, you'll want a bare block, so that means pulling it from the car and completely disassembling everything. You REALLY don't want grit from the honing process to get into the crankshaft's oil passages.

Oh, here's a video of that car starting up. It was burning about 1 quart of oil every 700-1000 miles. youtube.com/watch?v=EoCRXKXiMNo

kizzmybutt
kizzmybutt

it's almost done, just gotta make the mounts and slap it on the car (and some other stuff, namely paint and other waterproofing)

no shit, that might be doable then. hmmm.
As far as a rebuild kit, any recommendations? Can I just get a cheapo one from ebay?

Playboyize
Playboyize

also made a SICK suicide knob out of some scrap i had lying around. my welds aren't usually that garbage but i had about 15min to weld it all up so I did the bare minimum to glue the metal together lol

Emberburn
Emberburn

Mizumo Auto on Ebay has done good by me in the past.

stores.ebay.com//Mizumo-Auto-Parts/_i.html?_nkw=1990 TOYOTA COROLLA

I don't know if you have a 4A-FE or a 4A-GE, so finding exactly what you need is up to you.

I do know that at the minimum, you will need:

A set of piston rings

Rod and main bearings

A full gasket set

New head bolts

Plastigage

Some engine oil

And if you don't have one already: A repair manual.

Since you're going to be in there, now would be a good time to change your oil pump, water pump, timing belt and clutch (assuming manual) but those are optional.

Tools:

Metric socket set (3/8" and 1/2" drive)

Metric wrenches

1/2" torque wrench

A breaker bar or impact gun for the main caps and flywheel/flexplate

A good thing to keep on hand is a big hose clamp. The ring compressor I had didn't go small enough, so the hose clamp is what I used to get my pistons back in the holes lol

haveahappyday
haveahappyday

hot shit, thanks for the advice.

Methnerd
Methnerd

cylinders honed??? You're looking at full rebuild of an engine which is going to cost you 5x the worth of this piece of shit. Get rid of it and get a normal car, if you can't then you can't afford a car and you shouldn't.

Evil_kitten
Evil_kitten

nigga plz it's not that expensive. plus the car is sentimental and i just put new tires, struts, and brakes on it so i'd rather not scrap it

cum2soon
cum2soon

you just wasted money on new tires, struts and brakes for a car which clearly has no body left. I'm not sure if you're some sort of dyi guy but the cheapest I could get to replace my headgasket seal + cleaning of valves, and thats not going deep into the engine was for over 400 euro and thats a friend price. You could literally go to a scrap yard and pick a new engine from there for half the money or heck, just a brand new scrap car which probably will be better than that. Scrapping that will be a favor to everyone including yourself and environment.

BinaryMan
BinaryMan

Check the compression every few weeks, if it doesn't rapidly drop you will be fine.
Honestly that isn't horrible for 26 years, just keep in mind you are blowing fuel and air into the crankcase and oil, so I would shorten your oil change interval and make sure any crankcase breathing is good.

Sir_Gallonhead
Sir_Gallonhead

you just wasted money on new tires, struts and brakes for a car which clearly has no body left

yeah probably. but I'm trying to keep this thing until it dies, besides the engine and body it's in reasonably good shape and I got it for $600. I'm graduating in 2 weeks and trying to pay off my massive debt as soon as possible so if I can keep this fucker alive for a good bit I'll be happy. and yeah I do all my own car work which would explain the rebuild being worth it.
there's also something really satisfying about owning an ugly shitbox whose resale value is below rock bottom. I can do whatever I want to it and not give a single fuck.
also
euro
lol

well I depart in about 10 days so I'll take a look at it once or twice before then and see how it's doing. I'm gonna swap to full synthetic before I go and depending on how it looks halfway through the trip I might do another change. We'll see.
crankcase breathing
Couldn't find a whole lot on a cursory google search, is there another term for testing this that I can look up? Would I find this in my haynes manual perhaps?

SomethingNew
SomethingNew

Crankcase breathing is via the PCV valve. So you would look up PCV. Some of those ricers put in an extra device to catch oil vapors before they go to the intake valve (thus causing carbon deposits).

DeathDog
DeathDog

Wonderful, thank you. Anything else I should check out/replace to increase my odds? My spark plugs were a little chalky as previously indicated but the car idles p well and starts up in a millisecond, so idk if replacing them is necessary. I have enough time between finals and packing that I can pretty much replace/fix/clean anything, short of doing a full rebuild

haveahappyday
haveahappyday

also, would i be asking for trouble if i adjusted my valves to try and get some compression back?

hairygrape
hairygrape

That looks like garbage and I love it.

SniperGod
SniperGod

Fuck it all, get a 4A-GZE from a AE92 and swap it

Raving_Cute
Raving_Cute

What an unreliable piece of shit.

Boy_vs_Girl
Boy_vs_Girl

ur an unreliable piece of shit

happy_sad
happy_sad

He's making it better.

takes2long
takes2long

Here, have some oil-fucked valves.
Wouldn't Top Tier gasoline have prevented that kind of carbon caking problem around the valve entrance area?

RavySnake
RavySnake

That's an exhaust valve that's burnt. Shill Tier gas wouldn't have prevented that.

Stark_Naked
Stark_Naked

wtf even is top tier gasoline

Soft_member
Soft_member

most expensive shit, they put 2c worth of additive in and charge 30c more

farquit
farquit

bp, citgo, mobil, shell. i think those are the most common top tier gas sations

top tier stations use detergents in their gas that prevent shit from building up. i only fill up top tier. i mean why not its the same price anyway

SomethingNew
SomethingNew

meme gas that cost's $1.00 a gallon more because it's """"""better""""""

kizzmybutt
kizzmybutt

it doesnt cost anymore than the usual gas. unless you guys fill up at juans gaso stationo

top tier gas has to be top tier gas for all levels of octane to be in the top tier. so you can buy regular gas from bp or shell and itll keep your shit clean

PackManBrainlure
PackManBrainlure

or i could fill up at valeo and remind my shitbox that it's my bitch

Gigastrength
Gigastrength

Costco (Kirkland gasoline) is also Top Tier gasoline with five times the minimum amount of required detergent to remove carbon deposits around the valve area.

wtf even is top tier gasoline
The car manufacturers got together to specify a gasoline standard because the minimum quality gasoline requirements made it difficult to meet EPA requirements especially with direct fuel injection engines having greater deposit problems. Top Tier is not an invention by the gas companies to shill gas. It is invented by the car manufacturers worried about poor quality gasoline (high sulfur, too much ethanol, insufficient detergent, bad choices of additives, etc).

It is nicely discussed in previous archived Veeky Forums threads.

Skullbone
Skullbone

yeah i forgot about costco. there's more than what i listed but those are just the ones i use :]

Spazyfool
Spazyfool

Been reading a bit about oil additives. My uncle told me to add some lucas bullshit that thickens up the oil, and to throw in some high mileage 10w-40 next oil change.
Any recommendations? I heard marvel mystery oil ain't too bad

Booteefool
Booteefool

i use marvel mystery oil in the fuel tank. just under 4 oz per 10 gallons and i feel like my car has gotten a bit quieter since i started using it

as far as oil i would just say use valvoline or mobil 1 full synthetic and call it a day

haveahappyday
haveahappyday

The low cost Top Tier gasolines are pretty much the same price as the low quality gasolines. Top Tier gasolines are low-priced from Arco, BP, and Costco. Those are the three Top Tier brands I use for my new car.

High sulfur (more acidic) gasolines are cheaper, so those go to the non top tier gas stations. Top Tier specifies a maximum amount of sulfur, so all those gasolines made from low-sulfur base stocks are going to be sold to Top Tier stations. The trashy high sulfur gasolines have to be sold somewhere, so those will go to the discount non-top tier stations.

Deadlyinx
Deadlyinx

Holy shit just sell that car already!!

Firespawn
Firespawn

no, i love it

Need_TLC
Need_TLC

buying a quart of oil now and then is cheaper than a car payment.
rebuilding the engine and continuing to drive it is cheaper than a car payment.
fuck all of you who don't think an old toyota is worth it

w8t4u
w8t4u

fuck all of you who don't think an old toyota is worth it
Don't forget there are a lot of unskilled teenagers and man children (teens that never grew up mentally) in Veeky Forums. These people are full of attitude and not accomplishments. They hide amongst the old timers and polite users and make their attitude-filled posts.

I've noticed that sometimes, their answers are based not on what the OP request needs, but upon what they the poster desires. Since attitude-filled teens are all about driving hot new cars to impress their jelly friends, they would of course post "get rid of that car" type comments.

Techpill
Techpill

best course is throw another motor in it. and faster and cheaper than rebuild.

Burnblaze
Burnblaze

a turbocharger will bring your compression up :^)

Nude_Bikergirl
Nude_Bikergirl

hey, I asked you before about tach. Can you help me locate ignition coil in your carbed 1990? And uf possible Id want a picture of where you wired your shit in obd port under the good.
Also, mine had low compression too while I was undertaking 4000 kilometer trip. At all the time I had 15w oil (the thicker it is the longer it lasted) although that was in summer, don't know how winters are in murrica. It can make 2-3 trips and back as long as you keep it topped off. Also I would give a look at fuel filter change at the distance you are going. Its not hard to change and I bet it hasnt been changed in a long ass time. Also check your clutch bearings. Dont want it to fail you now.

eGremlin
eGremlin

buying a quart of oil now and then is cheaper than a car payment.
rebuilding the engine and continuing to drive it is cheaper than a car payment.

That's because you are able to work on your car.

Guys like me have to pay someone to change the oil. So a head gasket is going to be $1000 at the stealership or less at some independent place.

takes2long
takes2long

Okay. So a $50 oil change every couple months. And a head gasket should last years if not the lifetime of the engine. It's not going to be blowing out every month. If it does your mechanic is really shitty.
Even if you do none of the work yourself you're still paying less per month than buying a brand new car.

farquit
farquit

Marvel mystery oil ftw.

Also, 130 psi on a high mileage motor is usually considered extremely good. Drive it til it lets go, imo.

Crazy_Nice
Crazy_Nice

remove carbon deposits
Doesn't remove shit. Just reduces their formation.

Carnalpleasure
Carnalpleasure

Not carbed, and I have no clue where the ignition coil is. There's a diagnostic port by the brake fluid reservoir, I tapped into the port labeled "IG" and got the rpm signal from there.

viagrandad
viagrandad

The ignition coil is on the distributor, under the cap

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