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Hello,

I just recently bought a 2001 9-5, 2.3t that had some engine noise. I got a good deal on it, so I've been working on it.

So far, I have cleaned out the oil sump, replaced the main a rod bearings, installed new head, intake and exhaust gaskets, and replaced 3 of the 16 hydraulic tappets. I suspect the tappets where causing the noise, as the 3 I replaced had a spongy feeling to them compared to the others. In other words, noisy lifters.

Anyway, I have put everything back together and now I have a big problem - I can't get the engine to run!! The first few tries I could tell it was struggling, which is normal after an engine rebuild. It finally got to a point where it will start right up, but it will usually immediately stall. On one try it ran just long enough for me to get out of the driver's seat and run to the front of the car to take a closer listen, but it died.

In more detail, when it does start, it usually does one of a few things. It will either 1) start and then instantly stall, 2) start, immediately rev up to around 3000 or 4000 rpm, then die, 3) start, idle erratically for a few seconds, and then stall, or else 4) some combination of all of the above.

I have spent hours looking over everything, making sure I didn't forget to tighten something or re-connect something, so I am sure it is all put back together correctly. I originally suspected a loose vacuum hose or incorrect timing, but have also check that too.

Here's my main theory/question:
is it possible that since I only replaced 3 of the tappets, that is somehow preventing it from running? Is it standard practice to replace all 16 at once, or is it just fine to replace only the bad ones? Any ideas? Any easy ways to diagnose what the problem might be?
 

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Hello,

I just recently bought a 2001 9-5, 2.3t that had some engine noise. I got a good deal on it, so I've been working on it.

So far, I have cleaned out the oil sump, replaced the main a rod bearings, installed new head, intake and exhaust gaskets, and replaced 3 of the 16 hydraulic tappets. I suspect the tappets where causing the noise, as the 3 I replaced had a spongy feeling to them compared to the others. In other words, noisy lifters.

Anyway, I have put everything back together and now I have a big problem - I can't get the engine to run!! The first few tries I could tell it was struggling, which is normal after an engine rebuild. It finally got to a point where it will start right up, but it will usually immediately stall. On one try it ran just long enough for me to get out of the driver's seat and run to the front of the car to take a closer listen, but it died.

In more detail, when it does start, it usually does one of a few things. It will either 1) start and then instantly stall, 2) start, immediately rev up to around 3000 or 4000 rpm, then die, 3) start, idle erratically for a few seconds, and then stall, or else 4) some combination of all of the above.

I have spent hours looking over everything, making sure I didn't forget to tighten something or re-connect something, so I am sure it is all put back together correctly. I originally suspected a loose vacuum hose or incorrect timing, but have also check that too.

Here's my main theory/question:
is it possible that since I only replaced 3 of the tappets, that is somehow preventing it from running? Is it standard practice to replace all 16 at once, or is it just fine to replace only the bad ones? Any ideas? Any easy ways to diagnose what the problem might be?
As far as tappets or lifters go...how can you tell theyre bad? They usually dont fail unless they break. Theyre supposed to be spongy, theyre hydraulic, if theyre stuck, theyre simply just stuck and have to be cleaned. If most of them are stuck, then I can only assume it had a sludge problem or the oil wasnt maintained correctly. But if you replaced the head, did that head not come with lifters? If most lifters are stuck that could cause the problem you are having, although highly unlikely. Its bound to be a connector or vacuum leak you forgot or a hose ripped. Check all hoses and connections, make sure intake is fitted and all hoses for the intake, including to the intercooler. Good luck
 

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Discussion Starter #3
As far as tappets or lifters go...how can you tell theyre bad? They usually dont fail unless they break. Theyre supposed to be spongy, theyre hydraulic, if theyre stuck, theyre simply just stuck and have to be cleaned. If most of them are stuck, then I can only assume it had a sludge problem or the oil wasnt maintained correctly. But if you replaced the head, did that head not come with lifters? If most lifters are stuck that could cause the problem you are having, although highly unlikely. Its bound to be a connector or vacuum leak you forgot or a hose ripped. Check all hoses and connections, make sure intake is fitted and all hoses for the intake, including to the intercooler. Good luck
I should have clarified - when I said "head, intake and exhaust gaskets", I meant head gasket, intake gasket, and exhaust gasket. As stated in the Saab WIS, tappets that feel spongy need to be replaced. The 3 I replaced obviously have a broken or damaged spring, because when taken out of the cylinder head they can be depressed with little effort. All of the other ones, while not jammed, take far more force to depress, indicating a good spring inside.

Its possible that I have missed a vacuum hose somewhere, but like I said, I have checked them all. Not to mention most of them were untouched through the whole process, and those that I know I removed are 100% for sure back in place.

What I really want to know is if having mismatched tappets can even cause such an extensive problem. Does having new ones mixed with old ones change anything? Just trying to learn what problems are even possible.
 

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not a lifter issue

id be more concerned with missed timing, the ground wires on the by the thermostat, or a large vacuum leak. Check the larger vacuum line on the back of the throttle body. make sure the intercooler hose is tight
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Update:

Today I pulled off the cam cover and the camshafts and put the three old lifters back in just to rule them out as a possibility. No change. Engine starts and stops as described above. So I know for a fact its not the lifters.

2.3LiterCivicBeater, I will check everything again, especially the things you mentioned. I must be missing something to have such a huge problem. Anyone know where I can find a diagram of the vacuum lines to verify they're all hooked up right? WIS doesn't seem to have much in that area.
 

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I hate to admit this, but when I forgot to connect a hose from the intercooler, my car acted very similar.
I don't think changing the lifters is going to help Engines start and run even when all the lifters have not been pumped up with oil.
Check fuel pressure and unplug the maf and try it again. The car should run without the maf connected.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
So here's where I am:

Checked ALL of the air pipes (MAF to turbo, turbo to intercooler, intercooler to throttle body). ALL good.

Checked all vacuum lines. Replaced a few that were questionable, and all the rest are properly seated with no cuts or holes. ALL good.

I unplugged the MAF to see if it would run without it, and it will actually run on its own, although very rough and rather loud. It also has a very loud, high-pitched screaming sound coming from the top of the engine near the throttle body. Sounds like metal-on-metal. The high-pitched sound will stop when I rev the engine, but always comes back.

While it was running with the MAF unplugged, the engine threw 5 codes:
P0100 - No signal from MAF (duh, I knew that)
P0300 - Random Misfire
P0301 - Cyl #1 Misfire
P1300 - Random Misfire, Catalyst Damaging (Sounds scary - what does "Catalyst Damaging" mean?)
P1301 - Cyl #1 Misfire, Catalyst Damaging (Again, sounds scary)

I gather from other posts that I might want to start by replacing the spark plugs, and that a new DIC could in my future too. Anything else I should check? And what about the high-pitch sound from the top of the engine?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Forgot to mention in the last post that after the air pipes and vacuum lines were all checked, and with the MAF still plugged in, it is still running like ****, doing the exact same thing as before. It was only after I unplugged the MAF that I was able to get it running for any length of time.
 

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That does sound scary; sounds like you have a charge air and FI issue
What condition is the vacuum line from the brake booster to the intake manifold? That could be the source of the high pitch sound.


While it was running with the MAF unplugged, the engine threw 5 codes:
P0100 - No signal from MAF (duh, I knew that)
P0300 - Random Misfire
P0301 - Cyl #1 Misfire
P1300 - Random Misfire, Catalyst Damaging (Sounds scary - what does "Catalyst Damaging" mean?)
P1301 - Cyl #1 Misfire, Catalyst Damaging (Again, sounds scary)

I gather from other posts that I might want to start by replacing the spark plugs, and that a new DIC could in my future too. Anything else I should check? And what about the high-pitch sound from the top of the engine?
 

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perhaps you damaged the DIC? I know it's a long shot but if you turned it upside down for a long period of time the oil can move away from the coil packs. Maybe try swapping with a known good one?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Saaber95er,
Thanks for your detailed input. I assume that by "FI" you mean "fuel injection." I'm becoming more and more convinced that may be the case, whether its the DIC, spark plugs, or fuel injectors themselves. I have actually already seen those exact screens from WIS. I have checked along the air pipes, especially where the arrows point. In my mind there's no way that's the problem.

LeoLegend,
I had no idea storing it upside down could be a problem. Now that you mention it, I did have it stored upside down the entire few weeks I was working on the car, so it is possible that some residual engine oil seeped in.
-Would that really destroy the entire DIC?
-Is it possible to take it apart and clean it?
-I don't have a spare DIC or know anybody who owns a Saab either. Any way to test it directly?
 

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Last time I changed the head gasket on my 93 I had enough residual coolant in the cylinders that I hydrolocked the engine.

Removed all the plugs, turned the motor over (shooting coolant everywhere) put the plugs back in and it fired right up.
 

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I think you still have an air leak. If it runs better(though not good) with the maf - or amm unplugged, and you hear a high pitched sound near the intake manifold, where it could be sucking air...... You might try, with a can of propane or starting fluid, spray around the intake and see if you can
A. notice any changes in the idle
B. hear a change in the high pitched sound, and or locate where the engine is getting the extra fuel you're adding. (especially around intake port number 1. )
As to the dic, I'm not convinced at this point that it is worth the cost of buying another one, unless you plan to keep 1 as a spare.

Oh and I'd check the intake bolts to make sure they are tight - holding the intake to the head, and throttle body to the intake.
Let us know.
 

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Don't have time to work on it today, but here's a video I took the other day. Hope it helps:

http://youtu.be/2Aim3_HD6SU
Ok, after watching the video a couple of times:
Do you know for sure that the oil pump primed?
If someone brought that car to me to work on, I'd remove the valve cover FIRST. And I'd remove the cam bearing caps one at a time and be sure that it is oiling properly. Make sure all slotted bolts are in the right location (toward the sparkplugs). Also check the vac pump.
Check to make sure the cam shafts are timed properly. 1 tooth off and the engine will vibrate and not want to run right.

Also, it looks like there is possibly an issue with the belt or one of the accessory pulleys.
After checking the cams, bearings, and valve timing, I'd be tempted to remove the belt, and start the car for no more than a minute or two.
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
Installed new spark plugs yesterday. No Change :cry:
Guess I'll keep troubleshooting.

Ok, after watching the video a couple of times:
Do you know for sure that the oil pump primed?
If someone brought that car to me to work on, I'd remove the valve cover FIRST. And I'd remove the cam bearing caps one at a time and be sure that it is oiling properly. Make sure all slotted bolts are in the right location (toward the sparkplugs). Also check the vac pump.
Check to make sure the cam shafts are timed properly. 1 tooth off and the engine will vibrate and not want to run right.
a) What do you mean by "primed"? Was I supposed to prime the oil pump before reassembly? The WIS instructions made no mention. Or do you just mean that oil is making it to the places its supposed to be?

b) I have taken the valve cover off several times since the rebuild, and there is definitely oil getting to the top of the engine. Checking each individual cap might be a good idea, though. Do you mean take one cap off, run the engine to check that oil comes out there, then replace it an move on to the next? Or how should I go about that? Also, what do you mean by "slotted bolts"? I don't remember any of them having slots on them of any sort.

c) Timing seemed to be a bit off when I first took the engine apart (see pictures below, all taken at the same time without moving anything). I currently have all three marks lined up as close to perfect as I can get them, unless I'm somehow doing that wrong. Is it possible that since the timing was a little off before that I now need to reset a computer chip somewhere?

d) Guess I need to go buy a vacuum gauge now too.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Also, it looks like there is possibly an issue with the belt or one of the accessory pulleys.
After checking the cams, bearings, and valve timing, I'd be tempted to remove the belt, and start the car for no more than a minute or two.
Are you referring to the way the belt tensioner is vibrating wildly? I noticed that too. I wasn't sure if that was normal or not since this car is new to me. It's not of great concern for me at the moment, but I'll definitely take a look at it once I get the engine running properly. What should I be looking for while I have the engine running with the belt off?
 

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Discussion Starter #18
You might try, with a can of propane or starting fluid, spray around the intake and see if you can
A. notice any changes in the idle
B. hear a change in the high pitched sound, and or locate where the engine is getting the extra fuel you're adding. (especially around intake port number 1. )
Let me make sure I understand your procedure: I should spray around the perimeter of the intake manifold to test if for leaks between the cylinder head and intake manifold? That's not a bad idea ;ol;
 

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PLEASE DON'T START IT AGAIN UNTIL THE BOLTS ARE IN THE PROPER PLACE!

Also, what do you mean by "slotted bolts"? I don't remember any of them having slots on them of any sort.
I'll be back
 

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Only the caps next to the chain do not have the slotted bolts.
ALL other caps MUST have the slotted bolt. The slotted bolt is black, and MUST be on the side toward the spark plugs.
If they are not, you have starved that cam bearing for oil.
 

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