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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all,
I'm a newbie (well posted a couple of times). I am by no means a super mechanic, more like weekend warrior trying to not spend the money in the shop and save buck. But I am fascinated by the experts that exisit on this site, and hoping I could get some good advise. I will share my experiences and actually have helped a couple of guys on here already myself. But my expertise is very limited and I'm in deep yoghurt right now.

Have a severe problemsand need help understand what I've done major wrong - cause I'm sure I am the responsible party to this fiasco. Sorry for the long post, but I have to explain what I did, to avoid any ambiguity.

This weekend I decided to change my timing chain as I knew it had stretched (tensioner petruded 18-19 mm or so). Before this I actually had a misfire code (301), which I thought was related to a timing chain that was slightly off the TDC marks. When I changed the chain, the marks were slightly off at TDC.... so I thought I'd found the 'bad guy" to the misfire. Nevertheless, here's what I did when rolling-in the new chain
1. Put crank and cams at TDC
2. Removed the chain from their sprockts
3. Moved the camshaft sprockets to their "neutral' positions by moving exhaust sprocket 60 deg forward and inlet 60 deg backwards (as to protect the valves during CS turning).
4 Covered things-up with a blanket and cut the old chain.
5. Attached the new chain and rolled the old one out by turning the cranshaft (my wife held the chain and ensured it was not slack during this process - nothing got stuck)
6 Attached both ends of new chain and installed master link
7 Returned crankshaft to its TDC position
8 Returned camshafts from their neutral positions to their TDC marks
9 Installed new chain over sprockets, got the TDC marks spot-on at all locations (cams and crank).
10 Installed tensioner (brand new, btw) and torqued to spec
11. Turned crank 2 full revolutions - TDC marks were still spot-on
12. Turned cranks 4 more times (for QC paranoia!) - TDC marks still spot-on
13.Reinstalled valve cover (with new gaskets).

NOTE A big mistake I think I did was to not keep count of how many times I turned the crankshaft when I rolled-in the new chain. Could have been 3, 4 or 5 revolutions, don't remember at all. In retrospect, I know that the crankshaft turns two revolutions to turn the camshafts 1 rev when the chain is connected. So it was probably a cruical mistake to notd keep track of # of revolutions...

WHen I started car, I could tell it was not really running optimally. At idle, it was going-up and down (from 500 to 1300) but seemed to settle at 900 RPM when warm. Took a test drive for a mile or two. CEL started flashing and then became solid. Could drive it but boost pressure rising quicly. At third gear (this is a stick), I could not get past 50 MPH...boost pressure went deep into red and then car would stall. Engine temperature was normal. Did not get any oil pressure warnings, etc. No error messages on SID display (only CEL came-on).

Got back home and checked codes; P300 (random misfire), P301 (#1 misfire) and two misfire releated codes: P0134 and P1300. When opening the hood and ran car at idle for a little bit more, could smell fuel near #1, so it must be dumping raw fuel into the exhaust and not igniting. Turned-off car and have not tried running it or driving it any more (so total distance run was only 1 or 2 miles or so). I know I need to fix this or I will destroy the cat coverter with raw fuel.

Also, prior to 1s start I had put in new (per SAAB spec, NGK) spark plugs, alternator, O2 sensors and cat converter + complete exhaust system (changed all this in connection with this overhaul). Also noted that I had lost coolant (resorvoir was empty, but not triggering a low coolant fault). Have not observed any leaks, not sure where the coolant went. When I took out the old plugs, noted that they were tan/white, I had expected them to be sooty (due to the misfire that I before changing the chain).

Also, I had picked-up a spare DIC and spare MAF at a local U Pull U Pay (not knowing if they were good or bad) some time ago. I tried to swap-out the DIC and MAF with the spares - this did not help.

My questions are (rather stupid to you experts, I suppose .. so go ahead, laugh!).

A. - Could I have screwed-up the relation between the crankshaft and the camshafts. As indicated, I did not keep track of how many times I turned the CS when I rolled-in the new chain. Should have kept track of even numbers, i think. In other words, could it be that the crankshaft is on the intake stroke when I put it at TDC and needs to be changed revolution when disengaged from the cams to get back to the compression stroke? I checked by holding my finger over # 1 plug hole; turned CS counter-clockwise 1/4 turn and then turned it clock-wise again...I can feel air being pushed out of the plug when CS passes the TDC mark. That means it is on the compression stroke or intake stroke?? If I have installed it wrong, would the car even start then?

B. Could my head gasket be blown and coolant going into combustor? It is definately not mixed in the oil - I checked that. Is it possible that gasket is cracked but coolant not going into the oil?

I will continue to check all the vacuum connections, as I understand that could cause misfire and boost pressure issues. Will also check the large electrical connector (driver side, by firewall) as I disconnected that during this overhaul. I've heard somebody say that the pins within could have disengaged and not seated right, so wondering if any disengaged pins could be causing this.

I'm really lost. Any tidbit of advise would be highly appreciated!

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