- Ownership Status:
- No Longer Own
- Transmission Type:
- Build Type:
- Winter Tread
- I am new to the DSM community and was especially new when I purchased my first Eagle Talon for $500. Luckily for me, my brother has a wealth of knowledge when it comes to these vehicles. He had been doing some shopping and was already sitting on a shell in decent condition. The original plan was to take this scrap car that had been sitting in a field for ten years, and use parts to make the one he already owned run. Much to our dismay, the parts car was in better shape and had less rot than the other.
We decided to make this car run and began doing routine checks to figure out why it didn't run. At first, we just put a charged battery in and tried firing it. When it didn't start, we started out first by checking if it had spark, which it did, and the plugs were not fowling out. The engine was also getting sufficient fuel. When doing compression check, all four cylinders were getting plenty of compression. We replaced the ECU and things began to sound a little better. After trying to start the car a few times every 2-3 minutes, we tried starting it with full throttle, which she eventually fired on but even at full throttle the car wouldn't climb above 2,000 RPMs. This was because the exhaust was consumed with debris that squirrels had left behind from nesting within. After removing the exhaust pipe and trying again, we found it to still be running a little off. It seemed as if the car was running on two or three cylinders, but not all four.
We were checking and rechecking the plugs to make sure they weren't fowled, and cleaned the injectors on each cylinder, but nothing would fix the issue of misfiring. The issue was within the head of the motor. After removing the valve cover, it was noticed that several rockers were out of place. We bled the lifters while we were at it and after using a pry bar to reset the rockers in place, and replacing the valve cover, she started first try and idled just below 2000 RPM.
Things were looking great! My brother decided it would be a good idea for him to drive it around for a week and decide whether it was safe to take home or not. It got him around for a few days, he had put a tank of gas in her, and one day he was stranded at work because it wouldn't fire. Eventually he got it to start and took it home and the problem didn't return until I took it home. The next day, it wouldn't start for me. I tried all morning, and eventually got it to start, but on less than four cylinders. I turned it off and tried again, and it purred. By this point we were convinced that it was the engine, so we sought out for Pittsburgh to pick up one from our friend Justin.
The next day we swapped the motor, and it fired right up. Convinced it was fixed, I drove home, only to wake up the next day to the exact same issue. It was a bi*** to start, and when it finally did, it wouldn't run on four cylinders, and this time, even after restarting it, would not run on four cylinders. After determining it wasn't the plugs, compression, or fuel, we took off the valve cover again to find the same thing. Thrown rockers.
We were baffled.
How in the world could a completely different engine produce the exact same results? Well, it had been mentioned in the process of restoring this car multiple times, but we always ruled it out, but bad gas was causing the issue as this was really the only common multiple in the equation.
The entire time I was doing a search to find out what happens when a car has bad fuel, and we were getting a lot of the symptoms, but it wasn't until I searched a query with bad fuel and thrown rocker did I come across the article that described it to a T what I was up against. I cannot find it today, but it explained a situation where rockers were being thrown due to a buildup of residue from bad gasoline.
After replacing the gas tank, and running Seafoam in a tank or two of gas, the car never had motor problems again.
Unfortunately I only drove her for a few months before I was in a pretty bad car accident which totaled the car. However, I did replace her with a better DSM, and I am in the process of building a winter car with the remnants of this green one.
(See Bobby Brown)
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