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94 Eagle Talon TSI AWD Don't Know What's Happening

Scarn4322

Probationary Member
10
2
Sep 18, 2022
Toronto, ON_Canada
Alright so.. I recently bought a 1994 eagle talon AWD TSI. I love these cars and I have lots of memories with this car when I was younger. I bought this one because the body is good and engine/tranny seems good too (give or take)...

[THE PROBLEM]
1) -The car starts (not the greatest see video) the car also seems to drive fine. When I floor it, the boost kicks in at roughly 3000 rpm's. I can feel the boost but at higher rpms I can no longer feel the boost anymore.
2) -The car idles very strange, it almost sounds like its cammed. So the rpm needle is around 1000 rpm when idling however sometimes when I stop at a red light the rpm will go down maybe around 500 and feels like it going to shut off so I give it gas. When its idling at 1,000 rpm if I press the brake the rpm will go down (sometimes). Also, (this just happened once) one day when I got home and parked the car and let it idle before I shut it off the rpm would go up to around 1,500 and back down to 1,000. this happened 2 or 3 times while idling for 2 minutes.

As far as I'm aware the car is pretty stock.

[LITTLE BACK STORY]
The guy I bought the car from had it for 3 years. He told me the guy he bought it from was driving it and something happened with the timing belt it broke or slipped. So long story short when this guy bought it he told me he replaced the timing belt and corrected the timing, he also did the head gasket as well.

I'm really hoping someone can help. I've tried looking for a mechanic that knows these cars in the TORONTO region. Everyone keeps telling me Magnus Auto but they never pick up. Is there any other shops anywhere near the area? I'd like to fix this car, I know it's not a perfect car but I bought it with the intentions of being patient and slowly bring it back to life.



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Scarn4322

Probationary Member
10
2
Sep 18, 2022
Toronto, ON_Canada
Alright so.. I recently bought a 1994 eagle talon AWD TSI. I love these cars and I have lots of memories with this car when I was younger. I bought this one because the body is good and engine/tranny seems good too (give or take)...

[THE PROBLEM]
1) -The car starts the car also seems to drive fine. When I floor it, the boost kicks in at roughly 3000 rpm's. I can feel the boost but at higher rpms I can no longer feel the boost anymore.
2) -The car idles very strange, it almost sounds like its cammed. So the rpm needle is around 1000 rpm when idling however sometimes when I stop at a red light the rpm will go down maybe around 500 and feels like it going to shut off so I give it gas. When its idling at 1,000 rpm if I press the brake the rpm will go down (sometimes). Also, (this just happened once) one day when I got home and parked the car and let it idle before I shut it off the rpm would go up to around 1,500 and back down to 1,000. this happened 2 or 3 times while idling for 2 minutes.

As far as I'm aware the car is pretty stock.

[LITTLE BACK STORY]
The guy I bought the car from had it for 3 years. He told me the guy he bought it from was driving it and something happened with the timing belt it broke or slipped. So long story short when this guy bought it he told me he replaced the timing belt and corrected the timing, he also did the head gasket as well.

I'm really hoping someone can help. I've tried looking for a mechanic that knows these cars in the TORONTO region. Everyone keeps telling me Magnus Auto but they never pick up. Is there any other shops anywhere near the area? I'd like to fix this car, I know it's not a perfect car but I bought it with the intentions of being patient and slowly bring it back to life.
 

CrackedDSM

10+ Year Contributor
2,176
821
Dec 17, 2009
Pensacola, Florida
Sounds like it’s super duper low on compression when you turn it over. And that ticking is extremely loud to just be lifters. Do not run this engine any further at all until you diagnose it more.

First step 1) compression test it. You can borrow one from a parts store and it’s a very very easy process to do. 2) if it’s got low compression then you need to plan on ripping the cylinder head off and getting it machined/fixed. At that point I’d check bearings on the rods too and make sure the piston kissing the valves didn’t hurt those either.

Also: don’t just look for a shop. You’re going to spend a fortune and you’ll never appreciate the car for what it is unless you get your own hands dirty. It’s not hard, just takes some patience and a ton of research but the money you save will pay for your future mods.

Also: take pictures of the inside of the cylinder head without the valve cover on. If rockers are just laying in the head then that further supports the bent valves theory I have. These engines when they break timing belts almost always bend at least one valve. If it broke the belt and didn’t bend a thing, OG owner should play the lottery.
 

Scarn4322

Probationary Member
10
2
Sep 18, 2022
Toronto, ON_Canada
I'm praying it's not a bent valve(s) because that seems like its going to cost a fortune. I attached a picture of the head without the cover on it. (also the previous owner told me he did a compression test and it was good on all cylinders)

Also, there's a ticking noise that is kind of loud, however when I press down on the clutch it goes away completely.

Also, thank you for the advise, you've given me the best advise so far in the past couple weeks. I don't mind getting my hands dirty. My only concern is what I'm actually capable of doing in my under ground parking myself.

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CrackedDSM

10+ Year Contributor
2,176
821
Dec 17, 2009
Pensacola, Florida
I'm praying it's not a bent valve(s) because that seems like its going to cost a fortune. I attached a picture of the head without the cover on it. (also the previous owner told me he did a compression test and it was good on all cylinders)

Also, there's a ticking noise that is kind of loud, however when I press down on the clutch it goes away completely.

Also, thank you for the advise, you've given me the best advise so far in the past couple weeks. I don't mind getting my hands dirty. My only concern is what I'm actually capable of doing in my under ground parking myself.

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What you took off isn’t the valvecover that’s the spark plug cover. What the spark plug cover you took off was BOLTED TO, is the valvecover. Take that off, it’s like 14 bolts or so normally if all of them are actually there… (But the fact it’s missing bolts inside the spark plug valley says a lot about the previous owner. If he was that lazy, his word isn’t trustworthy at all. Which leads me to my second bit of advice here..)

DSM Rule: Always…always assume previous owner is a liar and is getting rid of a basket case. That way if you’re wrong, it’s in a good way!

The chatter from the driveline going away with you pressing the clutch pedal is concerning but we’ll focus on the engine for the time being. That’s a whole other can of worms. Safe to say this car has been abused. Poor thing.

But, replacing the head isn’t as expensive as it could be. Expensive is relative and prices vary on location, but a simple valve job and a good resurfacing(make sure the machinist you choose can tell you what RA he’s gonna refinish the head surface to. If they can’t tell you that, walk away.) shouldn’t be more than $600. Any higher and you can just shop the classifieds for a complete head in good shape with some spring/retainer upgrades for $800-$1000 and it’s already assembled. And that’s on the expensive end for a stock head. But I’m aiming high if anything.


But first, gotta do a compression check. In the meantime yank the valvecover off and take a picture of what it looks like. I’m curious.

It’s too bad the dsm scene is so small compared to what it was. Because if I was nearby I’d 100% stop by and help show you/lend a helping hand. Couldn’t hurt to throw up a thread in your region down in the regional forums and see if there’s anyone nearby who’s willing to help you wrench on the dsm. Maybe offer food/gas. Worth a try. Also, I hate it with a passion but Facebook groups are a great place to network as well.
 
Last edited:

99dsmer4g63

Proven Member
157
76
Sep 20, 2022
Shippensburg, Pennsylvania
I would pull the plugs and perform a leak down test on the car. Pretty simple and similar to the compression test other than it will tell you where the problem is exactly. EX: if it’s leaking out the tail pipe your exhaust valves are the problem if the timing is correct. If the P.O couldn’t even put all the valve cover bolts in there’s no way in hell he set the hydraulic timing tensioner correctly or half of the stuff he touched. I wouldn’t run the car until you can double check things on the engine and verify they are correct. Do all the research you can on this site and simple google searches if you can’t perform basic diagnostic testing. Everyone has to learn somehow and started somewhere. Also I agree with the whole you can’t believe a word the guy you bought it off said. Good Luck
-Daniel
 

Scarn4322

Probationary Member
10
2
Sep 18, 2022
Toronto, ON_Canada
What you took off isn’t the valvecover that’s the spark plug cover. What the spark plug cover you took off was BOLTED TO, is the valvecover. Take that off, it’s like 14 bolts or so normally if all of them are actually there… (But the fact it’s missing bolts inside the spark plug valley says a lot about the previous owner. If he was that lazy, his word isn’t trustworthy at all. Which leads me to my second bit of advice here..)

DSM Rule: Always…always assume previous owner is a liar and is getting rid of a basket case. That way if you’re wrong, it’s in a good way!

The chatter from the driveline going away with you pressing the clutch pedal is concerning but we’ll focus on the engine for the time being. That’s a whole other can of worms. Safe to say this car has been abused. Poor thing.

But, replacing the head isn’t as expensive as it could be. Expensive is relative and prices vary on location, but a simple valve job and a good resurfacing(make sure the machinist you choose can tell you what RA he’s gonna refinish the head surface to. If they can’t tell you that, walk away.) shouldn’t be more than $600. Any higher and you can just shop the classifieds for a complete head in good shape with some spring/retainer upgrades for $800-$1000 and it’s already assembled. And that’s on the expensive end for a stock head. But I’m aiming high if anything.


But first, gotta do a compression check. In the meantime yank the valvecover off and take a picture of what it looks like. I’m curious.

It’s too bad the dsm scene is so small compared to what it was. Because if I was nearby I’d 100% stop by and help show you/lend a helping hand. Couldn’t hurt to throw up a thread in your region down in the regional forums and see if there’s anyone nearby who’s willing to help you wrench on the dsm. Maybe offer food/gas. Worth a try. Also, I hate it with a passion but Facebook groups are a great place to network as well.
Okay I can take the valve cover off and take a picture. But if I take the cover off will I have to replace the valve cover gasket? Or would I be able to just put the valve cover back on without replacing the gasket?

I wish you lived near me. That would be amazing to have someone that’s knowledgeable about these cars to come help me. I’ll keep searching for people that live in the Toronto area.
 

Scarn4322

Probationary Member
10
2
Sep 18, 2022
Toronto, ON_Canada
I would pull the plugs and perform a leak down test on the car. Pretty simple and similar to the compression test other than it will tell you where the problem is exactly. EX: if it’s leaking out the tail pipe your exhaust valves are the problem if the timing is correct. If the P.O couldn’t even put all the valve cover bolts in there’s no way in hell he set the hydraulic timing tensioner correctly or half of the stuff he touched. I wouldn’t run the car until you can double check things on the engine and verify they are correct. Do all the research you can on this site and simple google searches if you can’t perform basic diagnostic testing. Everyone has to learn somehow and started somewhere. Also I agree with the whole you can’t believe a word the guy you bought it off said. Good Luck
-Daniel
Thanks for the reply Daniel I’m going to look up how to do a leak down test and try that out. I’m hoping it helps me find something
 

99dsmer4g63

Proven Member
157
76
Sep 20, 2022
Shippensburg, Pennsylvania
The leak down test will at least confirm that the motor is healthy internally. Anything under say 15% I wouldn’t be concerned with. No motor will be at 0% and anyone who says they have one I wouldn’t believe anyway. I leak down test any car I buy or any motor I assemble just to know what I have and working with. It’s just peace of mind for me personally. Also you may be able to reuse the gasket if it’s not too old and worn out. But they are cheap and might as well. Also know that the valve cover bolts strip easily in the head. I use a nut driver to install them just so I can’t get to much torque on them. The valve covers are also prone to cracking in the spark plug well where your bolts are missing so be careful and snug the bolts down evenly. I would do the leak down test first though because IF it fails you will be pulling more than a valve cover.
-Daniel
 
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