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99 Eclipse GS 420a possible timing off?

Posted by Sephent, Nov 4, 2019

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  1. Sephent

    Sephent Proven Member

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    Hey all. So I picked up a 99 Eclipse GS 420a. Had some idle issues and would die easily. Was mostly due to a weak hose going from intake manifold to head, which I fixed. Previous owner just replaced the timing belt and water pump, and swapped the camshaft position sensor & iac valve with used ones from a wrecking yard... I have replaced the sparkplugs and soon wires, and did an egr delete (which helped the idle out a lot). I am going to check to see if he messed up the timing, was just hard to see some of the markings, but was curious if you guys think the timing is off, or something else? No check engine lights. Usually idles at 800-900rpm. At a stop it will sometimes suddenly drop rpm to 300-500, almost die, then jump up to 1200 or so to save itself, if it did not die. Also, seems to hesitate for a second when I start to accelerate from a stop. So I now just expect it to hesitate and am extra careful/slow with releasing the clutch pedal from a stop and feather the gas. Once I start going I don't notice any issues. SOMETIMES I can feel the car slightly hesitate while at a cruising speed (45mph or so) as if I was lightly tapping on the gas pedal. Only mods I believe is the air intake, DC sports headers, greddy catback exhaust (muffler portion seems to be falling apart inside. Not sure if it's causing issues. Tried to show in video). The car sounds like an old v8. Kind of like how my other car sounded when the timing was off, but not sure if the headers would cause it also. Here's a video. Thank you in advance for any help.

    I'll check the timing marks today best I can. If the timing is off a tooth or so, is there any easy way to fix it? I don't need to replace the water pump or anything because the last guy did that. I'm guessing id still take off the 2 accessory belts and move some stuff out of the way so I can get to the tensioner... Then just loosen the tensioner and adjust the belt, correct? No need to do like a full timing belt change procedure?
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2019

    Street Build 79  3

    1999 Mitsubishi Eclipse N/T
    fwd · manual · 2G DSM
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  2. 609DSM

    609DSM Proven Member

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    Sounds like it has cams but I could be wrong. Mine has a rough idle issue so it has the same hesitation under load. You have a cold air intake, does it have a mega squirt or some type of piggy back? From my understanding a CAI needs a tune to properly work.

    Edit: I just watched the video, looks more like a short ram intake so never mind that CAI info. @BLACK'98DSM might be right on the misfire, check the ohms of your spark plug wires make sure to test the coil pack as well. Make sure your plugs are gapped right as well.
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2019

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    1998 Mitsubishi Eclipse N/T
    fwd · manual · 2G DSM
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  3. 609DSM

    609DSM Proven Member

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    Also did he only replace the belt? Or did he actually time the engine properly and replace the belt. If it was done properly you don't need to get it timed again for another 60k miles.
     

    Street Build 139  1

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    fwd · manual · 2G DSM
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  4. BLACK'98DSM

    BLACK'98DSM Proven Member

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    A cold air intake is not a harsh enough modification to need a tuning solution. Cams and other internal modifications are what requires tuning. Basically all the bolt-on modifications can be done without a tune.
     

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  5. BLACK'98DSM

    BLACK'98DSM Proven Member

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    If it were timing it would be messed up all the time. Not just occasionally. Sounds to me like a misfire.
     

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  6. Sephent

    Sephent Proven Member

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    I'm just not used to the idle sounding like that. All loping... Sparkplugs are gapped to about .044. All he said was that he replaced the timing belt with the water pump. I saw he had 2 tensioners (the circle ones) left over in a box. Assuming the belt he bought came with 2 replacements. I also noticed he had 3 seals still in their bags. The timing and cam seals (round brownish looking things). I have some new wires showing up today. And I just found out that my spare MSD coil pack #8239 I have for my 05 Neon srt4 is the exact same one for the 99 eclipse :D so I'll swap that over and see if it helps
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2019

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  7. BLACK'98DSM

    BLACK'98DSM Proven Member

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    Maybe @609DSM is partially right on this one. The "loping" that you describe is very common from cams.
     

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  8. BLACK'98DSM

    BLACK'98DSM Proven Member

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    Easiest thing to do is pull the VC and see what you've got!
     

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  9. silvreclips

    silvreclips Proven Member

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    I would start with a compression test. The timing could very well be off, 1 tooth you may not even notice, but it depends on which cam and which direction it's off. I drove around for a year once being off 1 tooth and never noticed it.
     

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    1998 Mitsubishi Eclipse N/T
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  10. Sephent

    Sephent Proven Member

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    The timing looks to be a tooth off... I can't see the crank marking to see if it lines up, but at TDC, this is the cam gears. Ugh... Is there an easy way to just adjust the belt on the gears? Or do I have to do a full timing belt replacement procedure to line everything back up?
    I put in a different coil pack and new plug wires and it does run better. Just lopes at idle. Is the timing being a tooth off like this harmful to the engine?
     

    Attached Files:

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  11. BLACK'98DSM

    BLACK'98DSM Proven Member

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    Being a single tooth off is not harmful. But If you have the time and skill to fix it then don't just ignore it.
     

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  12. Sephent

    Sephent Proven Member

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    Someone said that I could just remove the tensioner, line up the cams, then put the tensioner back on. Would that work? Or would I have to just pull everything like a normal timing belt change?
     

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  13. BLACK'98DSM

    BLACK'98DSM Proven Member

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    In order to loosen the tensioner you have to pull the timing cover, which means you have to pull the engine mount. So you basically have to do most of the things you would if you were doing a full timing job.
     

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  14. Sephent

    Sephent Proven Member

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    the timing cover was left off... i am looking at write ups for it.. is the tensioner accessible with the motor mount still in place?
     

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  15. BLACK'98DSM

    BLACK'98DSM Proven Member

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    Have you even looked?

    If the timing cover is off then you should just be able to pull the plastic covers under the bumper/fender and access everything you need to do this.
     

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  16. Sephent

    Sephent Proven Member

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    Awesome thank you. I have looked, but been really busy with work and it getting dark early that I haven't had a chance to pull the wheel well plastics. First time dealing with a hydraulic tensioner too. It's weird LOL. So was just trying to get as prepared as possible. I'm going to try to fix the timing today. Does the belt go around the crankshaft part that you pull off with the pully? Hoping to be able to use the tool to pull that so I can physically see the arrow markings instead of just relying on the TDC using a screwdriver in sparkplug #1 spot. I appreciate all the help
     

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  17. 1999RSfwd

    1999RSfwd Probationary Member

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    No the the timing belt has its own sprocket behind the harmonic balancer. You will see it once you get the pulley and cover off.
     
  18. Sephent

    Sephent Proven Member

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    Fixed the timing. Ended up being a bigger pain than expected.. Basically had to do the complete timing belt job and pull the harmonic balancer, which was a biiitch LOL. And had a partially stripped spark plug threads in the head finally give and shoot my spark plug out, LOL. Helicoiled it for the first time and seems to of held up great :) got it done and replaced the 2 accessory belts while I was at it (they looked pretty worn down). Sounds amazing now. Nice and smooth. It DID have a little idle surge, but I put the PCV back into the hose going from the intake to the head and it cleared right up, but it IS whistling if that is normal... (when the timing was off, the PCV made it idle worse, so that's why it was off to begin with). I'm soooo happy I finally got it fixed! (The smoke coming out of the exhaust cleared up after I took it for a quick drive. I'm guessing it was from buildup in the engine due to the misfire and timing being off and it was burning it off) Now time for the misc. Other stuff with this car (airbag light. Window rattle/not rolling up straight so it doesn't seal completely, and hopefully my worn control arms hold up fine. No bad wheel vibrations or anything yet. Thanks for everyone's help!
     

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  19. 609DSM

    609DSM Proven Member

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    You should try and replace that belt cover. I know it's rare but I have heard of small rocks being kicked up into the belt and completely annihilating an engine. Makes me paranoid about mine LOL, luckily my cover is still there
     

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  20. BLACK'98DSM

    BLACK'98DSM Proven Member

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    Only the true racers leave the cover off LOL This way they can check the condition of their belt after every run.
     

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  21. 609DSM

    609DSM Proven Member

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    That's what the peephole cover is for!!
     

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  22. BLACK'98DSM

    BLACK'98DSM Proven Member

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    It also makes a timing job way easier, because then you don't have to work the motor mount out of the cover, you can just slide it right out.
     

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