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1G Engine died Gave up the ghost?

dwb

Proven Member
168
64
Sep 9, 2021
Broomfield, Colorado
Whelp, got stranded on my way to work. It just died with no warning. No odd sounds and was running fine just before. When I crank it, it sounds like the attached video. Any ideas what's up? Seems like no compression or maybe just no ignition. I'll pull plugs and maybe the oil pan this weekend to see if something shows up.
It's a 91 tsi awd.

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steve

DSM Wiseman
14,473
1,402
Feb 3, 2002
St. Charles, Illinois
Can you confirm that the starter is even engaging the flywheel? Do you see any accessories turning while you're cranking?

Next question, are you getting the normal ECU startup, Turn Key On, gage cluster bulb test, CEL stays on for five seconds and then goes off, factory boost gauge moves to 0 until you start cranking and then drops to -7, etc.

It sounds like the starter is spinning but not engaging.
 

dwb

Proven Member
168
64
Sep 9, 2021
Broomfield, Colorado
Can you confirm that the starter is even engaging the flywheel? Do you see any accessories turning while you're cranking?
I haven't checked for accessories yet but the starter definitely engages with the flywheel. Had to use the starter to move it up the driveway in 1st.
 

pauleyman

DSM Wiseman
7,999
2,605
Nov 19, 2011
oklahoma city, Oklahoma
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I know that sound. No compression. Check for a broken timing belt.

Steve I agree it sounds like a starter but it's not fast enough. I wish i didn't know this sound but I've heard it many times before. Op would easily be able to tell if crank is spinning and rule out just the starter.
 

pauleyman

DSM Wiseman
7,999
2,605
Nov 19, 2011
oklahoma city, Oklahoma
If the belt is intact check the marks.

Thankfully I've never lost a timing belt. I considered it might be but hoped for a less expensive problem.
Sadly I've heard that sound recently.

Whelp, got stranded on my way to work. It just died with no warning. No odd sounds and was running fine just before. When I crank it, it sounds like the attached video. Any ideas what's up? Seems like no compression or maybe just no ignition. I'll pull plugs and maybe the oil pan this weekend to see if something shows up.
It's a 91 tsi awd.

You must be logged in to view this image or video.
I would check the belt before pulling a pan. Sound is very distinctive, motor doesn't chug along, spins easy.
 

dwb

Proven Member
168
64
Sep 9, 2021
Broomfield, Colorado
I know that sound. No compression. Check for a broken timing belt.

Steve I agree it sounds like a starter but it's not fast enough. I wish i didn't know this sound but I've heard it many times before. Op would easily be able to tell if crank is spinning and rule out just the starter.
Definitely not the starter or flywheel since the starter will move the car in 1st/clutch engaged. Timing belt maybe. I'll pull the cover and check. I figured, being an interference motor, I'd be hearing the pistons contacting the valves.
 

pauleyman

DSM Wiseman
7,999
2,605
Nov 19, 2011
oklahoma city, Oklahoma
Definitely not the starter or flywheel since the starter will move the car in 1st/clutch engaged. Timing belt maybe. I'll pull the cover and check. I figured, being an interference motor, I'd be hearing the pistons contacting the valves.
Nope. I was driving my son's lancer last summer when the belt broke. Silent. Motor just stops and makes the noise you showed when cranking. I knew immediately when it happened. I didn't even bother to check compression I just started tearing it down.
The belt was broken in half. I was so pissed at myself too because I know what happened. The balance shaft belt broke about a month before. I know this because we were chasing a new vibration. Put in a motor mount or two that were indeed broken. I found the broken balance belt when I took it apart which likely made its way into the tbelt and broke that too. I did the last belt 50k ago so I was planning a new belt before winter. I didn't get that far. Since I know the entire maintenance of this motor I was pissed it only made it 50k. BTW this was a gates belt. NO more gates for me on a timing belt.
I wouldn't give up. I fixed it in a few days cussing the whole time.
 

1990TSIAWDTALON

Moderator
9,146
4,975
Nov 14, 2013
Independence, Kansas
Once they touch a piston, they won't make any noise at all. Mine died when it basically did the same thing and no noise. Pull the timing cover off of the cam gears and see if they move when the starter is operated. That will tell you if the belt snapped and took out all of the valves.
 

streetraceboi

Moderator
818
349
Sep 4, 2002
San Antonio, Texas
Your timing belt busted or your tensioner failed. 99.9% chance your valves are bent.
 

dwb

Proven Member
168
64
Sep 9, 2021
Broomfield, Colorado
Nope. I was driving my son's lancer last summer when the belt broke. Silent. Motor just stops and makes the noise you showed when cranking. I knew immediately when it happened. I didn't even bother to check compression I just started tearing it down.
The belt was broken in half. I was so pissed at myself too because I know what happened. The balance shaft belt broke about a month before. I know this because we were chasing a new vibration. Put in a motor mount or two that were indeed broken. I found the broken balance belt when I took it apart which likely made its way into the tbelt and broke that too. I did the last belt 50k ago so I was planning a new belt before winter. I didn't get that far. Since I know the entire maintenance of this motor I was pissed it only made it 50k. BTW this was a gates belt. NO more gates for me on a timing belt.
I wouldn't give up. I fixed it in a few days cussing the whole time.
There's no balance belt, I eliminated that last time I did the T-belt. BUT, I do think I have a Gates belt too. I'm sure I've not put more than 50k on it. If it's only a timing belt, I'll be a happy camper! I'm fearing much worse, though.

Your timing belt busted or your tensioner failed. 99.9% chance your valves are bent.
I will find out once I pull the upper cover. I can deal with timing belt but I'm fearing a full rebuild.
 

pauleyman

DSM Wiseman
7,999
2,605
Nov 19, 2011
oklahoma city, Oklahoma
There's no balance belt, I eliminated that last time I did the T-belt. BUT, I do think I have a Gates belt too. I'm sure I've not put more than 50k on it. If it's only a timing belt, I'll be a happy camper! I'm fearing much worse, though.
if you mean just a belt I'd say there is no chance. An educated guess is a rebuilt cylinder head at a minimum.
 

DSMPT

DSM Wiseman
2,002
1,553
Jun 12, 2014
Japan / Mexico, Arizona
I have heard similar sound twice. Both cases were, bent valves + damaged belt. All the timing belt teeth around crank sprocket were gone and crank was just spinning freely without cams and compression while cranking.
 

pauleyman

DSM Wiseman
7,999
2,605
Nov 19, 2011
oklahoma city, Oklahoma
Bottom end has 270k miles, so it won't be just a head rebuild :(
I guess that depends on the use of the car. I ran one of my DSMS to 200k and I had no intention of rebuilding the motor until something objective told me to do so. Bad compression, oil usage etc.
I'm with you though. My current DSM will not reuse the stock bottom end if I have any sort of failure. I have a 6 bolt waiting for it.
 

dwb

Proven Member
168
64
Sep 9, 2021
Broomfield, Colorado
Mystery solved. Timing belt snapped in half. What's the easiest way to check for bent valves?
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I guess that depends on the use of the car. I ran one of my DSMS to 200k and I had no intention of rebuilding the motor until something objective told me to do so. Bad compression, oil usage etc.
I'm with you though. My current DSM will not reuse the stock bottom end if I have any sort of failure. I have a 6 bolt waiting for it.
Daily driver. It burns a fair amount of oil (smokes sometimes), lots of blow-by (haven't done a compression or leak down test in 15+ years, so not sure how much), and my intake catch can often has quite a bit of oil in it. I suspect the bottom end isn't too bad short of the piston rings. It's never been rebuilt so it should make for a good 6 bolt rebuild candidate.
 

streetraceboi

Moderator
818
349
Sep 4, 2002
San Antonio, Texas
Mystery solved. Timing belt snapped in half. What's the easiest way to check for bent valves?
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You have bent valves. Like 99.9% chance. Best way is to do a leakdown test. Or throw another belt on and compression test. Or even throw another belt and simply crank it. If it cranks at the same fast speed, you have no compression.
 

pauleyman

DSM Wiseman
7,999
2,605
Nov 19, 2011
oklahoma city, Oklahoma
Mystery solved. Timing belt snapped in half. What's the easiest way to check for bent valves?
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No real need but just take off the valve cover. It will be obvious. The bent valves will sit weird and won't rise all the way back up so the rocker will be loose if it hasn't already fallen out.

Just curious what belt is that and gow many miles? You don't have a balance shaft to get in the way. I'm always about cause and effect. Curious if oil pump is ok etc. When I daily drove the car I went to a 40k interval. I will probably go to a years interval now.
 

dwb

Proven Member
168
64
Sep 9, 2021
Broomfield, Colorado
Just curious what belt is that and gow many miles? You don't have a balance shaft to get in the way. I'm always about cause and effect. Curious if oil pump is ok etc. When I daily drove the car I went to a 40k interval. I will probably go to a years interval now.
Gates T167 installed in 2011. I don't recall the mileage when I installed it, but I only put about 3k - 4k miles/year on it. So probably no more than 45k miles on the belt. It was more than likely due to the age/brand.
 

motomattx

Proven Member
3,697
1,436
Dec 9, 2010
wampum, Pennsylvania
Nope. I was driving my son's lancer last summer when the belt broke. Silent. Motor just stops and makes the noise you showed when cranking. I knew immediately when it happened. I didn't even bother to check compression I just started tearing it down.
The belt was broken in half. I was so pissed at myself too because I know what happened. The balance shaft belt broke about a month before. I know this because we were chasing a new vibration. Put in a motor mount or two that were indeed broken. I found the broken balance belt when I took it apart which likely made its way into the tbelt and broke that too. I did the last belt 50k ago so I was planning a new belt before winter. I didn't get that far. Since I know the entire maintenance of this motor I was pissed it only made it 50k. BTW this was a gates belt. NO more gates for me on a timing belt.
I wouldn't give up. I fixed it in a few days cussing the whole time.
How many years old was the belt? did it show any signs of wear any place on it?
 
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