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Engine Warranty S&J Cylinder #1


Micro Machine Manager
So, I got part of a diagnostics done on the engine, but we are now doing a leak test on cylinder #1.

There's apparently still a possibility of a blown head gasket but the numbers on the pressure test both dry and wet look pretty solid. Dry was 158 - 168 and Wet was 190-198.

Cylinder #1 however would not produce power (there's a skip) and we swapped spark plugs, still no change. I'll make sure the spark plug wire was changed too (maybe it's broken and maybe the wire was not swapped for another wire from distributor to plugs to double-check this).

S&J wants the leak test next. They're still saying the engine could have overheated and maybe it is my fault, I don't know. I caught the engine spike pretty fast and didn't let it continue running. Shut it down, etc back in March. I have had to monitor my systems constantly with the bad engine so this was second nature and I don't think I was running the engine into high temperature until it parked and shot up as I idled for 1-2 minutes because it was low on radiator fluid (due to a faulty radiator cap turns out).

So now the radiator is holding fluid since the new cap handles the PSI. That's good. It's staying cold. That's good.

Also, since cylinder #1 can be reached a little bit through the top of the engine fill, Keith poked in there and the flaps or whatever on the valves are not seized. No issue there.

I am not too certain what issues are going to be found. Dan at S&J Engines is telling me if the engine overheated to a HIGH 265+ deg temp that a solder temp tab on the back will be melted. I guess that will help them determine it's my fault possibly by letting the engine overheat? I dunno. I caught it as it was rising to the right very quickly and shut it down immediately.

Could it be melted from that incident in March? Maybe? I guess we'll find out about that tomorrow too if Keith knows how to inspect that without tearing anything apart. I know it's back by the cab firewall but unsure where on the engine I'm looking.

Spark plugs did not have a lot of white on them from my perspective to indicate radiator was filling up the engine. I was probably losing fluid out a faulty radiator cap every time before I was running depressurized on a good cap.

Here's a link to my Engine Diagnostics Drive Folder. One showing me driving at 55 MPH with ABS light illuminated but everything else is fine. The other two are spark plugs 1-6, looking for white indication of radiator fluid getting into the engine cylinders.

Got my Saab registered today, now just trying to get definitive diagnostics before I drop the truck off. The engine shop is backed up even though I had a drop-off appt today, so Bigelow Engines (local Engine shop) is cool with me delaying drop-off to allow more projects on my end to get done while he gets caught up and we also perform a couple more diagnostics before giving him our findings and letting him do his own based on our direction to revalidate engine diagnosis and repair accordingly.


Micro Machine Manager
Leak Down Check Complete

Not great....

Triggered the Check Engine light that has been off for months upon months by doing these tests.

Broke a spark plug, going to put a new one in the morning in.

Tests show Compression at 90 or so and all but one are below the MINIMUM 78.5 (one was 80 on the leak). There is a hiss out of the engine service cap of the engine during these. No bubbling from radiator either.

When parked but on, pulling Spark Plug #1 off the distributor does not affect idle.

#1 Cylinder appears to be providing some power during driving as it has the broken spark plug right now and it was much worse.

There is skipping from #1 that can be heard/felt prior to breaking the spark plug.

Unsure what's going on with this engine.

The Heat Tab on the back was not melted. Did not overheat the engine.

I guess the theory is possibly the valves are not seated or piston rings are not seated or the engine needs more than 6K miles of break-in driving? Keith also theorized doing the oil change its due for right now and putting straight 30W Conentional in for further break-in.

Have to call S&J on Monday to see waht they will say. At least I didn't overheat the engine, so the warranty is intact.


Micro Machine Manager
Check Engine light went out again, still need to find my odb1 that has been lost since the engine replacement in November. Unsure if any codes are sitting there without triggering the check engine light.

ABS light still comes on after 35 mph, although breaking action and back-end control seem to be good now that the hydraulic control unit has been replaced and brakes bled.


Micro Machine Manager
Is it possible a new distributor cap and rotor plus the distributor pigtail being replaced could correct a #1 Engine Cylinder issue?

I'm not 100% certain yet, but I soldered it all together, added the ground to the distributor condenser (also replaced) so it's double-grounded now, and put a new distributor cap and rotor into the engine.

Still running rich in the 10 mpg range instead of 13-18, but I think that has to do with TPS never being calibrated (adjusted) when a throttle body spacer was installed, so that'll be my final thing.

Going to ohms check the distributor cap and see if the #1 wire mount has some big-time resistance out of tolerance. That would explain why once it's up to speed the extra power makes it to the end of the wire and fires but at lower rpms it almost seemed as if the cylinder wasn't firing (did have compression though in leak-down check). Everything was low, like 90 or 92 and then went down to the very bottom or out of the tolerances for that psi (like <78 or something).

ABS Light is off officially. Can't pull codes yet. Also still receive an occasional ground/short indication on brake control randomly. I'm going to solder an all-new ODB1 Engine Fault Code Plug into the harness and see if that improves anything. That had been acting up, wondering if it is the source of the grounding condition and failure to transmit codes from the RABS II module's memory.


Micro Machine Manager
Update: So SnJ Engines apparently wants the engine back. Unsure what the specifics are, but the conclusion is the piston rod on #1 is bad from initial reception on forward. :-(

Have about 7K miles on it, but having a starter issue with my Saab atm (repaired all wires, looks like the gear is messed up even though its bench test was good, battery is good, going to order a new starter rather than rebuild the gear), so it'll be a few hundred more before I put the Truck down and try to come up with $2K more to pay to have the engine pulled out so it can be shipped back. :-( $6.5K+ engine install, here we go...

Got new rims, wheels, tie rods, shocks on Red IX -- driving pretty darn good in regards to that, alignment with Firestone on the 19th (has the lifetime). Have another new tensioner (one with the pulley with ridges already installed) and power steering unit (NAPA) to fix the last little things I've annotated are not operating at the intended parameters.

Going to solder in a new EEC-iv ODB1 pigtail in later and hopefully get better control of the engine fault codes again, possibly will get control of the ABS RABS I diagnostics too with that repair. Distributor pigtail was an easy solder in, worked good. Right now ODB1 readers have a hard time controlling and only the cheap paper clip short seems to be reliable in presenting flash codes at the instrument cluster for what's in the computer memory.

After a new Engine, my last thing to really hit hard beside figuring out how to force the fuel filter off the rail (it's seriously hard as hell to remove, many a mechanic has given up so far on removing it), is to get a WOT check done on the TPS with the throttle body spacer. I think Keith didn't run the WOT and adjust appropriately which has been the other reason why fuel is running rich. I found a really good adjustment guide, is pretty easy to back-probe but for $20 you can create an alligator clip diagnostic to the TPS with spare TPS and pigtail tied into alligator clip testers for each pin. Super good rig, will post link.

Here it is! Over at Full Size Bronco -- Throttle Position Sensor Testing, Replacement, and Adjustment
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