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My bet it wasn't the misfire or backfire, but someone trying to rev past the misfire that gendered the engine.
 

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Discussion Starter #22
That's always a possibility too, valiant67. He's a young man (45) compared to me and I still like to drive fast. Out here where we live, if you drive the posted 55 mph speed limit on the 2 lane, you'll get run over. It's crazy! 65 is too slow for most of the morons traveling this stretch of highway 60. No accidents hardly ever, most wrecks are fatalities with excessive speed being the ultimate cause.
 

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I served our country too, in the same fraternal organization he was in. I, however was Motor Transport maintenance, ending up as an MT Maintenance Chief. I'm 74 years old, tell him an "old Corps" MT Maintenance Chief told him to read the damn TM (FSM) and do it the right way,
I loved telling people to read the TM when I was Maintenance Chief. Now that I'm a civilian, I get to enjoy telling sailors to read the TM. :D
 

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I remember a friend who tried blowing up a small block Chevy in a 1957 Bel-Air, it was a 2 barrel. he started it, put a brick on the accelerator pedal and went back inside, an hour later he came out and it was sitting there as fast as it could turn and still going. He took the brick off and shut it down.

I do have a feeling he got mad at it and stood on it. I had two occasions of that, one a Jaguar XJS V12 that ended up dropping a valve (dealership had me change out the wet sleeve cylinder assembly) and we sent the head out to be repaired, the other was a Ferrari Dino with the little flat plane crank V8, both heads had to come off, he had dumped both timing belts. That one probably needed the body removed for good access, but I ended up having to do it in-situ as the Brits say, front head was a real PITA!
 
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Discussion Starter #25
Here's what it looks like.First pic it cylinders one and two. You can easily decipher the rest!
 

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He did a damn good job of blowing it up! I don't know about that particular GM engine, but the Quad 4 was famous for it's design, chain driven everything including the water pump, oil pan that held very little due to the balance shafts and oil pump, almost no piston to head clearance. Run one a little low on oil and the rod bearings can get loose enough the pistons hit the head.

A late friend (died of colon cancer at 50) and I did 3 of these in various cars in the space of a month, the 3rd one was done with parts from the first 2. It convinced me to continue to avoid "Government Motors" if at all possible.
 
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Try emanualonline.com. They have a downloadable 2015 sonic service manual for 23$
Also, and this is why I now read all instructions, even though all the timing marks line up, the tension of the belts or chains and the slack need to be on the the correct sides of the pulleys. There are also pins to lock the gears in, and tensioner need a certain amount of slack, and so on. My guess is it was soooo. CLose to being right on, until the computer fixed it to death
 

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Discussion Starter #28
I haven't researched the engine since it's not my car. NOT a fan of the Bowties. Anyway, this thing (according to him) has variable valve timing. Supposedly the cam position sensors automatically adjust the timing if it's a few degrees off. Personally, I don't see how a sensor can adjust the timing several degrees, but I've never claimed to be a mechanic. And I despise the new computerized vehicles we drive. True, they're safer and more efficient, but I still despise working on them.
 

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. . . I think it was the Autozone sensors that caused the backfire and damage. I asked him to pull the timing cover and let me have a look at the cam timing and it's spot on. Dot to dot they line up along with the crank mark in the correct position. He said the car was running "okay" but was stuttering some. Had the codes read and the Zone genius sold him the cam position sensors. He said as soon as he put them in, it started backfiring. Can't prove it was the sensors, I'm sure, but I STILL think that's what caused the problem. . . . .
I highly doubt that the camshaft position sensor was reporting a bogus position to the ECU (engine control unit). It was just reporting what it was detecting. So either the camshafts were out of time in relation to the crankshaft or someone got the connectors switched between the intake cam position sensor and exhaust cam position sensor.

In the early days of production of the PT Cruiser with 2.4 liter engine, it was easy to get the camshaft and crankshaft position sensors electrical connectors mistakenly interchanged and that would cause problems. I wonder if something similar could happen with this 1.8 liter Sonic engine: the intake and exhaust cam position sensor electrical connectors could be switched?

. . . .. . . Supposedly the cam position sensors automatically adjust the timing if it's a few degrees off. Personally, I don't see how a sensor can adjust the timing several degrees, but I've never claimed to be a mechanic.. . . . .
The sensor itself does NOT adjust the timing. It just reports the relative position of the camshaft to the crankshaft. Based on engine running conditions the ECU will pulse an electrically controlled solenoid and allow a certain amount of pressurized engine oil into the internal workings of the camshaft sprocket. This will either advance or retard timing of the sprocket relative to the camshaft which changes camshaft timing. The calculation for determining the amount of oil to admit and move the sprocket relative to its camshaft is done in the ECU software. As this happens the camshaft sensor is monitoring the advance or retard of the relative timing and providing feedback to the ECU.
 

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Discussion Starter #30
Well, according to the timing tool he ordered AFTER destroying the engine, the timing is spot on. I don't know what the hell could have happened to this engine. I asked if he installed the exhaust cam sensor in the intake side and vice-versa and he said he didn't THINK so. Man, the more questions I ask, the more confused I get as to just what he did. No way to reverse the connectors, Allan C. They're on opposite sides of the engine and don't have much slack. I'm thinking he got the sensors reversed. At least the replacement engine has sensors in it already, along with the wiring harness. He's still waiting on the worthless neighbor who said he had a hoist on the way to come through with it. If he'd just listened to me and used the oak tree in my front yard, we could be done with it by now. As it is, I'll be taking him to work for four days and another neighbor will be picking him up. IDK what he's going to do about his engine, but I'm about to cut him loose as he's not willing to listen to common sense.
 
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Chuzz, unfortunately common sense is an uncommon item. You have more patience than I would, by now I would have used my 4 lb Ball Pien hammer or Percy (Sledge hammer) on him to try to pound some sense into him.
 
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Chuzz, unfortunately common sense is an uncommon item. You have more patience than I would, by now I would have used my 4 lb Ball Pien hammer or Percy (Sledge hammer) on him to try to pound some sense into him.
"Common Sense" isn't so common is the phrase I use.
 

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I expected an 18-25 year old kid. If he’s 45, he hasn’t gained much in those years.
 

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I had a thought that popped into my head this morning. Ask him if, just before all the problems started, di he put gas in it? I had a similar situation with my 1977 F150 that I had installed a 390 into. I had filled one of the tanks and changed tanks just before parking the truck in the driveway. The next day it didn't want to run, it acted like an ignition problem, popping both in the exhaust and through the carburetor. I stuck a spare coil on, new cap and rotor and even a spare DS-II box. I finally loosened one of the bowl screws on the Holley 4 barrel, and struck water. I went and got 5 gals and poured it into the empty tank, switched and drained both bowls on the Holley. I dumped two or three cans of dri-gas into the bad tank and drove the truck on the fresh gas long enough to mix the dri-gas into the water contaminated tank.

I would see what's in the tank before the engine is switched.
 
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Discussion Starter #35
That's a great idea 85lebaront2. I'll run that by him. I took him to work this morning and he seemed a little more humble than usual. I think he's been doing some serious soul searching.
 

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Discussion Starter #36
SUPPOSEDLY, we'll be doing the engine swap this weekend. A couple of questions I have and haven't found an answer for is if we'll need to swap the flywheels and if he'll need to have a dealer flash the ECM. Reason I'm asking is he bought a low mileage engine out of an automatic and it has around 40,000 miles on it. His car has over 100,000 miles. His car is a manual shift. I'm sure we'll have to put in a pilot bushing. He's going to put a new clutch kit in while we have it all out. I'll let y'all know Monday or Tuesday how it went, IF IT WENT! LOL
 

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. . . A couple of questions I have and haven't found an answer for is if we'll need to swap the flywheels and if he'll need to have a dealer flash the ECM. Reason I'm asking is he bought a low mileage engine out of an automatic and it has around 40,000 miles on it. His car has over 100,000 miles. His car is a manual shift.. . .
I would suggest to remove the damaged engine and set it along side the replacement. Compare the 2 units and look for any detail changes. Look at flywheel diameter and the offset at the hub for differences. Count the number of teeth on the flywheel and note any differences.

I would think you would use the existing exhaust manifold mated to the damaged engine. Do the intake manifold match and appear to be the same? Look at the fuel injectors on the intake manifold and sensors and the throttle body. Is everything identical? This kind of inspection will go a long way to ensure this is a successful transplant.

Since you are NOT replacing the ECM and will continue to use the existing unit in the vehicle I would see no reason to reflash and ECM. Fuel management data recorded in the ECM for the damaged engine will be replaced and updated when you start and run the replacement engine.
 

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Discussion Starter #38
I would suggest to remove the damaged engine and set it along side the replacement. Compare the 2 units and look for any detail changes. Look at flywheel diameter and the offset at the hub for differences. Count the number of teeth on the flywheel and note any differences.

I would think you would use the existing exhaust manifold mated to the damaged engine. Do the intake manifold match and appear to be the same? Look at the fuel injectors on the intake manifold and sensors and the throttle body. Is everything identical? This kind of inspection will go a long way to ensure this is a successful transplant.

Since you are NOT replacing the ECM and will continue to use the existing unit in the vehicle I would see no reason to reflash and ECM. Fuel management data recorded in the ECM for the damaged engine will be replaced and updated when you start and run the replacement engine.
Thank you for your input AllanC. Much appreciated!
 

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Good luck with it, hope all goes well.
 
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Discussion Starter #40
Today was NOT a good day. We are having trouble getting the axles out and after researching diligently I found out that you have to remove some of the suspension parts along with the lower control arm bolt to the steering knuckle. I absolutely despise this car. Once it's back together, I won't ever touch it again. I miss working on Mopars all of a sudden.
 
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