No power - sounding rough - what have I done!?

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Posts: 1
Joined: 25/01/19 14:53

No power - sounding rough - what have I done!?

Post by AlexSB » 25/01/19 15:40

Hi all.

The TL;DR - I've replaced my cam covers (with a fairly major oil spillage along the way) and now it runs with almost zero power. It looked like it was not sparking strongly for cylinders 2 & 3. I've replaced the plugs, leads, dizzy and coil pack. It's idling much better now but still has zero power.


Sorry - it's a bit of a long one, but I want to make sure that I don't leave anything useful out...

I've a white '88 AW11. I've had it for about four years now and while it's had a few small issues over that time, the engine has always run strong and smoothly.

Enter my great idea...

Before Christmas, I decided the engine bay was looking a little grim so, while me and a friend were refirbishing the callipers, we also decided to remove the camshaft covers and give them a new lick of paint.

In the process of doing so, we decided to change the oil and refill the engine directly onto the cams before putting the cam covers back on. Unfortunately, the new oil overran (I don't know why, it wasn't full) and spilt down into the plug wells and over the side of the engine. Which took a hell of a lot of cleaning and we needed to remove the plugs to get the last of it out. This means some oil will have gone directly into the cylinders (the amount that fills the plug wells when the plugs are in).

The good news is that it looks great, but it's running really poorly now. At first it wouldn't start but after a lot of turning over, and fiddling with the dizzy connections, it did. But it sounded like it was running on three cylinders and was only sparking weakly in 2 & 3. Pulling the lead off 2 or 3 didn't affect the idling of the engine, only 1 & 4 made a difference.

We chased the weak spark up the ignition chain, changing the plugs, HT leads, then dizzy then coil - the coil and dizzy had both given shocks or arced when the engine was running.

The engine idles much better now, even if it's still sounding a bit 'clacky' (best word I can suggest) which it never did before, and it now sounds as if the exhaust is really blowing.

However, I still have zero power. Like, not just a noticable drop, but I can floor it and the revs will rise quite smoothly, but the car doesn't get any faster.

Things we think it might still be are:
- MAF Sensor (could it have been damaged by the oil spill?)
- Blowy exhaust (would this hit the power that much?)
- Oil still in the cylinder (there's no smoke from the exhaust, though)
- The ECU?

It just seems very odd that the car purred along before we took the cam covers off and runs so poorly after they were replaced.

Any help/thoughts very much welcome.


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Re: No power - sounding rough - what have I done!?

Post by jimi » 25/01/19 20:38

Sounds like you may have the plug leads on the wrong order, I'd double check you have each lead on the correct cylinder.
Black is not a colour ! .... Its the absence of colour

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