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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello as this is my first post,

After some advice please if anyone has encountered this issue before. I have bought a 2010 Astra J 1.4 VVT ( A14XER engine if it helps ). It overheated and the previous owner wanted rid so I bought it to try and get my nephew away from his ipad and experience some spannering! I didn't pay much for it as worst case I thought then we could just put a new engine in if it's really knackered.

So the experience so far.... cranks over fast and compression test shows no compression at all in any cylinder. Not a good thing I know. I had anticipated warped head, blown head gasket etc with the overheating issue it had but i've never come across any engine with no compression unless the timing was out ( jumped belt etc ). So today had a look at the chain which looks quite good and tight so can't see how that would have jumped but then came across something new to me. The VVT solenoid on the exhaust cam was very loose. It is missing a bolt and as such was not secured properly. I have never worked on any VVT engine before so not sure how much this would effect anything?

Anyone had any experience with these engines and zero compression please? Ultimately the car was very cheap so unless there is something glaring that I am missing the engine will be stripped down soon as we have nothing to loose and only education to learn ::)

I should add....there are no bad noises on cranking.

Thanks in advance
 

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Are both cams turning when you crank the engine over, is the cam crank timing correct, both cams have a slot in the end (opposite to the chain, with number 1 piston at TDC the slots should be lined up and horizontal, quick easy check to do with basic tools (no timing tool needed),..
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks very much for the quick advice. I'll check both of those points tomorrow before i start taking it to pieces! I'm guessing this is an interference engine? Valves not closing in some way would explain the lack of compression but would imagine I'd hear some nasty noises on cranking though. Ive been researching VVT and from what ive learned so far I dont think that would cause the zero compression either but I could be wrong. Thanks again
 

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If the VVT has no oil in it then you would still get compression, a bit strange why its loose though, only thing i can think of is if the cam became tight in its carriers when the engine overheated and the VVT pulley slipped then depending on how far out the timing was you could have bent valves or just valves in the wrong position for it to start,.. i would check the timing first and proceed from there, if its out then it might be worth adjusting it to see if you get compression and possibly engine start.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Update. Both cams rotating. I cant say for certain without the timing tools ( ive ordered some anyway ) but the slots look perfectly lined up in time. Any more ideas guys please ? Next im still thinking head head gasket or warped/ crack head or block. Surely that wouldn't cause zero compression at all though ?
 

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If it got very hot and was driven till it stopped, then it's likely the pistons/rings/cylinders are damaged.
Do you have access to a borescope (lots on Amazon, that plug into a smartphone, about £10)? If so, you could try looking inside the cylinders via the spark plug holes to check for damage.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I dont but ill take the head off today and get a good look in that way. Fingers crossed its not so bad but I think ill expect the worst :)
 

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There was someone else on here a few weeks ago that had an engine with zero compression which is very unusual but I don't think they came back with any outcome so be interested to see what you find.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Well heads off.....cant see anything obvious that would cause zero compression. No holes in pistons or bent valves
95799
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Found a broken drive belt tensioner which may have been the overheat reason if it was slipping on the water pump pulley
95802
 

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Looks like the head gasket was leaking between cylinders from the pictures, that would explain why you dont have any compression,...... i would get the head skimmed before refitting,..

astra headgasket.png
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
You're right! I was so busy looking for massive holes in the pistons i didnt even look that closely. Forgot to mention. Oil was clear( dirty ) and no trace of mixed with coolant which makes sense seeing the arrows now. In fact there was no coolant at all left in the car. Ill get the head stripped cleaned and off to my local engineer. Anyone any recommendations on gasket set/ timing chain kit brands ? Found them on ebay cheap but there is probably a reason for that im guessing. Thanks again for all the help
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Small update for those interested in the progress. Head skimmed today. He said it was one of the worst he has done and took 0.6mm to get it flat. Said it must have been run very hot and fingers crossed the valve seats haven't warped as well. We will get it rebuilt over the weekend and see.
95822
 

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Small update for those interested in the progress. Head skimmed today. He said it was one of the worst he has done and took 0.6mm to get it flat. Said it must have been run very hot and fingers crossed the valve seats haven't warped as well. We will get it rebuilt over the weekend and see.
So, only 16 valves to grind in then!
I always thought grinding 8 was enough!
I suspect I'm preaching to the converted here, but make sure you clean any debris out of the head bolt holes before you put the head back on.
 

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Why didn't you get the machine shop to lightly cut the valve seats while they had the head, just to be sure.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
He was going to but didn't gave small enough tooling. He normally works on much bigger stuff. Ill start lapping them tomorrow but they dont look so bad. Compared to what I've found so far I'm quite happy. Much better than holes everywhere :D
 

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I've got an old Sparkrite reciprocating valve tool that makes it so much easier than the two suckers on a stick.

Last head I did I cheated a bit and used a cordless drill first on the end of the valve stem to speed things up, then finished with the valve lapping tool.
 
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Thats what i done a while back when i got fed up with lapping them by hand,...lol........ Not a very nice job,..:sleep::sleep::sleep::sleep:
 

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Last head I did I cheated a bit and used a cordless drill first on the end of the valve stem to speed things up, then finished with the valve lapping tool.
I've done that in the past as well, but that was on a large tractor diesel 6 cylinder engine.
 
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