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Amedee, Former ASE Master Tech
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 26456
Experience:  ASE certified tech advanced level specialist. Wisconsin certified emissions state inspector
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i have a 96 eagle talon and im losing my mind. it lost all

Customer Question

i have a 96 eagle talon and im losing my mind. it lost all power last week on the highway. i pulled over and smoke poured from under the hood. there was antifreeze leaking from the head. i replaced the head gasket. at first i dont think i got the timing right but it is right now and i dont think i did any damage to the valves because i ran a compression check and i have 160 psi across the cylinders. there is a horrible ticking noise now and the car still has no power at all. i replaced the lash adjusters thinking that might have been the problem but still ticking bad and no power. any ideas what causes this and y it broke down on me in the first place? the check engine light is not on but my oil pressure light comes on every once in a while usually very dim when the rpms are very low around idle. im kinda new to dsms so any help would be greatly appreciated.
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Car
Expert:  Amedee replied 7 years ago.

Hello there!


What is the enigne vacuum at when it is at an idle?

Customer: replied 7 years ago.

i am checking that tonight and will let you know. i also plan on doing a leakdown test to double check the valves.

Expert:  Amedee replied 7 years ago.
Do you need a diagram?
Customer: replied 7 years ago.

i dont think so. im pretty sure i just plug my vacuum guage into the pcv port right?


Expert:  Amedee replied 7 years ago.

I am sorry. I should have ben more clear.


Would you like a wiring diagram of your timing belt and timing marks?

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Why would i need a wiring diagram for a timing belt? and no i know for a fact that it is lined up correctly. i checked it three times and its dead on. what i really want to know is if i would still have even compression with the possibility of bent valves. seems unlikely but not positive
Expert:  Amedee replied 7 years ago.
If the engine is running, then the valves are not bent.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
ok but it is still ticking very loudly and has absolutely no power. i know i shouldnt have driven it but was told it was a lifter tick and to drive it slowly to pump the lash adjusters up. im just wondering y it wont go faster than 2 mph and i forgot to mention this earlier but the engine is smoking from the dipstick when it finally does die. it seems like the engine is getting very hot but my temp guage is reading normal. any ideas?
Expert:  Amedee replied 7 years ago.

Well, if the vehicle wont go over two miles an hour, then something is seriously wrong.


I would honestly start by checking engine vacuum and valve timing. Even if the marks were on, the timing belt may have jumped and are now off.


If its not a mechanical issue, then add some propane to the intake and see if the engine power comes back. Just be sure that the there are no air or vacuum leaks.

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
so any ideas on the ticking then? and how do i add propane to the intake?
Expert:  Amedee replied 7 years ago.

Well, the ticking could just be the upper engine of the engine. I would verify that the oil pressure is just fine. IF it is, then the lifters may need to be replaced. If oil pressure is low, then further investigating is going to be needed.


TO add propane, just open the air cleaner box as if you were changing the air filter and inject propane into the air snorkel that goes into the intake.

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
well ill check the oil pressure but like i said before the lifters (lash adjusters) are brand new and is ticking just as bad as before i replaced them. plus it doesnt explain the power loss. The oil pressure sounds like a likely culprit. will the oil pressure sending unit affect the actual oil pressure or just the light that comes on because of low oil pressure?
Expert:  Amedee replied 7 years ago.

The oil pressure sender is just for the light or oil gauge (which ever one you have)


If the engine vacuum is low and the timing marks are dead one, I would believe it would be because of the lifters. Maybe they are out of adjustment somehow or over adjusted?

I don't believe that they are adjustable but maybe this is why they are making noise.

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
i will check the vacuum and the oil pressure. i only have an idiot light for the oil pressure but i will hook a guage up to the port to be more accurate. would the vacuum affect the oil pressure at all? doesnt seem like it would but not sure and its driving me nuts! the lash adjusters are new and non adjustable and i dont believe that is the problem. maybe a clog going to them but its making just as much noise as before i replaced them. send me another response and ill reply after i check everything tonight. thank you so much for your help
Expert:  Amedee replied 7 years ago.

Engine vacuum should not affect oil pressure. But a mechanical problem with the engine could affect both..oil pressure and engine vacuum.


LEt me know what you find!


I hope this helps. You can always accept my answer now, and repost back again later on if you have any more questions. If you want to discuss it some more just hit "reply", it's free to do so otherwise don't forget to hit "accept" and leave positive feedback if you found my answer helpful.





Customer: replied 7 years ago.
ok i checked my vacuum and its fluctuating between 13 and 14 Hg. The specs in my haynes manual say it should be between 17 and 22 Hg. I also checked the engine light codes with the car not running and it gave me codes 12, 46, and 55. 46 is the only one that is registered in my manual and its for too high of voltage...I have no record of 12 or 55 in my manual so this is very confusing to me. thoughts???
Expert:  Amedee replied 7 years ago.
DO you have any propane or starting fluid?
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
i have starting fluid. its running though so y would i need that?
Expert:  Amedee replied 7 years ago.

You could spray just a small mist of starting fluid into the intake and see if the engine vacuum comes back up. Whatch the vacuum gauge as you do this.


But, I think we might have a bad computer. Check this out. Code 55 means that we have an internal failure in the computer. Here is the description


System Operation and Code Output
These diagnostic trouble codes are output when a short circuit (No.54) or open circuit (No.55) occurs in the squib ignition drive circuit inside the SRS-ECU.

Probable Cause

Malfunction of SRS-ECU
Testing - Corrective Action

Replace the SRS-ECU.



Customer: replied 7 years ago.
ok well my haynes manual says code 54 means there is no camshaft position sensor signal and there is a problem with the sensor or this the same thing? and do you know what the code 12 is?
Expert:  Amedee replied 7 years ago.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
im also wondering if its possible for the timing belt to stretch on startup and show the right timing when not running but move the timing when it is running. is this a possibility because i did not use a new timing belt which i probably should have. also i did not disconnect the battery between when i shut the car down and when i checked the codes. the battery has been hooked up for at least 10 run cycles
Expert:  Amedee replied 7 years ago.
NO... the timing belt will break before it stretches enough to cause the engine vacuum to be this low.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
im sorry but the answers you have given me have not been very helpful. The trouble codes you gave me were not the right ones and could have cost me the price of an ecu at no need. I will find the answer myself as this has proved to be not helpful to me at all. Thank you anyway for your time.
Expert:  Amedee replied 7 years ago.

YOu bet!


Good luck!