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  1. #1

    Default 2.2L motor in S-10 won't start

    My friend's S-10 broke down today and won't start. I'm not sure of the year, but it's a late 90s-mid 2000s S-10 with a 2.2L engine. She described that she was driving on the interstate, and noticed the truck was losing power from the engine. She then started hearing a clunking sound from around the center of the firewall. She downshifted and the truck started slowing down more. Also the side tank of the radiator cracked spewing coolant. Now, when you turn the key to start the truck, the engine turns over with no odd sounds, but it doesn't start. It seems to spin as if it isn't getting compression on any cylinders.

    I am truly clueless as to what the issue could be. I thought it could be that she threw a rod, but it doesn't make sense the engine's not making any clunking noises. The head gasket could have blown, but what are the odds that it blew on all 4 cylinders to the point that it won't start. There could have been some way valves got stuck or bent open, but again, all 4 cylinders?

    Any ideas? We're going to start pulling the intake and head off tommorow since whatever's wrong will almost certainly involve pulling the head.

    1991 Chevy Suburban 1/2 ton 2WD w/ chevy SBC 350-3/4 ton drivetrain upgrade w/4.10 gears 200K miles
    2005 Saturn ION-2 Stock 277K miles
    1982 Bronco, 1993 Bronco (sold), 1971 M35A2 Deuce and a Half

    There are 10 kinds of people, those who understand binary, and those who dont...

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  2. #2


    Mystery solved. But, before I reveal the answer why the truck wouldn't start, a little narrative...

    So this morning we get on the truck. Start with a compression test. Grab the first cylinder and start cranking; 15psi. Well, that's sooo not right. Stop compression testing there because there's obviously something wrong. So, we spend several hours pulling things to get to the head. Finally get to the head and pull it off the block and set it on the ground. The intake runners are dirty and wet. We start looking at the head gasket looking for breaks that could have indicated a blown head gasket and found none. I start looking at the head again and noticed a slight issue....the head has a couple extra holes in it that it shouldn't have:

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    So, it appears the engine was running lean and consuming the aluminum of the head as fuel. For how long, I dunno, but the hole in the second cylinder's pretty big. So, it's going to need a new head and gaskets. The piston tops have some powdered aluminum or sand on it, but we should be able to clean it off.

  3. #3


    How do the injectors look? Fuel Pump? Those holes would cause no compression!!

  4. #4


    Fuel filter's going to be changed and the injectors will be getting soaked in injector cleaner before being reinstalled. After the truck is back together and running, it will be brought to a shop for a proper fuel system service using the specialized machine to ensure the injectors are in peak condition.

    And yep, those holes would definitely contribute to low or no compression. What's even more interesting is the 15psi was measured on cylinder 1, which had to significant visible signs of the aluminum getting eaten. The valve from cylinder 3 won't close properly, not that that would have helped anything.

  5. #5
    Sr. Engineer
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Indianapolis, In


    Didn't see that coming!
    2000 GMC YUKON SLT, 5.3L tow pkg, G80 rear/w 3.73 gear

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