2004 2.3L Engine and Timing Problems
For a while, my 2004 2.3L was driving pretty rough, idling rough, poor acceleration, lots of exhaust. I kept getting error codes that the EGR valve was not working properly, the PCV valve was not working properly, and each of the four cylinders were constantly misfiring. I changed the valves, put in new spark plugs, new wires, new distributor, but still had the same problem. I decided it must be a timing issue, so I took the front engine cover off and found that the plunger on the timing chain tensioner had slipped past the ratchet and was applying a lot of extra force against the timing chain, causing the cylinders to misfire. I replaced the chain and the tensioner, but I had not set the engine to TDC. At one point, I was unable to turn the crankshaft, apparently because a piston was hitting a valve. I decided to leave it alone and work on it later. This morning, I took the chain back off, and I was able to turn the crank, but I noticed that the pistons were not moving. In fact, each pistons was at the very top and would only go down if a lobe was forcing it. I don't know what's causing the pistons to stay up like that. I guess I got in way over my head when I decided to replace the timing chain and tensioner without doing proper research. Now, I need to figure out how to get the pistons back how they should be and also how to get it all lined up correctly so that the pistons don't strike the valves.