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I’m finally getting around to tearing apart my engine to correct low compression on #4 exhaust. Hey, only been running it this way for 7 months. After 180K miles, this is the first time the engine has been opened up (well, I did pull the valve covers today for a quick inspection, cam lobes on exhaust looked great). The front cam oil seals have been replaced; that is it – everything else is original – not counting belts and tensioner). Comp readings are 1–175, 2-175, 3-165, 4-35, 5-160, 6-155. That’s no typo on 4, it is 35, and air test shows the problem to be on the exhaust valve. Today’s project was pressure washing the engine compartment.

Now, my objective is to fix the problem and do other “good to do” maintenance while I have it torn apart. I am not trying to optimize the engine by such means as fiddling with the porting and such. Definitely not planning on any machining unless necessary. After I get the cyl. head out, it will visit the local machine shop for an inspection as I haven’t used Prussian Blue in 15 years. Sounds like a valve job.

I’m getting an Ishino head gasket kit. For some odd reason, the performance kit with oval air plenums was significantly cheaper than the round. Figure it should work OK, but don’t really understand the difference http://www.carmadillo.com/ .

Other parts planned:
Thermostat (might as well change it while I have it apart)
Exhaust manifold bolts/nuts (look rusted in place – hitting with PB Blaster to get loose, might as well replace)
O2 Sensor (why not? Bosch OE – original in place)
Heater hoses (other hoses have been replaced recently)
Head bolts (having problems tracking these down)
No belts (all new, including timing belt)
Repaint cam covers

After I get it disassembled and cleaned, I figure I’ll need at least 1 exhaust valve. Depending on the conditions of the others I’ll replace them as needed. Hopefully the piston rings are OK, although I can’t remember anyone mentioning this as a problem on the 5MGE.

Any thoughts on changing out the oil or water pumps? I don’t have any problems I know about. What about changing valve springs? Cursory inspection of the exhaust side tonight showed no problems.

The TSRM (EM-23) has a valve guide brush being used to clean the valve guides. What is this, and is there a good substitute? Is this necessary?

I’ll definitely use a torque wrench for reassembly, and I know how to use one! Pulling out my bench grinder too, and lots of drill driven wire brushes.

After everything is buttoned up, I’ll fill the coolant system with water until all the testing is done, before adding antifreeze.

I have reviewed Wes Hetrick’s website; great resource

While I have everything disassembled, I’ll also pull the AC compressor and change its oil and o-rings, and convert to ES-12. System is empty, problem is a leak. Have new dryer.

With luck, my digital camera will start working again and I can document everything. Also, I’m doing this work in my yard, no garage. I have both the TSRM and the Haynes (MK II) manuals

Any other tips to give me? I’m sure I’m forgetting something.

PS, OK, I finally joined the CS forums after having read them since the start. I’m still on yahoo, was egroups, was onelist, etc. And yes, I know the entire history on this car. 84P, 180k miles
 

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I would consider changing the water pump while you are into it, for the price it is worth it IMO. It can also prove worthwhile to replace various vacuum lines that may look worn. I assume the Ishino kit comes with valve guide seals? Safe to assume that will be lapping the valves in? Sounds like you have it pretty well scoped out. I wished I had done some more engine bay cleaning while I was into mine, but I also wanted to minimize down time so I let a lot of that go but now wished I had done a bit more.
 

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The ishino kit is missing alot of gaskets you will need and the cam tower gaskets it comes with are wrong. I would send it back unopened and buy the head kit from FelPro at autozone, it is around $120 I think. Check out my head rebuild page to find out the details on whats missing and such, just follow the link in my signature.
 
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