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About stubborn1

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  1. I bought my bolt on replacement cat for about $180 from Autozone. Quality is a little shaky compared to the factory equipment I removed, but it works and no more P0420 code. I had one of the oil burning 1zzfe's, so when I threw this code I pretty much expected the converter to be shot.
  2. I had an oil buring issue with my 98 Prizm (Corolla clone). It was the first year for the 1zzfe 1.8L engine and same generation up to and including the 02 models. From what I read online and personal experience, the oil rings on the piston get "stuck" in the piston and allow oil to pass by and burn. See the picture below from my rebuild. I did the repair work myself except for the valve job on the cylinder head and spent about $750. It would be substantially more if you had to pay someone to do it, so I can see how frustrating it is.
  3. Guess I'll bite and be the first one with a 40+ mpg post. Filled up this week and hit 40.4 mpg. Best I've ever recorded is 41. Normal for me is 38 summer and 35 winter. I have a 98 with 5 speed manual. My driving is 90% highway with the cruise set at 70mph. I fill up at a local gas station which does not add the 10% ethanol blend most people around here do. Call it BS if you want, but it's not the first time I hit the 40mpg mark.
  4. Seafoam (or GM top end cleaner) seems to do a decent job removing carbon from the tops of pistons. I just finished rebuilding my 1ZZFE last month due to excessive oil consumption. Since I had a spare vehicle and a little extra time, I tore it apart myself and replaced the worn components. If I were short on time, I would have thrown in a junkyard engine. I could have bought an engine with 60k miles for around $500 US. My costs actually ended up being higher: Complete gasket set $150 Piston rings $60 Head bolts $50 Machine shop valve job/clean parts $350 Machine shop clean pistons and rering $50 Total $660 Here's a picture of the pistons that was interesting. You can see how the oil ring gets "stuck". It had no spring to it whatsoever - I had to pry it out.
  5. Since you can change all four plugs in less than 1/2 hour, I just stick with the $2/ea copper plugs and change every 30k miles. If you don't want to do it very often, replace with irridium. On a truck I bought, the owner went 147k miles on the factory platinum plugs - when I pulled they still looked decent.
  6. No luck finding a vacuum leak. I'm thinking it isn't a vacuum leak because the engine is misfiring while reving high. The engine light is flashing and I keep getting the P0304 misfire on #4 code. I tried to limp the car out of the garage and it didn't even have enough power to get back up on the ramps. Compression checks out at 185-190 at each cylinder. I pulled the head cover again and compared my before and after timing pictures. Crank was at 0 and TDC each time. Pictures are identical. Before: After:
  7. I just finished reassembling my 98 Prizm with the 1ZZFE after replacing the piston rings and a valve job. When I try to start the car, it gives me an occasional sputter, and sometimes fires. When I hold down the gas about 1/2, it fires most of the time and idles at about 2500 rpm. Even after warm, it won't drop below 2500 rpm. I didn't let it run more than 3 min or so because I was afraid of overheating. The only CEL I get is a random cylinder misfire on #4. I tried a different plug wire for #4, different plug, and different coil with no changes. All vacuum hoses are correct and wires connected to sensors. I pulled the plug wire and it ran about the same on 3 cylinders. Just to mix it up, I replaced #4 and pulled the #1 wire and it ran the same. I don't think the issue is related to one specific cylinder even though that is where I am getting my CEL. I'm thinking it may be a timing issue. I'm set at TDC on the compression stroke for #1 and the crank pulley is aligned with the 0 timing mark. When I installed the chain, I aligned the colored links with the marks on the sprokets. The timing marks on the cams are close but not exactly even - about 1/2 tooth off. I can't get them any closer. Maybe the crank sprocket skipped a link when I put it back together??? Anything else besides timing I should check? I'll post a picture of the timing marks tonight if I don't get it right before then.
  8. Which engine do you have? I have the 1.8L 1ZZFE. From what I've read, 98 was the first year for it.
  9. I'm in the middle of rebuilding the engine on my 98 with 131k miles, and the original timing chain still checked within specs and the guides look good. Most people will not have to worry about changing a timing chain due to failure. The only benefit I see of engines with timing belts is that they are much quieter when running. The chains tend to add a bit of engine noise.
  10. Pretty much like fish said, if the easy out bit won't work, you are stuck drilling out larger and tapping. I haven't found a good way around it.
  11. I would be willing to bet $ that the plugs aren't going to fix the problem and you'll get the same code back. I fail to see how a standard copper plug would burn any less of the air/fuel mixture which would cause the rich exhaust detected by your P072 code. If the plug was actually bad and not firing, then maybe, but the type shouldn't matter - only for maintenance intervals. For some reason, one of your oxygen sensors is picking up a reading of a rich exhaust. Did you try cleaning your MAF or checking the 02 sensor itself to see if voltage is still within acceptable parameters???
  12. Since I'm used to working on rusty vehicles, I spray down any bolt that I need to loosen with PB Blaster a day ahead of time. I'll also hit it again about 30 min before I'm ready to work. Even after all of that, some are just too far beyond help.
  13. I think it's time to find a new mechanic. He's trying to replace simple things hoping they fix your problem. Did he he ever check the output voltage on the O2 sensors to see if they are within spec? Trial by error fixes cost more money in the long run.
  14. No cap/rotor to worry about on your 98. I picked up NGK plugs/wires for my 98 - no noticeable difference from stock performance.
  15. There's no way I'm choosing my Prizm over my Chevy full size 4wd in the zone. No comparison in real snow. If you drive interstate or state highways, you won't see much difference, but get off the main roads and the 4wd shines. Tires really do make the difference no matter what vehicle you have. In areas subject to snow, you need to replace tires before they get to the wear indicator. You really get what you pay for in tires - if put on some Pep Boys no-name specials, don't expect much. Worst vehicle I ever had in the snow was a Trans Am. No weight in the back end, fat rear tires, and boat loads of torque