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Compression test advice needed
#1
Hi all!

So over the weekend I did a compression test on my '72 vert. 1-4 were all pretty much exactly at 120 PSI. 6-8 were at 110 or 115 PSI, but 5 was at 90 PSI. I even did it twice just to be sure. It held steady at 90 PSI.

I'm a total newbie to all this but I recall reading that the next thing to do is squirt a bit of oil in it and do the test again, which will help determine why the compression is so low. But it was pretty late at that point and dinner was getting cold, so I stopped.

My question is: it's now been a couple of days... should I just do a compression test on that one cylinder cold (with a squirt of oil)? Or maybe do a pre-squirt test again (while cold) then a post-squirt test?

Seems like a lot of work to put all the spark plugs back in just to warm it up to then take them all out just to test one?

I welcome advice!

Also, why are the spark plugs so hard to get to? Especially 5-8 were really tricky to get the socket wrench in, and then really really tricky to get the threaded compression nozzle (head? whatever you call it). Maybe there's some trick to it that I don't know. And while I understand the importance of doing it warm, that means I'm reaching in & around the engine block while it's warm (read: hot!). Oy.   Undecided Shootself

-Dan

CrazyFun!

"What!? You wanna buy a '72 mustang convertible and fix it up?!  That's CRAZY!... sounds FUN!"
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#2
This model much easier than some to get to plugs. Some of the FE engine mustangs you had to take motor mounts loose and jack the engine up to get them out.
Warm engine has the cylinders to the diameter they run at, same with the pistons. Might have a ring issue on that one cylinder causing the lower reading or valve not sealing. Oil helps to close the rings off but not much if a valve leaking. Would be better if valve then just pull head. If ring have to get piston out.
Has car sat a while? If so squirt some penetrating oil in that cylinder and let it set a while can be a stuck ring.


When a man is in the woods and talks and no women are there is he still wrong??
Tongue
David
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#3
Yes, I would try it again, warmed engine is better, but you can get information from the cold engine.

Then, if the compression is still really low I would put some air pressure in that cylinder, with piston at TDC with the valves closed, to find out where the leak is, listen to the crankcase, exhaust, and intake manifold.



“If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough.”
--Albert Einstein
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#4
bringing a cyl to tdc and doing the air test will tell u what is leaking... hear with carb or exh and pull the valve cover vent to listen there also. even a cold engine will give u info with oil into cyl. compression goes up= rings most likely. no increase = valves
a couple of good squirts and spin the engine to lube the rings then test.
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#5
drsharp,
You did not state in your thread why you decided to do a compression test in the first place.
Was the engine misfiring ? smoking ? rough idle?
One thing I would do BEFORE taking anything apart would be a proper top end cleaning.
This is where one gradually pours a portion of the cleaner down the throat of a warm engine and then the remaining portion down the carb to stall the engine out.
One then lets the engine soak for 30- 45 minutes and then re start the engine.
If you still get a low reading, then it is time for an air hold test or leakdown test (two different tests)
What you are trying to do is isolate where the compression loss is coming from.
Boilermaster
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#6
(08-29-2018, 06:08 PM)boilermaster Wrote: drsharp,
You did not state in your thread why you decided to do a compression test in the first place.
Was the engine misfiring ? smoking ? rough idle?

No, actually the engine seems to run pretty well (at least from my not-an-expert perspective).  The reason to do the compression test was two-fold: 1) because I've never done one before, and mostly 2) because the plan is to strip the car down and rebuild it and I wanted to know the state of the engine before. I'm not sure (yet) how deep a rebuild it will be at this point and it seemed like a good data point to gather.

Anyway, it was good to do... fun to include the wife and kids in it... and now I have some data points. What I do next about them, I'm not sure. thumb Hehe.

-Dan

Crazy! Fun!

"What!? You wanna buy a '72 mustang convertible and fix it up?!  That's CRAZY!... sounds FUN!"
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#7
(08-29-2018, 07:00 PM)drsharp Wrote:
(08-29-2018, 06:08 PM)boilermaster Wrote: drsharp,
You did not state in your thread why you decided to do a compression test in the first place.
Was the engine misfiring ? smoking ? rough idle?

No, actually the engine seems to run pretty well (at least from my not-an-expert perspective).  The reason to do the compression test was two-fold: 1) because I've never done one before, and mostly 2) because the plan is to strip the car down and rebuild it and I wanted to know the state of the engine before. I'm not sure (yet) how deep a rebuild it will be at this point and it seemed like a good data point to gather.

Anyway, it was good to do... fun to include the wife and kids in it... and now I have some data points. What I do next about them, I'm not sure. thumb Hehe.

-Dan

Crazy! Fun!
I see why doing the compression test in your case. I did the same and even though all was good I decided to rebulid the whole engine and stroke it to 408. If budget allows it is the best way to know exactly was in it.

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        [Image: 20160929_171923_edit2_small.jpg]

1971 M-Code Mach 1 w/Ram Air, 408 stroker, 285/291 0.558" roller cam, Blue Thunder intake, TKO600, Hooker headers with electric cut-offs, FiTech EFI w/ RobBMC PowerSurge pump
4-wheel disc brakes
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#8
(08-30-2018, 01:10 PM)tony-muscle Wrote: I see why doing the compression test in your case. I did the same and even though all was good I decided to rebulid the whole engine and stroke it to 408. If budget allows it is the best way to know exactly was in it.

Yeah, that's the same place I'm in. I think I'll at least do a partial rebuild just because I've never done it and want to learn. The engine doesn't have any obvious trouble signs (other than the low compression on cylinder 5), but if I read correctly, a top-end rebuild is mostly just cleaning and oiling and new seals and such. I may be totally wrong (and I'm open to correction as this is a huge learning curve for me... crazy, fun!)

Also, I've never done a compression test before and I wanted to to do it. If nothing else it was good to have done it, and not screwed anything up.

-Dan

Crazy! Fun!

"What!? You wanna buy a '72 mustang convertible and fix it up?!  That's CRAZY!... sounds FUN!"
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#9
(08-28-2018, 08:35 PM)Don C Wrote: Yes, I would try it again, warmed engine is better, but you can get information from the cold engine.

Then, if the compression is still really low I would put some air pressure in that cylinder, with piston at TDC with the valves closed, to find out where the leak is, listen to the crankcase, exhaust, and intake manifold.

Hi Don!

Yeah, it would be better to do it warmed, but I went ahead and did the "wet" compression test cold on cyl 5. It had been sitting since Sunday (so 6 days). I put in a little bit of oil. Hard to tell how much because (a) I didn't measure it per-se... just poured it... probably 2 teaspoons I'd guess, and (b) some of it missed. I was trying to do a make-shift funnel into a straw to get it in. Hehe.

Anyway, the result was 110 PSI on 5 wet. So 90 "dry" and 110 "wet".

The full results are:

1: 120
2: 120
3: 120
4: 120
5: 90 (110 "wet")
6: 115
7: 110
8: 120

thumb 

-Dan

Crazy! Fun!

"What!? You wanna buy a '72 mustang convertible and fix it up?!  That's CRAZY!... sounds FUN!"
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#10
If your heads still have the original ford multipiece valves you should take to machine shop for a valve job and have hardened seats and good one piece valves installed at the bare min.

'73 Grandé H Code. Headman long tube headers, T-5 Transmission, 3.70 Traclok, Lowered 1" all around, Aussie 2v heads w/ 2.19 intake, 1.71 exhaust, screw in studs, full roller cam 608/612 lift 280/281 duration LSA 112, Quick Fuel 750 CFM double pumper, AirGap intake.

'73 F code convertible. Bright red. Needs total restore. (IE HOT MESS)

- Jason
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