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First time poster, been lurking the forum since I got my 626 a couple weeks ago. I want to keep a rolling project for my car as well as ask questions as I venture further into my endeavor. First, a little background. Up until about 3 weeks ago, I was cruising around in a 94' Oldsmobile Royal 88 LSS, the only year of LSS that didn't have a supercharger.  :sleep: .

 

On my lunch break at work, I go to the gas station, turn it off and put gas in the car. I had a very strong feeling of reluctance about shutting my car off for some reason, but after getting gas and trying to start the car again, no crank, no start. Figured starter, not it. Every other sign pointed towards security system. Well got the car in my garage from some dangerous towing. (3,900 pound vehicle being towed by a S-10 and a tow strap(that broke)) Open the hood, coolant pooled under my plenum, coolant in my power steering pump, not sure how, water pump seals blown, valve cover leaking, and bolts so loose I could breathe on them and they would turn. and a quarter size hole in my bell housing. Hydrolocked/seized motor. No prior warnings, no white smoke, no knock. Just turned it off and it never ever will run again.

 

Well, that lead me to another car, and as luck would have it, this guy down the road was selling his 2002 Mazda 626 2.0L Auto for $500. Done. 

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281,000+ miles. First time owning a Mazda. Well, I don't know what it is about this car, but I fell in love with it. This guy rode a guard rail, screwing the whole passenger side up yet this car will drive straighter than any car I've owned. I immediately started doing research and and just generally gaining knowledge. Grabbed the official service manual and started studying that. 

 

In the next few months I want to take the auto transmission out and put a manual in, and replace the engine and engine mounts. I want to put a FS-ZE engine in but do not want to convert everything to OBD 1. So if I can find a FS-DET with low mileage and cheap, I might go that route. Not against 2.5L K motors, just don't really see the benefit in them. 

 

Pretty sure the Transmission was replaced while still under warranty as there is a separate tranny cooler in front of my radiator and is professionally done. Not to mention from what I'm reading, there is no way this Transmission would last to 281,000+ miles.

 

Until, I can get a possible donor car(for MTX swap), and engine I want to replace my Front and rear bumper and front fender, not sure really how to fix the rear quarter panel as I'm not very proficient with body work. I want to get this engine running as smooth as possible, media blast valve cover, port intake manifold and get new gaskets for throttle body etc. May sound like work for an engine I'm going to eventually replace but this car is now my baby. 

 

I have a few problems with my car that I could use some guidance. Two check engine codes 421 Warm Up Catalyst Efficiency Below Threshold (Bank 1) and 455 Evap Emissions gross leak. My car engine shakes quite a bit, at idle, smooths out but still shakes, every so often dips below normal idle rpm of 750-650 and gets to 500 or so as the engine shakes violently trying to keep itself from stalling. No vacuum leaks around the Intake manifold, pcv joint is working correctly. Could a leak in my EVAP line cause the same symptoms of regular vacuum leak? I know it is connected to the vacuum but before it gets to the vacuum it has to get trough the solenoid which isnt open all the time, which wouldn't effect the vacuum system would it? 

 

I have already tested the solenoid, operates perfectly under test scenarios but when connected to the car and its engaged, it clicks as if opening and closing the solenoid repeatedly, slower than fuel injector clicks and HLA faint clicks. But fast enough. I have videos showing examples, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mz2JPe7h4OU&feature=youtu.be I hear hissing and honestly sounds like its coming from under my car around the EVAP and fuel line. Another hissing noise is in front of radiator but sounds like its coming from under the manifold, around cat converter. Also, drop in rpms and light dimming when pressing brake, rolling windows up/down. Battery tests fine. Without lights or anything electrical on, 14.4 V while on. Haven't tested with lights on yet, but willing to bet regulator on Alternator went dead and isn't supplying enough amps to run the car and charge battery. Could be that grounds need to be regrounded or need to add more.

 

I'm getting my new NGK wires and plugs in the mail in a few days. Going to jack this thing up over the weekend and check out the EVAP lines for myself as well as the exhaust system. Should have the timing checked. Getting a compression test soon. Also, need to replace interior driver side door. Perfect interior besides the driver door, where he just loaded up duct tape and called it a day. SMH.

 

Any tips and/or help along the way or any knowledge that I should know about being a new 626 owner would be greatly appreciated! 

Edited by djdevon3
topic title edited by request

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Not sure where you are located, but judging by the snow it looks like the northeast somewhere.  I just pulled the motor/trans from a donor car and I am likely going to sell the donor for scrap.  Most of the car is in good shape and I'd be willing to part off what's left.

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I could use a whole new passenger side and one driver side interior door panel. I live in Michigan. Pretty close to the Tri-State area.

 

Not exactly sure what to do with the rear quarter panel, I could make it work DIY style but I'm definitely not great with in-depth body work. Would rather not Bondo the whole quarter panel also which was a serious suggestion BTW.

 

Shoot me a PM, if affordable I might get everything I need for the body while I have the opportunity but priority #1 is making sure it runs the best it can till the Engine/Tranny swap.

 

Have to tack on some questions though.(Not specifically asking you, just in general.)

Now I know for the Auto's if you were to replace it with another auto it would have to be within 1 year or so for it to fit right cause of the rolling changes Ford made to the transmissions, but that's not the case with ATX to MTX swap correct? As in any 98-02 MTX should work? 

 

While taking my car out this morning in 6 degree weather, my thermostat decided to say my car was warm, which I thought was weird because I had started it for a minute, drove a block and its warm? Even though she was still acting like she was cold and turning the heat on blasted cold ait, instead of the decidedly Luke warm heat it produces. Could a faulty thermostat cause that? 

 

Also, did load testing on my alternator yesterday, as in turning everything electrical on I could and charging my phone, it will stay stable around 14.2 volts. Healthy amount, but when its just one or two things, such as brake or headlights, it will fluctuate from as low as 12.9 to 14.3 and you can hear rpms fluctuate with the voltage flux. Will have to actually bench test alternator when I get it in to my garage. Just doesn't behave like a failing alternator, but I have the worst luck with Alternators. 

 

Also, as it is not exactly the best weather to work on my car outside, I haven't been able to locate the vacuum leak(if there even is one) It behaves like it has a leak but also behaves like motor mounts are shot or torque converter and a misfire all at the same time. Not horrible, but bad enough for me to know that something isn't quite right. Also, the shake down it gives me. It doesn't do it all the time either, I mean it shakes all the time, more than I'd like but negligible but other times, I feel like its going to fall apart from shaking. I have no loss of power when getting on it, that I know of, as I got the car this way, so to me its the same. Also, people get in my car and say it seems fine but they're going by the "Fine for $500" route I believe and don't feel what I feel through the pedal. I've had 2 Nissan Sentras with the 1.6L 90hp go-cart engine, seemed to all around in general to run better than what I have now, but like I said, it's not horrible.

 

Just want to fix the problem(s) before they create more problems.

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DJDevon has a video series you can find that shows every step of the ATX to MTX swap.  It's not for an 02, but should be very similar. There are several differences between the ATX and MTX that you will have to swap out as well.  I would recommend getting a donor car if you can, check your local yards.

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Just post the youtube "share" link right in the forum and it will automatically convert the url and embed the video. 

 

 

Upon using the throttle body the engine sounds healthy.  Nothing wrong with that engine.  Sounds great.  The valve train noise is a bit clicky.  Might want to think about getting a lash adjustment on those lifters.  Unless you have a lot of faulty solenoids going off like castanets in a mariachi band then most of that clicking will be coming from your lifters needing to be reshimmed.  The 98-02 has solid lifters meaning they need to be serviced every decade or so to remove the free play (lash).

 

 

Even though she was still acting like she was cold and turning the heat on blasted cold ait, instead of the decidedly Luke warm heat it produces. Could a faulty thermostat cause that? 

No a faulty thermostat shouldn't cause cold air from the HVAC system.  A clogged heater core will which could explain some of your other symptoms.  A faulty blend door allowing "fresh air mode" to allow cold outside air to come in when the blower motor is running would do it too.  A thermostat is there so that the engine heats up faster in cold weather (along with fast idle mode) however the routing of the coolant bypasses the engine in a way to still allow coolant to get to the heater core even if the thermostat isn't open.  I'm unfamiliar with severe cold weather (anything under 40F is severe cold to Floridians).

 

 

Also, did load testing on my alternator yesterday, as in turning everything electrical on I could and charging my phone, it will stay stable around 14.2 volts. Healthy amount, but when its just one or two things, such as brake or headlights, it will fluctuate from as low as 12.9 to 14.3 and you can hear rpms fluctuate with the voltage flux. Will have to actually bench test alternator when I get it in to my garage. Just doesn't behave like a failing alternator, but I have the worst luck with Alternators.

As long as the alternator is putting out a charge of more than 13v then technically it's still working just fine however if it's fluctuating that could be a sign of backfeeding and you'd want to get that looked at.  I think you're thinking about that one logically so you're good on that train of thought.

 

 

Also, as it is not exactly the best weather to work on my car outside, I haven't been able to locate the vacuum leak(if there even is one) It behaves like it has a leak but also behaves like motor mounts are shot or torque converter and a misfire all at the same time. Not horrible, but bad enough for me to know that something isn't quite right. Also, the shake down it gives me. It doesn't do it all the time either, I mean it shakes all the time, more than I'd like but negligible but other times, I feel like its going to fall apart from shaking. I have no loss of power when getting on it, that I know of, as I got the car this way, so to me its the same.

 

You did say you were getting evap codes and more importantly a catalyst code.  If you're having an issue with fuel trims due to a dead cat then yeah your A/F is going to get all jacked up and run poorly.  Couple that with a vacuum leak and you'll be driving down the road shaking like a wet dog on a cold day.  Get some vacuum leak tests going.  A lot of times on the 626 you'll see a pre-catalyst inefficiency which could be a faulty O2 sensor as well.  You'll have to determine if it's a false positive, air leak contributing to fouling O2 readings causing cat to throw the code, or if it's really a catalyst issue.

 

Your 626 looks to have a pre-cat from the image posted.  So you have 2 catalytic converters in a way.  The pre-catalyst is a small cylinder attached directly after the exhaust manifold.  Looks like a mini-keg.  Then you have the normal catalytic converter under the car which is much larger.  This is due to raising the level of emission laws at the time and needing that pre-cat to meet emissions requirements.  Again don't let the code fool you into thinking you should just replace parts.  Codes are hints not part replacement laws written in stone.  You have a lot of investigation and evidence gathering before you can condemn the O2, cat, vacuum leak, MAF, or IAC.  Especially since it's a new car you should really break out that service manual and start inspecting components to get a good idea on the health of everything.  Good luck and let us know how it goes.

 

Oh and yes I do have an entire ATX to MTX swap series documented on video.

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After watching the video a couple times I'd look into that faulty solenoid on the right side of the engine.  Likely the purge or PRC solenoid.  Yes it can cause a vacuum leak if faulty and clicking rapidly.  One thing that sucks is that you'll have to figure out if the solenoid is actually at fault or if it's being given the command to turn on/off rapidly.  If it's a bad command signal then recommend you take that in for service because that's a whole ball of wax trying to track down a bad command signal from the ECU.  Something as simple as a faulty or inverted O2 signal could do that.  It's something that will take time and a professional bi-directional scan tool to track down.

 

This is the safest and easiest method I can recommend to any DIY'er for tracking down vacuum leaks.  Pay attention to his propane bottle.  You'll want to add your own valve onto it and the nozzle he has is homemade and easy to make yourself.  The reason why using carb cleaner for the casual DIY'er is a bad idea is that carb cleaner is a liquid when it comes out.  If you start a fire good luck cleaning up flamable liquid.  Propane on the other hand is a gas and will burn right off.  it might give you a big scare but it's not going to put a pool of flammable liquid in your engine bay.  Propane and gas only is the safest way to check every possible nook and cranie that any other method simply cannot do and safely.

 

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Thank you for replying.

 

 

I wrote up a whole nice update post last night, saved the draft and everything but after having fuel trim, injectors, compression and vacuum tested along with random intermittent codes at a local shop for free, well I had to scrap the post.

 

First things first, my compression is out of wack. Cylinder 1 is at 80-90 PSI. Cylinder 2 is within specs at around 160 Psi I believe. Cylinder 3 is 70-80 Psi and Cylinder 4 is 170. That means I have one cylinder operating with 1 psi of standard, one cylinder within specs, and 2 cylinders that are lazy. Now, I also happen to have Injectors 1 and 3 not flowing correctly also. Fuel pressure is fine. I have one leak in my vacuum. Still not entirely sure where but its not a big one. The guy said my O2 sensor is out but also said my Precat is only allowing around 15% through. Not sure which is correct or could be that pre-cat clogged and faulted the O2 out along with it as I'm sure the idiot that owned this car before didn't notice anything. I mean hell, he chalked up loosing oil as the motor burning it. Valve cover grommet was leaking, oil filter was barely on there and has been on there since 2012 and the oil drain plug gasket was just gone. Apparently I have GM approved coolant in my radiator. My brake switch is out, Transaxle range switch is throwing a code. If I'm following the service manual correctly, those 2 switches lead into the IAC correct? Also, power steering switch is throwing code. Those three are intermittent, and not enough for the PCM to light the CEL. Only the p0421 and p0455 light the CEL.

 

There was something else, but must not of been something to concerning.

 

I'm not to keen on doing a ring job when I'll be swapping the motor in a few months, do you think under those specs that my engine will last till then?

 

I'm going to clean my injectors here in a bit and trim the new tubing up so the PCV and T-joint fit better. Next week I'm going to get a Bluetooth OBD II dongle so I can monitor everything myself. In a few weeks, I'm going to try and bang out that rear quarter panel a bit and put my Body work lack of skills to the test.

 

Also, I do have updates from last weekend!

 

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Valve Cover off.

 

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Nice and dirty. Glad the gasket was leaking so I had an excuse.

 

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Better but not perfect.

 

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Shattered my PCV valve when pulling it out, the fact that I found most of the pieces was a miracle in itself. Platic weld the peices together and since my T-joint decided to break to, I caulked it with clear sealant. The fact that it ran, and ran just as good made me happier than sealing all my oil leaks. Yes, yes. I have properly replaced the PCV valve, T-joint and vacuum line since then.

 

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Done, minus new PCV.

 

Also, the lack of rust underneath the car makes me want to shout. Hard to get a car up here this old without rust underneath, not to mention for $500.

 

PS, Any mod want to kindly add worklog/buildlog to the title, it would be much appreciated.

 


 

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80 PSI?  Well that's why your car is throwing a couple codes.  That kind of combustion inefficiency will mess up your catalyst efficiency and O2 readings. 

 

Minimum spec for any cylinder is 120.  You can do (or have someone do) a leak-down test to pinpoint where compression is being lost.  Doesn't really matter though with 2 cylinders abysmally low it's time for a rebuild or another engine.  We're not engine gods.  No one can tell you if the engine will last for 2 more months. ;)  With 2 cylinders not contributing I'm surprise it's even able to go anywhere under its own power.

 

The brake switch is for the break lights and the transaxle range switch is what tells the ECU what gear you have selected (PRNDL).  They have nothing to do with the IAC.

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That is what I figured but then I saw the diagram and was all wtf? Better check to make sure.

Honestly, it doesn't feel like its running 2 cylinders at half compression. It has plenty of power. I honestly was going to dig in but just doing a ring job would be a waste of money and time. I know I'm not putting another FS-DE engine in. I was thinking about putting the FS-DET. I know same motor just turbo, or get the FS-ZE and stay NA. All I know is this engine and tranny have got to go, they've been through a lot in these 13 years. Time to retire them. 281,900 on the odometer, who knows how many times the tranny has been replaced or rebuilt.

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I think the FS-DET only came in MTX so you'll have to do a trans swap too.  It's only like 3 more bolts by the time you take the engine out anyway.  Actually easier to take them both out at the same time with a crane.  You'll want to use the Protege's ECU and wiring harness too.  FS-DET uses coil on plugs I believe so it's different from any other FS ignition system and the 626 ECU won't work right with that setup.  It's always best to pair an engine with it's original intended ECU.

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I plan on doing them both at the same time. Wouldn't be my first rodeo swapping engines and tranny. Probably the smallest as the few swaps I've participated in was for 1978 Ford Bronco and 1971 Chevy Blazer K5. Replaced the clutch in my old 92' Mitsubishi 3000gt SL, fun stuff when you drop the tranny 3 times jacking it up, but that's what you get for not having a tranny jack.

Honestly though, I don't have even 75% of the tools I once had. I don't have any air tools anymore. I'll probably pay my buddy to do it. I will help as to get it labor cheaper though. Would you recommend the DET over the ZE? Either way I have to swap ECUS and wiring harnesses.

Only thing about getting a used FS-DET that worries me, is that turbo. I know on the 3000gt VR4's those two turbos would die around 100,000-150,000.

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The ZE's are almost impossible to find because they were only available in Asia market originally.  Engine importers have also been known to pass off a 98-02 626 FS-DE as an FS-ZE because they look similar.  A couple people have tried and failed to get it running correctly without the original ECU and they eventually swapped in other engines that would work better and more power such as the KL-DE or KL-ZE.  For simplicity it's a better project to go with the FS-DET because of parts availability and documentation.  If you want power then I recommend you think about a 2.5L KL-G4 swap for you 2002 vehicle because that's the bigger engine option available.  KL-G4's are readily available.

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That makes plenty of sense. Now I got a few months to find a DET with low enough mileage I would feel comfortable buying. Couple months to work out the body and this damn suspension. It feels like I took my right strut and replaced it with a solid steel bar. I was thinking about the KL, haven't done any pricing on those yet though.

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