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Q: Rough idle, clacking noise from engine under higher load

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i myself am a mechanic at a reputable repair facility, though my stronger suits are the import 4 bangers, ive been working on euros more often than not....enough enough......1993 tercel with the EFI 1.5l 3E-E..car arrived running, customer complains vehicle would not accelerate over 30-40 MPH...did typical tests, compression was a little low, 100PSI across the four..installed new plugs, checked for vacuum leaks, none found...vehicle would start and idle for about 30 seconds then idle would surge up and down...cleaned IAC, seemed to help surge issue...test drove and vehicle ran fine.....vehicle slept in shop stall last evening...ok so , today...vehicle was a no start and after draining gas tank, fresh gas and cleaning plugs multiple times,,car will start and idle, but idle is so low vehicle seems to want to stall...oh and did i mention jumping pins TE1 and E1, no codes retrievable....?

My car has 120620 miles.
My car has a manual transmission.

Hi there. From the description you have provided, the vehicle you are working on needs further diagnoses. First, 100 PSI for cylinder compression is inadequate. I would look into whether valve timing is correct. An incorrectly timed camshaft could cause low cylinder compression across the board and may account for the clacking noise.

Improperly adjusted valves could also create the same condition. As part of your description, you stated, after doing some repairs the vehicle ran fine. This is somewhat confusing. If the exhaust is restricted, (e.g. from a partially plugged catalytic converter) that should of been felt on the road test. The next day, the vehicle being a no start would lead me to check fuel pressure and for spark. Ignition timing could also be improperly set. If you find yourself unable to locate the area of fault. I recommend having the vehicle’s lack of power diagnosed by a certified technician, such as one from YourMechanic.

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