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Old 10-06-2001, 03:44 AM
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Sudden Loss of Compression

I have a 1986 300e with 135,000 miles. During my last service, I had all of the lifters replaced (one was sticking and made a loud tapping noise) and also two rocker arms needed to be replaced. Since then, my car has been driving great, but yesterday on the way home as I came to a stop, the engine suddenly started to idle extremely rough, in fact the whole car shook. As I tried to accelerate, the car seemed to have lost all of its power until I got up to around 25mph and then it was fine, that is until I slowed down again.

Today, the mechanic did a compression test and said that one of the piston rings was bad. It was the #1 cylinder and it had a dry pressure of 25psi and wet was 100psi. All of the others were 145-150 ish. He recommended getting a rebuilt engine over repairing it.

My question to all of you is, could it be anything else? I read some posts and I have been losing coolant lately and I looked and there is some oil in the resevoir. Recently, I also had to add some oil after only 300 miles. Could it be a blown head gasket or does the wet test rule that out? I can't believe that the piston ring just broke and I would think that I would have noticed it slowly getting worse if it was due to wear. I need help.
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Old 10-06-2001, 10:24 AM
Ali Al-Chalabi's Avatar
Senior Member
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Knoxville, TN
Posts: 1,837
Your mechanic is probably right, a broken ring is the most likely cause that I can think of.

Sudden loss of compression and high oil consumption do fit the bill of a broken ring.
Ali Al-Chalabi

2001 CLK55
1999 Dodge Ram 2500 Cummins Diesel
2002 Harley-Davidson Fatboy
Merlin Extralight w/ Campy Record
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