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Re: What broke?

>      Last night I was driving home when the engine quit.  There was a little
> bit of clatter, then no power.  Car was in 5th at about 60 mph.  No big bangs,
> the car just lost power suddenly.
>      After I pulled to the side of the road I tried to restart it.  The
> starter would turn the engine, but there was no compression.

Did it spin very fast?

>  Trailered the
> car home, assuming a broken timing belt.  Which seemed odd because the belt is
> only about 30K miles old.
>      Just found out the timing belt is fine.  The cam turns and operates the
> valves, the crank works (pistons move up & down), the distributor turns.  I
> loosened the timing belt and put everything in time, even though it did not
> seem to be out.  Still no compression on any of the cylinders.
>      Basically, I don't have a clue here.  If anyone can provide some help it
> would be greatly appreciated.
>      Thanks.

It is basically impossible for an engine to all of a sudden loose all 
the compression in all the cylinders without a major failure.
There is either a hole in all the pistons, at least one valve stuck 
open in all the cylinders or simply no spark plugs.

Are you sure there is absolutely 0 psi in all the cylinders?
Did you use a gauge to check?
Recheck the timing belt position.  Could the engine be flooded?
The lack of oil on the cylinder walls (washed down by the gasoline)
couses a lack of compression as well.  Not total lack but enough to 
make starting difficult. It will also couse the engine to spin 
quicker becouse of lowered compression pressure.   Check for gas smell in the 
oil.  If so change it emidiatly and squirt some into the combustion 
chamber to restore compression.  If all else failes take the cylinder 
head off and see what is going on inside i.e. burned valves or 
missing rings or hole in piston.  

BTW you never mentioned the kind of car you were driving. 

Martin Pajak

1982 Coupe TURBO (473,150 km)
1984 4000s quattro (soon to be a rally car)
1986 4000s quattro (300,000 km) with four Nokia 10's
1970 Porsche 911E Targa (for sale)

CEO of exam lastminute allniter rollthedice inc.