Smoking 989cc Cuores and Sirions?


I've seen a few Cuores and Sirions advertised on Ebay and the like which all seem to be suffering from smoking engines. Has anyone got any experience of this? I quite fancy buying one to satisy my "weekend mechanic" urges... I know it's normally the valves/guides/oil seals or piston rings, just wondered if there is a common problem? Thanks

Smoking EJ-DE Engines

Your thought processes are correct there is indeed an issue with the three cylinder engines which I think is due mainly to poor servicing i.e. not changing oil regularly and perhaps needing a much higher quality oil. I thought my problem was valve oil seals but even though mine were as hard as concrete, they were not letting through enough oil to make the amount of smoke the car was pushing out - oddly more cold than hot - anyway removing the pistons [this can be done without removing the engine in a Sirion at least] I noted that the oil control rings were stuck in the piston - especially on number three engine. Replacement was straightforward and the car stops smoking - I now use synthetic oil which I replace frequently. I would say that any smoky EJ-DE engine is piston rings - the bores do not wear and the pistons were very serviceable. However, the spares are expensive as is the Three Bond gasket cement needed on the camshaft journals and sump.
Easy job except for getting the tappets quiet.

I have just rebuilt a sirion

I have just rebuilt a sirion EJ motor and indeed the tappets are really noisy, well i believe its the tappets. I put the head back on and did the timing, wound the motor around about 50 times and re-checked the timing, and it's all good, cranked the engine with no spark plugs in it, all good, put the plugs in, and it fired almost immediately, idling fine, but strange tapping coming from the top of the engine, I pulled the rocker cover off and inspected the cams and the tops of the valves, all looked good. ran it again for about 5 mins, and the noise is still there. Concerned i pulled the timing belt back off, and the cams off, re-checked the timing and put it all back together, fired again straight away, but the noise is still there, so i'm assuming it's the tappets. But i can't see anywhere where i can adjust anything. Another thought i had was that i got the head machined and i had this thought that the amount taken off was too much for the valve clearance and the valves were tapping the pistons, but it seems to run fine, no smoke or problems, just the tapping noise. Any ideas?

Wynns !!

Wynns do an additive I beleive you put down the plug hole and leave for a few hours to break up any gunge around the sticking rings and free them up.

I understand it works pretty well.

Might be worth a try rather than stripping a complete engine. Smile

Use Fully Synthetic high quality oil.

You know it makes sense.


ps. My wife had a Sirion with the EJ engine and it was "tappy" she had it for three years beforte changing to a Sirion 1300SL.

It ran for the three years without a hitch and was always "Tappy"

I liked the 1300sl so much I bought one myself - The rest is History. Smile

2003 Sirion Rally 4. And I love it.
Don't like the new shape Sirion much.Sorry.

EJ Engine

I think I am an "expert" on these engines having replaced the rings on three of them so far! The great thing about these engines as that they do not wear despite the high piston speeds, but the oil rings really get gummed up. They are lubricated through holes in the pistons and these block and the next thing is the oil control rings are set in concrete like carbon and do not work. I am not aware of the properties of Wynns oil but I would presonally be amazed if it shift that amount of gunge. A new set of piston rings are about £50.00 and the head gasked about £30.00 [do not buy a gasket set they cost £130.00 and contain a lot of useless items. You could overhaul the head but it is not necessary - just get it skimmed - and remember not to lose any of the valve clearance shims. You can get the sump off easily enough and the job is really easy peasy without taking the engine out. You need to buy some posh Three Bond plastic gasket maker - you can get it off eBay and replace the timing belt and tensioner whilst you are at it. The car will drive like a new one. If you do regrind the valves etc, then replace the valve stem oil seals. You need to hoick these out and I use an old windscreen wiper arm with the then bent end sawn off and make a little "hook" on the end which fits under the seal and gives you enough leverage to tease them off. If you do the valve clearances then halve the official tolerances [it does not burn the seats - trust me] otherwise it will sound like a large can of rusty nails.
The car will run like a champ after this and not use any oil guaranteed. Oh, and one thing more - removing the engine pulley. There is a grommeted hole in the chassis leg which if removed gives to socket access to the big bolt. Just put the socket on and lock it somehow and give nthe starter a flick and it undoes itself.

I may have this problem????

I think I may have this problem? but it doesn't happen every day? and it only happens on first start up of the day and after a while it clears and all is fine from then on, and it could go a few days when it doesn't happen at all? I like the car and want to keep it but I think I need to find someone to do these repairs spoken about here so can anyone tell me is there anyone on the forum who would do it and I will pay them or should I just get rid of it and perhaps look for another? but I could end up with the same issue? so it would make more sense to keep the one I have and get it sorted if its possible? This is what happens when I start the car at first there is no smoke and then after a short time say 30 seconds it begins to smoke and its a sort of white smoke which then seem to get a blueness to it after a while, if I leave it running there are huge clouds of smoke but after say about a minute or so it stops. I've also noticed on 2 occasions that once the smoke stops and I drive off after about a quarter of a mile it seems to be only firing on 2 cylinders but only for about 3 or 4 seconds and then its fine all day. So any help or advice would be very much appreciated.

Becci Smile

1998 Sirion 1.0 Auto

If the oil control rings are

If the oil control rings are sticking then draining the oil and using some traditional flushing oil a few times may do the trick.

If you have noisy valve

If you have noisy valve clearances then they need reshimming, Don't go to Daihatsu for shims as they will cost a fortune.

Any engine reconditioner or even ebay should have shims (or can get them). I paid £2.50 each shim last time I bought some off ebay. Charade GTti uses 25mm diameter shims which are common on many japanese motorbikes.

Not sure what the newer engines use but may well be the same.

If the cold clearance setting is not quoted in the workshop manual,then as a rule of thumb you reduce the clearance about 0.08-0.10mm from the listed hot setting. (valve Gap increases as engine heats up with overhead valves)

Thanks for the reply I don't

Thanks for the reply I don't have any noise in fact sometimes I think I've stalled. Wink

1998 Sirion 1.0 Auto

I started it up this morning

I started it up this morning and it purred like a kitten, no smoke nothing at all. Did a round trip of 30 miles drove flawlessly. My question if this problem I have with smoke is possibly related to piston oil rings or valve guides would I not get this problem all the time? I'm asking because I don't know but logic tells me that this issue if the causes are any of the above then it would be continuous.


1998 Sirion 1.0 Auto

I would think you would be

I would think you would be getting it all the time, unless it's getting better with the cleaning action from your oil change.

Hi Pocketrocket can you tell

Hi Pocketrocket can you tell me are there any other components on the car that can create smoke like this? to be honest I'm not entirely sure that this smoke has had anything to do with the cleaning I did I'm beginning to think it was coincidental? if you look at this video my smoke is the same amount as that one but for a short period. I've started it today after doing a few miles yesterday and no smoke at all?


1998 Sirion 1.0 Auto

Ah, well i don think that's

Ah, well i don think that's oil related smoke which would be a black/blue colour,

Looks to me more like water vapour steam.

What it could be is a slight head gasket weap. When engine has been off for a while and cooled down, engine coolant can seep slightly into combustion chamber.

This then expelled out the back once you restart.

With such a minor weap, Once engine warms up, there is enough expansion in the metal to seal the gasket.

However all is not lost, Rather than a costly head gasktet replacement, There is a fantastic product to try from USA called "Steal seal" which your pour in the coolant for a permanant repair exactly this type of fault.

Different than most products cheaper products as it contains no solids that could block waterways.

It's available on Ebay and is cetainly worth a go to start with. A friend has a old Peugeot 205 with a dodgy head gasket and steel-seal cured it and the car is still running fine nearly 2 years on.

For a major head gasket failure these type of products rarely work, but in your case it probably will cure it easily as your leak sounds so minor.

Have a look on ebay as I think it is cheaper than ordering from the UK website

Plus plenty of info on google about it.

These type of products are often slated as being band-aid, but really in a older car where head gasket replacement often is not cost effective.
If the leak is minor, then it's worth a go.


Hi Stephen,

I'm from Holland, and red your comments on the Sirions with interest.
Mine is also an EJDE engine from 1999, and like you i changed the valve seals. It still smoked after that. I also checked if the seals didnt come of, to make sure. But no, they were fine.

The next thing i'm gonna do is take the head of. And that brings me to your comment on the cilinder walls, which you say don't wear. Is it not necessary to hone the cilinders before putting the rings in?? Did yours still have groves or were they glazed?


Cast iron rings

Thnx man,

From this story i get that you should put cast iron rings in: they will get rubbed into a perfect fit. The dai dealer couldn't tell me of what material the standard rings are made of. Is that maybe the reason that so many people say that you allways should lightly hone first, because their rings are chromated?
But i will take a peep first. Maybe it's just the head gasket.