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Discussion Starter #1
Long story short, I adjusted the exhaust valves on my '03 E two days ago and noticed that after I opened up the valves to 0.30 mm lash, the tappets can be heard more loudly during idle. I decided that was probably not unusual because otherwise the engine purred along nicely, and after driving around all day I felt like it ran better, and I even felt like I had improved my fuel mileage a bit.

Unfortunately, as of turning the key when I got in this afternoon to drive home, the engine suddenly idles very rough, struggles at low RPM and the check engine light flashes non-stop.

Two days of normal, no-check-engine-light improved fuel economy and then BAM! it suddenly feels like I lost a cylinder.

I removed the valve cover again to see if something slipped, but everything is still on point at 0.30 mm. As far as my performance of the valve adjustment, I didn't cut any corners whatsoever, and my mechanic brother assisted me. Replaced the valve cover gasket and the gasket sealer. Even repainted the valve cover. I reused the spark plugs, but they can't be any more than 15 months old, and they show no evidence of fouling. All four of the ignition coils were replaced a year ago next month. Everything torqued to spec.

I'm not sure whether the valves are a red herring and my problem has more to do with the ignition system or not. Anybody ever experience something like this? Did I just completely break it?

Thanks in advance for feedback!
 

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Start by disconnecting one coil pack at a time. Let you know if you have a cylinder that is not firing. Check the injectors in the same manner. If you are still stymied use a compression gauge and check to see that you are near 130 psi. And as Edward asked - did you get any codes?
 

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Yep.

Turns out the tappets noise was a red herring.

Like y'all suggested, I started pulling the ignition wires off the coils one by one this morning. First coil wasn't firing at all. Replaced it with an old coil I had lying around and problem solved.

Lesson learned: don't buy cheap knock-off ignition coils.
 

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Yep.

Turns out the tappets noise was a red herring.

Like y'all suggested, I started pulling the ignition wires off the coils one by one this morning. First coil wasn't firing at all. Replaced it with an old coil I had lying around and problem solved.

Lesson learned: don't buy cheap knock-off ignition coils.
Glad it worked out for you. Happy trails.
 

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The Quality Rule
The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten.

This quote has been attributed to a few different people, but lived by soo many.
 
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