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Compression results and meaning (archive)

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Posted by Cameron Smith on March 07, 2000 at 08:00:40:

I am looking at a 1974tii and considering purchase. It burns a moderate amount (1 quart or so every 800 miles) and has moderate blow-by on deceleration. The car had a compression test done and the results are confusing to me. The first test numbers were 130 135 145 155 the leak down was 13% 28% 17% 2%.

At the time, I think the car was running poorly and then, mysteriously, started running well again. The culprit was theorized to be some carbon that subsequently blew off.

A cold compression test was performed 3 weeks later and did not include a leak down. The second set of numbers were 125 125 150 120.

The car runs pretty well right now although it might be a bit sluggish and rough in the 2000 to 3000 rpm. I suppose that could be the K-Fisher which has not been re-built. It ran briskly from 4000 to 6000.

Body is straight, interior very good and minimal rust. The differential is leaking, but the CV, drive shaft and the rest of the driveline seem OK. The shifter bracket underneath is loose and sloppy. Stock except for panasports, front air dam and free-flow exhaust. A very nice current owner, which also matters to me.

My question is, do you think I can get away with just a head rebuild or is this baby going to need rings/pistons and then I might as well do the whole thing? Am I forgetting anything? Should I get another compression test before I decide on how much to offer? Any thoughts will be appreciated !


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